It was another night at Johnny’s Pub and Grill. “OK, Pat, as long as we have the words…” Brian said into the mic as he flipped through his binder. After a moment we heard, “A long, long time ago…”, as Brian looked over at Pat and smiled. The crowd sang and swayed to the Don McLean song. Lyn and Mike’s mom asked for this song because it was one of their dad’s favorites.
Cover bands are terrific because every song that comes up is familiar and easy to sing along to. It is fun to see The Earthtones because they have a woman singer, which is so different from the other bands I follow. Eva does such an amazing job with Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell, just to name a couple of artists. Brian carries most of the other vocals and the guitar and bass. And of course there is Mike on the drums, the same Mike I have been following for 30 years now.
Scenes From an Italian Restaurant was next. It’s my favorite Billy Joel song and was featured as Song of the Day a couple weeks ago on my facebook page. Click to like the page and you can get all the songs of the day!
The band had a different setup than the last show I attended, with Brian sitting below the stage on the main floor which doubles as the dance floor. He had been displaced by the new, much larger keyboard his wife Eva was playing. When asked about the switchup, he smiled and said, “I miss my railing. I’m feeling a little vulnerable.”
The crowd was really revved up after the break as the band jumped right back in. Each song was more fun than the last, with John Kippinger (guitar) and Mark Bradley (sax and vocals) joining them for most of the set. They brought their A game for the last few songs. Eva belted out the Linda Ronstadt song, When Will I Be Loved? Then John started it funking it up with the Traffic hit “Feelin’ Alright“, a song featuring the little known (but often heard) instrument, the vibraslap. Yes, it’s a real thing!
Hey Jude is a staple of the Earthtones and this is a song where Mark really wails, both with vocals and on the sax. He has performed this song many times over the past couple of years, and it gets better each time. The bar owner Johnny is a great fan and the band always does a great job with Beatles songs.
Mark’s wife Ellen is like a lot of other band wives, who sit home and listen to the same song over and over and over and over. Time after time after time. When asked if it was a little much to watch the crowd go wild every time Mark performs while she endures the mindnumbing repetition of practice, she replied, “Truth be told, yes.” Of course, when I asked Mark if it was hard to be appreciated in his own home because of that he had the same response. IEllen cheered louder than anyone for Mark and was proud to be a band wife.
Then there was a rockin’ performance of Gloria featuring Rusty, a regular who sings this song whenever the band plays. The crowd cheered louder when it was announced that it was Rusty’s birthday.
The closing song was one of my all time favorites, Mustang Sally. My favorite performance (besides The Earthtones, and Mobius Jones of course) was in the movie “The Commitments”. It is definitely a ‘must see’. The joint was jumpin’! What an amazing way to end the show!! They will be back for their summer celebration on Friday, June 26 and you know I will be there!! If you need more convincing, check out my previous post entitled, G-L-O-R-I-A.