By Uncle Mike
RED BANK – While Bob Dylan was off celebrating his recent Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest civilian award that our nation has to offer) and his 71st birthday, Pat Guadagno and his Tired Horses were busy paying tribute to the American icon just as they have been doing for the past 15 years, with another mind-boggling performance at Bobfest ‘12 – A Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration.
Hosted by 101.5 FM’s Big Joe Henry, for the first time in its illustrious history Bobfest was held at the Count Basie Theatre. And, I must say that Pat Guadagno and the Tired Horses, along with this year’s special guests, Rob Papparozzi (harmonica/vocals), Jeff Levine (Hammond B3 organ), Steve Rielly (acoustic guitar/vocals), John Philippidis (acoustic guitar) and Aura Guadagno (vocals), had no trouble settling in at the venerable old music hall.
Kicking the night off with an inspired rendition of Tangled Up In Blue, Pat Guadagno (lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars) and Tired Horses, Rich Oddo (electric guitar, vocals), Phil “Red River” Rizzo (bass/vocals), Steve Delopoulos (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Marc Muller (pedal steel guitar, mandolin, electric guitar, vocals), Rene Woolley (drums), Andy McDonough (keyboard, accordion, vocals), Yuri Turchin (violin) and Mary McCrink (vocals, tambourine) never looked back as they easily won over the enthusiastic crowd.
Some of the first set’s more impressive moments came on Dylan gems like Sweetheart Like You (Pat Guadagno in fine voice, mournful harmonica and violin), Watching the River Flow (with Rob Papparozzi on vocals the Horses blues it up/great vibe and feel, crowd favorite), Oh, Sister (Steve Delopoulos chips in with a most moving lead vocal), Lily, Rosemary and the Jack Of Hearts (Pat G. nails vocal/tight band number), Ring Them Bells (Mary McCrink soars on lead vocals/Steve D. also up to the task), It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes A Train to Cry (way cool laidback, down home vibe with Marc Muller on lead vocals and electric g.), Tweeter And The Monkey Man (featured Rich Oddo on lead vocals, big, bad, band number on Dylan and Wilbury’s ode to Jersey, huge cheers), I Shall Be Released (Red River on lead vocal/in honor of Levon, Rick and Richard of The Band), Hazel (one of Pat’s very best vocal efforts), Tough Mama (Horses rock with Rich and Pat on electric guitar), This Wheel’s On Fire (killer P.G. vocal/forget the wheel the whole band’s on fire!) and Forever Young (wonderful first set closer with Pat and Aura Guadagno on vocals, Marc’s pedal steel guitar oh yeah!).
As for the second half of the show, Andy McDonough, Rob Papparozzi and Jeff Levine got the crowd’s attention with a soulful interpretation of Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right, after which Pat and Tired Horses came out like gangbusters with rockin’ renditions of Rambling, Gambling Willie (Steve Rielly gets in on the action with hot lead vocals and acoustic guitar), Tombstone Blues (Guadagno and Tired Horses perfect together), Trust Yourself (Mary out of this world with show stopping vocal, Jeff kills on Hammond B), Every Grain of Sand (great Steve D. vocal, Yuri works his magic on violin, a true beauty), Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) (monster ballad with Pat and Steve D. on lead vocals and John Philippidis on acostic guitar), Romance in Durango (Pat, Mary and the Horses head south of the border, terrific number), The Groom’s Still Standing At The Alter (Steve P. at his absolute best on lead vocals as Horses kick up their heels), Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again (classic Dylan and Guadagno garners partial standing ovation), Hurricane (Pat sings and plays the hell out of this one, Yuri does his best Nero as Rene Woolley and the Horses burn/another partial standing o.), Blowin’ in the Wind (Steve P., Mary and P.G. share vocals on this wonderfully gorgeous version, standing o), Mr. Tambourine Man (band gets standing ovation with everyone on vocals) and Like A Rolling Stone (everybody up for this rousing closer).
Look, Pat Guadagno, his band the Tired Horses and all of this year’s special guests upheld Bobfest’s longstanding tradition of excellence with outstanding musicianship and stellar vocal efforts. If you are a Bob Dylan fan or just a lover of great music, year after year. Bobfest is a must see. And now that Bobfest has moved to the Count Basie Theatre lets all hope that one of Red Bank’s hipper traditions has found a permanent home for many years to come!
Produced by co-founder Tom Moog the concert benefited the local charity the Rock & Roll Music Fund and the Anthony X. Guadagno Scholarship Fund. Established in honor and memory of Berklee College of Music alumnus bassist Tony Guadagno, the endowed scholarship is awarded each year to an outstanding bass player from New Jersey who displays a passion for rock and roll.