© 2018 The Grass Roots Cultural and Performing Arts Center

ANTHONY GERACI & THE BOSTON BLUES ALL-STARS

There's all kinds of 'blues music.' Blues is a feel, it comes in a hundred different shades and long before it became a 'genre' so people could find it in a store it was just a language spoken by musicians in the deep south to convey stories about life and struggle, hope and despair, justice and injustice. Anthony Geraci gets that. His blues is all about feel. It comes in many different shades. His blues is soul, jazz, funk, rock and roll all rolled into a juke joint Saturday night party. Geraci makes music...we call it blues because for some reason we think we have to call it something. It's just music. Really, really good music so let's just leave it at that. On this second version of the Boston Blues All-Stars Geraci brought in guitar slinger Troy Gonyea and drummer Jeff Armstrong to replace Willie J. Laws and Osi Brathwaite who are currently promoting their own project. No loss of power there as Gonyea can pick up where any guitar player in the land leaves off without a hitch. He's also a top shelf singer and songwriter with a solid body of his own work. The constants in the band are Geraci on piano and Hammond organ, Dennis Brennan on vocals, harp and guitar and the steady Michael 'Mudcat' Ward on electric and upright bass. Geraci is as good a piano player as there is but if I could only hear him play one instrument again it would be the Hammond organ!

If there's a thing you can put your finger on that is the X factor in this band it's Dennis Brennan. Part Lou Reed, part Peter Wolf, part Traveling Wilbury, Brennan is at once all of those and yet completely unique unto himself. It would have been very easy to put a bunch of established "blues" players on the stage and ramble through the night with a 12 bar, shred, rinse, repeat cycle but Brennan gives this music just the right amount of roots rock edge to take it to another level. Like Geraci, Brennan's music and his delivery is all about feel, genre be damned! He writes great songs and lays them out with energy, passion and a piece of his soul. Every time you see Dennis Brennan it hits you a few days later that he found his way into your soul too.

Most of the material was Anthony Geraci originals from his latest release "Why Did You Have to Go?" but, as band leader, he leaves openings for original music from his sidekicks which also gives the night a feel of collaboration between great musicians. This thing Anthony Geraci is doing is pretty hip, like an ongoing 'team' that picks up a few new players every now and then but the core is solid and familiar. This team, like the last one, is on fire so lets just sit back and enjoy the season!

ANTHONY GERACI & THE BOSTON BLUES ALL-STARS

Anthony Geraci - piano, Hammond organ, vocals

Troy Gonyea - guitar, vocals

Dennis Brennan - vocals, harp, guitar

Michael 'Mudcat' Ward - bass

Jeff Armstrong - drums

The Session Crew

Produced and edited by:
Bill Hurley

Cameras:
Maribeth Arena

Bill Hurley
H. Nat Stevens
Joanne Craig

Audio:
Eric Nordstrom
Connor Quigley

Mixed by:
Connor Quigley

Lighting/Special Effects:
Rick Smith

Stage Production:
Gerry Earabino

Photos:
Dan Busler Photography