Saturday, November 20, 2010

At Bethany Blues: A Bo Diddley Beat

'Oh Boy' at Bethany Blues in Lewes
The Lovely Karen and I went to Bethany Blues last night to see a group of old friends play rockabilly music last night. The show was part of the on-going Sidney's Music Revival, which has brought a variety of acts, mostly blues, to the barbecue restaurant on Route 1 outside of Lewes.

This band is made up (left to right in the photo) of Barry Eli, retired music teacher from Cape Henlopen High School; Ken Schleifer, an active music teacher; Walt Hetfield, a music teacher and fonder of a rock-n-roll summer camp; and Mike Long, about whom I have to admit I know nothing.

Barry, Ken and Walt are our friends entirely through Karen; from her early days as a music therapist and from her playing in various ensembles around the area over the years.

These guys have been playing together for a while. They are less a bar-band though, and more a show band. They have a Buddy Holly tribute show, the rockabilly show we saw last night, and a "sun and surf" show in which they play music from the mid 1960s.

But that doesn't mean they didn't tear it up in the Bethany Blues bar last night. They drew a sizable crowd and they played loud, hard and sweaty. There was music by Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, Link Wray and many others.

I'm an old rockabilly fan. I came of age during the rockabilly revival of the late 1970s in the Washington DC area. My high school band, the Ramblin' Beach Guys, played a bit of this music, and I was a great fan of Tex Rubinowitz and the Bad Boys. And this music is part of the foundation of so much other great music. Without rockabilly, the Beatles wouldn't be the same, nor would the Grateful Dead and many others. They all cut their teeth on what is, after all, simply straight-ahead rock and roll.

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