Up-and-coming Slumber

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It’s nice to see the young players come up in bands in town. Like all the young dudes in Rochester’s uber-heavy Soma Slumber. 

This is a hardcore outfit that had fans squealing and flailing around the floor like helicopters, just begging for a bloody nose—or two—once upon a Saturday night at Photo City Music Hall. 

It sure was different from the previous night’s Wailers reggae superstar show with its peace-and-love vibe and the happiness of pursuit still dripping off the walls. Soma Slumber were in pursuit mode and in this case the prey had no chance. And they dug it, deep until the end.

Guitarist—and human pinball—Zane DiProjetto was like a pogo stick raging across the stage. I’ve known him for a while—and I was duly impressed. He knows how to carve a mean tattoo into ya. A matter of fact, I’ve got one in the bullpen.

Anywhat, DiProjetto led a heads-up game with the band spending more time with its feet, along with its hair, in the air.

Record review

Heroic Enthusiasts

“Empty Space”

Meridiana /ECR music group

Wrapped in their trademark synthetic advantage and flipped collar cool, The Heroic Enthusiasts,” James Tabbi and Tom Ferrara, have just released a teaser single titled “Empty Space” from their upcoming pile of songs called “Fits and Fashions.” 

Just like other bands in the scene, The Heroic Enthusiasts know there’s more traction to be gained when you squeeze out the songs a few at a time as not to show your entire hand. Sorta like the Colonel with his secret behind KFC. So they got 13 extra-crispy tunes together and plan on slipping them into fan favorites from previous albums. 

Word got to producer Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Erasure, Peter Gabriel, etc, etc), when he spoke with Heroic Enthusiast Tom Ferarra. 

“He got it,” says Ferrara. “He understood the whole project.” 

On the collection, including “Empty Space,” the band deliberately and unapologetically pushes the synthesizering and all its components—used and left over  as well as the overall dynamic. It’s a beauty. Look for the other singles to surface soon.

Coming to town

Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy blew me away the first time I saw him perform live in Austin, almost 30 years ago. He’s been in Rochester a few times since and I’ve developed a taste for his incendiary guitar playing, natch. But you’ve gotta just check out his voice. Guy doesn’t just sing the blues, he shrieks ’em too.

Born in Lettsworth, La., he moved to Chicago in 1957. Once there, Guy went on to become the electric sound forged in the Windy City with cats like Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Howlin’ Wolf and Ike Turner, who helped Guy in getting signed to Chess Records.

Buddy Guy, with special guest Colin James, appears at the Kodak Center Friday, April 8, 7 p.m. 200 West Ridge Road, $55 buddyguy.com

RIP Dave Riccione

After a courageous battle that rivaled the Crusades or the Rumble in the Jungle, Rochester blues guitar hero is now at last at peace. Riccione died March 26, the rumble and twang of his roar of his blonde ES-32 leaving a ton of heartbroken friends and fans in his wake. He was 65. With exception to the cancer that ravaged his body, Riccione was a picture of perfect health. 

Check with Paul W. Harris Funeral Home, Kings Highway South. for calling hours and additional arrangements . 

Rest Easy, Sweet Prince.

Rochester Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies

I’ve had a bone to pick with these folks over the years. But it’s a small bone that their hard work has successfully whittled down to a toothpick. 

The love that goes into producer Bruce Pilato’s attention to detail is impressive, and has made Rochester Music Hall of Fame induction ceremonies an annual event this town can be proud of.

What was my now-inconsequential beef here? To pad the seats and help cover the expensive overhead, the powers that were, and still are, brought in national talent, which I disagreed with. This was Rochester’s festival—ours, yours, mine. I didn’t have a problem with the artists themselves: Paul Simon,Cherri Gurry and Paul Schaefer, for example. They just weren’t Rochester. Still, Pilato and crew did what they had to do.

And you know what? I’ve walked out of every one of these ceremonies with ears ringing, my head ringing, a smile on my dial. It has always been a great show. And it’s gonna be no different this year.

This year’s class of 2022 inductees includes:

Michael Laiacona

Mick Guzauski

Nancy Kelly

Roy McCurdy

Dady Brothers

National boosters Cheap Trick singer Robin Zander and Atomic Playboys guitarist Steve Stevens join the chaos on May 1, and will no doubt put more asses in seats. No complaints from me. I’ll see you there.

Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On

Frank De Blase is Rochester Beacon music writer. The Beacon welcomes comments from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name.

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