Once again, I’m alerting you early because tickets to the Rockin’ Rochester Festival are gonna fly out the door. These are bands steeped in classic American rock ’n’ roll that make this part of the USA cool. Better bring a sweater.
September typically marks the end of festival season, and each band on this bill could hold down the stage or blow Abilene’s doors off, but they’ve agreed to pool their efforts. You will not be the same. Ever.
Prepare to get your head handed to you by the likes of Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, Daddy Long Legs, the Fox Sisters, and Duke Galaxy and the Pipeliners.
Just in case you’re wafflin’, lemme search for a few words to help tweak, tantalize, tempt, and tease you–to show you the way to blow you away.
Born in Jacksonville, F-L-A, Whitfield comes from the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins school of scream, which also includes the likes of Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, and King Solomon Burke (who sang to me over the phone once during an interview). Any what, Whitfield has collaborated with numerous artists and played with even more including the Lyres, whose Peter Greenberg discovered the singer while shopping for records. He has shared the stage with legends Bo Diddley and George Thorogood, who Whitfield proceeded to mop the stage with at the Auditorium Theater on a tourist stop in Rochester in 1990. Ow, Ow, Ow!
Thinkin’ to yourself, “Man, it couldn’t possibly get any wilder”? Well, just feast your ears on the smash and roll of New York City’s Daddy Long Legs. The guitar is drop-tuned. The drums get beat to death with maracas. And it’s beyond me how the Jack-legged preaching harmonica player can play the tin sandwich as frantic as he does without choking on it. Oh, and there ain’t no bass. But there will be the Low Spirits, who are just this side of blues-driven guitar and guitar-driven blues. Frank’s vote for favorite local band right now. The guitar, I mean, what a blast.
That’s right; there’s local blood flowing in the vein as well.
I’m tellin’ ya, the Fox Sisters is a hard-hitting, shout-bamalama, soul-scorching band that sports a lot of historics and hysterics from Rochester, like the Colorblind James Experience, Muler, the Thundergods, the Quitters, the Salamanders, and so on. They remind me of Otis Day and the Knights. You’ll have to wipe down the walls when they get finished.
Rochester’s surf darlings, Duke Galaxy and the Pipeliners, mark their comeback with this appearance. Sporting an all-instrumental set list can only mean one thing: You already know all the words. Sing along, won’t you? Even if you don’t know the words. Hell, it never bothered David Lee Roth.
Rockin’ Rochester Festival happens Sept. 9-10, all day, at Abilene, 153 Liberty Pole Way.
Be there or be square.
Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On