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If you missed the Kate’s Foundation Benefit Concert at The Tradewinds on April 28th you missed some of our finest local musicians at their very best. And while I missed the opening act, The Vectors, if their performance was anything like their fellow musicians, then I’m sure they did a wonderful job.

SpacerAs for me, the first band up was the ever popular Brian Kirk & The Jirks. Not only were Brian and the boys all over the musical map (in a good way), but they fearlessly performed request upon request. Some of their finer moments came on tunes like Bruce’s “Meeting Across The River” (the boss would be proud), Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” (K & J’s at their

 best), “Thunder Road” (killer with Pat G.on l. v’s.) and Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” (band rocked). Despite being a bit under the weather, Brian Kirk, along with the Jirks rose to the occasion and offered a portent of what was to come.

SpacerPerhaps the most eclectic group of the day was Andy McDonough’s latest project, Notes To Myself. Offering up an interesting mix of jazz influenced originals, Andy and the band won the crowd over with stellar renditions of “Tell Me What To Do” (Jim C. steps up on lead g.), “Climb The Mountain” (very hip beat/cool band jam) and “Some Other Time (Done Loving You)” (band picked it up/best of set). What separates Andy and the Notes from their peers is a willingness to lay it all on the line by taking chances most musicians shy away from. Andy and the gang were all original, all the time!

   Next up was The Average Thom White Band. Resplendent in his Max Headroom shades, Tom led the band through impressive covers like Van the Man’s “Into The Mystic” (great lead v. by Roger G.), the Doobies’ “China Grove” (band nails it), “Delta Lady” (Pat G. doin’ his best Joe C.), Jackson’s “Somebody’s Baby” (T.W.’s best) and Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love” (big dance #). This was a spirited outing by the anything but Average Thom White Band!
     As they are apt to do, The Candle Brothers gave a stirring performance with memorable interpretations of “Don’t Look Back” (yeah mon), Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (Bob doesn’t get any better), B. F.’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” (primo vocals) and Tom Waits “Ol’ 55” (killer lead v. by P.G.). And M.C. Big Joe Henry chipped in his two cents with the Foundation’s
Bob Bandiera, Daniel Petraitis and Rich Oddo at the
2nd annual Kate's Foundation Benefit at Tradewinds
“Build Me Up Buttercup,” which raised a whopping $2,000! Whether that was raised for Big Joe to sing or not to sing still remains a mystery! Just kidding Joe!
    And as if all this wasn’t enough Campbell (Pat Guadagno) & Daniel (as in Petraitis) were simply out of this world with inspired efforts on “So Close To Heaven” (beauty co-written for Kate) and Dan’s “Talk To Me Atlantis” (great tune), “Hard Not To Cry” (dedicated to Mrs. V.) and “Great Awakening” (pure magic). And last, but certainly not least, came Bobby Bandiera & Friends with hard rockin’ renditions of Bobby’s “C’mon Caroline” (always a winner) “A Hard Days Night” (yeah! yeah! yeah!) , “Tougher Than Tough” (pure gold) and Jerry Lee’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (and there was).

Look. This was an incredible benefit with only the cause outdistancing the performance! The Kate Verdon Spisak Foundation for Melanoma Awareness & Research is leading the fight against Melanoma, a health risk which is on the verge of reaching epidemic proportions! For more information you can contact Kate’s Foundation at www.katesfoundation.com. Please do! If not for yourself then for someone you love!

SpacerWell, that’s it gang. Be good to yourselves people. And remember, stay kool and recycle yourself! Later!!!

Published May 10, 2002