May 19, 2016
If you don’t smile during a Louis Prima Jr. & the Witnesses event, then a Doctor should be called to check your pulse. The band delivers a raucous toe tappin’, hip shakin’, earth quakin’, hand clappin’, horn blowin’ funfest.
Thursday night, the historic Count Basie Theater in beautiful downtown Red Bank NJ was home to the big band extravaganza that is Louis Prima Jr. & the Witnesses. They delivered the swing, the jazz, the rock, the roll and much more to this packed house of multi generational fans.
On the eve of what would have been his Moms 75th birthday, Louis and the Band paid the ultimate compliment to his musical parents by performing a flawless, wonderful evening of unadulterated fun and entertainment.
Louis was raised in Vegas, but has a connection to the Jersey Shore. He spent summers in Seaside Heights where his maternal Grandparents owned a restaurant.
All the Prima classics were accounted for ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’, ‘New Orleans’, ‘Just a Gigolo’, ‘Jump, Jive and Wail’, ‘Angelina’, ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ and much much more. The beautiful thing about Louis Prima Jr. is that while paying homage to his legendary father and the music, he brings it all together seamlessly into the present and future with his original music from his 2 Cd’s ‘The Return of the Wildest’ and ‘Blow’.
And lets not forget about the band. The Witnesses consist of
A.D. Adams on Drums, Ryan McKay on Guitar, Gregg Fox on Keys, JuneBug on Bass, Marco Palos on Sax, William Pattinson on Baritone Sax, Philip Clevinger on Trombone, Ted Schumacher on Trumpet, Donny Palmer aka the 11th Witness and the lovely and talented Leslie Spencer on Vocals. Leslie shares singing duties with LPJ and the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Leslie’s vocals were showcased through the entire evening but were especially incredible on the original song ‘Someday’. Leslie looking beautiful in red, was only matched in beauty by the Gretsch ‘White Falcon’ Guitar played by Ryan.
Louis was engaging and charming on stage and this band plays with pure joy and raw energy. They are having just as much fun as the audience, if not more.
Each band member was given the spotlight, as Louis slipped behind the drums. A.D Adams performed the Stones ‘Satisfaction’ , Ryan McKay ‘Your Mama Don’t Dance’, and William Pattinson crooned Garth Brooks’ ‘Friends in Low Places’. This band can do it all, they can even dance, as they proved on the James Brown and Tina Turner numbers. One highlight for me was when Louis and A.D did an hysterical drum off, with each playing together and separately to outdo the other.
If I had anymore fun at a concert it would be illegal. This show is as much fun as allowed by law. I laughed, I cried, I sang, I danced, I clapped and by
the end of the night I was exhausted, but invigorated. I left the theater wanting more. Much more in fact, and I will be attending any and all Louis Prima Jr & the Witnesses shows I am able to. It was a fun night for the whole family and will surely make you smile.
Live From Dennis’ House