The Sharks Ft. Johnny Rabb and the Jailhouse Rockers at the Hollow 04/09/2022 By: Amy Modesti 

Written by on April 12, 2022

Greg Bell of Guthrie Bell Productions is celebrating his success of 30 years in music production with fun and flair that tops the likes of other area productions. Following the success of his first five shows to commemorate the milestone, Bell pulled the stops to bring Capital Region’s 80s favorite, The Sharks, and Johnny Rabb and the Jailhouse Rockers for a sold-out reunion show at The Hollow Bar and Kitchen. 

There isn’t a band around that can make good ol’ rock and roll sound cool again than Johnny Rabb and the Jailhouse Rockers. Opening for The Sharks, they pulled out the riffs, moves and grooves out of their covers from the likes of Elvis Presley, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, The Coasters, and Buck Owens.  Standout moments within their set included Graham’s soloing with Chris Sprague (bass) in “High School Confidential” and Sprague’s take on the classic “Wooly Bully” that’s always fun to dance to. Regardless of who’s in the lineup, Johnny Rabb and the Jailhouse Rockers always put on an excellent set. 

“The Sharks will be up to attack,” said Rabb and so they did attack with a large bite tasty enough to chew on with ease. 

Most millennials never heard of a band that was in the same circuit as Blotto and has a name that’s a dangerously overgrown fish that’ll kill humans in the ocean. Forty years have passed since The Sharks gained local success and two years since concluding TomFest at The Hangar on The Hudson, held in memory of the late Tom D’Ambrose. This one-in-a-lifetime reunion was well enjoyed by Sharks fans, old and new alike. 

 The almost hour and a half set was fantastic! Even if you didn’t know their songs, apart from their semi-acoustic cover of “Baba O’Riley (Teenage Wasteland)” (The Who) and a rockin’ “Downtown” (Petula Clark), they were danceable, had tight horn arrangements, and nice harmonies. Vocalist and pianist, Michael Kelley, dedicated “Please Say Yes” to Broadway Blotto who helped The Sharks gain local success and produce their album in 1982 (Broadway couldn’t attend the show). “Bien Vendido”, the only non-English & instrumental tune that D’Ambrose composed, was dedicated to D’Ambrose. It took the band a while to find another saxophonist and in place of their late performer, Marcus Benoit settled in and carried on D ’Ambrose’s legacy on the beloved instrument. 

 The Sharks fans, wearing their t-shirts, posed with the band & fans for a large group photo post-concert. Some fans brought their vinyl albums with them to have their local heroes sign their autographs. Beautiful musical memories created and remembered by all who attended the epic concert of the year. 

Long live The Sharks, Johnny Rabb and The Jailhouse Rockers, and Guthrie Bell Productions!! 


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