Wild Weekend of Music in New England -By Ed Conway
Written by Staff on September 1, 2022
What a weekend of music we had. We started off Friday afternoon heading to the Boston area for Swelltune Records’, Sniff-A-Rama at the Porch Southern Fare & Juke Joint, in Medford, Mass. As promoter Beck Rustic envisioned it, the evening consisted of three bands, each having three songs, during their sets, paired with a certain numbered scent on the card each of us was handed at admission. First up, we had the Televisionaries, the quartet out of Rochester featuring the ultra talented Lake Brothers (Trevor, Austin and Brendan) and drummer Aaron Mika. Their brand of rock has a kind of brit rock harmonies with a surf undertone, making them a favorite in the Northeast and beyond. Next up, we had a straight-up Surf set with Shaun Young and friends that included Jack Hanon on bass, John Stafford on guitar and Trevor Lake on drums (I did mention they were ultra talented). And last, but not least, we were treated to Becky Lynn Blanca, who was stopping through the area on her way to tour Austria, and backed by The Televisionaries. If you haven’t seen Becky Lynn before, you are in for a treat as she sings anywhere from rock to songs from the American Songbook with wild abandon as she throws herself into her performance with such energy, it becomes infectious. I must admit, my nose wasn’t the most discerning as I was only able to identify a couple of the aromas, and some of that was the clue I got from the song. Others seemed to get most of them, though. It was a nice idea to get the audience to participate in the show, rather than just listening, and everyone seemed to really enjoy that aspect of the evening, as well as the music, of course.
Next up, we made a trek to Westbrook, Maine for Linda Gail Lewis at Lenny’s at Al Hawkes Plaza. Back in the mid 50s, Al Hawkes turned his electronics shop into one of the top Country/Bluegrass labels outside of Nashville called Event Records. I was fortunate to have met Al and listened to so many of his stories from the Event Record days. One of the stories he loved to talk about was a young guitar slinger named Lenny Breau, who made a bunch of recordings at Event. Breau is the namesake of the venue. The weather could not have been nicer for the opening act of Danny B. Harvey (guitar), Laura Palmer (bass) and Bobby Moller (drums). I use the term opener loosely as these three also formed the backing band for the evening. After ripping through their set with Danny also providing vocals, they were joined by Annie Marie Lewis (the daughter of Linda and wife of Danny) for a rocking set of her own. After a short break, the, now quartet were joined by Linda herself, and at 75, she can still rock, as she ripped through a set of originals, Elvis tunes, and some of her brother’s songs, as well as a few standards. Linda is the sister of the Killer himself, Jerry Lee Lewis, although I like to say he is her brother as she has a musical identity of her own. Linda punctuated her songs with stories, such as the first time she met Elvis at 12 and realized as the King was walking away chuckling, she had been geeking out. She also told stories of how her brother shared his success with the family. I always love to hear about the kindness of performers after they “make it.” The audience was really into the show as more and more of them got up to dance until nearly everyone was up on the grass dancing. This may have been helped by an anonymous person buying a couple of lemon shots for everyone. The outdoor atmosphere combined with rollicking boogie piano and a crack backing band made for one heck of an evening.