Mad Dogs & Dominos

The Guitar Storage staff traveled to Manhattan last week to another great show at the Highline Ballroom. A stellar group of NYC area studio musicians put together a worthy tribute to the great music surrounding Mad Dogs and Englishmen and Derek and the Dominoes. Fittingly, they called it Mad Dogs & Dominoes. It was 6 degrees of separation covering anything with a connection to the musicians involved in those two musical ventures. They even stretched it out to cover Otis Redding’s ‘Mr. Pitiful’ and Freddie King’s ‘Palace of the King’ with Adam Minkoff stretching out with some tasty blues licks on his Gibson.

Mad Dogs & dominos performance
John Leventhal, Mark Copley & Fred Walcott

There were at least 15 musicians on stage at any one time, all of them with outstanding credentials, including Jim Boggia (solo artist, Fab Faux), Marc Copely (Billy Squier, James Cotton), Craig Dreyer (Warren Haynes, Joan Osborne, Keith Richards), John Leventhal (Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Paul Simon), Brian Mitchell (Levon Helm, Allen Toussaint, Bob Dylan), Shawn Pelton (Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, SNL), Rich Pagano (Patti Smith, Ian Hunter, Fab Faux), “D-Train” Williams (solo artist, Luther Vandross, Elton John) and many more.

Some highlights included:

“D” Train Williams doing a stirring rendition of Billy Preston’s “That’s the Way God Planned it”.

Mark Copely on Gibson 335 and John Leventhal on Stratocaster doing sweet double lead harmonies and “Bell Bottom Blues”. Mark traded vocal leads with Rich Pagano (on drums) who does such a great job with the Fab Faux.

Jim Boggia who can easily hold his own did just that on “Singin That Song for You” with just him on his ukulele as accompaniment. Aside from his great vocals, he showed just how versatile and beautiful an instrument a uke can be.

The encore with “D” Train Williams doing Joe Cocker’s version of “With a Little Help From My Friends” brought the house down. Everyone in the band brought it big time for this one. The backup singers (who all took lead vocals on songs throughout the night) killed. Mark Copely and his Gibson made the notes to that riff soar and John Leventhal on his Les Paul added tasty fills as he did impeccably throughout the night. The night couldn’t have ended any better.

Just watching Fred Walcott smile and play percussion was a treat in itself.

This is just a sampling of what went on. We’d have to go on for pages and through every song and performer to do it justice. Go see this show: Next stop, Keswick Theater, Glenside PA September 28.

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