Gary U.S. Bonds — Still Great at 78 … With Brooklyn in the Mix!
There must be a fountain of youth in Gary U.S. Bonds’ home, as this iconic and legendary rock ‘n’ roller keeps raising his musical bar, with a high energy two hour performance at his ninth annual birthday bash at BB Kings in New York City on June 6, 2017.
Guitarist Mark Leimbach, who has been the de facto band leader of The Roadhouse Rockers, Gary U.S. Bonds’ touring band for over two decades, was joined by drummer Lance Stark, bassist Muddy Shews, keyboardist Dave Biglin, sax player Kevin Presutti, trumpeter Marty Bound and trombonist Chris Rinaman on this special night.
Backing vocals were superbly handled by “Big Mama” Laurie Anderson, who grew up on Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg and has been married to Gary Anderson (a/k/a U.S. Bonds) for 54 years. Along with their daughter, Laurie Anderson Tobias, and Nicole Powell, they formed a vocal trio that perfectly complimented the rock ‘n’ roll big band sound coming from the stage.
Highlights of the 22 song set list included rousing versions of “Jole Blon,” “Daddy’s Come Home,” The Beatles’ “It’s Only Love,” Gene Cornish and Bobby Bandiera’s renditions of The Rascals classic, “Good Lovin’,” and Del Shannon’s “Runaway.” In keeping with what has become a Gary U.S. Bonds birthday bash tradition, a special cake was rolled out onto the stage — a fitting giant replica of a 78 RPM vinyl record.
After the candle lighting, there was even more music to thrill attendees, with “Dear Lady Twist”; “I Wanna Holler,” a song from the 1960’s , which recently enjoyed a spot on the Spanish and Australian radio charts; and Gary U.S. Bonds’ signature hits “New Orleans” and “Quarter To Three” rounding out a magical night of memorable performances.