Tag Archive: cover band

Whether you are old enough to  recall the day the Fab Four touched-down at the newly named John F. Kennedy airport in Queens, New York City (in glorious black and white TV) on their way to The Ed Sullivan Theater

or joined, as I was mid-set while watching this band, by a kid half-my age who was totally into them or not, you will awesomely dig “FAB”!

It was a rainy night in “[Georgia – Brook Benton]” aka this time,  Nashville, as record-breaking (pun INtended, lol) flood waters accumulated nearby, unbeknownst to we who were about to be taken back through the time tunnel by FAB, an aggregation who succinctly sings the Beatles catalog. By the time it was over, some might have indeed needed a “Yellow Submarine” to get back home safely!

            They begin with a precise Ed Sullivan  introduction on pre-recorded audio, and then “Bam!” right into “All My Lovin’.”    As I peeked over my shoulder at the TV that showed flooded interstate highways and unmoored schoolhouse trailers floating upon it, all in attendance were enthralled with the accuracy with which FAB authentically represented the former Quarrymen’s catalog of hit music.

They deftly segued between short tunes like “From Me To You”, a very authentic-sounding  “Thank You Girl”; “Get Back” featuring drummer Tim Buppert singing while he precisely plays the skins, as we wondered at the bar, “how does he DO that??”  Mark, sitting next to me commented, “Tim is Nashville’s Phil Collins” LOL

From that they jumped into  into “Taxman” (the new anthem of the Tea Party movement, by the way), “Help!”, and “Paperback Writer” (me – thanks!)  Impressive energy in that most of The Beatles hits were less than three-minutes long, and FAB kept them comin’!

The venue, Third and Lindsley, is very  intimate and multi-leveled; the band played underneath a cozy overhead fan to loving catcalls from the mostly female mezzanine, and those of us down front on the main level.  It is very interesting covering “cover bands” especially when they are so tight as FAB is and damn GOOD!  Heretofore I would not have used the term “cover band”, but it seems to be acceptable here in Nashville amongst the musical performance crowd – to me they are just a group  recreating The Beatles hits to the max, all in the exact same key, with every quirky note down pat.  This was especially true for Alison Prestwood, the lady version of Paul McCartney ( maybe channeling “Linda”?) on bass.  In-fact, I was so very impressed that the guitar she played looked just like Paul’s!  Alison chimed-in precisely on time, every time. Major Kudos to her stage presence and showwomanship making the fabulous FAB Four now = five! LOL

There were plenty of sing along moments this night as they moved through the whole ‘Hard Day’s Night” album down to the last precise chord and vocal, into and instrumental bridge that led us to “today its you Birthday!”; “Eleanor Rigby” which held a special significant personal moment since that is my former “Back To The USSR” g/f’s name and my secret nickname for her. That was also was a jam-boogie episode for the audience, and it was about that time that I again detected the ambiance and din of 3rd & Lindsley amidst the irony of the wierd weather updates on the bar tele over my right shoulder. 

A particularly cool intro was when they paused let the audience know that a “BMW had its lights on in the parking lot” and then segued right into “(baby you can) Drive My Car (beep, beep, Yeah!)”.  Yes, intentional or not, I caught that!! LOL

The FAB are: Ted Hewett on lead guitar, John Foster on rhythm guitar, Bill Roberts on keyboards, David Kent using all the little percussive tools, including tambourine and wooden hand-clap blocks and “loud sticks” on their rendition of “Revolution” that evolved the Beatles’ sound and on vocals;  the aforementioned Alison Prestwood impersonating succinctly Paul McCartney, and of course Tim Buppert on the “kit’ and vocals.  I played a little game, trying to imagine which of these players fashioned themselves as which particular Beatle member.  I came up with the equation that it takes at least three of these cats to sound like one John Lennon at times, especially on the classic “All We Need Is Love”, and it works.

Throughout it was obvious that the assemblage was having fun doing what they do, and they made me miss my drum kit and trumpet that I sold and trashed in favor of playing turntables over time, as well as tossing my original Capitol Records Beatle 45rpms from the mid-sixties  during our militant  “f-the white-boy music” phase.  [A totally different post]. FAB isn’t just another band playing Beatles’ music, they recreate it, appropriately-timed cowbells and all!

Meanwhile, a lady at the bar tried to “Cougar” me thinking I was younger than she is. “Psyche!!” LOL   I  just “Saw Her Standing There” (blocking my view) while taking notes for this write-up and since FAB never played “Please Please Me”, there was no deal to be struck. “Whew!”

Their only lame moment this night was on the finale, “She Loves You”, I guess because they expended so much energy on all of the previous songs.  My only disappointment was that they didn’t perform my all-time Beatle fave and the first 45rpm I ever bought by the Beatles,  “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”.

So, “Do you Want To Know A Secret”? I hope that you get to enjoy and relive the magic with FAB very soon at a music venue near your place to free yourself of any “Misery”.

Nashville, TN, April 7, 2010

Most of us “musical types” have had the experience of going to a show at a small venue, to see a band that we have never heard of before, only because we might know some of the players in the band, or through word of mouth that they are good.

Nevertheless, it never ceases to floor me when I hang out at such an event and am absolutely blown-away, head-nodding style, by what I see and hear.  Thus was what I experienced tonight while visiting Nashville Tennessee’s 3rd & Lindsley pub when I was invited to hear The Consoulers.

When I first read the email invitation from drummer Tim Buppert, who I had just met for the second time (the first time we met we both didn’t remember and it didn’t matter) at an impromptu Easter Sunday evening jam session out at mutual friend, “Fred’s” house/studio while I was visiting “Music City”, my mind saw “the Counselors”initially.  I think that partly was because I’m always the English major, my mind knew the verb “to console” didn’t have a “u” in it.  After hearing them do dead-on, tight covers of classic hits from The Spinners, Jr. Walker & The All Stars, Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers, Sly and the Family Stone, Firefall, The Four Tops and more and looking once again at their name, it made perfect creative sense the “ConSOULers” make their mark playing classic soul hits and doing them justice as if they were spawned yesterday…

“Cover” never sounded so good.  Tim’s solid foundation and leadership glued each number with authority even as he sang vocals – something I could never be as coordinated to do back when I played drums in my high school band. Lead guitar and vocalist John Foster had on the “foster Grants” and performed with the attitude of a Huey Lewis-style rock star.  Don Barrett, the group’s founder, was creatively disciplined and precise on bass, rendering a dead-on version of the Spinners’ 1973 classic “I’ll Be around.  Steve “consistent” Williams played a beautiful piano on electronic keyboards and sang his own true vocal version of The Impressions’ ‘It’s Alright” and almost had them going, OMG with a rendition of the Chi-Lite’s “Oh Girl”.

Each of the five members took turns specializing in staying true to the original version’s sound according to their unique personal talents.  The saxophone player, Randy Leago, deftly switched-off between a tiny alto (I don’t remember seeing one so small), his tenor and the congas.   I thought, “Are these cats studio musicians just jammin’ for practice?”

After their fantastic yesteryear set where they had members of the audience – including many beautiful women – literally dancing in the isles down front-row, they performed a few original numbers from their forthcoming album that they had been working on.  I can only say that those tunes were yawners only because they had their own tough act to follow.  Maybe they should mix them into the soul set, as they were only two or three songs.

Who says Nashville, TN is “just Country music”?  See the Consoulers and you’ll be proven wrong for sure.  Being from New York City and in the music and radio business going on forty years now, I was so happy to be wrong about the oneness of the musical perception in that town!  Oh, and I must mention that these gents in their middle ages (like I am), and totally belie the myth that they “can’t jump” through the rhythmic hoops necessary to entertain and move to the groove on the (super) fly.  I was amazed by their enthusiastic effort to rock these tunes as if they are still hot on the charts.

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