You can find good music everywhere, as I was reminded when I stumbled into a one-street town with a post office and a scant dozen commercial establishments—one of which was an inn with a smokin’ band and an understandably enthusiastic crowd. The ten-member group, composed of a few working musicians (from Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond), music teachers and gifted “amateurs” (one a correctional officer), kept the joint jumping with four horns, a couple of percussionists and two keyboardists, bass, guitar (of course) and other assorted instruments. It wasn’t easy keeping track, because, like Robert Randolph’s band, the players kept switching instruments throughout the night.
Rock and roll was the order of the day. The band shot out of the gate with the theme from TV’s Peter Gunn and followed with well-executed familiar covers like “Leave Your Hat On,” “Take Me To The River” and “Proud Mary,” as well as a number of carefully-chosen deep cuts.
Make no mistake, Johnny Moon and the Starz is a band to dance to, and dance we did. From bobbing twentysomethings to foot-stompin’ seventysomethings, the action never faltered and neither did the band, although the bass lines did vibrate a few coffee cups off their shelf. The next time I see bright lights and too many cars for the number of parking spots, I plan to pull over again. You never know what you’re going to find.
Photos: Keith Collesides