Rockers set to show they still have it in Barre Aud benefit
Sure, their musical careers all peaked when eight-track tapes were all the rage, compact discs were under development and digital downloads weren’t even on the radar screen. But a collection of musicians with some pretty impressive resumes is set to perform at the Barre Municipal Auditorium next month.
The group includes two founding members of the band Boston, a guy who played guitar with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers, a man who played drums for both James Brown and Wilson Pickett, and another who played keyboard for Bob Marley & The Wailers. And then there’s the fellow who sang for Fosterchild.
They call themselves The American Vinyl All-Star Band and if you like the sounds from the ’70s and ’80s, 64-year-old Fran Sheehan, who once played bass guitar for Boston, says he’s got more than a feeling you’ll enjoy the show set for Oct. 26 at the auditorium.
“We’re going to be their (the auditorium’s) first rock concert,” Sheehan said after spending the day Friday clearing land he owns in the Northeast Kingdom.
This one happened almost by accident, when Ken Fox hooked up Sheehan with part-time promoter Larry Morrison, who works with him at Barre Tile.
The show represents a change of pace for Morrison, who has raised $73,000 for the Websterville Baptist Christian School by promoting Christian rock concerts like the one The Newsboys performed at the auditorium Friday night.
However, Morrison said the opportunity to book a show featuring Sheehan, former Boston band-mate Barry Goudreau, and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, who played with The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, was too good to pass up.
“It’s not the type of music that I typically promote, but I’m told they put on a very good show,” said Morrison, who says ticket sales are off to a strong start.
More than 250 of the auditorium’s 1,600 seats were spoken for as of Friday and Morrison said he expects ticket sales to remain brisk as word of the concert spreads.
If the music and the names aren’t enough of a draw, Morrison said the fact that 50 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the city for use at the civic center complex, which includes the auditorium, should be an added incentive. Among other things, city officials have expressed interest in upgrading the sound systems at the auditorium and the BOR ice arena.
“We’d like to be able to help them do that,” Morrison said, explaining the other half of the proceeds will go into a foundation to benefit Websterville Baptist, where he is a both a long-time booster and high school basketball coach.
Sheehan said he’s just looking forward to playing — something the evolving group has enjoyed doing together for the last eight years, primarily for charity.
According to Sheehan, those who attend the performance can expect a healthy dose of vintage Boston, including “More than a Feeling,” “Peace of Mind,” “Let Me Take You Home Tonight,” and “Don’t Look Back.”
But the 16-song set will also include a nod to each of the other members’ musical roots, such as “Reelin’ In The Years” from Baxter’s Steely Dan Days or “I Feel Good” from the time Robert “Mousey” Thompson spent drumming for James Brown.
“We do two songs from each guy’s (old) band,” Sheehan said of a group that also includes Leroy “LSR” Romans, who played keyboard for The Wailers, and vocalist Danny Beisell, who sang with Fosterchild.
Those interested in tickets for the Oct. 26 concert at the auditorium can contact the Barre Opera House at 476-8188 or visit barreoperahouse.org. General admission is $38 and reserved seating is $48.
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