soul

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Rob Fusari — The Bitter End

Published May 25, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0145Rob Fusari and Andrea Martin

(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Last night Rob Fusari put on an electrifying performance at Paul Colby’s The Bitter End, on Bleecker Street, NYC.

The theme of the performance was The Beatles vs. David Bowie; with unique musical spins on both artists, as well as incredible originals in the mix. The show was put together in such a short time, Fusari joked that he didn’t even know the last names of the band members and introduced them simply as Matt (guitar), Mario (drums) and Dennis (bass). With four back-up singers known as The Constellations and special guest singer Andrea Martin, it was a surreal, five-star extravaganza — a true class act!

Songs included: “Heroes” (Bowie), “Under Pressure” (Bowie/Queen), “Young Americans” (Bowie), “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (Beatles), “Don’t Let Me Down” (Beatles), Fusari’s original “Don’t Let Love Down,” and Andrea Martin performing a gorgeous version of “Paparazzi” (which Fusari co-wrote and produced for Lady Gaga).

I can go on and on and on, but I’m purposely leaving out major musical high points of the evening, because if this particular show ever happens again, one should be surprised! ❤

A big shout-out to Paul Colby’s The Bitter End! The staff was incredibly attentive to patrons with fast and friendly service. (As a side-note, I had the honor of interviewing the late Paul Colby in his Montclair home over a decade ago before his passing. I have an autographed copy of his book, “Hanging Out in America’s Nightclub” in my collection. )

For more information on Rob Fusari, visit: http://robfusari.com/

For more information on Andrea Martin visit: http://rocnation.com/artists/andrea-martin-2/

For more information on The Bitter End, visit: http://www.bitterend.com/

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

An “Intimate” Evening with Smokey Robinson

Published November 17, 2012 by Maryanne

Smokey Robinson (photo swiped from Google, saw no credit)

Last night my husband’s brother Anthony (and his girl Lisa) treated my husband Dennis and I and his other brother Joe (and his friend Eileen) to a most wonderful early Christmas present — going to see Smokey Robinson at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.

The show was billed as “An Intimate Evening With Smokey Robinson.” Sexy, right? But Smokey took the intimacy of a live performance to a whole new level. He actually conversed with his fans throughout the entire show!

Smokey hit the stage, sang a song, then throughout the rest of the evening, he picked out names from a basket (from fans who wrote their names earlier in the evening). Whoever was called got to ask Smokey a question and then tell him what song to play!

I was so glad my favorites were picked: “Just to See Her,” “Ooh Baby Baby” and “Crusin’.”

Hearing “Ooh Baby Baby” followed by “Just to See Her” gave my goosebumps goosebumps! I mean, each and every part of my body was moved! And as an added bonus, I had my handsome husband, who I love so much, sitting next to me being very romantic with me as we held hands, touched each others faces and kissed. Yes, it was that kind of evening!

Dennis said, “Smokey is getting the ladies all sexed up!”

I said, “No one is going to have a headache tonite!”

The sound was smooth, a real class act. It was interesting hearing the questions that the fans asked, which provoked many fascinating stories about how Smokey got his name, his work with the Temptations, hanging out with Stevie Wonder (who Smokey felt should be named, “Stevie WONDERFUL.”) etc. Very interesting to someone like myself who didn’t know much about him. But I will now. And I will start buying his work. I need some Smokey in my CD collection.

I was surprised no one chosen asked for his autograph or even to shake his hand. It was an older, more laid back crowd I guess. But what impressed me most was when one fan, before she asked her question, said to Smokey, “It is an honor to meet you.”

And he said, “It is an honor to meet you too” with all sincerity.

My jaw dropped open. You rarely get such unselfishness in this day and age. What an amazing man this entertainer is! I felt so happy for the fan. That was just way too cool.

He also did a little tribute to Michael Jackson by singing a Jackson 5 song, “The Love You Save.”

No encores. It was over way too soon. But how cool is it that I can just You Tube his songs all day!

We love you Smokey!