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Live Review: Dwight Ritcher Band

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Artist: Dwight Ritcher Band
Venue: Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA
Date: 22-Apr-05

DRB has a smoldering blues tone, splashed with a bit of R&B style. The music is supplemented with a full-bodied horn section that delivers a lively dose of harmony. In turn, executing an occasionally energetic rock-a-billy or a boisterous delta style blues. I always have been impartial to a blues band with a horn section.

Performing a healthy array of melodies from his first album, Drive Around Town. Including the title track, along with “One Time” and “Get it Straight.” Playing the title track from their second album, Radioman, along with “Out to Get Me” and “Dial me Up.” A special guest appearance from Nicole Nelson, a local Boston Jazz and Blues singer, was an exceptionally nice touch. Dwight and Nicole’s vocal’s complemented each other in gratifying unity. An intense cover of “Lonely Nights” by this duo was a great addition to the set.

Dwight Ritcher trades out between a ’79 Gibson, Flying V Silverburst and a ’90 Gibson, Flying V re-issue. Dwight also uses a ’74 Fender Super Reverb amp. No picks are needed, DR plucks/strums.

Bassist, Greg Paraskos uses an Olympic white. An Ashdown 500 ABM, a Avatar 115 cabinet and a ’62 Fender Re-issue Precision.

Horn section consists of brother team; John Aruba on Saxophone and Scott Aruba on Trumpet.

Warren Grant uses Slingerland, ’40 Radio Kings. A 6-1/2” x 14” snare, 20” Bass, 13” mounted tom and a 15” floor tom. For cymbals, Warren uses Zildjian, a 22” ride and a 20” crash. DW Hardware, and Vater Sticks, LA5A.

Johnny D’s is an easy find in downtown Somerville. Right across the street from the Somerville Theater and the red line (subway). Free parking can be found diagonal from the venue, get there early. Walking in the bar is a long rectangle island on your right, with bar stools on three sides. There is large screen TVs at each end of the bar. Rest rooms are at the far end of the bar. On the left side there is waist height counters built into the half walls, for standing, over looking dance floor and stage area. On the upper part of the half walls, thin metal curtains can be unrolled to close off the seating area from the bar, for private functions. In the stage area, it seats about 200 with the in door to the kitchen on the right of the stage and the out door on the far left of the stage. The dance floor is right in front of the stage, with all of the tables and chairs on either side (nice set up). Johnny D’s is a family run business and has received many awards including W.C. Handy “Keeping the Blues Alive” Club of the Year, awarded by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as several Best of Boston awards.

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