Every Wednesday in Cranston RI there is a great place to unwind in the middle of a stressful week with some smooth blues and fun swing.
Down at the Pub on Park is the hidden gem, the Vintage Rhythm and Blues Ensemble lead by Tom Ferraro, that is the perfect way to relax and or try out your swing footwork. Each week they bring in a guest artist which can vary from regional treasures to national (and in some cases international) touring artists. But at it’s core it is a solid traditional Blues and Swing Blues band that holds true to the purist heart of the classics.
Steve Bigelow, who also is the bassist for Neal and The Vipers, carries a strong traditional blues bass line that fits and holds the line in R&B, Roots, Blues Swing, and straight up Blues. Including some solid Blues Rock work too when the moment comes. I’ve enjoyed seeing his solo work on more than one occasion with various groups over the last year and constantly look forward to seeing this consummate professional hold his own in any setting.
Paul Bouley handles the keys and carries some truly fun solos himself that you can, in equal parts, dance to and sit back and just enjoy for the respect he shows the roots and craft that has been honed over the decades. A graduate of the Berklee School of Music, he also teaches music. Those are some lucky students to be taught by someone of his skill and grace.
Rounding out the quartet of artists is Stan Kozlowski. Another New England native, Stan goes after the beat in a manner befitting his nick name of Killer! It doesn’t matter if they are playing low and slow or loud and fast, this is a drummer who knows his stuff from left to right and top right to bottom left.
Each one of these musicians stand out on their own and together with Tom Ferraro they form a class act that is hard to follow by any standard of artists in the region.
Tom, is also another native to the region and has worked with some of the finest musicians in the business including many Grammy nominated artists and bands (including Little Charlie Baty, Sugar Ray and The Bluetones, Joe Moss, Roberto Morbioli, and Johnny Bluehorn). He brings to bear the classic Gold Top and shows what can be done with skill and practice on an instrument that is truly iconic in the world of Blues.
Each night they open the show and take a few laps on their own in a way that gets the crowd moving and ready to roll. Then the guest of the week will come up and you can see just how wonderfully they mesh with any artist of the various Blues styles. It’s to their eternal credit that they can move in complete fluid motions to fit whatever song is called out on a minimum amount of notice. This is something made even more impressive when you know that they’ve not sat down to rehearse any of the music with the guest artist before hand.
One of my favorite aspects is that they can take you on a musically educational tour where you’ll learn and discover both songs and styles that you might not have otherwise thought you would enjoy beforehand. But you will certainly walk away enjoying them before they wrap up for the end of the night.
With each and every performance you can easily feel and see their passion for the music and the fun they have on stage. It’s an infectious good time that quickly spreads to the rest of the room in a manner that will quickly fill a dance floor, and for those of us who don’t dance you’ll be kept in your seats not daring to walk away from a single note.
Each week I enjoy the fun of seeing these gentlemen stand up in front of the room and hold court for each person to enjoy.
For more information including notifications about which guest artist you can expect to enjoy each week, make sure you check out their Facebook page here!
*This review was not solicited by the musicians or venue.