From the mailbag: The Easy Ramblers, ESP, and Beatles anniversary tribute

As promised and without further hesitation, here’s your next installment of my From the Mailbag feature. Maureen Henesey filled my home metal box with a hard copy of her group’s new CD as quickly as she promised.

And so I post.

(From CD cover)

(From CD cover)

The Easy Ramblers, “Country Livin’ “

Maureen Henesey once again shows off her lovely singing voice in this follow-up record to The Easy Ramblers’ Syracuse Area Music Award winning debut effort, “Easy Does It.”

It’s a pretty collection. Henesey, Eddie Zacholl and Dann Mather blend strings, bass, vocals and a comfortable feel that invites you to sit back and relax. Or, get up a dance a bit. There are plenty of memorable moments to do either.

There are nine originals, written by Zacholl, and two well-positioned covers (“Midnight Black” from Tiff Merritt and “Black Hawk” from Daniel Lanois). From the starting title cut — roots-driven, steeped in old-time down-home flavor but somehow still modern at the core — to the closing “Fine Wine,” the album is full and rich. “Cabin on the Hill” swings with infectious fiddle, “Red Mountail Gal” tells a story sad and significant, and “Let’s Work on the House” is flat-out warm and cool at the same time.

Mark Allnatt on banjo, Scott Ebner on guitar and accordion and Brendan Gosson on fiddle add much depth, and guest turns by Central New York stalwarts Jason Barady on mandolin and Joe Davoli on fiddle and mandolin further sweetens the batter.

The band celebrates with a release party at a 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. brunch set Saturday, Dec. 21, at Empire Brewing Company in Syracuse’s Armory Square. The following Saturday, Dec. 28, the second party will be from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Green Gate Inn, in Camillus.

(From CD cover)

(From CD cover)

ESP closes Final Friday season at Theater Mack

Year one is done after Friday, Dec. 27, and series founder and coordinator Ron Thompson sent over a note saying he’s pretty sure a jazz wrap-up will be memorable at Theater Mack.

Syracuse contemporary band ESP will perform at the happy hour show, which starts at 6 p.m. a week from tonight in the Auburn theater on West Genesee Street. It’s a cool little joint, refurbished downstairs and with great acoustics. Upstairs is the studio museum where Theodore Case first paired sound with movies.

The cover charge is $5.

The Beatles, as they were on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' on Feb. 8, 1964. (From

The Beatles, as they were on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ on Feb. 8, 1964. (From

Special Beatles tribute at the Landmark Theater

Beatles fan and tribute musician Paul Davie sends word that he’s putting a together a special show, “50 Years of the Beatles,” at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the beautiful Landmark Theatre in Syracuse.

Feb. 9 will actually mark the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s historic first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” a Sunday night spotlight on CBS that placed the British mop-tops into the heart and soul of American youth.

More than 30 Syracuse Area Music Awards winners will perform, and Davie also has Joey Molland, from Badfinger, and Phil Solem, of The Rembrandts, to share their musical talents and Beatles connections. (One more national artist is expected to be added to the lineup.)

Veteran Syracuse radio host Dave Frisina will serve as master of ceremonies for the three-hour spectacular. The show will benefit the Carol M. Baldwin Cancer Research Fund.

There will be a one-time reunion of the original members of Syracuse Beatles tribute band The Fab Five, bringing together Gary Frenay, Arty Lenin, Davie, Dave Novak and Dave Miller for the first time since 2004.

Frenay, Lenin and Novak are just three of the Sammys Hall of Famers on the stage. Frisina is a member of that prestigious group. Others Sammys Hall of Famers scheduled to perform are Todd Hobin and Doug Moncrief, Bob Halligan Jr., The Dean Brothers, Joe Whiting, Mark Hoffmann, John Dancks and Skip Murphy.

Also performing will be Magical Mystery Tour, which features Mike Fedorchuck, Tim Stone, Terry Quill and Rich Basha,

Also signed up to play are Tommy Allen, Jamie Notarthomas, Chuck Schiele, Kevin McNamara, Rhys Brigida, Steve Schad, Kevin Farrell, Kevin Dean and Leila Dean, Jess Novak, John Freund and 12-year-old guitarist Chris United.

Now that’s a really big shoe, as Sullivan would have said with great dramatic flair.

Tickets are $25 and $35, plus $4 Landmark patron support charge and any other Ticketmaster service fees. They go on sale at 10 a.m. today, Dec. 20, at the Landmark box office on South Salina Street in downtown Syracuse, and

7 thoughts on “From the mailbag: The Easy Ramblers, ESP, and Beatles anniversary tribute

  1. How is it that I’m older than you but we are fans of the same people? Must be because I didn’t really grow up until I was 40, got a recording contract, and sang backup with Lynard Skynard. Looked about 18 at the time and youngest sis was once asked how much older she was than I. She’s still angry about that one. And I’m still laughing about it.


    • You sang backup for Skynyrd? How’d you keep that one a secret for so long? When are you going to post about that, Angie? I will google to see if there are photos of you and the southern rock kings.


      • That was a long time ago Mark. Won’t be posting that one, since it was a one shot deal to get my “career” started. Decided after the one time I didn’t like it, so very thankful I hadn’t signed the contract yet. Gets really hot up there, and heat and MS don’t get along very well.


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