The B-Sides sound A-1 at Shifty’s

Want cool local music? Come to Syracuse neighborhood joint Shifty's.

Want cool local music? Come to Syracuse neighborhood joint Shifty’s.

When my good friend Dave Kaspar gives me the heads-up that a trip to Shifty’s is needed to see a new band on the Syracuse scene, I believe him.

After all, over the last quarter century, I’ve stood next to the guy hundreds of nights, appreciating the best our city has to offer. And then there are all those days we’ve sat together appreciating the band’s brought by founder and executive director Frank Malfitano to the M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest.

The B-Sides, they’re called.

Hover over either gallery photo for a description. Click on either photo for an enlarged slide show.

Sharon Allen sings. Lee Tiffault plays lead guitar. Tom Navagh takes the foundation on bass. Lee’s brother Mark keeps the beat on drums. Tom and Mark lend back-up vocals.

I know them well singularly, what with my 21 years covering the scenes in my past life with the big daily, Sharon singing with her cousin Donna Colton, Lee and Mark the Syracuse Area Musica Awards hall-of-fame sons of the wonderful man and player Sox Tiffault and legacy carriers with Cookbook and Los Blancos, respectively. Tom’s a familiar face as well, having worked with so many great players in town.

Dave’s right.

They’re a fine new addition to the scene I cherish, rocking with old-school aplomb and blues power. There’s a touch of Jerry-adoring jam in there, too.

“I knew you’d like them,” Kaspar says.


Kaspar has some skin in the game as well.

He’s booking gigs for the band. Navagh is taking a deserved break down south after this gig. The next show is April 15 at Flat Iron, followed by May 6 at The Ridge and a return to Shifty’s on May 12. All shows are 8 p.m.

Kaspar can be reached for event booking at

Here’s a video I shot of The B-Sides playing a cool cut, My Mother-in-Law.

What’s your favorite local joint, and why? What’s your favorite brand of bar music, and why? What are you going to do on your next night out?

16 thoughts on “The B-Sides sound A-1 at Shifty’s

  1. So glad you got to catch B-side on Thursday, Mark! Certainly an “A” in my book!! Love the energy they bring out in each other (Mother-In-Law was a nice cool-down tune). I, for one, will definitely seek them out in the spring!


  2. i love the name shifty’s and love that you keep up with the new music on the scene. today, we are going to the ice festival in the 50 degree weather or to downtown detroit to experience all of the new positive things going on – we’ll see how the day goes and roll with it. )


  3. They have a good sound. When I go out occasionally with my sister-in-law we go to a local bar with a band that plays 70’s-90’s rock and roll.
    My old favourite was a bar that still had a piano player singing standards. I miss that. I wonder if that is still existing somewhere. I should find out.


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