By Steven Zaitz
If you were strolling down Lake Avenue in St. James this past Sunday evening, Aug. 6, you might have been compelled to check the map on your phone to see if you were magically transported to Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Springsteen’s “Rosalita” rang out from Celebrate Park in the latest of the 2023 Summer Concert Series and this time it was The Whiskey Crows who got the people on their feet. The dynamic eight-piece band is an upbeat rock ‘n’ roll, twang and soul revue in the Jersey Shore bar band tradition. The band included a three-piece horn section.
Energetic front man Eric Dubin bounced around the stage and, thanks to the technology of wireless amplifiers, was able to sing and play while mixing with the crowd.
With a mix of Elvis, Dobie Gray, Mitch Ryder, St. James-resident Dubin and the boys played for two hours and had the crowd dancing with them in front of the canopied stage.
In addition to Dubin, the band features Mike Breier (bass and vocals), Rich Dashnaw (guitar and vocals), Andrew Rubenstein (drums), Joe Ferrante (keyboards and vocals), Mike Baratelli (saxophone), Josh Seifert (trombone) and Joe Boardman (trumpet).
As part of the Celebrate St. James Summer, a lucky raffle winner won the tidy sum of $318. Second place was slightly less lucky with the prize being a Whiskey Crows T-shirt.
Celebrate St. James Past-Present-Future is a nonprofit cultural arts organization. Housed in the historic St. James Calderone Theatre and built in the early 1900s, its mission is to preserve and celebrate St. James’ rich history and inspire an appreciation and knowledge of the arts in the community.
Founded in 2017, Celebrate St. James was born as a nonprofit cultural arts organization by Jack Ader, Arline Goldstein and Natalie Weinstein to assist in the revitalization of the Lake Avenue district.
In November 2020, Town of Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) and the Town Board joined Celebrate St. James in a groundbreaking ceremony commemorating the construction of Celebrate Park.
Blu Bayou, featuring the music of Linda Ronstadt, will play on Aug. 13 and the final concert will be Aug. 20 with SouthBound, which is heavily influenced by the music of the Allman Brothers.