FM Returns to Sayville's Annual Seaside Feast
August 27th was one of the nicest summer days seen on Long Island in a some time....unusual for a day where FM: A Steely Dan Tribute is scheduled for an outdoor gig! A gentle breeze blew in from the Great South Bay over Sayville's Maritime Museum grounds and an unusually large crowd gathered to sample not only the best seafood Long Island has to offer but some of the best live music around as well. If you were lucky to be in view of the stage from 2:30-4pm you got to experience one of the Island's original tribute bands perform their interpretations of the jazz inflected music of Steely Dan.
Opening the set with Kid Charlemagne FM rocked their way through Dan favorites to the delight of the standing room only crowd.
Is There Gas in the Car??
Tom Guarna and Rich Zukor fill in at The Bay St. Theatre
Saturday, May 13th saw us revisiting the Bay Street Theater way, way, way out in Sag Harbor to entertain 200+ East End Dan fans. Despite boasting two rhythm section subs the band was tight as ever in delivering its mix of radio-friendly tunes as well as deep Dan album cuts. Seasoned guitarist Tom Guarna wowed us on guitar while Rich Zukor joined us once again on kit drums to hold down the groove. Also joining FM for the evening was Jasmine Miranda on background vocals. See Jasmine’s bio on our band page!)
From the opening notes of the two-set show, the crowd was up from their cushy stadium style seats in this beautiful theater and dancing in front of the band. Two hours of hits mixed with album cuts filled the evening, as well as a revisit to a song the band hasn’t played live in years…The Fez. Lead singer Tom Bowes insisted to the crowd that The Fez is not a song about a hat at all but perhaps something else. As always, we defer you to our trumpet player Phil for any requested clarification regarding the meaning of Steely Dan lyrics. He seems to have the inside scoop.
All in all, an exciting night of some of the coolest music around!
FM Rocks Hempstead!
Merrick Park played host to FM's outdoor show last thursday july 14 with a rockin' program littered with the usual dan hits plus some deep album cuts for the hard core fans in attendance. FM rescued an evening that started rather inauspiciously...
Long Island Dan fans as well as members of the FM band had interesting stories to tell as they made their way to last thursday's long awaited concert scheduled to start at 8pm at Merrick Park on the south shore of Long Island. A violent lightning storm made its way across the island that late summer afternoon bringing traffic to a crawl on basically every highway in Nassau County. But as quickly as it started, the clouds mysteriously parted to reveal a pleasant cloudless evening, setting the stage for a very memorable concert indeed.
Opening with Steve Briody's distorted feedback laden G7#9 chord on guitar, the band launched into their rendition of Steely's popular cut off the Royal Scam album, "Don't Take Me Alive" and that provided the keynote for a dissertation in musical excellance given by the tribute band that virtually spearheaded the tribute band craze sweeping Long Island.
Crowds continued to gather into the night, filling the park with lawn chairs and coolers as people swayed and bounced to the sounds of popular hits such as "My Old School" (see video), "Dirty Work" and "Gaucho" as well as lesser known tunes such as "Parker's Band" and "FM (No Static at All)". Led by the stellar vocals of Tom Bowes and anchored by one of Long Island's tightest horn sections, FM made their way through a well balanced program of selections made famous by the songwriting team of Becker and Fagen until 9:30 when the inevitable curfew reared its ugly head.
Fans screaming for more were comforted only by the promise that they could come see their favorite Steely Dan tribute band every 2nd thursday at their regular gig at KJ Farrell's in Bellmore, NY.
Hey, who's dat guy? Where's Steve?
September's show at KJ Farrells was a show that almost wasn't. Our esteemed guitarist, Steve Briody was unable to join us due to unforseen circumstances. "No problem" you say, "call a sub". Not with this band. Steve's role is so elemental, and his contributions so critical to our sound, that we've never taken a date unless he was available. Imagine how difficult it was to try to fill that seat with short notice for this show.
Enter Rob Bambach, guitarist for Rockjunky, a great band who's been following FM on Thursdays at Farrells for the past 4 years. Apparently he'd been taking notes. How else to explain how he mastered the entire set list in little over a week, and added his own stylistic touches to the songbook.
Thank you Rob. One thing's for sure, we won't be losing your number!
A little more about Rob:
Rob found his calling at the early age of 4. His older sister brought home an acoustic guitar but quickly put it down. Rob picked it up and, as the song says, “that one guitar did his whole life change.”
Through decades of gigging and formal and "informal" training, and quite a few hundred classes at H.K.U.
("Hard Knocks" University), Rob is where he loves to be. Playing music for a living. He has worked with and played alongside many world class musicians, including Andy Cichon, Chuck Burgi, David Sanborn, Steve Vai, Maceo Parker, Livingston Taylor, Mark Wood, Taylor Dayne, Rob Balducci and many others.
Steve's shoes are not easy to fill.
We are saddened at the passing of Walter Becker, co-founder and composer for the music we are honored to pay tribute to each month. Walter's wit was surpassed only by his musicianship, playing guitar and bass for most of the Dan catalog. We're thankful for his contribution to popular American music and we hope his family accepts our deepest condolences.
June 29 saw the return of FM to the stage at Tanner Park not 100 feet from the waves of the Great South Bay. 3000+ people set up their blankets and chairs to see the band in top form on a beautiful evening on the south shore.
Opening the show with a "soundcheck version" of Parker's Band (mainly to stall for time while TB navigated the slow moving traffic of the Southern State) FM went on to officially open the show with their energized version of Black Friday. Highlights of the set included the newly added New Frontier and the oft-requested Caves of Altimira.
Filling in on drums for the evening was Rich Zukur who pleased the crowd with his take on Steve Gadd's classic Aja solo.
photos by Charles Gerbano