B.B. Kings Blues Club

Micky Dolenz Releases Live CD From B.B. Kings Blues Club

Micky Dolenz has just announced the release of MICKY DOLENZ LIVE AT B. B. KING’s, recorded last October 19 at the club’s outpost in NYC.

Introduced by Q104.3’s Jim Kerr, Micky and his solo band deliver a solid 23-song set to the sold-out crowd (which included a very enthusiastic Tony Danza front-and-center); from the astonishing Monkees-catalog: “She,” “Last Train To Clarksville,” “Daydream Believer,” “I’m A Believer,” to a sampling from his most recent solo album Remember (“Sugar, Sugar”) as well as such Dolenz favorites as “D. W. Washburn,” from the play Smokey Joe’s Café which he appeared in; and, a full-on version of The Beatles’ “Oh Darling” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”

There also an inspired duet with his band-mate, and sister Coco Dolenz, on “Blackbird.”

Adds Dolenz, “The first live show I remember doing was the Christmas show at my mom’s church. I was around four and I recited ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.’ I actually remember it because I was scared to death and it surely traumatized me deeply. The next live show was with my sister Coco; and, the venue was our living room. The last gig I did before The Monkees was at a cocktail lounge in a bowling alley. Then MonkeeBusiness and all of the insanity that ensued playing live in front of thousands of adoring fans and singing great classic hits. And, now, here I am LIVE AT B. B. King’s headlining. And, being supported by one of the best bands I have ever worked with. How cool is that?
   

Says producer Wayne Avers (and, Dolenz’s musical director), “The album came out great! It captures all the excitement of our live show; you can hear the crowd roar, as well as the high quality sound of a studio recording. Co-produced by John Billings and myself, we brought in a engineer to B. B. King’s , with a high tech digital recording rig, to fully capture exactly what was coming off the stage as well as the audience. No fancy studio tricks were needed; this truly represents what we do and sound like on stage.”

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The Mac Wire Review: Micky Dolenz At B.B. Kings October 20. 2012

On Friday night The Mac Wire was invited to see Micky Dolenz perform at B.B. King’s Blue Club in New York City. We had a blast!  The house as we expected sold out and Micky was in top form. A reader sent in this review.  Let us know if you were there too: 

   I’ve seen Micky Dolenz several times in the past few years and have really loved every single show. First: His voice which Rolling Stones, yes, Rolling Stone, called one of the best in rock ‘n roll, never fails to surprise. The Guardian in the U.K. last year compared his voice to a magical mix of Roy Orbison and Freddie Mercury; and, in many ways, he’s never sounded better than today. I’ve always been struck his exemplary choices of song styles; “I’m A Believer” rocks, but his choice of songs like, “D.W. Washburn,” from Smokey’s Joe’s Café (written by Leiber and Stoller), is nothing sort of impeccable. Last night he appeared at B.B. King’s with his band; he’d appeared there before at numerous charity events (i.e., Rockers On Broadway) but, last night was his first as the headliner. Also promised in the show were several numbers from his excellent new album Remember. And, as the icing on the cake, the whole show was being recorded as a live CD/DVD for release.

After a tremendous introduction by Q104.3’s Jim Kerr – a Dolenz confident for many years and arguably one of the nicest guy in radio – Micky joined his band on stage beginning with “That was Then, This Is Now” for what one of his best and strongest shows ever. Wearing a elegant-John Varvatos jacket, hat and tinted-glasses, Dolenz began on a somewhat reserved note, but built strongly and quickly had the crowd behind him in fast fashion. He deftly segued into “She” which the crowd went crazy for. This Boyce/Hart song is always a crowd pleaser and last night, it was rendered as good as ever. A highlight of his show was his take on the famous Archies’ record “Sugar, Sugar,” recreated for his new album; as a saucy and suggestive dance. As he told it from the stage, it could well have been a Monkees song, but the powers-that-be at the time didn’t make it happen, but the song had long continued to fascinate him and as he told this story to the album producer David Harris; Harris then created this wonderful new take on the Ron Dante-song. The crowd went into overdrive. Having listened to the 1969 original, probably too many times (but, hey, who hasn’t) his take was a most welcomed re-configured version. 

     Micky calls Carole King’s “Sometime In The Morning” his “Layla.” It’s a lovely song and he re-creates it lovingly again on the new CD. “Last Train To Clarksville” followed and the few remaining audiences members who weren’t yet into the show came into the fold. “Purple Haze,” “Cryin’ In The Rain,” his sister Coco performing “A Different Drum” and “White Rabbit” followed to much applause. Then came his tribute to fallen-Monkee Davy Jones, which included “Daydream Believer” and “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.” The sudden and unexpected death of Jones is still sinking in and a cold and sobering chill shot through the venue as he performed these songs in proper remembrance; the re-grouped Monkees tour next month, will indeed be a somewhat different affair. Needless to say, it should be some show to see, with Mike Nesmith back in the fold. 
    
    Then came, perhaps my favorite part of the show, with his take on The Beatles’ “Oh Darling,” and his new take on his song “Randy Scouse Git,” featuring a breathtaking guitar solo from Wayne Avers; who without question is Micky’s secret weapon here. It’s easy to see why he has so ably backed Dolenz for quite some time; his whole band, including Dave Alexander, Rich Dart, Coco, and, David Billings, just stellar. I have to say that this current version of his solo band is the best I’ve yet seen. It was quite an audience too with actor Tony Danza and entourage sitting front and center applauding Micky’s every move; for those who don’t know or recall, Micky’s eldest daughter Ami appeared with Danza in the 1989 movie She’s Out of Control. We also saw Micky’s able assistant Jane Blunkell and PR-mouthpiece David Salidor running about as well. Steve Walter from The Cutting Room was present too. Great night; tremendous show. It was indeed a magical night.
   

Concert Pick Of The Weekend: The Left Banke At BB King’s Times Square, Sunday 4-29, 8PM!

The Left Banke is a group that legends are made of and we strongly suggest catching them at BB Kings, Times Square, this Sunday at 8PM (doors open at 6:30 PM, so be sure to arrive early to get a seat)!

What is particularly special about this show is that it is a rare glimpse at a New York band formed in the 60s with mostly original members–who recorded one of the most famous songs of the 60s! “Just Walk Away Renee” was not only a Top 10 hit for The Left Banke, but then the Four Tops also had a Top 10 hit with it…and then numerous other pop and R&B acts covered it. The group also saw the top 40 with “Pretty Ballerina” considered to also be a classic in rock critics/classic rock afficionado circles!

If you need to know why else this show is special. Opening up is Alan Merrill, whose best-known for penning “I Love Rock And Roll”–his band The Arrows recorded it in 1975 and it was a hit overseas but not here. The Arrows were the first signing to Atlantic Records Japan and why did Merrill go to Japan in the first place? Get this! After several auditions, he was hired to be in The Left Banke in 1968 to replace a previous guitar player, but as the story goes, when he went to record with the band–THE PREVIOUS GUITAR PLAYER TURNED UP AND APPARENTLY DECIDED TO STAY! The back and forth for months made the talented Merrill (a triple threat with excellent songwriting, guitar and vocal skills) move to Japan to regroup!

So get yourself down to BB King’s Sunday night and enjoy a piece of rock history. We think that Merrill might just wind up jamming with The Left Banke! Pardon the pun, but it’s a show that you can “banke” on for luscious harmonies and infectious pop hooks! Tickets available for $25  at http://www.bbkingsblues.com.

(Left Banke photo courtesy Anne Leighton Media and Alan Merrill photo courtesy Alan Merrill.)