bands Record Hop

The New England Shake-Up: Saturday Night

5:00 AMDollie Simpson

-Continued from our New England Shake-Up series-

After a quick outfit change we were off to the races on Saturday night. First stop was the vendor room. Plenty of great deals were to be found and we carefully went through each booth seeking them out. Both of us bought several pieces we really liked, and we were even happier to buy them at non-California prices! 

The lakeside location of the Sturbridge Host Hotel makes for some great photo-ops - which we took full advantage of! Time to get back inside though, there was another action packed night of bands on the schedule and we didn't want to miss a minute of it! 

First up for the night was the fabulous, Amber Foxx (CA)! Amber and her band had the unfortunate experience of having to endure complete travel chaos. On the day before the band was supposed to play there was an incident involving a Chicago airport employee setting fire to flight tracking equipment at the airport. This caused many flights to be delayed for hours before ultimately being cancelled. Amber's plane was one of those flights. So, after sitting in the airport for 10+ hours waiting to hear word on their flight status, only to finally get the news that it was cancelled, the band rented a van and drove 15 hours straight to the Shake-Up! There was hardly any time for a cat nap before they were on stage rockin'. But rock they did! Living in California, we get to see Amber play a lot but the band was dialed in for that night. Maybe the lack of sleep and road weariness is their secret formula for great shows? 

Another Southern California band was up next: Roy Rapid and the Rhythm Rock Trio! The band has been a fixture in recent years at Viva Las Vegas, but it was fun seeing the boys play on the right coast for a change. They certainly won themselves some new fans. I think they enjoyed their trip to New England also! 

Rhythm Bound (NY) took the stage next and played some great hard driving rockabilly. They had a great mix of originals and known covers that helped to keep folks out on the dancefloor. 

Cash O'Riley (MI) and his one man band hit the stage with a roar of energy. The crowd was diggin' the tunes and tappin' their feet.

Good music, good company and drunken shenanigans were the name of the game for Saturday night. And just as they should be at any proper weekender!

All the bands for the weekend had their fair share of buzz from Shake-Up attendees, but one band especially seemed to be the hot topic of conversation: The Bellfuries (TX)! They of course, did not disappoint. What a fantastic band they are: great singing, killer guitar and danceable tempos all combine to make The Bellfuries one of the most sought after rockabilly bands on the scene. The Bellfuries sold us on The Shake-Up this year, well, and Zack's band playing of course! 

What else is there to say about Big Sandy and the Flyrite Boys (CA) at this point? Big Sandy and his boys are as professional as it gets. His songs are an ingrained part of rockabilly's DNA and known the world over. Ashley Kingman could very well be the finest picker on the scene, Kevin Stewart thumps the bass with authority and Joe Perez keeps the wheels rollin' with a steady beat. The band was on fire at the Shake-Up, but then they always are!

The evening wrapped up with an impromptu campfire jam session sing-along! As the night started growing late word started to spread that there was a get-together of sorts happening at a fire pit located along the side of the hotel. We were in the ballroom dancing, thinking to ourselves that the crowd sure was scant for a Saturday night record hop. So we ventured to this fabled fire pit and holy moly, we found everyone! There was guitars, fire, plentiful booze and everyone was singing along to campfire tunes! Even though it wasn't an official event on the program, the spontaneity and cheerful company made this a standout moment of the Shake-Up. This was likely to be a one time occurrence, since apparently the fire pits weren't even supposed to be on. There was an actual DJ spinning tunes where we all probably should have been dancing. But boy was it fun and we're glad we were there for it! Saturday night at The New England Shake-Up sure was a blast!

BREAKING NEWS!!! (cue newsroom sound effects - doot doot deet deet do doot)
After posting our Saturday night coverage there was a lot of discussion on Facebook about the action at the fire pit. Well, the word around town is that for next year's Shake-Up, head gal in charge Beck Rustic, will be having a Friday night fire pit event! Hooray! I'm sure she'll have all the fun details for us soon. This will be the only fire pit available during the course of the Shake-Up weekend. You will not be allowed to organize your own fire pit party. Please do not call the host hotel asking to reserve one. 

Zack and Dollie

Did you attend the Shake-up this year, or are considering it for next year? Be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below. And be on the lookout for upcoming Shake-Up posts!

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  1. Suzette Sundae paid upfront for the fire pit, and took a collection for that and the food she provided that night during the get-together. Anyone can pay for a fire-pit to be turned on by paying the hotel front desk ahead of time.

    1. It was a very fun thing Suzette did! Looking ahead to Shake-Up 2015 though, future attendees please take note that you won't be able to book your own fire pit. It will instead be a proper event as part of the weekender.


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