March 16th, 2001 (Aroma Restaurant and Bar, Alameda, CA)
"Yo! .. uh .. make that Yo! Yo! Yo!
Last night's Michael Sea & Island Fever gig w/ Amy Lee at Aroma in Alameda was Fab!! The place was full, and there were folks waiting at the door begging for tix that were no longer in print. Yup, we were turnin' 'em away!
The stage (?) was full of musicians and musicus. First, there's Mr. Michael up front with Ms. Amy at his side. Impressive newcomer Tony Hill (atta boy!) on keys surrounded the front on the other side of the bunch. Now.. for those other guys! The "Rhythm Section' .. remember hearing that term somewhere before, do ya'? M' Gawd! They were everywhere, both on the stage and in the music! Ken (my fave drummer for the band for the last decade) was centered behind 'em all, setting, keeping and stoking the back beat with his tasteful flair. He was flanked by Pope Flynn, who showed up unexpectedly. Michael said he was invited to play the gig months ago but never called back. Wrong! Pope had the wrong cell # for Mike and couldn't get through, so he just showed up with his talking drum and was welcomed with open arms! Doing his usual magic par excellence', Pope was constantly interacting with Bud for the bass lines with both of them coming up winners. Don't foret the congas. Johnny Contaxis brother (como te llamo?) [Chuck Contaxis] had a pair and played masterfully. What a solo he gave! When he was done with all that, he got on his timbales, too. And Pope took over the congas giving up different rhythms of equal quality. Nice variation on a good theme, if I may say so! And then there's Da' Bud Man on the other side swapping one liners with Amy all all night. Those two were laughing so much I wonder how they found their way to the mics for their vocal harmonies. Michael's voice was in great form, even when laughing his way through a few naaasty lyrics late in the show. Lots of originals from both CD's, speckled with a hearty dose of Buff tunes with a little Van Morrison for color.
Huh? You want to hear about .. who? Amy? Amy who? Oh, you mean the amiable lady (okay, okay ..) on the horn? Well, is 'Wow!' enough? She's a pro, pure and simple. Great harmony lines, sweet timbre'd vocals, and her solos are to die for, although I'm sure she wouldn't want you to do that. She can reach notes high enough to make your dog squirm and hold notes blowing longer than you can hold your breath. She's tiny, but my Mama said dynamite comes in small packages. I even asked her after the show, "Where do you put the air?" I loved her answer. Rendered in the calmness of a sea state of zero (flat water for you land lubbers) she quipped, "Oooh, I just Zen it." I mention Jenny's name (and country) to her, and she said, "Oh, yeah. We're pals! Say 'Hi' for me." Ms. Amy was an endearing addition to a fine evening...
Dan Daly (review posted on MSea_IslandFever@onelist.com and Jimmy Buffett Listserve)
"I like to call them Gumbo Rock, a little of everything"
Brad Martin (WUMS Radio, Memphis)
"Great performance, music for all ages, fun!"
"After hearing the CD I'm surprised I hadn't heard them before."
Church of Buffett, Orthodox
"One time and you will catch the fever too."
River News Herald