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This week Frank takes in Joe Likely and the Midnight Blues Band and ruminates on outdoor music.

Get on the bus and wail 

With romance in the air and my honey on my arm this Friday night, I copped the downtown stroll. It was that kind of forward-moving waltz, a sashay of satisfaction. There's always something to do, see, and hear in downtown Rochester despite what detractors may say. You just gotta get outta the house and hob knob with the hoi polloi.

You know what? I wanna hear more music outdoors, on the street, on the sidewalk. It happens from time to time and it thrills me. It happened Friday.

So like I says: there we were, strolling down Gibbs Street, when we suddenly found our gait keeping time with Joe Likely and the Midnight Blues Band. Now I've seen these cats in joints like The Clarissa Room where it's expected to hear someone moanin' for their baby while the dance floor boils with folks swaying with their babies. But this night, however, Likely was playing in a more unlikely place with his band; the alley next to Java's.

The band swung elegantly with a seasoned nonchalance. Guitarist AleksDisljenkovic embodies this type of coolness with his fluid playing and stoic stance. Likely sang the blues smooth and genuine as folks clapped, shifted in their seats, and kibitzed over the blood of the bean. Harpist Jerry Laufer countered and honked responses to Likely's calls. He didn't overplay or go nuts on the high notes. He was just a solid, in-the-pocket player who allowed the concrete-induced reverb to give his notes wings.

It was at this point that I decided to cut me some sidewalk, outdoors, under the stars. And I tell ya, if more bands played outdoors, there'd be more dancing in the streets, and a general feeling of "Hey, all right!"

So if you've got a guitar, a trombone, a calliope, a kazoo --- anything --- get out on your porch, go down to the corner, get on the bus... and wail.

  • This week Frank takes in Joe Likely and the Midnight Blues Band and ruminates on outdoor music.

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