Two for Two: The Perfect Tribute Band and Perfect Blues Band, Back to Back

A Perfect Tribute Band…

Odyssey Road is one of the best tribute bands I’ve ever heard, hands down.  No, they don’t look like Journey (for the most part), but they have the sound and arrangements nailed down tight.  I can speak with some authority on Journey; I know Deen Castronovo, the drummer (he played on my kit when he was growing up), and I’ve heard them live five times in the last few years since Deen was drumming with them.  Heck, I covered Journey music in the 70’s, the days before Steve Perry when they were more prog-rock than power ballad…

Journey songs aren’t easy to cover, even if you’ve got a vocalist that can hit those notes and duplicate that tone.  The guitar parts ain’t easy (Schon is, after all, rated among the guitar gods); Journey’s drummers have always been stellar, and Castronovo is no exception; and the keys and bass have to be perfect.  I have never heard a band cover even one Journey song like these guys in Odyssey Road do; and these guys covered hours of pure Journey without a noticeable flaw.

If you can make it to Journey (with Foreigner and Night Ranger) next month, do it!  If you love Journey music but can’t make it to their show, you won’t be disappointed at an Odyssey Road show.  Kudos for BB Kings for having them play on a somewhat regular basis.

And A Perfect Blues Band…

And following up Journey at BB King’s club the next night was Blues Dragon, yet another phenomenal local blues band that you could drop on the stage at Clapton’s Crossroads Festival and have them fit right in. They’re a South Florida fixture (for over 10 years now), and they’ll be back at BB Kings for the International Blues Challenge on September 18th with other bands competing for a chance to represent Palm Beach in Memphis.

They stand a pretty good chance of winning that competition, if they put out the kind of seasoned and solid performance of blues classics and original music that they shared with us Wednesday. In the same vein as Clapton’s interpretation of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads,” the boys in Blues Dragon put a fresh face on other blues classics from the early half of the last century. And their original music is full of great hooks and grooves that would make for great airplay (if anyone ever played blues on the radio around here).

My apologies for the length of the clips (there’s two songs back to back on the first three) but they’re definitely worth listening to from beginning to end.

(A note on the recording; we use a camera that is heavily biased to sound quality — in stereo — as opposed to video quality. So fire up the videos, and enjoy the music while you work on your computer…)

Here’s a couple of songs — I believe both original — first funky, then a nice slow one….

 

 

On this next cut, make sure that you catch the Santana-like jam that finishes up the video…

 

 

The second song on this next video — BB King’s “Help The Poor” — is one I request from every blues band I listen to, but Blue Dragon was the first one to do it (and a fine job on it as well).
 

 

It’s hard to over emphasize how much really good music is readily available in the downtown West Palm Beach district, and on every day of the week. It’s the last video, up close and personal with Blues Dragon:

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