We’re eager to make our establishment a community gathering place, so we’re always hosting new music and entertainment in our venue and at The Geneseo Riviera. Check here often for bios of each of our acts, as well as reviews of performances and more.
Johnny Rawls and the Love Machine @ Fanatics Pub, Monday, Dec. 31 for New Years Eve Party
Johnny Rawls was born in Columbia, Mississippi in 1951 and raised in Purvis and Gulfport, Mississippi. He acquired an early interest in music when hearing his grandfather play the blues guitar one Christmas morning. He began playing professionally while still in high school with such stars as ZZ Hill, Little Johnny Taylor, Joe Tex and the Sweet Inspirations. In the mid-70’s, Johnny went to work for OV Wright as Wright’s band director. After Wright's death in 1980, Johnny led Little Johnny Taylor's band until 1985, when he began touring as a solo artist and made his first solo recording under the Rainbow label.
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams @ The Geneseo Riviera Theater
Nov. 10 – 7pm (doors open at 6)
Formed in Sleepy Hollow, New York over a decade ago, they pioneered the alt-folk circuit, staying on the fringes of the music industry. Winning support from indie radio and press since their inception, fans fueled their career from the ground up to an international status. Having headlined major music festivals and venues across the US, Canada and UK, this band has a devoted cult following. “Soothing and bewitching as a snake oil tonic, the entire root system of Rock Family Trees is embedded in Longo’s voice.” – The Big Issue, Scotland, UK. Lead singer-songwriter Joziah Longo is joined by Sharkey McEwen (guitar, mandolin), Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, etc), and Felipe Torres (drums, percussion). They create a captivating vibe that feeds the soul.
John Németh and the Blue Dreamers – Opening with Tas Cru & the Tortured Souls
Nov. 17 – 7pm (doors open at 6)
House of Hamil featuring Brian Buchanan from Enter the Haggis and Rose Baldino
Nov. 18 – 6pm, $10
Rose Baldino and Brian Buchanan met 10 years ago, late one night backstage at a theatre in rural Pennsylvania.
Brian’s band Enter The Haggis and Rose’s group Burning Bridget Cleary were sharing a stage that evening, and the two bonded over a love of Irish fiddle tunes, Radiohead, and 4 AM whiskey. Their paths crossed a dozen times over the next decade on the road, but it wasn’t until the Folk Alliance 2014 conference in Kansas City that they finally became musical collaborators. Burning Bridget Cleary’s guitarist and drummer had their flights canceled at the last minute, and Rose (in desperation) asked Brian to grab a guitar and join her onstage. The two performed with virtually no rehearsal for over an hour, and their connection was powerful and immediate. A few months later Brian moved from Canada to Philadelphia, and as a tribute to the first tune Rose ever taught Brian, House of Hamill was born.
Brian and Rose are both accomplished traditional fiddle players and classical violinists, and despite being young, have over 25 years of writing and performance experience between them. Together, they write unusual new fiddle tunes and exciting, unpredictable original songs while also breathing new life into traditional and contemporary songs. Both are confident and unique lead vocalists, and the blend of their two voices in harmony is hypnotic and irresistible.
Whether House of Hamill is playing songs from their debut album “Wide Awake” (September 2016) or stomping through a set of original jigs and reels from their follow-up “March Through Storms” (2018), their chemistry onstage is always engaging and often hilarious. Spend an hour listening and you’ll leave with tired feet, a huge smile, and a new appreciation for the versatility of folk instruments in a modern context. House of Hamill is on the bleeding edge of a new generation of traditional musicians.
Studebaker John @ Fanatics Tuesday, Nov. 20 – 7pm
“The legendary Studebaker John returns with a new release, Eternity’s Descent, his 18th album of all-original material. In addition to his own recordings, Studebaker John has made countless appearance as a sideman on the recordings of other musicians, including a stint with members of the British rock bands, Pretty things and Yardbirds. Studebaker John’s original music has been featured in numerous movies, television shows, and commercials. Most recently in TV episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter and Banshee, and the motion picture, Ride Along.
Hanna & the Blue Hearts @ Fanatics Sat. Nov. 24th – 8pm
For some time now, it seems that the blues is something that most of the modern bands list as one of their influences. It must mean that the blues is THAT significant in American, perhaps the world’s, popular music since the 20’s into this century, but if you really dig the blues, it’s getting somewhat difficult to navigate through to really hear the blues in its true form. But, here’s a band that puts the blues in the forefront, and is not afraid to let the music speak for itself.
Hanna and the Blue Hearts channel a wide variety of the blues, from pre-war styles to 50’s & 60’s Chicago blues, to boogie woogie. Fueled by a love of jazz, this band also really swings!
Vocalist/pianist Hanna PK is the leader of the band. Her solid left hand reflects on those traditional blues masters’ rocking’ and shuffling bass patterns, while her right hand grooves along, dancing all over those 88’s and she adds her sultry voice to the band. The band currently has three other members though at times some of them join Hanna as a duo or trio.
Guitarist Aleks Disljenkovic brings tremendous knowledge and experience to the band. He is the leader of the White Hots, and worked with Rochester Music Hall of Famer Joe Beard for many years. In the mid-1980s, Aleks toured the U.S., Canada, and Mexico with a number of blues headliners as well. He’s a quintessential guitarist whose soulful solos never fail to make a statement.
Boss Sauce Bill Wharton @ Fanatics Dec. 4 – 7pm
— Betsy Green, Music Fest News
Albert Castiglia @ Fanatics Dec. 11 – 7pm
“Up All Night.” It’s an apt title for Albert Castiglia’s seventh album: nobody sleeps when this man is in town. After 27 years of house-rocking studio albums and smack-in-the-mouth live shows, the Florida bandleader is the acknowledged master of red-raw, sweat-and-hair blues that gives it to you straight. Now, the visceral riffs and bruised soul of Up All Night make everything else sound like a lullaby. “I’d describe the musical vibe of this new album,” says Castiglia simply, “as heavy.”
Being released October 6, 2017 on Ruf Records, Up All Night finds Castiglia in a creative swagger after last year’s acclaimed Big Dog. What wasn’t broke then hasn’t been fixed now, with the bluesman once again recording at Dockside Studios, Louisiana, and capturing a warts-and-all mix alongside producer Mike Zito. “I figured since the Big Dog session went so well there, why change studios?” he reasons. “I’ll probably record there for the rest of my life.”
Dockside might be home-turf, but any notion of a comfort zone was dispelled by an edgy new lineup who pushed their bandleader to the wire. “Putting my new band together was a pivotal moment and this recent incarnation has really upped my game,” says Castiglia. “My drummer, Brian Menendez, is very dynamic and gives me that extra spark. He’s along the lines of a Ginger Baker or Mitch Mitchell. Jimmy Pritchard is my bass player and he’s solid as a rock. His tone is fat and he’s right on time. When I hear him, I think of Bill Wyman or Calvin ‘Fuzz’ Jones. It’s a power trio with no boundaries or restrictions. It’s a pretty amazing sound to me and it’s reflective in Up All Night.”