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Retro69 A Tribute to The Music of Woodstock 1969

Band Members:

Melissa League  (Lead vocals)

When work began of the proposed Tribute to Woodstock at the Rockaway Artist Alliance for May 16, 2010, Melissa volunteered for the Joan Baez slot. It was not people's imagination when they thought they heard the voice of Joan Baez or Melanie. She performed with Retro69 at Yasgur's Farm in August 2010.

 

John Sobel   (Bassist)

In addition to working with Retro69, JON SOBEL is the lead singer, songwriter and bassist for roots-rock/Americana band Whisperado.  Whisperado is in the studio working on its first full-length disc; meanwhile Jon recently released a 3-song solo acoustic EP and is working on a full-length solo CD. Jon also co-founded the Kings County Blues Band, and plays for numerous other acts, which have included Meg Braun, Kevin So, Eight Miles High (Byrds tribute), Elisa Peimer, John Scarpulla, Bobby Stewart, and many more. He performed with Retro69 at Yasgur's Farm in August 2010.

Subs:  Lenny Nelson,  Rudy DiMaggio,  Ray Kairys 

 

Lenny Nelson    (Bassist)

Lenny Nelson has been a fixture on the New York City club scene for more years than he can remember, having played with Ronnie Specter, Chuck Berry, Roberta Flack, Shirley Alston Reeves, Buzzy Linhart, and many others. He has also worked with a host of great blues artists including  Pinetop Perkins, Rosco Gordon, Danny Kalb, Big Jay McNeely, and Shemekia Copeland.


Mike Miller  (Drummer)   

Unlike some of the others in Retro69, Mike Miller has a Jazz and R&B background, getting into blues and rock during the past 7-10 years. He has the chance to play at both the old Birdland on 106th street and the now defunct R&B club Mikells in NYC off Columbus Avenue and 97th street His most famous gig was one with the Latin Jazz Great Dave Valentin. Mike is another loyal wingman of the band, rare these days in the industry.  And yes, Mike has also has had the opportunity to work with  Danny Kalb of the Blues Project. He performed with Retro69 at Yasgur's Farm in August 2010.

 

 Les Hockler:  (Lead Guitar, Vocals)|

Les had been a long time journeyman with Eminence Front, the well known Long Island Who Tribute  when he first met Allan at Retrofest One in 2005. Since then, while not  playing the role of Pete Townsend, he has been the full time guitarist for Retro69. A stylistic cross between Sam Andrews of Bog Brother and the Holding Company and  Leslie West, Les has shown that he can learn anything. 
He performed with Retro69 at Yasgurs FArm in August 2010.
 

 
Sub: Aviv Roth, Jim Moran

 

Allan:  (Hammond Organ, Electric Piano, and  Agent)

As a "Deadhead", one can say his greatest influences are Keith Richard Godchaux and PigPen, but his other influences include Greg Allman, Greg Rollies, Al Kooper, and David Bennet Cohen. Allan has been very busy lately coordinating and promoting the various Retrofests and benefit concerts..  The music business is hard, and getting harder, so finding such a wonderful, loyal, hard working team has been  the best surprise of the project so far. As  the man responsible for bookings and all logistical details, its a wonder Allan finds the business less stressful than one might expect . When not with his wife and two little boys, he can often be found at one of the area pubs drinking a pint of  Guinness and promoting the band. Allan's only connection to famous musicians was meeting Paul Simon in bathroom of Zen Pallet in NYC and discussing a past 1983 concert in Tel Aviv. 
He performed with Retro69 at Yasgur's Farm in August 2010.
  
 

Joanne J-Bird Philips      ( Percussion)

Joanne J-Bird Phillips, known for Keepin' the "F" in FUN, is a well respected multi-instrumentalist, performing on Rock Percussion with Retro69. J-Bird is a Performing Bassist/Percussionist/Booking Agent/Promoter/Consultant/
Stage Manager & Arts Advocate. You can read her extensive bio here   

http://bassmusicianmagazine.com/?s=Joanne+J-Bird+Phillips 

 

 Feel free to stop by and say "Hello" to the J-Bird on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/jbirdphillips

Guest Vocalists and Musicians 
 

Halley DeVestern   (Lead Vocals) 

 
Halley was born in Long Island, NY. Just before she hit her teens, her parents bought her a guitar and paid for her to take lessons. They probably never dreamed she would stick with them, much less one day make a successful career out of her music. After high school, DeVestern attended the Boston University School of Theater Arts, temporarily switching her attention toward acting. She won some parts, but her love for music never subsided. In the end she couldn't resist returning to it. She began to perform when and where ever she could. Slowly she built a fan base, and the courage needed to put everything she had into making it as a singer in a world of music that offered no kindness to those not strong enough to hold on. DeVestern put together a band of her own in 1996.

Halley has appeared at festivals across the United States, and as the fill-in lead singer with famed bands like Big Brother & the Holding Company.  And by coincidence,  Danny Kalb of the Blues Project lives blocks away from Halley and was her music teacher years back. 

A year later she at last finished her debut full-length album, Sugar Free. "I'll Light Myself on Fire," "The Family Way," "Ring of Love," "They Ain't Got the Ways," and "I'm Over It" are a few of the ten tracks fans will find on this first offering. Her next album didn't appear for four long years. It was titled Live at the Towpath Inn. In between recording, DeVestern traveled with her band, appearing at festivals across the United States, and as lead singer with famed bands like Big Brother & the Holding Company. She also opened for a number of artists, including Jimmie Vaughan, Little Buster, and John Hammond. Over the last few years DeVestern and her music have received a lot of positive press, including write-ups in magazine like Good Times, Billboard, and Seventeen. Some of DeVestern's band members have been bassist Jon Sobel, drummers Ray Crespo and Rodney Howard, guitarists Jeffrey Lee Campbell and Jimi Crespo (who worked with Aerosmith and Bonnie Bramlett), and keyboardists Jeff Kazee and Rima Fand. ~ Charlotte Dillon, All Music Guide

 Tommy Maher   (Lead Vocals)
 

The original "MAVERICK SOUL". Born in New York, Tommy growing up during the 60's experience was heavily influenced with the music of that era. Getting the chance to live through such a great time in music and to absorb the energy of it by attending so many great live show's such as the 1969 Woodstock Festival, Watkins Glenn, The Fillmore East and the whole "Village" scene. His greatest influences are Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix,( who he had the pleasure of meeting and sitting down with, Janis Joplin, Deep Purple, Joe Cocker, Bob Seeger, Jeff Beck, Cream, The Allman Brother's, Vanilla Fudge, Grand Funk Railroad, All of Motown, and the Blues, and R&B. He also had the honor to work on a solo project with a member of the Vanilla Fudge and the New Rascal's Bill Pascali. It was a great experience for him to work with 36 well known musicians from so many well known 60's bands. The Cd is called "Where Broken Hearts Go".  Tommy has fronted such bands as The Tribe, Street Life, Magic Dragon, the Maverick Soul Band, Vital Signs, The Blue Revolution, Smoked, The Pascali Project, and currently playing out with the band "TROUBLE". He performed with Retro69 at Yasgur's Farm in August 2010.

 

Nassau County Instahorns
   Victor Poretz:                  Trombone
   Stu Osnow:                      Saxophone 
   Eric Alterac                     Trumpet 

 

Lucille Messina          (Flute, Vocals) 

Lucille had a vision and a dream to find the perfect blend of musicians to create unique music. She began working on her dream, at the age of ten. It was difficult for others to envision her concept, but she persisted. Lucilles Mixed Nuts became a reality, after many years. Lucille performed with various artists. She most recently performed at various venues, in New York City, and Long Island. The band members all have a long list of experience and accomplishments. Guitarist Laurent Medelgi has performed in the United States and Europe. In addition, he has performed at various clubs in New York City. Some of his Broadway credits include Spring Awakening, Rent, and Jersey Boyz. In additon, he has recently composed and released "Diverses". Bassist Stefan Held is endorsed by Sadowsky, Lakland, Fodera basses, La Bella strings, Epifani speakers, and his Broadway credits include Hairspray, Mama Mia, and Jersey Boyz. He also keeps busy as the Music director for Grammy nominated Marty Thomas, Chaplin Ent. artist Kelly King, and of course, Lucille's Mixed Nuts. Surprise guests artists are always in the mix! The Nuts are currently working on original material.    BMI MEMBER

 

Arlene Schar              (Violin) 

Arlene Schar is a unique violinist whose eclectic style and versatility encompasses a variety of genres. Her current passion is rock, blues, jazz, swing, and old standards. Arlene's gifts as a freelance violinist are her quick ear and ease in fitting into any setting. Her enthusiasm and love of music are evident as she dances while playing, contributing to her compelling stage presence and audience rapport.  Arlene has many seasoned professional musicians to join her in a variety of settings. She performs in intimate venues as a duo with guitar or piano. For weddings, private parties, bar gigs, festivals, or concerts, Arlene can draw on the most appropriate established blues, rock, or jazz band to suit your needs, and her extensive mailing list guarantees a lively turnout for every occasion. She performed with Retro69 at Yasgur's Farm in August 2010.

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