Approximately eight years ago several members of legendary bands such as Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, Boston, The Wailers, Third World, Train, and Fosterchild formed The American Vinyl All Star Band with the purpose of performing at charity events. On July 25th, the group played at Jannus Live, St. Petersburg, to help the survivors of “Dangerous” Dan Toler, formerly of the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman Band, Dickey Betts & Great Southern, and many other Southern rock bands. Toler’s last band was a jazz fusion band called The Toler-Tucci Band. Toler died on February 25, 2013 after a two-year struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The band performed cover material of the various bands hits. Highlights of the concert are shown in the Photo Section.
I went to the concert and met up with friends with just the knowledge, “Oh! There’s a charity event for Dan Toler’s family. There’s a bunch of members from famous groups that will be playing at Janus Live tonight.” Great. It should be interesting. I pray to God it doesn’t rain since the venue is outdoors.
So, on a hot, July evening and with a pretty skimpy crowd (I do not know how much advertising was actually done) this concert turned out to be a little unknown gem. First of all, the stage and lighting at the venue is well done and one can get up-close and personal to the bands. The first band, which was apparently Dan Toler’s last group (Toler-Tucci Band), was fantastic. They had a full blues-jazzy sound with a horn section, Latin percussion, and a female singer that wailed soulful blues. The sax player was straight from New York City and he was phenomenal. And…this was just the warm-up band!
The rest of the evening transported me to my teen years when I listened to Boston, Steely Dan, and Doobie Brothers, but attending a live concert to see them was unfathomable. I was lucky enough to squirrel away birthday and allowance money to purchase albums. So, seeing the bands, with some of the original players, was like reliving my teens. Pure joy. The band sounded tight and was pretty much like turning on our family turntable from the 1970s.
A special thrill was to see Danny Beissel in action. Although he probably was born in the 1970s, he belted the songs in their original form and came across as the epitome of a lead singer–sweat dripping, hair flying, and prancing all over the stage with fervor. I felt like I was watching “Rock of Ages” all over again. His voice is very versatile and his delivery was very emotion-filled. He was really a pleasure to watch!
All of the members of the American Vinyl All Stars seemed to genuinely be having fun. Barry Goudreau would smile and nod to Fran Sheehan or Skunk Baxter. The guys were in their element and probably really enjoy the camaraderie and reliving their youth–and all for a good cause. The American Vinyl All Stars meet up around the country for these little charitable soirees. I really hope they come back to Tampa Bay to play again!
I grew up in a household full of rock music, studied journalism in college, and then became a scientist.Although my science career has served me well, music has always played a major role in my life. I grew up reading "Creem" magazine; I play several musical instruments as a "hobby";and it seems a camera has always been in my hand. Now, I am combining what I love the most--music and photography--serving as editor of Rock At Night. I travel between the US and UK seeking my dream! My motto: life is short...no regrets. Chyrisse