By Jane Harrison
A few months back, I had heard about a recording group with the interesting name of MIDNIGHT CALLERS that would be performing in the area in a small venue and how good they were, so on Saturday, October 30. I met friends at the Double Top Bar and Grille in THE RESORTS WORLD CASINO just outside Monticello to see for myself. I didn’t go out cold, though. I had listened to some cuts from the group’s first album on JEM RECORDS titled RED LETTER GLOW. The title was intriguing to me. Having lived in New York City for a decade, I couldn’t help but smile. Yes, they hail from that great city.
I had heard about a song on their CD called 41 MILES TO ROSCOE, and as I listened to it, I’m thinking “My God! This is an anthem of hope to all small town girls wanting more than what they see around them.” But beyond the lyrics (yes, I’m a lyrics person at heart), the music itself was compelling. It was a hard driving Rock and Roll that was alive and well before the Disco Era in the music revolution, but in an updated modern version. It also brought me back to that dirty, gritty 1980’s New York that I loved so much, when I was booking and going out to see music very much like this. So, I listened to another random choice from this record. Yes, that drive was still there.
Well guess what? THE MIDNIGHT CALLERS not only delivered the sound live, BUT are honestly, in my opinion, BETTER live. Their music and performance does not lose any of the intensity or integrity of their recording but adds a general air of good old fun! They have fun playing together, and they have fun playing their music and that, dear readers, is infectious.
CHRIS PAINE (vocals and rhythm guitar), MARTIN STUBBS (vocals and lead guitar), JULIAN BUDRINO (vocals and drums) and MARLEY MYRIANTHOPOULOS (vocals and bass) comprise one strong, cohesive group with all four involved in vocals which is really difficult to do. So much about this band was a breath of fresh air/pleasantly surprising to me. The grace and ease of their interactions on stage with each other while never losing the driving beat of what they were playing. The professionalism and crispness of how each played their instruments in concert with one another.
In between songs from RED LETTER GLOW and teasers from their upcoming second release, they breathed new life into greats like IT WON’T BE LONG and DIZZY MISS LIZZY from the Beatles and DEAD FLOWERS from the ROLLING STONES and USE ME by BILL WITHERS, interspersed with the more contemporary covers like PUMP IT UP by ELVIS COSTELLO and TOM PETTY’S YOU WRECK ME. There was no wondering why just ‘sitting’ wasn’t possible and the dance floor just kept filling up!
If this band comes around again, and I truly hope they do, I strongly suggest you go see them before having to shell out the big bucks to see them at a major venue becomes a reality. And don’t come crying to me if you don’t.
Stay safe, stay well, and mask up!
Until next time…..