The Rockvegas music scene celebrated one of its own this past Friday night with the debut appearance of Paul Donovan, the new bass player for the Rock Ridge Band. Some of the best names in local talent came out to see and hear how this latest musical marriage would look and sound. The Blues Nazi himself turned one critical ear to the stage while blocking the other, as if to demonstrate his keen expert approval to the dozens of faithful Ridge Runners gathered in the Rock Room at the Hurl. Bands like Bon Jodi, the members of Prank Monkey, Reverse Curve, the Mike Z lap band, and the amazing Ro Ro Ma were all on hand to witness the unleashing of Paul Donovan and his famous bass guitar. Donovan joins forces with one of the biggest and baddest bands on the local music scene today.
The Rock Ridge boys did not disappoint. The Ridgesters belted out some searing rock classics that only a five-piece band can muster. The band has become so proficient at playing Aerosmith songs that, at times, I could swear I heard the distinct signatures of Perry and Whitford beneath Mark Torchetti’s pounding of the Ludwigs and splash and crash of the Zildjians.
When this band hits on all five cylinders, they are as good a musical machine as can be found on the South Shore. Ed Leland was in rare form, with pomp and enthusiasm, ripping up some of the best lead guitar riffs to ever echo in the ancient Tall House. The Rockvegas guitar god, John Cuervels, is like Old Faithful on the left of the stage. Cuervels – with his crisp, clean style and musical know-how – completes the precision rock sound that is Rock Ridge. When Dave Boyce is on the money, he is one of, if not THE best front men in the business. The guy has style, charisma and talent with a real live rock and roll look. Boyce brought his “A” game this night, turning in one of the best performances we’ve seen to date. Paul Donovan fits like a glove with this latest rock and roll outfit. Like a Pro Bowl running back picked up as a free agent, Donovan learned the complicated offense as fast as he could and simply improvised on the rest. Long durations of sheer brilliance were the perfect antidote to the occasional miscues that were to be expected in the first game for this new and improved professional Rock and Roll team.
All is well in Rock Ridge Nation! Five great musicians – all on the same page – along with two of the hottest fans and supporters in the local rock world, Tina Cuervels and Sofija Donovan (above), cheering them on all the way.
Rock Ridge is:
Dave Boyce~ Lead Vocals
Ed Leland~ Guitar, Vocals
John Ceurvels~ Guitar, Vocals
Mark Torchetti~ Drums, Backup Vocals