Hamilton Blues Society May 25th Showcase: Bucket List Is Ready To Rumble

The Bucket List band is one of a kind.

Diverse in personality types as you could imagine. They do, however, share a common thread of being in the "over fifty" age bracket, which makes it fairly remarkable that
A) they can still do this, and
B) they are dedicated to trying out some new stuff, and
C) they completely energized the room during their eight-song set.

One can almost see each Bucket-Lister breaking out of his aging shell the minute the music starts. This love for great music is their critical share-point, and they all want to make sure each musical arrangement is slanted in a direction they approve.

Ralph Lefevre carves an iconic figure
Photo: Ivan Sorensen

Front-man John Staley covers the vocals and bass, accompanied by Dave Dalgleish on keyboards, Ralph Lefevre on guitar, and Glen Brown on drums. Dalgleish alone with his swiveling hips and infectious boogie dance behind the keys is worth the price of the show. The horn section consisting of  trumpet, John Godek on tenor sax, and Carl Korody on trombone left no doubts that they can pack a punch, while being only slightly less animated in their actions.

Front man John Staley
Photo: Ivan Sorensen

Bucket List broke the New York City-based ban on Mustang Sally and opened their set with the well-worn R&B classic, but this was the least-boring version of the tune to be heard anywhere.

Conferring with band members after the show, I learned that Staley has a knack for instantly re-arranging songs during the show (which talented front man doesn't?) so it is a testament to the band's collective experience that they always ended up enjoying the ride, staying in the moment and arriving safely at the destination station, no matter what train wreck threatened.

Bucket List at Porcelain Records
Photo: Bill Watson

And the Bucket List train is a big one. Powerful. Convincing. Shaking the earth, even. Without skipping a beat or faltering they motored through a veritable smorgasbord of popular blues-based material: Crossroads, One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer, My Own Way To Rock, Sweet Home Chicago, Steamroller Blues, What'd I Say, and Red Rooster. They even pulled out an arrangement of Spooky, made popular by the Atlanta Rhythm Section in the seventies.

Bucket List: Blues forged in The Hammer. For your entertainment.