On Saturday, November 20, 2010 the Center Street Band will be joining forces with To the Max, Shade, Christopher Robin, Daniela Cardillo,and Holden Truelove in a benefit tribute to Keith Lebo and Jimmy DeSantie at the Wesport Playhouse. This night of music will benefit the Swim Across the Sound fund for pancreatic cancer research. The benefit will also include refreshments and a silent auction.
Keith Lebo was the guitarist for the Center Street Band from 2005 until his illness in 2009. He lost his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer in August, 2009. In addition to the Center Street Band, Keith played with several bands during his musical career. He started in the 1960s with drummer George O'Grodnick in Doo-Wah and the Diddys, Sunny Vance and the In Group, and Potters Field. During the 1970s, he was an integral part of Castle, which included CSB founder Howard Russell and current guitar player, Paul Gabriel. More recently, Keith played with Shade and To the Max, before finding his way to the Center Street Band.
In addition to his superb guitar skills, Keith was also an outstanding songwriter and producer in his own right. On this night, we hope to be releasing a collection of Keith's material, in what will essentially be Keith's CD release party. Proceeds from this CD that night will also be going to the Swim's fight against pancreatic cancer.
Please join us in contributing to the hope that there will finally be a successful strategy against this disease.
To purchase tickets, call 203-227-4177 or visit www.westportplayhouse.org.
The Rhythym Aces - an R&B and Blues trio consisting of George O'Grodnick, Paul Gabriel, and Tim Murphy will be playing at Lanza in Ansonia on Thursday, March 4 during happy hour (6-9). Keep posted on facebook for more events from this CSB subset.
Willie White will be hosting a St. Patrick's Day open house on Monday night, March 14 at Slainte on Rt 63 in Naugatuck. Bring your Celtic instruments and your voice and come down and have a pint with the star.
Johnny Ho, our former bass player, is basking in the sun in Hollywood, Florida with his band, Bootleg. If you are lucky enough to be down in the area, check out Johnny's facebook page for gig listings.
John Young has been doing some keyboard tracks for Tom Budreau and the Orphans at Tom's Bonehead Studio in Cheshire. They have been working on an album for the RPM 2010 challenge, an annual event in which you record and produce an entire album during the month of Feburary.
After years of jetting up and down the East Coast, bass player John Hovnanian (Johnny Ho) and the band have agreed to part ways (If you love someone, set them free...). Veteran bass player and musician Tim Murphy of the Mojomatics will be replacing Johnny on bass. Johnny was more than just our bass player. He is a great friend and we wish him all the best down in sunny Florida.
It is with great sadness that we learned that our guitarist and friend, Keith Lebo, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Slick was an inspiring and multi-talented musician and songwriter who held the lead guitar spot in the band from March 2005 until April of this year. The band offers its deepest sympathies to his wife, Charlene (who came with Keith to every CSB gig) and all the members of Keith's family.
Debbie and Tim Leonard have sadly announced that they have sold the Cafe 127. The iconic biker bar on Center Street in Shelton will close on Sunday, April 15. Debbie and Tim will be having a last call that Sunday from 3:00 to 9:00 PM.
Over the past 20 years, the Cafe 127 has become known for its biker and non-biker friendly atmosphere. Its been blessed with some of the best bartenders and support staff around. And on Friday nights, it has been able to book some of the most talented musicians in the Southern Connecticut area, who've kept them "dancin' on the bar".
The Center Street Band played a hell of a couple of sets on Friday, April 6 to close out their gig as the Cafe 127 house band. A number of former players showed up and sat in, showing that once you are in the Center Street Band, you never really leave...
Hubinger Street will be pulling the curtain on Friday, April 13 for what should be a great show.
All we can say is best wishes to Debbie and Tim. Center Street will never be quite the same.
At the request of our good friend and favorite bar owner, Debbie Leonard, the Center Street Band has agreed to come back from our self-imposed exile a little earlier than expected. We will be returning to the Cafe 127 in Shelton on Good Friday, April 6, 2007. A good Friday will be had by all.
We want to thank everyone who came to our farewell party on November 24. We hope you had as good a time as we did. It was great to see some of our old friends and ex-bandmates. We had some nice surprises. Ray Corey did his version of "All Along the Watchtower". Paul Georgia sang "Can't You See" and sat in on drums for "Mustang Sally". Howard Eldridge of the Blues Brothers and the Y.R.B. Band sang one of our favorite Allman Brothers tunes, "One Way Out". And Dana Place showed up as our videographer for the night. We will be posting some of Dana's movies soon.
We'll have some videos for you soon, but for the time being, we've got some photos to share with you.
The Center Street Band
after a hard day's night
As Debbie, our favorite bar owner toasts:
a fine Irish lad.
CSB bass player #4
Mighty G.O. and Slick K.
Some old and new faces in Center Street Band history.
After 18 years, the Center Street Band has decided to take a break. While we are not breaking up, we have decided to take a much needed rest. We hope to return some time in the future, but we not sure exactly when.
Please join us for our "farewell" performance at the Cafe 127 in Shelton on Friday, November 24 (Thanksgiving weekend).
And stay tuned to the www.CenterStBand.com website for future information about our future return, reunions, solo and side projects, spinoffs, open mics, other local bands, and other information of interest.
Thank you for being the best friends and fans in the world. We will truly miss you all.
Drummer George O'Grodnick is doing fine after a medical episode at the July gig at the Cafe 127. Geo had some chest pains after the first set and was driven to the hospital. Fortunately, it turned out to be a muscle pull, but he gave us all quite a scare. After some much needed rest, he's feeling much better.
As luck would have it, our good friend Paul Georgia was at the 127 that night, as it was one of the few nights that the Bernadettes had a night off. Paul sat in and finished the night, doing a great job as always. Many thanks, Paul.
Local singer/songwriter Robert Allen Mycko was at the Cafe 127 gig on June 30. Bob came up and sang his latest hit "American Hero" with the band. This song is about a mother left home to care for her children while her husband is off fighting in the war. It was been getting some significant play time on local and internet radio stations lately.
Local Singer and Songwriter Bob Mycko stopped by the Cafe 127 this Friday and sat in for Roadhouse Blues. Bob has recently be getting great press for his recent hit "You're My American Hero", which he has been invited to sing with the band next month.
Also on hand this month was our old friend, Ray Corey, who came up and sang All Along the Watchtower, as only the laddie could do it. Its always great to see Ray.
Keith Lebo returns to the Center Street Band at the Cafe 127 on Friday, April 28. Its been a few months since his surgery, and he is finally healed and ready to rock. Come on down Friday to welcome Keith back!
Our old buddy and former guitar player, Paul Gabriel, has been sitting in for Keith Lebo for the past couple of months as Keith recovers from surgery. Keith's recovery has gone a little slower than expected, so fortunately for us, Gabe has had some open dates available that matched up with our schedule. At this point, Keith is letting nature take its course, so we don't have a date for his return. He is keeping himself busy in his personal studio, so if you would like to hear any of the material he is working on, you can check out his website at keithlebo.com.
Guitarist Keith Lebo is headed for surgery in December to take care of a nagging disk problem in his neck. Slick's absence may affect the CSB schedule for a month or two, so any changes will be posted on the website. We all wish Keith the best for a successful operation and a speedy recovery.
Neither rain, nor lightning, nor thunder would stop the Center Street Band from playing the benefit block dance on Saturday, September 17 for the Harvest House campaign sponsored by the Corporate Volunteer Council of the Valley United Way. Thanks to the Farmers Market building, we were able to rock out for the many volunteers that collected over 100,000 cans of food for Valley shelters. Congratulations to the CVC on a job well done.
Also, many thanks to Phil Soltis of the Fast Lane Band for filling in on drums. Great job, Phil.
Thanks to bassist Dave Anastasia of the Hoodoo Band for filling in for J-Ho. Also, thanks to Gabe for showing up and sitting in after his solo gig at the Liquid Lunch. It was a fine evening.
The Center Street Band will be back in downtown Shelton as part of the Shelton Parks and Recreation Concert Series on Wednesday, July 6 (rain date July 7) for a concert on the Shelton Green (the slab). The show starts at 7:00 PM. The Shelton Green is located on the corner of Cornell and Canal Streets in downtown Shelton, where the former "slab" foundation of B F Goodrich was. While you are down there, check out the new River walk, which borders the Housatonic River. There is plenty of parking in the Cornell Street lot and lots close by. BYOC (bring your own chairs...)
At the Cafe 127 in May:
Our good buddy and occasional fill-in drummer, Paul Georgia, of the Bernadettes.
At the Oxford Ale House in May:
Our friends, Rick Rivets, formerly of the New York Dolls, the Brats, and currently with the Corpse Grinders and Andy Doback of Whiplash Records. Nice to see you guys.
At the Cafe 127 in April:
Dana Place, former bass player with CSB. Dana sat in with the band for One Way Out. Pat Gregor, keyboard player of the Hoodoo Band stopped by. And Ray Corey was seen with his trademark Guiness in his hand.
Guitarist Keith Lebo of Fairfield, CT made his debut with the Center Street Band at the Cafe 127 on Friday, March 29. It was a great night. Keith and the band wish to thank all our friends and fans for the warm reception. For more information about Mr. Lebo, check out his web site. Keith's talent and fine guitar licks are bound to move the Center Street Band in a new direction and help write another page in the CSB history book. The band welcomes Keith to all the madness.
It is with great sadness that we learned that Howie Russell passed away at his home on Sunday, March 13, 2005. Howie was the founder, and spiritual leader of the Center Street Band until his departure in July, 2003. The members of the band express their deepest sympathy to Helen, Howie III, Jason, and the rest of Howie's family. We will try our best to carry on his legacy. We will miss his direction, his perfect pitch, and his innocent grin.
Howie, we love you. Peace be with you.
Paul Gabriel played his farewell gig with the Center Street Band on Friday, February 25. It was a terrific crowd and a great time was had by all. The audience also got a peek at our new lead guitar player, Keith Lebo. We all wish Gabe the best with his new endeavors, and we won't be surprised if he sneaks back in once in a while for a guest spot. To find out what Gabe is up to, check out his web site at www.paulgabriel.net.