The last time I was at Arlene’s Grocery I was playing bass, so I might be a little prejudiced, but for me Steve Jackson is the stabilizing force that drives the whole thing forward. The rhythm section of Jackson and drummer Nick Martire kept an impressive level of intensity from bursting into pandemonium as they veered from straightforward rock to jazzier and ska-infected rhythms. The songs were all written by the band except for a distinctive cover of the Velvet Underground tune Rock’n’Roll.
A band would lucky to have either Jack Orlando or Dave Marchant on guitar and The Reveries have both. Each has their own musical voice and the ability to either blaze their own path or to lock into each others notes and double up on a riff the the way Duane and Dicky did.
Bantering is its own talent and it’s something singer Joe Gusmano does well. His sense of excitement is infectious. When I saw only one mic stand set up before the band started I was worried that the vocals might get drowned out by the amps but the singer was up to the task without the help of harmonies. Brass makes a nice addition to any band and Gusmano’s trumpet playing kept the arrangements full when he wasn’t singing.
I got to meet the band members before the show and they were nice, down-to-earth guys. I caught Joe bumming a piece of paper from the bartender so he could write down the set list.
The Reveries released their newest song 335 yesterday. If you like what you hear you can catch them live in a couple of weeks on Sunday July 30 at Pianos in the East Village.