Anthony Geraci’s All-Star Band Amazes a Sold-Out Crowd

Critically acclaimed keyboard player Anthony Geraci and his all-star band blew away a sold-out house at 9 Wallis on February 22nd. Blues guitar virtuoso Monster Mike Welch and Boston’s legendary singer/harmonica player Dennis Brennan joined him for a very special evening of music.

Geraci has been an in-demand sideman for decades, and it’s very clear to tell why he’s been invited to play with Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, BB King, and many others when you hear him play. When I talked to him before the show, he told me some stories about the people he’s played with, and he has so many amazing stories from all across his career.

When Geraci plays a solo on his keyboard, he tells a story. He speaks to the audience without a single sound coming out of his mouth. Anthony Geraci is without question one of the finest blues pianists in New England.

Anthony Geraci
Monster Mike Welch

Guitarist Monster Mike Welch has been in the music business since he was a teenager, playing blues jams and small clubs. Now at age 40, Welch is a seasoned professional and an international touring artist.

 

Welch is a great guitarist technically, yes. However, he is a rare example of a guitarist people go to see because of how he makes you feel. The emotion Welch’s guitar playing makes you feel is simply amazing. It’s something that can’t be described, you have to see Welch live to experience what I’m attempting to describe in writing. It’s something that you must experience live for yourself.

One of the clear highlights of the night was when Welch performed “Right Place Wrong Time” by Otis Rush. For someone not known for his singing, Welch is a surprisingly good singer. His voice is very distinctive, and he sang that song really well.

He didn’t announce it, but I could tell that he played that song for Mike Ledbetter. You could feel all the pain Welch has been through during that song. I definitely felt it, and you could tell the crowd did as well. Mike Welch is a perfect example of not needing to play a thousand notes at once to be a great guitar player. He makes every single note matter. I urge you to see Welch if you haven’t before. And if you have, you know how great he is.

Monster Mike Welch & Anthony Geraci
Dennis Brennan & Mudcat Ward

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and harmonica player Dennis Brennan is a legend in the Boston music scene. With his solo career spanning almost 30 years, Brennan has earned a reputation for the remarkable talent that he is.

Dennis Brennan is the full package and has everything you’d want in a musician. An excellent singer, great writer, terrific musician on multiple instruments, and a great person on top of that. He is one of the best-hidden talents we have here in Boston. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of his artistry outside the Boston area. However, everyone in the local music scene knows how fortunate we are to have such a gem here in Boston.

Guitarist Charlie O’Neal (Delta Generators, Grits & Groceries Orchestra) is the newest member of Geraci’s band. He came and played about half the set with the band. O’Neal is one of the smoothest guitar players in Boston. He makes everything he does seem effortless You see some guitar players making all these faces and running around the stage, whereas O’Neal will shred an amazing solo while casually looking out the window. I’ve always thought that he’s the real deal and that show proved my point.

 
Anthony Geraci, Charlie O'Neal, Jeff Armstrong

The entire show was excellent, but the clear highlight of the night was their cover of “I Apologize” by the legendary Barrett Strong. “I Apologize” is actually on the back of “Money (That’s What I Want)”, Motown’s first hit record. It’s not nearly as well known as “Money”, but just as great of a song. Geraci and the band did an outstanding rendition of it with Brennan tackling the lead vocal. The back and forth guitar solos between Welch & O’Neal made the song. It was an incredible finale to a great show.

If you’ve never seen Anthony Geraci and his band before you’re missing out. He’s in New England all the time at great local venues. Next time he’s in your area, do yourself a favor and go. You’ll be glad you did.

Find out more about Anthony Geraci at his website: AnthonyGeraciBlue.com and follow him on social media via the links below.

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