By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz
For The Daily Item
The weekend gets an early start tomorrow night — the local music scene will be alive and well with a party atmosphere when the aptly-named band Alive & Well bring its old-school-style of classic rock to The Links at Hemlock Creek in Bloomsburg.
For more than a decade Alive & Well, formerly known as Avenue B, has been one of the area’s best classic rock bands owing their longevity and popularity to the fact they provided the music classic rock audiences want to hear and dance to.
“This is the music I grew up with. The classic sounds of artists like Bob Seger, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel and ZZ Top,” said Doug Lynn, drummer for the four-piece band. “Music has changed a lot since the band first started and changed even more since this type of music we play first came out. You come to one of our shows and it takes you back to the day when you first heard these songs on the radio.”
Helping to keep the band alive and well are seasoned players such as Rick Bennett, the band’s lead singer and front-man with a reputation for being able to take on a variety of musical styles giving Alive and Well the versatility needed to please almost any audience.
Lead guitarist is “Handsome” Harry Davis, a skilled and smooth music maker known in local music circles as the “Top Gun” for his impressive guitar work and stage presence.
“Harry is an awesome guitar play and anyone who hears him is amazed how good he is,” Lynn said. “We’re excited to have him on board and helping the band continue to grow and take on new projects.”
Rounding out the band’s musical lineup is Ray Harner providing guitar and vocal work that keeps the band on the right note.
”We have a great group of guys in the band and whenever we play we always give it 110 percent,” Lynn said. “And since we have been playing together for so long, we know what the next guy is going to do or how they are going to play a certain song, which makes the band have a tighter sound.”
Taking a small respite from the band but always in attendance is the ever-talented Jim Rupert who continues to lend his vast musical knowledge to the group.
In addition to creating a tighter sound and ease on stage, being a seasoned musician can also be enlightening.
“When you’re just getting started in music you want to play only the songs you like and like to hear. You could buy an album and learn not only the A side but also know the B side too,” he said. “But when you get in front of a crowd, it might be great you know both sides of an album but maybe the crowd only wants to hear the A side, the more popular songs. So you learn to play what the people want to hear and not what you like personally.”
Additionally, with age comes wisdom and the ability to judge a venue’s size and dynamics and play according to what it needs, such as turning down the volume in small venues and cranking it up and letting the music go wild when the setting allows.
No matter where they perform, Alive & Well has a style that combines the edgy and gritty aspects of Bob Seger or Joe Cocker with the classic rock and roll vibe of Jimmy Buffett and ZZ Top with a bit of Elvis thrown into the musical mix for an added kick.
Their music can be hear across the Valley at such popular locations as Quaker Steak & Lube in Buckhorn, the Scoreboard in Bloomsburg, Turkey Hill Brewery in Bloomsburg and one of their most anticipated gigs, the annual Fourth of July celebration in Millville.
“No matter where we are playing, our goal is to make sure the crowd has an amazing time, they get up and dance and just enjoy themselves,” Lynn said. “I love making music and seeing the crowd have fun.”