Three dances at the Blue Goose

Hoy kicks off Rites of Summer May 20

May 10, 2017
Johnny Hoy

Northport — That Little Town Rocks, a three-dance Rites of Summer Dance series, is set for the Blue Goose Dance Center on Route 1. The series opens with a bang Saturday night, May 20, with the welcome return of Johnny Hoy & The Bluefish with special guest Sax Gordon.

Gordon “Sax” Beadle was inspired to write the song “That Little Town Rocks” after numerous dates playing “The Goose” in the heyday of the Mid Coast Dance Club’s 15-year stretch. Starting in 1991, when Johnny Hoy and his newly formed band The Bluefish came up from Martha’s Vineyard to play a benefit dance for Bucksport’s State Taxpayers Opposed to Pollution,” The MCDC brought new life to the Blue Goose dance hall by sponsoring chem-free, all ages, fundraising dance parties.

Working with bands from Boston’s thriving rhythm & blues scene and bringing in national acts, the dance floor (arguably one of the best in the state of Maine) was kept pulsating. The Midcoast dance crowd was satisfied, energized and, more often than not, asking for more.

“With the 2017 Rites of Summer Dance Series, more is what they will have, ” said organizer Howard Gallagher, adding “We are extremely lucky to have Sax Gordon adding his ‘extreme sax’ to all three performances.”

This year, Gordon’s schedule has him headlining and playing at festivals and club dates in France, Spain, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Italy, Lithuania, Romania and South America. Gordon brings the great tradition of American rhythm & blues saxophone alive like no other. From honking R&B sax workouts to gutbucket blues; wild rockers to deep ballads; and soul sax preaching to swing dance classics.

“Here, we will have the opportunity to enjoy his electrifying stage presence in three musical settings,” said Gallagher.

The series offers Hoy’s funky roots-rocking ensemble May 20; a true blues evening with Sugar Ray & The Bluetones Friday, June 2; and wrapping it up with The Love Dogs and their boogie-woogie, swing, jump and jive Saturday, June 3. Doors will open at 8 p.m. on show nights, and the music runs 8:30 p.m. to midnight.

Although the band has just returned from the Nidaros Festival in Norway, Johnny Hoy & The Bluefish usually keep closer to home with their playing schedule. The tight, four-piece band is well known for its nonstop groove and dancing hooks. Hoy is a consummate showman with a room-filling voice and harp work; and Jeremy Berlin shows his virtuosity on keyboards, holding down both bass and lead. With new members Eric Ducoff on guitar and Rob Soltz on drums, this power quartet with razor-sharp musical chops will once again have the dance floor packed for the evening.

All dances are smoke- and chem-free, and all ages are welcome. Tickets are $20, $10 for those younger than 12. For more information, call 322-5651 or email themidcoastdanceclub@gmail.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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