By Charmaine Engelsman-Robins
Alice in Chains.
Nat King Cole.
Motown (et al)…
See anything you like?
Oh good, then you’re going to have a great time when you hear MajorSeven live at the Blasé Café’s early Halloween party (Saturday, October 27 from 7 to 10 pm) because they play all of this and more. Funk and jazz, old and new, metal or mellow, there’s a great variety.
“This is a tourist town,” says front man Terry T-bone Rhodes, “so we know we’re going to be playing to a lot of different tastes from a lot of different places.” As vocalist for the five piece group, T-bone has the versatility that’s needed to cover such a wide range of genres, and the band to back him up.
Guitarist Alex Kanotz is a mid-20s talent T-Bone describes as “someone to watch,” predicting big things for him in the not-too-distant future. Bass player Jim Copeing (who also happens to be the chef who owns “Arts & Eats” in the Bradenton Arts district) with drummer Lane Ruise keep the rhythm section as funky or subtle as it needs to be over this wide repertoire, and sax player Michael Newsome plays a horn that can steal the song or smoothly wrap all the other parts together into one cohesive wave.
Whether you show up to dance and drink or eat and listen, you’re sure to find a lot to like in their purposefully wide range of something for everybody. The set lists are full of “stuff people don’t expect, but know and like” T-bone explains. His personal favorite to perform? Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” A song that sort of explains his outlook on life even when times are harsh.
Something of a Renaissance man, in addition to his band work T-bone has a Monday through Friday call-in radio show on WRBA that started out as an outreach for opioid epidemic affected sufferers and those who suffer right along with them by osmosis … friends, family members, co-workers, those who stand helplessly by and so want to help … but can’t. As time’s gone on, the forum has widened to cover such other topics as politics, healthcare, and anything else on America’s mind. You can check it out via the WRBA app any weekday from 6 to 7 pm and participate by calling in on 941.250.9282 from anywhere you are. And call they do. From the Florida beaches to the backwoods of Arkansas, more people participate every day.
On a more light-hearted note, T-Bone’s musical interest also extends to theatre. He performed in the Sarasota Players Theatre production of Miss Saigon, and was (in his words) “the black guy” in what was then the Venice “Little” Theatre’s record-breaking run of The Full Monty. And that’s all I’m saying about THAT.
As if this wasn’t enough to keep anybody busy, T-Bone’s also done some film work and is currently caught up in what he calls his “real passion:” Directing. The first film of his own (now in the works) is called Happen & Chance, which he describes as “sort of a conflict resolution film that all comes together in the end.” He is proud to add that the company he works with works clean, producing strictly quality PG films.
If you’ve already experienced the Blasé Cafe, you know there isn’t a better place for a Halloween party, so make a night of it and come in costume to experience and enjoy the music of MajorSeven. The band will be decked out too (we assume not in the Full Monty wardrobe) and we promise it’ll be a treat!