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July 28, 2014
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Fire and ice

Danny Fitzgerald, left, and Darren Wiseman performed with the "Lost, Wandering Blues & Jazz Band” in NY and PA over the last weekend.


March 5, 2014

Soup and sandwich, salt and pepper, even Bert and Ernie. Some things just go together, but fire and ice? Heading out the door last Friday, I noted that Danny Fitzgerald and the Lost Wandering Blues and Jazz Band were in the region, slated to perform on both sides of the river. Their first stop was in Bethel, NY (www.catskilldistillingcompany.com), so I grabbed the Wonder Dog and (side-stepping the ice that covered my walkway) headed out, confident that they would provide a hot time in the old town that night. Fitzgerald, now 80, has not lost any of his charisma or charm and has millions of fans around the globe. Based in Europe, Danny and his ever-changing roster of musicians have performed on both sides of the Atlantic for decades in a staggering array of venues, including appearances on television and in films, but he is just as much at home on street corners as he is playing major nightclubs in New York or Paris. Fitzgerald’s résumé is (IMHO) so impressive that I recommend using “the Google” (as my mom was fond of saying) to learn more, in case anyone alive is unaware of the guy, his music and his many accomplishments over the years.

Picking up local musicians as he traverses the globe (www.lostwandering.com) is one of Fitzgerald’s traits, and the past week is no exception. “Danny is so generous. He loves to sit back and let others shine,” said Darren Wiseman (washtub) in between sets at the distillery. “He’s a living legend. Let’s rock and roll!” Wiseman was joined by Joe Flood, Mark Herschler, Eugene Clark and Brian Price who shared vocals, trumpet, sax and guitar duties with such panache that the audience was frequently on its feet, swingin’ swayin’ and stompin’ the night away. If I hadn’t been booked the next night, I would have caught the act again in Honesdale (www.thecooperageproject.org) where, according to Wiseman, the band experienced “an amazing audience, cheering everything Fitzgerald did.” Darren went on to say that the crowd at The Cooperage “applauded after every solo. Danny was on fire!” and that he hoped I had enjoyed catching the band the night before. Rest assured, my friends and I were thrilled to take in the show, which was filled with sugar and spice (Fitzgerald is often bawdy) and all things in-between.