It’s been 20 years since the Philadelphia trio of G. Love & Special Sauce first appeared on the music scene with their alternative hip hop, “sloppy” laid-back jazz sound.
Yeah, you read that right—alternative … hip hop … laid-back … sloppy … jazz.
Oh yeah, and they’re very bluesy. And there is a lot of classic R&B in their sound.
Let’s face it, there’s a lot going on musically when G. Love & Special Sauce jam. And there’s not a lot of bands out there that can pull off a combo like that, let alone make it for 20 years since the release of their first album, G. Love & Special Sauce, in 1994.
But in 2014, the band is back with a new album, Sugar, a hot new single, “Nothing Quite Like Home,” and are touring with their original line-up—Garrett “G Love” Dutton, Jeffrey “The Houseman” Clemens (drums) and James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott (bass)—for the first time in eight years.
The group hits Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on January 3 at The Music Box.
Tony Bennett is timeless.
Now on the surface that seems like a pretty standard publicist’s type of thing to say about a singer who had his first No. 1 hit, “Because of You,” in 1951 and saw his most beloved song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” released in 1962.
But Bennett—who performs November 28 in the Borgata Event Center—doesn’t need some slick code for “old” or “from yesteryear.” Not when he has the No. 1 album in the country right now in 2014.
That’s right. His No. 1 album Cheek to Cheek, featuring classic duets with the very modern Lady Gaga—you may have seen Bennett’s and Gaga’s recent live televised concert special on PBS—is being hailed by critics for introducing jazz to a new generation.
On the charts at No. 1 in 1951. On the charts at No. 1 in 2014.
Tony Bennett, at 88, is still new.
His secret? He stays true to himself and sings the standards of American music that can touch any generation. And since his revival with young audiences in the 1990s (Anyone remember Tony at the “MTV Video Music Awards” at the height of the grunge era?) he’s sung them with a litany of great artists, old and new, from Christina Aguilera to Willy Nelson to Amy Winehouse to Billy Joel and so many more.
Wanda Sykes plays Borgata’s Music Box November 7 & 8. So here’s a quick Wanda Sykes quiz.
Which of these three quotes come from Sykes?
“I can hear my mother now: ‘What? Oh, you gonna get a divorce? It’s just that easy, huh? Things get hard, things get rough – you just want to throw in the towel, just like that. Let me tell you something, that’s a bunch of bull. Let me tell you something – your father and I had a shootout, OK? He took one in the arm – Harry, show her where I shot you – now, see that’s love right there. You gotta learn how to work these things out. He was wrong, I shot him – you move on.”
“I don’t understand this whole Elvis thing. There are dead people in my family that we miss and love dearly, but shoot, we don’t dress up like them and do impressions. I’ll show up at the family reunion in a dirty t-shirt and a bald cap – ‘Look, everybody, I’m Uncle Earl.’”
“I love doing stand-up, because it gives me the freedom to say what I really want to say. I think that’s why it’s my favorite thing to do.”
The answer? All three.
Wanda Sykes has carved out an impressive TV career with stints on “The Chris Rock Show,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Curb your Enthusiasm,” her own late night talk show and a bunch of HBO comedy specials. And that’s not even mentioning films like “Bruce Almighty” and “Monster in Law.” She’s a writer, actor and producer.
You know comedian Jeff Ross—who is appearing November 1 at the Borgata Music Box—from his many stints on Comedy Central’s celebrity roasts.
Ross has been one of the main comics to breathe some life back into the roast format—where some poor celeb is berated with a mixture of insult jokes with really insulting jokes.
Ross is so much a part of the format, he bills himself the Roastmaster General.
So that’s where you know him from, which is all well and good. It’s much, much worse, however, when he knows you, as celebs from Pamela Anderson to Krusty the Clown (on a recent episode of “The Simpsons”) have found out.
As Ross puts it, “Diss is my Life.”
“I never planned on making fun of people for a living,” says Ross at his roastmaster general website. “It happened by accident. In fact, my whole life has been a series of happy and not-so-happy accidents that have transformed me into the black belt in busting balls that I am today. I like being known as the meanest man in comedy, but I must admit that it’s a blessing and a curse. It’s not a bad way to make a living, but every now and then somebody wants to kill me.”
The story of singer/songwriter Justin Hayward, who appears October 31st at the Borgata Music Box, is a strange tale of a musician taken over and heavily influenced by a diabolical device known as the Mellotron.
This spooky machine led to one of the most influential symphonic rock bands of all time making late laments and giving their sound over to an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard.
And that’s just scary … or maybe just a little moody. And blue?
Ok, it’s not scary at all. We’re stretching.
The truth is that Hayward, longtime lead singer of The Moody Blues and writer of such hits as “Nights in White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Question” is playing the Music Box on Halloween because, well it’s a Friday and a big party—Halloween is always a party at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa—and that’s always a good time to bring in one of the legendary stars of classic rock.
And Hayward certainly qualifies as the frontman for the band’s glory days starting in 1966 and penning most of The Moody Blue’s biggest hits.
At this point, the truth is out there about longtime comedian Bob Saget, who appears October 25 at the Borgata Music Box.
Yeah, yeah, he played good-natured dad Danny Tanner on the hit TV sitcom “Full House” from 1987 to 1995. And he was also the host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” from 1989 to 1997. Since then he’s been a game-show host, the voice of narrator Ted Mosby on “How I Met Your Mother” and a regular on “Entourage.”
So that’s a pretty family friendly resume. But if you think that you’ll see a family friendly stand-up act from Saget at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in October, you haven’t been paying attention (the “Entourage” credit should have tipped you off).
Saget’s blue comedy and obscenity-laced stand-up act is as famous as anything he ever did as the loving dad Danny Tanner.
Just google “America’s Filthiest Home Videos” if you don’t believe us to see a short Saget recently did on the web series Speakeasy from Made Man. But make sure you know what you’re getting into. “Blue” may be too subtle a description.
Did you ever see one of those Magic Eye 3D posters that became so popular in the 90s? You know the images that just look like a pattern of colors, but when you look closely—deeply even—a 3D image appears within the picture.
Well, comedian Brian Regan’s comedy is something like that.
Let us explain.
You know Regan—who appears October 4 at the Borgata Event Center—from his more than 25-year career as one of the premiere stand-ups in the country. He’s a regular on late-night talk shows (more than 25 appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman) and Comedy Central and has put out several comedy CDs including “All by Myself” in 2010.
He’s known for his goofy expressions, physical comedy and his dry observational humor (which is pretty clean by the way, so bring the kids) focusing on the little things in life, from the pressures of spelling bees to how drivers wave each other into lanes.
In other words, he looks deeply at everyday things.
In 1981, anyone who bragged of having a good record collection (yes, vinyl records still ruled) had a copy of Foreigner 4.
Cleverly titled as it was the fourth album from the British/American arena rock gods Foreigner, the album included some of the group’s most iconic hits including “Urgent”, “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and “Juke Box Hero”.
An entire generation of air guitarists alone playing “Juke Box Hero” helped propel the album to more than 6 million copies sold in the U.S. and a 10-week stint at No. 1 on the album charts (which was a record for Atlantic Records artists). Worldwide, the album sold more than 9 million copies.
(Note for younger people: Music fans used to buy entire albums at once, which came in a cardboard sleeve. Or at least a cassette tape. No downloads.)
Those were heady days, and Foreigner and Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa are bringing them back again with special October 3 & 4 performances of “The Best of Foreigner 4 & More,” an homage to the band’s most successful album ever. The shows will be held at Borgata’s Music Box.
The two shows are the last U.S. stop on Foreigner’s current tour before the band heads off to Europe. The band will debut an entirely new set consisting of the best of Foreigner 4 along with several other chart hits.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Bay Atlantic Symphony close out this summer’s concert series September 20 with a little something different.
In the symphony’s two previous concerts at the Borgata Music Box, things have gone decidedly classical—as symphony concerts usually do. The concerts featured world-renowned soloists, including international superstar pianist Yuja Wang, the symphony’s principal clarinetist Christopher Di Santo, and acclaimed violinist Amy Beth Horman.
But for the final show, the symphony is going all Great White Way.
This concert is dubbed Broadway A-Z, ABBA to Les Miz, and is the Bay-Atlantic Symphony’s Seventh Annual Gala Concert featuring the music that has defined the magic of Broadway for generations.
Broadway A-Z, ABBA to Les Miz features some of Broadway’s greatest all-time hits—from Jerome Kern to Comden and Green—performed by Broadway stars Teri Dale Hansen and Jeremiah James accompanied by the Symphony conducted by Music Director Jed Gaylin.
Songs from “Show Boat,” “Les Misèrables,” “Guys and Dolls,” “The King and I,” “Peter Pan,” “Rent,” “West Side Story,” “La Cage aux Folles,” “Cabaret” and “The Music Man,” will be featured. If that doesn’t cover the full gamut of Broadway history, we don’t know what does.
Fans of comedian Chris Tucker have to be a patient bunch. There’s no Kardashian-like media blitz when it comes to Tucker’s career.
His 2012 role in “Silver Linings Playbook” was his first movie role in five years since “Rush Hour 3” (a movie that briefly made him the highest paid actor in Hollywood) in 2007—a film franchise he hopes to reprise with a Rush Hour 4.
No, Tucker is too much of a perfectionist and too involved with his family life to rush his own career. But in 2011, Tucker did return to his roots by beginning to play comedy clubs again.
“I waited a long time and the right things weren’t coming to me—the roles I was offered weren’t that challenging—so I started trying to develop a bunch of projects for myself,” Tucker told The Daily Beast in 2012 (he doesn’t do a lot of interviews either). “I was always looking and hoping the right thing would come. I knew stepping back a bit and going back to my stand-up roots would help me gain perspective.”
Tucker fans can see some of that perspective when the comedian plays at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa this Saturday, August 23 in the Event Center. Tucker’s Borgata appearance is one of only three remaining shows he has scheduled for the year and the only stop on the East Coast.