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BANDEOKE AT HIGH STAKES ~ on Thursday Nights
Written By: Tish Michel
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BANDEOKE AT HIGH STAKES ~ on Thursday Nights
Judith Cooper, Jay Vizzini, Novella Wiegand, Rick Nelson and Arlene; back Dew Maisel, Flo Hudak & Tom. Great job guys - thanks for such a fun evening!
BANDEOKE AT HIGH STAKES ~ on Thursday Nights
Paige Stevenson won the Disney Dream Ticket for American Idol and performs for Idol's Executive Producer 7/24 - send her good vibes that morning!
BANDEOKE AT HIGH STAKES ~ on Thursday Nights
Rich Johnson playing the blues for us at High Stakes; Ray Perrone enjoying the show.
BANDEOKE AT HIGH STAKES ~ on Thursday Nights
Jordan Mears, Ray Perrone, Cathy (Jeff's delightful dancing friend), Jeff Davis & Ronnie Fulkerson.

    Oh yes, Dew (my gent) and I head over to High Stakes on RT 54 most Thursday nights for Bandeoke with Go With The Flo.  This band, headed by Flo Hudak, is just fabulous; Flo is a dynamo with such energy, charm, charisma and talent. So you ask, what is Bandeoke? Flo (vocals and percussion), Rick Nelson (bass and vocals), Ronnie Fulkerson (drums and vocals) and Rich Palmer (guitar and vocals) provide an outstanding and most encouraging setting for you to add your talent by singing and/or playing your instrument along with the band. Judith Cooper (guitar and vocals) helped Flo get the High Stakes gig fifteen months ago and is a regular band addition for Bandeoke shows. Flo has a special cheer for all the first-time performers with her band, making them feel so very welcome. Three new folks were added to her long list of “newbies” last night and they all did great with Flo’s enthusiastic support and encouragement.
    Not only do “newbie’s” come out for the fun; many of my favorite musicians frequently come to Bandeoke, with the exception of our dear friend Randy Lee Ashcraft because he has a regular conflicting gig just down the road. Ronnie turns over his drums to Joe Mama (plays with everyone), Ray Perrone (Old School), Frank Del Piano (One Night Stand), and my Dew along with a bunch of other drummers. Last night Jeff Davis (Full Circle and Chest Pains) showed up for a turn at the bass. Erv Cassell (Old School), Ted Galinas (Mood Swingers), and Eric Campbell (One Night Stand) also make frequent appearances playing bass. Vince Daddio (Tear the Roof Off), Chris Button (Chest Pains, 2Guyz and a Mama, and Simple Truth), Jay Vizzini (Thin Ice), Mike Smith (Old School), Mark Rierson (One Night Stand), John LaMere, Randy Grimm (Randy Jamz All Star Band) are just a smattering of the guitarists who have taken part in Bandeoke. Flo has lots of great vocalists helping her out including Linda Sears (Old School), Novella Wiegand (Tor Dominco) and CT’s own Brenda Golden.
    There are a number of talented harmonica players including Terry Tinnix and Charlie Optman who show up on a regular basis to add to the fun. And then there is the most talented violinist John Heinz – he’s a frequent bandeoker – what a treat!  John Heinz can play his fiddle any style, anytime, anywhere with anyone and it always sounds fabulous!
    Now please keep reading as I tell you about a few folks you may not know. First, let me introduce you to vocalist Paige Stevenson. Paige was just sixteen when she started coming to Bandeoke. Flo and her band have worked with Paige and I’ve so enjoyed watching her stage presence and vocal talent grow. Paige just graduated from Indian River and has some truly exciting news. She competed in the high school week try outs in Florida last spring at Disney and came in first which awarded her the “Dream Ticket” to American Idol.  This means that she skips the entry level tryouts for Idol and goes right to the Executive Producer round. This is scheduled for next Thursday, July 24, starting at 7am in New York. Please keep Paige in your thoughts and prayers and send good vibes her way on the 24th. We’ll find out at Bandeoke that night if we’ll see her on American Idol next fall. Meanwhile, Flo is having Paige sing lots at Bandeoke and gave her a song to learn in five minutes last night in prep for her idol experience. Paige just nailed the song and Flo and the rest of us regulars are just so proud of this amazing gal.
    Another student from Indian River High School is fifteen year old Jordan Mears.  He’s just awesome with his fender strat; it’s so hard to believe this talented self taught young man has never had a guitar lesson.  The talented teens in the Parental Guidance band also have delighted us at Bandeoke. So has the seriously gifted Lennon LaRicci on keyboards with his dad Rick (guitar). Yeah, youngins’!
    Now just let me mention Rich Johnson.  He and his dear wife Helen retired last fall and moved from Florida to Ocean Pines.  Rich showed up one night last fall and had me totally captivated before he finished the first round of a twelve bar blues song.  Wow – Rich is such a gifted bluesman both vocally and on his Fender Strat guitar.  Before he finished his first song I was thinking “sure hope John Heinz shows up tonight – they would really hit it off together.”  I made it a point to introduce myself to Rich and Helen and guess who then walked into High Stakes. That’s right – John Heinz. When Rich and John join Rich Barton and the rest of Flo’s band, it’s simply magic. Wow, oh wow, do I love Bandeoke! Yes, my friends, look for this snow-white haired guitarist – he’s now playing with Dr. Harmonica as well as the newly formed XOX band out of Delaware.  XOX is an eclectic mix of contemporary, rock, folk, country and blues with Rich playing acoustic guitar.  Just bet you’ll love him as much as I do!
    High Stakes is a family owned and run bar and restaurant and has a most comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. Flo and her band so lovingly make one and all feel a part of Bandeoke wether you perform or just enjoy. This is why so many of our professional musicians, amateurs, want to be musicians and music lovers head to High Stakes Thursday nights.Paige Stevenson won the Disney Dream Ticket for American Idol and performs for Idol's Executive Producer 7/24 - send her good vibes that morning! Hope to see you there!

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