Beach House In North Falmouth Showcasing Blues Music
By: DEBORAH SCANLON, February 26, 2014
From longtime bluesmaster George Gritzbach to 14-year-old guitar phenom Aaron Norcross, The Beach House in North Falmouth is showcasing soulful music on a weekly basis with its 5 PM Blue Sundays.
Owner Patrick H. Bonzagni said that with the closing of Harry’s Bar in Hyannis, there is a void on the Cape.
“There aren’t many places to hear the blues here anymore,” he said. He would like to make his restaurant/bar a blues venue on Sundays, he said, and to continue the concept into the summer, “although 5 o’clock might be too early on a sunny day. I might start the band at 9 PM during the summer.”
The Beach House is popular with all ages. Customers at a recent Sunday concert commented on the “nice mix of a family-friendly bar with great music and food.”
That evening, Aaron Norcross Jr. of Marion was performing with his band, the Old Dogs. The young guy, Aaron, a student at Old Rochester High School, has been playing guitar since he was 7. Close your eyes, and you think that Stevie Ray Vaughn is with us again. Really.
“This kid is unbelievable,” one blues aficionado said at the end of the show.
Aaron covers Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Who and Albert King, and has written some songs of his own. He hesitates to choose his favorites, but then mentions two blues bands popular long before he was born, Gary Moore, who started making music in 1969, and Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps from the 1950s, showing a pretty complete knowledge of his chosen style of music.
His band members, drummer Dicky Buck of Mashpee and bass guitarist Mike Preston of Marstons Mills, complement Aaron’s style.
Aaron has seen 11 concerts by The Who, his first at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He said that he e-mails Peter Townsend, and when he and his father show up at concerts, Townsend sends a guitar pick to him.
Aaron Norcross Jr. and the Old Dogs will be back at The Beach House on March 2 and again on March 23, Aaron’s 15th birthday.
He is pleased that The Beach House is supporting the blues. “Playing The Beach House is truly amazing. The crowd is great.” He said that the Sunday blues event idea is terrific. “Blues is a dying art, along with rockabilly, on the Cape, and not a lot of people play that type of music.
George Gritzbach appears at The Beach House on March 9. Gritzbach has appeared at a wide variety of venues and festivals across North America, from opening for B.B. King and Bonnie Raitt to appearing at local nightclubs, coffeehouses and performing arts centers. A Falmouth resident and long an institution on the Cape, he recorded his first album in 1976. He recently released a new CD, “Whoa Yeah.”
Steve Morse, former Boston Globe music critic, said that “Cape Cod might not be Memphis or Chicago, but it’s home to one of the most underrated bluesmen in the country. George Gritzbach is a stunning artist who comes from the heart, notably on his long-awaited, aptly named album ‘Whoa Yeah.’ ”
Singer, slide guitarist, and harmonica player, George Gritzbach has Michael Critch on keyboards, Rich Hill on bass and Ralph Rosen on drums. The band performs every month at The Beach House.