Lynne Rothrock, Ron Dewitte, and their crew came back to the Clausen Center in Holstein last Saturday to another standing ovation. The first time this group appeared here was as the opening act for the premier season under the auspices of Divapalooza. Nothing has been lost. They still have an amazing clarity and their musicianship seems to be better than ever. They offered the audience a mixture of blues, rock and roll, a couple of torch songs and a whole lot of fun, These people are true exemplars of the art of cabaret entertainment.
What made the greatest impression was just how comfortable the five of them are – both with each other and the music they perform. They are individually passionate about what they do and yet no one dominates anyone else. They get into their personal grooves and meld them into one wonderful whole.
Dewitte deserves all the accolades he has received over the years. His blues are so reminiscent of B.B. King one wonders if he studied under the master. That’s not to say he aped the man. He is just so totally immersed in the genre that it brings B.B. to mind. This was especially apparent in Dewitte’s rendition of “Dangerous Mood” which was beautifully backed by Gerard Estella on keyboard, Greg Kanz on drums, and Dave Ollinger on bass. “You’re The Boss” with Rothrock was another. The interplay between them was delightful and nearly steamed up random eyeglasses in the audience.
Then there was “Sleep Walk”, a rock and roll hit from the transistor radio days. It’s still relevant; still makes as much sense now as it did back then. “Sounds as good as it did the first time I heard it.” was one man’s whispered aside.
Rothrock found her own spiritual niche with “Chill of an Early Fall”. She wrung her heart out performing it and was rewarded with an explosion of applause.
The really fun part of the show came with the light-hearted “Makin’ Whoopie” which was accompanied by a slide show of both her and Dewitte’s musical maturation. It brought gales of laughter as did “I Want Them Bald” and “Viagra in the Water”. Save your sons; shield your daughters, indeed! The crowd loved it.
The evening ended with “It’s a Wonderful World” and it certainly is with people like these five in it.