Tuesday, September 25, 2018 Elyria 73°
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Review

Michel Stanley & The Resonators/Rockin' on the River

With The Juke Hounds

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    Michael Stanley & The Resonators play Rockin' on the River as a steady rain falls in Lorain, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Jennifer Lee (vocals), Paul Christensen (sax), Rodney Psyka (percussion), Stanley, Tommy Dobeck (drums) and Danny Powers (guitar) at Rockin' on the River.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Guitarist Danny Powers takes a solo as fans watch in the rain Saturday at Rockin' on the River at Black River Landing in Lorain, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley & The Resonators at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Paul Christensen (sax) at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Danny Powers (guitar) with Tommy Dobeck and Eric Sosinski at Rockin' on the River.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/THE CHRONICLE

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    Paul Christensen (sax) and Marc Lee Shannon (mandolin) at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley with Rodney Psyka at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Marc Lee Shannon at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLES

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    Michael Stanley with The Resonators at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Danny Powers of Michael Stanley & The Resonators at Rockin' on the River in Lorain, Ohio Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Rodney Psyka and Michael Stanley, at Rockin' on the River in Lorain, Ohio Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Jennifer Lee and Paul Christensen at Rockin' on the River in Lorain, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley & The Resonators at Rockin' on the River Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley & The Resonators play Rockin' on the River as a steady rain falls in Lorain, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    From left: Tommy Dobeck, Danny Powers and Eric Sosinski of Michael Stanley & The Resonators Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley & The Resonators play Rockin' on the River as a steady rain falls in Lorain, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Guitarist Danny Powers during a Michael Stanley & The Resonators show at Rockin' on the River in Lorain, Ohio Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Lorain's Paul Christensen takes a sax solo in the spotlight during a Michael Stanley & The Resonators show at Rockin' on the River in Lorain, Ohio Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Paul Christensen (sax) and Marc Lee Shannon (mandolin) during a Michael Stanley & The Resonators show at Rockin' on the River in Lorain Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley & The Resonators at Rockin' on the River Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley at Rockin' on the River Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley at Rockin' on the River Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018 in Lorain, Ohio.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Michael Stanley at Black River Landing in Lorain, Ohio Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Keith McFarren (drums) and Bob Gardner (guitar/vocals) of the Juke Hounds at Rockin' on the River at Black River Landing in Lorain, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    Gerard Dominick (bass) of the Juke Hounds at Rockin' on the River at Black River Landing in Lorain, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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    J. Calvin (sax) of the Juke Hounds at Rockin' on the River at Black River Landing in Lorain, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2018.

    ROGER SOMMER/CHRONICLE

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Going to the Michael Stanley & The Resonators show Saturday was a little bit like being at a reunion with several thousand close friends.

It’s true, most of us didn’t actually know each other. Still, we’re friends by extension, in a fourth cousin sort of way, by virtue of our shared experiences: love, lust, loss, the list of it all — emotional watermarks that have been scored by Stanley’s keenly biographical set pieces for the better part of more years than it would be polite for anyone to count.

Stanley and the eight-piece Resonators opened with three upbeat rockers that remain radio anthems around here. “In the Heartland,” “Midwest Midnight” (Eric Sosinski delivered the snarky, “Boy, you should be grateful” line) and “All I Ever Wanted,” stayed pretty true to memory.

Arrangements for the rest of the night were more laid back, giving Stanley’s earthy vocals a chance to well, resonate, and a tight band of veteran players a chance to show off a bit. The lineup includes: Sosinski (bass/vocals), Jennifer Lee (vocals), Marc Lee Shannon (guitar/mandolin), Danny Powers (guitar/vocals), Tommy Dobeck (drums), Rodney Psyka (percussion), and Lorain’s Paul Christensen (sax) and Bob Pelander (keyboards).

The setlist drew from 30 albums and included some clever covers. “This is the best Michael Stanley Band tribute band in the world,” he said at one point.

Most of the songs were crowd favorites. Danny Powers took over lead vocals on “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Mind” while Stanley, Lee and rows of people standing in a steady drizzle happily backed him up. “Let’s Get the Show On the Road” came in waves of solos, one crossfading into the next like scenes in a movie. Highlights included Christensen’s long, lonesome wail and Powers’ Latin shred, wrangled and driven home by relentless pacing from Shannon, Psyka and Dobek.

Of the outliers, one highlight was a quirky mashup of “Sweet Jane” and “Everything is Everything” (think the chanting chorus, “Witchi tai tai, hemorah hora nika hora nika” and you’ll remember). Another was Stanley’s choice for a song he wanted to hear. “Back on Lover’s Lane,” from 2007’s “The Soft Addictions,” was a requiem for a romance punctuated with breakup song piano from Pelander, a song that fits squarely in Stanley’s lost-love canon.

The Juke Hounds didn’t initially get the response they deserved from an audience alternately anxious for Stanley and distracted by threateningly stormy skies, but it didn’t take the band long to win them over.

The blues-rock four-piece: Gerard Dominick (bass), Bob Gardner (lead vocals, lead guitar), J. Calvin (sax) and Keith McFarren (drums) delivered two strong sets of bluesy, groove-heavy covers of Bill Withers, The James Gang, T-Rex, The Stones and Imagine Dragons and B. B. King.

Gardner, who looks deceptively like a high school history teacher, packed a full measure of swagger and Ian Astbury-edge into the vocal on of King’s “My Own Fault,” and held his own on guitar. The funk-ified strut of the original “Rust Belt Strong” had folks dancing.

Contact Kymberli Hagelberg khagelberg@chroniclet.com or (440) 506-8800; follow @khagelbergct on Twitter.


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