Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jon Cleary, Leon Russell Rock the Funky Biscuit


Funky Biscuit Celebrates Fourth Anniversary With Style

By Skip Sheffield

Two old-school professional performers; one from England via New Orleans and one of near mythical status from Tulsa, Oklahoma, rocked the Funky Biscuit for its July fourth anniversary celebration.
Jon Cleary is a transplanted Brit who fell in love with New Orleans and its musicians 2o years ago. For the Boca Raton gig, piano and organ player Cleary brought his “Absolute Monster Gentlemen” band from New Orleans. The biggest of the Monster Gentlemen is the aptly-named Derwin “Big D” Perkins. The guitarist is so large he makes his Fender Stratocaster guitar look like a ukulele.
Cleary served up a gumbo of New Orleans favorites such as Professor Longhair’s “Go to the Mardi Gras” and some from his new album, “GoGo Juice,” due out Aug. 14.
Leon Russell has been a professional musician since 1956. He started young, but the 73-year-old has never lost his chops. He played some of his greatest hits like “Tight Rope,” “Stranger in a Strange Land” and of course “A Song For You,” but he did a wide-ranging selection of covers too, such as Ray Charles’ “I’ve Got a Woman,” Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall,” the Rolling Stones “Wild Horses” and the evergreen Hoagy Carmichael classic, “Georgia on My Mind.”
Every Monday night is a “Biscuit Jam” hosted by Mark Telesca with special guests. Some notable coming attractions are An Evening with Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna Aug. 9; Boca’s own Chloe Dolandis with Ilana Armida Aug. 11; Old Boca Music Festival 2 with the Fabulous Fleetwoods, Queen Bee & The Drones and Buster Leggs Aug. 15; Butch Trucks and Berry Oakley, Jr. of the Allman Brothers with the Freight Train Sept. 19 and the “Queen of Boogie-Woogie Piano,” Marcia Ball on Oct. 22. Funky Biscuit is located at 303 Mizner Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. Call 561-395-2929 or go to