"Million Dollar Quartet" may be opening on Broadway, but you don't need to travel to the city to hear great rockabilly music. On Long Island, several bands play this early form of rock and roll, which is heavily influenced by old country music and rhythm and blues.
"Rock and roll blasts you in the ears, but rockabilly hits you in the gut, and it just stays inside your belly," says Jeff McLary, drummer for the Long Island Hornets. "You can't shake it. You want to feel it again and again. You want to feel your insides quiver."
When: Saturday, April 17 with a hot rod show from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. (weather permitting), a swing dance class at 7:30 p.m. and music starting at 8 p.m. The kitchen and bar open at 4 p.m. for paid guests.
Admission: $10 by invitation only, go to bigdaddydeluxe.net for information
Three bands will perform at this all-night gathering, including Barry Ryan and Gary Setzer's Rockabilly Express. Drummer and singer Gary Setzer is the brother of the founder of that '80s Long Island rockabilly sensation Brian Setzer and his Stray Cats. Setzer's band will play original songs from its new album, "Can't Stop Now." Local bands The Buzzards and Big Daddy Deluxe also will play, but not before a hot rod show (with trophies), a pinup contest (ladies, wear your sweetest '50s-style dresses) and a "G-rated" burlesque show (a striptease without the nudity). Organizer Frank Azzaretto, Big Daddy's bass player, says there will be vendors, from hair stylists (Rockabilly Barbers' cuts include pompadours, Detroits and old-fashioned tapers) to vintage clothiers (Bombshell Clothing will show a line of retro bathing suits), as well as rockabilly art (works by Huntington resident John Rafferty).
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When: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 17 and the third Saturday of every month
One of the featured bands will be the Long Island Hornets. Although the group will do a set at this first monthly show by the New York Roots Association, the plan is for members to collaborate with musicians from other bands to work on "adventurous" musical projects, says McLary of the Hornets. This weekend, they will join The Blaggards and Russ Seeger to perform the "Muswell Hillbillies," the eclectic 1971 Kinks album. "We're going to get up there with an upright bass and throw in a heavy dose of grease," McLary says.
ROCKABILLY SATURDAY NIGHT
When: 10 p.m. April 24 and every last Saturday of the month
While Matty T's is ground zero for Long Island's rock-steady country music scene, the club's big dance floor makes room for this live rockabilly show once a month. One recent Saturday night, the line dancers went wild for The Buzzards' revved out version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire." Roy Wilson, lead singer and guitarist, has been organizing the night for three years, performing with bands such as Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks, and Joe Lauro and the Moondogs.
SHAKE, RATTLE AND CHROME
When: 8 p.m. May 1
Think Rockabilly Rumble but at a bar with Long Island Hornets, Rhythm Bound and Big Daddy Deluxe.
When | Where: 9 p.m. every second Friday at Giacomo Jack's, 248 S. Ketcham Ave., Amityville; and 8:30 p.m. every first Saturday at The Grille at Fisherman's Rest, 28350 Main Rd.,Cutchogue; 631-965-1841, lonesharks.com
Rockabilly stalwarts Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks perform.