Wide Arch Party HOT!!

The annual Wide Arch / Walker U Reunion Party was held Saturday Dec. 1st at an undisclosed location. It was by far the best one yet. Full of surprises and great music. Goldhammer opened with a Dymanic performance that set the bar very high for the acts that followed. Everyone knew that Novena would close the night Richard"Valdez"Devore showed up for the rehearsal two nights before and Neil Caswell arrived at the party just as things were getting started. Gary Hayes had been there for whole thing. But then came the big surprise that no one expected, Richard Martinez walked in about half way through Goldhammers set. The Novena reunion would now be complete. After Goldhammer's rousing set, during which Erle Saunders shined just like his goldtop strat, the youngsters jammed featuring Andy Anderson on drums and Noah on keyboards. Goldhammer's Bobby Rizzo joined them half way through. All of which was a surprise. Then came the a whole bunch of shockers. Billy Proulx and the Crew with Olysis Narango on drums and Joe Quercia, that's right THE JOE on bass. Talk about a world class rhythm section. And just for good measure Casey Proulx on keyboards. WOW! Billy and the Crew were simply ON FIRE. And then the moment everyone was waiting for The Return of Novena. It was truly amazing how tight they were after 33 years and one rehearsal. Of coarse they opened with Maybe Daddy, and played a hot version of Counting Money with Gary Hayes hitting the high parts beautifully and Lighten Up with the soul vocals of Valdez. Joe's guitar work was crafty and on the money all night. Billy's Almost Home seemed to take on new meaning and focus all of the emotion of the night ending with the grand finale Richard Martinez's sax solo as electrifing as ever. In the usual Novena Style there was a wonderdul lighthearted moment when Joe led the band into "Born on the Bayou" in the middle of a magical rendition of "How'd You Sleep Last Night". There was a tribute not only to Smokey Stover but also to his beloved widow Judy; a song called "Uncle Al's" written by Joe and Billy in 1969 about hanging out at Al & Judy house. Bill Anderson anchored the band with his usual steadiness and Oly came through with flying colors as Novena's new on the road bass player. What a trooper. It was a night to remember for everyone; Full of magic, memories, music and tacos!!!

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