Tower of Power Table Tent – JB’s Nightclub – Summer 1973
When I first saw Tower of Power in concert, it was 1973, in Las Vegas. So Very Hard To Go was in heavy rotation on radio and the band lineup featured a most memorable roster. It also presented its third lead singer in three albums. That was Lenny Williams.
The performance included tracks from its upcoming Back To Oakland album, including Squib Cakes, Don’t Change Horses, and others. There was one surprise for me. Unexpectedly, Lenny Williams picked up a trumpet and joined the horn section on Squib Cakes. Speaking with David Garibaldi, after last night’s show, I recounted that moment. He assured me my recall was correct.
Ray Greene – Double Threat
Ray Greene – Tower of Power Lead Vocalist and Trumboinst
Last night’s show at the South Point Casino was my first opportunity to see and hear Tower’s new lead vocalist, Ray Greene.
The bonus: Ray also plays some major league trombone. He had trombone in hand on a handful of tunes, adding even more strength to the horns.
Ask Ray, and he will tell you he’s a musician first… and, yes…. he can sing a little.
The South Point Casino Set List
I don’t chronicle song-by-song set lists, but I did notice this. With the exception of Diggin’ on James Brown and the Star Time Medley, the set list was gleaned from five releases: Bump City, Tower of Power, Back To Oakland, Urban Renewal, and Ain’t Nothin’ Stoppin’ Us Now.
A major challenge for front Tower of Power is having the range and endurance to match the wide assortment who have preceded you. Ray Greene has those skills, a warm stage presence, and the confidence to interpret the songs with his own style, not just replicating its original vocal treatment.
As a result, what was a dominant throw-back set list, came across as timeless and fresh. For me, the take on Don’t Change Horses took me back to a period with Ellis Hall on lead vocals, at a time when Richard Elliot was lead tenor.
What’s on the agenda tonight?
It’s always interesting during a 3-night stint. The sets often vary. Like most fans, I have my favorites, but I’m simply curious to hear Ray’s interpretation of other songs.
The band felt relaxed and percolated at full-tilt. The show was rock solid.
Rocco News from Emilio
Emilio reported that Rocco called him, Friday, with GOOD NEWS. Last week, a donor for a new liver had been confirmed. Rocco has passed all the necessary pre-testing required, and it is expected that a transplant will take place about six weeks from now. Stay tuned for more specifics on the surgery date.
CEO of Soul