Clear Bend's debut rocks the house

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By PETE FONTAINE

“I never expected anything like this,” exclaimed Vin Palumbo about a sold out crowd inside the jam-packed Young Pannese Society in Silver Lake. “Most of us know the entertainment will be great … but this is unexpected and unprecedented.”

That pretty much was the reason why people were calling A Night of Oldies Music, headlining the official debut of Clear Blend, a super show that included fantastic food as well as a special guest appearance by a talented vocalist named Robyn Cullen-Lavallee.

“People will be talking about tonight for a long time,” Palumbo said, as Saturday’s second course was stuffed mushrooms and the entire evening’s meal included salad with quartered tomatoes that seemed like they were in season, marinated mushrooms, roasted chicken, ham, penne pasta, oven roasted potatoes, rabbi and corn on the cob. “I had no idea they were serving a complete dinner.”

Perhaps even more unique, as people like Steve Mallane, Johnston’s long-serving Town Sergeant who owns and operates The Sheik Wig Center and Hair Salon on Atwood Avenue, said “you couldn’t go anywhere and get this sort of a meal, as well as a first-class show, for thirty bucks.”

However, as people who know Young Pannese Social Club President Peter Goneconte will readily attest: “Peter believes in quality and class and not charging exorbitant prices.”

“If this club was located anywhere else in the state, the tickets probably would have cost triple of the $30 for tonight’s tickets,” Palumbo, an admitted Elvis Presley fan who loves music dating back to the 1950s and 60s, said. “Tonight is without question special, for the food and show.”

Clear Blend, made up of five vocalists who simply love to sing and have made music their all-time hobby, put on a two-part show that began with Tell Him, The Exciters hit of 1962, and Barbara Lewis’ Hello Stranger of 1967 fame and included 14 songs of yesteryear that almost everyone inside the Young Pannese Club knew the words to.

Likewise, Clear Blend – Maria Russo, Tom “Tommy Tunes” Falcone, Jack Mento, Ron Iacobucci and Goneconte – took an attentive and applauding audience on another trip back in music time with another 17 songs like Danny and the Juniors 1957 hit At the Hop, the Five Satins 1959 smash hit In the Still of the Night, Mary Wells’ My Guy of 1964 and they closed the sparkling show with, of course, Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite recorded by The Spaniels in 1954.

“Their harmony is terrific,” Palumbo and people sitting at his table concurred. Mullane, who also sat with his wife at the same table, wanted it known: “Great show, great food, great people for only thirty bucks! You can’t get this anywhere nowadays!”

Those who’d like to book Clear Blend for a show, should call Goneconte at 575-0200.

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