Singer/Songwriter Howard Parker reached out to me recently to let me know he had finished a pandemic project, the band’s latest CD, “Keyport Live”. I was happy to hear that he decided to use the live Keyport Summer Concert Series performance from 2017, since I produced those shows for twelve seasons. This was the first time that a JSJBF member band had done that. I was thrilled to find out that all net proceeds from the sale of the CDs will go to support the JSJBF and the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. They can be purchased at OneSquareMileCommunityMusicProject.com. The CD is also dedicated to the late Bill McKelvey of Music Men Productions, Ltd. who produced the show, as well as many shows and Festivals for the Foundation over the years. Four of the CD’s ten tracks were penned by Howard and mesh nicely with the four Zydeco-based numbers, while the remaining two tunes, Stephen Stills’ “Love The One You’re With” and John Lennon’s “Imagine” are reimagined (no pun intended) in that style and sound great.
The current lineup of H P and his Hot Takeout Band came together in 2016 and is made up of Howard Parker on guitar and vocals, Bruce Gassman on accordion and vocals, Steve “O” Nelson on a unique rub board dubbed the “Spicerack” and vocals and Bobby “Pocket-Man” Boyd on Drums. The band’s infectious Zydeco sound blends New Orleans spiced rhythm and blues and is guaranteed to get you on your feet. Howard has been writing songs since his teenage years and includes several on the CD which more than hold up some great covers. Over the years he has performed at many of NYC’s premier music clubs, as well as all over the Jersey Shore. Bruce was playing the accordion for several years before we met at Asbury Park High School as freshmen. He has an impressive list of accomplishments in the accordion world and also played the Hammond B3 organ with that other “Bruce” from Asbury Park, Southside Johnny, and James Cotton in his early years. Steve “O” is a master of the rub board and created the percussion board. He has performed with the Neville Brothers, the Radiators, Phish and many more. Bobby Boyd has been plying his trade on the Jersey Shore music scene for many years as well as teaching music at Monmouth University. He, as well as the other band members, are active in Holiday Express, Light of Day and other local charities.
While they don’t have any current gigs lined up, Howard envisions a return to live performing in the near future. You can get a taste of New Orleans by picking up a copy of their new CD and support two worthy causes as well!