Sat, Oct 09, 2021
By Tom Baldino
Jon “Jonny B” Barone invited us to travel into NYC to listen to Peter Baron’s Thunderfarm perform at one of the city’s premier clubs, “The Cutting Room.” Peter was one of the special guests slated to perform with Jonny B and the Blues Blazers at the “Long Branch – Jazz & Blues by the Sea” event which was rained out in August. This night he was returning the favor by having Jon as a special guest on the bill.
After a rough ride into Manhattan, where Jon displayed his considerable skills as a former taxi driver, we arrived at the club. I knew it was going to be a good night when the car parked in front of the entrance decided to pull out just as we arrived. Jon quickly unloaded his gear and in minutes we were at the stage talking to Peter. Among Peter’s many accomplishments in the music industry, he spent several years in Leslie West’s touring band. During the pandemic, he scored the theme song “Money is the Magic” for a new television series called “Paper Empire” scheduled to air in December.
This was the band’s first performance since before the pandemic and Peter assembled a group of seasoned pros including Ken Sidotti on keyboards, Vince Sanzone on bass, Tony Lazzara on drums, and Doli Grace and Catherine LaRocca on backing vocals. The 12 song set consisted of material from his early career as well as a terrific cover of Bad Company’s “Ready For Love” in a slow blues tempo with some excellent solos from both Ken on keyboards and Peter on guitar.
Jonny B’s high energy introduction on harp led off “Can’t Get Away,” and he supplied the vocals on the band’s first live performance of “Money is the Magic.”
The song “Killing Post” featured Peter on a vintage Les Paul Jr. soloing with a violin bow a la Jimmy Page on “Dazed and Confused.” “Days Gone By” featured a poignant video tribute to a fallen band mate, Frankie LaRocca who was also the first drummer in Jon Bon Jovi’s band. Other guests included Al Romano who supplied some tasty licks on several numbers and Joe Kelly’s thundering vocals on “Keep Your Head Up.” The night ended with a rousing version of “Mississippi Queen” which had the crowd on their feet. Even Peter’s 88 year old mother was up, proud of her son’s musical accomplishments.