Former Gary teens and region rock icons of the 1960s, Oscar & The Majestics, perform a 9 p.m. show of retro rock from the era on Saturday at Bridges Scoreboard (121 N. Griffith Blvd, Griffith). The group has done limited live shows since reforming with their original line-up to promote the internationally reissuing of their original singles in 2011, via the Sundazed Records label.
“Our live shows these days feature some of our own songs that people remember us for, like ‘Soulfinger,’ ‘Come On Willie” and ‘Baby Under My Skin,’ plus some rockin’ cover songs from the ‘60s and a few from the ‘70s that we enjoy playing,” said vocalist, guitarist and namesake, Oscar Hamod.
The original members of the group who helped to pioneer the fuzz-tone garage rock sound in the Midwest back in the mid-‘60s, returned to action in 2011 when international archival label Sundazed Records, collected their many original singles from their first run between 1963 and 1968, compiling them as the "No Chance Baby" album. Packaged with stellar liner notes and vintage photos in a gate-fold jacket, issued in both CD and LP formats, the first pressing of both quickly sold out.
Along with the good news that Sundazed has renewed their relationship with Oscar & The Majestics for the next five years, comes word that “No Chance Baby” is being re-pressed because of the global demand for the songs which had been lost to their fans for three decades.
Sundazed’s archival/production team is also working on a second Oscar and the Majestics release featuring several of the Hoosier quartet’s previously unreleased songs from the vault. “We did a lot of recording,” concluded Hamod. “I just kept writing and we have a lot of songs that never got released.” But that is about to change, he is happy to report.
According to group leader and namesake, Hamod, that second collection is expected to be released sometime in mid-to-late 2013. Keep rolling with these region rockers online at: www.oscarandthemajestics.com.
• Portage’s rock perennials, The Mad Ants, have a new album coming out at long last. According to band leader Joel Justin, the new music collection has been three years in the making and is titled, “International Anthem.” The CD is being produced in Brazil by top rock producer Andre T. Although a native of Northwest Indiana, Justin spent several years living and making music in Brazil. “International Anthem” is expected to have a summer release date of July 4. To hear Mad Ants older albums and see their many performance videos, log on at: www.MadAnts.com
• High energy region rockers, Ripley Street performed sans amplifiers to give their first ever all-acoustic performance last Sunday at Maxine’s Restaurant in Michigan City. The stripped down show was outstanding and enjoyed by the standing room only audience in attendance at the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana’s “Tails of Love” fundraiser. More about the band at: www.ripleystreet.com
• Maxine’s (521 Franklin Street) in Michigan City will be featuring the tasty sounds of Chicago’s Pete Castronova Jazz Band at 8pm tonight. For those who have never ventured into Maxine’s, it’s an intimate European-style bistro with a great atmosphere (vintage murals on the walls, soft accent lighting) and a great menu. Although it’s been a stop on the Michigan City Uptown Art Walk for nine years, this columnist only experienced the venue for the first time last week and recommends it as a great place for a night out. Maxine’s features live music every Friday or various genres and styles – jazz, blues, funk and more. More: (219) 872-4500.
• Chicago native Mark Dawson -- currently front man, bassist, and vocalist for classic rock group, The Grass Roots – has wrapped up work on his solo album “Making Noise,” with the aid of a few famous Chicagoland musical friends. The 12-song collection can be ordered online at: www.markdawson.us. More on this tasty new CD when “The Local Scene” chats with Dawson next week about the project.