The incredibly talented group of doctors and businessmen by day continue to rock the house every time they show up to raise money by night.
The band’s most recent show, held July 21 in The Palms Lounge at Peabody’s Billiards & Games (in the Shoppes of Amberly plaza in Tampa Palms), was attended by about 100 people and raised $1,700, which will be donated to help band member and baritone saxophonist Dr. Kelly O’Keefe’s participation in the upcoming “El Tour de Tucson” Ride to Cure Diabetes for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in November of this year. El Tour is one of the largest “century” (100-mile) rides in the U.S., with more than 9,000 cyclists, 2,000 volunteers and 27,000 spectators and the stated goal of the JDRF is to “Create a World Without Diabetes.”
Desrosiers, the Deacon Blues’ goofy-hatted (“I’ve got more than 200, Gary,” he says in his Rhode Island/New England accent) keyboard player whose daughter Nicole (see below and photo, right) is a Type 1 diabetic, invited yours truly to come up on stage to sing “Brown Eyed Girl” with the band at the end of the show. Truth be told, I was a member of the group for a couple of gigs, so I had practiced the song with them multiple times, but I truly felt honored to be on stage again with these guys.
The show itself featured everything from the smooth finger-picking guitar stylings of Michael Marth to front man (and longtime New Tampa music teacher and church music director) Todd LeBlanc’s outstanding vocals and the “Blues Brothers”-styled two-saxophone horn section.
Stealing the show, despite all those earlier accolades, was Bernie and his wife (and backing vocalist) Anne’s daughter Nicole, who absolutely brought the house down with her spectacular voice. Nicole, a professional performer at Busch Gardens, belted out some Aretha and some Whitney and left the crowd wanting more.
To book the Deacon Blues Band or for more information, visit TheDeaconBlues.com or call (813) 361-2808. — GN