Max Creek’s 46th Anniversary: a Review and Conversation with the Band Past and Present

Max Creek
Max Creek

Why The 46th. Anniversary of Max Creek Was So Special

Telefunken Elektroakustik, So. Windsor, CT

April 29, 2017

Story by Charles DeWeese

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Saturday, April 29th, 2017 was the second of two nights in South Windsor, CT at Telefunken Studios [for Max Creek’s 46th Anniversary concerts]. The show started out with the song “Waiting For You,” a Scott Murawski original number. This show was different because I stood next to original members Dave Reed and Bob Gosselin in the back on the right side of the stage. I had just met Bob Gosselin and Dave Reed in person for the first time. Dave was listening to “Waiting For You” and when the song got quiet, Dave said to Bob, “Nice dynamics!” He was truly appreciating Scott’s playing and style. This was different though- he was listening as Scott’s teacher. He gave Scott Murawski lessons on trumpet and even brought Scott into the band back in 1973.

Dave Reed, Bob Gosselin, and Scott Murawski played in the Agawam, MA high school band. I asked Bob Gosselin about him playing with Dave Reed before Max Creek. There is “pre-Creek” history of Bob on drums and Dave on trumpet. Bob said it was pre-Creek. Bob and Dave have been close friends since high school. Dave graduated in ’68 and Bob graduated in ’69. Bob is from Springfield, MA and then moved to Agawam. So, Bob Gosselin and Dave Reed actually played together in high school band in Agawam, MA.

Dave Reed and Bob took the stage for a few tunes. I yelled out, “‘Roots’!” I was really excited to see the original band onstage. Dave played a stringed instrument made out of a cigar box. He used a Boss Blues Driver going through a Fender Acoustasonic amp. He sounded mean on slide playing the Rolling Stones song “Gimme Shelter.” “Dr. Easy” was in the house, playing some blues. I yelled, “Alright Dr. Easy!” – Dave Reed refers to himself as Dr. Easy. I read that on Dave Reed’s website about 9 years ago. After the set, I said to Dave, “That was me yelling out, ‘Alright Dr. Easy!’” He said,” Good! Everyone needs to know I am Dr. Easy!”

From the YouTube channel of mikefourtwenty420:

Bob says he has not played drums in 30 years but he sounded great. He practiced at home for a month playing rudiments. At one point, all the drummers from Max Creek were all onstage together. Bob said on Facebook he was demoted because he was on tambourine. Bob Gosselin! What a sense of humor! After the show, Bob was sore so he said he was retiring from drumming. He was feeling better so perhaps there is hope yet.

I had lunch with Bob and his wife, Dot Sanford, and my family up in Greenfield, MA the following weekend. I said it is the 46th anniversary part 2. Bob said he thinks the original Max Creek should have taken the stage, Dave Reed, Bob Gosselin, and John Rider. I agree. That would be an amazing sight to see. Let’s hope Bob’s shoulder is better and this was not the last time.

Thanks to the band and Telefunken for putting on the event. Telefunken microphones have truly amazing sound. The venue made Max Creek sound the best they ever did. The show was filmed and recorded. Let’s hope they release the show on vinyl records! Another box set like Drink the Stars would be great. Max Creek have not released a vinyl record since 1986. Sales of vinyl records are at a 25 year high. So, to release the 46th. Anniversary would be nice to have on the turntable!

From the YouTube channel of Ken Johnston:

Song highlights from Saturday night were “Band From Chicago,” “Silver Dancers,” “The Same Things,” “Wild Side,” and “Emerald Eyes.” I really love the song “Emerald Eyes.” It says, “As he places the rose, he knows she is there. He can taste her breath in the wind and feel her in the air. Like he told her, He would hold her once again.” That’s a great song!

After the set, I talked with Dave Reed. I told him about a Max Creek Show from 1974 that recently made it onto the Archive.org website. I said, “You are on it. There is a cool version of ‘Dark Water’ on it too.” Thanks to Carl Walter for uploading it. Dave indicated that he thought it might be cringeworthy. I told him I would send it to him. The next day, He listened to the recordings from 1974. He was surprised to see it was much better than he expected or remembered.

It was my second time seeing Bob Gosselin perform. The first time was on 4/30/88 at the West Hartford Music Hall for the 17th Anniversary show. Amy Fazzano also performed at the 17th Anniversary show. Bob told me Amy was going to perform for the 46th Anniversary. For some reason she did not perform. She was missed. She had a song called Dead Cat which she was the featured vocalist on Drink the Stars, the 1982 box set by Max Creek. That would have been nice to see performed.

Greg DeGuglielmo appeared and played drums on “Six Days on the Road.” He also sang an original composition of his called “Silver Dancers” which he first debuted at the Agora Ballroom in December of 1986, in West Hartford, which he also played on acoustic guitar at Cornucopia’s in Torrington, CT on 1/2/88. So, This Anniversary show featured songs that have not been played in a while.  I have waited years to hear “Band From Chicago” live. Scott Allshouse was in the house and sang and played drums on “The Bug,” a cover by Dire Straits. Greg Vasso did not perform. The drummers all performed at the same time on “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad.”

Anniversary shows have always been some of my favorite Max Creek Shows. Mark Mercier, the keyboardist, was reminiscing about the early days of Max Creek when it was just Dave Reed, John Rider, and Bob Gosselin. Mark remembered dancing at the early shows at the Rocking Horse Inn in Hartford, CT. Mark mentioned the band was formed in his dorm room at the University of Hartford when he wasn’t there.

From the YouTube channel of Kevin Tobin:

This night was the best opportunity to get Max Creek albums signed. So many members past and present were there. I even overheard Bob Gosselin and Mark Mercier discussing making the the first two Max Creek albums after the first set. Bob said it cost them 10 dollars each to make the first album (1977) and five dollars each to make Rainbow (1980). Bob said Rainbow is his favorite Max Creek album and they had a great time making the album.

Bob says Max Creek is technically more proficient now than in the 70’s. He says the 70’s is his favorite era because of the feel of the band when Amy Fazzano and Rob Fried were in the band.

The drummers the band has today are excellent too. Bill Carbone and Jay Stanley have kept the band going into just about half a century. It is amazing to see the impact Max Creek has had on three generations!

The people in Max Creek are great singer/songwriters. Max Creek used to cover Grateful Dead songs quite a bit which was not what Dave Reed wanted to do. That is why he left. So great to see everyone together again! This was a reunion of the original band. That is what made this so special. I even got to talk to the original members.

Max Creek has so many great original songs. Go to a show and check them out for yourself! Thanks to Bob and Dave and Mark for sharing to help tell the story. I said to Bob Gosselin, “You put the country in Max Creek.” Bob answered, “No. Dave Reed does.” Thanks Max Creek!

To submit a review or story for consideration hit us at lmnandr@gmail.com

Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.

    

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Kelly D

Publicist, journalist, artist, witch. Live music is life!