October 23, 2008
Center for the Arts
72 N. Main
Back in the dim recesses of time (1978) and bands forgotten, four rockers from Cortland, New York named Joe Leo, Bill Strong, Rick Plante, and Greg Bubacz decided that players didn't have to be from "The South" to play southern rock music...and they were determined to prove it. They gathered up Gary Butler and Steve Corey, two musicians who were tired of playing shabby clubs six nights a week all over the country, and formed The J. Cafferty Band. The band was named for Jim Cafferty, the only guy who had a place for the guys to practice! Rent for the rehearsal basement was paid by chopping fire wood and bringing in bales of hay. And rehearse they did.
Before too long, the boys found that they had the southern sound. Leo (bass), Strong(drums), and Corey(acoustic guitar) provided the basis for the soaring lead guitar harmonies of Plante and Bubacz, and Butler's scorching fiddle and keyboards. Corey, Plante, Butler, and Bubacz all sang lead as well as strong, tight harmonies. The band was complete. After three years of packing large nightclubs and touring college campuses, Corey had an opportunity in Texas he could not say no to and left the band. Shortly after, Plante moved to L.A. This made room for lead guitarist Dan Austin; and the band didnít miss a beat - continuing to bring the red hot sound of southern rock to the folks in the Northeast. But, as is usually the case, after a couple more years, the players decided to go in different musical directions and the Cafferty Band was no more. They were not to be heard from again ... or so people thought.
Fast forward to 2001. In an effort to raise money to support the victims of the 9/11 tragedy, bassist Leo contacted Strong, Austin, and Corey about doing a benefit concert. All agreed to do the concert - but what to call the band???? Actually, it was a no brainer. Of course it would be the Cafferty Band. With the addition of longtime rock vocalist Brian Miles, lead singer and saxophone player Danielle Rausa, and keyboardist/ blues singer Neil Massa, the band was once again complete.
Well ... almost! While re-listening to some of the old southern rock they used to do, the guys realized that the band needed something more. They needed a full horn section to accurately cover the songs of Lynard Skynard, Marshall Tucker, and the Charlie Daniels Band as well as some other tunes they wanted to do. Enter Dave Shiffman (trumpet), Don Williams (alto and tenor sax), and Jim Reagan (baritone sax). Now they had it! After the success of the benefit show, The Cafferty Band found itself once more in demand, and though they donít play a steady calendar of gigs, when they do play -it's standing room only.