After the first fireworks display at First Night Morris County, lines began to form outside two of the closest venues to The Green, both at the Presbyterian Church on The Green. In the chapel was a blues band, The Cobra Brothers, setting up for its first set of the night at10 p.m.
The band’s prowess was obvious after only one song, when David Mason, the lead singer/harmonica player harmonized with guitarist Danny “Blues Dog” Perini during a harmonica solo–they doubled one another on a quick succession of notes that many musicians would struggle to play by themselves, but they did it together flawlessly. Then, after cutting out, drummer Roger Gorey counted the musicians back in to finish the song with a flourish.
Three songs in, Perini decided to have some fun with the crowd, first walking out into the aisles and dancing, then strutting back to the stage while playing a solo with the guitar resting behind his head.
The Cobra Brothers included a festive song on the set list, with Mason singing, “Santa came down the chimney, he left all these presents you see, merry, merry, merry Christmas baby.”
They finished up with an original, “Can’t Give up on Love,” and then a standard, “I Got my Mojo Workin’,” that brought some of the braver audience members to their feet, dancing in the aisles. Most of the crowd was stomping and clapping along.
“We were looking for something that would get us moving, and we found it here,” said Chuck McKay, who made the trip to First Night Morris County with his wife Carol from Sussex County. They had bounced around from venue to venue all night. Many of the events, they explained, were either targeted toward young families or toward retirees, with not much going on for people in between–but blues in the chapel was just right for them.
The Cobra Brothers formed in 2005 and have been playing venues all over New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania ever since, but this was their first time performing at First Night Morris County. Besides Mason, Perini, and Gorey, Paul Yenaff rounded out the group on bass, working the crowd between songs.
“We’re very glad to be here,” said Mason, who was getting ready for the band’s second performance. The chapel was filling back up again, but this time there were fewer seats for the newcomers–many who saw The Cobra Brothers’ first set stayed for the second . John Arthur ( Morristown Patch)
“Last Saturday, you guys ROCKED THE HOUSE, man! It was fun looking back and seeing the crowds get larger and larger and getting into your music. The Hoochie Koochie and Schoolgirl numbers were the best I’ve heard you do ’em; there’s another nasty-ass get up and dance funky sounding song y’all did that was amazing.” — Joe G
“Terrific performance! It was a real treat ( and our site managers thought you were among the best of all the acts they’ve heard over the years!) We enjoyed “walking the dog” – – – great gutsy singing and harmonica work & “down & dirty” sound. BB King would’ve been proud.” — Dr. Lynn L. Siebert (Artistic Director, First Night Morris County)
Thanks so much for headlining the Festival. I wish it were better weather but everybody who was there told me how great all the music was. People who came stayed! I hope you enjoyed the Festival as much as we did. Nice of you to come early and scope it out. Joellen Lundy President : N.J. Friends of Clearwater
Saw you guys play at the Salt Creek Grill last night and we were really impressed — very nice job. My kids were sitting up-front on the chairs in front of you, and I have never seen my own son, Will, so mesmerized by a band. They asked me to buy a CD, so we will buy a couple and we will keep you in mind for future performances.
All the Best and keep on playing.
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