The GrayRiders Band
Rockaway's Own Good Time Band!

Gray Rider New

Aviator - Floyd Bennett Field - 9/25

The Riders opened for Eddie Money Saturday night at Aviator, Floyd Bennett Field Brooklyn. The large stage, light show and tremendous sound system were just the thing for the over 400 GR fans who showed up to hear them play. That's right the fans delivered big time for the GRs as we represented half of all ticket sales Saturday night, and I am pretty sure about 90% of all alcohol sales !!

Given that backdrop, the weather cooperated completely with a huge harvest moon and a comfortable breeze drifting through the Brooklyn skies.

And then the Riders hit the stage for a 65 minute set that included 12 of their best numbers starting with Atlantic City and ending with Hold On. Joe Kenel and Mark Boyle were superb on leads and singing; Johnny McNamee was terrific on bass, Laszlo was on target all night long and Bugsy and Louie really belted them out. But the real treat was the Downtown Horns lead by Amanda Anderson and John Wilson playing Trombone and Bari Sax; and Paul Persecchetti on Trumpet, and Anthony Attia on Alto Sax - the whole blend from the 9 musicians combined to move the crowd to dance and cheer their hometown band on.

It was a great night for all with many people to thank for getting us on the bill, including Aviator, Eddie Money (who besides being a great musician, is a really nice guy - believe me the guy is great) and of course, Bugsy Goldberg who had the vision to ask !!

That was probably our last outdoor gig of the season, and it was certainly the highlight.

So we move into the Fall schedule - stay tuned here for updates.

The Wharf - 9/18
Another beautiful Rockaway night - this time from the The Wharf at the foot of 116th Street overlooking Jamaica Bay and a great view of the Manhattan skyline. The Riders played 3 spirited sets with some great jams and terrific dancing provided by Betty Ann and her crew, and the Timothy sisters and Lynn's friend Cathy. Joining the Riders again was Tenor sax soloist Mike Carpenter and backing him up on Alto sax, playing with the Riders for the first time, Kevin Brown. Mike and Kevin were terrific, as were Joe Kenel and Mark Boyle on searing leads.

Laz and Johnny Mac kept us all in line with a steady back beat as Bugs and Louie sang'em just like they wrote'em.

Great night - for those that missed it - you have one more chance to see the Riders outdoors and that is this Saturday 9/25 at Aviator - opening up for Brooklyn's own - Eddie Money ! Be there !!

Bungalow Bar - 8/28

The Riders played the Bungalow Bar Saturday night and had the help of Wax R' Backs, who supplied the sound and lighting for the Riders. Sean thanks so much. Wax R' Backs followed the Riders and kept the Bungalow packed with their classic do-wop sounds.

The Riders starting at 6 pm were on fire, playing into a fiery sunset to a crowd that got bigger and bigger as the night wore on. At one point there was a 45 minute wait for  a table - wow !  And playing for the first time with the downtown horns and the Riders was Mike Carpenter - playing tenor sax, and man did he wail !! Johnny Mac and Laz kept a steady beat and Joe & Mark burned up the fret boards. Bugsy and Lazer were in great form - beautiful night, moon on the water, plenty of Graybeards in the audience supporters their guys, and plenty of new fans.

Like we've been telling you, this is one great line-up !! Amanda Anderson and John Wilson on trombone and Bari-Sax were unstoppable !! 

Catch the Riders as they head to the Wharf  at 116 St. on September 18 Saturday night at 7 pm - should be the last outdoor show of 2010 !! Be there !

GrayBeards Fun Run - 7/30

Once again the Riders supplied the music for this summer classic that attracts 100's from neighborhood. A beautiful night, great music and a good time by all. The Down Town Horns were led by Amanda Anderson with John Wilson on baritone sax and Brian Sears on tenor sax - and they wailed !! Joe Kenel, Lou Pastina and Bugsy Goldberg carried the singing duties, newly installed Gray Riders Johnny Mac and Lazlo kept the beat going all night long. The Riders were missing their lead guitar player Mark Boyle - he was gigging in Aruba ! 

This is a great line-up - look for the Riders to finish out the season at Bungalow Bar on 8/28 and The Wharf on 9/18 !!!

BHYC - SFDS Reunion Classes 0f 73, 74, 75 - 7/23

Timo ran a great party and she has an "in" with the band ! First time Riders John McNamee and Laszlo Kovacs supplied the groove on bass and drums and the Down Town Horns - Amanda, Paul and Anthony - supplied the fire - and the classmates did all the dancing. This was the best party of the summer in Rockaway ! Bugsy and Louie sang their hearts out and Joe Kenel ripped some mean leads ! A great night was had by all !!

Tribute Park - 116th St.

The Riders opened up for the Tribute Park fund raiser to help fund a 9/11 memorial to be displayed at the 116th Street park. The Riders played 8 acoustic songs and warded off the rain in the process. A nice crowd showed up to help with Tribute Park, and the Riders were proud to be part of it.

Bungalow Bar - 5/30 Sunday afternoon Memorial Day Sunday - 4 pm !! Be There !!

The Riders played Bungalow Bar last Sunday afternoon and wound up playing until 11 pm ! 36 songs in all with some great playing by the band including Brian Sears and Amanda Anderson on horns ! Special guest Gregg Trooper played a sweet version of Tupelo Honey accompanied by the full band ! In great form were Bugsy and Laser, Mark & Joe on leads and the best drummer and bassist on Rockaway - Johnny Malar and Bobby Butler. This line up was playing to a packed house by the third set that was well over 500 people strong. The night was spectacular with a blazing sunset and a bright moon reflecting off the bay....several boats pulled in to hear the show too. This was a special night for Rockaway music. And the band was missing at least two of its horn players too - so look for the next full gig with the entire horn section - it promises to be really special !!


Buckley's Skee's Reunion Party - 4/17

Skee's was a bar in Brooklyn that was pretty special to a lot of people. So years later the patrons had a reunion at Buckley's and packed the house ! The Riders were asked to provide the music and with the help of the Downtown Horn's Amanda Anderson, Paul Persechitti and John Wilson & their good friend Brian Sears - the band burned down the house. The horns literally blew the lid off Buckley's and the Skee's gang danced up a storm proving that the years hadn't slowed them down one bit. Great Sax solos, guitar leads, Malar Drumming, Bobby Butler Bassing, and Bugsy howling  singing kept the suds flowing and the feet moving. A great time in Brooklyn for old friends, the Riders were privileged to be part of the night ! Go Skee's ! 

Connolly's Bar on 45th in NYC

The Riders played a private party on 12/18 at Connolly's in NYC. They were joined by Bobby Butler of Indaculture and a 5 piece horn section comprised of the Rockbrokers Horns, Dan Levine currently in Ragtime on Broadway and Parisian Sax player Anthony Attia. Other special guests also joined them on stage. The night was recorded so look for some new songs right here at

St. Cecilia's Benefit - 10/17
The Riders played without one of their lead guitarists, Mark Boyle, at St. Cecilia's Greenpoint for a benefit in honor of Larry Palladino and the St. Cecilia's CYO program. This is the third year that the Riders have played this festival and each year the musicians and the music just get better and better. Thanks to Steve Sgrizzi and Fred Rubino for putting this together, two very talented and dedicated local musicians who have been on the music scene in Greenpoint before any of the current hipsters arrived. These guys have been at the center of a very rich musical scene at St. Cecilia's for the last 30 + years - and why not, St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music !

The 5 Riders put on a 50 minute blistering set to open the night highlighted by red hot versions of Atlantic City and Fire Down Below ! It was a night for old friends and great music. The Riders shared the lower stage later in the evening with Fred Rubino and his band for a spirited version of Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Always special playing with that crew ! Thanks to everyone who came out and supported St. Cecilia's for this worthy cause.

The Riders will be taking some time off - so check back for gigs later this year.

Riders Storm Bungalow Bar - 9/26
The Riders played a late gig at Bungalow Bar Saturday night introducing some hot new songs to their set list  - Trouble No More, Statesboro Blues, Centerfield, Stray Cat Strut, Tennessee Jed, People Get Ready and Let the Good Times Roll. The guitar leads soared on these new numbers, and bass lines were anything but straight forward, as Johnny Bats, Mark Boyle and Joe Kenel out-dueled each other layering lead upon layered lead. While the weather outside stormed, the lucky few who got to see this "live in concert" gig were treated to some great rock n' roll - the way it used to be played. The steady hand of drummer Johnny Malar kept the band on an even tempo all night. Rumors of at least three different sax players did not materialize, but there is a strong possibility that Riders will be joined by a horn section for the next gig in Rockaway - so keep your eyes peeled for that date. What did materialize however was Dancer Rogers reprising his role as guest harp player with the band. Dancer blew a mean Big Rail Road Blues solo, really taking the song to a whole other level - if you haven't seen Dancer gig with the Riders - do yourself a favor - come on out - the man can play !

The night was recorded, so check this site out for some updated recordings.

Next gig is a fund raiser in Greenpoint Brooklyn, one of the few gigs the band leaves the peninsula for - this will be the third year in a row the band has supported this gig at St. Cecilia's on Herbert St.

The band will be back in the studio after that working on new material.

Call outs to the Boyle family who were at Bungalow Bar celebrating their Mom's birthday and then stayed for the gig - thanks guys ! And to Mrs. Boyle a very happy birthday  to a former Greenpointer herself. And we know she truly is because she described herself as being from the "other end', up the Avenue - if you are a Greenpointer you know that's how we describe the place !!

Also to Eddie & Marilyn McMahon (thanks to Irene French !) who drove in the rain from Westfield NJ to see the band and wound up meeting old friends from Brooklyn in the BB and staying pretty late into the second set ! Thanks guys ! 

Tennessee, Tennessee, there ain't no place I rather be !!! That's for you Chris and Denise, Alex and Luke !
"Riders Lite" 9/13 - Jameson's
Yes those were the Riders playing at Jameson's this past Sunday for the Giants home opener. A few Riders played for Jameson's opening season games - routing both the Jets and Giants on to victories with classic Rider jams. Hey if you are looking for a great place to watch football games - go no further than Jameson's - great food, cold beer and football - all within walking distance of home - and the occassional grayrider jam - can't be beat !!

Saturday 8/15 - The Wharf @ 116 th St.
Saturday night in Rockaway Beach in August at the Wharf, a Rockaway original, tucked away at the base of 116th Street jutting out on the Bay, and the Gray Riders had a full house and were roaring to go ! And man, go they did GO ! Three rockin', bluesy sets of great jams, and fans, singing and dancing, well into Sunday morning as a blood red scimitar-shaped moon came up over the CBB ! What a night ! This was the grand finale to a summer of great jams - you just had to be there on this perfect night. And the Riders had some great help too - friend of the Gray Riders, Brian Franca (of Jersey Shore fame - see the Pat Roddy Band) joined the Riders and elevated the whole gig to another level ! Grover Washington like Sax jams with the Riders lifted every song into instant classics.

 And then guest Harp players John "Duke" Hastings (of Canarsie fame) and later Dancer Rogers played the hell out of the blues with the Riders, so that everyone was literally shaking the floor boards of the Wharf ! 

What a night - and what a treat for the Riders to have such a loyal following - thank you all so much, you made our summer ! Marion Dunn - you know the Shape We're In !!! Keith D - you are racking up a string of gigs ! The Vought Brothers were in the house ! Therese, next time you have to bring not only your mom and her friends again (those ladies can party !) but the Bush family too !! Donna Sue, what can we say - you were there till the very end !! And we noted that Executive guy from Sony was there too, can a record deal be far behind !!

In addition to our great guest musicians, now all honorary Traveling Gray Riders - I have to say something about this line-up ! Put together before the summer started John Bats Battista and Johnny Malar have been the real deal - these guys have been terrific on bass and percussion. And lead guitarists Mark Boyle and Joe Kenel can take a jam and turn it into what we all remember jams use to be ! These guys can flat out play. I think Jagger actually picked up some moves from Bugsy Goldberg !
Now if the guy who sings the Dead songs can stop breaking strings (three Saturday night alone) - no telling how good this ensemble can be.

So, right now, nothing on the schedule - but believe me we are having way too much fun for that to last - check this site for the next gig - it'll be coming soon !

Friday 7/31 Graybeards Family Fun Run - @ 129 St
Bugsy and the Graybeards are truly blessed as the heavens stopped the down pours just in time for the annual Family Fun Run to take place. The Gray Riders moved indoors to the Gym stage and played to the delight of the crowd that braved the elements ! Great night with kids having the best time. The Riders salute the Special Olympians who graced the event with their presence, running and dancing !!

Special call out to Bugsy who works so hard to make this happen and to the countless others who have made this a great annual Rockaway event  - always a chance that we will leave someone out - but how about salutes to Joe Featherston, Jim McVeigh, and Joe Courtney - and how about a salute to John Edwards who runs the Rockapulco Run Series during the summer ! These are dedicated people who light up the entire peninsula with their passion for doing good things. 

Next stop for the Riders - The Wharf - 8/15 - 8 to 12 - be there !!!

Sunday 7/26 Irish Circle @ 102 St
The rains came hard and heavy and so did the Riders at the venerable Irish Circle Sunday. The Riders playing their 5th gig with the current ensemble, just get better and better - as the jams take new and intriguing turns !! Great crowd of friends and family from near and far (hello Staten Island & New Jersey !!). Some celebs in the crowd too (we'll keep that a secret) and a terrific harp accompaniment by Dancer on Rock Me Baby - Dancer you are now an honorary Touring Gray Rider !!

Bats continues to wow the crowds with rousing renditions of the Thrill is Gone & now Midnight Hour too ! And is there a better version of "Fire Down Below" than the Joe Kenel version ? I mean really ! - Seger, this is the way the song is meant to be played !!

The rest of the band was in rare form too with Mark Boyle's searing solos, Bugsy's interpretive singing, and Johnny Malar's hot drumming. This band is in rockin' form. Oh yeah, and that guy who sings the Dead songs, not bad either.

Rumor has it that the night was recorded - so look right here for some new numbers.

Ok - so the two hot tickets coming up are the Graybeard Family Run - Friday night (7/31) and the Wharf (8/15). Don't miss these sessions !!

Special call out to fans writing in from Texas - Laura & Joe - your CDs are on their way soon.

And Alicia & Danny Ahern great to hear from you guys !! Send an address and we'll send CDs to you too ! All the best to Nolan and her family - and Big Bill way out in the Hamptons - come on in for a gig !! Its like the old days my friend !

And Margaret if you have photos, send them in - we'll post them !!

Saturday 7/25 Graybeards Beach Party @ 129 St
Oh yeah it all started at this Beach Party 4 years ago - and 4 drummers later - this band is just beginning to hit its stride. The GB party is one of the best beach parties around - great friends, good food, waves, sun, moon, and this year, fog too !!!! And the band - founded by founding members of the Graybeards - the band is getting better and better - and joining them on stage was none other than Chevy !!! Ripping through a spirited version of the Band's The Weight - the big man may be on tour with the Riders - if Fogarty will let him out of his contract - we can only hope.

Poppa Stathis, wild hair & stogie, you run a great party and a great organization ! Thanks for letting us be the house band !

Sunday 7/19 Bungalow Bar @ 92 Street
The Riders played Bungalow Bar for the first time Sunday and were blessed with a beautiful Rockaway sunset over Jamaica Bay and a great overflowing crowd of friends, family, Graybeards, and neighbors who all turned out for three rockin' sets of Grayrider classics. Newcomers Johnny Malar and John Battista were right in synch with the band as longtime Riders Joe, Bugsy, Mark and Lou belted out song after song. Bungalow Bar represents a great new location for Rockaway fun and we wish the proprietors all the best - and in fact the Riders will be back on Sunday August 16th @ 5 pm to play BB again.

Next stop for the Riders will be the Graybeards Beach party at 129th St and then the Irish Circle on July 25 & 26. Come on out and have some fun, summer is finally here.

Sunday 6/21 Time Out Magazine - Summer Solstice

The rain didn't stop the RAA from participating in Time Out's summer jam session as the venues were moved indoors to the RAA studios. The Gray Riders playing for the second straight year put together a 40 minute set highlighted by new Bass player Johnny "Bats" belting out a bluesy The Thrill is Gone. Johnny Malar, the Riders new drummer provided a steady back beat for the gig. This new mix of players with core Riders Joe, Mark, Bugsy and Lou are beginning to gel, the jams will only get better from here. The Riders will be getting ready for at least 3 gigs in July so check out the schedule !!

Next Up - Time Out Magazine's Summer Solstice Music  - Sunday 6/21 @ Riis Park
Next Up - Time Out Magazine's Summer Solstice Music  - Sunday 6/21 @ Riis Park
Next Up - Time Out Magazine's Summer Solstice Music  - Sunday 6/21 @ Riis Park
Here's the schedule:



June 21, 2009 
beginning at 11am 
?3 stages at RAA - Over 20 bands

Now in its third year, Make Music New York, “the largest music event ever to grace Gotham” (Metro New York), is a unique festival of free concerts in public spaces throughout the five boroughs of New York City, all on Sunday, June 21st, the first day of summer. MMNY takes place simultaneously with similar festivities in more than 327 cities around the world — a global celebration of music making.

From 11 in the morning to 10 at night, musicians of all ages, creeds, and musical persuasions — from hip hop to opera, Latin jazz to punk rock — perform on streets, sidewalks, stoops, plazas, cemeteries, parks and gardens. From high school bands to marquee names, MMNY is open to anyone who wants to take part, enjoyed by everyone who wants to attend.

Along with the hundreds of individual concerts, MMNY will introduce a new project this year called “Mass Appeal,” where hundreds of musicians band together to perform massive pieces written for a single type of instrument.

MMNY is also celebrating Jazzmobile’s 45th anniversary this year with a special series of jazz events in each borough. (See the schedule of music on the right.)

Schedule of Music:
Riis Stage MoonStage sTudio 7
Hudson’s Hope: 11am X X
Reda Shay:
John Hamilton: 12pm X
Inside Joke:
Off The Grid
Jonathon Roberts
Cosmo’s Moon: 2pm
Hey Stranger: 3pm Psyclone:
Rat Trap Bumpkin:
Going Green:
Brutal East:
Joint Chiefs 
Of Math
Angel Face/
Head Case
Jammin Jon:
Primal Etiquette:
Jenny & JP:
X Mambo Mantis:

Sunday - June 7 - Tap & Grill
The founding members of the Gray Riders - Lou, Joe, Bugsy and Mark played at one of their favorite places on Sunday - Andy's Tap & Grill. The founding members were joined by two new traveling Riders - John on Bass (also known as Bats) and John on Drums - as the former bass player and drummer have gone off to work on their own band. 

Nothing was lost as the Riders played all their favorites to their friends, family and some locals who dropped in to hear the live music and wound up staying to the very end. Best fans Brian King and even Kevin Boyle showed !! Thanks guys ! We wish Brian's music listening partner Big Jack Weber all the best and a fast recovery ! We'll send CDs of the band ! That'll get you going again. And thanks to Murph - no one is a better fan !! Also dancing were Kim & the kids; Timo, Katie, Anna, Tara & Tim - thanks guys ! 

The Riders were also hosts to newly married Matt & Jen - congratulations ! And thanks for your enthusiasm and support throughout the whole show. We had a alot of fun playing and apparently so did they !

Hey, and while I'm at it - thanks to Dan and Gerry for coming out to support their former bandmates - real class act guys.

The Riders play next at the Time Out Magazine Summer Solstice gig at Riis Park - on the main stage at 3 pm - Sunday 6/21 - see you there.

Friday - May 1-  The Lobster House 
The Riders provided the music for the Scholar's Charter School Athletic Association's fund raiser at the Lobster House. The full band was back in the house, and rock the house they did - with the patrons of the LH dancing up a storm - even as it was storming outside. Congratulations to the new owners of the LH, we wish them well, and hope to see them later this summer on the back deck.

 Friday - April 24 -  The Harbor Light 
The Riders provided the mojo for Lynn's 50th birthday party upstairs at the fabulous Harbor Light. The HL knows how to throw a party. And even though the Riders were missing their dynamic bass player and percussionist - the Riders rocked the house, as the Timothy family provided all the dancing any party would ever need. The Riders added traveling wilbury Hank Vought to the mix and all was good. The Timothy's have passed the baton on to the next generation, as the "cousins" are now firmly in command of the partying - and they came from far and wide to celebrate auntie Lynn hitting the big 5-OH ! They came from Oneonta, New Jersey, Washington DC and they got to see Auntie Irene sing Mustang Sally with the band - ahh, memories indeed !!

Next up - the Lobster House - May 1 Friday - see ya there !

Saturday March 14th - Jameson's
It was Saturday night in Rockaway - no parades, no craziness, just a bunch of neighbors, friends and family heading out to their neighborhood pub to hoist a few, watch the games, and listen to some fun music. A great recipe for a good time, especially when the Riders are playing. And for the Riders, it was great to be back in front of a crowd - the time off used to add a bunch of new songs, like Almost Saturday Night, Small Things, Tequila Sunrise, Melissa, Red Neck Friend to name a few. A late night but a good one, a sure sign that summer is almost here.
The Riders will be lining up their next gigs soon - so keep an eye out right here for the 2009 tour dates !!

Saturday March 7th - St. Francis College Treaty Stone Reunion
The Riders played an acoustic set to close the SFC Treaty Stone Folk Festival Reunion this past Saturday night. It was a night of great remembrances for the Treaty Stone Folk Festival members of St. Francis College. From its founding in 1971 through to its end in 1979 - the Treaty Stone was a creative force at SFC for friends to share good music and good times.

The Riders own Lou Pastina, a 1979 grad of SFC played Treaty Stones in 1977, 78 & 79. He dedicated the evening to fellow band mate from those days - Mike O'Connell. Mike passed away in 1994.

The night ended with the Riders being joined on stage by all the Festival's players for rousing versions of Teach your Children and The Weight. It was a great night and the Riders were proud to participate !! Special thanks to SFC's Dennis McDermott and to Treaty Stone's John Kiley. 

Friday 12/12/08 - Tap & Grill  
The Riders played Friday night at Andy's Tap & Grill. A nice turnout of friends and family to cheer the Riders on - thanks to Kathleen K; Debbie & the girls; and groupie Jack W. ! Also thanks to the gang that came in for the second set and danced up a storm, that was great ! The band recorded the evening so look for some live at the Tap & Grill songs coming soon to this site.

Saturday 12/6/08 - Jameson's Pub
The Riders entertained a spirited crowd Saturday night at Jameson's on 129th Street. The Riders introduced a slew of new songs and had the patrons dancing all night. A great primer for the holidays - many smiles, laughing and I think some suds too ! And plenty of great music ! Thanks to the proprietors of Jamesons and to everyone who came out, you made it a great night ! 

Saturday 10/18/08 - Greenpoint, Brooklyn - St. Cecilia's Auditorium
The Riders played at the second annual benefit gig at St. Cecilia's. The Riders were without their raspy voiced rock drummer, and went acoustic for the gig. They played a 60 minute set using acoustic bass, harp, dobro, acoustic and electric guitar and slide. The audience loved the polished set list and the interpretive take on the songs. The Riders added two more songs later in the evening - rockin' the joint, attracting the attention of the Greenpoint Gazette. Look for the Riders in the local newspaper  !

Friday 10/10/08  - Breezy Point Benefit for a Friend
The Colony Theater in Breezy Point was filled with people who cared enough to make a difference in a friend's life. Local musicians performed for the packed auditorium and the Riders were among them. Playing for the first in Breezy, the Riders played a short but blistering set that caught the attention of the crowd ! We thank the organizers for including the Riders to help in this worthy benefit.
Sunday 9/21/08 - Maspeth Car Show
The Riders played the Maspeth Car Show Sunday afternoon. This is the second year for the Riders at the show which is a benefit for local groups. If you like cars "peeling out", hot rods and motorcycles - plus rock n' roll - then this was the place to be. Riders play next in Breezy Point on October 10th.
Saturday 9/6/08 - Irish Circle
Hurricanes couldn't stop the Riders from playing Saturday night at the Irish Circle. The Riders caused a storm of their own with some red-hot jams that took them into the wee-hours of the night. Thanks to everyone who braved the elements, we appreciate you following us !!

Thursday 8/7/08 - RAA Moonstage 
The Riders played at Ft. Tilden Thursday night with various other performers. As a warm-up to the Riders full electric band, founding Riders tipped their cap to Touring member Hank Vought, who joined them for an acoustic set that featured about 12 songs. JK played dobro, Laser played harp and Mark backed Hank up on electric guitar - the mix with Hank's singing & acoustic guitar was pretty cool, as this smaller group, introduced as the Hank Cabana Band played some really catchy and somewhat obscure tunes - you won't hear these on the radio ! The crowd loved it.

The full band followed with a rousing 90 minute dance set that had several audience members twirling and dancing - especially to Big Dan's Barefootin and Howling Werewolves. The Riders relied heavily on their R & B 60's sound and the audience had alot of fun.

Several others played in-between and after the Rider sets - all in all, a really nice night - highlighted by an electrical storm that produced lightening way off in the distance - mother nature doing the lighting effects.

Sunday 8/3/08 - Lobster House
The Riders played the Lobster House on 92nd St for the first time this past Sunday - and it was a real Rockaway night - outdoors on the back deck overlooking Jamaica Bay with a blazing summer sunset, and a rainstorm that was seen in the distance, but which passed the Lobster House by but with a few sprinkles. The Riders loved the setting and the fact that so many people came to hear the group - led by fans Brian & Jack, the Timothy sisters (NJ & Fla.), and several old and new friends who literally danced the night away. The Riders hit their stride early and played 4 hours of music from the 60's and 70's without ever looking back ! Another great night of music and friends !


Friday 7/25/08 - Graybeards Family Fun Run
Over 500 kids & grown-ups participated in the GBs Family Fun Run Friday - a perfect breeze blessed the runners & the GBs cooked burgers & dogs for all those there. The Grayriders played from 7:30 to 10:30 straight through and had a great time playing. Several Special Olympians graced the Riders by hangin' with them during the set - dancing, singing and cheering their band on. It was another successful event by a special organization that remains true to its commitment to bring neighbors together and foster closer friendships in the community. The Riders salute the Graybeards ! Also a special note of thanks to Keith Goldberg who organizes this yearly event for the GBs - his tireless and selfless efforts are the true epitome of being a Graybeard. And if you didn't know it - he's the lead singer for the Riders too !!.

Sat 7/19/08 - Graybeards Beach Party
The Graybeards started as a basketball league for old-timers many years ago. The league blossomed into a not-for-profit organization that has helped alot of people both in and out of the Rockaways, most recently hosting a weekend Wounded Warriors event. The Grayriders were started by Graybeards who were interested in playing music and extending the reach of their "good-deed doing" through music. That's what it's all about.

The GB Beach Party is one of the best around - great friends, on the beach, middle of the summer - it's a great time ! The Grayriders played Saturday for their fellow Beards for the third straight year, and this year may have been the best. A blood-red moon coming up in the east and the fiery sun setting in the west was the backdrop for the Riders.

This year's DJ, Chevy, gave way to the Riders about 7 pm, and the first song was classic Fogarty, leading Chevy to exclaim, "hey, these guys got better !". It was 4 1/2 hours later when the Riders finished their third set, ripping through 35 songs to the delight of the GBs and their friends and family. Their were too many highlights to count here, but the final two songs had everyone singing with the band into the late hours of the night.

Special thanks to Poppa GB, Commission Larry, and Grillmaster Dan-the-Man. It is indeed good to be a GB !

The Riders perform next for the Graybeard Family Fun Run on Friday night 7/25 at 7 pm - for details on the run go to


Sat 6/21/08 - Time Out Magazine Gig

On Saturday the Grayriders joined several bands in Rockaway celebrating Summer Solstice through a free music program sponsored by Time Out magazine. The Rockaway Artists Alliance (RAA) managed the Rockaway participants, and the Grayriders played at 96th Street on the boardwalk.

It was a beautiful beach day and there was some great music played by all the bands - and great diversity too with Bluegrass, Metal, Blues and of course the Grayriders specialty - songs from the 60's & 70's. The Grayriders were the closing act and went 40 minutes past the closing time, giving them the opportunity to do a brand new song (for them !), Tell the Truth.

The crowd on the boardwalk was sorry to see the event come to an end, but as they say all good things must end.The Riders are scheduled for their next event on 7/25 at St. Francis de Sales on 129th St. on behalf of the Graybeards Annual Fun Run. Don't miss it !!

Check out the Graybeards site
Check out Time Out Magazine

Sat 5/24/08 - Jameson's Gig
The Grayriders had 2 gigs Saturday, the first at Bassman Dan's BBQ. A rocking set was ripped through on an impromptu stage that had people tapping their toes and clapping their hands. That set lasted more than 70 minutes straight and included old and new numbers. The band enjoyed that so much they could have stayed at 92nd Street and play there all day.

The second set was at Jameson's and was in support of the Magnet's 23rd Softball reunion games. Our very own Bugsy was the star of that contest and won MVP honors ! He joined the band for the evening gig, as did Dan, coming straight from his own BBQ.

Bugsy introduced the gig with some words about the significance of that small, familiar tavern on 129th Street and some words of thanks to its current proprietors for keeping the spirit(s) alive and well !!!

And then all hell broke loose ! Maybe it was the first weekend of summer, maybe it was the beautiful weather, maybe it was the suds flowing freely, and maybe it was simply Grayrider magic at work again - but the place was packed, shoulder to shoulder with happy revelers, and as the band entered its third set of the night the crowd was literally shaking the floor boards of Jamesons !!! What a blast to play to such a great crowd. One song after another drove the band and crowd on and on- one group playing off the energy of the other. Searing leads, terrific bass runs, crashing drums, passionate vocalizing - and people dancing every which way - what a thrill !!!

The band introduced so many new songs to their repertoire, including DixieChicken, I Knew the Bride, Walk of Life, Werewolves of London, My BackPages, Wharf Rat, Around the Bend, Wooden Ships and others. JK was the crowd favorite and he did not disappoint with 634-5789 and I Knew the Bride, neither did Mark Boyle who got funky with Dixie Chicken and then rocked out with Walk of Life. Gerry Mancini was great on Wooden Ships, Back in the USSR and Up Around the Bend, and Dan the Man killed them on a rip-roaring version of Barefootin'.

But the star of the evening, and MVP of the show was Bugsy. He nailed all his new songs plus an entire fourth set taking the band to the point of no return; that set was heavy on the Band & CCR and included a duet with Donna Sue on Sympathy with the Devil. Mind blowing!! Chevy, you missed it !

We also had help on Mustang Sally by two mysterious, good looking blondes singing the chorus. Rumor has it Peg actually went home with one ofthem. Yeah, baby !!

There was plenty of family in the crowd to cheer on their band family members- Katie got her Dad to do his best Jerry Garcia impersonation on I KnowYou Rider and Deal and did her best Haight Asbury dances - giving her Dad hope that her Republican mother had not completely won.

A great night, at a great place, with great people - we are all blessed -have a great summer and watch this site for upcoming gigs !!

4/27/2008 - Rockaway Run Party - Irish Circle
The 30th Rockaway Rotary's Run this year was dedicated in memory of Barbara Eisenstadt. Barbara was a great patron of the arts in Rockaway; she and her husband, Marvin - founders of Sweet'N Low, have been supporting this run and various musical events in Rockaway throughout the years.

So it was a perfect match for the Grayriders to proudly supply the musical entertainment for the RR after-party at the very accommodating and generous Irish Circle. A crowd of runners, young & old, and their families arrived at the Irish Circle to celebrate their run in the early morning fog on the boardwalk this Sunday.

The Grayriders hit the ground running (it was a race you know) with Bugsy doing a rollicking version of Hard Day's Night and Laser following with his best Johnny Rivers' imitation of Secret Agent Man. The band was in tip top shape with Dan K re-joining the band after a week with Jorma and Jack out in Ohio; Jerry flying in from Hawaii to fill in for Carl; and Peg flying in from the Keys (another 3 am arrival!!). Mark Boyle wailed on Lay Down Sally, and then Peg &Mark took it to a whole other level with red hot jams on the GratefulDead's Deal and CCR's Born on the Bayou. The band also played some spirited versions of Warren Zevon, Ry Cooder, Dion and of course the Grateful Dead.

Shevy we don't know where you've been - but this gig saw 3 hot versions of CCR - better get to a show soon before those tunes rotate out of the set list. To that end, the band has a set list of about 125 songs heavily laced with CCR, Grateful Dead, Beach Boys, Beatles, Neil Young, Dylan, Van Morrison, The Band and others. If you like that kind of music, we are probably your kind of band !!

The band will be announcing its next gig right here soon- so stay tuned.


4/14/08 - Tap & Grill Gig
The Grayriders played at one of their favorite places Saturday - Andy C's Tap & Grill. A small but appreciative audience was in attendance for the first set, but an after dinner crowd showed up for the second set and packed the house. The Riders feeling the energy of the crowd extended several blistering jams and added a third set, which kept the bar filled right till the end.

The band was without it's charismatic bass player, Dan Klohe. Dan was actually on the road in Ohio with Jorma & Jack at their world famous band ranch. The Riders made up for Dan's absence with tight harmonies and spirited playing. The band has introduced an entirely new set list and are gearing up for their summer gigs. Keep an eye out right here for their next performances.

Special thanks go out to Carl & Barbara LiBassi, this month's fans of the band award ! Also to Mrs. K for allowing us to use the Klohe Studio's in Dan's absence.

Be on the lookout for the band's first CD - capturing live performances from Rockaway - this will surely be a Rockapulco must have.

3/16/08 - St. Francis de Sales Gig
The Grayriders played at St. Francis de Sales March 15th as entertainment for the SFDS Peggy Boyle Tournament wrap-up party. The party was for the loyal volunteers honoring the memory of Peggy Boyle through this tournament for young ladies basketball. It was the tenth year for the tournament, and its still going strong - thanks in no small part to the volunteers, parents, coaches, refs, organizers, and the young ladies who play basketball.

The Riders played for the first time without one of their founding members, Joe Kenel, who was on solo tour through the Florida Keys this week. Hope the fish are biting Joe ! The remaining Riders performed admirably though, introducing an entirely new set list.

Bugsy, led off with a rousing rendition of the Beatles Hard Days Night and the band never looked back. Mark Boyle carried the lead guitar role exclusively and gave great versions of After the Gold Rush, Willin',and Third Week in Chelsea by the Airplane. Dan Klohe did Warren Zevon proud with a growling version of Werewolves of London and partnered with Jerry (of Buckles the Monkey fame) on Born on the Bayou. And Carl brought out even more drum and cymbal equipment and managed to use every one one of those babies !!! Yeah, keeping the beat.   
The evening was organized by Caitlin Boyle, Peggy's lovely daughter, and we thank her for asking the Riders to participate in such a great event. It was truly an honor for the Riders.

The evening ended with a song that has been a work in progress for the Riders - the Grateful Dead's Eyes of the World. This encore built steam and really was hot. The Riders continue to honor the Grateful Dead intheir set list. So remember what Mr. Garcia says in the song:

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own.
Wake now discover that you are the song that the morning brings.
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own."

Look for the Riders coming to local pubs around Rockaway soon !!

12/14/08  - Jameson Gig
There was a small but devoted crowd at Jameson's Friday night - taking over from number one fans Brian King and Jack Weber were Tom Ray and Mike Munns. Tom & Mike were with us right to the end - thanks guys we appreciate you hangin' with us.

This gig was acoustic like our most recent gigs to fit in with the dinner crowds - just a note about that - places like Jameson's, the Tap & Grill, the Irish Circle and the Harbor Light run dinners - as Rockawayites we should all support these places as they are owned by local residents who care about our community and help keep us all connected as a neighbors and friends. Support these great places as much as you can.

You know the last couple of gig's have been highlighted by some pretty special playing - but as we come to the close of our second year of playing - its important to note two guys who don't always get noticed - and that's because keeping the beat and guiding the band through rhythms is usually not noticed unless it doesn't work - which is why you may not hear about Dan Klohe, our bass player - unbelievably Dan only started to learn the bass recently and has quickly mastered some pretty complex songs. And when we don't have Carl Li Bassi at the drums you can really tell the difference - they used to call George Harrison the quiet Beatle - Dan and Carl are the quiet Gray Riders - but we know what they bring to the group and value them very much. Thanks guys for all that you do !!!

Have a great Christmas and New Years all - see you next year !!


12/08/08 - Gig Happens Anyway
Whent he Grayriders learned that their drummer was not available on Dec 8 they reluctantly agreed to go on anyway. Luckily picking up mandolin and bongo player Mike L to help out. All set for their Dec 8 gig, they learned on Dec 7, that the venue was no longer available and that they were canceled. So into the welcoming arms of their home away from home, the Tap & Grill - thanks to the hospitality of Andy C !! Then they lost their new addition, Mike, who learned he couldn't make it on Saturday. But this is not the season to give-up easily, and the remaining GRs went on with the show anyway. And thanks to some very spirited playing by Mark Boyle and Joe Kenel they played to the delight of their loyal fans. Special mention goes to two of those loyal fans -voted fans of the year for the GRs !! Brian King and Jack Weber - both can't get enough of two things - Cowbell & Grayriders !!!!

Oh yeah, the music - Bugs was in fine form bringing back the Stones Wild Horses, The Weight and of course an excellent rending of Into the Mystic. Joe continues to wow the crowds with interpreted versions of It Takes a Train to Cry and Fire Down Below. And Mark Boyle got the loudest applause of the evening with passionate versions of Folsom Prison Blues, Carmelita, and a cool lead on Along the Watchtower.

All told - the GRs had a great time and thank their loyal fans for following their twists and turns this week , and they especially thank T& G owner Andy C for opening up his joint for the band - if we don't see you all before yearend have a great Christmas and New Year !!!

12/2/07 - Jameson's Gig
Next Gig is 12/8 Jameson's Pub on 129th Street. The Grayriders play a holiday gig in Rockaway ! They will be all acoustic and will be joined by Mike Layden on Mandolin. Unfortunately drummer and "babemagnet" Carl will not be with the Riders for the 8th - the lucky dog will be in London seeing Led Zep and hanging with Mick Jagger - the lucky recipient of a raffle drawing and a really nice aunt-in-law (Betty Lueder is da bomb) !! We will miss you Carl - have fun across the pond !


11/29/08 - Harbor Light Photography Exhibition by Mary Beth Brunner
The acoustic gig at the photography exhibition at the Harbor Light on11/29 was an artistic success ! It was the first exhibition of photos by Marybeth B and the show was sold out. Anyone interested in purchasing photos from or arranging a photo shoot with this very talented artist can email this Grayrider site and we will relay the order to Marybeth.
Oh yeah, the music - the small group of Grayriders supplying musical background for the evening were quiet but cool, with soft versions of Dylan, Seger, and Garcia songs using guitars, harps, mandolin and voice to entertain the crowd. A warm, friendly evening with the works of a new, very talented Rockaway artist- the Grayriders were proud to be part of her special debut.

11/10/07 - St. Cecilia's Greenpoint - Dan Pujdak Benefit
With most of the other Gray Riders out of town, Joe and Lou represented the Grayriders at a benefit at St. Cecilia's Greenpoint. The benefit was in honor of two locals recently passed - fallen firefighter Dan Pujdak, and local hero Joe Slattery. The gym was absolutely packed Saturday night - Nov. 10. The Gray Riders were joined by Mike Layden who added mandolin, harp and guitar to the mix. The bill was filled with talented local musicians who came together, joining several hundred former and current Greenpointers who were reunited after several decades for the good cause.

The set list included acoustic versions of Tore Up and Big Rail Road Blues with a blistering slide solo by Joe. Grayrider for the night, Mike did a beautiful renditions of Angel from Montgomery and Tom Thumb Blues and finished with a beautiful old John Prine ballad, accompanied on harp by Lou.

Joe reworked Fire Down Below and Wheels on Fire for acoustic renditions and both were powerfully delivered with fiery singing and mandolin backing. The set was pretty cool and the evening was a huge success for its organizers. The Gray Riders were proud to be part of that success.

10/29/07 - Tap & Grill Gig
Friday night, Oct 27, the Grayriders played the Tap & Grill, a pre-Halloween treat - truly scary !! Great turnout for 5 sets of ghoulish GR music ! In addition the night was dedicated to raising money for a family in need in association with the Graybeards and we are proud to report over $1,000 was raised ! Thanks to all the Graybeards and fans that turned out, we had a blast and helped support a very worthy cause.
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