I wish more musical artists would have the foresight that Sonny Del–Rio has but given he’s got sixty years of experience, it’s no surprise he’s got some insight into the business of music. The saxman for hire has had a storied musical career that saw him start during the dawning of the rock and roll era, playing with the likes of Crowbar, King Biscuit Boy, Ray Materick, Trickbag and more as well as releasing a handful of his own CDs over the years but with his latest band, Del–Rio wanted to visually and sonically capture the band at its peak and so why not put together a DVD for the fans.
Sonny’s musical journey started at the ripe age of 14 years old back in ’57 and he’d play with bands in Hamilton like Sonny and the Del–Rios (with no one named Sonny or Del–Rio), and later Richard “King Biscuit Boy” Newell, Crowbar, Ray Materick and more gaining a plethora of road stories with Jack Pedler and others.
His current band, the Five Star Revue, features Del–Rio (vocals, sax, percussion), Catherine Goodrick (vocals, percussion), Robin Houston (vocals, drums, percussion), Dan Thomas (vocals, guitar) and Jason Colavecchia (vocals, bass) and the band is a tight unit but with no official recordings.
People don’t want to buy CDs anymore but this has taken so long I wonder who buys DVDs anymore but it’s done and it’s out there and I’m proud of it,” says Del–Rio. “We wanted to capture this band because they’re just so good and I’ve played with some really good players but I love the Five Star Revue. We have a full show included with tons of tracks but we thought we’d add a little something special and so Kevin Barber interviewed me for an added bonus. Ray Materick did some great artwork for it and we have a great eight page booklet included as well.
“It’s been eighteen months making this thing and I never thought it’d take that long but I am so appreciative of Dave Beatty and Paul Vermatt at QED media for putting together this project,” adds Del–Rio. “They believed in me and wanted to help make my vision to fruition and we had a great time at Cannon 205. It’s a wonderful band made up of wonderful people and we started doing some filming and it’s turned into this legacy piece with all the added features.”
On his way to becoming Hamilton’s high energy octogenarian, Sonny Del–Rio shows no signs of slowing down and to spread the word about his new DVD, he's organized a gig with his old friends in Trickbag for a Saturday matinee.
“You’ve got to love Stonewalls with their high stage, every seat in the house is a good seat to see the band,” says Del Rio. “I’ve designed the Five Star Revue’s set like a Las Vegas revue so it moves fast, professionally and smoothly from one song to another so we will definitely offer up a great show, And we’re excited about this show. It’s funny, the band is better than we were two years ago when we shot this video as things grow and evolve. I think I’m a better performer now than ever before. I’m seventy–six years old but I’m still writing, singing, and honing my craft. I’m blessed to still be able to do that. Wayne Gretzky can’t do it but as an artist you can hold your craft into old age and I’ve been playing better than ever.
“I hope more people learn about the DVD and it’s available online for $29.50 including taxes and shipping but at the show, the double disc DVD is available for just $20,” adds Del Rio. “I don’t expect to sell thousands of them and I’ve given away so many to my friends so it’s not about the money. I've had a life full of amazing music and musicians and I hope that continues on for some time, meanwhile you can have a piece of history if you get the DVD and you can get it at an amazing show with my fabulous band.”
Sonny Del–Rio and the Five Star Revue and Trickbag - Together! happens this Saturday February 29 at Stonewalls from 2pm to 6pm. Cover is $10. Click on sonnydelrio.com