Richard Barone and the Outpost

Outpost in the Burbs delivered quite an interesting show this past weekend, utilizing the talents of many different performers in one show.

Outpost in the Burbs delivers something new with Richard Barone.

Richard Barone, along with Milton, Jeffrey Gaines and Deni Bonet, performed a different kind of show at Outpost in the Burbs. Instead of just one or two musicians singing several songs at a time, each musician joined in with each other to perform the same song, doing so for three rounds.  During one round, once one musician started to sing, all the remaining performers joined in unison.

Round one started off with former Bongos member Richard Barone’s “Cool Blue Halo,”and then Milton came up onstage to perform “Night Driver.” A seemingly more reserved Milton, who also plays guitar, has a soulful singing voice akin to Marc Cohn’s. “Life of the Living” by Jeffrey Gaines followed, after he told the audience that writing songs is his best and most comfortable way of expressing himself and being forthcoming to people, as opposed to going to parties.

Completing the first round was multi-instrumentalist Deni Bonet, who only had her voice and electric violin that night. Nonetheless, she showcased her unique talents while starting with “One in a Million.” Not only did she shred on her violin, but she was accompanied by guitarist Steven Murphy, who did not sing or perform his original songs, but harmonized with the rest of the round.

richard barone at the outpost
Photo courtesy of Christine Byczkiewic.

After a brief intermission, the second round began once again with Richard Barone performing “River to River.” Richard Barone was soon joined by the rest of the performers with their instruments. This same routine went for the other performers’ individual songs, such as Milton’s “An 8 in the Sand” and Gaines’ “A Dark Love Song.” However, Bonet performed her instrumental “Light this Candle” only with Murphy.

Round three was the round of anecdotes and lessons. Richard Barone addressed the theme about how young people, particularly teenagers, can sometimes be naïve when it comes to love and relationships in “God Understands.” According to Richard Barone,  this song is not necessarily religious in nature, but it just expresses a belief that a person’s love life is fated for them.

Milton shared a story about his upbringing in the conservative suburbs, which were so stiflingly conservative that anyone who was not deemed “normal” by those standards was immediately shunned from society. He moved to the city where uniqueness is not only fully welcomed but revered over “normalcy.”  His “B-Side to a Sad Song” spoke more about that concept.

Gaines’ “Headmasters” spoke volumes about how the public school system, for the most part, does not encourage students to be smart and creative in their own ways, but that they are expected to follow a disgustingly robotic format that society throws out into the world.

There are only a few shows left in the Outpost in the Burbs’ spring season. The next show is June 6 with Forever Ray, a Ray Charles tribute band with special guests: Montclair’s own Jazz House Kids. On June 13, Indigenous and Daniela Cotton will perform. At the last show of the season on Sunday June 22, Dan Bern and Ari Hest will perform, but in a different venue. That show will take place at the Van Vleck House and Gardens on 21 Van Vleck Street in Montclair. Be sure to get your hands on these tickets before the season comes to a close!

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