Is it true that inside every band musician there is a superstar looking to break free?
“We all feel that way, if we had our druthers,” said Andy Aledort, the blues guitarist who will be part of a concert at the Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington, Long Island, on June 2 – The SideMen With the Uptown Horns.
Aledort then added the practical side of the blues – “It’s hard to make money.” So you do what you can.
He is a thoughtful musician who has played for Dickey Betts and Double Trouble and Buddy Guy and in Jimi Hendrix tribute shows. He also transcribes classic riffs and teaches guitar (to Paul Allen, just to drop a name) and writes about music. His experience in the industry has taught him that winning teams must have rebounders, passers and defenders as well as stars firing 3-point shots.
“Just as an aside, a few years ago I went to an astrologist, Bob Cook, who looked at my chart and told me, without knowing anything about my life or career, that I was the type of person that was happier helping others to ‘shine’ without striving for the spotlight myself, and this is definitely borne out by the many things I’ve done on and off stage.”
In recent months I have been reminded of the talent that backs up the stars. I went to the Landmark – where all three of our children went to elementary school -- to see two of my favorite singers, Kathy Mattea and Iris DeMent. Sitting up front, I was transfixed by the guitar riffs that made the stars even better. (I wish I had taken names of the two pickers, but afterward I did get to tell both of them how terrific they were.)
On June 2, the same Landmark on Main Street will welcome to a whole concert of sidemen – Aledort, plus Audley Freed (Cry Of Love, Black Crowes, Jimmy Page, Sheryl Crow), bassist Andy Hess (Black Crowes, Gov't Mule, John Scofield), singer/keyboardist Mike Dimeo (Deep Purple, Riot, Bonnie Tyler, Tommy James), drummer Shawn Murray (Mink Deville, John Hammond, Mick Taylor), bassist Dennis Metzler, and singer JP Patrick.
They will be joined by the Uptown Horns, who have backed up The Rolling Stones, James Brown and Bruce Springsteen and, yes, B.B. King.
For information on the event at 7:30 PM, please see:
The SideMen concept is the brainchild of Bill Willets who works with Louis Rosano of Louis Electric Amps in New Jersey. Willets recently organized the first Sidemen concert in Ramsey, N.J., and sold out the place – and is bringing accomplished musicians to my town on June 2, with another concert scheduled for Teaneck, N.J., on June 4.
Aledort, 59, grew up in nearby Little Neck and at the age of 8 he and a few pals began riding their bikes up and down the hills to Port Washington to ogle the wares at the legendary Ghost Motorcycles – by coincidence, next door to the Main Street School.
He studied guitar under the legendary teacher Joe Monk of Great Neck and lives in nearby Sea Cliff with his wife Tracey Aledort, who runs Forest Books in Locust Valley, and their children, Rory and Wyatt.
For a while, Aledort did 50-80 shows a year with Dickey Betts (who came up with the Allman Brothers Band) but Aledort says life on a band bus “is like being on a chain gang.” Hence, he tries to stay close to home, but the blues are always the blues.
(Below: Aledort gives a little primer on the blues.)
5/26/2015 02:28:11 am
Thank you for taking time and interest in The SideMen with The UpTown Horns and myself!
5/26/2015 03:13:44 am
Great article! I've known Andy since I was in elementary school.
Peter R Wilson
5/26/2015 08:58:43 am
From the "it's a small world" department, one of my colleagues, Steve Montresor, Esq., once jammed Hendrix with Andy for about a half hour or so. Steve is a drummer and is presently involved with two local acts, Milkshake Jones and Hot Wing Jones.
5/26/2015 10:57:30 am
Pete, from Long Island to Harrisburg, indeed a small world. Can you imagine 8-year-olds making it up the hills to Manhasset and Port, with the Jerry Garcia-like figure sitting out front of Ghost? Best from LI. George
Peter R Wilson
5/26/2015 11:24:31 am
It's even more convoluted than you could imagine. In the middle of it is a guy named Alan Paul who wrote a book called "Big in China", "Guitar World" magazine, and an unlikely music festival in rural Cumberland County PA (outside of Carlisle) called "Stamperstock" created and hosted by another local attorney, Dean Dusinberre. It was at "Stamperstock" that Steve and Andy met. Past performers at "Stamperstock" also include Chris Thomas King, who appeared in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou"? as Tommy Johnson, the musician who sold his soul to the devil. Steve once saw Andy play at Stamperstock in a deluge with 15 others while the rest of the crowd sought shelter. I think you are going to have to come to "Stamperstock" this summer (bring your own chair, please).
5/27/2015 12:31:14 am
I came here (after too long an absence) to read about FIFA's corruption, and I am sure I will, but found this. Thanks for the heads-up. I shall spread the word and try to break away and see this show in Port.
5/27/2015 03:35:24 am
FIFA corrupt? Who would have known? Will someone roll on Blattner? Where is Elliot Ness when we need him?
Peter R Wilson
6/11/2015 07:04:08 am
Through the magic of the internet, here is a YouTube link to the epic Stamperstock jam in PA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YT75rTlDAY
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.