If you’re my age or older you look back on an emerging era of music. The big bands were declining in popularity or only important to our parents or grandparents. The ever-so dangerous hip-gyrating rock ‘n’ roll was being ushered in through the likes of Bill Haley, Buddy Holly and, of course, “the King” Elvis.
But we also had our “alternative music” as youngsters do today with the names of the Kingston Trio, Smothers Brothers, the Highwaymen and the John Denver-inspired Chad Mitchell Trio. Well I’ll tell you Door County, a little bit of that music is back and we can enjoy it right here in the form of the group Last Man Standing.
Jim Blahnik, mandolin; John Spitzley, guitar; Tad Greene, banjo; and Rick Gordon on bass have put together a piece of ’50s and ’60s nostalgia that’s worth the price of admission (which is absolutely nothing). Their stage presence, interactions and audience rapport rekindles musical memories of Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds and Dave Guard as we clapped, smiled and sang along to their classic hits.
You would think this group has been performing together for a while but as Blahnik explains, “Spitz and I have been together for about 40 years but the four of us as a group, about two months.”
You can catch these witty, noteworthy troubadours weekly or as Blahnik also says, “We play at the Cornerstone every Thursday, unless we don’t.”
So to all you partially pre-baby boomers, if you want to be taken back to your college days of crew cuts and bobby socks catch Last Man Standing. They put the emphasis on old in the term “old school.” You’ll come away with the understanding that they perform for your pleasure and their enjoyment.
Last Man Standing will perform at Door County Brewing Company on Aug. 17 at 1 pm, as well as at the Baileys Harbor Cornerstone Pub on most Thursdays in August from 4 ‘til 6ish.