MUSIC BLOG: Dave McGrath, Anonymous Willpower, Amanda Ashley, and Into the Now

Amanda Ashley performed at the Roc City Rib Fest Sunday at Ontario Beach Park. PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE


Thursday night was the grand opening of the Dinosaur’s upstairs lounge and party room. Well wishers and coattail riders piled into this plush layout while Dave McGrath played the blues and damn near everything else from his perch in the corner. His originals — like my personal favorite, “Mississippi Mud” — held up amongst the wide range of covers the man does with his own rhythm and twist.

Tala Vera was pumping Friday night as I made the scene over on State Street. The searing soul of Anonymous Willpower’s R&B boogie and boogaloo bounced out onto the sidewalk. It simply couldn’t be contained. Inside, the band absolutely tore it up. I’ve been a fan since the beginning and have to say the band has really reached its stride as it testified and Dixie-fried its set of future classics ala Ike and Tina. You simply must see this band. It will kill your pain.

I ate too much BBQ Sunday at the Roc City Rib Fest at Ontario Beach Park. I caught a few bands between handfuls of pork. Amanda Ashley has a sensational voice that soared from the gazebo. Ashley’s music is sexually charged and has sort of an evening cool about it. So it was kind of odd to hear her lyrical sensuality reverberate about the park under the blazing sun.

Into The Now followed with its Dead Head jams, blending nicely with the haze. Musical magic happened as a group of break dancers, along with some enthusiastic kids, took to the concrete dance floor. It was the perfect blend of cultures and genres as the kids popped and locked to the band’s hyper-extended jam. This is what music is capable of.


  1. Thanks for the plug Frank, we local artists appreciate your dedication to the scene, you keep it up and so will we!

  2. Everyone wants to know · · Reply

    I’ve seen the Amanda Ashley lady a few times over the past couple years. Always a great show!

  3. Chris Bensley · · Reply

    It was a great day, watching the dancing unfold makes it all worth it.

  4. Into the Now + breakdancing? I want to see video!

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