I NEVER FELT LIKE THIS: Beloved rock and roll pioneer and visionary Jack Scott enthralled a capacity crowd with his stunning nineteen song set at the annual Birthday Bash in the city of Warren, Michigan on Friday the twenty-fourth of August. Editor/Publisher Michael McDowell has the story (click on the Jack Scott Concert Review under the Previous Posts heading at right for the full story). Pictured above, left to right: long time Blitz Magazine contributor Jerry Schollenberger, Blitz Magazine Editor/Publisher Michael McDowell and Jack Scott. (Click on the above image to enlarge). (Photo by Mike Jackson).

By Michael McDowell

The opportunities to witness true rock and roll royalty in action have tragically been diminishing in recent years.

As such, when such an opportunity avails itself, it would be highly remiss to not take advantage of it. And when the artist in question continues to deliver at optimum level, so much more the blessing. 

Such was definitely the case on the evening of Friday the twenty-fourth of August at the annual Birthday Bash, held each August in the city of Warren, Michigan to commemorate the Detroit suburb's incorporation in 1957.

Most fittingly, legendary rock and roll vocalist, composer and Windsor, Ontario native Giovanni Domenico "Jack Scott" Scafone has headlined the celebration over the past several years. For not only have Scott and his family been long time residents of Warren, but Scott also made his recording debut in 1957 with the self-penned powerhouse rocker, Baby She's Gone for the ABC Paramount label. Beloved and much missed area radio station WJBK 1500 AM took notice and gave Scott his first hit, followed in rapid succession by a series of acclaimed singles and albums for ABC Paramount, Carlton, Top Rank, Capitol, Groove and Dot. 

Baby She's Gone opened Scott's seventy-five minute, nineteen song set, rendered by Scott on rhythm guitar with a backing combo that replicates the instrumental dexterity of the original releases (not to mention the world class vocal harmonies of the Chantones) without sacrificing the passion and intensity of the original recordings. The genial and charismatic Scott kept the proceedings upbeat, following Baby She's Gone with his second ABC Paramount single (and arguably his finest moment), Two Timin' Woman

From there, Scott's set list was a true "we still are not worthy" outpouring of riches, including such highlights from his affiliation with Carlton, Top Rank and Capitol  as Leroy, What In The World's Come Over You, My True Love, Baby Baby, Indiana Waltz, Goodbye Baby, Midgie, Geraldine, Oh Little One, With Your Love, I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time, I Never Felt Like This, Burning Bridges and The Way I Walk. His set was rounded out by a playful tribute to Lou Monte, a rather intense interpretation of Grandpa Jones' Mountain Dew (in which Scott wowed the capacity crowd with his commanding ability as a yodeler) and the full blown Gospel raver, King Of All Kings, which is loosely based on his earlier Save My Soul.

"So many artists trash their own material in concert with throwaway medleys", said long time Blitz Magazine contributor Jerry Schollenberger after the show.

"But Jack Scott nails every song. And his band is incredibly tight".

Michigan Music History CEO Mike Jackson echoed Schollenberger's observations.

"We have just witnessed true greatness", he said.

"I'm speechless".

If indeed there were any "what if" moments in such an extraordinary set, it was that it did not include a sampling of his acclaimed 2015 Way To Survive album on the Bluelight label. But Scott himself assured that more is forthcoming.

"There is a new studio album in the works", he said.

"Keep an eye on the web site for more information". 

In the meantime, if the opportunity to see this beloved founding father of rock and roll in concert comes along, don't miss it. In the words of a classic cut from his What In The World's Come Over You album for Top Rank, it's a Good Deal, Lucille.