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December 09, 2016
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What’s in a name?

Brad Walrod and Maureen Neville were amongst the crowd toasting Doug Rogers and the Backseat Drivers at the Callicoon Brewing Company.

Town of Bethel Supervisor Daniel Sturm was in attendance and expressed the board’s sentiments by saying, “We’re so excited to be supporters of the [upcoming] third annual Allyson Whitney 5k Run and Walk. Allyson’s story needs to be shared with the world and this organization does so much for so many.” To date, the foundation has granted more than $50,000 to young adults battling rare cancers, and the organization, run solely by volunteers, deserves credit for doing their part and keeping Allyson’s memory alive.

What’s in a name? With the question still fresh in my mind, I made my way to Callicoon, NY (www.callicoonbrewing.com) later that same day and posed it to musician Doug Rogers (formerly of the Hoy Polloy) whose band is “in transition.”

For more than a year, I’d been hearing a rumor that Rogers was less than satisfied with the group’s moniker and (apparently) unable to make a decision himself, posed the query to fellow band members, seizing the opportunity to welcome newest addition Shawn Caden (guitar and sax), while still waffling. “The guys have been giving me a hard time about the name,” Rogers told the crowd. “The ‘Doug Rogers’ part isn’t going to change anytime soon, but starting tonight, we’re Doug Rogers and the Backseat Drivers. Let’s play!”

After suggesting that Doug update their Facebook page, (“like” them to get alerts on future shows), I sat back to enjoy the band’s eclectic sound, enhanced by musicians Caden, Mark Switko and Chip Forelli, whose showmanship and patter is (IMHO) as much a part of the show as Rogers’ signature accordion and fun twist on classic tunes. Following a rollicking (and unique) rendition of “Just One of Those Things,” Doug quipped that his spin was “cowboy Cole Porter,” and the audience was on its feet, dancing, clapping and singing along.

The group sounded great, and it was fun to get out of the house after the last few weeks of frozen pipes and slippery roads. Once again, I’m reminded of the good times rolling throughout the Upper Delaware River Valley and look forward to the slew of concerts, shows, and gallery openings coming down the pike. While the names might change, that which we call a rose would smell as sweet.