The Grass Roots
Friday July 30, 2021
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
The Grass Roots made their first-ever appearance at the Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel Friday Night. Playing to a packed house the band treated their fans to not only the hits but a few rare tracks as well. Bassist/Vocalist Mark Dawson told the crowd they were “double-scooped” and you can bet your bottom dollar that you were.
This show marked just the band’s 2nd gig of 2021 and they did not miss a beat. While Dawson kept the show interesting with his anecdotes that featured tidbits of the band’s history, he also kept the audience on their toes with his wit and humor. Drummer Joe Dougherty has been keeping the beat since 1989. Both guitarist Dusty Hanvey and keyboardist Larry Nelson have been with the band since 1984. The latter three played with longtime leader Rob Grill up until he passed away in 2011.
Highlights of the 80-minute set included “Heaven Knows”, “Sooner Or Later” and “Temptation Eyes” all of which had the crowd singing and dancing along. Even lesser known gems such as “Feelings” and “The River Is Wide” went over well with the crowd. One interesting note is that two songs the Grass Roots had the chance to record but turned down before they became smash hits, “Don’t Pull Your Love” and “Love Grows Where My Rosemary Grows” have remained staples in the band’s set ever since 1996.
The Grass Roots have a long and interesting history. Although they do not record any new music they are always looking for ways to keep their show interesting and informative. Dawson has stepped in as the perfect fit to help keep the Grass Roots legacy alive and delivering a quality show. These days it seems many other legacy bands have taken notice of things and are starting to do the same. Bands like Foreigner and even ZZ Top are keeping their shows going with new members stepping in to keep things rolling. While there may be many fans who simply wish bands without any significant or original members left to call it a day there is a big reason why some carry on. It is a business and if you can pull things off like this modern day version of the Grass Roots does then why not. I among many, enjoyed the fabulous show these musicians put on and that is what it is all about.
I’d Wait A Million Years
Don’t Pull Your Love
Sooner Or Later
Things I Should Have Said
Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes
Let’s Live For Today
Where Were You When I Needed You
The River Is Wide
Come On And Say It
Two Divided By Love
Baby Hold On