Skeeter Creek Celebrates 2000 Live Performances at Vapor

On Saturday, March 11th, Skeeter Creek celebrated their 2000th concert with a packed house at Vapor Nightclub inside Saratoga Casino. 1267 “Creek Freaks” made their way through the doors to witness the historic night. The event was jointly sponsored by Country 107.7 WGNA, DeCrescente Distributors and MovinAds Marketing.

Joey K. with a special note for the 1267 “Creek Freaks” in attendance.

Skeeter Creek began twenty-one years ago as a four-piece bluegrass ensemble featuring Joe Kulewicz and the late Tim Seabolt. From those humble beginnings, the band has grown into a powerhouse Country and Rock party band with the ability to draw over a thousand fans to their gigs on a regular basis. Joey K., who plays rhythm guitar in the band, has built such a stellar lineup over the years. The current band consists of husband and wife Dave Ahl and Renee Lussier on lead vocals. Lussier provides acoustic guitars in addition to her world-class voice. I have seen just about every current major label female country artist in concert. I can say without hesitation that Lussier’s voice is among the finest I have heard. The fantastic Rich Romano provides lead guitars. No matter what he is playing, he makes it look effortless. Veteran keyboard player Dominic Paratore handles all of the piano parts with ease. Paratore has been part of the Albany music scene for over forty years. His band Ariel was a staple at long-gone venues like JB Scott’s. The band is rounded out by the rhythm section of Juan Lopez on bass and Jeff Dudwoire on drums. Their in-pocket playing lays the foundation for the whole band.

Doors for the event were scheduled to open at 8 pm for a 9 pm performance. The line to get in snaked through the casino, past the slot machines nearly to the coat check. I spoke with people who had been in the queue since 5 pm.

Matty Jeff and Brian Cody from WGNA

At 8:45 pm, Matty Jeff and Brian Cody of Country 107.7 WGNA welcomed the fans and did a brief introduction. The lights dimmed, and a video played on the huge screen behind the stage. The video began with Joey K. thanking everyone for coming and thanking all of the people who have made Skeeter Creek what they are today. It was especially touching to see photos of the late Tim Seabolt. A photo slideshow had the crowd hooting and hollering. Photos of every past band member were presented, along with photos of some of Skeeter Creek’s bigger moments.

The band hit the stage promptly at 9 pm and gave the crowd two long sets of country with some rock thrown in. Singer Dave Ahl sported a t-shirt from local apparel company UNYtee emblazoned on the back with “2000 Kick-Ass Shows.” There were a few surprise guests. Former drummer Buddy Tricarick sat in for “Wild In Your Smile” by Dustin Lynch. Skyler’s House Party keyboardist and former Skeeter Creek member Jeff Baldwin joined the band for a blistering rendition of Journey’s “Separate Ways (World’s Apart), which was highlighted by Romano’s note-for-note guitar solo and guest drummer Andrew Tricarick’s thunderous drumming. Andrew, now 21 years old, is the son of former drummer Buddy Tricarick. I have seen Andrew sitting in with the band since he was really young. He has grown into a hell of a drummer.

Like father, like son… Buddy (left) and Andrew (right)

It is worth noting that the staff at Vapor handled the enormous crowd really well. The wait staff was quick, polite, and efficient. Security allowed people to have fun. If they weren’t dressed like the Secret Service, you’d never even know that they were there. The sound in the room was stellar. The house sound system is state of the art, making Skeeter Creek’s long-time soundman Leo Bouchard’s job just a little easier. Bouchard is the unsung, unseen hero of this band, and he deserves to be recognized as such. He is just as important as any member on stage. The production value at Vapor is second to none for a venue this size within the area. The lighting rigs and video cameras bring arena-sized production to a mid-size club.

It was a wonderful celebration of twenty-one years of hard work and dedication by Joey K. and the members of Skeeter Creek. Here is to the next twenty-one years!

Photo Gallery by Claude Sawyer

1 Comment
  1. Andrew E says

    WOW!! What an amazing milestone, congrats to the Creek!! Also, AMAZING photos Claude! Well done.

    Big shout out to as well, LOVE your product, love the love you show for the Capital Region!

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