Neville Bros. bring ‘Orleans funk’ to Sam’s Town

February 12, 2001 7:31 AM


Get a little funky this Valentine’s weekend with the Neville Brothers.

The New Orleans kings of funk are coming to Sam’s Town Live! for concerts Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Brothers Art, Charles, Aaron and Cyril have been bringing their unique New Orleans flavor to the music world since the 1976 release of their first album, Wild Tchoupitoulas.

Since then, they have released 13 LPs and collected Grammy Awards for landmark albums Fiyo on the Bayou (1981) and Yellow Moon (1989).

Their latest album, Valence Street, is named for the uptown New Orleans street were they grew up. Rolling Stone said it had "all the creative energy of the best Neville Brothers records — and then some. It has conviction and charm. It’s loaded with strong singles — spicy funk, heavenly ballads and righteous roots connections — yet hangs together as a composite picture of four remarkable brothers."

Tickets, at $30 and $25, are available at Sam’s Town and most outlets.

Sam’s Town Live! has become the new hot entertainment venue in town. It was all part of a big expansion that took place last fall. Upcoming artists include Sammy Kershaw, Travis Tritt and Peabo Bryson.

Sha Na Na’s blast from the past

Legendary rock ‘n’ rollers Sha Na Na are coming to the Silverton Hotel Casino on Sunday at 8 p.m.

They may not have invented it, but the boys in the band have successfully celebrated the music and memories of rock ‘n’ roll history for 30 years. Sha Na Na began oddly enough as members of Columbia University’s glee club ensemble, the Kingsmen. As part of their show, they would perform a cappella versions of 1950s rock songs. That led to the addition of instruments, and with a name borrowed from the Silhouettes’ hit, Get a Job, Sha Na Na was born.

Part of the lineup for the 1969 Woodstock Festival, they have since released 25 albums and sold more than 20 million copies. In 1977, Sha Na Na began hosting their own musical variety show, which featured the group’s music, comedy skits, and special guest stars. Tickets are $17.95.

Scintas to emigrate from Hilton to The Rio

Monti Rock III

It’s official: the Scintas will close their gig at the Las Vegas Hilton at the end of April and re-emerge in the larger showroom at the Rio. This wonderful variety group from Buffalo has been honing its music and comedy skills in the Hilton’s Nightclub. Now they’re ready for their big main room debut. If you haven’t seen them, don’t miss their show.

The folks at the Hilton are looking at entertainment options, including trying to lure Rita Rudner to their main showroom. Rita did well last year at the MGM, though she may not return there.

The Hilton also is interested in signing Sheena Easton for a late night rock ‘n’ roll show like it used to have with Christine W and Louis Louis. Those shows at the original Nightclub were popular and attracted a younger crowd, which seems to be the current fad: drawing in the Generation X-ers.

Mandalay Bay has assured me its new Latin musical, Storm, is nearly ready to debut. Backstage, I’m told, Storm will blow us away.

The Suncoast may sign the popular Forever Plaid after its run is up at the Flamingo. You recall that the show is closing this month and will be replaced by Second City comedy troupe.

Well, Melinda Saxe (the First Lady of Magic) has finally solved her chronic mother problem. She made Bonnie disappear! The elder Saxe was the producer of a nice little show at the San Remo called Showgirls of Magic. But with a wave of her magic wand (poison pen?), Bonnie is out and Melinda’s brother, David, is in. Hocus pocus!

Kenny Kerr recently opened at the New Frontier. The word is, his loyal following has rediscovered him and is filling the seats. Kenny no longer does the Boylesque show. Today he’s more like Don Rickles in drag. Nevertheless, Kenny is truly funny and puts on an entertaining show.

If you like good music, check out the Baccarat Lounge at Bellagio, where there is a superb duet of Bruce Zarka and Geralyn. They perform Sunday through Wednesday nights.

Another duet worth seeing, if you can get a ticket, is Billy Joel and Elton John this weekend at the MGM Grand. The talented twosome is on tour, eating their way across the country.

At the Flamingo, Breck Wall’s Bottoms Up is doing good business, selling out two shows every afternoon.

At the Riviera, the long-running Crazy Girls gets a facelift (or is that augmentation?) and is ready to preview its new revue. Aki, formerly the Stardust’s "Showgirl of the 21st Century," is involved in the new choreography, but doesn’t appear with the topless dancers. Too bad. She’s a statuesque goddess.

I attended the opening last week of Olio! at the MGM Grand. What a wonderful place! As advertised, it’s more than a restaurant, although the neo-modern Italian cuisine is superb. This place is fun, fun, fun – cozy cocktail lounge adjoins with fireplace, massive antipasto bar, space age gelato bar, private screening room – something for everybody.

This kind of restaurant signals the new wave of dining rooms in town. Coming up later this year at Treasure Island will be Kahunaville, a combination tropical-themed restaurant, nightclub and community center. Expect to see more expansive restaurants where people can get together, kick back and have fun. It’s like going to a (rich) friend’s house and hanging out in their basement family room!