Granby / Live music: ‘A feel good mix of ’50s and ’60s’
September 4, 2008
The fresh sounds of longtime guitar player and singer DooWop Denny will be a highlight of today’s Farmer’s Market in Granby as the second-to-last concert for the market’s First Friday Frenzies events this summer.
The “lifelong” musician is known to deliver “a feel-good mix of 1950s and ’60s rockin’ oldies, island tunes, slow dancing” rockabilly, country classics, and a variety of about 250 tunes. Songs off his massive vintage cover request list include “American Pie,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Joy to the World,” “Kodachrome,” “Mustang Sally,” “That’ll Be the Day,” and “Wild Thing.” He also gets a lot of requests for what he calls “goofy gits,” like “Boogie Man,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Chug-a-Lug.”
He is “a Motown kid,” who grew up in Detroit and was drawn to pursue the field “like a magnet.” He immersed himself in the sounds of Motown, “connecting to that great music and its solid beat” and piano lessons began what would be considered his destiny.
He moved on to drums in high school before the dazzle of rock ‘n’ roll and the electric guitar swept the nation and Denny began to notice “rockabilly pioneers” Carl Perkins and Buddy Holly who inspired him to pick up a six-string. Basic licks and three-chord blues progressions “on a neat little Danelectro” lead to rhythm guitar in a high-school trio.
Foley played a little acoustic guitar in college, the trend then being the folk sing-alongs of the Kingston Trio era, but felt “unplugged music just didn’t pack the beat and the adrenaline rush of rock.” Denny switched back to electric guitar and played in bands like the D-Fenders, Cobb Creek Revival (1970s), and Rockin’ Gold in the 1980s.
In 1993, two of Rockin’ Gold’s band members moved and Denny semi-retired in sunny Florida before music came knocking once again and he created the on-stage persona, DooWop Denny. He began to tinker with computers and music and discovered he could create instrumental sequences which became the genesis of his one-man-band.
His hobby “morphed into a passion” and his beat has gone on, with current performances linking his guitar and vocals into a computer MIDI.
A Grand County resident caught Denny’s show in Summit County, where the musician spends his summers, and he was encouraged to contact the Granby Chamber of Commerce for a local gig. Thanks to them, people in Grand County now has a chance to experience a performance at the Granby Farmer’s Market.
Each market day highlights a free childrens’ booth, lemonade stand and homegrown and homemade items from a variety of vendors that include Morales Farms Inc., Cold Springs Greenhouse, Our World Bakery, Hungry Mother Organics, JR’s Grill, The American and European Kitchen, Styria Catering, the Hot Sulphur Springs Soap Company and Sweet Pea Produce. Members of the Grand Community Gardens are also on hand to share gardening tips and answer questions. As part of First Friday Frenzy, today’s market also features a beer and wine tent.