Put on the tie-dye, let down your hair and pull out those bell-bottoms.
The ‘60s are back — and alive and well this weekend at the Bay Street Theater.
The Sixties Show, a New York City-based performance group which has been called “the greatest 1960s musical re-creation show in the world” comes to the Sag Harbor theater on Saturday, October 29 with an 8 p.m. show.
The band features former members of Bob Dylan’s, Ray Charles’, James Brown’s, The Beach Boys’ and The Kinks’ bands, as well as musicians like drummer Dennis Diken, a founding member of The Smithereens.
Craig O’Keefe, singer, guitarist and keyboard player, is the group’s musical director and the founder of “The Sixties Show.”
“I have a personal love for all things 1960s — the music, the culture, the whole decade in everyway possible,” he said in a recent phone interview. “Being a musician, the best way to intertwine those was put together The Sixties Show.”
Not only does the group recreate the best music from the ‘60s — including hits, B sides and deep album cuts — they also perform in front of a multi-media show featuring images and film clips of vintage rock and roll performances, old commercials and news bulletins. Though at 52, Mr. O’Keefe was just a baby during the era, he finds he’s not alone in his love for the ‘60s.
“Our audience members range in age from their early 20s to their 70s,” he said. “Some are older and lived through the ‘60s. Others weren’t born yet, but have a connection to the music, the history or just the vibe of the times and they connect to it.”
Mr. O’Keefe believes that the golden era of American music was from the 1940s to the 1970s, when, he says, there was an honesty in the approach to the music and it organically connected with the spirit of the listener.
“Whether it’s how it was written, arranged and performed, or even the sequencing of an album, which was an art form, when you listened to a record back in the day, you had an experience or felt a mood,” he said. “You also had of the whole album experience, with the cover and the liner notes.”
“It’s a bygone era,” he added. “Today there are great artists, but much of the music is fabricated and producer driven. You’re mostly listening to singles.”
While The Sixties Show is all about capturing and recreating a specific sound from an earlier time, Mr. O’Keefe notes that the musicianship of The Sixties Show goes far beyond the concept of tribute band.
“With all due respect to tribute bands, we’re not that,” he said. “We’re several layers above it because ours is a full musical recreation experience.”
Mr. O’Keefe explains that unlike tribute bands, the group recreates the music of dozens of different bands and artists, and, he adds, they only perform those songs that live up to the quality of the original version.
“We want to make sure the songs are not just good, but that they sound amazing,” said Mr. O’Keefe. “When you see us play, that excitement, love and energy comes through.”
“We just love what we’re doing,” he added. “A lot of these songs are about compassion, love and hope. They’re universal truths and that’s why people are enraptured by them.”
The Sixties Show is Saturday, October 29 at 8 p.m. at Bay Street Theater, Long Wharf, Sag Harbor. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 on the day of the show, and are on sale now at baystreet.org or by calling the Box Office at (631) 725-9500.
The band features Tom Licameli and Jim Boggia on guitar and vocals, drummers Chris Parker and Dennis Diken, Peter Chiusano on keyboard and John Cardone on bass and backing vocals, and Craig O’Keefe, on guitar, bass, keyboard and vocals.