Blue Point’s 60s Invasion Band Takes
“Best Cover Band” Accolades on Long
Island for the Third Year in a Row
Third Win Even Surprises the Band Members!
It should be no surprise to anyone that Long Islanders again voted the 60s Invasion as Long Island's Best Cover Band in the Bethpage Federal annual “Best of Long Island” competition.
They are the first band to win three years in a row.
So, why is that amazing? Because, according to bandleader Joseph
Felicetta, “we are up against very stiff competition. Every band
nominated was great. Truth be told, we know folks in almost all
of the other bands. There would be no shame in losing to any of
them. In fact, we do shows together with several of them,
and help each other out in many ways, whether it's pitching in on a fundraiser for a worthy cause, or lending a player as a last minute substitute or loaning a piece of equipment in a jam. We genuinely like and respect one another. This is great business to be in because of all the great musicians we get to meet.”
Bass-player Vic Fusco credits the band’s success primarily to
Felicetta, whom he describes as a hard-driving bandleader, who
works tirelessly at making the 60s Invasion the success it has been. “From booking gigs, to picking tunes for the band, to setting up rehearsals, and more. Joseph does all the time consuming work that makes the difference.”
Joseph, a classically trained singer, as a teen, decided he was more enamored with the stylings of Wilson Pickett than Luciano Pavarotti. Actually, he enjoys singing all types of music…including, yes, opera. Felicetta had barely started to talk when he started to sing. After seeing
Elvis on The Steve Allen Show. He became enamored with the
music of the Fifties. Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, Bill Haley and The Comets and Chuck Berry .But, it was The Beatles and his experiences at Woodstock that convinced him to become a rock singer. His first band The Runaways played The 1964 World’s Fair. He was hooked. The next band Blue Louie played the local bars, VFW Halls, Battles of the Bands and High School Dances. Then came a stint as a roadie for The Illusion.
He started a band with the The Illusion’s hairstylist, and they’d often jam with Carmine Appice and Tim Bogart of Cactus (formerly The Vanilla Fudge)
Joseph’s creativity found further expression in the restaurant business, and thus he put his musical aspirations on hold until well into his 50s. After playing in bands for several years, he formed the band Blues Box. Later, after seeing a “Blues Brothers” movie, he teamed up with long-time friend, Bob Arndts. They billed themselves as Long Island’s Own Blues Brothers - “Bo & Joe Blues”, and Blues Box morphed into The Blues Box Mission Band
playing R&B, Blues, Soul, Funk and Rock and covering the great male vocal duos like Sam and Dave, The Righteous Brothers, and The Blues Brothers.
The Act met immediate success, but sadly, their guitarist and musical director passed away suddenly.
It was time to move on. The next project, Joseph & Friends was a harmony-driven acoustic group covering music of the 50’s, 60s and early 70’s.
That band morphed into the 60s Invasion. Apparently, this came about at the right time, and the group has been busy since it's inception, with an ever increasing number of engagements. In it's first year, it was voted Long Island's Number One Cover Band in the Bethpage Federal/LI Press Competition.
Co-lead singer, Bob Arndts' background was unlikely for a rock band. Bob had cut his teeth performing in musical productions such as “Godspell,” “Bye-Bye Birdie,” “They’re Playing our Song,” and many others. Like the other members of the band, Bob grew up on the 60s and 70s pop hits of AM radio that The 60s Invasion covers, but he also developed a deep affection for the music of The 40s and The Great American Songbook, which by good fortune, is shared with the other members of the 60s Invasion. Bob has even sung lead in a Barbershop Quartet “The Island Chords.” His work with Joseph in Blues-Box convinced Bob it would be fun to sing blues and rock and roll regularly. He’s never looked back.
Vic Fusco, (bass and vocals) was brought into the band one evening when Joseph needed to find a last minute substitute bass- player. Familiar with Vic’s Workin “Roadhouse” but thinking Vic only played “country music,” Joseph inquired whether Vic knew anyone who could fill in. Vic said “I can do it!” Three years later, it’s apparent Vic is now the longest running “fill-in” bass player in history. No surprise here, Vic is in it for the long haul as evidenced by 20 years with “August” from high school to 1979, playing bass or lead guitar at various times, punctuated by four years in the duo “Frankie and Johnnie,” popular in the Hamptons, Upstate ski areas, Manhattan, and the Jersey Shore. After raising his kids he returned to the music scene in 1995 forming the country band “Roadhouse.” Although Vic has always played pop or country music, his true loves are jazz and standards. His favorite singers are Frank Sinatra and Willie Nelson.
Lead Guitarist Steve Gestone, was recruited by Joseph to take over the band’s guitar slot. They had worked together in Blues Box, and it was clear that Steve’s work ethic, incredible experience, and ability to play without “blasting” would serve well in a band playing sixties music.
Steve’s love for music is deeply rooted in the Blues, R&B, and Motown Soul. He played many club-dates in NYC while in his teens and twenties, including a stint with the house band at the Cafe Bizarre in the Village. More recently he was a member of Blues Box with Joseph and Bob, and also played in a number of pop bands. It was during one of those gigs that he met Vic, who enjoyed his “clean” playing style.
Female lead, Janet Montalbo is a gifted vocalist with a three and a half-octave range, has been singing professionally since the age of 22. She was classically trained in college as well as privately tutored by a member of the Metropolitan Opera. Her musical influences include Jazz, Classical,
Country, Rock, and Pop but her favorites are R&B and Rock. She has opened for artists like Ronnie Spector and The Little River Band at venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore,
Janet has also worked Off-Broadway in musical theater at NYC’s Sullivan Street Theater She’s performed at NYC’s Le Bar Bat and such Long Island
venues as The Space in Westbury, My Father’s Place in Roslyn and The Oak Beach Inn to name a few. With a big voice in a little package, Janet nails everything from the Chiffons to Janis Joplin, and has played in more bands than we have room to list. Janet has released 2 CDs: “OPEN MIND” as a soloist singer- songwriter and “COLOR THIS MOMENT” as part of a singer songwriter DUO.
Drummer/ Vocalist Rick Corwin is a seasoned pro-player and drum educator. He has performed every genre of music imaginable with dozens of cover and original bands. Rick spent many years as a bandleader & sideman for some of the top NY club-date agencies. He has performed at noted venues on Long Island and New York City such as the Westbury Music Fair, Boulton Center, CBGB’s, My Father's Place, The Bitter End and The Bottom Line. He has opened for artists like Eric Church, The Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Pure Prairie League, N.R.B.Q., Orleans, Patti Smith, Tom Waits and many others. More recently he was a member of the popular Long Island country band Southbound. After departing that band several years ago, Rick has become one of the area’s most sought after fill-in drummers He’s subbed for many L.I. bands including: Yankee Rebel, Whiskey Road, Penny Lane Dakota Rose, Sweaty Betty, to name a few. Rick’s professional work ethic and meticulous preparation as a fill-in for The 60s Invasion led to his becoming a permanent member of the band in 2016.
Keyboard player John Fallon, the newest member, spent many years playing keyboard with various Long Island bands, working venues like B.B. Kings with Abraxas, (a Santana tribute), and opening for Leslie West and Mountain with Higher Ground as well as playing many of the Long Island festivals and venues. John met Joseph Felicetta when both were called to sub on vocals and keyboards respectively for The Hackensack Men and the Trenton Horns. The friendship continued and John ultimately joined Joseph in the Blues Box Mission Band. Joseph had tried to recruit John to the 60s Invasion on three prior occasions, but other obligations made it impossible. So when an opening recently occurred John was again the first one called. This time he answered the call . Why? “Because I love this music!” he says.
The band adds new “old” songs continually. Check out a 60s Invasion performance and you will hear a great diversity of musical styles. For example, some of the artists whose music you’ll hear might include: The Crystals, The Beach Boys, Tina Turner, The Beatles, Joe Cocker, Linda Ronstadt, Three Dog Night, The Grass Roots, Little Eva, Sam & Dave, Aretha Franklin, The Righteous Brothers, The Chiffons, The Bee-Gees, Los Bravos, The Moody Blues, Delbert McClinton, The Vogues, John Fred & the Playboy Band, Credence Clearwater Revival, Wilson Pickett, Jefferson Airplane, The Rascals, Stevie Wonder, Chuck Berry, The Blues Brothers, Martha and the Vandellas, The Byrds, Nancy Sinatra,The Soul Survivors, The Outsiders, The Band, Etta James, the Temptations, Betty Everett, Guess Who, Fontella Bass, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, the Youngbloods, Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, The Turtles, The Foundations, Shocking Blue, The Ides of March, Janis Joplin....and so many more.
For Bookings contact: Joseph Felicetta
Blue Box Productions 516.313.9280