When Philadelphia is discussed – especially Philadelphia sports – the word “passion” is often thrown around quite freely. So it is not surprising to hear the passion in David Uosikkinen’s voice when The Hooters drummer talks about his “In The Pocket” project, which spotlights essential Philly tracks, played by Philly musicians.View Link
Known as the drummer for one of Philadelphia’s most famous rock band exports, The Hooters; David Uosikkinen has assembled an all-star cast of Philadelphia-based musicians to form his project, In The Pocket.
On Sessions: Essential Songs of Philadelphia, Uosikkinen and In The Pocket celebrate Philadelphia’s rich musical heritage by updating ten songs either created by the city’s musicians or recorded in Philadelphia; and a portion of proceeds from the album’s sale benefits Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School.View Link
When Hooters drummer David Uosikkinen decided in the fall of 2010 to begin revisiting the “essential songs of Philadelphia” with the help of a rotating cast of area musicians, he never envisioned releasing a studio CD.
“On a marketing level, who cares about CDs anymore?” the Bristol Township native told me in a 2012 interview.
A lot of people, apparently.View Link
One of the tidbits I caught wind of at David Uosikkinen and Dallyn Pavey’s In the Pocket project CD release show at Ardmore Music Hall (and man, the place had the grape-ish smell of Aussie hair spritz piercing the club’s air) was that one of the night’s vocalists,Richard Bush, was putting the finishing touches on an EP (Back Together) with The A’s, the band he started with guitarist Rick DiFonzo and keyboardist Rocco Notte, “There’s really nothing at stake, no pressure, no label, no tensions,” says DiFonzo. “Just having fun. We sound like us only better.” When I asked if Bush would still have the white beard that he donned at the In the Pocket show, DiFonzo said with a laugh, “His is, very fortunately, the only beard in the band, and won’t be there long.” Their next gig is at The Social at Revel, July 5, at 8 p.m. Before I get off the topic of In the Pocket’s Ardmore show, the gig had local celeb attendees such as WMMR DJ Pierre Robert, chef Chris Scarduzio, top dog Philly lawyer Nino Tinari, scribe Stephen Fried, and a.kitchen’s David Fields. Watch for this same crew to head to Havana in New Hope on May 17 for the next In the Pocket show after Uosikkinen and the rest of the Hooters return from Germany.View Link
The premise is simple: David Uosikkinen leads his bandmates in the Hooters, along with a coterie of this city’s finest rock-and-soul players, through a project of his own devising, a catalog of his favorite Philadelphia-rooted songs.
You can argue with Uosikkinen’s choices, but you can’t argue with his enthusiasm or reach (“I Ain’t Searchin’ “, from Philly late-1960s favorite the American Dream is alone worth the price of admission). Under the moniker In the Pocket, Uosikkinen’s shifting collective ensemble released its tracks online (to benefit the Settlement Music School) and now has compiled them on a CD, In the Pocket: Essential Songs of Philadelphia, celebrated with a packed-to-the-rafters concert Friday at Ardmore Music Hall.
This show was more of a 1980s family reunion than record-release gig. The Hooters made their bones at the old 23 East (now the Ardmore Music Hall) as did guitarist Tommy Conwell, who recalled his first gig there 30 years ago after tackling a blistering version of the Dovells’ 1963 hit, “You Can’t Sit Down,” with saxophonist Jay Davidson and Hooters organist Rob Hyman (both doing yeoman work with drummer Uosikkinen throughout the night) rolling soulfully behind him.
Precise versions of In the Pocket‘s tracks were as much of a prickly pleasure (Jeffery Gaines’ sharp-as-a-knife rendition of the Nazz’s “Open My Eyes”) as were their variations (the Hooters’ Eric Bazilian taking the live, nervy vocal duties from Ben Arnold on a jittery version of Robert Hazard’s “Change Reaction”).
Though the A’s vocalist Richard Bush was in full flower throughout his front-man duties (including a smooth, Hooterish take on his “Woman’s Got the Power”), it was most impressive hearing Soul Survivors vocalists Charlie and Richie Ingui lend their silken, smoky pipes to an epically dynamic arrangement of the O’Jays’ “Backstabber” – one of several non-album tracks rendered throughout the evening.View Link
Special Concert Celebrates Debut “In the Pocket” CD.
More of my interview with Hooters drummer David Uosikkinen…View Link
You might not agree with David Uosikkinen’s choices about what qualifies as “essential.” Doesn’t matter. Each of the tracks that The Hooters drummer and his slate of local musician pals tackled — finally compiled on In the Pocket: Essential Songs of Philadelphia — have returned with an ebullient spirit of friendship and respect. “I never meant to outdo the originals,” says Uosikkinen. “I wanted to reintroduce songs, celebrate a community of artists and remind people of the melting pot of sounds and stories we come from here.” Some tunes are aged classics, some come from Uosikkinen’s ’80s/’90s contemporaries. Either way, Essential Songshas an energy all its own.View Link
An all-star lineup of local musicians will perform a special concert at the Ardmore Music Hall Friday night to celebrate the release the debut “In the Pocket” CD. The project is the brainchild of the longtime drummer for the Hooters.View Link
In The Pocket performs a Beat Up Guitar, and talks about their album release party at The Ardmore Music Hall.View Link