Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

August 4, 2013

Blue Oyster Cult, 38 Special back in town for big Artpark show


Niagara Gazette — The band has a bunch of hits including “Hold on Loosely,” “Caught Up in You” and “Second Chance,” which was sung by current Grand Funk guitarist vocalist Max Carl during his short stint in the band.

This year, like 2011, two brothers will be associated with different headlining bands, co-founder Donnie Van Zant is a singer/guitarist for 38 Special and his younger brother Johnny Van Zant is the current lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their older brother Ronnie, who died in a plane crash in 1977, was the original Lynyrd Skynyrd vocalist.

Due to some inner ear damage, Donnie, a fixture in 38 Special for years, will not be appearing at Artpark. Have no fear though, because their main vocalist, Don Barnes, is still with them and he recently said in an interview that in spite of Van Zant’s absence, they still sound as good as ever.

After the band’s 2011 show at Artpark, I had the pleasure of meeting Barnes. I had interviewed him for this newspaper and he asked me to meet him in person.

Honestly, Barnes is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He is a great singer and has a solid stage presence, but backstage he was just really easy to carry on a pleasant conversation with. In case you wonder what we spent most our time talking about — it was music of course!

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