Rock ‘n’ Barolo At Longhi’s
Wednesday - May 06, 2009
I don’t stay out late much these days. With a 4-year-old, a 6-year-old and deadlines that never end, sleep is a more precious commodity to me than I would ever have imagined.
Once in a while, though, something great can still keep me up until the wee small hours, and that’s why, on May 8, I’m heading over to Longhi’s. Not just for the usual combination of great food and gorgeous wines, but for live music and what ought to be a great big party.
“Live at Longhi’s” kicks off a summer series of what I suspect will become one of the hot music gigs of the season. The unassuming Charlie Longhi is behind the combination of jazz, funk and rock ‘n’ roll.
Longhi is a pretty talented guy. He can pick out a world-class Barolo from a roomful of Italian wines and play a five-minute guitar riff that makes you think of Eric Clapton. But chances are, even if you’re a regular at Longhi’s, you probably don’t know he graduated with honors from Berkley School of Music in Boston and had a record deal with Virgin Records. “I was 15 years old when I first picked up a guitar,” he says. “I started playing clubs in Lahaina when I was 17, and after graduating I continued to play professionally for 10 years doing tours, songwriting, studio work and record producing.”
He’s been at the helm of Longhi’s these past six years, but I wondered what was more fun, the restaurant business or the music business. “They are both great,” he says, “but traveling with the same five guys on a bus for months at a time is something I really don’t miss!”
What he does miss is playing live music, hence the summer sessions.
“I called a bunch of musician friends and band members from the Funk-A-Holics and everyone is stoked to be playing again.”
Truth is, just about anyone would be stoked to be playing music with Longhi. My husband Bobby and I watched him play with Guy Cruz last month, and it doesn’t take long to realize that Charlie’s musical talent has been hidden too long. “Guy was nice enough to invite me to play a couple nights with him,” says Longhi, “and it kind of inspired me to start playing live again.”
So just as the food and wine at Longhi’s has its fans, now you can expect the music to start drawing crowds too.
“We have special guests lined up ready to join us,” says Longhi, who’s hopeful that the live sessions will draw professional musicians in for a jam. Joining him May 8 for the anniversary party (food and drink specials should be worth the trip alone) are Mark Caldeira, Michael Grande, Konrad Kendrick, Dennis McCless and Todd Yukumoto.
“It’s going to be high energy with incredible music and tons of fun,” says Longhi.
And if you need something to drink while you’re listening?
“We have some incredible Italian wines right now,” says Longhi. “They go amazingly well with our rib eye.”
I’m catching up on my sleep in advance.
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