Material: Despite sound and lineup variations over the past five decades, the Doughboys continue fueling the Garden State with raw rock & roll grooves reminiscent of rockers the Rolling Stones and the Animals. Cool and catchy vocals offer an unobtrusive dose of bluesy swagger on otherwise fierce guitar-infused tracks like “Heartache.” Rambunctious energy and unrestrained instrumentals embody a true ‘60s “garage band” mentality—sweat and ear-pounding included.
Musicianship: As seasoned performers, the Doughboys manifest a unified force of upbeat tempos and feverish melodies. Scavone’s instinctive camaraderie with guitarist Francis impels a dynamic set marked by smooth transitions and methodical artisanship.
Heyman never misses a beat on percussion and mesmerized the crowd with a scintillating (but not over-the-top) drum solo, prompting an unexpected second wind. The sparse use of harmonica and maracas adds an airy feel to an otherwise loud and heavy sound.
Performance: The Doughboys fit perfectly with the Wonder Bar’s “old school” atmosphere and quirky vibe, with legendary throwback covers of hit records including Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown” and The Kinks’ “She's Got Everything.” Although momentum slowed a bit by the night’s end, Scavone never faltered and kept loyal fans engaged with witty banter and frantic, Elvis- like hip sways. With minimal stage antics and such an intimate setting, the band remained purely focused on the music and thrashed out as many songs as possible before the bar’s staggering close.
Summary: The Doughboys are widely known and respected as local garage rockers, and over the years, that’s exactly how the band has continued to function. And fortunately, it still works today. Shows cover a vast array of ‘60s and ‘70s iconic favorites from similar genres, interspersed with some impressively sharp originals. For those expecting a spirited yet laid-back (maybe even nostalgic) live experience, the Doughboys have it mastered.
The Players: Gar Francis, songwriter, guitarist; Myke Scavone, vocals, harmonica; Richard X Heyman, drums; Mike Caruso, bass.
Photo by Jeff Crespi
The Doughboys - "Rock On"