The Shakes story began in 1976. In the year, Vinny Lopez, former drummer with Bruce Springsteen‘s band, recruited Bob Campanell, (who was then playing with Frank Gross and Carl Fassl in a band called Stepdaddy,) to front Vinny’s new band, tentatively called The Shakes. Based in Asbury Park, NJ, The Shakes quickly became a staple act the famed Stone Pony, where Springsteen had built his reputation as a songsmith and consummate showman before them.
The Shakes played with uncommon power and passion. By the time Steve Lombardelli joined the band on sax and keys in 1979, the band had a developed dedicated following, and a reputation as one of the premier rock bands on the local circuit. Notable venues at the time included The Dunes in Somers Point, NJ, Merals in Margate, NJ, Grendels Lair and JC Dobbs in Philadelphia, and of course the Stone Pony. By 1985, this first Shakes era came to an end, and the band briefly dissolved.
The Shakes began its second run when Bob and Frank began performing again as a duo in 1988. By 1990, Steve and Carl had also climbed on board. The Shakes were back! The band quickly regained its popularity as a top party and club act. Enthusiastic crowds at such clubs as Boomerang’s in Newark, DE, Uncle Mike’s in Mays Landing, NJ, and Henny’s in Stone Harbor, NJ propelled the band to a new era of success, working as many as 250 gigs a year throughout the decade.
In 2000, the band reformed once again. Core members Frank, Steve, and Carl were joined by guitarist Mitch Sutton and vocalists Reggie Clark, Al Chestnut and Curt McBride. With this lineup, the band was able to include more of its classic soul and funk favorites into its shows than ever before.
Now, with guitarist Joel Sanders and drummer Tony Mascara, The Shakes of 2011 are stronger than ever. Over the 35 years since Vinny Lopez pulled the band together, The Shakes have performed in thousands of venues pleasing several generations of crowds with the band’s uniquely powerful blend of vocal and instrumental artistry. It has been, and continues to be, a fun ride.