J. Biddy has been a weekly staple at RiRa for quite some time. He's a human acoustic jukebox and takes requests from a printed list of his repertoire. It's mostly Bruce Springsteen, Biddy's main inspiration, and the Beatles, with modern favorites like Mumford and Sons or an ironic Metallica riff peppered in here and there. He does a great job, though sometimes his renditions are a little bit too upbeat (the Boss's "I'm On Fire" is not supposed to be cheerful), and sometimes his vocals don't quite match the song (his register doesn't even come close to the deep bass of Johnny Cash). But he's an enthusiastic guy and for $20, he'll even bite the bullet and play "Free Bird."
We were having a great time, singing along, and it seemed like the only songs we didn't know must have been originals. Later, Biddy confessed that he's been doing these bar gigs for so long he considers them paid practice. His main focus is his rock band This Way, about to celebrate the release of their new album in May with shows in Portland, Boston, and New York.
"Hey! You guys ever come to Philly?" an enthusiastic fan from out of town asked. "My wife and I, we love throwing parties and we're always looking for a great band to come play and hang out."
"Yeah, absolutely. Here's my card. We've actually got a lot of fans in Philly so we get down there a lot." Biddy also does private parties, and between the weddings, the bar gigs, and This Way, he considers himself lucky to be a musician full-time.
: New England Music News
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