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The Villages
Friday, June 9, 2023

The Bronx Wanderers bring New York State of mind to Savannah Center

Pass the Egg Creams and Marinara sauce. The Bronx Wanderers are back in town.
Vinny “Yo Vinny” Adinolfi and his boy Vincent John – formerly known as Vinny the Kid — along with the rest of the band proved Tuesday you can take the boys out of the Bronx but you can’t take the Bronx out of the boys.

These musical Bronx Bombers rocked Savannah Center before a couple of capacity crowds.
The Cool Rocking Daddy known as Vinny Adinolfi has two sons – Vinny and Nick – but Nick got hitched and went back East. Big Vinny and Little Vinny, along with the band have a steady gig at the big casinos in Las Vegas.

The Bronx Wanderers rocked a soldout Savannah Center on Tuesday
The Bronx Wanderers rocked a soldout Savannah Center on Tuesday.

“But we always come back to The Villages; we’ve been playing here for about 12 to 15 years,” Big Vinny said. “Yea, pretty soon you’ll  be old enough to live here” Junior quipped while holding his guitar.

“I grew up in the Bronx during the ‘60s and it seemed like there was music on every street corner,” Big Vinny said. “I saw and heard those singers and I wanted to be just like them.”

That’s why the Bronx Wanderers’ shows are such a rollicking and enjoyable music history lesson. They cover the oldies, but also can just as easily groove on more modern songs.

Vinny Adinolfi and his son Vincent team up as the Bronx Wanderers
Vinny Adinolfi and his son Vincent team up as the Bronx Wanderers.

Daddy Vinny opened this one with a Dion classic, “The Wanderer,” which just may be the group’s theme song.

Old Dad looked the part of cool rock star, wearing a black leather outfit that seemed a bit too tight. “At my age, I have to be careful,” he said. “All my body parts have numbers. I think my L4 is hitting my L5.”

“The kids and I started this band 20 years ago,” he said before ripping into a cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band,” with the words, “the Bronx Wanderers Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Then came the Frankie Valli tribute with a pounding, “December 1963,(Oh What A Night)” and a scorching version of “Grease.” Just when you thought there was time to catch your breath, the band turned up the heat again with “Who Loves You.”

“We’re thrilled to be back and playing for audiences in The Villages,” Big Vinny said. “Me and the kids travel all over. Think of us as the Italian Osmond family.”

Young Vinny eaned a standing ovation singing Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me

The huge crowd joined in a boisterous sing-a-long on “Sweet Caroline.” Then little Vinny took over and made like Brian Setzer on “Rock This Town.” From there he roared into Queen’s 50s’ sounding “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”

Big Vinny showed a video of him playing a New York club in 1984. The song was “Mony Mony” and before you could say mullet, the band made like Tommy James while playing the song live. They mashed it up with “Jesse’s Girl.”

Big Vinny slowed things down with a tender version of Dion’s “Teenager in Love.” Then it was little Vinny’s chance to turn back the clock with a heartfelt, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me.” He earned a standing ovation. Big Vinny then shook like Tom Jones on a golden oldie called “It’s Not Unusual.”

The audience roared with approval and as Billy Joel might say, in a New York State of mind.

Tony Violanti covers arts and music for Villages-News.com. He was inducted into the Buffalo NY Music Hall of Fame as a music journalist.

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