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The Villages
Saturday, June 15, 2024

Ferris Deluxe brings old school rock and roll to The Villages

Ferris Deluxe features three relatively young dudes with an authentic passion for old school rock and roll.

“We play rock and roll with a ‘60s flavor,” said Andre Martins, drummer in the three-piece power band. The group performed this week at Lake Sumter Landing.

When asked if they play modern artists like Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish or Hozier, they replied, almost in unison: “No, it’s ‘60s.”
Ferris Deluxe also features Matt Loewy on lead guitar and vocals. Ian Opalinski plays bass. Put these three together and you get everything from Elvis Presley to Elvis Costello to the Beatles and beyond. They can play ‘50s music, modern pop and the blues.

“Part of our schtick is mixing songs and styles that people know,” Martins said. “We like to surprise people,” Opalinski added. “We’ve got something for everybody. We mash things up.”

Ferris Deluxe features from left Matt Loewy Ian Opalinski and drummer Andre Martins
Ferris Deluxe features, from left, Matt Loewy, Ian Opalinski and drummer Andre Martins.

That was evident during a recent set at Sumter. The band started out with the Elvis’ standard “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.” But Ferris Deluxe put a reggae spin on the classic, inspired by UB40. There was more reggae with a Bob Marley tribute on “Stir It Up.”
They followed that with a rocking take on the Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek.” Loewy added some country-style yodels to the song and asked the crowd to join in. It was a regular hoe-down.
Ferris Deluxe stayed in the country mood with a hard-rocking take of the old Buck Owens’ song, “Truck Driving Man.” Then it was some modern country with a cover of Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color.”

Matt Loewy plays guitar and sings vocals for Ferris Deluxe and once appeared on American Idol
Matt Loewy plays guitar and sings vocals for Ferris Deluxe and once appeared on “American Idol.”

Loewy –who appeared on “American Idol” in 2018 — played a hot lead guitar and offered gritty vocals. He gives the group its edge, because Ferris Deluxe isn’t a typical oldies band. They play with energy and heat, and have a kind of a garage band ambience.
They have been playing together for over a decade and came to The Villages about a year ago. “We like it here,” Martins said.
Opalinski and Loewy formed the band when they were students at Butler University in Indiana. The group is now based in Palm Coast, Florida.
“It’s a two-hour drive to The Villages, but that’s OK – it’s what bands have to do,” Opalinski said.
Ferris Deluxe spiced up their set with a couple of old Beatles’ numbers. There was a jumping version of “All My Loving.” They followed that with a fast, punky sound on “I Feel Fine.”

The band Ferris Deluxe plays a variety of musical styles
The band Ferris Deluxe plays a variety of musical styles.

Ferris Deluxe labels itself a “rock and blues band.” They showed why with a soulful take on Ray Charles’ “Hallelujah I Love Her So.”

Tony Violanti writes about music and entertainment for Villages-News.com. He was inducted into The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame as a music journalist.

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