Nickel and Dime-ing It

Johnny D’s in Somerville drew an eclectic crowd Saturday night for The Nickel and Dime Band, a karaoke outfit that has teamed up with Rick Berlin to make some seriously fun music.

People were scattered across tables in the dining room area of the underlit club. Long- time supporters of the band such as “Karaoke Mark,” were seated alongside old friends such as Gene Amoroso, a former roadie from Rick Berlin’s early days in Orchestra Luna.

Though the band was missing two members, Rob Manachio on the guitar and Dino Govoni on the saxophone, the stage was still full: Tom Appleman (bass guitar and keyboard); Ricky Mclean (guitar); Sam Dudley (trombone); Jesse Adams-Lukowsky (guitar); Alec Radzikowski (drums); and Rick Berlin (lead vocals and keyboard).

Berlin’s literal choreography is on display in “Beer Belly,” where he sings proudly about — yes, you guessed it — having a beer belly, with moves to match. Side note: Berlin’s nephew Sam has got some sweet moves of his own. Look for the trombone player throughout these videos.

“I Really Want To See You Tonight” cut just before Rick launched into a commentary about his hair, which he talked about several times during the show. He solicited help from any hair professionals that were in the crowd —jokingly or not, I’m not sure—but either way he was approached by a hairdresser when the band took their break. She said she could help him. Berlin suggested beer can rollers.

The band closed with upbeat “Hell Yeah,” their exuberance finally spilling over into the audience and getting people onto the wooden dance floor.

The Nickel and Dime Band is far from new. A year has past since they began their collaboration with Berlin. Still, they exuded the innocence of a group playing because simply for the joy of the music.

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About Melissa Tabeek

Melissa Tabeek is a freelance journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon. She reports on politics, culture and social issues in the Middle East. On her website, you can also find her blog, where she writes about her work and daily life in Lebanon. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Northeastern University.
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