Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks have been rocking the East End for three decades — and there are no signs of slowing down.
Fresh off of last year’s release of their sixth studio album, “Guitar In The Rain,” the band is returning to the stage at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 24.
This month’s show is the second time the band has performed at the Westhampton Beach theater. The first was to a sold-out crowd last March.
We caught up with Casey to talk about the upcoming show.
Q. This year marks 30 years of Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks. How do you feel about the milestone?
A. We’ve been kicking around for a long time! It started out as something to do for fun with no big goals. It has become my full-time job and we average 150 gigs a year. It’s not always glamorous, but the reward is the music.
Q. What makes performing at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center special for you guys?
A. We’ve played different theaters, but not that often. Sometimes local theaters overlook their own neighborhood for talent, so it was a nice gesture to be invited to perform at Westhampton. It’s a beautiful venue. They have a wonderful crew and a dressing room, which we don’t get often … little things like that go along way when you’ve been playing for this long. They even had a fruit basket … I felt like Spinal Tap.
Q. What can fans expect from the concert?
A. We’re not making a big deal about the 30th year, but it is somewhat of a retrospective show. My brother, who started the group with me, is going to come on stage and do a song. He hasn’t been on stage in years. We also have special guests. [Local artist] Tricia Scotti is going to sing and play guitar with us. And our keyboard player of many years is returning. He just got off the road with Cyndi Lauper. It will be a little bit of a reunion of some earlier Lone Sharks.
Q. Do you have a personal favorite song off the new album you like to perform?
A. The title song, “Guitar in the Rain.” It’s a short song, but it seems to get people going. It’s the theme of the whole record. The story of the song is that the guy comes home and his wife or girlfriend has thrown all his clothes and guitars out on the front lawn. I’ve heard that story from some musicians. It’s about the trials and tribulations of trying to play music when all odds are against you. It’s about surviving. In a way, this concert is about sticking to your guns and surviving and being appreciative for what you have.
Q. Is there a new album in the works?
A. I am writing and we’re recording, but I don’t know what the format should be. No one is buying records anymore — it’s all about downloading. I am an old-school person and I am kind of being dragged into the 21st Century kicking and screaming. I miss having the tangible format of a record. We’ll definitely be releasing new music to download. I’d also like to do a vinyl record.
Check out Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks live on Saturday, March 24 at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center located at 76 Main Street Westhampton Beach. Tickets are $30 and are expected to sell out. Buy them in advance here.