The Backstage Crew Band-

                    Arizona's Premier Classic Rock Band?


Jun 2, 2011

Don Blakley


The Backstage Crew Band is an example of some of the excellent local talent available every weekend in Arizona's bars, lounges and casinos.

I recently stopped by the casino in Camp Verde, Arizona, Cliff Castle  to see who was playing in their lounge The Dragonfly , where they usually have live bands on Friday and Saturday nights.

I was lucky enough to catch the second set of a band I didn`t recognize - The Backstage Crew Band  - and I stayed until they concluded their show at 1:00 AM.

Simply put, they are the best “local band” I’ve heard. They played a wide variety of classic rock and forward, with a little country mixed in. Their execution was excellent and their showmanship exhilarating.

They are a 4-piece band, each member filling an equally important role.

The lead singer, Pat Laferty has great range and a versatile voice, which allows him to perform songs by many different artists effectively. He also plays rhythm guitar on about half of the songs and will perform on the keyboards a time or two during the evening. Pat is really a showman.

Too often bass guitarists are seen more than they are heard. Not Ron Parker. His skill makes his bass guitar's contribution to the overall mix of the music, an integral part of the finished product. Ron also contributes to back up vocals on most songs and will sing lead vocalist on a few. And as my wife says, “he has a beautiful head of hair".

The drummer, Tom Cavanagh, is strong and aggressive, but not overbearing. Tom also contributes on back up vocals as well as lead vocals on a few songs. Tom’s timing is excellent which helps keep the entire band in sync. Just wish they would let Tom do one nice drum solo an evening.

Playing lead guitar is Rick Reinfried, who simply put, can play the guitar. Rick can take over most any song; most any time, but chooses his spots to do so with care. When he does, keep a sharp eye out, watching his handwork while listening to that guitar sing is truly a pleasure. Rick also sings back up and plays a pretty mean harmonica.

As talented as these guys are individually, what makes the band so good is the way they work together, their showmanship, timing, harmony and professionalism. They don’t spend a lot of time chatting between songs. They might inject a little humor here and there, but generally their show goes from one song to the next with little interruption.  I find myself anticipating the next song as soon as the current one comes to a close.

I saw the band that night and have made a point to see them a couple of times since, once at the The Birdcage  in Prescott and again at The Dragonfly. I don’t know any of the members and have only talked to Tom and Pat very briefly during breaks.

Because I have enjoyed their performances so much; I decided to write about them. If you enjoy this type of music, I highly recommend looking them up. I believe these guys really enjoy what they are doing and it shows in their performance as well as the audience’s reaction.

On their website they bill themselves as “Arizona’s Premier Classic Rock Band” and based on what I’ve seen so far, you won’t get any argument out of me. Besides, it sounds better than “local band”, “show band” or “lounge band” don’t you think?

 Copyright Don Blakley . Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.