Tommy Shugart is a Busy, Busy Man: The New Standard & Dunedin Brewery
Tommy Shugart is a masterful keyboard player and guitarist, previously a mainstay in The Groove Orient, a fine rockin’ jam band that went separate ways two years ago. Since then, he has been on a tear, performing in five combos in the Orlando area, and he really shone brightly on Jam Cruise 18 (2020) with a host of great sit-ins and guest slots.
One of the brightest spots on the Florida scene has been the emergence of The New Standard, a superb restaurant and music venue in Winter Park. Four of the groups Shugart currently works with performing there weekly.
On Tuesdays, The PJ’s perform, with Mike Ryan on guitar and Anthony ‘AC’ Cole on drums. Cole is a true heavyweight, having played with Mofro, Sam Rivers, and Roosevelt Collier. They work in a lot of good old school funk, soul jazz, and deep cuts from the past, with a couple originals in the same vein.
Later in the evening Tuesdays, Shugart plays guitar with Ded Uniklorn, an amazing collaboration with Matt Lapham, the bass master from Shak Nasti who has played often with Bobby Lee Rodgers and with Roosevelt Collier. Also in Ded Uniklorn are Ryan on guitar and Lenon Toussaint on keyboards. They play some instrumental versions of songs by The Meters, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and others, mostly on the funk side.
Wednesday nights belong to Klorni Time, another Matt Lapham project. The group also features Derek Engstrom of Leisure Chief on drums, Lapham on bass, Syoma Klochko on guitar, and Shugart on keys. Much of the evening’s playlist centers on original music from Engstrom and Klochko.
Thursday night at The New Standard features Beartoe and Friends, another regular performer at Florida festivals, with Shugart again on keyboards.
This coming Friday and Saturday, Shugart is shlepping his Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes electric piano, and other toys to Dunedin Brewery for two different shows. Friday night (March 19) will feature the Tommy Shugart Organ Trio, with Jim Dorney on guitar and Dante Dunbar on drums. The setlist includes some Shugart originals and more originals and some killer funk, R&B and jams.
Saturday evening, The PJ’s will play, with Mike Ryan and guitar and guest drummer Rion Smith, the outstanding polyrhythmic drummer from Shak Nasti and formerly with The Riv-Bea Orchestra and Blue Man Group.
In the Orlando/Winter Park area? Be sure to check out The New Standard and the various collaborations Shugart plays in (and don’t forget the otherworldly shredder Eric Gales is there Saturday, March 20!).
For those in the Tampa Bay area, there is no better venue than Dunedin Brewery — great beer, great food, and great music — and this weekend with Tommy Shugart. Come see what all the fuss is about!