Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Royal Scam Prepares for a Royal Slam at the Berks Jazz Fest

Anybody who really knows me knows that if I were asked, " If you could only pick one, who would be your favorite group of all time?" My answer would be short and sweet - Steely Dan.

There is no way I can begin to go into all of the reasons why this group has had such an important impact on so many people, including myself.  But for starters we can attribute their longevity to their dedication to quality. In a sentence, I chalk it up to the airtight musicianship, the crafty lyrics, and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing whims of the music industry, all without ever losing their identity.  There are countless fans of The Dan who would give their first-born just for a chance at front row seats to see them perform live, something that until recently, was practically unheard of.  The two co-conspirators of this iconic band, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are currently on tour and will be performing at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, Maryland this summer.  I have been fortunate enough to see them perform on several occasions.  All I can tell you is that I won't ever forget how fantastic it was to experience seeing these legends perform live. For me, nothing will ever top that. (Well, except for maybe that time I saw Stevie Wonder perform a free outdoor concert with full orchestral accompaniment, outside of the Ravens brand new football stadium one sultry, summer night in Baltimore.  That was pretty awesome)!

But, if you want to have a great time with a crowd of like-minded Dan-fanatics, then you have to check out The Royal Scam.  This group, named after one of the Dan's earlier albums, really has a great thing going. First and foremost, they love playing the music of Steely Dan.  This is really what makes it so fun to watch them perform. They don't claim to be anything other than a group of musicians who love the music of Becker and Fagen, and like sharing their love for it with others. They're like a grown-up teen-aged band that finally got really good. As long as you don't go in expecting to see the real thing, (and as a true Steely Dan fan, why would you?), I guarantee you will enjoy the show.  They will be performing at the Berks Jazz Fest:

Royal Scam's Tribute to Steely Dan
Saturday, March 26, 9 p.m., Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom
Tickets: $20

Not only do they play an incredible array of songs, they do a surprisingly good job of delivering the signature nuances of each song in a such a way that brings a believability to their performance that will keep even the most persnickety of Dan-fans entertained. Obviously, the Royal Scam covers the mega-popular tunes like "Reelin' in the Years," and "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." But if you're a Steely Dan fan who knows every word to "Any Major Dude" or "Haitian Divorce," then you will be pleasantly surprised at the song selections that this group is able to pull from their repertoire. They are a friendly bunch who have regular jobs and love performing these songs. They have been together for about 15 years, and the truth is, they are very good!  If you are a fan who would like to have a lighthearted, fun time while reminiscing down Steely Dan lane, then I know you will thoroughly enjoy The Royal Scam. Check them out at:


  1. Remember when AJA came out? Fall of '77?

  2. I was in my freshman year at UVA when Aja came out. I played that album so much that before the end of the first semester, my other nine dorm-mates had become fully indoctrinated. Long live Deacon Blues!

  3. It was that and Joni Mitchell's BLUE...