RED BANK: CHUCK LAMBERT HITS A MILESTONE

chuck lambert bandChuck Lambert, seen above performing at Riverfest in Marine Park in 2012, turns 65 years old Saturday, when he and his band are scheduled to play Jamian’s Food and Drink. Below, Lambert in downtown Red Bank in 2006. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Chuck LambertIn a way, it’s just another gig for a hardworking musician, one of maybe 250 he does each year in bars, clubs and on sidewalks on the Greater Red Bank Green, as well as in New York, Philly and Atlantic City.

But when Chuck Lambert plugs in at Jamian’s Food and Drink in Red Bank Saturday night, this one will be special for the local guitar legend, and not just because it’s occurring on his 65th birthday.

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IN oRBit: A BLUES LEGEND ON THE BOARDS

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Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit takes it down to Asbury Park, a music town where several generations of blues musicians could tell you a thing or five about the blues — its history, technique and that certain something that draws a line between those who study it and those who live it.

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When Hubert Sumlin comes to town “with a vengeance” on Thursday, the innovative stylist who most famously played guitar lieutenant to Howlin’ Wolf for years will be causing those generations of bluesguys to bow ‘n genuflect. He’ll appear at the lovely Langosta Lounge rather than a place that evokes the southern juke joints and midwest roadhouses of his formative years. In our exclusive interview, we talk to Sumlin about the long road that brought him to this day and place (including a strange case of giggus interruptus that happened right here in Red Bank), and the road that still winds ahead for the 77-year-old legend.

It’s there for your perusal in Red Bank oRBit — the only online source for local arts and entertainment news that lives the blues!

RED BANK: WORKING UP A SWEAT

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Chuck Lambert’’s day job is not exactly the kind of gritty, back-breaking slog typically associated with the blues: he’’s a “membership services associate” at Red Bank’’s Community YMCA. That’s right, he’’s the guy who’’ll give you the orientation tour, set you up with access to the Cybex machines or heated indoor pool, and do it all with purring, irresistible charm.

But Lambert has also had glimpses of “the seamier side of what the world can show you,” he says, —and he’s not just talking about the men’’s locker room at peak occupancy. For starters, some of the musicians Lambert has played with have been run over by the music biz, or drugs, or just plain bad luck, without having any sort of safety net for themselves or their families. “Music— — the blues in particular— — has its pitfalls,” he says over tonic water at the Downtown Café. “Next thing you know, they’re having a benefit concert for you.”

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