Lou Gramm, Black Sheep rock the Pratt theater stage in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 June 2024 at 6:10 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Lou Gramm, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, belts out one of seven songs today as part of a Black Sheep reunion concert. Michael Bonafede, in back, plays the drums.

The Pratt Theater, owned by Bonafede and his wife Judith Koehler, hosted two concerts, with the start at 2 and 6 p.m. The first sold out with 300 tickets and the second was near capacity.

Gramm is best known as the lead singer for Foreigner. Before that, he performed with Black Sheep back when he was Lou Grammatico.

Black Sheep recorded two albums for Capital Records and shared the stage with Kiss, Aerosmith, REO Speedwagon, and Hall and Oates, performing in front of tens of thousands of people. Black Sheep broke up in 1976.

Today was their third reunion concert and first in 10 years. Gramm wanted to rejoin his bandmates, Bonafede on drums, Don Mancuso on guitar and Larry Crozier on keyboard. Alona Kuhns and Luke Crozier (Larry’s son) will both play bass during the June 23 concert. The Black Sheep bass player, Bruce Turgon, is in California.

Lou Gramm gave a high-octane performance at the pratt. He is shown singing one of seven Black Sheep songs. The lineup included “Halfway Home,” “Encouraging Words,” “Little Or A Lot,” “No Worry, No Pain,” “Chain On Me” and “Payin’ Yer Dues,” and closed with “Stick Around.”

Alona Kuhns plays bass and Michael Bonafede is on the drums.

McCabe Enterprises, an electrical contractor, and Milton CAT brought in the equipment and installed an air conditioning system in the theater for the two shows.

Gramm thanked the crowd for its enthusiasm after the seven-song set. ‘Thank you, Albion, thank you very much.”

He said the venue, an opera house from 1882, is “beautiful.”

Some of the performers take a bow after the performance. From left include Michael Bonafede, Alona Kuhns, Lou Gramm, Don Mancuso, Larry “Rose” Crozier and Luke Crozier.

The Pratt Pit Band and Choir performed for about an hour and half before Black Sheep. Shannon Vanderlaan was among the choir members who also sang a solo.

In back from left are Rich Simbari on Fender P bass guitar, John Borello on Stratocaster guitar, Don Mancuso on guitar and Leon “Corky” Zak on keyboards.

Karen Conn sings “Turn the Lights Back On.”  She also sang “Rhiannon” with her daughter, Shannon Vanderlann.

Garrett Crumb, a lead singer with “Johnny Smoke,” performed “Hard to Handle” by the Black Crowes, “Layla” by Eric Clapton, and “Wishing Well.”

Erin Moody sings “Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones.

The crowd fills in the Pratt Theater. The first show was sold out after five days of tickets being available so a second concert was added.