Rather than making a show solely dedicated to Dean Martin songs, Bob Caudle decided to form a band that would pay tribute to the Rat Pack. Plus, he finds going solo to be “boring,” he said.
“I don’t like working out front by myself; I love the interaction,” Caudle said in an over-the-phone interview with Examiner.com.
Caudle is the Dean Martin portion of the Rat Pack tribute group, Dean-O-Holics. The band will be performing this Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Paradise Performing Arts Center, which is located at 777 Nunnely Drive. The doors open at 6, and the show starts at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $25 in advance, and can be purchased at starbrightshows.com. They can also be purchased at the following locations:
Paradise: Grocery Outlet, PostNet, Paradise Senior Center, and Izzy’s Burger Spa
Magalia: Jaki’s Hilltop Café
Chico: The Music Connection
When it came to impersonating Martin, Caudle originally began to “goof off” with the whole thing. And then, people began to notice him.
“I won a contest on a cruise ship, and the right people were in the audience,” he said.
Caudle would then do a gig “to tracks,” but he never really “wanted to do that.” So, he found a person to be Frank Sinatra and then found “just a lot of great entertainers,” and the band was formed.
“I always knew that I wanted to be the weakest link of anybody that I hired, and I knew we’d be doing great, and that’s what I did,” he said. “So, basically, I’m just finding myself with really good folks.”
The show is “different every time,” Caudle said.
“So it’s not like, ‘Oh, I saw those guys; I don’t want to go back. When we’re laughing onstage, it’s real,” he said. “We’re just up there having a great time, and people like watching us goofing off.”
There are a couple jokes that Martin used to tell, and the band will use them, but they’ll put a twist on it to make it their own, Caudle said.
“And that allows us to really interact with the audience,” he said.
Like the original Rat Pack shows, the Dean-O-Holics performance is unscripted. For this concert, there will be Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and a man by the name of Peter Petty, who “is a whole character on his own,” Caudle said.
“A lot of people come to our shows to see what he’s going to pull,” Caudle said. “He’ll do Cab Calloway, and he’s running all over the place and diving off the stage. We’ve got him doing Bobby Darin ‘Mack the Knife’ stuff, and he’s super animated.”
There will also be a live orchestra called The Swingin’ Lil’ Big Band performing at the concert. And since the Dean-O-Holics perform with them quite a bit, and the band knows the charts very well, they’ll tend to do some improvisation during the show, Caudle said.
“They’re so used to playing with each other that the horn player will goof off during the show – make some weird sound effect or whatever,” he said. “It’s a great configuration.”
Caudle is the only one in the band who is a “sound-alike,” he said, but the others have their own techniques to fit the bill. When it comes to not trying to sound like Dean Martin, Caudle finds it a bit difficult.
“No matter what I sing – going to karaoke and goofing off – I’ll go up there and try to sing something else,” he said. “And then a kid goes, ‘Oh, I got a great song for you to sing.’ I say, ‘What is it?’ He’s all, ‘It’s a Dean Martin song.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, great. I’m trying not to sound like him.’”
For Caudle, the Dean Martin impression comes naturally about “90 percent” of the time, but he doesn’t feel it, he said.
“It’s almost like people hear something that I don’t hear,” Caudle said. “I’m not tooting my horn; I take it as a compliment. I don’t take it that seriously – I just have fun with it.”
Lately, a lot of people have been telling Caudle something very strange about his singing.
“I’ve had about a half-a-dozen people come up to me and say, ‘You sound more like Dean Martin than Dean Martin.’ I’m like, ‘What the hell does that mean?’” he said. “To be told that you sound more like Dean than Dean, I can’t even fathom it. Even on a bad day, Dean still sounded like Dean.”
This is an all-ages show, and Caudle said that people “from their 20’s all the way to their 80’s” can come out and have a good time.
“If you’re a fan of the Frank or the Dean or ‘The Great American Songbook,’ you’re definitely going to hear all those things,” he said. “We like to have a little more energy, so you’re not just going to sit there and listen to a bunch of crooners all night.”