In November of 2011, Fred Dawson dug playing two private shows in his Hockessin home with members of the CBS Orchestra (the house band for the “Late Show with David Letterman”) so much that he and the guys decided to do it again for this New Year's Eve.
In November of 2011, Fred Dawson dug playing two private shows in his Hockessin home with members of the CBS Orchestra (the house band for the "Late Show with David Letterman") so much that he and the guys decided to do it again for this New Year's Eve.
Dawson — who mans the Hammond B3 organ in his namesake, classic rock-n-roll band, Club Phred — will augment the seven-piece outfit (led by frontwoman Kathy Layfield, of Hockessin) with the horn section of the CBS Orchestra, featuring Tom "Bones" Malone (trombone), Frank Greene (trumpet) and Aaron Heike (saxophone). In addition, the band will include a guest appearance from longtime George Thorogood saxophonist Hank Carter.
The night's playlist will include covers of Smokey Robinson, Grand Funk Railroad, The Spencer Davis Group and The Rascals.
An exuberant 63-year-old, who jokingly refers to himself as being "a legend in my own mind," Dawson is over the moon about sharing his spacious mancave — fitted with a bar and concert stage lights — with such talented musicians.
"It'll be quite a horn section," he beamed.
Since 2008, Club Phred has played annually with the CBS Orchestra's horn section. The first gig was in 2008 at the Baby Grand, a benefit show for The Grand, said Dawson, the board of director for The Grand. Then the crew provided after-party entertainment at The Grand for its 33rd (2009) and 34th (2010) annual Grand Gala events. Last year, they performed two intimate shows on Nov. 19 (during the afternoon and night) in Dawson's home in front of a special audience.
"The Grand invited certain supporters of The Grand to a private show at my house. We did the event here as a thank you for volunteers and supporters of the Grand Opera House," Dawson said. "We had about 70 guests in the afternoon and about 80 or 90 people at night that day."
Dawson is anticipating approximately 90 guests for his New Year's Eve concert.
Granddaughter in TV shows
During the New Year's Eve show, a budding star will be in the audience. She's 15-year-old Brooke Dawson —Fred's granddaughter.
The multi-talented Brooke is a pianist and actress who recently landed her first roles on national TV shows: CBS's "Person of Interest," Travel Channel's "Mysteries at the Museum" and Bio Channel's "Celebrity Ghost Stories."
On "Person of Interest," Brooke landed a background role as a high school student, she said. In "Mysteries at the Museum," she performed in a reenactment scene of famous teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton, whose arm was bitten off by a shark. In "Celebrity Ghost Stories," Brooke was cast as actress/model Coco Austin's sister, Kristy Williams, in which she reenacted a situation when Austin and Williams encountered supernatural activity such as hearing ghosts, said Brooke, of Bear, who's a sophomore at Caravel Academy.
Brooke said she enjoyed landing roles in each show, even though she didn't meet any stars.
Except for her episode of "Mysteries at the Museum," slated to air on Jan. 24 at 9 p.m., the airdates for Brooke's episode in "Celebrity Ghost Stories" and "Person of Interest" haven't been set in stone, and are slated for January or February, said Brian Dawson, Brooke's father.
When asked if she's stealing the spotlight from her grandfather, the bubbly 15-year-old answered, "No, we share it."
Dawson hopes his granddaughter becomes a greater legend than him.
"I think she's terrific," he said. "I like her drive. I like her focus."