By Russ Tarby
More than any other State Fair in recent memory, the 2019 exposition presents a good variety of regional rock’n’roll bands at Chevy Court.
Last week, fairgoers heard from songwriter Mike Powell & Black River on opening day, from CNY Songbirds – Donna Colton, Maureen Henessy and Johanna Jewett – on Aug. 23, and from Syracuse R&B powerhouse Brownskin featuring special guest Joe Driscoll on Aug. 24.
This coming weekend, a power trio called Atkins Riot will take the Chevy Court stage at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31.
Atkins Riot relies on the galvanizing guitar work of leader Anthony Saturno, well supported by bassist Samuel Roux and drummer Rob Zaccaria. Earlier this year, the talented trio took home a Syracuse Area Music Award for Best Rock Recording. Atkins Riot also won first place in the 2019 Westcott Theater ‘Big Break’ Battle of the Bands.
The band’s award-winning self-titled disc includes tracks such as the riff-driven “Dirty Doves,” the funk-rock fusion of “Can’t You Feel It” and the softer, serious “Understand,” which reflects the band’s support for Rock For Recovery, a non-profit organization which tends to those struggling with addiction.
On the other hand, “I Wanna Iguana” is a catchy, comical anthem to personal freedom spiced by Latin rhythms.
“In an age where serious rock bands seem to be sorely missing, Atkins Riot delivers the kind of music that satisfies listeners looking for a great headbanging hook,” wrote the now-defunct Syracuse New Times.
The band makes its debut appearance at the Great New York State Fair’s Chevrolet Music Festival at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31. Concerts at Chevy Court are sponsored by Chevrolet and are free with fair admission; nysfair.ny.gov; 315-487-7711.