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Chatter from the Crowd

"Just a quick note to say thank you for making my son's wedding such a wonderful and memorable event. You made it so easy in the planning stages and were always available to help, assist and suggest ways of making his day a special one. From the planning to the actual delivery, The Critics rocked the house! We are still receiving compliments about the band. Four hours of continuous music - Wow!"

"We are your newest fans and we come out to hear you whenever we get the chance.  We've been following horn bands for a long time and I have to say that you rate up there with excellent bands ….Would that make us groupies?  This horn section keeps us moving and we love the chemistry these horn players have with each's wonderful!!!"

"You blew everyone away last night and I heard people from out of town that were staying at the hotel comment on how good you are. 

"I check your website at least once a week, and I am glad that your schedule is posted and kept updated, thank you for that."

".......between the talent of each individual on stage, the stage presence you have together and the choice of music, I predict you are well on your way to being "THE party band of CNY,"  if you aren't there already!"

"OMG! Last night was the first time I have ever seen or heard you guys play. You guys were awesome! I will definitely be going back to the Beginnings II next time you guys are boyfriend and I had a great time! We danced all night to your music!"


In the past year, The Critics have played over 100 weddings and private parties ... all to rave reviews. Our commitment to you is that we will provide you with a professional, quality performance that will make your special occasion one to remember. Below is a small sampling of those testimonials.

From wedding planner and designer Sarah Lusardi of NY Engagements, LLC
It was a pleasure working with you on my client Emily & Ken’s wedding at Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center. As a wedding planner, I know how important it is to have a band that can adapt and feel out the crowd, work with the kitchen timing and keep everyone on the dance floor. You are a master of entertainment!!  You have great energy and professional presence on stage. The female vocalist – Angela Lyn has the purest voice and gave me goose bumps to hear her sing. All the musicians are truly gifted and together you make one rockin’ band. Another great quality about working with you is that you were always available on the phone when we needed to review any last minute changes. You were very friendly and accommodating during the entire planning process. You even did everything on your end to make sure you were comfortable with the new venue space -since it wasn’t typically used in the past for weddings. Thank you for going above and beyond and giving my clients and their guests a work out on the dance floor!  Bravo!!!
Sarah Lusardi
Wedding planner & designer
NY Engagements, LLC

Thank you for coming to our wedding full of energy and enthusiasm. Chase and I received so many complements the night of our wedding for choosing The Critics and we are still receiving them! Thanks to your fantastic band everyone got on the dance floor; it was great to see our guests having such a wonderful time. We really appreciate that The Critics learned our favorite songs and made sure that our reception ran smoothly (bridal party announcements, cake cutting, etc.). Thank you for being easy to work with and thank you for being superb performers!
    - Sarah Miller, New York, NY

I am writing to thank you for the amazing job you did playing our wedding. Music is something that is really important to both my husband and myself, and you lived up to all our expectations of what a band should be. Our guests were on the dance floor all night long, and they had a blast. We also could not believe that you played for four hours straight without a break! Thank you also for learning a bunch of new songs for us, and for doing such a great job playing our wedding song. You were a huge part of making our wedding day perfect -- we will definitely come check you out again next time we are in town. Thank you so much!
    - Beth Canty, Brooklyn, NY

(Message sent after booking The Critics) - The reason we chose you was because of how willing and capable you seemed to be to really customize our reception! Having a live band was one of the most important things to me, especially a fun and entertaining one. My only hesitation with a band was the willingness and ability for them to announce the wedding party and provide "special" songs via CD or iPod (kind of like a DJ might provide). You really made me feel comfortable with the fact that we could have a truly entertaining welcoming! Paying a little extra to have that feature will be SO worth it in the end…Can't wait to rock 'n roll with you guys!
    - Ashley Cornell

The Critics played our wedding in Rome this August and I would give my highest recommendation for them. There are few words to describe how incredible they were. There were 275 people at the wedding and almost all their feet touched the dance floor at some point in the night. Guests from age 7 to 70 were having a blast, cuttin' a rug, and singing along. Since the wedding, we've had several compliments about what a good time people had and the first thing they always say is "Fun wedding... Great Band!" In addition, The Critics handled themselves with the utmost professionalism and were great to deal with throughout the whole process leading up to the wedding. Thanks to Jim and the rest of the band!
    - Pete Canty, Brooklyn, NY

We hired The Critics to perform at our first annual Sackets Harbor 1812 Beer and Wine Festival and we hope to hire them back every year as part of our festival. We had over 3000 happy people enjoying the beer, wine and great music from "The Critics." There was dancing, swaying, and even singing from the crowd! The Critics were top-notch, fun, chalked full of talent and energy. The horns, the singing, the driving beat was a joy for all. The Critics definitely made our festival a sucess. For more information, see
    - Mike Kinnie, Mayor, Village of Sackets Harbor

A great party is made up of good people, good food and good music, and The Critics did their part for PCI's 35th Anniversary party! They had a powerful sound that never missed a beat! Songs we love from silky voices and talented players. No same-old wedding schtick here. The Critics gave their all and then some-worth every dime and more!
    - Rochette R. Withers, Administrative Assistant, PCI Paper Conversions, Inc.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you and the rest of the band for helping make Suzanne's reception a memorable event for our family. I have been fielding calls since the reception from friends and family who have raved about the band. We appreciate your willingness to work hard, mix with the crowd and do whatever was necessary to keep the fun rolling. Most importantly, you contributed to a wonderful memory for Suzanne and Scott to keep for the rest of their lives.
    - John Muldowney

YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST! This was the second wedding I was at that you played at. The first was for C. J. Williams last Aug. Again it was non-stop dancing and fun. You are the High Energy Party Band of all time! Thanks for the GREAT TIME.
    - Len Barker

Just a quick note to say "Thank You" for making our reception so much fun! Your music was GREAT and everybody had such a good time. Thanks for learning and playing the Sinatra song for Marty to sing ... that was such a special moment for us. At the church, the soloist songs you sang were so beautiful. You have an incredible voice and we are thankful you sang for us at the ceremony. I know many of my friends that are planning weddings are considering The Critics for their reception, too. Thanks for such a great time!
    - Cindy and Marty Shoemaker

We wanted you to know how much we enjoyed your music tonight. We are from Toronto and since we didn't see Canada on your list of upcoming events, I'll guess we will have to come back to the U.S.A. to hear you again! You helped us enjoy a very special evening. Thank you!
    - Donna and John

Thanks again for the wonderful evening of dancing and fun. If you ever need a recommendation, let me know!
    - Natasha & Jonathan Lazarus

I was at the bar tonight and I was the first one to get out there and start dancing with my brother. I just wanted to tell you that you have a great voice and that you sound very much like Mary J. Blige. I don't know if you've heard of her, but I think if you sing any of her songs you would do great.
    - Kelly Harris


Review from the "Good Time Rock 'n' Roll Festival" - Clinton Square, Syracuse - Summer 2000

Special guest Ronnie Leigh added a soulful touch to the punchy R&B approach of opening band The Critics.

The Syracuse vocal veteran took a couple of star turns with "I Feel Good" and "Love the One You're With." Taking her turn, Critics regular Joanna O'Brien was smooth on "Respect," "The Best of My Love" and "Rescue Me."

But the most pleasant surprise was the way Leigh and O'Brien worked comfortable duet parts in "September."

All the band members had thier own star moments, too. Keyboardist Donald Ramson was fired up for James Brown city-man vocals in "Living in America," guitarist John Kelsey riffed proudly on "Chain of Fools" and bassist Andy Jordan was truly the man on "Ain't Nobody (Knows Me Better)." The horn section of Joe Zar on sax and Jim DeMauro on trumpet spiced it all up, with drummer Daryl Hunt laying down the solid foundation.

Mark Bialczak
Syracuse Newspapers

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