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Michelle Renee Headshot

Music to My Ears: The Rat Pack is Back!

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Things have been tough for a lot of us these days. Money woes, political woes, and disasters causing our environment and economy to suffer even more makes us forget how to simply find positive and healthy ways to enjoy living.

I remember as a kid when our family of nine went for periods of time without electricity and water. We would disperse and stay with friends, cook out back on the old Hibachi BBQ, and pretend we were camping. In the roughest of times there was always one thing that made everything but joy disappear: music.

My mom used to play Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr whenever she could. She would throw in some good ole Motown and Elvis, Neil Diamond, and even some Tom Jones. Music was an escape. Not just a way to celebrate when things were going well, but a way to choose to dance when the chips were down.

Before I even walked into the Spaghetteria in San Diego's Little Italy district, I could hear the sounds of incredible music wafting out the door and into the streets. I was pulled into the back of the room as the most incredible renditions from an era gone by were shared with a packed house of adoring patrons whistling and clapping with every song as the group FratelliRed sang, joked, and belted out Motown hits like "Georgia," rat pack standards with playful humor, tender moments with "My Funny Valentine" and "Fly Me To the Moon," and opera renditions reminiscent of Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo.

Eugene Cole (rumored to be a distant cousin of Natalie Cole), Roman Palacios, and Daniel Hendrick are accomplished artists individually, but the energy they bring to the stage as a trio is unmistakably magic. They really are the rat pack meets the three tenors in Motown.

In a time when stress and worry seem to be rampant, I am reminded that we can turn to something that has the power to fill us with joy and help us dance, not just in good times, through it all.