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January 17, 1997     Cape Gazette
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January 17, 1997

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44 - CAPE GAZETTE, Fday, January 17 - January 23, 1997 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Steppin Vegas and Catfish no flash in the pan at Grotto By Jen EUingsworth Close your eyes, and you may think that you're listening to a 10- piece band. In actuality, you're listening to a duo. The Vegas and Catfish ensem- ble has the ability to create a com- plex, big sound with minimal membership. How do they do it? Find out for yourself when Vegas and Catfish jam at the Long Neck location of Grotto Pizza on Satur- day, Jan. 18, from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. Forrest "Catfish" Dale and Frank "Vegas" DeShields have been performing Motown music together since 1990. The combo uses a technique called "sequenc- ing", to incorporate horn and vio- lin parts stored on a computer disk to simulate the sound of a bigger band. The result is a rich, big sound that catches people off guard. "Even though we're a duo you'll swear there's eight or ten people up there," said Dale, a gui- tarist and keyboard player who earned the nickname "Catfish" from his longtime affinity for the freshwater vertebrates. Vegas and Catfish write and process most of their own music. Together, Dale and DeShields per- form material from artists such as the Temptations, the Four Tops, James Brown, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. Although most well known for its soulful renditions, the duo gets many requests for popular dance songs, too. In fact, said Dale, the Electric Slide (a 13-piece arrange- ment) is the all-time most request- ed tune. The Macarena and the Twist are also on the menu. Both members have extensive musical backgrounds. DeShields, a Salisbury, Md. native who now lives in Rehoboth Beach, has opened for artists including Teddy Pendergrass, Clarence "Strokin'" Carter, Martha and the Vandellas, and Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes. Dale, a harness racing dri- ver who was sidelined with a back injury, spent ten years as guitarist for The Drifters, and four years with Sam and Dave ("Soul Man" and "Under The Boardwalk"). DeShields has a voice reminis- cent of James Brown, Marvin Gay and Ai Green, while Dale "can really get down on some B.B. King" on his Fender guitar. Vegas and Catfish's recent New Year's Eve Irish Eyes at Anglers gig was a great success. Dale said he and DeShields welcomed in 1997 by packing the dance floor. The duo enjoys playing in the area, and always welcomes the chance to jam at the Lewes estab- lishment. "It's a good room for us," he See Forrest aCatfish Dale (on left) and Frank "Vegas" I)eShields get down to the sounds of Motown music at the Long Neck location of Grotto Pizza on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 9 pro1. until laJn. said. "It seems like it's packed every time we play there." Although they have yet to release a CD, Dale said the duo is working on a compilation of live music which is due out in June. Dale said the two are considering recording "Vegas and Catfish: The Motown Sounds" live in the Cape Region this summer. Vegas and Catfish has also played gigs at locales including Sydney's Blues and Jazz Restau- rant in Rehoboth Beach, the Long Neck Crab Barn, and at Dover nightspots including Irish Mike's, the Sheraton Inn and the Dover Downs Slots. The duo also played at this past year's Sea Witch Hal- loween Festival & Fiddler's Con- vention in Rehoboth Beach. and is constantly in demand for wedding receptions, said Dale. For more information about Vegas and Cat- fish bookings or information, call 697-9315. Continued on page 45 Toy soldier display marches on at Lewes Public Library By Jen EUingsworth Scores of miniature infantrymen are frozen in time at Lewes Public Library's "250 Years of Toy Sol- diers" display. Created by Lewes resident Ted Kanakos, the display can be seen at the library until Fri- day, Feb. 28. A toy soldier collector for 25 years, Kanakos is a retired builder from New York City whose spe- cialty is landmark construction. Along with buying and selling toy soldiers, he also does appraisals for individual collectors as well as consulting for museums. Kanakos' display includes numerous examples of toy soldiers from various time periods and dif- ferent countries, from the 1740's to the present. Visitors to the dis- play will get a bird's eye view of the evolution of the craft, as well as information gathered from Kanakos' extensive reference library. The elaborate history of the toy soldier, from its German begin- nings 250 years ago to its current state, is covered in the display. From the introduction of one- dimensional figures called "flats" in the 1700s, the display features interesting facts about toy soldiers over the past two centuries. London toy maker Williiam Britains Jr. invented a proces;s in the late 1800s that revolutioniized the production of toy soldiers. Called "hollow casting", the process coated only the inside sur- face of the mold with lead which when cooled produced a shell of a figure with a hollow interior. The "Composition" figure was introduced in 1904. Made from a dough-like mixture of sawdust and glue, the solution was wrapped around a wire frame, pressed into a mold and cured under heat. The result was an oversized figure which cracked easily and would dissolve in wet conditions. The composition toy soldier was the only toy soldier figure produced by any nation during World War II, said Kanakos. Hitler insisted that they be made and considered them essential in instilling the Continued on page 50 Jen EIIIngsworth photo The display "250 Years of Toy Soldiers" can be seen at the Lewes Public Library until Friday, Feb. 28. Lewes resident and avid toy soldier enthusiast Ted Kanakos (on left) is shown with librarians Kathy Graybeal (center) and Jane Pfieffer.