Country Dancing

House Party


This month I will take you on a journey starting in my late teenage years when I began listening to The J. Geils Band, up to the present, when I saw a J. Geils tribute band called House Party. If you’ve never heard of The J. Geils Band, allow me to give you a brief synopsis of their history. 

First there was The J. Geils Blues Band, an acoustic trio with J. Geils on guitar, stand-up bassist Danny Klein, and harmonica wizard Magic Dick. Their show was overheard by Peter Wolf, who had formed a band called The Hallucinations with Stephen Bladd on drums. When Wolf caught the Geils trio in action, he saw a merger. 

Wolf and Bladd joined forces with Geils, Klein, and Dick; they dropped the word Blues from their name and began building a reputation in Boston. In 1969 keyboardist Seth Justman completed the lineup that would remain intact through early 1983. They were a “bunch of guys who had the passion and wanted to share it.” 

I drove through the snowstorm of 1978 to see them in concert at the Richfield Coliseum for the first time. The J. Geils Band was known to get it crazy every night, and they didn’t disappoint! I also experienced their energy in a small venue at Westminster College in 1982. In my opinion, they were a live act second to none. 

Their unique blend of rhythm, blues, and rock was captivating and during my years of teaching jazz dance, I would choose one of their songs to choreograph a routine for one of my classes to perform at the annual recital. The final time I saw The J. Geils Band in concert was in 1999 at what was then called the Gund Arena. 

Last year, I saw a Facebook post about House Party; their followers commented that they were “the best J. Geils tribute band.” My interest was piqued; I wondered how anyone could imitate the band I spent so many years admiring. In March of 2023, I was finally able to see House Party at The Kent Stage. From the opening song to the end, they “got down to it.” Their costumes were on point; they have honed the mannerisms of the band they emulate, and their musicality was quite impressive. 

They played a wide variety of The J. Geils Bands hits that took me back in time to my late teens through the years of major concerts and even some of the songs I played to teach my young dance students. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane for me; it seemed that everyone in the audience enjoyed the show.  

Three of my line dancer friends and one of their husbands accompanied me to this concert. We were all content to remain seated and take in the entire House Party phenomena. Unfortunately, there was one lady a few rows in front of us who gyrated her way through the auditorium and was constantly escorted back to her seat by security. Even that distraction didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for this talented group of guys. 

After the concert, I had previously arranged to get a picture with the band for this article; thanks to Doug for his photography skill (unfortunately, I didn’t realize the bass player wasn’t in it until later). If you get a chance to see House Party, I suggest that you do; check Facebook, or their website:

The next day at line dance class, I taught a request for this dance; I used The J. Geils Band’s cover of the Supremes’ song “Where Did Our Love Go” that House Party played the night before. It fit this dance well: 

One Night Stand

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing at these Ohio SCOPE Centers: Howland on Monday evenings (Seasoned Beginners) and Wednesday evenings (Improver & Intermediate) plus the same level in Cortland on Friday afternoons. Due to room size and attendance, Dori can no longer accept new students in any of her classes. 

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