The Refrigerators Are The Chillest Band In The Capital Region

Checking in on the 20-year-old 10-piece that regularly rocks Saratoga.

The Refrigerators
The horn-stacked Refrigerators performing in 2016. (The Refrigerators)

Dave Cerrone, lead trumpet player and band manager of one of the Capital Region’s longest-running bands, the Refrigerators, was still recovering from a life-threatening case of encephalitis when he returned to band practice last year. “To be honest, I was still doing a lot of mental mending, so I don’t remember the exact date,” he tells me. What he does remember is that he was feeling less than confident when he showed up, despite cheers and hugs from his bandmates. He had already spent nearly a year recovering from the malady, and he still couldn’t remember a lot of things. “I wasn’t sure if music parts would come back,” says Cerrone.

Soon enough, he and his bandmates geared up to run through Chicago’s “Does Anybody Know What Time It Is,” and Dave took a deep breath: The tune opens with a trumpet solo. “It came right out!” he told me excitedly. Despite losing a lot of memories, Dave somehow remembered every lyric and trumpet part from the Refrigerators’ repertoire, a list that includes over 100 pop, funk and rock and roll hits.

For more than 20 years, Cerrone has cherished his role as the Refrigerators’ over-committed and fun-loving leader. He founded the band in his mother’s basement in Albany in 1992, after he put an ad in the paper looking for horn players and ended up with a septet.

That number has since ballooned to 10 musicians: two lead vocalists; a drummer; bassist; guitarist; keyboardist; and the “Funk Underground Horns,” a four-piece horn section equipped with two trumpeters, a saxophonist and trombonist. The Refrigerators’ high-energy dance music also requires DJs, a sound crew and light technicians, who together with the band make up what Cerrone affectionately calls “The Fridge Fam.”

The Refrigerators family has seen a lot of change over the course of 25 years. They went from playing in dive bars for beer to sharing bills with the Village People, the Average White Band, 98 Degrees and Sugar Ray. They’ve also been a mainstay on Saratoga’s nightlife and party scene: They play at everything from weddings to charity events to the Vapor Nightclub.

When Cerrone got sick in May 2016, the Refrigerators’ incredible run looked like it might be coming to an end. The band had never had to function without him, and their new vocalist, Amelia Karcher, had been hired only one week before the diagnosis. “I came into the band probably at the absolute worst time,” says Karcher. “But the fact that they just kept going and said, ‘This is what Dave would want to do,’ I found that inspiring. Any other band would have crumbled.”

According to Cerrone, Karcher was “a godsend” for the Refrigerators:  “She just came through with a lot of energy, and without her, I think it would have been a much tougher transition.” Now that the Refrigerators are back in action, Cerrone and the Fridge Fam have the luxury of looking towards the future. “We often joke about it but my son’s a drummer, he’s 12, and my daughter’s a pianist, she’s only nine, and some other members have children and nieces and nephews,” said Cerrone. “We’d love to see it go another 25, keep the tradition going with another generation. “

Sophia Perez
Sophia Perez

Sophia Perez is a California-raised freelance writer currently based in Brooklyn. She visited Saratoga Springs for the first time in the summer of 2016, at the tail-end of a four-month road trip across the United States. She doesn’t like the mineral water, which tastes like egg salad, but she drives up to Saratoga at least once a month to visit friends and eat doughboys.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

ABOUT US

Welcome to the new saratoga living, the premier lifestyle media company in Saratoga
Springs, and the heart of New York’s Capital Region. At saratoga living, we celebrate
the extraordinary, the can-do spirit and the undeniable magic that our beautiful city is
globally known for.

saratoga living magazine publishes eight times a year. saratogaliving.com re-launched
on February 8, 2018. Like our page on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and
Twitter @saratogaliving. The magazine is printed in Saratoga Springs, NY, USA.

The Voux magazine theme

THE CITY. THE CULTURE. THE LIFE.

FOLLOW US ON

For saratoga living‘s Submission Guidelines,
click here.

CONTACT US

All editorial queries should be directed to editorial@saratogaliving.com; or sent to 422 Broadway, Suite 203, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. saratoga living assumes no
responsibility for unsolicited submissions. Printed in Saratoga Springs, NY, USA. You can give us a call at 518-584-7500.

For advertising inquiries, contact advertising@saratogaliving.com. For magazine subscriptions, contact subscribe@saratogaliving.com.