You never know, exactly, what you’re going to get when Gary Shane and the Detour pulls into town. The band, which scored several big hits in the power pop days of those lazy, crazy eighties, is a, um, constantly shifting musical paradigm propelled by a virtual musical kaleidoscope of local talent. So it should be no big surprise to anyone to see a couple of unfamiliar names on the roster for the Return of Gary Shane and the Detour show coming up at Stone Soup Cafe, an Ipswich venue that has seen more than its share of (re)incarnations. This time out, Shane will be backed up by Granite State guitarist Dennis Monroe, who has been a constant in the post-2000 revival of the band; drummer Peter Gordon, bassist Eric Bistany and Richard Pierce on harmonica. They’ll be doing “the same old rock and roll thing,” says Shane — playing hits like the reggae-tinged “Shadow World” and “Johnny’s Coaltrain,” both of which made huge splashes on local and national charts back in the day.
But the interesting thing about the show, which is being billed as “The Return of Gary Shane and the Detour,” is the fact that the Detour, in fact, is the opening act. At some point, and it’s still a little loosey-goosey at this point, the Detour will shift gears — and personalities — and become Imojah and the Skylight Band. That will happen just as soon as Jamaica-born singer Wade Dyce shows up. He’s the real deal, a singer who made his bones, musically, on the island with Cultural Roots, which released four albums in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Shane met Wade, now a Salem resident, in the Shadow World of real life, in the hallways of North Shore Community College — actually singing him a tune in the hallway — and “got a real education” and a “burning yearning” for reggae from him. Since then, they’ve done a couple of benefit concerts for Haiti relief efforts, at Great Scotts, in Allston and at Blackburn Performing Arts, and a fundraiser for Whole Foods.
Expect the old Luciano song “Sweep over my Soul,” expect a cover of the Road Apples hit “Let’s Live Together.” After that, well, who knows? The concert starts at 8 p.m. April 17 at Stone Soup Cafe, 141 High St., Ipswich. For more information, call 978.356.4222.