It looks like a typical Saturday night at the club: The band is belting out high-energy sounds and the crowd is sweaty from dancing with abandon.
Only it is not the midnight hour, but Sunday afternoon at the Plough & Stars in Cambridge, and the audience is decidedly tilted to an older crowd that may not rock like they used to, but won’t miss out on a thriving music scene they say keeps them vital.
For many boomers, rock music is a defining element of their generation and remains an essential source of both entertainment and inspiration. While rock may have started out as music by and for young people, just because they are older now is no reason for that generation to miss a back-beat.
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Fred Griffeth is a trim, charismatic singer who has become the king of weekend afternoon “residencies’’ at various clubs around town. His band that day is the Natural Wonders, which performs vintage R&B and includes his wife, Gail.

Griffeth may be pushing 70 but he keeps a young man’s tour schedule. He fronts two other bands: Fandango, a gospel-oriented group that performs every Wednesday at Toad in Cambridge; and the Family Jewels, which specializes in prerock music from the early ‘50s and includes Brebner on guitar, that often plays Saturday afternoon gigs at the Plough or Sally O’Brien’s.


While Griffeth is a dedicated walker - often circling the path around Fresh Pond - for him performing live is literally a healing proposition.


“I’ve gone on stage as sick as a dog,’’ Griffeth said between sets at the Plough. “But then I was cured when I started to sing. My sinuses cleared right up. I seriously believe in mind over matter.’’
Like Brebner, Griffeth too had his brush with big-time rock success - he was in the band Bagatelle that had national aspirations. Back then he remembers being more career-oriented with his music, “trying to cash in on popular trends to make some money. Now, I just do anything and everything that I love,’’ Griffeth added, “R&B, country, blues, gospel, folk, Cajun, soul, funk, standards - whatever. It’s a joy.’’