Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
Founder- “Whitey” Lee Noll Consulting Editor/Angel of design-Robin Noll Owner/Publisher/Sales-Joshua Noll Lead writer/Photographer/Sales- “Rachel Rocks” -Staff PhotographersJim Price, Rachel Rocks, Meredith Kaminek Chris Rider -MOFO (Master Of Financial Operations)Missy Weidenhof -DistributionRobin Noll, Josh Noll, Rachel Rocks, Jim Price, Keith Hummel, “Space”, Deanne Trio, Randy Wilson, Shawn Kurey, Fuzz McGirk, Jimi Jaymz, Dan Mccorkle, Zac Grace, Imelda Redding, Jeff Pittinger, Sterling Koch, and whoever else we can talk into. -Field EditorsJim price..........................................The Professor Rachel Rocks...................................Out & About Eric Hoffman.........................................National Chris Rider.........................Rider’s on the Storm
Welcome back for another month and the return of live music in PA. As the surrounding counties started first moving into yellow, and now some of the northern counties moving to green, we are starting to see live music return to the area. Although not quite the same as it was before COVID-19, bands and venues are starting to find ways to get the music flowing once again. Down in Wrightsville, in support of The Burning Bridge Tavern, Stonewood played a special show to an outside crowd. We started the day out early and put a quick 29 mile ride in on the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. The trail runs along the Mighty Susquehanna River from Columbia up to Bainbridge at the Falmouth river access area. After the ride we headed over to see some live music. On the way across the bridge we got a warning call from Rachel Rocks. She informed us the beer line was an hour wait and the streets were packed with people. We ran up the road for some “supplies” in the way of some liquid refreshments then headed back to the show. When we arrived the band was jamming and the streets around The Burning Bridge Tavern were packed with people. Neither the band nor The BBT were expecting the turnout they received. It was apparent that people have been on lock down for way too long and were ready to have a good time. The band was setup on the second floor of the BBT playing out of windows and off the fire escape to maintain social distance. They had a tip jar suspended below them that the crowd was filling in a show of support for the band. Stonewood kept the people dancing in the streets with a wide range of covers from Johnny Cash, 4 Non Blondes, Tom Petty, G-N-R and many more. It was great seeing all types of people out and enjoying the beautiful weather along with some live muisc and some human interaction. After the band was over Missy and I had to leave the street party/rolling car and bike show to head up the road and catch another band. Friend of Bob was playing up at The Ferryboat Campsite in Liverpool. We got there a little late but still got to see about an hour of the show. The guys were in full swing and you could tell they were glad to be back in action. My personal favorite was a cover of “The Seeker” by The Who. The crowd wouldn’t
June Cover photo by Chris Rider Photography PA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE 178 ANDY STROUP RD LIVERPOOL, PA 17045 717-636-4203 CALL TODAY FOR INFO OR ADVERTISING DEADLINE THE 20TH OF EACH PRECEDING MONTH.
let them stop and the band was happy to oblige with a double encore. I chatted with the guys after the show and even though they haven’t been practicing while on lockdown you could tell the time away had left them hungry to perform for a live crowd once again. They brought some great energy to the stage and are looking forward to playing more gigs in the near future. Be sure to check them out if you get the chance. June is looking like we will slowly see the return of live music. Ed Varner just booked a gig for 6/6 up at JP Edwards in Lewistown. JP Edwards has great food and a nice outside seating area. Big Bang announced they will be Rocking the Grove at the Mclure Bean Soup on June 27th. If you have never been to the Bean Soup just picture a huge carnival/county fair centered around the making of some sweet Soup. They have a nice stage setup that always draws a decent crowd. The Suicide Puppets are playing a Live Stream event from Assorted Studios in York to benefit Operation Build Up on 6/6. Operation Build Up is a non profit that surprises struggling Veterans with Cars, motorcycles, homes, and K9’s to prevent suicides and homelessness. Veritas and Steven Suicide are both veterans so this is something special for them to be apart of. You can donate now at www.puppetmerch.com and there will also be a virtual tip jar during the show which starts at 8pm. Defiant has a lot going on under quarantine and have anounced they have signed a deal with Curtain Call Records and are also performing a live stream from the Chameleon Club on June 13th to help support them during the pandemic shutdown. There is a go fund me setup so please help if you can. Another venue that needs our help is Reverb in Reading. They too have been struggling and have setup a go fund me as well. Details can be found in there ad on page 2 please help keep our venues alive by donating what you can afford. Sadly not every business is making it through this mess and Noteworthy Guitars will be shutting its doors on 6/26. They are blowing out prices as everything must go, so please show your support by purchasing some remaining inventory. Ed will continue doing repairs from his farm. June is also a very special birthday month as Whitey the Mighty will be turning 79 on the 16th! Birthday cards can be sent to Whitey Noll, PO Box 362, Millerstown, PA 17062. Without him the paper would not exist. This was his dream back in 1982 and it took a lot of hard work and determination to make it happen.. Thanks Dad for all you have done for local music and your family. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! WE LOVE YOU!!! Text me to place an ad at 717.636.4203.. Whitey Noll teaching Mason Boob Ukulele
The PA Musician Magazine is published by Joshua Noll 178 andy stroup rd liverpool PA and reserves the right to exercise its discretion in the acceptance of all advertisments and to edit or condense any ad based on its standards of publication. PA Musician Magazine is not responsible or liable for the condition, dispostion, or availability of any article advertised, and disclams any warranty, expressed or implied, of any item published herein.. ALTHOUGH EXTREME CARE AND DILIGENCE IS TAKEN IN CHECKING AD COPY FOR ACCURACY. The PA Musician Magazine or the advertisers are not responsible for compostion errors, mistakes, or misprints.
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Booking info: 717.448.3888
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DUE TO CURRENT EVENTS THE CTC REUNION SHOW HAS BEEN POSTPONED!
Like/ follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and keep an eye out for live streams and updates on our debut LP “Lucky Shot” (Release Date TBA). We have 7 Demo Tracks from “Lucky Shot” available on our SoundCloud.
Booking Now ! for CTC and Blind Accuracy! 717.979.9234 Blindaccuracyband@gmail.com firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us on FB, Instagram: @blindaccuracy 6
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Keeping The Blues Alive in PA
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“I Can’t Get You Off Of My Mind”
7/10 Summer Concert Series, Triangle Park Lock Haven PA 8/14 Seven Mountains Winery, Reedsville PA 8/15 Red Run Gun Club, Ralston PA
For gigs: www.facebook.com/kgcadillaccats Email:email@example.com Call 570-651-5014
For more information vist our website & follow us on facebook.com/Steel
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le at ered” Availabite “Steel Hammon bs we r ou & s gig All Follow us on Instagram@Penntera
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Booking: Chris 717.688.9177 or Aaron 717.580.0218 Email: email@example.com ~ Hope to see YOU at one of our shows! ~
Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
OUT ‘n’ ABOUT By Rachel Rocks
In my best singing voice.. “We all live in a Yellow Quarantine…” I am still in total disbelief that this is all still happening, at first it was interesting, but now it just sucks. The only interesting/fun part of the quarantine is seeing how artists are being creative and still entertaining us to the best of their ability. We’ve been trying to support take-out from restaurants as much as possible too. All business owners
including us here at the PA Musician Magazine, have to get creative to keep surviving. We are thankful for all of our new “likes” and “Follows” on Facebook at PA Musician Magazine. We are also on Instagram @PAMusician. We are finally closing in on 9k likes.. If you haven’t already, click on over there and like us, love us, whatever makes ya happy! It was another month of super creative live streams all over Facebook. People are getting stuck sitting in their houses so they are getting creative about where they are streaming from; I’ve seen everything from around the Ed Varner by the fire pit, to Jason Carst hanging on the deck, and Olivia Farabaugh was even floating in her pool! Plus, I watched a live stream from DMC Duo when they literally
It is with a heavy heart we have to announce that we will be closed permanently on Friday June 26th. We are BLOWING OUT the INVENTORY so please share. Thank you everyone for your support, we love you all. It has been a great pleasure to serve you. We will continue to do repairs on guitars but I’ll be doing them from my farm after the closing date. Once again THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us, stay safe & keep making music.
~Specializing in REPAIR & SERVICE~
• VINTAGE • USED • BUY • SALE • TRADE • LESSONS 50 West Main Street • Mechanicsburg, PA •
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played locked inside the deck area at the Fredericksburg Eagle Hotel. No one else was allowed in, but they could wave at people through the door, one person even showed up in full snorkel gear to give them a wave, and caught Darrell off guard in the middle of a song. There are plenty of “Live from my Living Room” streams, but one of my personal favorites is Thirsty Thursdays with Derek Henry. He pushed it back from 8-9 now, but it’s just awesome to have something fun and consistent to look forward to. It’s awesome to have the Virtual Tip Jars. It’s great to be able to give back to the musicians for their entertainment. Some musicians are even using their tips as donations to other needs in the area, like the PA Food Bank, or even a venue that has always supported them in the past. A super cool part about the live streams is that you can be watching or listening to music anytime.. anywhere.. Nancy Mancine who used to live and rock here in the Harrisburg area now lives in Georgia and she has had a blast watching all of her old friends jamming out. She loved Penntera’s show from their practice room, and loved seeing Ryan Sohmer and Dave Venet from the SynD’Cats jamming around the campfire through the River 97.3’s live stream with Glenn and Amy. Music connects people, we all need music to feel complete. It’s so hard watching venues struggle to stay open. Some continued on next page.9...
Calling OFF Doug Jun 13 ~ Sun Valley Campground Sat 8 AM · Sun Valley RV Campground · Narvon, PA July 10th ~ Chick’s Fri 8pm · CHICK’S · Hummelstown, PA Contact us: Email: email@example.com Phone: 717.379.3973 facebook.com/CallingOffDoug June, 2020
OUT & ABOUT continued...
like XL Live that don’t have a huge kitchen, just their little snack bar, have no way of making a couple bucks to be able to pay their bills. Some bars are expanding their kitchen options trying to come up with some way to bring in orders. Stoney Creek Inn up in Dauphin has been doing family meals where all orders for the meal of the week are ordered by Wednesday with pick-up on Sunday, it allows the venue to only have to purchase as much food as they already know they sold. Other restaurants have limited menus available, and have limited their hours. I’m sure you’ve all seen it and are aware of how businesses are trying to cope/survive, it just important that we call continue to support them as much as we can. Well if you didn’t know what Zoom was before the Pandemic, or you never hit that little Video button in Messenger, chances are you do now! We’ve had family chats on zoom, happy hours with friends, birth-
day parties, and my husband is even holding Boyscout meetings for his Troop. It has definitely come quite popular and it is a great way to stay connected. The Blues Society of Central PA have been doing a zoom every Thursday at 7pm, where different blues musicians play their songs and talk about how the songs originated, etc. It’s a great way to stay together and keep jamming! My friend, Tim Lengel, who is a solo musician and also plays with the band Timmy’s Creep Show, started a new Zoom video show, that even has their own Facebook Page called, “Let Us in Your Living Room.” He’s already done 5 shows, and plans to do more on June 13th and 27th. Basically he has a zoom meeting with Original artists throughout PA, and even the United States, where they take turns playing music, discussing music, and just sort of having a roundtable of musicians to talk to. It’s quite interesting and a great way for the musicians to work together and collaborate new songs, ideas, continued on next page.10...
APPEARING LIVE AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:
6/26 Ugly Mug, Cape May NJ 6/27 The Burning Bridge Tavern, Wrightsville PA 7/18 Summer Party 8/7 Amvets Post 19, Lancaster PA For Bookings Contact: 570-687-8827 www.Facebook.com/Stonewoodblues www.thebandstonewood.com
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OUT & ABOUT continued...
and even tours for the future. If you would like to join in on one of their “Let Us in Your Living Room” chats reach out to them on Facebook and let them know. They are always looking for more artists. Unfortunately, it does have to be original music so he doesn’t have to worry about licensing, etc.. Another cool collaborative zoom was shared by Bobby Gentilo Music, it was a song called “Neighbor Neighbor” done by 12 Artists over 5 Continents with the story line that when people of the world come together, the world becomes better. It’s quite a powerful song. Another great way Rod Goelz is using Zoom is to continue teaching music lessons in isolation. Rod teaches guitar, bass, drums,
mandolin, and uke. If you want to learn a new instrument while you are stuck at home, now is a perfect time to do it. Reach out to Rod or anyone you know that gives lessons, and hopefully they will make it happen. Speaking of learning an instrument.. Woodshed Guitar Works in Carlise had two electric guitars purchased in their shop, but then given back as a donation to be given to someone who has always wanted to play guitar, but didn’t have the means to buy one. So if you, or your child, grandchild, etc.. has always wanted to play, now is their time to shine. Reach out to Chris at Woodshed to see if the guitars are still available and start jamming! Another great way to support your favorite musicians
OUTDOOR AND PATIO SEATING WILL BE AVAILABLE JUNE 6TH!
LIMITED INDOOR SEATING HOPEFULLY AVAILABLE AFTER JUNE 13TH!
TAKE OUT NOW AVAILABLE THURSDAY-SATURDAY 4-8PM CALL: 717-792-9838 or download the new Racehorse Tavern app!
is by purchasing their music or merch. I recently saw on Facebook that Strangest Hearts just released a new CD. I paid for it through Paypal and it was even delivered to my porch! It’s a great new album, and since I have a car with a working CD player, I’m excited to have new tunes to jam to! I also recently bought one of the new Penntera shirts on their website, I see that Defiant now even has beach towels!! Suicide Puppets recently added all new merch, even Voodoo dolls and other fun gadgets and gizmos! Check out their websites and see what’s happening. I know there is so much to keep track of, but we all have to work together. As our counties shift from Red, Yellow, Green.. etc.. bands are starting to play out live more and more and I’m so excited!! The Honky Tonk Medics are doing their first drive-in concert at CJ Hummels. I can’t wait to hear how that goes. The parking lot is sold out, so I’m sure it will be a great show! Today I’m heading down to see Stonewood at the Burning Bridge Tavern in Wrightsville. My friend Mike Eagan sent me a message about how the Burning Bridge Tavern is hosting bands and then putting tables outside where the fans can watch the show, that is supposedly played through the windows of the gorgeous building. It looks very interesting. I’m so excited to check it out! I actually had to charge my camera batteries!! WHOOHOO! The Stonewood show at Burning Bridge Tavern, May 30th definitely didn’t disappoint. I’ve never been down there and had no idea what to expect, but I definitely wasn’t expecting what we saw. There were literally hundreds of people there, filling all of the curbs/sidewalks and flowing into the street. It was amazing and beautiful to see so many people enjoying live music. It just proves how so many people miss live music. Stonewood did an amazing job. It was a super cool set up where the band actually played from the 2nd story windows of the tavern itself. Shannon was actually out rockin’ on the fire escape, but it didn’t take too long til she was down front, rockin’ in the street! Even the owner of the Burning Bridge Tavern apologized for the continued on next page 11.
We ask for your patience as the phone lines may be busy. Food and beverages will be brought out to your car, as we are not permitting anyone inside at this time. We will accept cash or credit cards. Here is a list of a few of our specials:
$4.99 Squeaky Cheese (reg or Jalapeno) $3.99 Fried Pickles $4.99 Spring Rolls $5 slushy drinks (Strawberry Daiquiri or Jamaican me Happy) $3.99 lemon Meringue pie , red velvet cake or fried Oreos!
DRAFT BEER GROWLERS ARE AVAILABLE 64OZ!!
$9 Miller Lite, Bud Light, Yuengling Lager, Coors Light $14 Fat Head Bumbleberry, Crystal Ball Opal IPA, Yuengling Hershey Porter
SPECIALTY LIQUIOR BEVERAGES AVAILABLE IN 16oz, 32oz AND 64oz!!
ADULT MILKSHAKES FOR $9!! WE MADE THEM THICKER FOR THE PERFECT DESSERT Banana Split, Peanut Butter Banana, Strawberry, Oreo Cookie, Chocolate Covered Cherry. *ALL DATES AND SPECIALS SUBJECT TO CHANGE*
738 N. Biesecker Rd. Thomasville, PA 17364 www.racehorsetavern.com
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101 East Main Street Fredericksburg, PA
16 Oz. DRAFT BEER SPECIALS ALL DAY, EVERY DAY!
TWELVE ICE COLD CRAFT-MICRO & DOMESTIC BEERS ON TAP THANK-YOU for Your Food Orders!! Keep ‘em coming!
EN O OPth! I T A P 5 JUNE STONEWOOD “LIVE” at Burning Bridge Tavern in Wrightsville photo by Rachel Rocks
super long beer, food, and restroom signs. No one expected it to be so packed. Hopefully the Burning Bridge continues having bands and ultimately starts to advertise his shows in the PA Musician Magazine. Another exciting show to look forward to this month is the Suicide Puppets playing Live on Facebook from Assorted Studios in York. These guys always have plenty of tricks up their sleeve, and I’m sure this will be a great show to tune in to. They are playing Saturday, June 6th at 8pm. This show is actually a benefit for Operation Build Up. Operation Build Up surprised struggling veterans in need with vehicles and homes to prevent veteran homelessness and suicides. With 2 of their members being veterans themselves, it helps this cause hit home even harder. Make sure and tune in on June 6th, and donate if you can!
Full Menu available on line
Call 717.865.4672 or 717.926.0110 for TAKE OUT, CURBSIDE DELIVERY
NEW L IA SPECRY EVE AY MOND * All Specials Subject to change
SMOKEHOUS E SPECIAL EVERY THURSDAY Shannon of Stonewood
Kenny of Stonewood
I’m sure as the state continues to open up you will see more and more shows popping up at your favorite restaurants, breweries, wineries, etc.. Please keep an eye out and when you see live music get out there and support it. We are super grateful for all of the support we continue to receive. If you know of something interesting happening, even if YOU are the something interesting, please let me know. I’m always looking for new and exciting music to check out. Hit me up at RachelRocks@pamusician.net. If you see me online feel free to chat. Haha! LOVE YOU ALL!! Please keep fighting the good fight! We will prevail, we will get through this to the other side.
~Handicap Accessible~ Hrs. Mon. thru Sat. 11am-2am/ Sunday 11am-12mid. Kitchen Hrs: Mon. thru Thur & Sun. 11am-9pm / Fri. & Sat. 11am-10pm
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NATIONALS By Eric Hoffman
Greetings Rockers ’N’ Rollers! As the world continues to endure the current pandemic, the world of music loss one the originators of rock ‘n’ roll .. Little Richard. His piercing wail, pounding piano and flamboyance altered popular music in the 1950s. He is widely considered one of the greatest live performers of all-time. He sold more than 30 million records worldwide with known hits, “Lucille,” “Tutti Frutti,” “Keep A Knockin” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.” Few were quicker to acknowledge Little
Lauren & Eric photo by Sean Simmers Social Distancing at home
Little Richard 1932 - 2020 Richard’s seminal role than Richard himself, “I am the architect of rock ‘n’ roll!” he crowed at the 1988 Grammy Awards as the crowd rose in a standing ovation. “I am the originator!” I was fortunate to see Little Richard play live once, opening for Chuck Berry. And then met him by happenstance while waiting curbside at LAX Airport, a limousine rolled down its window to hand me a bible, and it was Little Richard. Richard, died on May 9 at a family home in Tullahoma, Tennessee at the age of 87 after battling bone cancer. Concerts requiring mass, in-person gatherings have come to a halt thank to the coronavirus pandemic, but can’t seem to stop the music. Artists across the globe are stepping up to perform in creative ways, most notably with live-streaming performances across social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch and beyond. In many cases, they are raising money for important causes, trying to keep their own important revenue coming in, or simply keeping their fans (and themselves) entertained while we all wait for venues to re-open. It’s safe to say these streaming artists are performing a tremendous service to a shut-in world Boston heroes Dropkick Murphys performed a special live-streaming event from the city’s iconic Fenway Park on May 29th. The unprecedented event took place in the empty baseball stadium and featured the legendary Bruce Springsteen, who joined the band remotely for two songs, playing a Dropkick Murphys’ song and one from his own catalog. The show livestreamed on multiple social media outlets and raised money for three non-profit organizations. 12
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The band live-streamed once before on March 17th and it exploded with 322,000 views within 24 hours and has been viewed 9.44 million times since. Country star, Keith Urban’s latest concert included him and two other musicians playing on a flatbed truck in front of about 125 cars. Urban played the Stardust Drive-In movie theater, about 40 miles east of Nashville, Tennessee, on May 14th for a crowd of more than 200 medical workers from Vanderbilt Health. In the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak, Urban hadn’t played a live show since February. Urban said it took him and his promoter Live Nation about a month to plan the surprise drive-in concert. After the 75-minute show, Urban said the thrill of playing live again was amazing, even as the crowd looked — and sounded — a little different. He asked the healthcare workers to send him selfies of themselves, which he put on the screen behind him. “There would just be a random lights flashing out there, then a horn and a cheer over there, and then I realized it was all these people popping up on screen behind me.” More drive-in concerts are currently being planned throughout the country from other artists The Eagles originally postponed its “Hotel California” shows to Sept-Oct but now the outing is set for 2021. The shows will feature the Eagles’ celebrated 1976 album performed from start to finish, accompanied by an orchestra and choir, and followed by a set of the band’s greatest hits. Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, with Deacon Frey and Vince Gill, are now set to return to the stage together in September 2021. The Eagles played its classic album in its entirety for the first time ever during a three-show run at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last year moving 37,578 tickets for a gross just shy of $18.6 million. It’s all I got this month. Watching live-streams but it is not the same as live music concerts but they will return and I’ll be there. www.facebook.com/Eric Hoffman. June, 2020
Jon Garcia & the Hopeless Romantics Finding Peace Through Music Article by Rachel Rocks
Cover & inside photo by Chris Rider Photography
Jon Garcia & the Hopeless Romantics are a pop/ rock band based out of Harrisburg. They’ve been playing gigs for about 5 years, but the one constant of the band is Jon Garcia himself. When shows arise Jon gets a band together for the show. He has a handful of musicians he depends on, but they are all part of about 15 bands, so it’s a fine juggling act that Jon has perfected. Music has always been part of Jon’s life. His Mom actually worked on Broadway, and always encouraged all of her kids to show their artistic side whether it was through music or any other talents they may have. Jon and his sister Jess also have Springwood Productions, a company that creates high quality promotional and marketing videos for their clients. It requires an artistic eye which Jon definitely has. Life hasn’t always been easy for Jon Garcia, he grew up with severe ADD, he couldn’t read or even tie his shoes, which of course led to major depression. He was eventually put on meds which didn’t make things much easier. He went through some really hard times, but he always had his music to fall back on. He finally got the inspiration he needed when he figured out that, “You can be the person you’ve been, or you can be the person you want to be.” He really had to find himself. “Your peace is your peace and you really need to just go for it by yourself until you find it.” Around 12-13 he picked up a guitar and started teaching himself how to play. He was also always singing in choirs in church and in school. Jon’s Dad was, unfortunately, pretty sick during his teenage years, but his church family stepped up to help him through those tough years, one man in particular was Dave Lookingbill. Dave really helped Jon through some of life’s crazy obstacles and he is one of the main reasons Jon is where he is today. Jon was in a bunch of different bands over the years, and during that time he was always writing and working on his own original songs. About 5 years ago he finally shared his work with his friend Chris Allen. When Chris and his sister Jess heard the songs they both encouraged Jon to start his own band so his music could be heard. Chris started playing with Jon and helped him get the courage and confidence he needed to start sharing his music with the world. Jon always thought his music would be more Rock like Evanescence, he’s actually surprised himself that his music has evolved into the more poppier side of Pop Rock. Jon has been working on his EP for the past 3 years. The EP was actually recorded four times, but even Jon admits he’s a little picky, especially when it comes to his art. During the trial and errors of recording he eventually worked with Leeland McCartney, an amazing producer from West Town EntertainJunce, 2020
ment, outside of Philly. Leeland really helped push Jon out of his comfort zone and helped him grow exponentially as a musician. Leeland also helped him record and produce his first single, “Kiss Kiss”. They already recorded the narrative video for this song, and once this crazy pandemic is over he will be recording the video with a full band. Once he successfully recorded “Kiss Kiss” he knew it was time to reach out to his good friend, Jason Shaffer from Full Tilt Productions, and get serious about getting this EP done right. For three years he was convinced that maybe his songs just suck, but in reality it’s just really important to find producers that can truly understand what you are trying to accomplish and where you are trying to go musically. Jason has been very simple to work with and Jon is extremely excited about what he’s been hearing and is very excited that with just a little more work, his EP will finally be complete and ready to be released. Stay tuned to his Facebook page, facebook.com/JHRMusic22, for the updates on the official release date and for the release of his video for “Kiss Kiss”. When I asked Jon how the pandemic has affected him as a musician, Jon said honestly the pandemic hasn’t messed up anything, it has just made it better for him. He was able to slow down, he actually moved into a great apartment in Harrisburg so he’s been able to catch up on debt and just slow down and focus more on his music instead of the craziness of life. Obviously, like the rest of us, he’s ready for life to get crazy again so he can get out there and start entertaining the masses, but for now he’s enjoying life as we know it and focusing on his relationship with the love of his life, Denver Crumlich. She has truly rescued him. Even though his family is super close, it doesn’t compare to his love for Denver. She is the aura of his sun… Denver hasn’t been Jon’s only saving grace, he has had tons of support from his friends and family that have helped get him to where he is today. His #1 supporter of his musical journey is his sister Jess, but he is blessed to have both of his sisters, who are also his best friends by his side through life. Some of his huge influences in his life and on his musical journey: Evey Zach, Matt Tarka, Justin Angelo, Everett Hall McNeil, Logan Bedard, Chad Szeliga, Sy Rossi, Chris Bowers, just to name a few… If I would’ve let him, he would’ve listed an entire infantry of supporters, he knows how truly blessed he is to have so much support and people who believe in him. Jon Garcia & the Hopeless Romantics are just getting started. Keep an eye out for their big release. If you would like to get them booked at your venue or special event please contact Josh Kradz at 410-2416339 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
THE PROFESSOR By Jim Price
The calendar again reminds me that it is anniversary time, and this month kicks off my 34th year of writing for PA Musician Magazine – more than half of my life! Thanks again to magazine founders Whitey and Robin Noll, and Josh Noll for keeping the PA Musician fire burning! And thanks to all the musicians past and present who have inspired me to keep writing and spreading the evangel about local and live music! I’ll continue to report area music happenings through the current coronavirus situation and beyond, and keep raising awareness about the wealth of musical talent I experience here in the Keystone State! A variety of Centre County musicians came together online in late April to raise donations to help Centre County United Way and its partner agencies, all which have been seriously impacted by the coronavirus situation. The “Live United Live” benefit raised more than $18,000; surpassing its initial target goal of $15,000. Emceed by local radio personality and Rama-lama member Jeff Brown, “Live United Live” featured a mixture of live streaming and recorded live performances from homes and personal spaces. Performers included Sgt. Bob Timney, Jeff Gibble and Hexed, Hops & Vines, the Brannen Family, Anchor & Arrow, Luke Cimbala, Dave Zimmerman, Raven & the Wren (who donated money raised from the sales of their new EP, “The Bottom Drawer,” to the United Way), Rama-lama, John “JT” Thompson, Elizabeth Webb, Richard Biever & Family, Chris Strait, My Hero Zero frontman Jason O and family, Chris Rattie & the New Rebels, Caryn Dixon Jellen, Kristi Jean & Her Ne’er Do Wells, Jason Adams, William Ryan, Pure Cane Sugar, Bill Strayer, Jesse Tyler Moore, Donny Burns & the 3rd Degree, Kevin Briggs, Biscuit Jam and Ted McCloskey & the Hi-Fi’s. This was a well-coordinated benefit, and the performers all did nice work during their performances. For those who missed it, you can still view the benefit video (and donate) through Centre County United Way’s Facebook page. Beyond “Live United Live,” I also got to check out Sgt. Bob during one of his weekly Saturday evening live stream performances last month. Armed with acoustic guitar, Sgt. Bob performed a wide variety of hits and favorites with an emphasis
on the 1970s. He broke out a lot of chestnuts this night that I hadn’t heard in a long time – such as Charlie Pride’s “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” Dr. Hook’s “Sharing the Night Together,” Lobo’s “I Want You to Want Me” and Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Legend of Wooley Swamp.” He also broke out his acoustic take on Chicago’s “Beginnings,” numbers from Jim Croce, Jimmy Buffett, Don Henley, America, The Who, Eric Clapton, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Seger, Dobie Gray, and toward the end, the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” – complete with his recital of the poem “Late Lament” at the end! Sgt. Bob kept the mood happy and cordial, as he fielded requests from the online audience. Felix & the Hurricanes made their live stream debut early last month for a benefit cause, providing the music during the virtual edition of the “Home Helpers 7th Vegas Night in Altoona” fundraiser, which raised funds for the local chapter of Home Helpers
a version of Grand Funk’s “Bad Time” with Jeff on lead vocal, and their take on Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.” They also fired off original songs such as “Talk About Love,” “La La Land” and “Icy You.” In between sets, volunteers from Home Helpers Home Care presented auction baskets of items donated by area businesses that people could bid for online. Despite a few audio issues, this benefit and performance was a good time, and provided a much-needed Hurricanes fix until these guys can get back onto public stages again! Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy, Oi Oi Oi!” Who said you can’t throw a polka party online? Alex Meixner has hosted several rowdy polka-driven live stream parties in recent weeks. I caught one of his recent Sunday afternoon celebrations…This was a fun show, as Alex (a Lehigh Valley native and Penn State alumnus now living in Florida) delivered all-out energy and happy vibes on two hours of polkas, waltzes, European folk tunes, and...rock and roll! Armed with accordions (standard and buttonbox) and trumpet, Alex set the ‘anything goes’ tone early with his accordion take on AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” before proceeding on his wide mixture of musical flavors and audience requests. He played selections from his various CD’s – including “The Ballad of Thunder Road” from his 2007 “Polka Freak Out” CD, “Is Anything Better Than Beer?” off his 2011 “Three Ring Circus” album, “Hey Diand’l” from his latest CD “Make Some Noise,” a medley of tunes off his 2014 “Happiness Is a Choice” CD and more. He also honored numerous requests, including “The Lady of Spain” (which he kicked off on trumpet), “Pretty Princesses Waltz,” plus several polkas such as the “Pittsburgh Steelers Polka,” the “Just Because Polka,” “The Happy Wanderer” (the latter two combined in a several-polka medley) and more. And then there were Alcontinued on next page...
Felix & the Hurricanes (live-stream) Home Care, a home health care agency that helps area seniors. With bassman and singer Jeff Clapper fully operational again after recently going under the knife, the Hurricanes were full steam as they played three sets of classics, blues and a few original tunes. Jeff, singer/guitarist Felix Kos and drummer/singer Bob Watters opened the night with their popular original “Walking A Straight Line,” and proceeded to entertain the online world with tunes from Robben Ford, the Allman Brothers, Jonny Lang, Grand Funk Railroad, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Animals, Eric Clapton and more. The Hurricanes are always good for a few surprises, and they presented a few this night; Felix played the whole first set using a 12-string guitar; also, the group introduced
John “JT” Thompson (Live United Benefit
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ex’s rock’n’roll takes - including “The Devil Went Down to (Munich)” (featuring an “Innagaddadavida” midsection), the Beatles’ “When I’m 64,” a request for his “Crazy Train Medley” and mashup (mixing together Ozzy’s “Crazy Train,” The Monkees’ “Last Train to Clarksville,” Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train,” Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and Glenn Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo”), and a new one for current times, the “Social Distance Polka” with Alex’s polka-fied takes on The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and The Offspring’s “Come Out and Play” (“You gotta keep ‘em separated”). And when online audience members became curious about the green hose and funnel spotted on the floor next to him, Alex introduced his “hose-a-phone” to close his performance with “Taps.” Throughout the musical merriment, Alex led the online world on rowdy cheers and beer toasts, gave shout-outs to online audience members from throughout the world, and kept this presentation at a happy and feverish high. One of the benefits of online Chelsea Takami
streaming is that it does enable us to see performers from longer distances, such as area musicians who have moved to other locales, musicians who are beyond reasonable driving distance from us, and even discovering performers we have never seen before. Recommended by a local musician and friend, I saw and discovered South Carolina-based singer, songwriter and guitarist Eddie Bush during a late-April live stream performance. A longtime performer who has played at such events as Farm Aid, the Newport Folk Festival, CMA Fest and more, Eddie mixed original songs from his vast album catalog, along with select covers and requests. His style mixes elements of rock, soul and country, and he delivered his selection with an enthusiastic and soulful singing style and fast-firing intensity on the guitar strings. Some of his original songs this day included “Call Me Lucky,” “Carolina Chains,” Supercalifragilistixtc,” “Too Damn Young to Feel This Old,” the new “Broke Down” from Eddie’s forthcoming 20th album, and “Two Nights in a Row” (with Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” midsection. Eddie also applied his fiery performance style to numbers from Journey, Bad Company, Keith Urban, Prince, Elton John, the Eagles and more. It quickly became clear that Eddie is an all-out performer who puts heart and soul into each song, and I was glad to discover his talents this day. I also caught up with a few musicians I met and discovered in recent years through the annual Millennium Music Conference (MMC) in Harrisburg. One of them was New York songstress Chelsea Takami, who does a weekly Monday live stream perfor-
mance. It was a Tuesday early last month when I happened upon this performance; Chelsea performed a fun, uplifting set of her original songs, including tunes from her EP “Heart Wide Open,” plus some newer and older numbers. Her music blends elements of folk, pop, funk and hip-hop into an infectious, grooving style. She did the title track from her EP as well as “Rolla Coas,” and introduced numbers such as “Labyrinth,” “Stay Away,” “Don’t Worry,” the more serious-toned “Monday Mourning,” “Gypsy Wings,” “Finding the Way” and more. Chelsea played two different acoustic guitars during the performance, and broke out her ukulele for her song “Romeo.” As pets can show up in live streams, Chelsea introduced feline friend “Romeo” (also named continued on next page...
Alex Meixner (live-stream)
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THE PROFESSOR continued... “Tiny Cat”) this night. Besides her recorded music, Chelsea was also advertising her artistic “Takami-gram” creations during this performance for Mother’s Day gifts. While enjoying a late breakfast on a Sunday last month, I happened upon New York singer and songwriter Alex Cano’s weekly Sunday midday live stream performance. I had seen Alex perform during this year’s Millennium Music Conference, and enjoyed his rock-geared original songs. Playing acoustic guitar and singing this day, Alex was doing folk and country numbers early on, per-
forming renditions of Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” the Johnny Cash double-shot of “Ring of Fire” into “Folsom Prison Blues,” Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather,” Gregory Alan Isakov’s “If I Go I’m Goin,’” John Prine’s “Long Monday” and more. He mixed in some additional flavors later on, honoring a request for Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” and shifting it directly into the Beatles’ “Let It Be.” Alex then paid tribute to Chris Cornell on the eve of the third anniversary of his passing, sharing a story of how Alex’s grandmother and Chris both passed on the same day, and he had to collect himself for a show that night. This led
into versions of Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike” and Audioslave’s “Doesn’t Remind Me.” Alex then did one of his original numbers, “Two Steps on the Train,” before closing his sety with a request for Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Alex’s voice sounded strong, and his presentation was relaxed and friendly. After Alex’s performance ended, I came across another MMC alumnus, New Jersey-based singer and songwriter Lauren D’Imperio, and her live stream performance, happening on her 28th birthday. During the 2019 Millennium Music Conference, Lauren was fronting the pop/rock/funk band Running Late. She has since left that group and is now doing some solo work, including some theatrical singing, some which she displayed during this day’s performance. Lauren donated part of the proceeds from this day’s event to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, which helps out musicians during the current coronavirus shutdown of the music industry. Singing and playing keys, Lauren started off with a few of her personal favorites, including Ruth B’s “Lost Way” and the Beatles’ “Let It Be.” She then sang “Ridiculous,” a song by and for friend Chris Wade from his stage production “29 Lives” continued on next page...
Chris Woodward & Mike McCartney (live-stream)
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THE PROFESSOR continued... (which Lauren is part of), which is currently being recorded virtually during COVID-19. Lauren also paid homage to a friend who passed in a car accident four years ago with a heartfelt version of Celine Dion’s “A New Day Has Come.” She welcomed her boyfriend, Anthony, up to take over piano duties while she sang renditions of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” and Willie Nelson/Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” After a song from “Les Miserables,” Lauren sent the Bette Midler hit “The Rose” out to her mom, and sang a couple of tunes penned by her and her father, “The Rain” and “Believe” (the latter written for Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand, paralyzed during a 2010 football game), before ending her performance with a beautiful version of Leonard Cohen’s popular “Hallelujah.” Obviously inspired by the friends and fans joining her online on her special day, Lauren’s voice sounded great, and she definitely showed that she has the “gift” for singing! This was a pleasant, heartfelt performance; Lauren usually does her “Music & Mimosas” live stream every Sunday and Thursday. During a recent Tuesday night, I happened upon Sean Loomis in the early stages of a live stream performance. Sean has played in the region in recent years as a guitarist and singer with northern Virginia-based folk/bluegrass group Drymill Road. Sean mixed several of his original songs with a variety of covers spanning classic rock, folk, blues and more. Some of his original tunes this night included “Running in Circles” and the song “Dry-
mill Road.” He also broke out numbers from Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Stephen Stills and his take on David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World.” This was an enjoyable performance, as Sean’s singing and guitar work sounded great, and he kept the mood relaxed and cordial. He encouraged the audience to – instead of tipping him during this performance – donating to and supporting local bars, restaurants and venues that support live music during this tough period for those businesses. It had been several years since I last saw Pittsburgh guitar great Tony Janflone, Jr. in action, but thanks to live streaming I caught one of his online performances last month. Tony can still play the guitar, evidenced by his smooth and fast-firing string-bending on several live numbers, including “Crusader,” Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour” and Muddy Waters’ “Close to You.” He also shared several recorded studio and live tracks, including his performance of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” a demo recording of The Temptations’ “Get Ready” with guest Gina Collis, and a version of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Along the way, Tony shared some stories and anecdotes, and gave shout-outs to various fans and friends. Despite a few technical streaming snafus, it was an enjoyable set; Tony does these sets every Wednesday evening starting at 7:30 p.m. Several members of Williamsport’s blue community lit up the internet last month with the live streaming “Mama Warned Ya” 6th anniversary jam, started several years ago by the late Gary Strickland. Shawn Strickland (Gary’s son) on harmonica and
Caryn Dixon Jellen during United Live Benefit lead vocals, guitarists Gabe Stillman and Blair Mitcheltree, bassist Colin Beatty and drummer Michael Mummey cut loose with more than 60 minutes’ worth of scorching electric blues, mixing traditional blues, original songs and more. All five musicians went for broke on each song, sinking full emotion and intensity into each note and beat. Among the highlights were a feisty rendition of Louis Jordan’s “Caldonia” and an original song from Shawn and Gary’s Dirty Mojo Blues Band, “Papa Bear.” Shawn growled out his gravelly voice and wailed some intense harmonica, while Gabe and Blair mixed it up on guitar leads, even swapping licks with Shawn’s harmonica a few times during the set. Shawn also mentioned the Billtown Blues Association’s “Billtown Cares” donation and funding program to help the area’s musicians who continued on page 18...
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THE PROFESSOR continued... have lost income due to COVID-19. Another fun live stream I witnessed recently was the northeastern PA trio of Jay Orrell, Bryan Banks and Dave “Dazz” Danishefsky as they rocked out an almost four-hour live stream party in late April. Jay on lead vocals and guitar, Bryan on drums (and switching off to guitar and vocals to spot Jay a few breaks along the way) and Dave (Poptart Monkeys alumnus) on guitar played multiple ‘90s-era rock tunes from Seven Mary Three, Cracker,
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Three Doors Down, Alice In Chains, Eve 6, Pearl Jam, Fuel, Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20, 311, Sponge, Nirvana, Soul Asylum and more. They threw in a few ‘80s numbers as well from Bon Jovi, Journey, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Poison and more. The rock was pretty much nonstop, and all three musicians sounded strong and had fun as they rocked the internet and kept the online audience happy and festive. Popular regional country performer Chris Woodward has been doing some online shindiggin’ in recent weeks, as he and his Shindiggin’ bandmate Mike McCartney have teamed up for a few live streaming performances. I caught their late April set as they mixed some of Chris’ original songs, country and some rock’n’roll favorites. The duo kept a large online audience happy, including at least one viewer from the United Kingdom and a trucker listening on the road while driving through Indiana state. With Chris on lead vocals and acoustic guitar and Mike on electric guitar, the pair did country numbers such as Luke Combs’ “Beautiful Crazy” and Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country,” also renditions of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away.” As a few folks were requesting rock songs, Mike teased a few riffs from Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Kansas and others toward the end of the performance, before he and Mike honored a request for Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” The duo ended things on a hopeful and patriotic note, closing with Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” Chris and Mike kept it fun and cordial, and the sound quality was good (well, seasoned sound engineer Jeff “Ritt” Rittenhouse was in the room). This was an enjoyable show, and future live stream performances are likely.
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Alex Cano (live-stream) Another duo I have seen online in recent weeks is Washington County’s Robin and Bob. Singer Robin Matthews and guitarist/ singer Bob Giacometti mix together a stew of flavors, spanning folk, rock, country and soul. During the two live stream performances I caught – one in late April and the other during last month’s grand re-opening of Valentour’s Family Restaurant (near Pittsburgh) – Robin and Bob mixed their own original songs with favorites from the Traveling Wilburys, John Denver, Amy Winehouse, U2, the Beatles, Natalie Merchant, Chris Isaak, Patsy Cline, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and more. They also did at least one song off their “Leave On” debut CD, their folksy “Leavin’ Shoes.” Robin showed a bold, powerful voice and style, and she and Bob demonstrated a strong knack for making their cover material into their own distinctive style and sound. Robin and Bob usually do live stream performances every Tuesday. One of the most frequent-flyer live stream performers since the coronavirus shutdown began is Johnstown singer, songwriter and innovator Dave Distefano, who has been doing 30-minute matinee live stream sessions at 3:10 p.m. daily. I have caught a few of these (which Dave numbers, he was up to the 60th one as I was writing this). A musical free spirit, Dave lets the muse carry him each day as he mixes original songs from his vast catalog with a diverse range of cover material, and changes up the set list every day. Some of his recent sets – staged in both indoor and outdoor settings – have featured original jams such as “Spilled My Gravy,” “Hope,” “Simple Characters” and more. His cover selection can span from Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” to Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them,” to Wang Chung’s “Dance Hall Days” to Katrina & the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine,” Bob Dylan and John Prine continued on next page 19...
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THE PROFESSOR continued... numbers and many more. Dave lets the music and mood lift him on each number, carrying the tunes to spirited heights. Check in with Dave’s live stream daily at around 3:10 p.m., and see where his journey takes you! Playing online live stream shows most Wednesdays lately are the State College-based duo of Cori and Patrick Donaghy of Cousin Neddie fame, performing as Screwdriver Sally. Cori sings, while Patrick plays guitar. As Screwdriver Sally, they step outside of Cousin Neddie’s 1980s new wave focus, and perform a lively variety of folk, pop, alternative and indie musical flavors. During this performance, they introduced original numbers such as “The Walk,” as well as versions of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.,” James Taylor’s “Mexico,” John Denver’s “Grandma’s Feather Bed” and the Dollyrots’ “Because I’m Awesome,” plus tunes from Foster the People, the Shirelles, The Wreckers, Eagles, Elvis Presley, Paramore and more. Screwdriver Sally’s performance was upbeat and witty, as Cori and Patrick had fun with the online viewers and never took themselves too seriously. Other live stream performers I’ve seen recently included Ed Roland of Collective Soul (who performed outdoors in front of his residence to the online world and an audience of socially-distanced neighbors), Norman Nardini, Scott Blasey of The Clarks, Denise Baldwin, Callie Tomblin, Tony & Stacy Feighner, Lux & Co., Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam, Rick Ramsey, Conner Gilbert, Dan and Chris Myers, and Jordan Temchack. The area music scene mourned the passing of two musicians in recent weeks. Mike Diller passed on April 27 at age 62. Based in the Bedford area, Mike was a talented multi-instrumentalist
Chris Woodward & Mike McCartney (live-stream)
Lux & Company (live-stream) who frequently collaborated with other area musicians and sat in with various bands from time to time. He also was a man of many interests, a traveler and a researcher, and well-liked in the music community. And William Shawn Gority passed away on May 12 at age 60 following a battle with cancer. “Shawn” played the bagpipes and tinwhistle, and frequently sat in with other musicians during jam night situations. More recently, he appeared as a guest during several of Full Kilt’s shows. We at the “Homegrown Rocker” extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of both men. News and notes…More summer season events have been can celled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the annual Smoked Country Jam Bluegrass Festival, originally scheduled to happen in June at the Quiet Oaks Campground near Cross Fork, as well as the connected Pennsylvania Heritage Songwriters Contest…also this year’s Centre Grange Fair, the Pittsburgh Blues and Roots Festival, the annual Hickory Fest Bluegrass Festival and Appalachian Fiddle Bluegrass Festival…Altoona’s Railroaders Museum has revised the schedule of its summertime Alive at Five concert series, with the first show, featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute group High Noon, happening July 10…Delgrosso’s Amusement Park in Tipton has cancelled this year’s summer season…Western PA progressive rockers We Came From Space have issued a new EP called “Reason in the Rhyme”…White Witch has signed a recording deal with Heaven & Hell Records, and will be issuing their new CD, “Hell Is Doomed,” shortly…The Clarks will be mastering highlights from their live-streaming performances, and compiling them onto a forthcoming CD called “Live from the Live Stream”…Cambria County acoustic duo Low Voltage – comprised of singers and guitarists Joe Konior and Lee Miller – are going their separate ways…and Brookville-
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Jay Orrell, Bryan Banks & Dave “Dazz” Danishefsky (live-stream) Drawings & Photos by Jim Price
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PA MUSICIAN REVIEWS By Jim Price
CALLIE TOMBLIN – WHO I AM (no label) York-based singer and songwriter Callie Tomblin introduced her folk-rooted brand of music with her acoustic-driven 2017 self-titled debut CD. For her second album, Who I Am, Callie fleshes out her sound with a cast of musicians, and expands her musical turf into avenues of rock, pop, soul, country and more. Callie steps her game up on the album’s 10 songs, displaying a feistier and more soulful edge. And her songwriting chops have progressed as well, as she sings about personal and relationship themes. Launched with a punchy drum rhythm, the album-opening number “Lost It” sets up as a country-rock romp, as Callie expresses surprise in a relationship setting. She displays a slight Amy Winehouse edge on the soulful and sassy “Leave Me As I Was,” as well as on the organ-powered “After You” later on the disc. The gentler-toned title track “Who I Am” is more introspective in tone, as Callie proclaims she is happy in her own skin. Also gentle is the piano-guided “Give It Time” with its encouraging theme of patience. Callie shows a harder rock edge on the driving “You and I,” and she closes the disc with some social commentary on the blues-driven “When Did?” as she questions the harsh divisions in society and how people can act out vicious personalities behind computer screens. Callie sings with passion, purpose, and even some spit and vinegar through the course of the album, and she sounds totally invested in her song material. Her hired hands – guitarist, backing singer, and the album’s producer, engineer and mixer Bobby Gentilo; along with keyboardist Benjie Porecki, bassist Alex Degnan, sax player Logan Kurtek, drummer Jason Hoffheins and percussionist Eduardo Oviedo – give strong performances that pack punch behind Callie’s voice, and nicely give fullness to the song material. The album sounds clear and full, and flows smoothly from start to end. Callie Tomblin further defines who she is musically on Who I Am, in the process serving notice that her music, talents and songwriting skills warrant further attention. (The CD can be obtained through online platforms and through Callie’s website, www.callietomblin.com.) RAILROAD CITY MURDER MACHINES – RAILROAD CITY MURDER MACHINES (Golden Records) Formed in 2013 by four seasoned veterans of Altoona’s vibrant punk rock and hardcore scene, the Railroad City Murder Machines have forged their own distinctive style of amped-up, punk-driven rock and roll, introduced on their self-titled first full-length CD. Three of the musical Mort brothers – Tim on vocals and guitar, Danny on bass and backing vocals, and Bill on drums – team with former Suicide Switch frontman Cheeze on vocals and guitar to deliver an invigorating, high-octane, hard-rocking sound over the disc’s eight tracks (plus bonus track, a punk-fueled reworking of Phil Collins’ hit “In the Air Tonight”). Guitars roar, drums and bass pulsate beefy rhythms, and Tim and Cheeze howl out “the principles of sex, thugs and rock and roll.” The group charges out the gate with the hard-driving parting ways anthem “Old Ghosts” with its infectious melody and gang chorus vocals. The rowdy “Backsleeve” strikes a reminiscent tone, as Cheeze celebrates memories of hanging with friends on the streets on Friday nights. The group ponders the fate of a Stephen King character 20
on “Ray Brower’s Body,” and taps a vintage rock’n’roll vibe on “Dearly Departed.” Tim sings of survival on the uptempo anthem “These Streets,” before Cheeze laments violence on the streets on the tough and powerful “Butcher,” seasoned with guest (and Danny Mort’s son) Troy Mort’s timely and savvy rap vocal. Each of these songs is catchy, and the Railroad City Murder Machines play these numbers with gusto and swagger. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Rik Golden at his Golden Records studio, this set sounds sharp and full, with the band’s vigor and enthusiasm shining through. The Railroad City Murder Machines deliver a potent package on this self-titled debut, an album well worth playing loud through a car stereo on any rowdy Friday night. (The album can be accessed and obtained digitally through various online platforms, and physical CD’s can be obtained at Railroad City Tattoo in Altoona.) KEVIN ROY CORRELL – KEVIN ROY CORRELL (no label) A Philadelphia area native now calling Sunbury his home base, Kevin Roy Correll dishes out boisterous blues, blues rock and soul on his self-titled debut album. Kevin establishes himself as a volatile blues howler over the album’s 10 tracks; his explosive polecat howls and soulful belting recalling the traditions of James Brown, Humble Pie-era Steve Marriott, Joe Cocker, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and even Screaming Lord Sutch. Kevin shows a versatile range of styles here; he unleashes swaggering blues rock as he displays his feral howls on the disc-opening “Victory,” and taps a more vintage rock’n’roll flavor on the piano-accented “She’s My Baby,” which gearshifts into a slow and soulful homestretch. Greasy-sounding organ helps power the hearty blues of “Kick in the Ass,” while Kevin’s intense howls reflect ecstasy on the lowdown blues of “Little Tramp.” Hints of the Rolling Stones inform “Pepper’s Kitty” and the melody-geared “What You’re Looking For.” Kevin shows his softer side twice on the album, on the string-edged “Those Words” and the melodic and country-toned “Rosalinda.”
and several guests filling and fleshing out the song arrangements behind her. The album starts playfully with the folksy blues of “Placed All My Bets,” as Robin throws caution out the window as she plunges into love. Rod Cregut’s keys and Dale Mangold’s sax flourishes lend a lounge blues mood to “Pussycat Blues,” while Robin and Bob churn out a bouncy rockabilly flavor on the lighthearted love ode “I’ll Be,” featuring Andy Gregg on upright bass. With Allen Wells on tenor banjo and Chris Volpe on trumpet, the title track “Leave On” displays a ragtime roots vibe, and guest violinist Bob Banerjee helps color the soulful
“Love Me Three Times.” With Josh Gerba adding some extra guitar textures, Robin and Bob show a harder rock and soul flavor on the observational “Some Will.” Pedal steel player Bob Crafton helps the duo tap a classic tear-in-beer country ballad flavor on “One Classy Broad,” and they finish the disc with the gentle folk and bluegrass tones of “Leavin’ Shoes.” All eight songs provide catchy melodies and tasty performances; Robin sinks heart and personality into her voice, and Bob and the rest of the instrumental corps support her voice with fresh-sounding and creative arrangements. Engineered, mixed and produced by Josh Gerba at Pink Flamingo Studios in Monongahela, Leave On sounds basic and smooth, allowing the essence of the songs and performances to shine through in their purest form. This is a strong debut album; Leave On nicely captures Robin and Bob’s musical world, and offers a good-feeling, tasty listening experience. (The CD can be obtained online through Amazon.)
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The album finishes rowdy with the raunchy blues rock of “Fast Jack” and the rollicking rock-and-roller “Bad Day.” Kevin pours it all out on the vocal end, pushing the skies with his high-flying screams and howls, but also knowing when to tone it down during the album’s softer moments. His collaboration with StudioPros gives each song the appropriate arrangement to bring out the desired backdrop and intensity for Kevin to vocally strut his stuff. The overall mix and sound comes off full and edgy, allowing the rowdiness of Kevin’s musical personality to shine front and center. Kevin Roy Correll lets it all out on this self-titled debut album, proudly introducing the listening world to his gusto and enthusiasm. (The CD can be obtained through Kevin’s website, www. kevinroycorrell.com.) ROBIN AND BOB – LEAVE ON (no label) From Washington County, singer Robin Matthews and guitarist/singer Bob Giacometti began performing together as Robin and Bob in early 2017, forging their own distinctive blend of blues, rock, folk and vintage country. They introduce their eclectic, wide-ranging sound through the eight tracks of their debut album, Leave On. Robin’s broad and full-ranged voice soars and rings out front and center throughout the album, with Bob on guitars and bass, Josh Gerba Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
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