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Vol.38 #437 March 2020
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guitars, outfits and original handwritten songs from the late guitar master. I never knew Jimi was into drawing at a young age and to see his most loved football players hand sketched along with fantasy drawings of Knights jousting on horseback was pretty cool. When you first glance at a little ripped up piece of yellow tablet paper you don’t really think anything of it, but when you start reading and realize that it’s the first draft of Purple Haze, its By Josh Noll a weird feeling. On and on we wondered through the halls. My Welcome to PA where February showers bring March flowers! favorite was all the guitars and reading about who and when they That’s right music fans, looks like spring has sprung early this year. were playing them. Seeing guitars once used by Bo Diddley, Eric Flowers are starting to break through the soil and buds are forming Clapton, Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughn and so many others really on the trees. To go along with the changing seasons we have decid- made the trip worth it. ed to give a new layout a try and change things up a bit. We hope As I came around another corner a sweet white and gold Gibson you like the new look. The new size gives us a bigger cover area Explorer caught my eye, so I got closer to check it out. It was then while still keeping the paper in a convenient size for reading and I realized who’s guitar it was —Lzzy Hale of Halestorm’s along display. Some might not remember but this layout is how the paper with her jacket. Of course, I then had to go drag Missy by her started back in 1982. A lot of people have asked for a vintage cover arm, to show her what I had found. It was a cool feeling seeing so if your band is looking for some promotion and dig the vintage Halestorm included with all the other legends. A little sense of PA look, get a hold of me about recreating this iconic look. February pride came through remembering all the times watching them play flew by so quick it’s hard to imagine we turn the clocks ahead next as kids performing at small clubs with maybe just a hand full of weekend, Sunday, March 8th. people watching, as RJ was getting spun upside down by his dad For Valentine’s day weekend Missy and I traveled out to the great during his drum solos, to them now being included in the Rock ’N’ city of Cleveland Ohio. We went out to the Rock ’N’ Roll Hall of Roll Hall of Fame. All this, and we still haven’t left the basement. Fame and to catch a Cody Jinks show. We arrived at the Rock ’N’ The first floor or level 1 has your gift shop, cafe and entrance. Roll Hall of Fame about 2:00pm on Saturday and the place was Level 2 is “The Garage” where you can go and just pick up a guitar packed. Making your way to the front of the building you can’t and start playing. A lot of the younger crowd were here making help but stop and take some pics with the big sign in front of the friends and jamming on some sweet instruments. There was even huge glass pyramid building. As we walked through the front door a band of young lads rocking out with a small crowd gathering they were jamming out to some Public Enemy on the loudspeakers. around them. Covering one of the most played cover songs of my It was nice to see that no censorship of the music was taking place youth, “Enter Sandman”. If they would have busted out “Smells but keep this in mind if you’re taking small children. Once inside like Teen Spirit” next I might have just grabbed an axe and joined things can get a little confusing, but basically head downstairs to in. I decided to leave this to the younger crowd as they all looked buy your tickets and start your tour. to be having a great time. Once we got our tickets and started into the museum it was Heading up to Level 3 is where they have the 2019 inductee’s, instantly overwhelming. There is a ton of info and exhibits and it Jukeboxes to listen to said inductees, voting areas, so you can vote starts out with the early days of the blues as you walk into the first on who you think should be included next, and also where you can hall. As I started to digest it all I came across an odd looking, beat- find past inductee’s. Level 4 has something pretty iconic, which up, dark red guitar that caught my attention. Upon reading the info is Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” No, I’m not talking about the album, placard I learned that this was Muddy Waters rig and jacket. An but the actual wall they used to setup on stage on their last tour. I odd feeling of emotion and wonder comes over you when you gaze walked right through one of the openings at first not knowing what upon what is in front of you. Thinking about the stories this guitar it even was. Funny thing was, I saw the wall in use years ago, back could tell, the people who have played it, and the crowds it has en- in “94,” but the sad thing is I remember more about the parking lot tertained. This was not the last time I would feel this that day as it party then the show from that concert. Oh to be young again. started happening around just about every corner. About 2 second Levels 5 and 6 contain even more guitars which we quickly later Missy comes running over, grabs my arm and says, “You have looked through as we were starting to run out of time and had to to see this,” dragging me over to a beat up acoustic guitar with make our way to the upcoming Cody Jinks show. If you’re plantears in her eyes, “It’s Janis Joplin’s,” she exclaimed! I chuckled ning a visit to the Rock ’N’ Roll Hall of Fame I would budget a and said, well you just drug me away from F--king Muddy Waters minimum of 4 hours if you’re real fast but recommend 5-6 if you guitar. This is pretty much how the rest of the trip went. From The really want to take it all in. You could easily spend all day here as Ramones to Elvis, from Clapton to Hendrix, they have a lot to see. there is plenty to do for all ages. I kept my cool for a bit, but when I got to the Jimi Hendrix main That night we got to see Cody Jinks who put on an awesome display I was in a Purple Haze trying to decipher exactly what show. If you’re not familiar with Cody Jinks then I guess you’re I was looking at. They have an awesome collection of drawings, just missing out. He has a modern outlaw country style and is re-
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Missy at Rock “N’ Roll Hall of fame ally growing in popularity. The other thing growing in popularity is the mighty Mullet. I haven’t seen so many beautiful manes of mullet since high school. These guys were seriously proud of their accomplishments as they strutted around the venue. Just wait till they see those senior pics thirty years from now. Been there, done that, don’t want to do it again, haha. On the way home the next day, we made a detour to check out the Kinzua Bridge State Park. This amazing bridge was built in 1882 to help transport manufacturing materials, people, and oil (which was just discovered in the area). In 2003 during a restoration, the center of the bridge was wiped out by an F1 tornado. They have a really cool interactive museum that tells the story beginning to end. The coolest part is Odo Valentine, who in 1939 flew his bi-plane under the bridge. To do so, he had to do a half roll so the wings would clear the pillars. He kept it, along with a picture a secret for 70 years, until he finally admitted what he had done. Odo, who was a WWII pilot trainer and original barnstormer, passed away in Sept of 2019. While the bridge has nothing to do with music, it makes for a cool place to visit and is free to the public all year round. You can still walk out on the remainder of the bridge, which at the end has a glass section you can stand on. It makes you feel like you’re floating in the sky. Its a bit of a drive into the middle of nowhere but it is worth the visit.
I know everyone is dying for some Millennium Music Conference coverage but, with the event at the end of the month we were all just to pressed with our deadline to include all the great bands that showcased the event. Tune in next month for everyone’s take on the conference. One thing is for sure, if you’re a developing artist, photographer, venue, or generally like music you should not miss this event. I had a great time this year once again. Seeing old familiar faces and meeting so many new ones. Networking with everyone really makes the weekend worth it. Musicians from all over the world come to Harrisburg and its a great chance to broaden your music horizons and see some great talent. Highlights from this year for me were, in no particular order, learning of Justin Hershey’s mannequin fetish, hearing Uk country for the first time by the band Sam Coe (who are also some of the nicest people you will ever meet.), Seeing too many bands to count including Blind Choice, Eternal Frequency, The Radio Broadcast, Northern Borne, Bill Hartmann, Kevin Roy Correll, Sam Coe, Derek Henry, JackKnife Stiletto, and so many more. All these bands and performers really showed Harrisburg how diverse music can be with styles for everyone. So we have said it before, Jimi Hendrix flying V w/ Derek Trucks, and will say it again, Duane Allman & Angus Young guitars in back if you have never been to an MMC you should do so next year. A big thank you to John Harris for creating this conference and all that he continues to do for the local music scene. This month on the cover is a new tribute band taking the area by storm, STRICKEN! If you haven’t heard of these guys, you better crawl out from under the rock you’ve been hiding under cause
Pink Floyd touring WALL
they are really creating quite the stir. From what I have seen and heard, if you’re a Disturbed fan you better go check these guys out. They are all seasoned musi-
Stop in for dinner, check out our beer selections, and then stick around for the Area’s greatest entertainment!
• 3/6 - Karaoke 9-12 • 3/7 - The Full Circle 9-12 • 3/12 - Ben Ginder 6-8 • 3/14 - Kick-off to St. Patty’s Day - DJ 101 9-12
• 3/19 - Ben Ginder 6-8 • 3/20 - Karaoke 9-12 • 3/21 - Irish Music 5-8 Conley & Watson 9-12 • 3/28 - TJ Bebb 9-12
cians and are really focused on delivering the goods. Rachel Rocks has already seen them a couple times and claims they MELT FACES! Please go check out the full story on page 13 and make your plans now to catch one of their upcoming shows. There’s a lot going on in March but I’ll let the paper speak for itself, just start turning pages, instead of swiping left or right, to find out what is going on this month in Central PA and beyond. Rock on Pennsylvania! See you next month!
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REUNION SHOW! Original members Chad Wright and Austin Weaver reunite with special guests to perform at the
WEEKEND AT WOLFIEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S FESTIVAL JUNE 11-13TH
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OUT ‘n’ ABOUT By Rachel Rocks
Time to get crackalackin! I have to get this article typed because the MMC starts TOMORROW! Unfortunately, since the MMC was pushed back to the last weekend of the month, our coverage of the MMC won’t be in this issue, you will have to wait til April for that. But, there is still plenty to write about. It all started with the 1st Annual Central Pennsylvania Music Awards, along with the first Inductions into the Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame! Everyone is always a little leery of a 1st anything, but I can tell you, I think everyone was pleasantly surprised at the CPMA’s! Brandon Valentine the President and
Central Pennsylvania Music Award crowd Founder of the CPMHOF and the CPMAs had a vision and pulled it off! Yes, I am on the board, and a lot of people thought I had decision making power, but Brandon seriously sucks at delegating, and I’m still not sure how he managed to get it all done. One thing I found out in the whole process was that it is very overwhelming how many bands, music businesses, etc. there are in Central PA. So many absolutely amazing bands and businesses that were nominated, but there were still plenty left, that were of course bummed they didn’t get nominated. After the nominations were announced then it was time to vote for the winner! There were 22
categories with 22 winners and there were 6 groups, inducted into the Hall of Fame. I unfortunately can’t list all of them here, but all of the winners and inductees are listed on the website, www.cpmhof.com. Overall, it was a great night celebrating the central PA music community. It was a sold out event at The Whitaker Center, which was awesome. It was great seeing so many musicians from all types of genres get together and just celebrate the one thing we all have in common, music! I had a blast presenting the award for Best Metal Band, the winner was Suicide Puppets! Right before I went on the stage I almost passed out, luckily I had Justin Hershey backstage with me to shove me out there in front of the crowd. I’m definitely not used to being the one on stage. Kudos to all of you musicians who can get on the stage and entertain the masses. Kudos again to Brandon and his team for pulling off an amazing event. Everything ran smoothly and was done very professionally. Don’t forget ultimately the Central PA Music Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that is always raising money for music education programs for our youth. I can’t wait to see who gets nominated next year! The next night I was out delivering magazines and I couldn’t help but stop and enjoy some music. The first band I heard was Cumberland Honey at the Abbey Bar. They have such a unique and beautiful sound, I just had to stop in a couple minutes. Next, Joanie told me that her and Aaron were at HMAC for Green Jelly, so I decided to stop in and check that out. I should’ve known just from their opening acts, Thomas the Red, a comedian, and a professional sword swallower, that this night was going to be unlike anything I ever witnessed. When Green Jelly took the stage there were 7 or 8 guitarists, plus a bass player, drummer, and lead singer. They all had everything turned up as loud as it could go! They had some wild twists on some of your favorite nursey rhymes. They included the crowd and had 20 some people put on gigantic puppet heads and dance around the room and on stage. It was just crazy madness. Some people really loved it, to me it was a little much, but to each their own. Green Jelly has been together a long time, so obviously it is what some people enjoy. The following weekend I took a trip down to Gettysburg for Gettysburg Rocks. Rob Simon does a great job at organization this amazing weekend event to help support Four Diamonds. This year Gettysburg Rocks donated $30,920 to Four Diamonds through the Mont Alto THON organization. Our 1st stop, we went to Jack’s Hard Cider for Dustin Muller and PJ Groft. These guys wanted to help and support Gettysburg Rocks, but since their full bands weren’t available, they thought they would just play some
acoustic classic rock. Dustin even pulled out the mandolin for a couple of songs. It was a great way to kick-off the night! It’s always great hearing PJ, I just love his voice! You can check him out with his full band, Latimore Sky. Check out their ad in this issue for all the details. Next up, we headed to The Pike Restaurant and Lounge. When we arrived, Soup Kitchen was on the stage with 7 guys in their band, including a drummer and an extra percussionist. They really put out one heck of a sound. I like their facebook description of “a tasty blend of musical genres,” they played a great mix of music that the crowd was really enjoying. Then it was time for The Juice. I’ve seen these guys and gal before, and they always put on a great show. With a female lead singer, they can cover amazing artists like Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, and Bonnie Raitt, just to name a few. The guys also share lead vocals so it give you a great mix of music and entertainment. I heard they were the 1st band of the night that had the dance floor hopping! I even saw some people dancing their way up to the donation bucket and dropping in money, ultimately that’s what this event is all about, raising money for the kids, and the Four Diamonds Fund. The Juice, once again, put on a great set! The last band of the night for me was Fink’s Constant. Another 7 member band, they really filled the stage and the room with music. They had it all from brass to keys! They helped keep the party going at The Pike! Unfortunately for me it’s a long drive home, so Continued on next page...
Mason & Rachel at Lee Brice
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Calling OFF Doug Apr 03 ~ Chick’s Fri 8pm · CHICK’S · Hummelstown, PA Apr 24 ~ McKay’s! Fri 9pm · MCKAY’S CAVE · Carlisle, PA Contact us: Email: email@example.com Phone: 717.379.3973 facebook.com/CallingOffDoug 8
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people want to stand and half the people want to sit, but overall it was a great experience. Mason truly loved it, and I think I have him convinced that he needs to go see some more live music with me! Thanks to SLP Concerts for bringing great acts into Central PA! I know the next show we are going to see will be Walk Off the Earth at the Whitaker Center on April 9th. WOTE is the band that had the 5 people playing the Gote song on one guitar! They are very unique and extremely entertaining! We can’t wait for that show! On a Friday night I headed down to Carlisle to Hook & Flask for an acoustic show by Derek Henry. Derek is getting gigs all over the place, pretty much every weekend he doesn’t already have a show with Observe the 93rd. Derek is a great age for the young
Rachel & Doug Phillips / The Sharks
it was time to go. Kudos once again to Rob Simon for organizing such a great event, and to all the bands, fans, and volunteers for helping to make it a success. The next night out was super special because it was the first time my son, Mason went to a concert. I know it’s shocking that my kids don’t go to more shows, I ask them to go with me lots of times, they just don’t think it’s cool hanging with their Mom, but when Lee Brice was coming to town, Mason couldn’t resist. It probably helps that I’ve been filling his head with Lee Brice songs for the past 10 or so years! The show was at Hershey Theatre so it was an awesome intimate show. Hershey Theatre hooked us up with some great seats, right in the middle of the theatre! Lee Brice is such a humble and lovable guy! I love all of his music. When he played “Boy” he had the video from the song playing in the background which shows his family playing around in the backyard, and I start crying, and of course Mason is laughing.. but it’s just so true. Why do our “boys” have to grow up so fast! It is a little awkward seeing a band in a theatre, because half the
hipsters heading out to Breweries, wineries, distilleries, etc. He brings out a whole crowd that a lot of musicians in our area unfortunately just can’t connect with. You can check out Derek’s ad in this issue and get him as a solo act or his whole band booked at your venue or private party. On one of my Thursday cat feeding nights, I stopped in at Boneshire and caught Jason Carst. Jason has been playing out at a lot of breweries and wineries too. I’ve seen him playing for years with different band line ups, but he can easily put on a show all by himself. When Jason isn’t playing, he’s booking great shows at cool venues like Spyglass Winery and Scottish Rite Theatre. The Scottish Rite Theatre has really been having some great shows. Continued on next page...
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Out & About continued...
Their next big event is Saturday March 7th they will have the Best of Doo Wop, Soul, and Rock N’ Roll! Check out the ad in this issue for all of the details. My next night out was long but fun! The night started early at Spring Gate for a Happy Hour show with Six Bar Break acoustic. They rotate who plays their acoustic shows, this night it was Ben on guitar and vocals, and Dave on his djembe. It was cool to see that RT still came out to support the guys and was sitting there enjoying the show. I haven’t seen Six Bar Break for a while, so it was definitely a nice calm way to start the night. They are always recording everything at their shows, and then Ben does an amazing job at editing the videos and getting them posted on their website and all of their Social Media Outlets. If you love Roots Rock music like I do, do yourself a favor and check these guys out. You can check out their ad in this issue or check them out online, www.sixbarbreak.com. The next stop of the night was over to Rock Bass Grill for Katz 22, another band that I haven’t seen for way too long. Their musicianship is top notch by every member. They run a tight ship and make sure they are playing every song to the best of their ability. They are again, another band where three of them can tackle the lead vocals which adds a great variety of music to their show. It looked like Zach was enjoying tickling the ivories on the grand piano they have in the corner. The bar tender said, “there aren’t many bands that have someone that can play the keys like that!” And I totally agree! There also aren’t
too many people, especially female that can play lead guitar and sing the way Kathy does! Katz 22 puts on one heck of a show! Katz 22 had Rock Bass Grill packed, and plenty of people were bopping and singing along. You can check out their ad in this issue for their full schedule and their booking info, so you can get them booked at your venue, trust me, you won’t be disappointed! For my last show of the month I stopped in at XL Live for their 80s Rock night with Shout at the Devil, Maiden America and Appetite for Destruction. I unfortunately missed Shout, but heard they put on a fantastic show! When I got there Maiden America was shredding the stage as usual. Gordon’s voice and all of the musicians put on such a great show, if you close your eyes you would really think you are at a real Iron Maiden show! The crowd was absolutely loving their show. I’m sure we will be seeing more Maiden America at XL Live soon! The last band of the night is Appetite for Destruction, a Guns N’ Roses tribute band. I saw these guys at XL before, and it was great to see them back on the stage. I’m so glad XL Live puts on great shows where we can rock and roll all night long!! Well that’s all for this month. Get ready to read next month with all of our coverage of MMC 24!! I can’t wait to see my old friends and meet new ones. Til then, when you see me Out and About stop me and say Hi!! And most importantly get out there and support LOCAL MUSIC!!!!! Any questions or concerns email RachelRocks@ pamusician.net. Don’t forget to check out all of the pictures and give us a like on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pamusicianmagazine.
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NATIONALS By Eric Hoffman
21-songs and was very endearing and gracious to the crowd, thanking them throughout the show. My thanks to Lauren Williams for making this event possible. NATIONAL NEWS: Green Day were in Lancaster supposedly for a week, while rehearsing at Rock Lititz for their Hella Mega Tour On February 19th the Grammy award-winning rock band went bowling at Decades followed by karaoke at the Belvedere Inn. Also present was Butch Walker, producer of Green Day’s recently released album, “Father of All …” The band celebrated singer, Billie Joe Armstrong’s, birthday and sang for the roughly 30 in attendance and then hung around to watch the regulars. The Hella Mega tour featuring Green Day, Weezer and Fall Out Boy visits Hersheypark Stadium on August 16th. After some 10,000 shows, at least $1 billion
Greetings Rockers ’N’ Rollers! Central PA held its first ever Music Hall of Fame Awards ceremony on January 30. The CPMAs event was held downtown at Harrisburg’s Whitaker Center to a sold-out crowd. Celebrating local musicians from Central PA, the Hall inducted 6 artists including: The Magnificent Men, Bobby Troup, The Sharks, Poison, Robert White and Dan Hartman. A very fun night themed very similar to the Grammy Awards. Congratulations to the CPMAs on a job well done for their first venture and looking forward to next years ceremony. Huntingtons, from Baltimore, made a visit to Lancaster’s Lizard Lounge on June 8th. The band heavily influence by the Ramones describes themselves in their biography as “Pretty much the second best band of all time.” A great night supported by The Super High-Tech Jet Fighters and The Jasons. The Super High-Tech Jet Fighters continue to plow forward releasing a new The Sharks induction to Central PA Hall of Fame EP “You Can’t Miss Out on Tonight” on January 31st via Rock Paper Records in tickets and merchandise sold, KISS have emand then a second EP themed in connection on barked on their 2020 leg of their “End Of The Valentines Day, titled “A Softer Side” featur- Road” tour. They have been touring for more ing two-tracks. TSHTJF will support Strangest than a year already and time will tell what the Hearts on April 25th at Harrisburg’s River City band may add between then and its final blowout July 17th, 2021 in New York City. The final Blues Club. The Harrisburg Midtown Scholar Bookstore venue hasn’t been announced, but the team hints held a great event on February 20th featuring the final month will be a party for the ages with the legendary Ian MacKaye of historic punk several possible sites in the mix. Ozzy Osbourne’s 2020 North American run of bands, Minor Threat and Fugazi. The show featured MacKaye’s current band, Coriky, which “No More Tours 2” has been cancelled, as the includes his wife, Amy Farina (originally from artist continues to recover from various health Harrisburg) and original Fugazi bassist, Joe Lal- issues he has faced over the past year. Osbourne ly. Coriky played politically oriented songs with had undergone surgery in March 2019 after fallamazing musicianship. The event was free but ing in his Los Angeles home, then he battled a sedonations were asked to benefit the bookstore. vere upper-respiratory infection that turned into Throughout his career, MacKaye, has opted pneumonia and recently the 71-year old singer to perform in independent and unconvention- announced he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s al venues. He is credited with coining the term disease. The former Black Sabbath frontman “straight edge” to describe a personal ideology stated, “I’m so thankful that everyone has been that promotes abstinence from alcohol and other patient because I’ve had a shit year. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get to Switzerland for drugs. American rapper, singer, songwriter and record treatment until April and the treatment takes sixproducer, Post Malone, brought his current ‘Run- eight weeks.” Ticket holders who purchased “No away Tour’ to Hershey’s Giant Center on Febru- More Tours 2” tickets will be refunded and also ary 22nd. Known for his laconic vocal style and have first access to tickets when the next tour is facial tattoos, Post has gained recognition with hit announced. Rage Against the Machine have unveiled tour songs, “Circles,” “Sunflower” and “White Iverson.” He has sold over 65 million records in the dates for a reunion tour. The rap-rock iconoclasts US alone and has received six Grammy Award will trek throughout North America from March nominations during his career. The entertaining through August for the “Public Service Anshow featured massive video screen visuals and nouncement Tour,” and will be joined by hip-hop plenty of lights and pyrotechnics. Post sings over duo Run The Jewels. This will be RATM first prerecorded tracks and his stage is limited and concerts since 2011, when the band played the does not feature a band. Post Malone performed Continued on next page... March, 2020
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Coriky at Midtown Scholar Bookstore Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, selling 53,639 tickets and grossing $4.89 million. Rage has pledged to work with charities and activist organizations through its tour, including Texas and Arizona shows, where all proceeds will benefit immigrant rights organizations. Tour dates include: Pittsburgh PPG Paints Arena July 31st, Washington DC Capital One Arena August 4th and Camden, NJ BB&T Pavilion August 7th.
The Rolling Stones have locked in a round of summer stadium shows in a 15-city North American run for their 2020 No Filter Tour. The legendary band will visit Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on June 23rd. Last year’s 17-show summer tour grossed more than $178 million. Guns N’ Roses will embark on a 19-city baseball stadium tour during July & August. The “Guns N’ Roses 2020 Tour” visits Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park on July 8 and Washington DC Nationals Park on July 16th. The Axl Rose-fronted band averages 35,267 tickets sold per show. My Chemical Romance’s much-anticipated reunion tour, sold out 228,600 tickets in less than six hours, with three additional dates added to the Forum near Los Angeles. The band’s agent stated, “230K tickets in 1 day. Still in shock. My Chemical Romance is larger than ever. Their fans have been waiting nine years to see them.” The emo legends with play Brooklyn’s Barclay Center on September 17th and Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on September 18th. The edgy, avant-pop album that Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas created in her small Los Angeles bedroom, won 11 honors at the 2020 Grammy Awards. ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ helped Eilish win the top four honors, including album, song and record of the year, along with best new artist. The 18-year-old is the youngest artist to achieve the feat and the first to do so since Christopher Cross did in 1981. UPCOMING SHOWS: Heart Bones (Har Mar Superstar) - Mill-
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Get Down with the Sickness with Stricken By Rachel Rocks photos by Christine Charron Photographie Stricken is a Disturbed Tribute Band based out of Harrisburg, PA. All four members have been around the central PA music scene playing with many different bands. Combined, they have over 80 years of stage experience! They have Dave Zienkiewicz on lead vocals, Steven Junkins on guitar, Anthony Blauch on drums, and Dave Gelwicks on bass. They’ve all kept an eye on each other throughout the years. Steve saw Dave singing with SEEP about 10 years ago and instantly thought he would sound great in a Disturbed Tribute Band. Fast forward 10 years and Steve and Anthony both saw him playing an acoustic set at this past year’s Helping Little Hands benefit, and Steve said to Anthony, “Wouldn’t he be a great lead singer for a Disturbed Tribute Band?” Then all they needed was a bass player, years ago they played with Dave G. in the band Scars of Hatred, and they knew he would be a perfect fit for their bass player. Anthony gave him a call, his only question was, who is going to be on vocals, as soon as he found out Dave Z., he was on board, even though he already sold all of his equipment, he agreed to give the band thing a go, one more time. Every time you start a new project it is a little terrifying wondering what everyone will think, but at this point I think Stricken have all agreed, they have nothing to worry about. In just over 3 months they have close to 4,000 “likes” on Facebook. They can’t believe the response they’ve gotten from their fans at every show and online. They are very thankful for every share, review, comment, and like. They first got together back in November, and it has been a whirlwind ever since.. their intention was to maybe start playing out at gigs in February, but as soon as word got out about a Disturbed tribute band, people were contacting them to get them booked at their venues or play in their shows. Their first show was December 28th at Fat Daddy’s with Next to Nothing March, 2020
a Breaking Benjamin tribute band. They are also very thankful to Bob Patterson, for booking this show, and a few more that are currently on their schedule. They’ve already crossed state lines and played a show in Delaware and on March 6th they will be playing with Silvertung at Bad Habits in WV, and March 13th they will be at Suite 710 in Maryland. On April 4th they will be back at Johnny Joe’s with Next to Nothing and Reign of Eve. They already have gigs booked up through August! Including a big show May 28th when they will be opening for Kix at the Allstar Family Fun & Events Complex in Gettysburg. You can check out their full schedule in their ad in this issue. I was able to see Stricken at Johnny Joe’s for the 2nd show. Johnny Joe’s had a last second cancellation, so they asked Stricken on a Tuesday if they wanted to play on that Saturday. They instantly started promoting it like crazy, and sure enough by Saturday they had Johnny Joe’s packed! When you first see Stricken you are instantly amazed at how much Dave Z. looks like Disturbed’s, David Draiman, but when he starts singing, it’s even more shocking how much he sounds like him too! They so far have 17 songs on their set list, and they hope to have 20 very soon! The songs they do have already expand over the entire 20 years that Disturbed has been together. When Dave sang ‘Sound of Silence’ you could practically here a pin drop as everyone was mesmerized, by Dave’s talent! Of course, the whole band kills every song they do, this isn’t a band that does anything half-a**ed. They all know if they are going to call themselves a tribute band they better be doing their best to make it sound exactly like the original. They had the dance floor packed at Johnny Joe’s and everyone seemed to be loving what they were hearing, just singing and headbanging along. During the interview I was able to hear them practice “The Light” and “The Vengeful One” both sounded great to me, but it was interesting watching them nit pick each and every note, making sure it was spot on! They’ve only played together Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
about 30 hours so far, and way more of those hours are on stage at shows. The one good thing about a tribute band is you can practice at home alone. They always have lots of homework, and they are all excited to have band mates that all work together that make sure when they get to practice, they are ready to play the song the way it is meant to be played. Everything is moving at such a fast pace, if they are going to keep up they have to practice, practice practice! When you get so busy so quickly it can be hard on family and loved ones, but the guys in Stricken are very grateful that all of their families, wives, girlfriends, kids, etc.. are so supportive. They wouldn’t be able to do what they do without them! They also wanted to thank Rob Meyer from RSM Productions for running sound at multiple shows, and some of them were very last minute. Rob does a great job on their sound and lights, and that takes a huge weight off their shoulders knowing Rob is behind the board. They also wanted to thank Chris Rider Photography for the awesome promo pics, and Christine Charron Photographie for always making them look awesome on stage with her killer live shots! They also wanted to thank PA Musician Magazine for existing, because they know that running an ad and promoting their shows in the magazine is a great way to get the word out. Facebook is not the ONLY answer. They have run an ad in our magazine every month, thanks to their amazing sponsor, Goblin Alchemy. Being in a band is not cheap, and they are very grateful for any help they can get. If you are a big Disturbed fan, and are psyched that they are touring again, and coming to Hershey this Summer, you don’t have to wait for the big show, get out there and see Stricken now! I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Check out their Facebook page at: facebook.com/STRICKENTRIBUTEBAND. If you would like to get them booked at your show, give them a call at 717-501-8198 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 13
Evy Zee Cory Paternoster
Madame Mayhem September Mourning
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RIDER’S ON THE STORM By Chris Rider
The last month has certainly been a whirlwind, to say the least. It started off with the CPMA’s held at the Whitaker Center, held by the Central PA Music Hall of Fame. I have to say, these folks put a TON of hard work into this ceremony and it showed. It was a sold out show that lived up to all the hype. My son, David, accompanied me to the show and we had a total blast. It was pretty cool introducing David to many of the local artists that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with during this crazy journey. Although I didn’t bring home a trophy, I’ll say again that I was just truly humbled and honored to even have been nominated. Sincere congratulations to Cody Strubel with Rock Documented for taking home the trophy for Best Photographer, very well deserved! Congratulations as well to everyone else that took home one of these beautiful trophies! This award show is much deserved for our incredibly diverse music scene that we’re blessed to have here in Central Pennsylvania and I can’t wait to see how it grows for the future.
powerful vocals along with strong guitar and bass lines to perform with a solid and energetic stage presence. Definitely a group I’d recommend checking out! Last act of the evening, headliner September Mourning brought a rock/metal sound with an anime theme and story line that I found to be different, and intriguing. Their page lists their genre as a Hard Rock Graphic Novel Art Project. Mixing graphic comic visuals in their storyline, September brought to the stage a fantastic voice backed up by solid and heavy music that was very well put together. This show is just another example of the kind of shows being brought to the area... it’s pretty tough to beat a night of music with 5 bands for $15/20 bucks. My next trek out was to see Hunter Root from Medusa’s Disco perform a solo acoustic show at Funks Brewing in Elizabethtown. Hunter played a chill, relaxed set of covers from the Growlers, The Strokes & The Rolling Stones, plus a few of
This Hybrid Child
Nate Myers My month of music started off up in Sunbury at Route 61 Roadhouse to see Nate Myers and The Aces. Nate, Chad and Chris brought their original blues to the Roadhouse, along with a cover or two (including at least one of Muddy Waters’ tunes). It’s not too hard to enjoy any show these guys put on as their music easy to enjoy and reaches out to just about anyone. If you’re up in the area on a Friday or Saturday night, I definitely recommend catching a show at the Roadhouse. They bring in bands of all flavors and genres, have a good menu and drink selection as well. My next night out was down to HMAC for a show headlined by September Mourning. The evening started off with This Hybrid Child, a four piece progressive rock/metal group out of the York area that was loud, fast and very in your face. These guys have been together since 2012 and put on a great show to get the crowd warmed up. Second up for the night was Blood and Earth, a Harrisburg based metalcore band that was playing only their second show (after recently playing their premier show at JB Lovedrafts). Watching them play, it was pretty hard for me to believe that it was only their second show. These guys are working hard and I’ve no doubt you’ll be hearing much more from them in the near future. Next up was Hillsborough, NJ based rock band American Grim. This energetic trio brought a clean mix of rap, rock & metalcore to the stage that pumped the crowd up and definitely had them moving. Their album “Ultra Black” was released in late 2019 and can be found on Spotify and other streaming services, make sure to check it out. The fourth band of the evening was Madame Mayhem, out of New York City. A female led alternative-rock band, Madamn Mayhem brought March, 2020
his own originals including Family Tree and Little Red Riding Hood. If you haven’t heard Hunter’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, definitely look up the video he posted recently. Hunter’s also releasing a full length acoustic album March 6th which I’m really looking forward to. My next trek out was a little out of the norm for me. I was asked by my good friend Jon Garcia to join him on a short 3 night tour along with his friend Evy Zee who recently moved back to the area from Nashville. The first two nights were solo acoustic shows, one down in Maryland and the other in Mechanicsburg at Larsen Meadworks. Both of these shows were just a warmup though for the final show at the Federal Taphouse in Harrisburg (which also added 2 more bands for the lineup). Starting off the evening was Jon Garcia, of Jon Garcia & The Hopeless Romantics. Based out of Harrisburg, Jon brought the band’s pop rock originals to the stage to start the evening off on a solid note.
American Grim Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
Blood & Earth The music and lyrics are fun and have a great positive tone to them that I enjoyed a lot. Following Jon was local artist Cory Paternoster. Cory brought a modern alternative rock sound with a Green Day’ish sort of feel to it with an energetic playing style. He was constantly on the move and a blast to try to capture in frame with the camera LOL. I understand he recently released an album, although I didn’t catch the name of it. I definitely enjoyed seeing him and look forward to seeing future performances from him. Third up for the night was a band I’d seen a few months ago, although with a slightly modified line-up now. Philly based Snow Villain brought their raw alternative sound to the stage. They were definitely a bit more forceful and focused for this show and have made some stylistic changes to their show since I last saw them. The final act of the night was Evy Zee. The first two nights gave me an idea as to the power of Evy’s voice and her songwriting ability...but the final night, with the full band backing her up, was nothing short of amazing. Evy has an incredible voice...to quote a good friend of mine, Alan of the Darker With Daniel podcast (and formerly of the band Ethics) - “Evy is the female equivalent of Adam Levine” Strong words for sure...but if you haven’t heard this about her yet, then you’ve heard it here first: you will hear Evy’s name, and her music, much more in the future. That’s my bet. Check her out on Spotify and all of the major streaming options. Evy’s heading in to the studio to begin recording some new work this month and I’m looking forward to joining her to document some of the process for her in images. The month wrapped up with the Millenium Music Conference, which was an absolute blast as always. I was admittedly a little limited this year in my attendance due to prior obligations, but next month’s article will include a bit about the conference that I was able to attend as well as some images of course...plus everything else I get out to see this coming month. So, there you have it...another month of music from my point of view. Just a reminder: if you’ve got a show coming up that I should see, make sure to send me an invite, shoot me an email or a message, let me know about it. The majority of the shows that I go and shoot I find out about through invites from all of you or your friends. Hit me up on facebook: @chrisriderphotography or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, stop me if you see me out & around and say hi. Until next month...go find some live music and Hunter Root give it some support! 15
THE PROFESSOR By Jim Price
Maybe the rodent was right…That glowing sphere reappeared in the sky, and temperatures hit the mid-50s as the March article deadline arrived last month. Perhaps Phil the groundhog was correct, and we are getting an early spring (after what has been a comparatively tame winter). The pre-spring sunshine and warmth graced one Saturday late last month, resulting in ideal conditions for soup and chili sampling in downtown Bedford. Postponed from January due to bad weather, Downtown Bedford, Inc. presented the 7th annual “Feel the Heat Wing & Chili Cookoff” at eight locations throughout downtown Bedford, as local eateries presented their best chilis and soups for sampling, with participants’ votes deciding the winners. Seven of the locations featured live acoustic music to accompany the sampling. My “Feel the Heat” journey began at HeBrews Coffee Co., where Chad Patterson was strumming and singing a mix of classic rock hits and favorites. Chad entertained chili and soup samplers plus coffee connoisseurs alike with tunes from CCR, Neil Young, Sonny & Cher, Van Morrison, the Eagles and more. I next encountered live music at LIFeSTYLE Restaurant, where Eric McCrum performed. Eric gave a jovial presentation, playing favorites from the Eagles, Michael Jackson, Dave Matthews Band, a youngster’s request for music from “The Lion King” and more. This was Eric’s first performance of the day, his
next would be at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center, entertaining a packed house at Penn State’s THON dance marathon with his band, Vision to None. At Pigeon Hill art studio, Hobo Stew was performing old-time American folk and standards, armed with a banjo and fiddle. Some of his selections included Charlie Poole’s “Sweet Sunny South” from 1929, “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music,” the traditional “Whisky Before Breakfast” and more. Across Juliana Street at Founders Crossing marketplace, Happy Hour – the duo of singer Sarah Mellott and singer/guitarist Tom Fix – played their mixture of acoustic country, rock favorites and original songs. Both displayed excellent voices; Sarah showed her clear and potent voice on her original song “Oak Wood Truck” and Alanis Morisette’s “Hand in My Pocket,” while Tom sounded sharp on Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” The pair also did songs from Florida-Georgia Line, Zac Brown Band, 4 Non Blondes and more. I then headed to Oak Spring Winery, where RAM Acoustics strummed acoustic guitar and sang original songs. Locality art space featured Dawn and the Sound Alchemist. Accompanied by her son Levi on keys and guitar, singer and guitarist Dawn Custer played a mix of original songs and covers, including a version of the Beatles’ “Blackbird.” And as the chili and soup sampling neared its conclusion, I arrived at Briar Valley Winery, where singer and guitarist Samantha Press performed some of her original songs plus a rendition of Peter, Paul & Mary’s “Puff the Magic Dragon.” The mix of tasty chilis and soups with the various acoustic performances made for a good time. When votes were tallied, Bedford’s Golden Eagle Inn won both “Most Creative” awards for both their chili and soup; 10/09 Kitchen won for best flavor chili, while Homewood at Spring House Estates won for best flavor soup. After spending that afternoon savoring soups and chilis
in downtown Bedford, it was only fitting that I capped the night with a serving of Acoustic Stew as they performed at the Castle Pub in Ebensburg. Ed Hofer filled in on hand percussion this night, smacking the skins as regularly-scheduled drummer Kim Dull was on the disabled list with shoulder issues. Ed, singer/guitarist Jaime Dubetsky, Tim Homerski on guitar, vocals and flute, and Bill Kibler on bass and vocals mixed together a nice stew of sounds this night, spanning classic rock, country and more. Their vocals and musicianship were strong; it’s always a treat to see Tim working his woodwinds on numbers like Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See” and Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath,” and the group also rode Grand Funk Railroad’s “I’m Your Captain” to a full-throttled, intense finish. Bill also sang lead vocal on a number, fronting Acoustic Stew on Alabama’s “Mountain Music.” Also sounding good were tunes from the Grateful Dead, Chris Stapleton, Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Zac Brown Band, Peter Frampton, The Band and more. McGarvey’s in Altoona celebrated the New Year a second time in late January, this time marking the beginning of Chinese Lunar Year 2020, the Year of the Rat. The Zero Club provided the musical entertainment while a Chinese food buffet was served. The crowd saw the newest lineup of The Zero Club this night, as singer Stacy Feighner and guitarist Tony Feighner replace Rick Ramsey in the roster; joining lead singer and percussionist Mike Davis, guitarist Bob Gray, bassist Josh Yahner and drummer Dave “Redawg” Solinski. Stacy’s addition allows The Zero Club to expand its scope to cover female artists, as she led the group on hits from Elle King, Blondie, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Pat Benatar, Scandal, Cyndi Lauper and more. The Zero Club also fired up the dance floor with numbers from The Knack, J. Geils Band, Devo, Rick Springfield, Loverboy, The Cars, Bryan Adams and others. continued on next page...
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3/6 Danielle Nicole Band w/ special guest Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe, doors: 7:00 PM 3/27 Neil Zaza w/ special guest Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam HMAC Harrisburg, doors: 7:00 PM FOR BOOKING & INFO: FULL FORCE MUSIC 570-205-1350 P.O. Box 67 Friedensburg, PA 17933 Email: Steelguitar01@hotmail.com
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THE PROFESSOR continued...
Guest (and McGarvey’s doorman) Kevin Siegel stepped in behind the drum kit for Alice In Chains’ “Man in the Box.” The updated edition of The Zero Club sounded strong and steady through it all, and kept the dance floor busy throughout the night. Watch for this group as they perform on Cambria, Indiana and Blair County stages. McGarvey’s also hosted a benefit last month, as bands, musicians and friends showed their support for cancer patient Jen Johnstonbaugh during the “Heaviest Fundraiser Ever” benefit. Jen, the wife of area drummer Darl Johnstonbaugh, is undergoing treatments for marginal zone B cell lymphoma. I wasn’t able to arrive early enough to see show openers Roadkill, but they got the show off to a rousing start with their brand of “rot and roll.” I did arrive in time to see the next performers, the Donny Burns Duo, pairing namesake Donny Burns with his 3rd Degree collaborator Nick Stahlman. Singing and slinging guitars, the duo mixed original songs with classic rock favorites from Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Guns N’Roses and more. Next was my first look at Tyrone-based foursome E.N.D., who stepped up the musical aggression with their early thrash metal-rooted sound. Lead vocalist and guitarist Will Zimmerman, guitarist Eamonn Sweeney, lead vocalist and bassist Erik Schlosser and drummer Alec Plumley generated thrash metal brutality with fierce rhythms and guitarwork, go-for-broke velocity and scathing vocals. Some of E.N.D.’s songs included “Suffocate,” “Drink ‘Til You Punk,” “Suicide Warriors” and a torrid take on Rob Zombie’s “Dragula.” Caleb Bernstein then briefly performed some instrumental guitar passages, before Black Sun closed out the benefit. Singer Todd McKeone, guitarist Jason Feathers, bassist David Mollica and drummer Nate Woods churned out powerful, surging original assaults that blended the dynamics and ferocity of power metal with complex time signatures and rhythms, angular melodies and intensifying levels of angst. Black Sun took each number and rode it to leviathan, pummeling crescendos, enveloping audience members in the raw emotion as each song progressed. The benefit also featured door prizes, and raffled off a large drum set donated by Darl. The benefit was successful and raised money toward Jen’s medical costs; hats off to Darl, Brian Coho, Todd McKeone, McGarvey’s and all who supported this afternoon of music for a great cause! The PennSOULvanians introduced their expanded roster in late January at McGarvey’s, headlining a triple-bill that included opening performers Chill Bundlez and Kai. Joining the core duo if singer/guitarist Chet Denny and rap artist Michael Thomas are
guitarist Nate Nagle, keyboardist Brett Fanelli, sax player Lyndsey Reilly and drummer Todd Harshbarger. The new-look PennSOULvanians brought an even brighter presentation to the stage, with livelier grooves and a funkier presence. Chet’s voice was smooth and soulful, and Michael’s raps and cadences rode the group’s rhythmic backdrops well. The PennSOULvanians showcased many of their original songs, including “Anxious,” the slower and soulful “Make It,” the funky “”Girl You Deserve to Be” and more. The PennSOULvanians have taken yet another step forward with this new incarnation, and this group is well worth checking out in the months to come. Another rapidly rising force on this area’s music scene is Faded Flowers. In the process of recording their first release and quickly winning fans with their rousing live shows and upbeat brand of infectious rock, Faded Flowers has built much forward momentum since their arrival on stages last year. With Randy Servello behind the drum kit, Faded Flowers fired up the party last month at McGarvey’s. Randy, singer Mike Kensinger, lead guitarist Jarrett Bickel, bassist Hunter Karns and rhythm guitarist Mike Wertz mixed catchy, rocking original songs with a wide-ranging variety of cover material. Among their original tunes this night were the harder-rocking “Souls,” the slow-builder “Shoot the Moon,” the uptempo “Out of My Head,” “Imagination,” “Unkind” and “Back in Your Arms.” Their songs provided a blend of hooks and melodies, driving rhythms and Mike Kensinger’s clear, upfront vocals and presence. The group also did great work on their cover material, integrating tunes from Queen, Collective Soul, Elvis Costello, Led Zeppelin, Stone Temple Pilots, Depeche Mode, Foo Fighters, Prince, David Bowie and Tom Petty into their own style and flavor. With Mike Wertz singing and rapping lead, and Hunter and Jarrett swapping instruments, Faded Flowers broke out a fresh take on Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice,” and they saved their most popular cover until last, finishing with The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” Faded Flowers inspired hearty cheers, and drew increasing numbers of audience members onto the dance floor as the night progressed. These Faded Flowers are blooming brightly on area stages; catch a show and discover them soon! Black Cat Moan is also a rising band name well worth checking out. During their latest performance at McGarvey’s last month, Black Cat Moan captivated audience members with their uplifting brand of blues-based music. With blues as their foundation, Black Cat Moan explores funk, jazz and rock flavors, blending them into an enthralling, original style and sound. “Saint” George
Byich on guitar, Ron Bonsell on drums and Brad Jamison on bass bring sharp musicianship to the stage, setting the groove-driven launching pad for singer TK Mundok’s freewheeling performances. This man seizes the moment during each song and rides the vibe to maximum heights, connecting to audiences with his blend of voice, nonstop stage movements and personality. Black Cat Moan mixed new original songs with numbers from their latest album, “Symbols.” One of the new numbers this night was “Socontinued on next page...
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THE PROFESSOR continued...
Tim Homerski / Acoustic Stew
Cheeze of Railroad City Murder Machines
Todd McKeone/ Black Sun
Nate Gates Greenbean Open Mic
Jack Coyle Unter Uns Jam Night
TK Mundok/ Black Cat Moan
Rik Golden /The Snipped
Ed Hofer / Acoustic Stew
Philthy Phil /The Cheats
Mike Davis & Stacy Feighner / The Zero Club
Michael Kensinger / Faded Flowers
Devin Holiday / The Cheats
George Byich / Black Cat Moan
Dawn & the Sound Alchemist 18
Chet Denny / the Pennsoulvanians
Sarah Mellott& Tom Fix / Happy Hour
Lyndsey Reilly / the Pennsoulvanians
Ted Ellis & Jim Price Unter Uns Jam Night photo by Bill Hocherl
H OT SH OTS, SH OT H OT
by Ji m Pr ic e Se e al l JP ’s Sh ots at fa ce bo ok .c om / in e PA M us ic ia n M ag az
Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
phia,” and they also did their take on the traditional blues standard “Rollin’ and Tumblin,’” which they recently recorded to open the 400th episode of the “Rollin and Tumblin” radio program on WYEP in Pittsburgh. The group also did their popular “Is What It Is” off “Symbols,” as well as one of their earliest numbers, “Anna Lee.” This band’s future looks bright, with more recording and a busy show schedule setting up for spring and summer. Watch for Black Cat Moan on stages throughout western PA and beyond in the months to come. Pittsburgh punk-rocking force The Cheats slammed the lid on a Super Bowl-eve, four-band bill at McGarvey’s early last month, presented by Turbojugend Rail City. (Turbojugend is a worldwide punk rock-centered community that sprung from the international fan club of Norwegian deathpunk band Turbonegro. There are now 2,300 Turbojugend chapters around the world, and Rail City is the Altoona area’s chapter.) Local punk favorites The Flannels and X’s For Eyes, plus Pittsburgh’s Middle Finger all fired up the party leading up to The Cheats’ set. Former Eviction frontman Todd (Porter) Cheat, “Philthy Phil” Irvin on bass, Devin Holiday and Rob Senomar on guitars, and Kyle Cheat on drums hammered high-powered, short and sweet punk anthems from their catalog, mixing a number of new tunes with some previous material. I didn’t catch too many song titles, but some of the new tunes included “Lookin’ So Tough” (about women with Joan Jett haircuts), “I’m the One She Loves to Hate” and “Novocaine.” The Cheats’ performance was full-throttle and caution-to-the-wind, and Todd kept the crowd centered on the stage action with his powerful vocal howl and wit. The crowd demanded more at set’s end, and The Cheats responded by breaking out one of their older tunes, “Day After Day,” to slam the lid on the night. These guys were tight and exciting, and delivered a feverish, fun set. The Cheats are currently recording a new album, “Cussin,’ Cryin’ and Carryin’ On,” with an early summer release expected. An established component in Altoona’s vibrant punk rock scene, the Railroad City Murder Machines recently released their self-titled CD. The group celebrated music from that album during last month’s “V-Day Hangover Show” at McGarvey’s. Pittsburgh’s Middle Finger opened the night before my arrival, but I did get to see the second group of the night, local “dadcore” punk rockers The Snipped, as they debuted a number of new high-velocity punk anthems along with songs from their “#dadcore” CD, and even gave a “dadcore” update to Bruce Springsteen’s anthem “Born to Run.” The Railroad City Murder Machines – guitarists and vocalists Cheeze and Tim Mort, bassist Danny Mort and drummer Bill Mort – fired off brisk, punk-fueled songs from the album, including “Old Ghosts,” “Backsleeve,” “These Streets,” “El Rey,” “Unforgivable” and more. The Railroad City Murder Machines’ blend of high-energy rock, catchy song hooks and tight execution fired up the crowd, who demanded one more song at night’s end. The group responded with their punk-fueled reboot of Phil Collins’ hit “In The Air Tonight.” Railroad City Murder Machine is also a rising name that is winning fans on this area’s music scene; watch for their frequent appearances at McGarvey’s. In the mood for a headbanger’s ball, I caught up with Cambria County 80’s metal specialists Sunset Strip during their Valentine’s Day performance last month at the Bakerton Athletic Association. Bringing 80’s hair metal and arena rock to audiences for a dozen years, the current edition of Sunset Strip includes the founding core of singer Scott Mulligan and bass man Frankie Lyxxx, joined by guitarist Scott Sensebaugh and drummer Dan Way. Sunset Strip triggered the dance floor party with anthems from AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Cinderella, Poison, Tesla, Autograph, Judas Priest, Whitesnake, LA Guns, The Cult, Motley Crue and more. The group also threw in a few surprises along the way, including their version of The Sweet’s early 1970s hit “Little Willy,” continued on next page... March, 2020
THE PROFESSOR continued...
Velvet Revolver’s “Fall to Pieces” and “Slither,” and broke out Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years” toward night’s end. This edition of Sunset Strip still delivers the hard-rocking thunder, and Scott Mulligan still brings the party to the crowd, rallying folks out of their seats and onto the dance floor. Alyssa Hankey is a rising name, spreading her distinctive brand of acoustic folk-based music on stages throughout western PA and beyond. I caught the latter part of her late January performance at Altoona’s Railroad City Brewing Company, where a nice-sized audience was present to appreciate her talents. Armed with acoustic guitar and her hearty, husky voice, Alyssa sang original numbers, including tunes from her latest album “American Spirit,” along with some select covers done in her own distinctive voice and style. Alyssa uniquely blends folk, blues, country and classic rock elements into her original style, channeling influences ranging from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen to Janis Joplin. Some of Alyssa’s original songs this night included “The Flood” off the new CD, as well as “Blowing Smoke” and a few others. She also applied her signature style to renditions of Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” and The Band’s “The Weight,” which ended the night. I obtained Alyssa’s “American Spirit” CD after the performance, and Alyssa even included an official Alyssa “hankey” (handkerchief)! Alyssa maintains a busy performance
schedule throughout western PA, and also hits the road to share her music across the country. And after the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl early last month, Felix & the Hurricanes provided the musical post-game celebration during their weekly Sunday night shindig at Altoona’s Black & Gold Tavern. The Sunday night lineup of singer and guitar man Felix Kos, drummer and singer Bob Watters and bassist and singer Pat McGinnis played their unpredictable mix of classic and southern rock, blues, country, folk and more. Always part of the fun of watching the Hurricanes is seeing where they musically go next. Felix usually cues the rest of the group with his guitar, and his bandmates and audience hang on for the ride. This night, the group shifted between numbers from John Prine, Robben Ford, The Doors, Neil Young, Cream, Allman Brothers, George Thorogood, Marshall Tucker Band, The Clarks, ZZ Top, Little Feat, Delbert McClinton, Fabulous Thunderbirds and many more. Highlights included Felix’s guitar fireworks on Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” and the Allmans/Molly Hatchet’s “Dreams I’ll Never See,” his slide guitar skills on Jimmie Rodgers’ “T for Texas” into the James Gang’s “Funk No. 49,” Bob singing lead on Confederate Railroad’s “Trashy Women” and more. Felix & the Hurricanes opened a Leap Day concert for former NBC “The Voice” finalist Josh Gallagher late last month at Altoona’s Mishler Theatre. News and notes…Afro N’At, Chris Vipond & the Stanley Street
Band, The Roof, Space Koi, John Peacefire, Rik Golden, High Street Drifters, Wolfgang Moon, Wilted and others will perform during the Cre814 Winter Carnival, happening March 7 at the U.S. Hotel in Hollidaysburg…The former Crowbar live music venue in State College is again under new ownership, and has reopened as Stage West – State College…Former area musician Aeb Byrne, who played keys and flute during the early years of State College band favorites The Nightcrawlers, plays flute on Stone Temple Pilots new acoustic-geared album, “Perdida,” which was released last month…Only months after releasing their “Snake Eyes” CD, Johnstown heavy metal specialists Darkness On The Radio parted ways last month…The Pittsburgh music scene lost a pioneering reggae musician last month; Uzell Finney, Jr., a founding member and guitarist of Pittsburgh longest-running reggae group The Flow Band, passed on Feb. 11 after a battle with prostate cancer at age 65…And Baltimore blues performer Reggie Wayne Morris, who performed at Pennsylvania college campuses and other venues in recent years, passed away on Feb. 4 at age 66. Please send correspondence and recordings to: Jim Price, 1104 S. Catherine St., Altoona, PA 16602. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re into social networking, look me up on Facebook. SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!
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PA MUSICIAN REVIEWS By Jim Price
SAVAGE BLISS – WARNING SIGNS (no label) Inspired by the classic heavy metal stylings of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept and Queensryche; Savage Bliss first emerged from the Harrisburg area in 1989, and enjoyed several years of performing and recording before they separated in 1995. After an unsuccessful attempt to resurrect the band in 2004, founding member and lead guitarist Jim Fagan plus drummer Joe Morlock reconvened in 2015 with seasoned frontman Gordon Tittsworth and keyboardist Michael Troy. This lineup subsequently created Savage Bliss’ first full-length album, Warning Signs. Savage Bliss proudly carries
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the torch of classic-styled 1980s heavy metal through the album’s 11 tracks, generating infectious, powerful and anthemic numbers. Commanding and driving riffs and rhythms, fast-firing and virtuosic guitarwork, and powerful, soaring vocals escalate each song to captivating heights. The album follows a connecting and currently relevant theme of humanity and its fate in troubled times, and individual struggles of will and spirit. The terse instrumental prelude “Incidit Tenebris” (Latin for ‘falling dark’) sets up the charging “Sin of Man,” about the struggle between good and evil and humanity’s impending danger. The title track “Warning Signs” examines the struggle on a more personal level, and the battle with anger and other dark emotions; while the fast and driving “Torture Chamber” ponders the role of apathy in determining one’s fate. The bold and anthemic “Churn” suggests that we have the power to overcome such anger and control our own path, while the stomping “Rush to Justice” considers how combat claims lives but not the ideologies that drive them. Perhaps Savage Bliss’ ultimate zenith here is the album’s epic two-part finale: Underscored by Michael Troy’s dark keyboard passage, the prelude “If I Were the Devil” assembles excerpts from famed radio commentator Paul Harvey’s 1965 essay of the same name, voicing a warning about evil’s temptation leading into societal decay. This leads into the multi-tiered “Wicked,” an update of an early Savage Bliss com-
position expressing a realization about the power to resist temptation coming from within. Warning Signs is an impressive album from start to end. The songs stand boldly on their own, but also blend well into a cohesive set. Gordon Tittsworth’s mighty voice conjures comparisons to Rob Halford, Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickinson, and forcefully delivers the lyrical messages home. The instrumental performances and arrangements are masterful and captivating. And produced by Joe Morlock and Jim Fagan, this album sounds grand, full and potent. Fans of majestic 1980s-styled classic heavy metal will relish what Savage Bliss has delivered here; Warning Signs is a proud and powerful album designed to be played at high volume. (The CD can be obtained through CD Baby and online retailers, and through Savage Bliss’ website, www.savagebliss.com.) JESSICA ILLUZZI – SOUL SEARCHER (no label) A Johnstown native who now calls northeastern PA her home base, singer and songwriter Jessica Illuzzi is a member of Americana and roots trio Retro Rocket, as well as a solo artist. Her latest solo CD, Soul Searcher, introduces listeners to Jessica’s tranquil and pleasant blend of acoustic folk, bluegrass, country and rock’n’roll sounds over 16 songs (15 tracks). Jessica offers a gentle and relaxed singing style as she presents her selection of 12 original songs and four covers. The arrangements are simple and stripped down, often blending guitar and voice, with other folk instrumentation showing up along the way. Consistent with the album’s title, a number of Jessica’s lyrics deal with aspects of soul searching and wonders about the world. She muses about turning her woes into hope on the bluesy “Trouble in Mind,” dreams of flying on “Pennsyltucky Wings,” and fantasizes about a cash source on “Money Tree.” She offers a love song and devotion on the album-opening “Beaten Path,” and entices a shy dancing partner on “Wallflower.” She observes a woman avoiding her sad reality on the story ballad “Dance Around the Truth.” Banjo-string plucking colors the country tones of “Rowdy Blues,” while a prominent piano guides the somber-toned album-closer “Excuse.” Jessica applies her rustic and soothing musical style to renditions of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer,” CCR’s “Lodi” and the Hank Williams-popularized “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It.” As the latter half of a live performance double-shot following her original song “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor,” Jessica also sings a rendition of Bob Dylan’s classic “Tangled Up in Blue.” Jessica’s mild voice is front and center throughout the album, and the simple arrangements
Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
allow her words to come through clearly and uncluttered. The sound quality and mix are consistent throughout the album, and the overall sound is direct, balanced and full. Soul Searcheroffers a broad glimpse into Jessica Illuzzi’s pleasant musical world, and provides a soothing, uplifting listen. JELLI – JELLI WITH AN I (no label) Those old enough to remember may recall the story of national recording group Green Jelly; they started out as Green Jello, but
Kraft Foods sued them over use of the Jello name in 1992, forcing them to change the name to Green Jellÿ. No such controversy figures into how Harrisburg’s Jelli arrived at the spelling of their band name and title of their album, Jelli With an I. The group was formed in 2016 by lead singer, guitarist and kazoo player J Sumner and percussionist Shelli Merriford; thus Jelli is the blending of their first names. Combined with bass player and guitarist Jeff Burfield, Jelli reveals their distinctive and unpredictable style and sound over the 10 tracks of Jelli With an
I. Elements of folk, rock, funk, blues, punk, bluegrass, metal and a touch of hippie psychedelia blend with quirky melodies plus jocular and philosophical lyrics, resulting in a uniquely original presentation. Each song is delightfully different, and Jelli muses about a myriad of off-the-wall topics throughout the set. Brain flatulence is the apparent theme of the table-setting disc opener “Ingress,” while the combination of love woes and drinking lead to angry musical results on “Lemon Lime Lament.” The protagonist laments the loss of his freezer in a divorce during the mild and folksy “Ode,” and kazoo helps fuel the edgy-mannered, folk-flavored “Drinkin’ Song.” Jelli offers witty political and social commentary on “Let Love” and “Shangri-la,” taps a Latin tone on the upbeat “Bailar,” and gets more than they bargained for while house-hunting on the playfully eerie “D’Evil,” flavored by guest (and now fourth band member) Arianne Guthier’s musical saws. Jelli is good at what they do – their style is consistent throughout the album. J Sumner’s voice is low-key and matter-of-factly, and Shelli’s busy hand percussion and Jeff’s prominent bass lines propel the songs along. Jelli never takes themselves too seriously, resulting in a lighthearted, freewheeling vibe. Self-arranged and recorded by the band, the CD sounds spontaneous and in-the-moment, with minimal studio embellishments or gloss. Jelli With an I showcases Jelli’s quirky musical world, and provides an intriguing, often smile-inducing listen. (The CD can be obtained through Jelli’s website, www.jelliacousticband.com.) BAD LUCK LOVER BOYS – BAD LUCK LOVER BOYS EP (no label) Formed in 2017, Bad Luck Lover Boys is a Bedford-based rock band featuring lead singer and guitarist Chris Diehl, guitarist Mark Godissart, bassist and singer Brennon Miller and drummer Brad Hengst. Their self-titled debut EP introduces listeners to Bad Luck Lover Boys’ blend of pop and punk rock flavors over five tracks. Blink 182 and Weezer both inform the group’s base sound, as Bad Luck Lover Boys demonstrate ample energy, clean instrumental execution, simple and catchy melodies, and solid singing and vocal harmonies. The Lover Boys’ luck at love informs four of the EP’s tracks…A quick burst of laughter launches the EP’s punchy opening track, “All My Thoughts Are Dead,” as Chris voices anxieties about girlfriends and life. He sings about a carefree party animal on the Weezer-ish “Cory,” driven by Brennon’s prominent cyclical bass line. “At the Baseball Game” offers punk-fueled venting about a devious past love interest, while “Scot Pilgrim” and “Nicole” are happier and more hopeful about the opposite sex. The songs are short, sweet and to the point, and the group’s arrangements are lean and efficient. Recorded at Bedford’s Pitt Street Studio and mixed by Cody Hoover, this EP sounds clear, balanced and full, and captures Bad Luck Lover Boys’ blend of melody and punk edge. This EP offers a solid introduction to Bad Luck Lover Boys’ musical world, and shows an enthusiastic band proudly establishing their turf. (The EP can be purchased digitally through the group’s Bandcamp web page; hard copy CD’s can be obtained at the group’s live shows.)
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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
“The Player’s Choice in Carlisle, PA”
The area’s BEST PRICES on Strings & Accessories
Expert Repair & Service •BUY • SELL • TRADE • CONSIGN ~Vintage Guitars & Amps~
www.woodshedguitarworks.com 147 N. Hanover Street Carlisle, PA 17013
Harrisburg Scottish Rite Theatre
THE ONLY ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX IN UPTOWN HARRISBURG
Sunday May 17th 3:00pm
Friday June 12th 8:00pm
LIGHTS OUT Tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
Limitied Tickets available!
Friday July 24th 8:00pm
Tribute to Tim McGraw ALL TICKETS START AT $20! AVAILABLE SOON AT WWW.VALLEYOFHARRISBURG.ORG
2701 N. Third Street, Harrisburg PA Harrisburg Arts Alive.com - 717-238-8867 Ext. 236 Free Parking in Well-Lit Lot Adjacent to the Theatre
Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine