PA Musician Magazine June 2018 - Suicide Puppets

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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

June, 2018

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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine



The Magazine that keeps on giving over 36 years later!

Founder- “Whitey” Lee Noll Consulting Editor/Angel of design-Robin Noll Owner/Publisher/Sales-Joshua Noll Lead writer/Photographer/Sales- “Rachel Rocks” -ProductionJosh Noll, Robin Noll, Rachel Rocks, Sadie the dog -Staff PhotographersJim Price, Rachel Rocks, Meredith Kaminek -DistributionRobin Noll, Josh Noll, Rachel Rocks, Jim Price, Keith Hummel, “Space”, Deanne Trio, Randy Wilson, Shawn Kurey, Fuzz McGirk, Jimi Jaymz, Dan Mccorkle, Imelda Redding, Jeff Pittinger, Sterling Koch, and whoever else we can talk into. -Field EditorsJim price..........................................The Professor Rachel Rocks...................................Out & About Eric Hoffman.........................................Nationals Robin Noll...............................Words of Wisdom

Welcome to my first issue of the magazine its been a crazy month trying to get everything figured out and lined up so we can keep bringing it to the masses. For people that don’t know I am the last of the Nolls to come into the office and help out the dream that Whitey started back in 1982. It wasn’t an easy decision but I couldn’t see just letting the paper slip away. Robin (aka mom/mother or ‘Angel of Design’) will still be helping out as I am pretty much computer lame. I did learn a lot this month and I hope everyone can start seeing a change in how the magazine looks. I have many goals and dreams for the paper but they will have to happen one step at a time. I’m not sure many people realize how much work goes into this thing . On my “off “ week this month I plan on starting an Instagram and a tweetter or twitter, whatever its called, one of the goals of starting these is to hopefully have one of them serve as a way for people to post pics they took at the shows they have gone and seen. People always want to show us pics but unfortunately it is impossible to share them all in print. So keep your eyes peeled to the interwebs for some new ways to enjoy the PA Musician Magazine.

Mark McNelley /Escape /The Facktory photo by Chris Rider Photography

Now lets talk about music. June has a lot of happenings that will be hard to miss and impossible to see them all. KIX, our first band ever on the cover is still rocking and are going to be at the new CLUB XL. People have been asking for a club like this in the Harrisburg area for years and its here so please support it so its here for years to come. They are bringing big shows right to your backyard so don’t miss out. We also have BEATLEMANIA coming to The Scottish Rite Theatre check out the write up by Rachel Rocks on page 12 and if you never ventured into the theatre you will want to just see what its like. The events just keep going on and on this month there is some DAM PARTY happening that I really want to go to if I can get this DAM paper done and delivered. Lastly I would like to THANK EVERYONE who shared our posts and help support us, all the advertisers who stuck with us to make this issue happen and to our new advertisers who came on board to join our team and to all the people that help the paper out; Jim Price & crew, Sterling Koch, Keith Humel, Eric Hoffman, Eric “Space” Dengler, Jeff Pittinger, and everyone else who helps deliver. These people don’t get paid they just do it ‘cause they love music. So tell them thank you when you see them running papers around. The biggest thanks goes to the Angel of Design Robin (mom) Noll and Rachel Rocks they both tried to hang up the towel but I wouldn’t let them and they both stepped up and began helping instantly when I told them. So see you all next month and if I cut you off when I’m out delivering sorry in advance.

Berndsen/The Facktory photo by Chris Rider Photography

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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. 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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Berndsen/The Facktory photo by Chris Rider Photography

Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

June, 2018

~dance • rock • covers from the 90’s to today~

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Booking: Chris 717.688.9177 or Aaron 717.580.0218 Email: ~ Hope to see YOU at one of our shows! ~

Pennsylvania Musician Magazine


Keeping the Blues Alive in PA

The Cadillac Cats

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BARBY HOLDER July 14, 15, 20, 21, 27, 28 Great Lakes Medieval Faire, Rock Creek, OH August 4 thru Oct. 28, Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, Manheim, PA weekends only FOR BOOKING E-mail: or Facebook messaging


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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

June, 2018

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @phlphrpunk See our Videos and watch for more dates... Booking now! Contact PHLPHR for booking 717.979.9234


June, 2018

Pennsylvania Musician Magazine


OUT ‘n’ ABOUT By Rachel Rocks

Well here I am. I don’t know about you guys, but I had a super great retirement! I always thought I’d be one of those people that could never truly retire, I would get way too bored, well I guess I was right. I loved working for Mom, she was much more understanding of my life, but my brother is bound and determined to get the magazine out before the first, so here I am typing like a maniac, amped up on Red Bull, on the 22nd of May. If I do get this done tonight, which I better… it will be a new record! Josh has a lot of amazing ideas. It’s going to take a bit to get all

of his ideas implemented, but keep an eye out for some changes along the way. He definitely is fresh blood and that is definitely what this magazine needed. We were just sort of humming thru life, but now Josh is ready to SING, STOMP, and SHOUT!!! And get Pennsylvania back to being the state we know it CAN BE.. the state that Halestorm moved to so they could be part of this amazing magazine, and this amazing scene. This state has an over abundance of musicians, but those musicians need to let people know who they are, where they are going to be, and what they are up to.. We just have to find a way to convince the general music community that FACEBOOK IS NOT THE ANSWER!!! Come back to the old school way of life, use the

Bob Patterson

continued on page 10....

Jake Puliti Debut single


June 1st Arooga’s Lancaster 7-10pm June 10th Arooga’s 2nd st. Harrisburg 12-3pm June 13th NickS 114 Cafe New Cumberland 7-10pm



High energy female rock! Contact Natalie Darkes 717-645-9757 or email Jan Bolling at 8

Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

June, 2018

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Monday thru Thursday 3pm-6pm/ Friday 3pm-5pm

January 4, 1966 – May 7, 2018

Robert E. Morris, Sr., 52 of Palmyra passed away unexpectedly of natural causes on Monday, May 7, 2018. Born in Hershey, he was the son of the late Carl C. and Katherine Morris. He will be lovingly missed by his wife Vickie, and all of his family, friends, and fans. Bob played in many bands over the years thankfully in part to his very musical family that helped create his first band, The Morris Brothers Band. His latest main project was Smokin Gunnz, even tho he was also filling in and playing drums with a few other bands, and doing his Smokin Gunnz duo act with his long time band mate, Mike Brady. I will greatly miss watching Bob perform and being amazed at his talent to be able to sing and play drums all at the same time. He was an amazing supporter of the PA Musician Magazine and I’m glad I was able to support his bands so many times, and I’m also glad he was on our cover one last time in March of 2018. Even though his last few years of playing weren’t easy he always had a smile on his face and a nice warm hug to give. Bob would definitely want the show to go on, so next time you are out supporting live music, hold your glass high in the air and give a Salute to Bob.



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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine


Out & About continued...

PA Musician Magazine as YOUR forum.. the place where musicians can read about each other, support each other, and be together. If you can’t afford a full ad yourself, be creative, get together with fellow musicians and share the cost of a larger ad and split the space up amongst each other. Are you playing at a venue that other musicians are playing at, approach the venue and see if they’ll split the cost of the ad with you, approach the other bands, etc. if you’re willing to put some money into promoting your show, maybe they will too. If we all just work together as one big family, this really can work. Trust me we aren’t out there to be millionaires.. We are just working hard to create a forum to help keep music alive in the great state of Pennsylvania!! My first night Out and About this month started at The Facktory in Liverpool. I’ve talked about The Facktory before, but I will say again how awesome this venue is for any private party, event, etc.. There is a great size stage with built in lighting, a huge area for dancing, a bar area for serving drinks, a basketball court, ping pong, etc.. this venue is so versatile and just waiting to be used. Check it out for yourself at facktoryentertainment. com. The night I was there, was for a super special show where the main act came the whole way from Iceland to perform for us, Berndsen. You may be asking how did a band come from Iceland to Liverpool, PA?? It’s quite the cool story of a group of tourists going out for drinks and hearing an amazing band, and then decided to basically be their United States liaison or promoter.. Berndsen also has a keyboard, electronica, etc.. DJ extraordinaire that travels with him and even plays his own super unique set of music, Hermigervill. Their promoter, Al, hooked them up with a sweet little tour while they were over this time, and The Facktory was one of their stops. Josh came to the show with me, it was cool seeing his hometown friends’ reactions to him taking the reins of the magazine. Hopefully he’ll adventure Out and About with me more often. The one huge upside to all of this craziness is I’ve talked to my brother more in the past 30 days then I’ve talked to him in probably the past 3 years! Anyway, back to the band. Both acts are extremely unique and hard to describe. It’s an electronica mix of music with a singer and a guitar player, and lots of dancing! Dancing from the stage and from the crowd. I also saw Harrisburg’s very own electronica amazing musician, Jamison Rotz, at the show. Jamison took a break to be new Daddy for a few years, but he says he’ll be hitting area stages again soon, more as a singer/songwriter, even tho I’m hoping he brings the keyboard out once in a while too! If you want to see and hear something entertaining check out Berndsen and Hermigervill on YouTube. It’s so refreshing to hear and watch. My next night out was a crazy one because I went to see Jacob Puliti at Arooga’s on the Camp Hill bypass. He’s a new advertiser and the other crazy thing about him is that he is the SON of a musician I used to see on the stage, Matt Puliti, who played in the band SOS 10 years ago, one of the bands I first went out to see when I was Out and About.. now instead of seeing Matt on the stage, it’s Jacob. Just as the 2nd Generation is taking over the PA Musician Magazine, the 2nd Generation is also taking over the stage. I was extremely impressed with Jacob’s original music. He has his first release on Spotify and other platforms called “Dirty on the Dance Floor”. I as usual arrived in time for his 2nd set and it was cool to hear people asking him to play his originals again when he was asking for requests! I’m glad he obliged and played them again or otherwise I would’ve missed them. Jake didn’t have business cards to hand the guys as they were ready to leave, but lucky for Jake I was able to hand the guys each a magazine with Jake’s full schedule, website, booking info, etc. Just like the guys who went to Iceland and then brought a band back to the states to do a tour, you just never know who is going to be at what show, and where. It’s so important to always put on your best performance! You can check out Jacob’s ad in this issue and see where you can go check him out for yourself. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! I ended my night with a trip to Blue Moose to see Calling Off Doug. They’ve been advertising a few months now, so I’m so glad I finally got the chance to see them perform. I was extremely impressed. Stephanie has an amazing voice and can sing an extreme range of all kinds of songs, and she also has great back-up vocals from the guys in the band, especially on “Timber” which I now sing as “TimbUH” every time it comes on the radio.. (Thanks for the lesson in the proper song lyrics! Ha!) continued on page 11....


Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

June, 2018

Out & About continued...

That was an extremely crazy week for me, (what week isn’t.. lol..) but yet they still managed to get me up and dancing! They are all having a lot of fun with each other on the stage which of course transcends out to the crowd. They truly are a PARTY band playing all of your favorite songs from the 2000s to today. You can check out their schedule in this issue, and get out there and see them for yourself, but don’t forget your dancing shoes.. I’m telling you it’s contagious. If you want to bring the party back to your club get Calling Off Doug booked at your venue! My last night of the month was an extremely long one. It all started nice and early at the Halfway to Pay for Play benefit, hosted by the A.R.M.E.D Pennsylvania Chapter. It’s was their 5th Annual Halfway to Pay for Play benefit. This event coincides with 105.7 the X’s Pay for Play event they do where you can pay to get certain songs played on the radio and all of the proceeds support the Children’s Miracle Network. They had a great day of bands lined up, I got there around 6, just in time for Six Bar Break. They’ve been supporting us for a long time now, and I try and support them every chance I get. It’s also a bonus that I happen to love their music! They announced that they are getting ready to release some new originals and I can’t wait to get my hands on their new songs. They played us a sneak peek and I was already impressed. I always appreciate how they record every show and make videos of their performances. They do everything they can to get their info out to the masses. You can check out their ad in this issue to see their schedule and plan your next night Out and About. Next up was Broken Fayth. I haven’t seen these guys in forever, but as usual, Chuck’s voice just blows me away! He has great vocal range, and the way he annunciates every world is truly amazing. Broken Fayth was a little nervous before their set because their one guitar player was away on vacation. They had

nothing to be nervous about! They did an amazing job, if I didn’t know they regularly had two guitar players I would’ve never even noticed. The President of A.R.M.E.D. had a great time getting up on stage and helping Chuck sing a couple songs during their set. Broken Fayth has played at all 5 of the Halfway to Pay for Play shows, I know the guys are very thankful for having such a great band ready and willing to play! Planning events is never easy and all of the A.R.M.E.D. members really did a great job with the bands, the Chinese Auction and everything. It was a great event and for a great cause! The next band to take the stage was 40 Degrees North. I was surprised to see one of my new co-workers, Valerie take the stage, and I was even more surprised when I heard her sing! She has an amazing voice and her sister, Jessica, plays keys and sings too! Both of them combined can make amazing harmonies and they really back each other up effortlessly. 40 Degrees North is just getting out there hitting area stages, hopefully we’ll see more of them soon! I had to go pick Zack up at Boy Scout camp but I was hoping Fell from Zero started at Johnny Joe’s at 9:30 so I could at least squeeze in a half hour of their show, unfortunately their one guitar player, Donny, got held up at work. When I told Bob my plan he made sure and got everyone all plugged in and ready to go so they could start playing as soon as he walked in. Donny walked in at 9:50 and they were playing by 9:55. Thanks guys continued on page 14....

Stephanie Rauch/ Calling Off Doug

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Stop in for dinner, check out our beer selections, and

then stick around for the Area’s greatest entertainment!

• 6/2 - Asking Andy Acoustic 9-12 • 6/16 - Sonic Tonic 9-12 • 6/23 - Ragged Edges 9-12 • 6/9 - Josh Sapna, Circle of • 6/28 - Ben Ginder Acoustic 6-8 Sanity Acoustic 9-12 • 6-14 - Ben Ginder Acoustic 6-8 • 6/30 - Stupak Gallagher 9-12 Follow us on Facebook for upcoming specials and events

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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine


Historical Venue Comes to Life in Harrisburg By Rachel Rocks

Maybe I’m just way out of the loop, but back in April when I heard that the Jellybricks were playing at the Scottish Rite Theatre I had no idea where or even what it was. Luckily and thanks to the Scottish Rite Theatre for reaching out to us, The PA Musician Magazine, to place an ad, all of my questions have been answered and more! The Scottish Rite Theatre is located directly beside the Zembo Shrine on 3rd St. in Harrisburg. On the outside of the building it technically says it is the Scottish Rite Cathedral, but hiding inside that gigantic building is a 1,200 seat theatre! When you compare that the Whitaker Center has 600 seats, it really puts into perspective how huge this theatre really is. The super cool and exciting news is that this gorgeous theatre that was built back in 1954 is now opening to the public with special and unique shows. All of the arts are welcome from music, theatre, dance, magicians, and so much more! When I first walked into the Scottish Rite building I was instantly amazed just by their lobby area. When you walk in

it really helps you feel like you are stepping back in time. It is amazing how well this building has been maintained through the years. I heard that the gorgeous floors get buffed once a week whether they need it or not. The lobby area is plenty big enough with a box office, coat room, and for different shows or weddings they have plenty of room to set up hors d’oeuvres, or even a bar area. I really had no idea what to expect when I went to the Scottish Rite Theatre, but I definitely didn’t expect to see such a massive theatre. All of the seats have been freshly reupholstered, and again I was amazed just with it’s beauty. It’s a live room, so the acoustics in the building are definitely ready for a good show. They know their built in sound and lights need updated, but until they can afford to put in the quality equipment that they would like, they can easily bring in hired sound and lights, or it also allows bigger shows to have the opportunity to bring in their own equipment too. Speaking of bigger shows, they already have a couple shows on their schedule, the first one is Beatlemania Now coming on Friday, June 15th at 8pm. This show will definitely help take


Harrisburg Scottish Rite Theatre FRIDAY AUG 17 8PM

2701 N. 3rd street Harrisburg, PA 717-238-8868


photo by Elena Jasic

you back in time. They feature all of the Beatles hits, one right after the other, and will definitely getting you singing Beatles songs, “Eight Days a Week.” Tickets will be available at the door but can also be purchased in advance online. You can like their Facebook page “Harrisburg Scottish Rite Events” and click on the Eventbrite link for tickets. It’s hard to believe for only $35 you can sit in the front 10 rows and get a Meet and Greet after the show with “The Beatles”. Don’t miss this amazing show!! To show how versatile they are, the next show they have booked on Friday, August 17th at 8pm is The Gong Show Off Broadway. This is a theatrical adaptation of the “greatest TV show in human history.” It is part musical, part comedy, part parody. Featuring a permanent cast of mind-blowing talent, curated from around the globe. While these talented eccentrics battle it out for the coveted prize of $516.32, they are dedicated to the point of obsession to astonishing and delighting every member of the studio audience. You are that studio audience. Pull up a chair, then fall of it laughing! $55 VIP tickets include seating in the first 6 rows and a Meet & Greet after the show. Get your picture taken with the performers and the Gong! General admission tickets are only $45! As you can see there are plenty of weekends still available for you to book your show. If you feel like you can’t possibly sell 1,200 tickets and fill the theatre, they also have another option; a gorgeous ballroom that can seat over 500 guests for your special wedding day or corporate event, but they can also take out some of the tables and turn the ballroom into another awesome space to have bands. They have a nice big raised stage already set up, with a huge gorgeous wood floor there is plenty of space for dancing! It’s a great option that also opens the door for smaller acts to have another new venue to play in Harrisburg. Make sure and check out their ad in this issue for even more details about this amazing venue and the shows that will be coming up soon. The Scottish Rite Theatre is looking forward to opening their doors to the public and bringing in some amazing entertainment to Harrisburg. If you would like to get your band or special event booked at their venue, you can call the office at 717-238-8868 and Lee Boltz would love to help you plan your event and help make 2018 be a revival year for the Scottish Rite Theatre. Scottish Rite Events

Christine C. Photographie Events|Bands|Family Engagement|Senior Class



Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

June, 2018

Suicide Puppets – Melting Faces One Show at a Time

By Rachel Rocks Blasting their audience to bloody bits with sonic shrapnel, the Suicide Puppets, featuring Twisty Suicide on vocals, Jonny Suicide on bass and back up vocals, Steven Suicide on guitars, Donnie Von Gailinger on guitar, Veritas Suicide on drums, and their newest member, Tattuicide also on guitar, the Suicide Puppets deliver nothing less than a brutal battery of amplified aggression. The shell shocked fans are left crawling out of the debris, having survived an explosive theatrical performance from which they won’t soon recover from or ever forget!

One piece of technology that has made their lives so much easier is their computer software they use when creating new music, Acid Pro Software. Twisty writes the lyrics to most songs, but Tattuicide has been writing some new music too, and all of the guys add in their own twists and quirks. Back when they

Cover & feature Photos by Christine C. Photographie

what’s on their minds, and they hold nothing back. It’s actually quite refreshing, and by the end of a set people that are listening to their lyrics are screaming, “YES!” because trust me, if you are honest with yourself and your feelings, you will totally agree with each and every word.

Finding clubs that will let them play their music to their fans is not an easy thing to do. They are very thankful to each and every one of them, some of the most frequented venues are Johnny Joe’s, (they actually have a show there on Saturday, June 9th), Tourist Inn (they

Jonny Suicide

Steven Suicide

Twisty Suicide Tattuicide

The Suicide Puppets have been playing area stages since 2006. They always go above and beyond at every show with their performance and with their stage set-up. Not only do they do obvious face make-up, but they have various props that help set the scene before their intense music even starts. Just watching them set up their stage has already made people a little nervous about what they are about to witness. I asked the guys what it’s like when they start playing at a new venue where most people haven’t seen their show yet, Donnie described it best, he said, “The first two songs they usually are just staring at them with their mouths open a little bit and occasionally you see them actually saying.. what the f**k! Before too long


they are usually dancing along, and by one of their crowd favorites, “Porn Star” they are not only dancing along, but singing along too. Even though I’ve known Jonny for years, since we grew up in the same town, I was still shocked when I saw Suicide Puppets for the first time. I remember going through all of the different phases, and I could actually feel what Donnie was saying. Their shows are definitely filled with shock and awe! I am just always impressed by how much they go all out for every show. People always say they are sick of the seeing the same old show by all of the bands, well I guarantee you, if you give Suicide Puppets a chance, it will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen or heard before! Their songs are originals. There really isn’t anything or anyone quite like Suicide Puppets. Even their overall tone of their amps is different than everyone else’s because it is a custom Twisty Suicide set-up. With a lot of trial and error they have found ways to create their own sound that some people refer to as a “Sludge-hammer – thick, heavy, and powerful!” For a few years they even felt like they were well ahead of technology when it came to all of their electronical gadgets, but the world of technology advances so quickly and now they are struggling to find the parts they need to make it all work they way they need it. They won’t let that stop them, they’ll just keep playing their hearts out and making sure they are putting on the best show possible.

June, 2018

are there July 7th), The Depot (June 23rd), Reverb, etc.. They are also grateful for all of the festivals and special events that invite them to play too. On June 2nd they are playing as part of the Spring Roosterpalooza and they’ll be back in the Fall on Sept 29th in Spring Grove, PA. One big show to start planning for now October 10th they are opening for Doyle Veritas Suicide is at Reverb in Reading. In the last 12 years they’ve had quite a few opportunities opening for National Acts: Misfits, DOPE, MushVon Gailinger roomhead, Balzac, Davey Suicide, etc.. They are extremely thankful for every opportunity they get the chance to play. They love getting out and playing for the people, after all, that’s what it’s all about! We all wanted to give a HUGE shout out to Christine C. Photographie for the cover and inside shots of Suicide Puppets. Christine is an amazing photographer and a huge Suicide Puppets fan, so it worked out perfectly to have her provide the pictures for us. If you need any super awesome live shots of your band, check out Christine’s ad in this issue and give her a call to come out to your show. The Suicide Puppets have had some member changes along the first started, Twisty would be burning CDs and giving it to the way and they are grateful to everyone that have helped them beguys to listen to, now they can just email each other tracks, and come who and what they are, listed in no particular order: Lame pieces of tracks and mix it all together themselves and before Suicide: keyboard programmer, Shannon Huss, on guitar, Tomthey know it, a new song is born! They’ve already written two my (DJ Metal) Michel, DJ and Programmer, and Daniel (Detail) CDs and they are working on their 3rd. They are also working Lara for filling in on Drums from 2013-2018 while Veritas was on doing their first official music video with their latest song living in Colorado. that Tattuicide wrote, called “Blacken Days.” They are going If you would like to get Suicide Puppets to play at your venue to have the video recording done by ‘Fantastic Joe’ sooner than or special event, you can reach out to their manager, Bill O’Brilater. They had a very special guest when they were recording an, at: The Suicide Pup“Blacken Days,” John Bechdel from Ministry played all of the pets are very grateful that they have a manager that works on all keyboard parts. They are hoping he’ll also be in part of the vidof the fine details of booking their shows, and keeping everyone eo, but that’s yet to be decided, they are just honored that he happy. You can also check out their ad in this issue for more helped them record it. Some of their more popular songs by their details on upcoming shows, etc. Please take a moment and like fans are “Send Me an Angel,” “See Me,” “Absolute Sinner,” them at, or simply visit their etc.. You can tell just by the titles of their songs that they don’t website, dance around any of the touchy subjects of society, they just say

“There really isn’t anything or anyone quite like Suicide Puppets.”

Pennsylvania Musician Magazine


NATIONALS By Eric Hoffman

Greetings Rockers ’N’ Rollers! Thank you for continuing to read and support PA Musician with our new owner, editor and publisher Josh Noll ! It’s exciting to see what new ideas and changes Josh will make to keep PA Musician vital and a continued staple in the Central PA music scene. We look forward to suggestions and opinions from the readers and advertisers, to continue the progression of PA Musician. The month of May began with The Martinis (former Martini Bros) hosting Cinco de Mayo at Johnny Joe’s in Mechanicsburg. The new three-piece lineup continues to meld, consistently improve and add more live shows each month. The Martinis next show takes place on June 29 at River City Blues Club in Harrisburg. Tsunami Experiment and The Ultramarines will provide support. A highlight of the month was the annual visit to the music landscape of Los Angeles, California. A vacation consisting of iconic music venues; Whisky A GoGo, The Viper Room, Roxy, Rainbow Room. Also music sights; Michael Jackson home, Lemmy Kilmister gravesite, Jim Morrison’ apartment, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love home and Janis Joplin’s hotel room And caught some live concerts; Liam Gallagher (Oasis) and Richard Ash-

Capt. Sean Wheeler of Throw Rag

croft (The Verve) played the legendary Greek Theatre on May 11. Royal Distortion (Barb Wire Dolls) play a free residency at the Whisky on Mondays. U2 brought their latest ‘Experience + Innocence Tour’ to The Forum on May 15. New Wave 80’s band Missing Persons featuring Dale Bozzio played the Whisky on May 18. And lastly, a show that really stood out, consisted of Sean Wheeler (Throw Rag) and the Reluctant Messengers and their Wednesday residency at Redwood Bar in downtown LA. A fantastic city exuding incredible live music every night. NATIONAL NEWS Taylor Swift latest outing will dominate the biggest tours of this year. Her first three shows were 100 percent capacity sold out, moving 166,707 tickets and grossed more than $21 million. These numbers put Swift in select company that includes the likes of U2, The Rolling Stones, Coldplay and Guns N’ Roses. With 50-plus stadium shows, Swift could end up on a whole other level. Similar tours include: Justin Timberlake with an average gross of $3.32 million per show and 23,277 tickets sold. And Pink, with $2.35 million average gross and 17,556 tickets sold. TayDale Bozzio of Missing Persons lor Swift plays two-nights at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field July 13 and 14. U2 will take over New York City’s famed Apollo Theater on June 11. Described as a “one night detour” from U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour, the band will be an up-close-andpersonal with the venue’s 1,500-plus capacity. SiriusXM will air the concert on channel 30 following the performance. “New York City and the U2 band have a unique history,” Bono said in a statement. “The Apollo Theater is the heart of New York’s musical soul, and to finally be playing our songs on the same stage where James Brown begged ‘Please Please Please’ is not only a bucket list moment, it’s an incredible honor.” Nine Inch Nails revealed dates for their “Cold and Black and Musician Magazine Out & About continued...

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Infinite North America 2018” tour. Jesus and Mary Chain supports, and fans will need to buy tickets in person at the venue the day of sale. NIN new album Bad Witch arrives June 22 and completes the trilogy that began with 2016’s Not the Actual Events followed by 2017’s Add Violence. NIN’s Trent Reznor isn’t a fan of third-party ticketing and wants fans to interact while buying physMick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac ical tickets at the venues. Nine Inch Nails plays Washington DC’s Anthem on October 9. Swedish DJ/producer, Avicii, committed suicide on April 20 using shards of a broken bottle to cut his neck and fatal wound on his wrist. The 28-year old EDM star struggled and was not made for the business machine he found himself in; a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight. Avicii retired from touring in 2016, but had been busy working on new music. His biggest ever solo show was in his native Sweden – two nights at Stockholm grossing $4.9 million and sold 69,725 tickets. The body of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, who had been missing for days was found by police on May 10. Hutchison’s band members had voiced their concerns that their lead singer had been in “in a fragile state and may not be making the best decisions for himself right now.” There were recent concerns over his mental health and depression. Hutchison had hinted at committing suicide in his lyrics. In the 2008 song “Floating The Forth” he sings: “And fully clothed, I float away. Down the Forth, into the sea. I think I’ll save suicide for another day.” UPCOMING SHOWS Longshot Philadelphia First Unitarian June 2. Depeche Mode Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center June 3. U2 Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center June 13 & 14. Kurt Vile Lancaster Tellus 360 June 14. Street Dogs Baltimore Ottobar June 14. KIX Harrisburg Club XL June 16. U2 Washington DC Verizon Center June 17. Poison / Cheap Trick Allentown PPL Center June 24. Steven Tyler Bethlehem Sands June 24. Junior Brown Sellersville Theatre June 25.

for hustling and making it possible for me to at least hear a song before I had to leave! I’ve seen Fell From Zero a couple of times and they are always tons of fun! I wish I had more time to hang out and listen to their whole show. They were finally playing in my neck of the woods, but when Mommy duty calls I must go! After I zoomed down and got Zack home safely I ran out to one more stop over at Double K for Ebenezer Screw. It’s been a long time since I made my way to Double K and an even longer time since I caught one of Ebenezer Screw’s shows. It’s always awesome seeing so many guys on the dance floor, headbanging and having a good time! Hired Sound was running the sound and lights and they looked and sounded great! Jim and Karen were behind the bar as usual, keeping the drinks cold and fresh! It was once again another fun and crazy night at Double K. After and extremely long day, it’s always a great place to end the night. I know I’m always safe at Double K and close to home! Welcome to all of our new and amazing advertisers!! New bands, new venues, new people to meet! I’m excited to have so many super awesome venues advertising this month. It’s exciting seeing new places supporting live music. I hope I can find some free time to check out all of the different venues! Make sure and check out every page of the magazine and see what all of our advertisers have going on. When you go out to someone’s show, or go check out one of the venues, or even go check out one of the many music stores, please let them know you saw their ad in the PA Musician Magazine! Thank you so much for continuing to read my article and for most importantly for continuing to support the PA Musician Magazine! Without YOU are advertisers and our readers, we would be nothing, so THANK YOU!!! If you have any questions or comments, you can email me at RachelRocks@pamusician. net.. Please get out there and SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!!!!

Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

June, 2018


As PA Musician’s new era begins under new editor and publisher Josh Noll this month, I celebrate the completion of 31 years of writing for PA Musician this month, and kick off my 32nd year! Thanks to Josh’s parents and predecessors Robin and Whitey for allowing me to write for PA Musician all these years, and thanks to Josh for keeping me on board! As I reflect on my years of area music coverage in these pages, I realize that one of the most rewarding aspects of that tenure has been the continual expansion of my musical horizons. I was a devout metalhead when I wrote my first article in 1987… And while I am still a big fan of metal music, my experiences in covering the area music scene have opened my ears to many other musical genres as well. In just this month’s writ alone, I am writing about rock, metal, punk, funk, folk, country, Celtic, soul, blues, rockabilly, jazz, EDM, West African drum music and more! It’s all good! Let’s start with soul and folk…State College’s historic State Theatre hosted renowned singer and recording artist Bettye LaVette last month. Eric Ian Farmer and friends kicked off the evening. Flanked by ‘friends’ Denise Strayer on accordion and Josh Troup on drums, Eric again demonstrated his ability to bring a room to total attention through his talents and message. Strumming acoustic guitar and singing, Eric’s dynamic vocal style, clarity and cadence quickly grabbed the audience as he opened with Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” As the original 1971 song subtly raised consciousness about realities facing America such as Vietnam, poverty and racism, Eric’s treatment made this song newly urgent again as he referenced recent news headline locations that have caused national soul-searching such as Ferguson, Baltimore, New York City, Orlando and many more. Eric brought the State Theatre to pristine silence several more times as he addressed social issues on subsequent songs, underscored by Denise’s gentle accordion tones. He then finished with a hopeful tone, closing his set with an uplifting rendition of Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me.” Several minutes later, three-time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette and her band took the stage and opened with Bob Dylan’s “Things Have Changed,” the title track from her latest album of Dylan song interpretations. Backed by her support cast of guitarist Brett Lucas, bassist James Simonson, drummer Darryl Pierce and new keyboardist addition Evan Mercier, the 72-year-old singer showcased her Dylan interpretations, following with her passionate and soulful makeover of Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe.” As her set unfolded, Bettye captivated the audience by emotionally investing in and becoming every song she sang. On her rendition of Dylan’s “Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight,” Bettye sounded so convincingly distraught that an audience member responded with “I’m here for you baby!” at song’s end. Sharing her insights and wit along the way, Bettye gave new perspective to such Dylan numbers as her keyboard ballad treatment of “Mama, You’ve Been on My Mind,” “Seeing the Real You at Last,” “Ain’t Talkin,’” “What Was It You Wanted,” “Emotionally Yours,” the sharp and sassy “Do Right to Me Baby,” and her fitting departure number at set’s end, “Going Going Gone.” Bettye then returned moments later for her encore, performing her own number “Before the Money Came,” before bringing the audience to total silence with her a cappella treatment of Sinead O’Connor’s “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” to end the night. Through her performance, Bettye LaVette demonstrated a knack for recasting pieces of Bob Dylan’s song catalog in her own seasoned style and perspective, making for a stirring, fascinating display. McGarvey’s in Altoona hosted two prominent national recording acts in recent weeks, including Mississippi recording artists Saving Abel. Local rockers Negan opened the night strong with their set of 1990s, modern rock and original songs off their just-released Burnt Pages EP. Opening with Stone Temple Pilots’ “Wicked Garden,” singer Mike Davis, guitarists Bob Gray and Jeremy Ashurst, bassist Josh Yahner and drummer Damien Falatek heated up the crowd with tunes from Live, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Chevelle, Tool, White Zombie and more – including a scathing take on Iron Maiden’s “Two Minutes to Midnight.” They also did the four tunes off their EP: “Where Do We Go From Here,” “We,” “Obsolete” and “The Devil’s Coming.” Rolling into town after a 16-hour journey from Miscontinued on page 16...

June, 2018

Wyl White

Chy Mess /Some kind of Nightmare

Derek Gresh/Nag Champions Mystery Band

Bob Onkst of The Chrome Hearts

Bob Watters/Felix & the Hurricanes

Jay Smar

Ken Gray of Hawestone

Mandy Passmore-Ott / Full Kilt

Jay of Jay Vonada Jazz Quartet

Lauren West / American Pinup

HOT SHOTS, SHOT HOT Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

Dick Shoemaker of Hawestone

Mary Villani of R2B2

by Ji m Price


The Professor continued...

Bettye Lavette

sissippi, Saving Abel soon stormed the stage and delivered their rowdy “Southern Rock” party. Before a packed house, singer Scott Austin set the tone of the performance early by getting the crowd loud and rowdy, something he would do frequently during the set. He, guitarists Jason Null and Scott Bartlett, bassist Scott Wilson and drummer Steven Pulley commenced with “New Tattoo,” and proceeded with tunes from throughout their career. They did their FM radio hits such as “The Sex Is Good” (which singer Scott turned into a crowd sing-along), “18 Days” (which Scott led into with a salute to members of the military), “Drowning (Face Down)” and the group’s 2008 breakthrough song “Addicted” to end the night. Other numbers included “Contagious,” “You Make Me Sick” and a few more. Saving Abel delivered full-throttled energy from start to end, and singer Scott kept the crowd at a feverish pitch with his rallying calls and wild humor along the way. Saving Abel convincingly proved to McGarvey’s that they are a fearless, fun live act, and they delivered their promise of a rock party from start to end. Afterward, Saving Abel happily stayed late and hung out with the crowd, did photos, signed autographs and showed appreciation to the folks who came out to enjoy them this night – even going above and beyond to make the night special and lift the spirits of a Stage 4 cancer patient in attendance.

Popular late 1980s hair-metal rockers the BulletBoys also performed recently at McGarvey’s. Local rocking favorites Fyre and Hair Force One, along with Chicago’s 20 Spot, opened the evening. Lone remaining founding member, singer (and now guitarist) Marq Torien, is now flanked by bassist Chad MacDonald, guitarist Nick Rozz and new drummer Anthony “Tiny” Biuso. The BulletBoys mixed some of their classics with tunes off their new album, From Out of the Skies. Marq displayed his trademark vocal howl early and often, and fired off generous dosages of guitar solo work as well. One of my favorite highlights was their third song, “Hell on My Heels” – this song sounded powerful when it first came out in 1988, and it still sounded powerful this night! BulletBoys did an extended version of this number, with both Nick and Chad executing solos on their respective instruments. The group also performed two of their MTV staples; their popular heavy-rocking take on the O’Jays’ “For the Love of Money,” and – saving it for last – “Smooth Up In Ya.” They also performed “THC Groove,” “D-Evil” off the new album plus several more. Although the crowd wasn’t huge, it was loud, and the group increasingly fed off the crowd energy as the set continued. Several outdoor highlights transpired in recent weeks, including last month’s 51st edition of the Blair County Arts Festival at Penn State Altoona. Jazz was a prominent musical flavor during the festival’s first day. I arrived at the festival’s Misciag-

na Portico stage in time to catch the last few songs of the Steve Johnopolos Trio, who performed jazz standards and favorites. Namesake Steve demonstrated his prowess on keys, along with Randy Rutherford on bass and lead vocals, and Randy Servello on drums. This trio sounded skillful and smooth as they did such numbers as the Fred Astaire and Frank Sinatra-popularized “Just the Way You Look Tonight,” Eddy Arnold’s hit “You Don’t Know Me” and more. Later at the Food Court stage, the Jay Vonada Jazz Quartet performed their mixture of original modern jazz and select favorites. Namesake Jay on trombone, Kirk Reese on keys, Jeff Beck on bass and Kevin Lowe on drums dazzled with stellar musicianship on numbers such as “Inspired,” the bossa nova-flavored “Serenity,” “That’s What I Said,” “The Midnight Waltz” and “Early Morning Chill,” as well as their variation on George Gershwin’s “Summertime.” Among other performances I saw this day was the latter part of Camara Drum and Dance’s set at the Food Court stage, as they demonstrated West African percussion and dance music and welcomed audience members to play and dance along…On the Pavilion stage, Born and the Beanstalk – the strumming and singing duo of Sean “Born” Osborn and Ben “Beanstalk” Bower – demonstrated captivating vocal harmonies as they did popular numbers from the Beatles, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Blind Faith, America, the Moody Blues and more…And closing out the Food Court stage this day, the acoustic edition of Pittsburgh’s Michael Christopher Band – Michael on lead vocals and guitar, Zach Reeder on guitar and Ben Pentz on drums – mixed original country songs with favorites from Florida Georgia Line, Kenny Chesney, Johnny Cash, Brantley Gilbert, John Denver and more. During the Arts Festival’s second day, I arrived in time to enjoy perennial Festival favorite Jay Smar on the Misciagna Portico stage. Brandishing acoustic guitar, banjo and fiddle, Jay sang and educated the audience as he performed a blend of original folk songs and classic American folk music. Jay demonstrated his clawhammer banjo technique on such numbers as Mike Paxton’s “Thirty Inch Coal” and the pairing of the Appalachian folk tune “Cluck Old Hen” with his own instrumental “Banjo Wipeout.” And he sawed on the fiddle for his finale, blending together “Turkey in the Straw,” John Hartford’s “Long Hot Summer continued on page 17....

Sarah Mellot & Tom Fix/Happy Hour

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JUNE 3 – PSYCHO PROPHECY JUNE 10 – HATE GRENADE JUNE 17 – FAMILY TIES SPECIAL JUNE 24 – BEHIND THE GREY To have music aired on the HOMEGROWN ROCKER, submit Broadcast-quality recordings to:


Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

June, 2018

The Professor continued...

Says,” “We Bid You Goodnight” and “Sally Ann.” In a similar vein, Minnesota-based performer Paul Imholte closed out the Portico stage with his folk-based set, singing and performing on acoustic guitar, hammered dulcimer, fiddle and banjo. Paul’s song list ranged from Jimmy Driftwood/Doc Watson’s “Tennessee Stud” to the Scottish fiddle number “Neil Gow’s Lament,” to original numbers such as “Tarvy Road” (‘tarvy’ is Minnesota slang for asphalt) and his dulcimer instrumental “Yet As Yet.” In between the Portico stage performances, I took in two performances at the Food Court stage. Altoona area favorites R2B2 struck up an upbeat set of dance-friendly favorites. Singer/keyboardist Mary Villani, singer/guitarist Rick Wertz, bassist/ singer Fritz Wyland, guitarist/singer Ric Criste and drummer/ singer Beau Saller triggered smiles and some dancing with hits from Jennifer Lopez, KC & the Sunshine Band, B-52’s, DNCE, Wild Cherry, Gloria Gaynor, Escape Club and more, before a power outage cut their set slightly short. Power was restored in time for the next performer, young West Virginia-based singer and songwriter Lucia Valentine and her band. Flanked by her father, Dominic Valentine, on bass, guitarist Scott Smith and drummer Eric Calhoun, Lucia displayed a smooth, gentle voice as she crooned a mixture of light funk/rock-toned original songs and classic hits. She sang tunes off her self-titled debut album

Saving Abel

such as “Magic,” “Up For This,” “Be My Love Tonight” and “We Are One,” and also did fresh-sounding renditions of Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie,” Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ “Tracks of My Tears” and Jackie DeShannon’s “Put A Little Love in Your Heart.” Helping to usher in the outdoor festival season was Huntingdon’s 14th annual Mayfest celebration in late April. Happening along several blocks of Washington Street in downtown Huntingdon, this year’s Mayfest featured plentiful food and craft vendors, children’s activities, and several performance stages with live music and other entertainment. Keeping with recent tradition, my own band, the Backyard Rockers, helped open Mayfest at the Desert Garden Spa stage, before I then caught a few of the day’s other performers afterward. Next on the Desert Spa stage was Hawestone, who battled arriving raindrops to deliver a variety of country favorites and original songs. Singer/guitarist Ken Gray, lead guitarist Eric Smith, bassist Dick Shoemaker and drummer Tim Guthridge mixed up numbers from Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Brantley Gilbert, Jon Pardi, Luke Bryan, their own original “Had You for a Day” and more.” Meanwhile at the Renaissance Faire stage, Full Kilt entertained passers-by with their Irish-flavored sounds. Singer/guitarist Mike Zerbee, fiddler Mandy Passmore-Ott, bassist/singer Chris Myers and drummer/singer Pat Boland injected a wee bit o’ Irish into favorites such as Alabama’s Mountain (Irish) Music,” Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down to (Dublin)” and more. And up the street at the Colonial Times stage area, Dylan E. Miller hosted a singer-songwriter showcase that featured performances from himself, along with New Jersey-based songwriting friends Wyl White and Dre Brown. On the same day as Mayfest, ArtsAltoona – along with partneri ng organizations and neighborhood businesses – presented the inaugural StART Here Block Party, a community event that took place along three blocks of 4th Avenue in Altoona’s Juniata section. StART Here featured three performance stages with musical entertainment, artists, art and other vendors, food and refreshments, and neighborhood beautification projects. I caught some of the day’s many performers on the three stages – including young singer Maggie Park (who was joined by Block Party host Rue Moyer), Felix & the Hurricanes (with Pat McGinnis

Bullet Boys

standing in on bass), singer/songwriter Dee Hartman, EDM artist Sascha Damon Frost, Nag Champions Mystery Band, Ride the Song and Happy Hour (the country, rock and pop-crooning acoustic duet of Sarah Mellott and Tommy Fix). The combination of live music, artistic creativity (including painting of a fence and a building front along 4th Avenue), and sunny skies resulted in a well-attended, successful event that elevated community spirit and togetherness. ArtsAltoona is planning other similar events, and a sequel to the initial StART Here event is likely. Brewers, bands and fans of beer and music converged at Altoona’s People’s Natural Gas Field last month for the 11th edition of the annual Pints For Pets Brewfest fundraiser for the Central PA Humane Society. Pints For Pets again featured two sessions, where beer connoisseurs could sample creations from more than 90 craft brewers from throughout the region and country. Live music was again part of the Pints For Pets festivities. Johnstown’s Tree opened the afternoon session’s music with their blend of Irish and traditional folk sounds. Singer and guitarist Mike Harnett, fiddler Jen Harnett and drummer Mike Dixon set the day’s tone with rowdy takes on numbers such as “Wild Rover,” “Johnny Jump Up” and more. The new roster of Walkney followed; joining founding singer and guitarist Derek continued on page 18....




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June, 2018

Pennsylvania Musician Magazine


The Professor continued...

Mrdjenovich in the new lineup are guitarist Jextin Pugh, bassist Nate Nagle and drummer David Applas. Walkney mixed original alternative rock/pop songs with select covers; among the original songs was “Lucia Rose,” which was recently included as a ‘What’s Next’ track in the hit music compilation series Now That’s What I Call Music. The group battled arriving thunderstorms and rain, but were able to complete their set as the weather turned wet. Before the evening session commenced, the acoustic duo of singer Lauren Johnson and guitarist/singer Joe George – Lauren & Joe – entertained attendees to a special VIP session that took place in the ballpark’s upper concourse level. As the evening session then got under way, Chris Vipond & the Stanley Street Band continued the music. Rogan Allen took over lead guitar duties with the group this day, joining namesake Chris on acoustic guitar and vocals, Nate Beatty on keys and trumpet, Bill Smith on bass and Randy Servello on drums. The group mixed original groove-driven songs with their own distinctive takes on select covers, including Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie,” Bill Withers’ “Use Me” and Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” More thunderstorm issues briefly interrupted their performance, but the group kept brave rain-soaked onlookers happy. As the rain continued, the Chrome Hearts closed out the music with their blend of country, rock’n’roll and originals. Singer Stephanie Onkst, guitarist/singer Bob Onkst, lead guitarist Chad Buterbaugh, bassist Brian Baum and drummer Doug Fetter weathered the rains and brought smiles with original tunes like “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” and “Jealous of You,” plus favorites from CCR, Gretchen Wilson, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert and more. Besides the national names mentioned earlier, McGarvey’s hosted several touring acts in recent weeks, including nomadic rock’n’rollers The Living Deads during Cinco de Mayo Saturday last month. After Ben Dumm & the East Side Band opened the night, the duo of drummer/ guitarist/singer Randee McKnight and singer/upright bassist Symphony Tidwell mixed up a variety of styles into a unique musical concoction all their own. Punk, folk and rockabilly all blended into varying con-

Uncle Piddles & Ted Bundy/The Legendary Hucklebucks figurations as The Living Deads did original numbers such as “Sh*t Men Say to Symphony,” “God Damn,” “Like A Bad Girl Should,” “Walk Away” and more. Randee frequently switched instruments between guitar and drums, and a few times played both simultaneously. When the McGarvey’s crowd called for an encore, The Living Deads returned for a mini-set of cover songs that reflect their influences, including a song by The Cramps, Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway,” the Ramones’ “The KKK Took My Baby Away,” the Misfits’ “Astro Zombies,” and Johnny Cash & June Carter’s “Jackson” to end the night. San Diego punk trio Some Kind Of Nightmare brought their brand of vinegar and velocity to McGarvey’s for a rare Monday night show last month. Sets by Lose The Name and Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Gutter Villain opened the night, before Some Kind Of Nightmare delivered their raw punk-rocking speed and reckless abandon on a set of original tunes. Singer and guitarist Chy Mess, singer and bassist Molly Mess and drummer Tai slammed out furious numbers such as “F.D.A. Approved,” “Survive,” their closer “Back to San Diego” and more. One highlight was their song “Last Round,” dedicated to Molly’s grandmother who fought breast cancer – the group sold a pink vinyl 45 of that tune with proceeds going toward cancer research. Their velocity was infectious, and although not a big crowd for a Monday night, Some Kind of Nightmare kept the onlookers in attendance cheering.


New York’s American Pinup returned to McGarvey’s as part of a four-band bill last month. The Snipped led off the night with their punk-rocking “dadcore,” followed by Washington, DCbased indie rock duo DoubleMotorcycle. Singer/guitarist Joe Jalette and drummer Colin McGuire offered a wild, off-the-wall blend of pop melody, punk agitation and quarky antics on their set of original numbers, resulting in an unpredictable presentation that kept the crowd attentive and entertained. In the midst of a month-long tour, American Pinup showcased songs from their new EP, Get Better, as part of their set of edgy, high-octane melodic pop-punk rock. Lead singer and guitarist Lauren West sang with a potent, clear voice and friendly personality, flanked by guitarist A.J. Chiarella, bassist Tim Robbins and drummer John Casale. And Altoona’s Dilemma closed the night with their punk-driven hard rock sound. Singers/guitarists Micah Button and Devin Conrad, bassist Duane Ferrell and drummer Joel Kyle fired off charged original numbers such as “High Tide,” “Force Fed” and “Stain,” as well as versions of Nirvana’s “Lithium” and Blink 182’s “Dammit.” Pittsburgh’s Legendary Hucklebucks brought their over-thetop brand of roots rock back to McGarvey’s in late April. Altoona’s Black Ridge PABG opened the night with their punktoned brand of bluegrass and Americana music, doing numbers from their just-issued EP. The Legendary Hucklebucks then delivered their fire-and-brimstone assault of high-powered, psychotic rockabilly. Tattooed singer Ted Bundy, upright bassist Uncle Piddles, guitarist Johnny Devil and drummer Dave Fresch kept the action nonstop as they delivered driving original anthems like “3 Sheets,” “One Less Drunk,” “Honky Tonk Angel,” “Black Eyed Susan” and “Don’t Feed the Rats,” as well as their own torrid takes on the Kinks’ “I Need You” and Motorhead’s title song “Motorhead.” And I caught my first look at State College-based punk rockers Owned By A**holes at McGarvey’s last month, headlining a punk triple-bill. Dave Hates Everything set the tone with their opening set of lively punk rock original tunes. Singer and guitarist Pat Orr also set the humorous theme of the night after happening upon a quantity of protein bars, which he brought along to McGarvey’s to share out to willing fans and musicians. The Snipped’s bass player, Rik Golden, celebrated this bounty by brandishing and raving about his protein bar during his band’s set, and The Snipped – Rik, frontman/guitarist Mikey Wax, guitarist Jeff Reid and drummer Justin Burket – rewarded Pat by “knighting” him into their realm of “dadcore” using a garden rake and a workshop magazine. Owned By A**holes then closed the night with their bold, bristling brand of punk rock. Singers/ guitarists Kyle Hartzell and Pissed Off Christoff, bassist Andrew Ball and drummer Josh Griffith mixed original songs with select covers, all delivered with fury and enthusiasm. Their original song arsenal this night included tunes such as “Alcohol,” “Generation Z,” “Social Mannequin” and “Garbage People,” and they also did numbers from Screeching Weasel, NOFX and more. And I caught up with Railtowne last month during an eventful performance at Altoona’s Four Dees Lounge. Railtowne – singer/guitarist Ty Ayers, lead guitarist Kenny Murdick, bassist Paul Rainey, keyboardist and soundman Nate Beatty and drummer Eric Wertz – had special guests in the house this night, as the newlywed This Albatross tandem of singer Autumn and guitarist Phil “Philly Grooves” Wagner brought the wedding reception to the Four Dees. Bouquet and garter tosses punctuated the night as Railtowne kept the celebrants happy with their mix of modern country favorites from Lee Brice, Big & Rich, Joe Nichols, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Johnny Cash, John Michael Montgomery, Jason Aldean and more.

Tasana Camara of Camara Drum & Dance

Scott Austin of Saving Abel

Other performers I saw recently were the father and son reunion of Greg and Dustin Burley – Acoustic Mayhem – at McGarvey’s, as Dustin was back in the area from his current home base of Durango, Colorado…And I saw Felix & the Hurricanes during one of their weekly Sunday shindigs at Altoona’s Black & Gold Tavern. News and notes…Special benefits for two area sound engineers battling cancer will take place this month; the Rawken for Hawken benefit happens June 10 at Slammin’ Sam’s in Johnstown to raise money to help Brad Hawken, recently diagnosed with colon/rectal cancer; performers thus far include Inside Out, Chasing Frequency, The Holy Gift and members of Octane... And a benefit for Alan “Delbert” McConnell will take place at the Barnesboro VFW in Northern Cambria on June 30; Negan, Downshift, Nag Champions, Talisman, Acoustic Stew, Rust and the Backyard Rockers are among many performers taking part… The Clarks, Penntera, Josh Gallagher and national recording artists Puddle Of Mudd are some of the featured acts performing during Altoona’s inaugural Pennsylvania Roundhouse Rally, happening June 20-23…The Marauders have reformed after a nine-year hiatus, and have been added to the lineup for Johnstown’s annual Flood City Music Festival in early August… Fireside Collective, The Hillbilly Gypsies, Mama Corn, Colebrook Road, The Crooked Line, Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers, Doug Forshey and the Tussey Mountain Moonshiners are among many performers at the 15th annual Smoked Country Jam Bluegrass Festival fundraiser for the Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania, happening June 14-16 at Quiet Oaks Campground in Cross Fork (north of Renovo)…Shallow 9, Downshift, Inside Out, Negan, R2B2, Zach Wade & the Good Grief, Matt Pletcher and the Backyard Rockers are among the performers at the 12th annual Day Of Rock benefit at Altoona’s Railroaders Museum on June 16…Matt Otis & the Sound, Rue Moyer and Afro’n’at are among the performers at the third annual Great Eastern Arts Festival, happening at Tenley Park in Everett on June 2…Western PA progressive rockers We Came From Space have issued their second CD, called While You Were Away. We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Ken Earnest, who passed away on April 28 at age 88. Ken was a longtime Altoona area musician and guitar teacher, and played in such area bands as The Legends, The Cavaliers and The Prime Time Band. He was also the father of area musicians Troy and Jody Earnest…And the regional music scene was saddened by the unexpected passing of Smokin’ Gunnz singer and drummer Robert Morris, Sr. on May 7 at age 52. Bob was a member of Smokin’ Gunnz for most of their 20-plus year history. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Vickie, along with two sons. We at PA Musician express our sympathies for Bob’s family, friends and musical colleagues. Please send correspondence and recordings to: Jim Price, 1104 S. Catherine St., Altoona, PA 16602. You can also e-mail me at And if you’re into social networking, look me up on Facebook or Google+. SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!

All photos on pages 15 thru 18 by Jim Price

Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

June, 2018


JIM DONOVAN & THE SUN KING WARRIORS – WE SEE THROUGH IT (no label) Former Rusted Root drummer Jim Donovan introduced a fresh new band and a fresh new sound on their 2016 self-titled Sun King Warriors debut CD. Jim and his group – bassist Kent Tonkin, percussionists Harry Pepper and Bryan Fazio, drummer Joe Marini, guitarist Kevin McDonald and multi-instrumentalist Dan Murphy – up the energy and the ante on the follow-up, We See Through It. The group taps into a more vigorous, blues-rocking vein for most of the album’s 10 tracks, while preserving the world music essence of the debut CD and Jim’s work with Rusted Root. The performances are more confident, invested and even agitated, the overall sound is edgier, and the group even vents veiled social commentary. The primary vibe of the album is celebratory; the disc-opener “The Last Dance” is a bouncy, tropical-toned celebration of life’s cycle that offers encouragement to live each moment to its fullest while you can. Jim celebrates family several times on the album; expressing maximum excitement about his wife Tracey on “You Are My Everything,” which starts as a raucous Black Keys-toned romp before exploding into a hyperspeed finish. “Long Lost Friend” and “Love Is Right” both celebrate the realizations of love; the latter explores how love endures through thick and thin, with a heavy-rocking midsection bridging the song’s tranquil start and end. “You In My Arms” is Jim’s joyous ode to daughter Tupelo, who sings backing vocals along with Jim’s other daughter, Ella. Several songs celebrate personal discovery and the moment: “We Have Arrived” appreciates now, “Ahh. Can You Feel It?” revels in arriving in contentment, and the hard-rocking “Hey! Let It Be” applauds the triumph of conscience. Jim and the Sun King Warriors consider the current state of society and the world; the reggae-flavored title track “We See Through It” calls on listeners to ignore the voices that seek to divide, embrace each other and celebrate commonality as a unified people. The disc closes with the percussive “Elephants In The Room,” as Jim, Bryan and Harry bring threeplus minutes of booming, elephantine drum thunder. The performances are enthusiastic, vibrant and invigorating; listeners should immediately sense that this band had a blast putting this album together. The musicians give all here, from the constantly busy rhythms to Kevin’s hot guitar soloing, Dan’s harmonica wails and mandolin nuances to the rowdy gang-shout choruses that ring out in many of the songs. Contributions from notable guests – such as Jim’s aforementioned daughters and son Oliver, plus his former Rusted Root colleagues Liz Berlin and Jenn Wertz – both flesh out and elevate the sound. Produced, mixed and recorded by Sean McDonald at Pittsburgh’s Red Medicine Recording Studios, We See Through It rings out with brightness, fullness and excitement. We See Through It provides a joyous, heartwarming and fulfilling listen from start to end, and deserves to provide a happy soundtrack for summertime drives and outdoor picnics. This is a great-sounding, great-feeling album well worth checking out. (The CD can be obtained through CD Baby and other online outlets.) NAG CHAMPIONS MYSTERY BAND – EARTHWORKS (no label) Formed two springs ago by some seasoned musicians from the northern Cambria County music scene, the Nag Champions Mystery Band embarked on a rock music-based mission to “explore infinity while embracing the unknown.” That adventurous spirit permeates the dozen tracks of the group’s second CD, Earthworks. Deriving their name from a brand of incense (Nag Champa), the group’s core of singer, guitarist and harmonica player Derek Gresh, percussionist Ed Hofer and multi-instrumentalist Tim

June, 2018

Homerski delivers a freewheeling, often improvisational mixture of sounds, spanning Americana folk and blues to psychedelia, tribal music, space rock, reggae and more. Several musical guests help them along the journey, including bassist Josh Yahner, guitarist C. Leo Bloomfield, and singers Kate Rhodes and Tina Gresh. Every song is different, and the diversity of flavors prevents this album from ever becoming redundant or boring. “Weary Mind’s Eye” starts the album off innocently enough, establishing a gentle, folksy, back porch vibe and words about yearning for tranquility. Guitar distortion then gives way to reggae on “Daylight Apparitions,” followed by straightahead rock on “Dust Dancers” and the folksy “Brown River Blues.” Nag Champions sonically explores the cosmos on the Hendrix-toned instrumental “Space Drifter,” and evokes Hawkwind-flavored space rock on “(Stuck On) Dream Time.” They dabble in Stones-geared blues rock on “Stone Hymns,” and lay down some Beatles “Revolution”-toned electric boogie on “Incognito.” “Jokers and Fools” explores mystic native American soundscapes, while the cavernous, percussion and flute-driven instrumental “Lost Mountain” taps shades of Andean tribal folk. The melodies are simple and catchy, and Derek sings the simple lyrical themes with a relaxed, unimposing presence. The instrumental numbers demonstrate plentiful improvisation as Nag Champions and their guests seize the moment and let their muse guide them. Self-produced by the band and recorded at Ed Hofer’s Hoffer Studio in Patton, Earthworks sounds balanced and clear, with instruments and improvisations sounding distinct in the mix. Earthworks reveals musical friends throwing caution to the wind and indulging their whims, resulting in an eclectic, intriguing listen. (The CD can be obtained through Nag Champions Mystery Band’s website, WHISKEY PIE – LIFESTYLES OF THE POOR & LONELY (Ridge Records) From Dubois, Whiskey Pie is the brainchild project of the father-and-son tandem of Paul and Brian McLaughlin. Their CD, Lifestyles of the Poor & Lonely, offers listeners a freewheeling, unpredictable journey that explores elements of delta blues, jazz, R&B, hip-hop, worldbeat and

Whiskey Pie and their guests are letting hair down and having fun, and never taking this session too seriously. The mixture of styles and sounds – ranging between guitars, bass, drums and percussion, harmonica, flute and samples – makes each number its own self-contained adventure, with new nuances and curios revealed with repeat listens. Self-recorded, the sound quality is basic, varying between smooth and raw and capturing the musicians in the moment without polish or studio bells and whistles. Lifestyles of the Poor & Lonely makes for an interesting listening adventure, as Whiskey Pie and their musical friends throw caution and apprehensions to the wind, and deliver a freewheel-

ing, free form set. (The CD can be obtained through Paul McLaughlin’s Facebook page.)

Dave of Six Bar Break photo by Rachel Rocks

more. Whiskey Pie plus several musical friends jam, improvise, sing, talk and sample their way through eight unique and diverse numbers, letting their muses and imaginations guide the way. Launching the disc, the title track “Lifestyles of the Poor & Lonely” slinks along a creepy keyboard riff, setting the backdrop for spoken and sung passages comparing the have’s and the have-not’s. “The Ode to Jesse Custer” is a boisterous and distortion-laden bluesy tribute to a DC Comics character, a “barroom prophet” who is “saving souls and kicking ass.” Guest DJ Jerzymatic’s beats underscore the hip hop-flavored “Bizness as Usual,” while guests DJ Cramski, guitarist Mike Elementree and percussionist Tony LaConga construct an Afrobeat-flavored exercise on “Sweatshop Funk.” Paul describes the darktoned blues waltz “Pines” as “Leadbelly on a cold day,” before the disc closes with “You Always Gotta Have the Last Word,” where Paul on flute, Brian on cajon and guest Miki Lynn on drums slowly escalate a cigarette break-inspired improv jam into an expansive, heated instrumental interlude. The performances and presentation are loose and informal, as it becomes clear that

Pennsylvania Musician Magazine



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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

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- $45. Littlite gooseneck task lights 570-606-3677 FREE: Upright Gulbransen piano with matching bench. Light, oak color. Includes sheet music and books. Hazleton area. 570-606-3677 FOR SALE: Complete recording studio. Everything included: speakers, patchbays, cables, recorders, compressors, sound modules, effects. (Manely, Lexicon, Neumaan, Mackie, Rane, Kurzweil, and more $10,000 obo Dennis 570-898-1679. FOR SALE: Guitar Amp Half Stack. Fender Metalhead MH-500, 500W amp. Carvin 4x12 Speaker Cabinet. Both for $400. Email: 138sales@ for more details. FOR SALE: 1989 Ibanez EX series, 4 string bass, white, very good condition. Active pickups. No dents. Chrome Hardware, Rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, plays and sounds good, asking $200 or best offer 610-451-3824. FOR SALE: 600W. Peavy TNT Bass Amp. 1x15 and a small horn. Used but in good shape. A few scuffs but nothing major. Tilt back design. Graphic EQ. $425. OBO Email: FOR SALE: Black Tuck & Roll Kustom 100 Bass amp with two 15” speaker cabinet $500. Sunburst Fender American Standard P-Bass Thomastik Infeld flats $850. 814321-2457 FOR SALE: Engl 50 watt Screamer combo tube amp, 12” Celestion speaker. Mint, never gigged. Over $1400 new at Musicians Friend. $725 484-898-5068

June, 2018

FOR SALE: 78 RPM Record Collection. Recordings of Gene Autry, Montana Slim, Spike Jones and others. Most records are in good condition. 814-244-0248. FOR SALE: 1977 Fender Bassman Ten amplifier. Original owner. Super clean. $400. OBO. Call 610-678-5357. FOR SALE: Red Fender Squire Strat, $150, Black Epiphany Les Paul standard, $195; Peavy XRD PA System, 8 channels, $350; Pair of Randall monitor speakers, $125 pair, 717-379-8010. FOR SALE: Fender Mexican 2006 Anniversary Strat Light gray texmex, $400; Mint Roland Guitar Synth and pickup GR20 $200. mint. Emcnice 15” pair speakers, 175 watt 4 OHM each w/ cab, $100. Wilkes Barre area 570-654-0700. FOR SALE: PA System, 18” bass bins, 15” mid cabinets, EV horns, 16 Channel BiAmp Board, Carvin monitors, Peavey amps, various effects units with case. $1500, call Ray 717-385-7430

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WANTED lead vocalist for heavy rock band in Harrisburg area. Cover and original songs. Think Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Sabbath. Call or text 717-6494354

WANTED: Drummer for 80’s rock band. Must be willing to play 3-4 shows a month. Serious Only. Practice in Lebanon area. Call 717-421-3868 or 610- 451-3824. WANTED: Lead singer for blues/heavy rock project in Millersburg PA 45 mins north of Harrisburg. No top 40 overplayed songs we will be judged on our talents. Jeff Beck, Joe Banomassa, Robin Trower, Ten Years After etc. Call Scott 717-648-2873. WANTED: Professional guitarist/vocalist for cover/show band, 50’s through 90’s rock

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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine


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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine


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