pennsylvania musician m
Vol.37 #431 Sept. 2019
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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
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Country with Adrenaline!… with a mix of Rock & Southern Rock
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Editor’s Ramblings By Josh Noll
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 Chris Rider September Cover Photo by Tim Rosser.
-MOFO (Master Of Financial Operations)Missy Weidenhof -Assistant MOFOEmily Strawser -DistributionRobin Noll, Josh Noll, Rachel Rocks, Jim Price, Keith Hummel, “Space”, Deanne Trio, Randy Wilson, Shawn Kurey, Fuzz McGirk, Jimi Jaymz, Dan Mccorkle, Zac Grace, Imelda Redding, Jeff Pittinger, Sterling Koch, and whoever else we can talk into. -Field EditorsJim price..........................................The Professor Rachel Rocks...................................Out & About Eric Hoffman.........................................National Chris Rider & Michele Kelley.....Hitting the Road Daisy the cat................................The Daily Yawn
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The start of it all has begun. The grass has slowed its’ growth, the leaves are curling up and starting to fall. The nights have suddenly gotten cooler and things like flannels and hoodies have started to appear. It sucks that summer is at an end, but I must admit, I fucking love Fall! It’s TRAIL season! Which, when I was younger, meant the only place you would find me on the weekends was in the woods, roasting dubs and throwing back some beers around the fire with my homies. I am hoping to get a couple more shreds in before everything around us freezes up into a big ol’ ice chunk, but time is whirling by and plans are stacking up right into dark days of winter. For the music scene it will give some much needed relief to the dog days of summer. With the super hot days we had the last couple months and drenching pop up storms, a lot of outside shows were affected, some even cancelled. You have to feel bad when you see the axes melting in the guys hands and that’s before they even played a lick. Not to mention all the effort in setup and tear down for these outside events. So a big round of applause for anyone who took part in all the outside shows: either by organizing, setting up, playing or attending. Staying in the A/C all day can seem like the easy choice when it’s hitting triple digits, but not these warriors. They get out there and get it done for all the fans. Wearing denim and black, with super bright lights shinning on them. Dedication is the name of the game and a little heat wave isn’t going to slow them down. So cheers to all who participated these last couple months in keeping the music alive! August was a blur really. It started out at Chick’s aka Laurel Run Lodge for a night of music with Seldom Said No. They are a four piece acoustic Bluegrass/Americana band. They have the upright bass going on, along with some killer banjo and not the creepy kind that makes you want to jump back in your canoe. They did a mix of originals and some covers too. With one cover being Missy’s fav song of the night, an “old” REM tune, spiced up with a flare of energy from the guys at Seldom Said No. Another notable moment from the night was Missy’s passion for “adventure eating”, which resulted in us trying the house special, frog legs! While it seemed like a risky thing to order, we just had to try them. To our surprise, they were very good. I’m not going to say it, “tasted like chicken”, but I guess it was close. Check that one off the list thanks to Chick’s aka Laurel Run Lodge. If you have not checked them out, be sure to see what is in store this month on the next page and make your plans to get out there. This month I was asked to help judge the Whitaker Unplugged Acoustic Series finale. For those that haven’t been following along, this is a songwriter competition that has been going on since March. Each month, they picked winners and it all led up to the finale with six great musicians from our local area. The finalists were Antonio Andrade, Josh Krevsky, Justin Angelo, Sarah Fiore, Corina Rose, and Cody Wilt. All of them did a great job which made judging something like this super hard. In the end, Josh Krevsky took the prize and won the spot on the Kunkel stage at the Harrisburg Kipona on Sept 1st at 5pm along with $500 worth of recording time donated by The Green Room Recording Studio. There was a great turnout for the finale and if your a songwriter out there looking for a shot at some time on stage, hit up Whitaker Center info for details on how you can be part of the next series starting in January 2020 The next day was a big one. The 11th Annual Drunken Puppet Show! This is an event I just always make time for. Jonny
Suicide and his beautiful wife Teri, have been holding this event forever and it’s always a blast. They open up their homestead to a bunch of fans and friends to get together and enjoy a day of music. You might think its all super heavy, facemelting metal, but you never know what your going to hear music wise at the Puppet Show. This year was no different. I was bummed I missed Link Lancelot and the Knuckle Draggers. With two of the members being Darin Cohick and Mic Widenhammer, think “The Inciter’s”, you know they are a band to check out. Hopefully they get some gigs in the area and start playing some more. Dead Cowboy was next (after a lineup change due to a lost drummer) and they were smashin the Metallica covers along with some other crowd fav’s and had my attention right away. After Throwback 202’s drummer found his way out of the hills of Perry County and onto the stage, they kept things hopping, including the guitar player who moved all over Jonny’s yard with some extended range playing. Amazing how the wireless stuff works now days. Fourth, was Madness At Midnight. I have been waiting to catch a show and was not disappointed. Led by Heavy metal Diva, Kathy Ryder, it was plain to see they were there to rock They kept things up to speed as the day rolled on. Next was Decipher Life! Wait, ok...so maybe this year WAS a lot of facemelting metal. Haha! ‘Cause that’s what was going on! With Suicide Puppets hitting the stage after them, things just kept getting heavier. I love seeing the Puppets unmasked and out of make up. I also enjoy watching them get better and better every year, always bringing some new music for the fans. The last band of the night was an encore from last year with Awesomely Strong. Think Weird Al, x-rated, on steroids and that’s what best describes them. Once again, they were a blast and even brought Jonny Suicide up to sing a duet. It was very romantic, haha! It was another great year, great food, friends, and music. The last event I attended this month was at The River Bend Brewery in Newport for the Harleys For Heroes Giveaway. For people that are not aware of what Harleys For Heroes is: they build two old Ironhead Sportsters a year and give them to returning vets who were wounded while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. They take no monetary donations, just parts. The bikes are as American in spirit and grit as the servicemen and women who receive them. When I say “they” I mean Gus Gustafson. He is the man behind the idea and he spends his life building these Hogs for deserving vets and asks for nothing but a smile in return. He is a local legend and it only takes talking to him for a minute to know why. He is the kind of guy who just got done fixing his shit, so he can run over and help the next guy keep his on the road. A true American legend and vet himself. You can always find him at swap meets and yard sales looking for parts for his next project. All so he can just give it away...that’s Gus, a true “man’s man” of the modern world. I have only been to fundraisers before and this was my first give away and it was a real tear jerker. Watching Veteran Alyssa Hutchison’s face as she started to realize that this bike was now hers was priceless. The work Harleys For Heroes does for Veterans is amazing. Please go and check out the web page at Harleys-4-heroes.org. After the giveaway was over, we got the treat of hearing the duo of Carl and Tim Weidenhof play some tunes. They play the classics and are always up for donating to a great cause. This is one of Missy’s favorite bands as her uncle and cousin have been keeping on the long Weidenhof family tradition of playing live music for the masses. They even had some help in the way of father son duo, Steve (of Saddlehorn) and Adam Clouser. They hit the more modern covers and then were followed up by Shawn Pike. Shawn is a Perry County native/Austin transplant that recently made his way back home and is always a treat to watch with his story telling tunes. After Shawn, Carl and Tim took the stage and closed the place down. Like REALLY closed it down. With some dancing and singing to end the night, it was a good time had by all. As for what is coming up this month there are some big shows
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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
hitting the area. XL LIVE has the Supersuckers! on the 12th, Sebastian Bach on the 26th, and the Struts on the 27th. Suicide Puppets open for Stabbing Westward on the 7th at HMAC. Reverb Carl & Tim Weidenhof has Bury Your Dead photo by Josh Noll on the 14th with Exhorder on the 26th. Park Inn has Calling off Doug on the 7th, with Roadcase on the 12th for the 105.7X bike night. So much music, so little time get out there and enjoy the fall weather! Last but not least, a happy belated birthday to Bob Randall who just released his new CD “Outlaw!” I got an early copy and have been enjoying it the last couple weeks. The CD is great for anyone into Outlaw Country with some great songs and producing, with the song ‘Cold Kentucky Rain’ being a stand out for me. Bob is playing with his full band, The Outlaws, and they
Madness at Midnight
Stop in for dinner, check out our beer selections, and then stick around for the Area’s greatest entertainment!
• 9/21 - Irish Music Session 5-7 The Return of FUZZY BUNNY SLIPPERS 9-12 LIVE ENTERTAINMENT • 9/6 - 1st Friday Karaoke 9-12 • 9/28 - Blind Theory 10-1 • 10/4 - 1st Friday Karaoke 9-12 • 9/7 - Tucker Michaels 9-12 • 10/5 - Baron Stiegel 8-9 • 9/14 - Restless 9-12 Still Smokin’ 9-12 • 9/19 - Ben Ginder 6-8 Follow us on Facebook for upcoming specials and events Facebook.com/unionhousetaproom
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have a bunch of show dates coming up. Be sure to check out the schedule on page 3 and make plans to attend now. On the Birthday note, I would like to give a great big old Happy Birthday to a pair of boobs! That’s right Happy Birthday on Sept 11th Zack Boob! And a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the one and only RACHEL ROCKS/boob on the 2nd!! We love you both! Without Rachel Rocks I am not sure what I would do, she wears all hats around here including and not limited to head writer, lead photographer, delivery specialist, online security, family photo taker, lead party planner! You name it she can do it. LOVE YOU SIS!! That’s all for this month. Hope to see you out there on the road supporting local music. Take care and rock on! If you would like to be apart of the paper, please email me at Joshnoll@pamusician.net we are always looking for the next big thing.
Bob Randall & Wanted
Now Booking 2019
photo by Chris Skelly
Original & Covers of Hard Rock/Classic Metal
“The Red Album”, “Wolves” & “X-Nihilo” CDs at: Wayne’s World, 419 Memorial Hwy. Dallas, PA,
We still have dates available in 2019! We have also begun booking 2020.
“EXPERIENCE THE POWER” Available at CDbaby www.cdbaby.com/cd/xterra7
Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
Friday, September 6th
PHLPHR with Richie Ramone
One Center Square, Easton PA. FREE PHLPHR Merch with purchase of a ticket. First 15 tickets sold eligible for a ride to the show with PHLPHR. For Tickets Call 717-979-9234 Email:Blindaccuracyband@gmailocom 9/14 SOMKIN’ JACKS Morgantown WV 9/21 FAT DADDY’S w/Moshfits, York PA 9/27 HEADBANGERS BALL@HMAC w/Show No Mercy, Vatallica, Xstrophy, Wrath of Typhon! 10/5 SHOCK FEST 2019@Shocktoberfest 10/11 HOT SHOTS Westville, NJ 10/12 FINNEGAN’S IRC Scranton, PA Like us on Facebook.com/Penntera Watch our Videos
Follow us on Instagram@Penntera
sponso by Mermaid’s Markred Tattoo Parlor
Booking now! Call 717.979.9234 Email: email@example.com
Follow us on Instagram @blindaccuracy www.facebook.com/blindaccuracy
For more information vist our website & follow us on facebook.com/Steel
Saturday Oct 5th
Rebels For A Cause Benefit, Blarney’s Twisted Irish Pub Mechanicburg, PA
Friday Oct 11th Helping Little Hands Rock and Ride Benefit Greencastle, PA
ailable at “Steel Hammered” Av All gigs & on our website Booking: Chris 717.688.9177 or Aaron 717.580.0218 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ~ Hope to see YOU at one of our shows! ~
Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
APPEARING LIVE AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS: Sept 1st 8pm Deer Run Camping Resort, Gardners PA Sept 8th 2pm Gettysburg WIne Festival, Gettysburg PA Sept 20th 9:30pm Racehorse Tavern, Thomasville PA Sept 21st 8pm Hanover Moose, Hanover PA Sept 27th 7pm Private Party On The River Sept 28th 8pm Riverside Camping Assoc, Lancaster PA
For Bookings Contact: 570-687-8827 www.Facebook.com/Stonewoodblues www.thebandstonewood.com
Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
OUT ‘n’ ABOUT By Rachel Rocks
September is here.. Back to school, back to crazier than the craziness I’ve already been experiencing. My son decided to play football for the 1st time, so I’m also squeezing in practice, games, and all the good stuff! I didn’t get out much in August, but the few days I was in town I took full advantage and saw as many bands as I possibly could. It all started a while ago on a Friday night at Colonial Country Club to see Derek Henry playing an acoustic show out on their patio. It was an amazing night for an outside gig, so I couldn’t resist. The Colonial Country Club has a very awesome covered patio area with a full band. It has a full bar, and it’s open to the public! Plus, to sweeten the deal, Fridays, when they have acoustic acts, is also Prime Rib night, so it’s a Win! Win! Derek did a great job playing solo. He was able to take requests from the crowd and even called up some back-up singers once in a while. Everyone was thoroughly entertained, you could quickly tell how happy the crowd was from Derek’s overflowing tip jar! Since Derek’s show was an early one, the night wasn’t over yet! Next, I headed over to Johnny Joe’s for the metal maniacs, Suicide Puppets! I haven’t seen these guys for a while and they have tons of stuff going on. They recently released a new song “Armed” and we were able to hear it live for the 1st time! It’s another great hit by the Suicide Puppets! They also recently signed on with Distilled Entertainment out of California. They are planning a lot of great things, and they sky is the limit for these guys! I’m glad they are finally getting some much-deserved attention. Check out Suicide Puppets ad for their full schedule, but on September 7th they will be opening for Stabbing Westward at HMAC! The tickets are only $25 and they are selling like hotcakes! Sept. 21st they are also at Vogfest. For all of us Perry Countians Vogfest has a special place in our hearts. It is a
The Austens at St. Thomas Roasters photo by Rachel Rocks
Party and a Memorial Poker Run in honor of David Vogelsong. There are 5 bands, vendors, all kinds of fun! All of the proceeds benefit Harleys for Heroes! Check out the Vogfest ad in this issue for all of the details. Decipher Life was back at it again and closed out the night at Johnny Joe’s. Even though we only stayed for a couple songs, it was cool to see and hear them back on the stage. They have some new faces in their line-up but they still now how to rock. Their originals are ones that rock you to the core because all of their music is so relatable. They’ll be playing again at the Helping Little Hands Benefit, Saturday October 12th. Sticking with the theme of rocking bands, the next
night I headed out to my last night of live music at Double K for Steel. Double K has been a staple to my article the whole 13 years I’ve been Out and About. I’m truly bummed that yet another live music venue will be no more. The VERY final day will be sometime in mid-September I’m told. Super HUGE thank you and shout out to Karen and Jim for all of the support and love to not only this magazine and me personally, but to all of the bands, and fans they support. Eclipse gum is going to really take a hit, I can’t imagine how many pieces of gum Karen handed out at the door at the end of the night. Double K is truly a place filled with friends and family. Hopefully we find a new watering hole to hang out and reconnect. Double K will unfortunately be torn down and more townhouses are going in. I wish Jim and Karen a very much deserved Happy Retirement! Now back to the music, Steel had us all back up on the dance floor, and since it was Steel’s last show at Double K, the Steel family was out in force. One member of our family that was missing was Scott Sprankle, who unfortunately lost his battle with cancer just a day after this show. Scott was a cool guy to talk to and joke with. He always was the silent sound guy that just did everything exactly how the band wanted it. Steel never even did sound checks because they knew Scott always had everything under control. He will be greatly missed, but I’m sure Steel will continue to rock the area stages, one show at a time! On a Thursday night after I got Mason at practice I popped in to St. Thomas Roasters to check out The Austens. Right away I was impressed just by their appearance. Even though their outfits make them look like they stepped right out of the 50s/60s era, don’t let it fool you, they are a very classy mix of Buddy Holly meets Modern Rock, all the way back and around the corner to Johnny Cash and June Carter. Stefanie and Nick’s vocals create amazing harmonies, and even though Stefanie has most of the lead vocals, Nick also leads a few songs himself, all while the amazing percussion man creates his own unique sound on his cajone. It was also cool to see Nick switch from the guitar to a uke for a couple songs. There aren’t too many bands with a uke on stage in the area. The Austens are ready to entertain at your venue big or small.
Last Steel Family party at Double K Thank you Jim & Karen! photo by Rachel Rocks
On a Friday night Terri and I decided to take a little road trip up to Shy Bear Brewing Company to go see FolkenPhunk, they unfortunately had to cancel due to car troubles, but we still decided to make the trip anyhow. Jason, Shy Bear’s owner, just so happens to be a drummer, so he called upon his old band mates, Snooky and BZ, and the original Mr. Jimmy Trio took the stage and entertained us throughout the night. Shy Bear has an awesome outdoor set up for music. It’s very relaxing with yard games nearby, and you can choose to sit at regular tables, picnic tables, or even at the outdoor bar. Their nachos are extremely delicious! I highly recommend them! And of course their beer is pretty amazing too! Their beer has been creeping it’s way down here to Harrisburg, I’ve seen it on tap at Ted’s Midtown. Keep an eye out for it and give it a try! Of course when we got home there was still time left to zoom to Chick’s in Hummelstown for the last half of Yak Bone’s show. I’m so glad these girls are out playing again. They are so much fun! They definitely play full sets of danceable, sing-along music that makes you laugh, smile, and just forget about the day’s troubles! I got there in time to witness the special “kitty” song, it’s definitely something you need to see! Ro, Sandi, and Patty are having a blast on the stage and it definitely shines out to their fans! If you want a super fun, party band at your venue give these girls a call! They have a show coming up on September 13th at Middletown Moose! They do open to the public for their shows, so stop on it and check it out. You can check out all of the details in their ad in this issue. The last event of the month was the Finding Freedom Festival. Music was finally back on City Island! Now we no longer have to say that Kiss was the last band to play on City Island. Hopefully this show was just the beginning and we will see more music on FNB Field! I unfortunately couldn’t be there all day because of a football game, but I got there for the 2nd half of the show. It was a pretty cool set up, the stage was literally on home plate, and the fans were sitting in the stands. I wish they would’ve lowered the netting blocking foul balls. It looked like the old bars you see in the movies where the band is playing continued on page 9....
Keeping The Blues Alive in PA
9/21 October Fest@The Brickyard, Willamsport PA 10/20 Halloween Blues Bash on the Hiawatha Riverboat, Willamsport PA 10/26 Halloween Blues Bash, Gamble Farm Inn & Suites, Jersy Shore PA For gigs: www.facebook.com/kgcadillaccats Email:email@example.com
Call 570-651-5014 8
thecadillaccats.com Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
OUT & ABOUT continued...
behind chicken wire to protect them from bottles people would throw at them. All of the bands were awesome in this line up, so they definitely didn’t need to worry about that. Kudos to Ron Duszak and his team for putting on such a great event. The event was to raise funds and awareness for Just For Today which provides Recovery and Veteran’s Services. Kudos to all of the bands for donating their time and talent to the cause and for playing in the sweat pit! It was definitely an extremely hot day! The first band I saw was Road Case. It was awesome to see these guys on such an awesome outdoor stage! If you regularly read my article you know these guys are frequent fliers to these pages. Road Case has been racking up the gigs
Penntera at Freedom Festival photo by Rachel Rocks
continued on page 10...
101 East Main Street • Fredericksburg, PA • 717.865.4672
OPEN JUKEBOX during HAPPY HOURS
Monday thru Thursday 3pm-6pm/ Friday 3pm-5pm
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Hamburger, Cheeseburger ($6) or Chili Dog ($5) w/ Fresh Cut Fries (w/beverage purchase) Shock Top 22 oz. Drafts...$3.50 • YUENGS & WINGS TUESDAYS: AUCE WINGS ...$13.99 pp (w/ beverage purchase) 16 oz. Yuengling Lager Drafts $2.50
• HUMP WEDNESDAYS: Cheesesteak or Cheesesteak Hoagie UPCOMING DATES: 9/21- Tourist Inn, Hallam, PA 10/5- Union House Taproom & Livery, Richland, PA 11/23- Tourist Inn, Hallam, PA 12/31- Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 2226 Littlestown, PA
w/ Fresh Cut Fries $7.99 (w/ beverage purchase) $1 OFF a 16 or 22 oz. European Draughts
BOOKINGS: (717) 758-3503 firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd Annual Team Bottiglia Fundraiser!
• WING THURSDAYS: 50¢ WINGS (mini. order of 10) EAT IN ONLY (no take outs) Dressing & Celery extra.
Sorry No other Discounts apply. Beverage Purchase required.
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FEHO Steak Night Every Friday & Saturday 4-10pm SUNDAY, 09/01 Acoustic
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DJ STU 9pm-1am
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Sunday, October 20, 2019 Chick’s Hummelstown Tavern
Acoustic 6-9pm w/
120 E 2nd St, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania 17036 LIVE MUSIC PROVIDED BY
CHICKEN AND WAFFLES 2:30-3:15
Saturday, 09/14- 9pm-1am
ASKING?ANDY Friday, 09/20Acoustic 6-9pm w/ JESSICA BATZ DJ KICKIN' KEV on the deck 5-8pm with....
MYCENEA WORLEY SUNDAY, 09/22 LAST Acoustic on the deck 5-8pm w/ SCOTT RIVERS
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Friday, 09/27- Acoustic 6-9pm w/
with Special Guest Marisa Stevens Dawson Silent auction for a trip to Ocean Palms at Hilton Head! ($3000 value), 50/50, Basket Raffles and more! Tickets $20 available at Chick’s Hummelstown Tavern and by emailing:
DJ STU 9pm-1am
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Saturday, 09/21- 9pm-1am
Saturday, 09/28- 8:30 - midnight (NO COVER) with...
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OUT & ABOUT continued... lately playing all over the place. These guys definitely play a great mix of all of your rock and roll favorites. I appreciate about Road Case is they play songs not many other bands play. It’s refreshing rock done right! Check out Road Case’s ad in this issue and get out there and rock and roll all night and party along with Road Case! Next on the bill was a new band, August. This is Bob Richardson’s latest project. They even threw in a couple originals from his Cell 15 project. Another familiar face in this project is Jason Shaffer. I personally always love watching Bob slay the keys. He is an amazing pianist. Another instrument you just unfortunately don’t see enough of. The keys just add in so much dynamic to any song. When I talked to August after the show they said they’d probably pop back up in the area to play a few shows here and there, but that was their first show! Wow! All of them just clicked and played so great together. I can’t imagine how great they will be if they decide to start playing regularly. Alice-In-Sane took the stage next. I think it’s pretty obvious they are an Alice in Chains tribute band, but just thought I’d clarify. It was awesome to see all of these guys back on stage and rocking their faces off! Tommy K Hall was on vocals singing his heart out! Jay Acri on bass, Sean Padelsky on guitar, and Lonnie Eckert on drums! Lonnie’s hair was all cut short, but that didn’t stop him from banging the crap out of those drums. It was my first time seeing them and I was impressed! Hopefully our paths cross again soon! Next up was Penntera. I haven’t seen Penntera in way too long! It’s so awesome that Space has a clean bill of health with no signs of cancer!! He was back to his normal self just rockin away! Jason of course got a little too crazy, but you always have to have one wild maniac in the bunch! Penntera was rockin’ the stage so much the whole thing was shaking! I’m glad it all stayed up and they were able to rock it as hard as they could. By the time they went on it was good and dark and it was very cool to be able to see the musicians up on the jumbotron! Penntera has a few shows coming up here in September. Check out their ad in this issue and find out where you can go bang your head! On September 27th they will be playing in the Headbangers Ball Tour with VAtallica & Show No Mercy at HMAC. So many cool shows in September!! Make your plans now! The last band of the festival and this month for me was Maiden America. I’m sure Gordon was given specific rules before he took the stage, but he didn’t let his stage limitations stop him, he still put on one heck of a show! Maiden America finally has a new permanent bass player and a 2nd guitarist. They definitely have all of the kinks worked out and they were able to put on one heck of a show and a perfect ending to the Finding Freedom Festival! Overall it was a great show! The fans all seemed to love it and for the most part it looked like it all went pretty smoothly. Hopefully this show was just the beginning and we will see a lot more music on City Island! Before I go, I wanted to tell you about 1 more big festival coming up on Saturday, September 14th, the 6th Annual Fogleman’s Wounded Warrior Music Fest. It’s an all day, family friendly event. This is one of the most well-organized events I’ve ever seen, and every year it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The opening ceremony starts at Noon. Your ticket price includes food and non-alcoholic beverages, but you can also BYOB, canopies, tents, whatever. There is a whole play area set up for kids, so you can bring the two-legged ones, but leave the four-legged ones at home. You can check out all of the details in their ad or on their website, www.foglewwfest.com. So far they’ve only had 5 years worth of festivals, but they’ve been able to donate $60K dollars straight to the PA Wounded Warriors. Do yourselves a favor and get out and support a great cause! Well that’s all for this month. This is a big staff birthday month, so get ready to help us celebrate, Me, Meredith Kaminek, and Eric Hoffman all have birthdays throughout September. So, if you need a reason to come out and have some fun, there it is! Come out and celebrate with me!! Also, a super happy birthday to my son Zack! I can’t believe my baby will be 17 on September 11th. Happy Birthday son.. you sure do make your Mamma Proud! If you see me Out and About this month please stop me and say Hi. As always get out there and Support Local Music. Don’t forget you can read all of our articles on our website, www.pamusician.net, and you can see all of our submitted pics eventually on our facebook page, facebook.com/pamusicianmagazine.
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Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
NATIONALS By Eric Hoffman
Greetings Rockers ’N’ Rollers! Harrisburg’s great venue Club XL continues to bring notable artists including The Growlers on July 24th and Faster Pussycat with Bang Tango on July 25th. The Growlers were really impressive bringing their beach goth style of music which combines surf, pop, rock and beat. Singer, Brooks Nielsen, has a unique delivery and sometimes is reminiscent of The Doors’ Jim Morrison. A great cult following turned out for this semi-unknown band who have created 7 albums. Great job Club XL on bringing such a unique show to Central PA. Faster Pussycat also visited the club and are still spreading their sleazy metal rock. The band always puts on a good show and continue to tour consistently, always visiting Pennsylvania. Frontman, Taime Downe, was always known for a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other but has given up both in the past year and continues to deliver great vocals. Their “Return to the Sunset Strip” tour with Bang Tango played 39 shows in the span of two months. The Menzingers played an incredible sold-out show at Baltimore’s Ottobar on August 10th It was the last night of their Summer 2019 tour which began in Lancaster in July. The band is originally from Scranton but have relocated to Philadelphia and continue to garner huge success. The Menzingers will release their sixth studio album “Hello Exile” on October 4th and recently released two singles, “Anna” and “America (You’re Freaking Me Out).” The band returns to the road in late October for 32 dates including Philadelphia November 29th and Washington DC December 4th. The following day, it was off to Pittsburgh to see The Bouncing Souls at Mr. Smalls Theatre on August 11th. A great 800-capacity venue in a re-purposed 19th century church for the past 15 years. The Souls have been touring off and on all year to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Sadly, the opening band The Bronx had to cancel their slot due to a bad van transmission which left the band in Toronto. Fortunately another opener The Swingin Utters turned out to be a great surprise and were awesome. The Souls will tour Europe in October and return to the States in December for six more shows including Philadelphia December 13th and Silver Spring, MD December 18th. Legendary rock band KISS visited Hersheypark Stadium on August 21st. The band that formed in January 1973 is most known for its members’ face paint and stage outfits. In September 2018, Kiss announced that, after 45 years of recording and performing, they would be embarking on their final tour, The End of the Road Tour, in 2019 and it is expected to end in 2021. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons the only remaining original members. The Hershey show provided plenty of pyrotechnics, shooting rockets, levitating stages, fire breathing and blood-spitting. My sincere thanks to Tommy Presite, John Harris and Mark Swatt for making the evening possible. Lastly, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have local band The Super High-Tech Jet Fighters practicing at my home the past
month. Drummer, Logan Betz, and his wife are expecting a baby, hence needing a new place to practice. The band has been recording songs at Rock Mill Studio in Mechanicsburg, to be released very soon. Jet Fighters also shot a video on August 6th for their song “All These Miles” with Hollywood director Torr Pizzillo. NATIONAL NEWS: One-time Bauhaus front man and goth legend Peter Murphy was rushed to a local New York City hospital, due to shortness of breath and was unable to perform a scheduled show. It was revealed Murphy suffered a heart attack. The cardiologist stated: “Mr. Murphy was admitted for treatment of a myocardial infarction. He had two stents placed in his right coronary artery and was started on medications to manage his heart condition.” Murphy’s family has issued the following statement: “We would like to thank the fans for their undying support and hope that Peter will be back on stage with a refreshed heart, stronger than before!” The NFL and Jay-Z’s entertainment and sports representation company are teaming up for events and social activism. The league not only will use Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to consult on its entertainment presentations, including the Super Bowl halftime show, but will work with the rapper and entrepreneur’s company
The Super High-Tech Jet Fighters with director Torr Pizzillo
to “strengthen community through music and the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative.” Inspire Change was created by the league after an agreement with a coalition of players who demonstratcontinued on page 12...
Calling OFF Doug Saturday, 9/07 - BLARNEY’S, Park Inn, Mechanicsburg, PA Saturday, 09/21 - Debut at MCKAY’S CAVE, Carlisle, PA 9pm Friday, 10/11 - Cliff’s Tavern, Camp Hill, PA 9pm
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ed during the national anthem to protest social and racial injustice in this country. Roc Nation’s stable includes Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Shakira and, of course, Jay-Z — much emphasis from both the league and the representation group is being placed on the social relations aspect of the agreement. Willie Nelson took to Twitter late last night to break the news he was forced to cancel six dates on his upcoming tour with Alison Krauss because of a “breathing problem,” which has plagued him in the past. The 86-year-old singer posted, “To my fans, I’m sorry to cancel my tour, but I have a breathing problem that I need to have my doctor check out” after performing with Krauss in Toledo, Ohio. “I’ll be back. Love, Willie” His publicist posted, “Willie is resting and feeling better. He will be back on the road in September. The only dates canceled were the six remaining in August. Thank you all for your concern.” Woodstock 50, will not happen and was finally put to bed July 31st with the official statement that organizers were throwing in the towel. “We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the Festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating,” stated co-organizer Michael Lang. Permit denials, venue changes and artists dropping out lead to its demise. Originally scheduled in Watkins Glen, NY with an expected capacity over 100,000 was then changed as a free event of 20,000 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. Miley Cyrus, Jaz-Z, John Fogerty, The Raconteurs, The Lumineers and Santana all dropped out of the festival. A rival Woodstock celebration took place at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, on the site of the original festival, August
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Brooks Nielsen of The Growlers
16-18, with Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band (8/16), Santana with the Doobie Brothers (8/17) and John Fogerty with Tedeschi Trucks Band and Grace Potter (8/18). UPCOMING CONCERTS: Social Distortion / Flogging Molly - Lancaster Freedom Hall, Sept 1. Future Islands - Philadelphia Dell Music Center, Sept 5. Morrissey / Interpol - Merriweather Post Pavilion, Sept 5. Ratt Easton One Centre, Sept 13. JS Ondara - Harrisburg Club XL, Sept 13. Southern Culture on the Skids - Reading Downtown Alive, Sept 18. Fuel - York Fair, Sept 20. Rancid - Baltimore MECU Pavilion, Sept 21. Cheap Trick - Bloomsburg Fair, Sept 24. Sebastian Bach - Harrisburg Club XL, Sept 26. Psychedelic Furs - Baltimore Soundstage, Sept 27. Southern Culture on the Skids - Harrisburg HMAC, Sept 28.
In 1964 on a black and white TV, the world witnessed four lads from Liverpool England perform on the Ed Sullivan show and made history that would change the music world forever. The Beatles were one of the most influential bands ever, and at a time where you couldn’t hide behind AutoTune or fix sounds in Pro Tools with special effects. With only a guitar plugged straight into an amp the Beatles made lasting music that has spanned generations. They did more with a 4-track reel to reel than most can do today with unlimited resources. It’s been 50-years since that iconic performance, and many musicians, engineers and producers still try to replicate the magic of the Fab Four. 15-years ago a concept to create an untraditional Beatles tribute band were put in motion. The idea was to perform the music of the Beatles with a current hard rock arrangement, which eventually turned into the Beatles Brigade a hard rock tribute. There are countless Beatles Tribute bands out there but none that compare to the originality of The Beatles Brigade. They take live performances to a visual level where Sgt Pepper meets Steampunk. Jeffrey Forsburg (Guitar / Vocals) the creator of Beatles Brigade witnessed the Ed Sullivan performance in his living room and has been a huge fan ever since. Born and raised in Williamsport, PA where he grew up on The Beatles, blues, rock and metal. He toured the US for a year playing guitar and drums for “Free Fare” an international touring company. Jeff also developed several local bands such as Harpoon (a KISS Tribute band), Jeffrey Alan & Friends and Barker Woof Band, both performing his original music. Yang Han (Guitar/Vocals) was born and raised in China. A graduate of Nanjing University with a bachelor’s degree in music, Yang worked at a recording studio where he wrote music for cartoons and advertisements in China. He toured China for years with the band V-Day and performed at the Shanghai Modern Sky Strawberry Music Festival. In 2014 Yang moved to America. He has performed with other local bands like Vinyl Groov and The Cards. Yang’s soaring guitar solos and dramatic flair on stage leaves an impression with each performance. Jim Gordon (Bass/Vocals) also witnessed the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and that was enough for him to want to play music and bass like Paul McCartney. Playing in bands since the late 70’s and onward such as Tina Peel, The Weasels, The Shout, 900Dream and Jump The Gun. There hasn’t been a time when the Beatles weren’t an influence in his life. Fast forward to today; Jim joined the Beatles Brigade because of their interpretation of the Beatle’s music. Their Steampunk style sets them apart from the rest, along with the hard rock flare while staying true to the Beatles music. Tim Rosser (Drums/Vocals) is a power house on his favorite white oyster pearl 1967 classic Ludwig kit which was Beatles inspired but rocks it hard on his second kit of DW drums. He toured the Mid-west with Timothy Scott Band based in Indiana playing rock shows before moving to PA. Tim has always admired the genius of the Beatles and their ability and move and change over their career, never stuck in one place or one style. Tim has a hard rock style that stands out, but loves how Ringo played exactly what the songs needed and created beats that are still recognizable today. “The Beatles made phenomenal music and I love how we are honoring them in a unique show like the Beatles Brigade.” If you love the Beatles and hard rock, then come see a show and have a great time. No one rocks them like the Beatles Brigade. A new show schedule for 2020 is available soon, just visit their website beatlesbrigade.com, Facebook page or contact Jeffrey Forsburg, Forsburg Industries, Inc. (919) 606-3443 firstname.lastname@example.org for booking information. Cover Photography by Tim Rosser.
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can find it on all major streaming platforms. One of the tracks on this EP “She’s Bad” just went to active rock radio this month! These guys wanted me to add that they had a really great time in Harrisburg and are looking to come back! Make sure to check them out when they do! Liliac was the final band for that evening and the one everyone was waiting for. Most refer to this band as a modern-day Partridge Family, but they are so much more than that. They are a 5-piece band of siblings from Downey, California. Members include 20-year-old Sam on lead guitar, 18-year-old Aby on drums, 17-year-old Melody on bass and vocals, 12-year-old Ethan on guitar and 11-year-old Justin on keys. Their father,
HITTING THE ROAD By Michele Kelley
Did you know that Queen Elizabeth is a trained mechanic? Or that every lamppost in Central Park contains 4 numbers and acts as a compass? The first 2 numbers indicate the closest street and the last 2 the direction you are in. The even numbers represent the East and odd numbers the West. How about this, the first sales pitch for the Nerf ball was “You can’t hurt babies or old People”. So why am I talking about all this? Often, when I write my article, I experience what some may call “writers block”. I can talk endlessly about music and bands, but getting started on this first paragraph is always a struggle for me. I like reading about interesting facts so I thought I would start off by sharing a few with you. But before I get started on the music, I will leave you with this. The ‘Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis’ published a paper titled “The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment of a Case of ‘Writer’s Block.’” It contained zero words. Ba dum tss! The first band we caught in August was Corina Rose at Blarney’s in Mechanicsburg. This was a special night for Corina as she was debuting her single “Replay”. Corina was in last month’s article as she competed and won a spot as a finalist
Sinful Lilly doing her music with a band behind her. So, she gave them what they wanted. After seeing Corina sing and play solo, and doing an outstanding job at it, I was looking forward to seeing her with a band myself. Corina fed off the crowd’s energy and really took on a different light that I have not seen before and she was outstanding! Look for this girl to really take off! The following weekend, we headed to HMAC to see a killer line-up of bands. Sinful Lilly were first on stage. This tight alternative, hard rock, 3-piece band from Richmond, Kentucky knew how to bring the rock’n ’roll and they did not disappoint that night. Forming in 2012, current members include Fredi Handshoe: guitar/vocals, Nikki Valklix: bass/vocals and touring drummer Jimmy Wooten. They are currently touring and promoting their upcoming single “California Man” that is set to release this fall. Be sure to check it out!
Corina in the Whitaker Unplugged competition. I’ll talk more about Whitaker Unplugged in just a bit. Joining Corina on stage was Matt Danner: drums, Joe Nestor: bass, Cobrette Bardole: lead guitar and Lee Straw: rhythm guitar. Both guitar players were fill-ins that evening and only had one rehearsal together. That said, they did a good job! Corina has mostly been a solo, country singer/songwriter. She has featured in many bands in the area and is continuously being told by fans that they want to hear her
Kiss Kiss Bang The second band of the night was Kiss, Kiss, Bang from Bowling Green, Kentucky. This band formed about 4 years ago and classifies themselves as “a raw and electric modern slam band with monstrous guitars and Eagles-style vocals that carry near constant three-part harmonies”. I would say they are a bit heavier than The Eagles but the harmonies these guys had were on-point. They have an EP out called “Hearts on Fire” and you
Liliac Florin Cristea, music producer and now manager for the band, started his kids out by bringing them to the studio. Trying to give them an activity other than video games, he had them choose an instrument and sent them for lessons. They started playing to audiences at the Santa Monica Pier doing metal covers and quickly drew a lot of attention. After seeing them on stage, it is safe to say, the intensity of their performance does not match their age. At one point, I watched to see if they were lip synching or if the tracks were prerecorded because there was no way these kids were as good as they sounded, but I was so wrong. These kids were outstanding both on and off stage! Great job guys! Keep up the great work! The following evening, we headed north to Sunbury to Rt. 61 Roadhouse to check out the concert series from Peace of Mind. Peace of Mind started out in 2011 as a music festival in Halifax.
Stonewall Vessels This year they opted to not have a festival but a concert series instead. When I asked the coordinator, Krystal about Peace of Mind, she explained it as more of a community than a festival. Later this year, they plan to open a music-themed café in Millersburg, named after the festival “Peace of Mind Café”. I will definitely be swinging over their to check that out when they open. First on stage was The Stonewall Vessels from Lancaster. Members include Darrion Washington: Vocals/ Guitar, Josh McNamee: Guitar, Luke Krizner: Guitar, Jake Salinger: Bass and Ian Cornele: Drums. We caught these guys at Millennium Music Conference back in February and really enjoyed seeing them play. There really is no way to describe the kind of music they do. These are the kind of bands I love to go Mojo Bozo’s see, the ones that don’t
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Spring Cold Union, Antonio Andrade, Corina Aucker, and Josh Krevsky. All the performers were truly outstanding! In the end, the judges and the audience decided the winner would be Josh Krevsky! Josh will receive $500 in recording time at Green Room Recording Studio and will also perform at Kipona on the main stage on Sunday, September 1st at 5pm. Congratulations Josh! The next series will begin in January 2020. If you are interested in details or would like to be considered as a contestant, email email@example.com. Hats off to Amy, Deb and the whole crew at Whitaker Center to doing an astounding job on their first series of Whitaker Unplugged!
Liliac fit in any box. The band is currently working on a new album. The singles from the album “Eastern Milk” and “Oxygen & Aging” can be found on all major streaming platforms. Really good stuff! Check it out and when you do, let me know what genre you think they fit into! The next band is a band I had never heard of before but I absolutely fell in love with their sound. Mojo Bozo’s Electric Circus from Annapolis, MD. These guys are so cool. They play a little bit of everything from surf rock to progressive rock. Mem-
Mojo Bozo’s ber’s include Ryan Walsh: guitar/vocals, Shane Walsh: drums and Jeremy Hayes: bass. Shane is recovering from surgery so this night they had a fill in on drums with Austin Geithner. They have one album titled “Electric Circus” that was self-produced and can be found on Bandcamp and all streaming outlets. The latest release was a live EP that was recorded in July at Rt. 61 Roadhouse. They are also in the process of writing new material to be released later. Finally, Medusa’s Disco from Lancaster took the stage to put on a great high-energy show! I am sure this show was not as exciting for them as the night before, where they opened for Godsmack at Musikfest, but they showed no signs of disinterest. Members include Wynton Huddle: vocals/guitar, Hunter Root: guitar/vocals, Alex Aument: drums and Justin Wohlfeil: bass. Medusa’s Disco just released a new single “Book Upon
My Shelf” on 8/14/19, the first in 3 years. All three of the bands that played this evening, with the addition of Chestnut Grove, will be playing together again at Medusa’s Disco’s Release Party at XL Live on October 11th! The new album “Orphic Grimoire” will be available for purchase along with other album related merchandise October 11th. Don’t miss getting your copy! The following week-
end was a bit of a marathon for us covering bands. Friday after work we headed over to the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg for the finale of Whitaker Unplugged. For the last 5 months, singer/songwriters have been battling it out to get to this night. I had the honor for the last 4 months to be a judge in this series and the level of musicianship is truly mind-blowing. I was so thankful I did not have to make the incredibly difficult decision in judging the finale. Things kicked off with Justin Angelo, followed by Sarah Fiore of Indian Summer Jars, Cody Wilt of Cold
Josh Krevsky After Whitaker Unplugged, we drove up to Muncy to Hull’s Landing to catch Audiobox. Audiobox is a 3-piece, Alternative Rock band that formed in 2008 in Williamsport. Members include Matt Colegrove: guitar/lead vocals, Joe Reichenbach: vocals/bass and Jason Maurer: drums. We have tried more than once to catch these guys play and every time, something prevented it from happening. When I saw they were having a CD release show, we made it a point to see them and I am so glad that we did! Their first set featured their raw originals which were catchy and polished and showed their effortless talent and skill. Their second set was all covers and they are not afraid to share the stage with some of their die-hard fans. I must mention that while playing, Joe broke a bass sting but that did not stop
Audiobox him. He continued playing while someone put a new string on for him during the song and compensated without affecting the song. Very impressive! These guys play all over the place, including a show that Defiant put together at The Chameleon Club on September 6th. Pick up your copy of their new CD ‘Lesson Learned’ or find them on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and YouTube. The next day we found ourselves at the 11th Annual DrunkenPuppet Show put on by Jonny from Suicide Puppets. Despite the hot, humid weather, it was a great time with lots of food, friends and music. We arrived a little late to the party and missed the first band Link Lancelot but we were able to catch Dead Cowboy, Throwback 202, Madness at Midnight and the beginning of Decipher Life. We had to head out to catch another show, so we missed Suicide Puppets and Awesomely Strong play as well. We will be catching Throwback 202, Madness at Midnight and Suicide Puppets when they play at Vogfest so I will have more to include on them in the next issue. There was a memorable moment I feel I need to talk about. While Throwback 202 were playing, Ariana Troni got up on stage and blew everyone away.
Wow, that girl can sing!! I didn’t really get a chance to talk with her but I am sure we will cross paths again very soon. Great job Ariana! That evening we headed to XL Live with our friends Brian and Michelle. The opening band was a band I have heard of but never had the opportunity to see, The April Skies from the Hershey/Harrisburg area. Members include founding member Jake Crawford: guitar/vocals, Jason Leidich: bass/vocals, Mark
Madness at Midnight
Higgins: keyboard/vocals and Mitchell Curry: drums. Originally formed and inspired by college/alternative radio in the late 80’s, they came to life in the early 90’s. They played several originals along with covers from REM and The Cure which made me a happy camper. I had every intention on talking with these gentlemen after their show but I was called backstage and missed my opportunity. I was able to connect through Facebook
The April Skies and they told me they are working on a new release. They are available for gigs and actively playing tour dates throughout the northeast. Be assured, I will be keeping an eye out on this one for any local shows! You can follow them on their website at www.theaprilskies.com The final band for the evening was an INXS tribute band called, KICK - The INXS Experience. They are from Greenville, SC and are the USA’s only internationally touring INXS tribute band. Lead singer Cory Massi auditioned for the show Rockstar: INXS in 2004 and although he did not land the role, he continued to respect and admire the late Michael Hutchence. 10 months after returning home from the audition, he put together this band. Along with his bandmates Don Leslie, Johny Dee, Mark Goodnough, Todd King, Jason Taylor and Tom Wheat, they managed to capture the sound of INXS. It was a fun show and made me realize how many INXS songs I knew! That wraps things up for us in August. We packed a lot in this month in a very short time and now we are off the rest of the month to unwind in the woods and get caught up on KICK /inxs some things around the house. Look for us out in September and be sure to say hello! Hopefully, September brings cooler temps. and bigger crowds! With school starting, it’s the perfect excuse to take a break from the kids and homework and support our local music scene. Peace out, Girl Scouts!
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THE PROFESSOR By Jim Price
Time flies when you’re having fun, and this summer flew by fast! A few more weeks of outdoor live music festivities remain before it all starts to head back indoors for the colder weather season. Enjoy it while it lasts! Every so often, special moments remind me of why I continue to celebrate local music each month in PA Musician and on 105.9 Qwik-Rock’s radio airwaves each week. One such moment happened early last month as I attended the annual Flood City Music Festival in Johnstown. The first group I saw upon arriving during the festival’s first day, Friday, was renowned Minnesota Twin Cities-based blues, jazz and roots group Davina and the Vagabonds, who have performed across the country and internationally, and have appeared on BBC Television, NPR and PBS. Group namesake Davina Lozier (for-
merly Sowers) grew up in the Altoona area, and this was my first time seeing her perform live since her Altoona days, when she guest-sang with Felix & the Hurricanes at Peter C’s nearly two decades ago. I chatted with Davina briefly after her Flood City performance as I purchased a copy of the group’s brand new album, “Sugar Drops,” which was released that same day. Davina recalled that the first time she had ever seen her name appear in print was when I first wrote about her in PA Musician during that Peter C’s appearance with the Hurricanes. Other musicians have told me before that seeing their name on our pages for the first time inspired them to keep doing what they were doing and stick with music; it was especially heartening to hear Davina share that recollection, and see the great heights she has attained in her music career so far. Davina and the Vagabonds’ performance was one of my favorite highlights of this year’s Flood City Music Festival. Singing and playing piano, Davina and this day’s cast of Vagabonds – husband Zack Lozier on trumpet and vocals, Jacob Melsha on trombone, Chano Cruz on upright bass and Connor McRae Hammergren on drums and vocals – quickly roused the crowd with their feisty blend of blues, soul and jazz. The timing of this appearance was perfect, as the group was releasing
their new CD, “Sugar Drops,” on this very day, and they performed some songs from the new disc including “Devil Horns” and the title song “Sugar Drops.” They also did the title from their 2014 album “Sunshine” (with Davina delivering a perfectly-placed knuckle crack as part of the rhythm!), “St. Michael vs. the Devil,” “Start Running,” “Pocket,” plus their unique renditions of Fats Waller’s “Louisiana Fairytale” (familiar to many as the former theme song from the TV show “This Old House”), Louis Armstrong’s “My Monday Date,” Lovin Spoonful’s
“Daydream,” a boppin’ version of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’” to close their set and more. Davina took charge from the get-go, channeling the influences of famous blues women like Billie Holiday, Etta James and Bessie Smith into a boisterous style all her own. Her voice and personality shined from start to end, and her cast of Vagabonds supported her with spirited, grooving and often playful arrangements. This performance was fun from start to end, and the crowd applause grew louder as the set progressed. Many other stellar performances highlighted this year’s Flood Music Festival as well…Austin, Texas-based Latin funk group Brownout brought their special Brownout Presents: Brown Sabbath show full force, as – eight members strong including three-piece horn section – Brownout celebrated the music of early-era Black Sabbath with a brassy Latin flair. They showed that a brass section and Latin-styled percussion could bring the firepower on Black Sabbath favorites like “The Wizard,” “N.I.B.” “Iron Man,” “Children of the Grave,” “Sweet Leaf,” “Electric Funeral” into “War Pigs,” their encore of “Supernaut” and “Fairies Wear Boots,” and many more… The “Ice Queen,” Sue Foley, and her band dazzled the audience with scorching electric blues, including numbers from her “Ice Queen” CD plus other tunes, flamenco-flavored acoustic numbers and more. Sue displayed mesmerizing guitar work and a strong, soulful voice along the way…Saturday night hitmaking headliners the Gin Blossoms electrified the crowd with their performance, celebrating their catalog of popular radio songs like “Allison Road,” “Found Out About You,” “Follow You Down,” “Til I Hear It From You” and the set-capping “Hey Jealousy,” tunes from their latest album “Mixed Reality” such as “Break,” “Wonder” and “Mega Pawn King,” plus a version of Tom Petty’s “Even the Losers” and for the encore, Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”…Returning to Johnstown, Bill Kirchen woke the crowd early Saturday afternoon with his mix of rock’n’roll, blues, honky tonk and more. He dazzled constantly on his Fender Telecaster guitar, but also pleasantly surprised the crowd by breaking out a trombone during “Milk Cow Blues.” And true to form, he and his band closed out their set with “Hot Rod Lincoln,” the song he helped popularize in 1972 as a member of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen; as the lyrical continued on page 17
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THE PROFESSOR continued..... auto race heated up, Bill treated the audience to a rapid-fire collection of riffs from 30-plus legendary groups and artists, spanning Johnny Cash to the Ventures to Earl Scruggs to Iggy Pop to Chuck Berry to Link Wray to “The Kings” (Freddy, B.B., Albert, Ben E., Carole, and – plucking his guitar strings like a tennis racket – Billy Jean) to Elvis to the Beatles to the Sex Pistols, Jimi Hendrix and more!...Brooklyn’s Red Baraat closed out Friday night’s festivities with a high-powered, worldly sound – mixing elements of Indian music (including bandleader Sunny Jain playing a dhol, a double-headed Indian drum) with funk, jazz, hip-hop and raw rock energy. Six members strong, Red Baraat kept the crowd dancing with everything from Bollywood movie songs to percussion jams and more. Local and regional performers represented well during Flood City Music Festival…Pittsburgh’s Adler & Barath Blues Band provided hearty blues during their Friday night set. Guitarist Jimmy Adler and harmonica player Charlie Barath shared singing duties on their original song creations, backed by drummer Gordon Grottenthaler and bassist Gerry Borish… At least ten musicians strong, Johnstown’s Jeff Webb and the Delectable Sound made a joyful sound with their wide-ranging blend of original songs and select covers. Fronted by namesake Jeff on lead vocals and keys, the group did songs off their recently-issued debut CD “Crossroads,” as well as well-crafted takes on numbers from Van Morrison, Bill Withers, the set-ending Joe Cocker version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” and more…Johnstown’s Jeff Perigo & Friends sounded good on their mixture of blues-based original songs and select covers. Jeff on acoustic guitar and vocals, Scott Jeffreys on bass, Seth Shumaker on mandolin and Brad Barron on acoustic guitar performed some of Jeff’s original songs such as the waltz-toned “Writing Songs” and “Feel Like a Fool,” plus numbers from Willie Nelson, Jimmy Cliff and more…And Johnstown’s Afro N’at slammed the lid on the Festival with their feverish Saturday night performance. Eight members strong including three-piece horn contingent, Afro N’at kept the music and the action constant, doing their own funky original compositions, as well as offering their own feisty reads of Average White Band’s “Pick Up the Pieces,” an instrumental take on Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” percussion jams and more.
Also during Flood City Music Festival, I enjoyed performances from Ghost Light, Cowboy Mouth (at least the last two minutes of their performance that I got to witness), Dale Watson, National Park Radio and The Plate Scrapers. I unfortunately missed sets by Elias Khouri and Essential Machine. I enjoyed many more outdoor highlights recently as well, including performances during the final day of the annual Duncansville Community Days celebration in late July. I arrived in time to catch the last couple of songs from Johnstown’s Three Of Hearts. Performing in 90-degree heat and humidity, the cast of singer/bassist Duaine Detrick, drummer/singer John Shimko, guitarist Joe Tirpak and drummer Tom Romanek nonetheless sounded sharp on versions of Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally” and Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music.” Afterward, R2B2 brought the rock, pop and dance party to finish the day. Rick Wertz on guitar, vocals and percussion, Mary Villani on vocals and keys, Ric Criste on guitar and vocals, Fritz Wyland on bass and vocals and Beau Saller on drums and vocals performed their uplifting mix of sounds. Mary and Rick did the lion’s share of lead singing, but everyone fronted the group on at least one song. From behind the kit, Beau sang lead on Delbert McClinton’s “Standing on Shaky Ground,” while Fritz led the group on War’s “Low Rider,” and Ric sang lead on T. Rex’s “Get It On,” Romantics’ “What I Like About You” and R2B2’s take on “Mustang Sally.” R2B2 kept the crowd happy and had folks young and old up and dancing on numbers from Pink, KC & the Sunshine Band, Jennifer Lopez, Walk The Moon, Meghan Trainor, B-52’s, DNCE, Portugal the Man, Van Morrison, Shania Twain and many more. Despite heat and humidity, these five musicians had fun engaging the crowd and putting smiles on people’s faces. I caught my first look at Kristi Jean and Her Ne’er Do Wells in late July during one of the installments of the Sunday evening concert series at Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte. The group played as a quintet this night, as Bill Wilgus – filling in for both Dave Mudgett and Mike Russell on guitar – joined singer and namesake Kristi Jean, lead guitarist Steve Branstetter, Jim Baughman on doghouse bass and drummer Sean Hershey. This group kept the crowd happy with their “country-billy collision” of roots, rockabilly, country and Texas swing sounds. Front and center, Kristi Jean led the group with her bright, cheery person-
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ality and uplifting voice, with the rest of the group providing tight and tasteful backdrops behind her. They tapped the Patsy Cline catalog a few times, doing versions of “Got a Lot of Rhythm in My Soul,” “Seven Lonely Days,” “Leavin’ On Your Mind,” “Stop, Look and Listen” and the Patsy take on “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home.” Among their other numbers were takes on Hank Thompson’s “Cryin’ in the Deep Blue Sea,” Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin,’” Charline Arthur’s “I’m Having a Party All By Myself,” Wanda Jackson’s “Funnel of Love,” and to end the performance, Bobby Charles/Bill Haley’s “See You Later Alligator.” The crowd enjoyed this rootsy mix, and it was cool to observe a few older audience members bobbing heads and grooving in their seats to songs they probably hadn’t heard in a while. I caught the next-to-final installment of this year’s Alive at Five Summer Concert Series at Altoona’s Railroaders Museum in late July, headlined by Dave Matthews Band tribute act Rhyme & Reason. Opening the show was the official full-band debut of new Altoona-based rock group August Wake. This group features a cast of familiar area musicians: singer/ guitarist Matt Wagner, former Nevermoure/Vs. the Earth bassist Big Dawg, former Pistol Peg & the Beer Kegs lead guitarist Joe Scott, drummer Manny Barbazzeni and keyboardist/trumpeter Nate Beatty. August Wake introduced their brand of melody-based, acoustic-driven rock music, mixing original songs from their just-released debut EP “Mistakes I’ve Made” with mostly 1990s-era rock favorites from Matchbox 20, Pearl Jam, Sister Hazel and more. Their original songs were catchy, and the group even resurrected some of Matt’s older solo originals such as “Cycle” and “You Never Know.” Matt’s voice sounded in excellent form, and the group provided strong backing harmonies along the way. August Wake received increasing cheers as they went along, and finished strong with their powerful closer, “Throne” from the EP, highlighted by Joe drilling an intense guitar solo behind his neck! (Nate Beatty has since left the band to devote time to other musical endeavors.) Formed in 2001, New Jersey’s Rhyme & Reason followed with two sets celebrating the music and performance of the Dave Matthews Band (DMB). This group largely captured the sound and vibe of DMB live; singer and rhythm guitarist Rob Messina closely sounded like
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THE PROFESSOR continued.....
Sue Foley & Leo Valvasori
Adam DiFlaniano of Skye 2.0
Alex Marrera of Brownout presents Brown Sabbath
Autumn Grooves Wagner of This Albatross
Chloe Wieczorek & Kelly Mednis of Jeff Webb & the Delectable Sound
John Altieri of Red Baraat
Alec Zander Redd of Afro N’at
Davina of Davina & the Vagabonds
Jeff of Jeff Webb & the Delectable Sound
Felix Kos of the Hurricanes
Robin Wilson of Gin Blossoms
Lynn Ligammari of Red Baraat
Scott Hessel of the Gin Blossoms Mary Villani of R2B2
HOT SHOTS, SHOT HOT 18
Kent Tonkin of Jim Donovan & the Sun King Warriors
by Jim Price / See all JP’s Shots at facebook.com/PA Musician Magazine Pennsylvania Musician Magazine
Dave Matthews, plus established a fun and friendly rapport with the Railroaders Museum crowd. The band around him was solid, and violinist James Sattler frequently dazzled with his solo displays and flavoring he contributed to the songs. Randy Parker played lead guitar, Jimmy Knight played bass, and Bob Elliott played drums. After kicking off their first set with “Too Much,” Rhyme & Reason followed with “What Would You Say,” and proceeded to mix popular and lesser-known DMB tunes. Some highlights included a version of Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle,” “The Space Between” a mesmerizing edition of “Don’t Drink the Water,” “Crush,” “Tripping Billies,” “Crash Into Me” and their popular interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” to close the set. The group welcomed August Wake’s Nate Beatty on stage to blow some trumpet on “Ants Marching.” When the Railroaders Museum crowd quickly demanded more, Rhyme & Reason returned to do one more, “I Hope You’ll Be By Me Then.” Rhyme & Reason was well-received by the Railroaders Museum crowd, who stuck around for the duration to capture every last note from the group. Also taking place at the Railroaders Museum was last month’s 13th annual Day Of Rock benefit concert, a day of music raising money for the We Care Foundation of Central PA, which helps out children with physical disabilities. Some of the day’s early performers included Avenue Of Kings, the Ben Dumm Band, It Is Written and Bone Jacked. Performing during band changeovers, Jae Smith was on the stage when I first arrived; through several visits to the stage, he strummed guitar and sang a mix of 1990s and modern rock favorites from Gaslight Anthem, Better Than Ezra, Ataris, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Social Distortion and more. Railtowne then took the show in a country direction, doing favorites from Luke Combs, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Big & Rich, Jason Aldean and more. Fyre showcased original metal music, performing songs from their recently-issued “2 Keys” album, plus powerful versions of Dio’s “Holy Diver” and Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight.” Downshift then fired up the crowd with their rowdy blend of rock and metal favorites; including tunes from Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Gin Blossoms, Billy Idol, Alice In Chains, a Metallica medley, and a powerful take on Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell” to close their set. With a passing thunderstorm providing some sky-tosky lightning illumination behind them, Matt Pletcher and his band kept folks happy with their mix of mostly country-geared original songs and favorites. Matt on lead vocals and guitar, lead guitarist Kenny Murdick, Nate Beatty on bass and Randy Servello on drums did songs off Matt’s “Sure Thing” CD such as the title track, “Somethin’ I Can Dance To” and “For You,” plus numbers from Georgia Satellites, Hank Williams Jr., Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and – finishing the set – a take on Foo Fighters’ “Everlong.” Shallow 9 then fired up their dance party mix to close the show, mixing pop, modern rock, funk, dance and hip-hop favorites. With Erika Marino and Mike Stanley providing most of the lead singing and raps, Shallow 9 kept folks dancing and grooving with several hip-hop and funk medleys, as well as numbers from Outkast, Lady Gaga, House Of Pain, Panic! At the Disco, Michael Jackson and more. This year’s Day Of Rock was successful, raising more than $2,000 for the We Care Foundation. The fourth annual Vets Fest took place early last month outside at Altoona’s Unter Uns Musical & Entertainment Society, raising funds for the Vietnam Veterans of America Blair County Chapter 967, which helps out area veterans in need. Five groups donated their talents this day; following singer Anna Oberneder’s rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner,” Kickin’ provided the afternoon’s first set. A new Altoona-based group featuring singer and acoustic guitarist Sean Osborn, lead guitarist Craig Albright, keyboardist Barry Yeager, sax player Ted Ellis, bassist Kevin Mitchell and drummer (and show organizer) Bill Hocherl; Kickin’ set the afternoon’s tone with numbers from Jimmy Buffett, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond and more. Next was Flashpoint, who took the music in a classic rock direction. Singer/guitarist Don Osborn, bassist/singer Bill Hunter, keyboardist/singer Ken Civils and drummer Jeff Crownover performed tunes from the Black Crowes, Hollies, Steely Dan, the Beatles, Stevie Ray Vaughan and more. Don and Ken remained on stage for the next group, as Skye 2.0 celebrated 1970s-era hard and progressive rock favorites. Don, Ken, singer/keyboardist Adam DiFlaviano, bassist Kris Civils and drummer Bill Hocherl did numbers from Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Yes, Boston and more. Skye 2.0 isn’t afraid to dig deep for their song selections; pulling out an interlude from “Jesus Christ Sucontinued on page 19...
THE PROFESSOR continued..... perstar,” King Crimson’s “Court of the Crimson King” and – possibly as the only band ever to cover this song – a rendition of “Children of the Universe” by forgotten early 1970s British progressive rockers Flash! Following them was M.F.G., who performed a set of all-original rock. Joining the group’s founding core of guitarist/singer John McKelvey, drummer Skip Fisher and singer, guitarist and keyboardist Bobby Gates were Steve Campbell on bass and backing singer Lane Williamson. M.F.G. did numbers from their two CD’s, including “Don’t Kill the Moment,” “Lauren,” “Lucas and Me,” “Starfish,” “Brighton Girls” and more. And providing the sound system this day, This Albatross capped the day, quickly filling the dance floor as they performed upbeat favorites from Kenny Loggins, Joan Jett, Madonna, Billy Squier, Stevie Nicks, Blondie, Shania Twain and many more. The day also saw an appearance by Miss Pennsylvania International 2019, Ashlyn Riccione, who is actively working to help connect veterans with services available to them. Vets Fest saw good attendance, and the day was successful. The second annual Altoona First Frontier Festival took place in late July, with events at both downtown Altoona’s Mishler Theatre and Heritage Plaza. Two concerts happened at the Mishler; a Friday night concert featuring The Clarks and Bill Kirchen, and a Saturday night concert featuring the Steep Canyon Rangers and Elizabeth Cook. I caught half of the Saturday afternoon outdoor concert at Heritage Plaza. Stephanie & the Wild Hearts and R2B2 performed before my arrival, but I got there in time to see Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats and Jim Donovan & the Sun King Warriors. One of the joys for me of seeing Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats is witnessing first-time observers whenever they hear “Miss Melanie” Morrison Zeigler’s incredible voice for the first time…Such was the case this day, as I saw awestruck expressions when Melanie belted out her potent voice on the group’s mix of blues and soul originals and select covers. And Jim Donovan & the Sun King Warriors closed the afternoon with their energetic mix of original rock, vintage rock and “2 tons of drums.” The group’s namesake, Jim, led the group on a number of original tunes off their two CD’s plus a few new compositions as well. The group also did select covers from The Record Company, Golden Earring (with bassist
Kent Tonkin singing lead on “Radar Love,” and for the encore, Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun” and Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way.” Johnstown’s Flood City Brass closed out the summer concert series last month at Altoona’s Valley View County Park Amphitheater. Ten musicians filled the stage this day – singers Natalie Kurchak and Tom Pavic, the brass contingent of sax players Jen Schrift, Greg Maiocco and trumpeter Dan Perich, lead guitarist Randy Rutherford, rhythm guitarist John Kurchak, keyboardist Luis Gonzalez III, bassist Andy Heinze and drummer/ singer John Homerski Jr. Flood City Brass made it fun for the large contingent of onlookers in attendance, who thoroughly enjoyed the group’s wide assortment of brassy classic rock, pop, soul, funk and blues favorites. Natalie’s powerful and soulful voice grabbed everyone’s attention right off the bat as she led the group on the opening rendition of Aretha Franklin’s classic “Chain of Fools,” and the group fired up the brass party from there with tunes from the Sanford-Townsend Band, Quarterflash, Chicago, Bruce Springsteen, Doobie Brothers, Donna Summer, Steely Dan, Sly & the Family Stone, Delbert McClinton and more. Highlights included Jen’s sax solo work on Quarterflash’s “Harden My Heart,” Greg’s sax solo on Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are,” Randy’s scorching guitar solo during Gary Moore’s “Still Got the Blues” and more. Coupled with perfect weather, Flood City Brass’ performance provided an excellent way to spend an early Sunday evening I also took in the final day of last month’s annual St. Bernard’s Homecoming celebration in Hastings. Performing as I arrived and quickly procured one of the church’s legendary hot sausage sandwiches was Rick Ramsey. Rick always delivers an entertaining performance; this day he performed his anything-goes mix of grunge-toned rock’n’roll, country, blues, soul and more. Not using a set list, Rick goes where the muse carries him – this day it was Johnny Cash and old-school country into 1970s, 1980s, 1990s tunes, oldies, TV show themes, 1980s Brit pop and more. Unexpected twists and turns provided some highlights – including turning a request for ZZ Top into a mash-up of “Cheap Sunglasses” into the traditional “Man of Constant Sorrow,” an Elvis medley suddenly veering into an Elvis-flavored take on “The Jeffersons Theme Song (Movin’ continued on page 20...
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THE PROFESSOR continued..... On Up),” “Hee Haw” tunes and many more. PT Cruiser then provided the nightcap. This group has a new guitarist since I last saw them, with Rob Sottile now handling guitar and vocal duties alongside bassist/singer Bill Kibler, singer/guitarist Mike Hoover and drummer/singer Rick Morealli. PT Cruiser sounded great on their wide-ranging variety of rock and country favorites from the 1960s to now. These guys were tight and sharp on their instruments and vocal harmonies, and they kept their variety of tunes flowing smoothly; including numbers from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Morrison, Roy Orbison, CCR, The Contours, The McCoys, Beach Boys, BTO, Rolling Stones, Billy Idol, Luke Bryan and many more. The Random Hubiak paid a visit to Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe in State College last month. A Pennsylvania musician and Penn State graduate who now calls the Jersey shore his home base, Random sang and played keys as he showcased a selection of his original compositions. His music and style were captivating; he blends the quarkiness and whimsical tones of Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson with hints of Billy Joel, Elton John, David Bowie, Tom Waits and Ben Folds Five to create a distinctive sound all his own. His original tunes display detailed melodies, intricate piano work and fast-firing, busy lyrics. Random mixed songs from several of his CD’s, with a slight emphasis on his 2013 album “Memoirs of a Manwhore: The Reeling Waltz of a Drunken Lothario.” Some of the numbers included the title track to his latest EP “Sad Sack,” “Jump into the River,” “Snarky Kiss-Off Song,” “Anchors Aweigh,” “Affected Disaffection,” “My Fix,” “The Trick,” “The Politics of Pleasure,” the new number “These Are Trying Times,” “Halcyon Daze” and more. Random told stories and shared inspirations for each song he played, and the Webster’s audience – many enjoying a Sunday brunch - liked his performance. Other performances I saw recently included visits by New York horror punk rockers Chesty Malone & the Slice ‘Em Ups, Toledo blues-rock trio Jojo Stella, Syracuse-based ‘heady’ metal rockers One Step From Falling and Pittsburgh’s Young Lungs at McGarvey’s…Felix & the Hurricanes as they opened for an Altoona Curve baseball game at Altoona’s People’s Natural Gas Field…And while I vacationed at North Carolina’s Out-
er Banks last month, I saw Atlanta-based funk group Voodoo Visionary at the Tap Shack in Duck, NC, and acoustic performer Gary, who plays six nights a week at Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet in Kitty Hawk…So many shows, but limited space! The local and regional music scene were saddened by the passings of more friends and members in recent weeks… Alex Richardson, the former bass player of Johnstown-based hard rock band Silver Screen, passed away unexpectedly on Aug. 9. Also known by his nickname “Tuba,” Alex was 24 years old…Scott Sprankle, longtime sound engineer for Harrisburg-based hard rockers Steel, passed away on Aug. 13 following a battle with cancer. He was 52…And longtime popular State College performer Ken Volz passed on Aug. 20 after his battle with cancer. Ken was 63. During the past several decades, Ken became popular singing and playing guitar as a solo artist, in collaborations and with the popular band The Screaming Ducks. We at the “Homegrown Rocker” extend our heartfelt sympathies to the surviving families and friends of all three men. News and notes…The Clarks, Jim Donovan & the Sun King Warriors, Brownie Mary and the Jukehouse Bombers will be among the performers at this month’s Northern Appalachian Folk Festival, happening Sept. 6-7 in downtown Indiana…The 15th annual Greenwood Furnace Folk Gathering takes place Sept. 6-8 at Greenwood Furnace State Park near Huntingdon… After a few years of hibernation, area rockers Roadkill will reconvene for a special 30th anniversary benefit event on Sept. 13 at the Slovak Club in Osceola Mills; proceeds benefit the Lisa’s Ladybugs Patient Care Fund. Roadkill will also release a new CD, “Still Alive And…Well?”…The former Crowbar in State College has reopened as a new live music venue, the Re//Bar; Lenina Crowne, Green Eggs and Giants Of Science performed to help launch the new venue in late August…Naildriver has closed the book following a 12-year run on area stages; band members will be moving on to other projects…Chris Vipond & the Stanley Street Band is reportedly working on new music; the group recently added guitar player Ben Eberhart to their roster…Pittsburgh rock’n’soul group The Commonheart released their second full-length CD, “Pressure,” last month… 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!
PA MUSICIAN REVIEWS By Jim Price
NATE GATES – GHOST ON THE RIVER (no label) Roaring Spring-based singer and songwriter Nate Gates has been creating music for the past two decades, and developing his distinctive style of roots-based original American rock and roll along the way. Nate’s latest CD, Ghost on the River, features 20 original songs that tap flavors spanning rock, folk, punk, traditional blues and honky-tonk. These songs become a musical tapestry of Nate’s world, as he weaves often cynical vignettes based on his experiences, observations and perspectives about the times, places and people he has encountered. With Nate singing, playing various guitars and harmonica, a number of area music scene guests help shape his stories; including album co-producer Chris Rattie on drums, percussion, bass, keys and backing vocals; Chad Buterbaugh with lead and slide guitar, Gus Tritsch on fiddle, Mike Hill and Nate Cutshall on
harmonicas, and Kai Schafft on banjo. A Neil Young & Crazy Horse country-rock vibe permeates the disc-opener “It Don’t Matter Anymore, depicting desperation and desolation in the rust belt. Reminiscences about that rust belt – particularly Pittsburgh – provide the basis for the rockabilly-geared title track “Ghosts on the River.” “Cassey” and “Valley Blues” display blue collar blues, while electric delta-flavored blues powers the rowdy and caustic stomp “Idols Fall.” In a softer vein, the soulful “Driftin’” and slow blues of “Long As I Got a Window” wax reflective, dreamy and contemplative. Nate offers a biting reality check on the edgy “Freewillfreeluvfreetrade” and the rockabilly rant “Everybody Sees the Brick Wall Comin’ But Nobody’s Stoppin’ the Train,” delivers social commentary on corporate-run society with the rowdy “Rebel Child,” and observes the transition between past and current plagues on “From the Hollar to the Hood.” Nate explores doo wop on “Gonna Walk” and honky-tonk flavors on “Almost Saw the Eclopse,” while Bob Dylan-ish folk informs “Skylight (With Apologies to OB Hardison),” “Never I Said” and the disc-finisher “Tomorrow’s Here…Now What?” Nate’s passionate, raspy and acidic vocal provides a connecting thread throughout the set, and his wordplays are frequently thought-provoking and visceral. Co-procontinued on page 21...
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duced by Nate and Chris Rattie, and mixed and mastered by Daniel Collins, Ghost on the River merges classic rock, blues and folk atmosphere with a punk-edged bite, enabling the power of Nate’s words and music to fully radiate. The result is a compelling listen; Nate Gates successfully channels ghosts of traditional cutting-edge American roots music into his own vibrant musical flavor on Ghost on the River, and repeat listens enable the full strength of this body of work to shine. (This album can be obtained through CD Baby and other online platforms.) IRON WOLF – STRONG NEVER BROKEN (Iron Fury Records) Based in Ligonier, brothers Alec and Austin Wolf formed Iron Wolf in 2011. Soon joining Alec on bass and Austin on guitar and keys were their friend Blake Brendlinger on guitar and another brother, Andrew Wolf, on drums. On their debut album, Strong Never Broken, Iron Wolf introduces their classic heavy metal sound, rooted in the traditions of Yngwie Malmsteen, Ronnie Dio-era Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and more. The group crafts anthemic and majestic compositions with rolling thunder rhythms, flowing melodies, lead guitar harmonies and virtuosity, and lavish vocal choruses and harmonies over the disc’s 11 tracks. The group’s lyrical subject matter explores familiar classic metal themes of warriors, bravery, battles and unity. The group sets the album’s tone with the opening combo, with the medieval-flavored instrumental prelude “The Hunt” setting up their title song “Iron Wolf,” which rides a rumbling arrangement that culminates in a layered, choirlike chorus homestretch. The group paints mystical lyrical and sonic imagery with the sturdy rockers “Darkness,” “Hellfire” and “Fear,” before showing a more aggressive edge with “Invaders.” “Nightmare” and the faster-paced “Riders of the Night” channel a more prominent Iron Maiden influence, while “Evil Angel” shows a more Sabbath-toned flavor. The group then delivers the masterful album title track “Strong Never Broken,” featuring a powerful melody backed with an elaborate arrangement and instrumental detail; before the prog-metal epic “The End” fittingly closes out the set. Iron Wolf’s overall presentation is strong; all four musicians show plentiful skill on their respective instruments, with tight execution, fluid soloing and guitar harmonies. Alec and Austin Wolf display bold, soaring voices up front, and the group’s intricate vocal harmonies add color and depth to the group’s presentation. Recorded and produced by the group in their own Iron Fury Records studio, Strong Never Broken sounds full, powerful and clear from start to end, with all instrumental components and vocal performances shining through clearly. Iron Wolf delivers an impressive debut with Strong Never Broken, proudly carrying the torch for the majesty and artistry of classic 1980s-era heavy metal. (The CD can be obtained through the website http://ironwolfsnb.bigcartel.com.) FYRE – 2 KEYS (no label) Altoona’s Fyre first established their adventurous brand of progressive, classic-styled metal music on their 2017 debut CD, III Ghosts, a concept album spinning a Faustian tale of selling one’s soul to evil forces. Fyre continues with a similar theme on their follow-up disc, 2 Keys, another concept album dealing with issues of choosing good or evil. This album follows a supernatural storyline of a protagonist examining his inner mind to encounter and mitigate the evils that lie within. The instrumental cast of (now former) lead guitarist Zach Kensinger, rhythm guitarist Sean Stringer, (now former) bassist Joe Earnest and drummer Tanner Kaurudar construct tense, busy, leviathan backdrops rooted in the traditions of Iron Maiden, 2112-era Rush and early Queensryche. Lead singer Matt Stoyanoff again takes center stage with his high-flying voice, occupying a soaring middle ground between classic
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Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate and Fly By Night-period Geddy Lee, while a few times morphing into bestial death metal snarls as his lyrics encounter the story’s dark forces. Fyre sets the album’s theme with “The Lurking Fear,” as the protagonist ponders addiction and looming evil, and what to do about it. The plot
thickens with “Premonition,” thus beginning a journey into the dark crevices of the mind. Trouble looms and tension builds on “Into the Void,” leading to the chaotic “The One Who Sleeps.” The bluesy-leaning “Ghosts of the Stratosphere” finds our protagonist arriving at the juncture of his past and future. This leads to the CD’s climax, Fyre’s 8-minute-plus epic “The Life and Times of a Demi-God”…With guest and studio guru Cody Hoover manning the keys, the composition starts with Matt’s wife, Denice Stoyanoff, singing lead as the protagonist’s tour guide to a pivotal crossroads, which musically plays out with a continued on page 22...
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monstrous midsection and torrid backstretch, leading into a gentle homestretch where the vocal duet of Matt and Denice lead the protagonist to safety. The return to sanity and redemption continues with “Back to the Past,” before the disc-closer “The Onyx Skull” suggests that the struggle between good and evil is never totally resolved. Fyre raises the bar here; the songwriting is more elaborate and cohesive, and the melodies more defined. The instrumental execution is tighter and sounds cleaner, and Matt Stoyanoff’s voice sounds mightier and more poised. Fyre ups the ante on their mythos with 2 Keys, pushing the boundaries of their musicality and lyrical storytelling. This album should satisfy fans of progressive metal, while whetting their appetites for whatever Fyre next has in store (The CD can be obtained at shows or through Fyre’s Bandcamp page.) WRATH OF TYPHON – KINGDOM OF FEAR (no label) Wrath of Typhon came together a decade ago to bring their brand of savage metal maelstrom upon the world. Their second full-length CD, Kingdom of Fear, finds the York foursome proudly tapping their influences as they forge their own distinctive style of aggressive power metal. Slayer, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath inform the group’s collective sound, and the group blends elements of classic, thrash, power and death metal into a terse, 11-song set. Frontman Jason Robison unleashes vocal savagery, ranging from maniacal howls to monstrous death metal growls to soaring screams – backed with bristling backdrops generated by guitarist Bill Miskowitz, drummer Dave Miskowitz and bassist Alan Derrick. Yet savage as their metal is, Wrath Of Typhon infuses effective melodies and hooks into the mix, giving these songs direction and purpose. True to their name, Wrath Of Typhon’s lyrics often involve deal with forms of wrath brought on by man, nature, nations, corruption and more. The volatile assault “Livermore” examines nature’s wrath on locations called Livermore – a town in California devastated in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and a western Pennsylvania town of the same name ravaged by floodwaters in 1936. The rumbling “Son of Sam” recalls the wrath of New York serial killer David Berkowitz, exploring the voices in his head that directed his killing spree. Wrath Of Typhon forecasts a bleak future on “Extinction of Possibilities,” while the album’s Sabbathy title track “Kingdom of Fear” describes an evil empire. The performances are enthusiastic and forceful; Jason displays presence and intensity, and his jagged voice sells the songs’ fierce lyrical themes. Bill generates malicious riffs and scorching guitar solos, while Dave and Alan anchor the attack with abundant thunder. Recorded and produced by Mike Bardzik at Noisy Little Critter Studio in Downingtown, Kingdom of Fear sounds appropriately thunderous, sharp and balanced, enabling Wrath Of Typhon’s attack to achieve full sonic fury. Wrath Of Typhon administers their convincing power metal wrath on Kingdom of Fear, further defining their terse musical landscape and delivering a volatile journey from start to finish. (The CD can be purchased through the group’s Bandcamp page and CD Baby.)
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