PENNSYLVANIA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
PENNSYLVANIA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
PENNSYLVANIA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
PENNSYLVANIA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
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OUT & ABOUT by RACHEL ROCKS! Every month is crazy busy and tons of fun with all of the bands I get to see and hear, but February is by far the craziest! Not only do I get to go “Out and About” like I usually have the pleasure of doing, but also the Millennium Music Conference comes to town and that is when the craziness really starts. Over 250 Acts and Artists emerge on the Harrisburg area to showcase their talent at 28 different Showcase Venues. It’s not humanly possible for me to be everywhere I possibly want to be, and the snow storm that hit the Saturday night of the MMC really put a damper on things, but I still saw plenty of bands. I will not only be writing this “Out and About” column, about the bands I went “Out” to see, but I will also be writing a “Trade Show Review” article just about the acts I saw perform on our Open Mic stage throughout the 2 Days of the conference. This year we had 56 acts perform for us, THAT is a lot of writing! But I will get it done, make sure and check that article out too! This is the one time of the year where bands have the opportunity to come to ME, and guarantee themselves coverage in the magazine. There is always so much stuff going on every night, and it’s impossible to see everyone, so it’s nice
that they can come to me! Again, read all about that in my other article. Now for the bands I had to go see… The first band of this fun-filled month is SOS. I saw them at The Pour House on Derry St. I was thrilled to see they cleared out some of the tables and rearranged other tables, to make a much bigger dance floor. With SOS in the house, the extra dance room is definitely needed. When I arrived it was packed and everyone was having a blast. They were playing while the Outdoor Show was in town so it was good they knew a couple country songs because they were a big hit with parts of this crowd. SOS is so versatile in all of the different types of music they can cover from Rock to Alternative, to Country, they cover it all! They are great at judging a room and playing the music that keeps that night’s crowd up and dancing, and of course drinking! Check out SOS’s ad in this issue and get out there and support them, or get them booked at your venue, you won’t be disappointed! The next night out I stopped in at Big Woody’s and 2nd Chance Band was on the stage. I saw 2nd Chance Band once before, but this time they had a new bass player and a new guitar player, making their grand total up to 6 members. Big Woody’s doesn’t really have too much space for a band, but they managed to all squeeze in and party the night away. While I was there I saw three different band members singing lead on completely different songs, so obviously this band is pretty versatile too. They even ended their night with some amazing continued on next page...
PENNSYLVANIA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
Out & About continued... sing-a-long Journey! 2nd Chance Band had Big Woody’s packed til even after the last song. It was a great night of music, and I’m glad I got to see them again. This month they are new advertisers, please check out their ad, go see them, or book them at your venue, and let them know that you saw them in the PA Musician Magazine! The next day/night was a very busy one. It all started around 9am at home in Harrisburg, then I went and delivered magazines in Harrisburg, Reading, and Lancaster, which is roughly 8 hours of driving. Then I saw in the magazine that the Bob & Dick Show was playing at TNT Pizza in York, I used my handy dandy smart phone and found out that was only 18 minutes from Drums Etc. so I thought why not? It was fun surprising Bob with the magazines since him and Jen were on the cover with Denmother Music. Even though Bob wanted to be able to check out the magazine, he had to keep playing. I was very proud of his determination. Bob & Dick have been playing music for years and have a very long list of music they can cover. TNT Pizza is another venue that is just starting to have bands there. I hope people get out there and support it. One of the big plusses of TNT Pizza is that it is all age and very family friendly. The Bob and Dick Show had plenty of friends there with their whole families. It’s also BYOB until they get their liquor license. At this show there was actually a boy doing a full headstand during the show! I definitely don’t see that everyday. Please get out there and support this new venue. We need as many venues as we can possibly get. After their early show, I zoomed up 83 to the Silver Lake Inn for Take 147’s show. Talk about packed! That place was ridiculous!! When I got there, they had a guy directing traffic for parking at the gas station across the street. If I thought the parking was bad, the crowd inside was even crazier. It was easier just to walk out the front door and go back in the back door if you wanted to move anywhere else it was so packed with people. The Dirty Place was opening for them when I arrived. This group of guys are local to the Lewisberry area and had the place rockin’. When Take 147 took the stage it got even crazier. It’s one of those venues that everyone is jumping and dancing along and you can literally feel the floor moving below your feet! The Silver Lake said they are working on opening a band room upstairs, I think I’m glad we were on the main level just in case something gave way! Some people love that situation where you are smooshed in like sardines, but personally I like seeing them where you can move, dance, and not feel like you are touching noses with Gretta while she’s singing! It’s always crazy to see all of the “Takers” out there in full force supporting this band. Check out their ad in this issue and see where you can go rock the night away with Take 147! March 14th they will be dominating the stage at Tubby’s in Duncannon. Always a great show with Take 147. Believe it or not, the night still wasn’t over, I finished off the night zooming over to Double K for Smokin’ Gunnz’s last set. Have you checked out Smokin Gunnz’s self-titled CD yet? They’ve been playing some of their originals at their shows for so long I honestly thought they were covers from some other band, especially the song that always gets their crowd dancing, “Raise a Little Hell”, and their song that they dedicate at every show to the men and women in the military, “Lost Heroes”. Both songs are awesome! I’m so glad to finally have them on a CD. I’m glad I took my last bit of energy for the day to go hear these guys. They are just one of those bands that makes you let loose, and forget all of your troubles, and just have a good night listening to good music! If you want to see what their deep fried southern rock is all about, check out their ad in this issue and plan your next night out on the town! Next up I headed back to Double K for Single Barrel. I guess I just didn’t get enough of Bob and Chris at the Smokin’ Gunnz show. Don’t let yourself be fooled though, Smokin’ Gunnz and Single Barrel are not the same! Single Barrel plays more of the Outlaw Country and Rock N’ Roll, even though they do still put their strings into some more of the modern Southern Rock too. I owe Single Barrel’s guitar player CLINT a huge apology, I accidently called him “Ginger” in my last article, which turns out, is his wife’s name instead! I felt awful, because once the magazine is printed there is no going back, so again I apologize. I’m glad that Chris has since changed their “About” section on their Facebook page, and they now have the band member’s names posted and easily accessible. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve gotten told I’ve written wrong information, but for the most part it is exactly what I found on the band’s website, facebook, continued on page 12...
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Out & About continued.... etc. It’s so important to keep your info current, you never know who is going to be looking up your band’s info at any given time. Single Barrel had a great crowd at Double K enjoying the Outlaw Country and calling out re-plays of songs because they were that good! Their songs catch you by surprise because they are not ones you typically here on the radio, so if it’s your first show, chances are it might be the first time you’ve heard the song. If it’s a song about sex, drugs, or rock n’ roll, chances are they’ll play it! Check out Single Barrel’s ad in this issue and get them booked at your venue, you won’t be disappointed! Finally it’s time to cover the Millennium Music Conference 19. It was officially my 8th MMC, so far I’ve loved every one. Last year when my car got totaled I still made the best of it. At any conference you go to, it’s up to you to network, go to the panels, support other musicians showcases, mingle, make introductions, and then follow thru when it’s all over! At the MMC I always stress one of the most important parts of this conference is the Bag Stuffing itself. You make great connections with great people in a small, intimate setting. This year I bet we had 30 or 40 people stuffing bags so it only took us about an hour to stuff 500 bags. Before the bag stuffing I
troll the lobby area looking for bored people I found Chris from Pages & Poets. Check out Pages & Poets on Reverbnation, they have a great story and are on the fast track to success. Two more guys I found were the Gage Brothers. Even though they were the first band at the Opening Party at O’Reilly’s they still took the time to come in and stuff some bags. All weekend I saw all three of those guys everywhere, mingling at the trade show, eating dinner in O’Reilly’s and jamming every chance they got! The official kick-off to the MMC was the Opening Party in O’Reilly’s on Thursday night. The Gage Brothers kicked it off with their acoustic set and it was already a great start to the conference. I’m always so impressed with every band that plays at the MMC. I don’t know how they possibly go through all the bands and pick all the good ones, but they do. The Gage Brothers came in from Akron, Ohio to share their talents with us. Zach played guitar and sang, while Ben took care of the percussion on a cajon, while playing the harmonica, and singing along. Their harmonies were of course spot on and unbelievable! They put their own twist on Folk music, and I liked it! JT & the Mild Heat, a local favorite took the stage next. Even though they are local it seems the only place I ever get a
chance to catch these guys is at the MMC. They have their own special sound depending on what song they are playing, I guess you could call it blues punk rock, if you had to call it something, but you can tell watchting these guys they’ve been playing together a long time and they simply like to jam! It’s always a blast watching them and this night was no different. The last band of the night was Fuzzy Lifting Drink, also known as Observe the 93rd acoustic. OT93 has undergone some band member changes so as part of their transition time they’ve created this band so they can keep playing while adjusting to their new sound and style. Derek now holds his own on vocals and does an amazing job. The next day was the first full day of the conference. During the trade show from 11-5 we had 31 different acts stop by and play our Open Mic stage. We were extremely blessed this year and our good friend, Dave Russell with Antique Digital Pianos provided us with all of our sound and an amazing stage. We had “controlled” electric which was awesome! There were times throughout the day we had full 6 piece bands playing! Check out all of that coverage in my other special article this month, “MMC Trade Show Review”. Friday night of the conference started out again in O’Reilly’s for dinner. They were smart and had the bands start early. Lindsey Erin was the first band at 6:30. Lindsey is another semi-local musician. She spends half of her time here and half of her time in Nashville writing and recording music. I’ve heard a lot about Lindsey and I’m glad I finally got a chance to see her perform. She has some great originals with a lot of heartfelt lyrics. She’s toured all over the east coast and beyond. She’s currently been playing in schools to fight against bullying, so she’s pretty awesome in my book. I’m sure our paths will cross more in the future. Next up was a solo act, Emma Lane. Emma came down from Rochester, NY. She’s also a country, rock singer with a little bit of blues. O’Reilly’s was absolutely packed but even as a solo act she was still able to hold the crowds attention. Her new single “Little Bit of Somethin’” is on iTunes now. Check it out and get a taste of some of the great music from the MMC. Finally it was time to hit the road and see how many Showcases we could cover in just one night! Lucky for me I had my trust sidekick, and personal secretary, Kristin Bates with me to help keep everything straight and keep me on time. This year I also had another sidekick, Christine Kearns (CK), along for the ride. CK was also the one checking everyone in at the Registration desk at the MMC, so she had the inside scoop on the artists. Our first stop was at Carley’s Piano Bar. When we arrived Elizabeth Findley, also known as The Syncopated Keys was on the piano. Carley’s takes advantage of every bit of space. It’s amazing how the big, grand piano is squeezed into the middle of the venue. Elizabeth wasn’t too far from home, she came down from State College, I’m hoping she makes her way down here more often so I can see her play again. Two of her songs that stuck out to me were “Broken” and “Little Liar,” which is based off the movie Pretty Little Liars. Next was Christina Custode from Niagara Falls. Christina did a great job making her presence known, first by advertising in the PA Musician Magazine, and she was handing out flyers at the Opening Party and throughout the day at the conference, and you could tell her hard work paid off by the amount of people at her Showcase. She even had some of the video guys show up to record parts of her set. Christina has an astounding amount of original music, she is constantly writing new songs. Her song “Fire” is on the MMC Compilation CD. Christina had a great rapport with the audience talking in between songs about the inspiration for some of her songs, and of course promoting her CDs. Her songs just kept flowing flawlessly throughout her set. I’m glad I made it out to her show. Unfortunately I had to move on. I would’ve loved to stay and see Susan Ruth and Matt Vrba, but you can read more about all of these people in my Trade Show Review article. Our next stop was at HMAC, also known as Stage on Herr. They were running a little behind so we were fortunate and got to first catch Epoch Failure. I met these guys the night before and glad I got to see their set. Epoch Failure’s hip-hop/pop urban music is clean and catchy. A CD that I’m sure will quickly become a family favorite. I know one thing for sure I love working out to their CD. For the most part it is inspiring and uplifting music, especially “Champion”. That song also has a great video on Reverbnation worth checking out. I also saw on one of their videos and I was shocked that Nicholas, their one front-man is a Staff Sgt. in the Air National Guard. In his video he talks about how even though you are in the continued on pg 14...
PENNSYLVANIA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
by Eric Hoffman
Greetings Rockers ‘N’ Rollers! The past month included the return of two great National acts. Billy Idol brought his latest tour “Kings & Queens Of The Underground”to the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. A trip down memory lane as the rock icon and longtime bandmate, Steve Stevens played their hits “Rebel Yell,” “White Wedding,” and “Dancing With Myself.” Idol also covered his early Generation X punk band with songs “Ready Steady Go” and “King Rocker.” Billy Idol is back to selling out shows with a huge comeback and critic acclaimed new record released last October. A fantastic band from Oklahoma called BRONCHO opened the show. Their first single “Class Historian” is gaining fast recognition. Fans of Velvet Underground and The Replacements should check out their show March 3 at Baltimore’s Ottobar. Marilyn Manson brought his latest venture “The Hell Not Hallelujah Tour” to a near sell-out Sands Event Center in Bethlehem. The shock rocker is s u p p o r t i n g h i s l a t e s t e ffort “The Pale Emperor” w h i c h released January 20th. Manson included song staples like “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This),” “Personal Jesus,” and “The Beautiful People,” joined by young Brooklyn metal rockers Unlocking The Truth. The Replacements are back. The band is calling their summer tour “Back By Unpopular Demand,” and it’s the “first full U.S. tour” since calling it quits in 1991. Last year, The Replacements returned to its Minnesota roots and headlined Minneapolis’ Midway Stadium, selling all Billy Idol, Eric, & Steve Stevens 14,000 tickets in less than 15 minutes. Today’s Replacements consist of members guitarist/singer/songwriter Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson along with drummer Josh Freese and guitarist David Minehan. The Replacements play Philadelphia’s Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing on May 9th. Sam Smith was king of the 57th Grammy Awards on February 8th, taking home three of the top four awards, including song and record of the year for “Stay With Me,” and best new artist, while Beck won album of the year. There were 23 live performances, and AC/DC began the awards with a performance of their latest single, “Rock or Bust,” and then transitioned into the classic “Highway to Hell.” Kanye West drew attention when he almost walked on stage (again) during Beck’s award acceptance. Kanye, unsatisfied with the result, spoke to the press “Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé.” Beck’s response included, “You can’t please everybody, man. I still love Kanye and think he’s genius. I aspire to do what he does.” Kanye recanted his remarks saying “Beck is one of the nicest guys and one of the most respected musicians in the game, that was a miswording on my part.” Notable artists at the Grammys included: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Prince, Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, Madonna and Lady Gaga. Mötley Crüe announced its 2015 plans, saying the “Final Tour” will wrap in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve. A year ago Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil signed a “cessation of touring” agreement prohibiting any of the members carrying on under the Mötley Crüe moniker. Mötley Crüe manager Chris Nilsson said the decision to quit touring was a “group decision.” Rock legend Alice Cooper, who appeared as the tour’s very special guest in 2014, will continue in that role for many of the North American dates. Mötley Crüe visits Hershey’s Giant Center onAugust 11th. Faith No More have reunited again touring for the second time in 16 years. The alternative rock band is also releasing its first LP since 1997’s “Album of the Year.” Their North Russ Brooks & Michael Guerrini American tour concludes with a sold-out show at of Dirt Cheap with Eric Philadelphia’s Electric Factory on May 15th. Dates have been released for The Ting Tings as Katie White and Jules DeMartino extend their North American tour in support of their latest album, “Super Critical.” Released in October, the new album co-produced by Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor, includes the hit “Wrong Club.” The Ting Tings play Philadelphia’s Union Transfer onApril 10th and Washington DC’s 9:30 Club onApril 11th. After rockin the Grammys, AC/DC revealed a North American tour, a 13-city stadium blitz beginning on the East Coast in late August. Angus Young & Co. will rock MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on August 26th. Chris Slade, who played drums in AC/DC from 1989 to 1994, will resume his duties while Phil Rudd addresses his legal problems in New Zealand where prosecutors claim he threatened a man who had worked for him. Lady Gaga is engaged to Lancaster native/actor Taylor Kinney. The pop star posted a photo of a ring on her Instagram account and wrote: “He gave me his heart on Valentine’s Day, and I said YES!” Lady Gaga and Kinney met on the set of her “You & I” v i d e o in 2 0 1 1. Kinney s t a r s in the NBC series “Chicago Fire.” Lady Gaga recently won her sixth Grammy Award, for her “Cheek to Cheek” album with Tony Bennett. Kinney bought a log cabin-style home on 5.7 acres outside of Lancaster where the couple are regular visitors to Bulls Head Bar, Giant grocery store and a local Methodist Church. UPCOMING SHOWS: The Growlers / BRONCHO Baltimore Ottobar Mar 3. The Give Take / The 91s Harrisburg Abbey Bar Mar 14. Johnny Cash tribute Lancaster American Music Theatre Mar 22. The Virus York Skid Row Garage Mar 26. The Luv Gods / American Posse Mechanicsburg Whiskey Ridge Mar 28. KIX Selinsgrove Hummels Wharf Fire Eric & Steve Whiteman at the Company Mar 28. last Funny Money show March, 2015
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Out & About continued.... service you can still live your dreams. Pretty awesome guys, I’m glad I got the chance to see and hear them perform. The next band we also caught a few songs to before we had to leave and that was Northwest Division who came down all the way from Vancouver to play their showcase. They had a bout of bad luck and had all of their equipment stolen from them so they were using bare bones and a little help from Epoch Failure to be able to play their set. I hope things got better for these guys and hopefully they have good insurance for the equipment they lost. It was quite ironic that the songs we heard were “Border Patrol” and “Stay Sharp.” I’m hoping it was maybe just a sick joke that their gear was stolen, but I doubt it. We took a quick walk down the extremely cold street to Midtown Tavern to see Michi. When we arrived Myron James was playing their last song. I loved the tease and am glad I got another chance to catch these guys Saturday night. Michi has become quite the MMC Regular. She’s attended the last three years and I’m glad I was able to see her once again playing with her full band. She currently lives in New York City, but she comes back and plays in PA quite frequently. Michi started writing her own music when she was just 9 years old. She currently has 4 CDs under her belt and has performed with many great musicians. Michi is one of those singers that has a very distinctive voice that truly does just suck you in. I can’t wait to see what she does in the upcoming year! Next we headed back up the street to HMAC for D-Bo’s Showcase. D-Bo is an amazing R&B singer from right here in Harrisburg. It’s crazy that it takes something like the MMC for me to see artists that I have right in my back yard, but I’m glad I did. D-Bo has had tons of success throughout his years as a musician. In February he won an Akademia Award for Best Album. He was also the top Five in the WORLD on Reverbnation. Not only does D-Bo have the most important instrument his amazing voice, but he’s also backed up by great musicians as well. Plus if you’re not entertained enough by his voice, just stick around and watch his fancy dance moves! We were highly entertained at D-Bo’s showcase, hopefully I’ll be seeing more of them again soon. After all of that ramming around we were all exhausted and decided to call it a night so we could prepare for Day #2 of the Conference. The 2nd day of the Trade Show and before it even started around 10am, the snow started to fall. I quickly ran my kiddos to Carlisle to stay with my sister and prepared to be snowed in at the Best Western. I am not one to travel in snow! Even though it snowed ALL DAY we had a decent turn out at the Trade Show and conference. We had another crazy day with 25 different performers on our Open Mic Stage. With the snow I decided to stay at the home base of the Best Western and O’Reilly’s. The restaurant was so packed that we first stayed up in our room and ordered room service. Most of us had Pot Roast and it was DIVINE! What a brilliant idea, we also went and took a quick dip in the pool. After our belly’s were full and we were nice and refreshed we headed down to the bar for Ian Mellencamp. Yes, it’s true he is John “Cougar” Mellencamp’s nephew, but let me tell ya, he is nothing like him. He plays more of his type of punk rock, eclectic music. He was eye candy for sure, but just not the music I was expecting. While I was there I was also introduced to Hunter Lyons. I unfortunately missed his set, but we decided to go out in the hall where he could play me a song and I could take a couple pictures. Hunter is actually Clint from Single Barrel’s son, so I figured I owed the family a special favor. Hunter also gave me a copy of his debut full length CD, “Chasing Red.” It’s hard to believe he’s only 18 with how powerful the lyrics to his songs are. Do yourself a favor and check out Hunter Lyons for yourself! I made it back into O’Reilly’s for J & the 9’s special attack on the pub! J & the 9’s were supposed to play at Double K, but unfortunately because of the snow their venue closed, so Ian Mellencamp shared some of his set time so they could at least play a quick 2 songs. It was perfect because the staff at O’Reilly’s was in shock from what they were seeing, the band was climbing on top of tables and railings going absolutely crazy til they eventually collapsed on the floor. They knew they only had 2 songs and they put it all out there. I saw J & the 9’s before but they definitely took shock and awe to a whole new level in a good way. The last band of the night was Myron James. This band with their calmer pop/punk rock music was a nice relief to the crowded bars ears. Myron is obviously a natural on the stage instantly sucking you in with his stage presence alone. Myron continued on next page...
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Out & About continued... just signed a 2 year development and recording agreement with Bridge Road Entertainment. Over the next two years, Myron will record two full-lenth albums and complete videos for several songs while dividing his time between New York, Nashville, and the West Coast. Keep an eye out for this guy! You would think the night would be over, but not quite… Linda Russell and I were walking in the lobby and came across Susan Ruth, Matt Vrba, and Skyler playing their acoustic guitars quietly in the corner. We decided to sit and enjoy the music, they were quietly each taking turns playing and singing their original music. It was beautiful. Before too long security came over and said they couldn’t play their music in the lobby. We then asked security where we could play? I said if you don’t let us play somewhere there is going to be parties happening in the rooms. We were all snowed in and bored, it was going to get crazy! Before we knew it the staff at the Best Western opened up a Conference Room and let us in there to jam. It started off small, but by the end I would say there were easily at least 150 people with their instruments in the conference room all jamming out and having sing-a-longs all at the same time. There was everything from Dave’s antique digital piano, clarinets, stand-up bass, banjos, melodica, harmonicas, violin, saxophone, flute, shakers, tons of guitars, and obviously singers! It was the craziest time ever and an awesome way to end the Music Conference. It’s a shame it had to snow and so many people had their showcases canceled, but... again a conference is what you make it. If you joined in the fun and mingled and met the right people then you knew this party was taking place and you joined in the fun. I’ll tell ya who was there for sure... Chris from Pages & Poets, and the Gage Brothers.. (remember those guys from the bag stuffing?) plus a whole lot more! What a crazy good time for sure!!!! If you want to check it out for yourself I have videos posted on my Facebook page. facebook.com/Rachel Rocks. People think I’m crazy for staying at the hotel when I only live 2 miles away, but it’s so worth it. The MMC only comes once a year and I want to be there for every minute! Congrats to John Harris and the rest of this gang of the John Harris Group for once again putting on a great conference. The talent always blows me away. It’s also well organized. I heard all the panels were also well attended, even with “Snowmageddon!” I can’t wait to see what the 20th year brings, hopefully partying with all of you! Well, this article is a long one! Congrats to any of you that made it to the end!!! You’ve now fulfilled your reading for the year! Lol. Next month Jim Price, aka The Professor, will be writing about his MMC adventures. Our deadline and the MMC are just a little too close together to get it all done in time! So make sure you check out where JP adventured to for the MMC in our April Issue. If you have any questions or comments please send them to RachelRocks@pamusician.net. Have a great month and SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!!!!
Susquehanna Valley NEWS By Jeff Kreitz Jr. Hello music lovers....it’s March Madness and I’m not talking about college basketball I’m talking about all of the live music due to hit our area this month, check out all this news! The lengendary KIX returns to our area for a big rock show at the Hummel’s Wharf Fire Company in Shamokin Dam on March 28th. Other bands on the bill are AC/DC tribute band Halfway to Hell and Suckerpunch. Speaking of Suckerpunch, Billy Rock and the boys have some gigs of their own this month at the New Berlin American Legion on the 7th and at Taylors Bar in Unityville on the 21st. As reported last month, Williamsport area band All Else Fails are back in a big way with a very full schedule check them out this month at the Arena in State College on the 7th, the Cell Block in Williamsport on the 14th, Hulls Landing in Muncy on the 20th and the Saloon in Lock Haven on the 21st. Jeff Pittinger & The Betty Ford All Stars invade The Mill Tavern in Montoursville for a huge show on the 21st. Other
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bands on the bill are Dirty Mojo, Ascension and Noise Pollution. Doors open early at 7:30 and the show begins at 8:30. Unncutt who play a great mix of 80’s and 90’s are at the Avis American Legion on the 14th and they return to the Riverside Campground in Montgomery on the 28th. Classic Rockers Mason Dixon head up to Harper’s Creekside Inn in Waterville on the 14th. The Uptown Music Collective presents “Blue in Green” a tribute to modern jazz at the Community Theatre Leauge in Williamsport, the show runs from the 19th to the 21st. In other Williamsport news, the Flu Shots are busy this month with shows at the South Williamsport American Legion on the 7th, South Avis Inn on the 14th, The Capitol Lounge inside the Community Arts Center on the 18th and at the Post 1 American Legion on the 21st. Audio Box returns this month catch them at the Riverside Campground in Montgomery on the 7th and at the Ye Old Meeting Place in Milton on the 28th. Speaking of Milton, LT’s Bar has another full month of live music this month, check out Governing Murphy on the 7th, Ascention on the 14th, Greg Snyder on the 21st and Royal We on the 28th. Bloomsburg area band Wonderchunk hit the Milton area as continued on page 18...
VOODOO… “ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE!” By: Rachel Rocks
Photos by Christine Charron of CCphotographie
Every cover story is an adventure and Voodoo’s is no different. I was given the address to their practice space below Dillsburg. I’m driving and the road starts getting more and more desolate as I go, then I come to a cross roads and the GPS says, “You have arrived”… I was about ready to start calling the guys, but instead I decided to just roll down my window and listen, sure enough I found the hard rockin’ guys of Voodoo without a problem. They were practicing in Joel’s nice, big body shop, which really amplified their already rockin’ sound. Voodoo has been around technically since 2000 but has since unraveled and reraveled a few times to get to their current line up. The only original member is Jay Acri. It took patience and persistence, but Jay recruited everyone one piece at a time. The first recruit was Lonnie Eckert on drums. Lonnie was a long time friend of Jay’s and Jay desperately needed a drummer so he called Lonnie to fill in. Lonnie only had three hours of practice of the Voodoo music before he played his first show, but he’s been playing with them ever since. Joel Turnbaugh was the next piece to the puzzle. I found out that Jay, Lonnie, and Joel used to be in a band together years ago called Nissel Lane, so when they were looking for a vocalist they thought why not try and find Joel and see if he’s ready to rock the stage again. After 12 years of not living the band life it didn’t take too much convincing for Joel to pick up the mic again. Joel said he only came back because of the camaraderie the three of them had together in their previous band. They are family and family sticks together. They lucked upon Steve Junkins one night when he was filling in for LeadFoot. They saw Steve playing with all of his energy and amazing guitar licks and they knew they needed him to complete their newest Voodoo line-up. Steve brought some new, much needed life back to the band. He’s a very hard worker and doesn’t let the guys slack off. For years Voodoo was known as being a Godsmack Tribute Band. They know that tribute bands only have so much shelflife, so now they are adding in more songs and more experiences. They can still cover pretty much any Godsmack song their fans want to hear, but they will also be moving forward to even bigger and better repetoire of songs. When you see Voodoo’s promotion and advertisements you usually see skulls, fire, and stuff that gives you an angry/evil feel, but these guys are quite the opposite. They do play hard rock music and they have plenty of aggression on the stage, but they also know how to have fun. One thing I can guarantee you will feel from these guys is energy! Their stage presence is unlike any other band in the area. Joel, their lead singer, was described by his bandmates as everything from eclectic to spastic, but I believe the best word is animated. I have so much fun taking pictures of Joel singing. He is all over the stage moving, jumping, kneeling, I mean EVERYWHERE! But one thing for sure is he can sing! I don’t know how he can possibly hit some of the notes he does. Joel is excited about all of the new music they are adding to the set list, and can’t wait to see what his voice can do. Jay Acri, on bass, was described as a best friend and a recluse, but I think Steve said it best when he said misunderstood. Jay can be laying down some of the sickest bass lines, but with the biggest smile ever! When you really watch this band you quickly see how a lot of their energy stems from Jay. Jay is not afraid to get right at the edge of the stage and include the crowd with the show. He definitely gets the whole room on their feet and dancing or singing along! Lonnie, Voodoo’s insane drummer, was described with a lot of calm sounding 16
words: under-rated, solid, and honest. I’m sure he is all of those things off the stage and he’s a great friend and brother to his band mates because that’s the kind of guy he is, but I can tell you on stage, he’s insane! He’s an amazing drummer that keeps everyone going. I love how at every show he’s on his mic with his backing vocals, but is also very in-tune with the crowd making sure there is constant chatter about what’s happening on the stage with the band, but also with the crowd. Lonnie also never misses a Kodak moment. He’s always making eye contact with any photographer in the room making sure to help us get the perfect shot all while not missing a beat! Steve, on guitar, is known to be dedicated, meticulous, and talented. One thing for sure is he is definitely talented! Steve keeps up with everyone else in the band and is just crazy on stage. I’ve seen plenty of people bowing down to Steve while he’s throwing down yet another amazing guitar solo. His hard work and dedication to his craft definitely doesn’t go unappreciated by their fans. Steve has also done amazing work with the behind the scenes band stuff: booking and promoting. It might by the most unglamorous part of being in a band, but if there isn’t one person willing to step up and take on those roles, the band isn’t going to go anywhere, and trust me Voodoo is everywhere! All in all these guys are definitely a close knit family on and off the stage. This is not about the money at all for these guys. They are truly out here just making sure everyone is having a good time, and giving people an outlet to just let loose and have some fun! These guys bring a whole new level to the phrase, “One for All, and All for One!” They are more than just music, this is a brotherhood, a family of like minded musicians. They all have hard, physically demanding day jobs, but they are still out there rockin’ people’s faces off! They just hope that by seeing them out there playing they can inspire more people to pick up an instrument and keep music alive in their lives. When I asked them who they wanted to thank, I can’t believe the list these guys came up with. I unfortunately only have so much room in the magazine for this article, but just know that if you’ve ever played with, helped, or have been to a Voodoo show, your dedication to this band has not gone un-noticed. I’ve done a lot of interviews in 8 years, but these guys by far had the longest list of people they wanted to personally thank. Some that we have to mention that do the most for the band are their Wives, families, and girlfriends: Steve’s family: Angel, Hayden, and Treysen. Jay’s Mom, Chase, and girlfriend Tracy, and anyone else who has to deal with him. Lonnie’s wife, Michelina, and his kiddos, 2 girls, and 3 boys! And Joel wants to thank his family as well. They also want to throw out a very special thank you to Christine Charron of CCphotographie their photographer that is at almost every show. She’s the one who also shot their Cover picture, and the pictures they used for this article as well. Last, but not least a shout out to Shout at the Devil. When bands share bandmates it sometimes make scheduling shows and practices difficult, but these two bands work together great to make it all happen! Again they want to make sure that everyone knows they appreciate everyone for everything! Believe it or not, look for an even more aggressive Voodoo this Spring! They will be spreading out musically and regionally, and one thing for sure is they are ready to rock at a venue near you. Make sure and “Like” Voodoo on Facebook to keep up with all of their events and changes. You can also simply check out their ad in this issue to plan your next night out on the town. To get them booked at your venue, give Steve a call at 717-884-5381.
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Susquehanna Valley continued... well this month for a few shows, catch them at Speedy’s on the 14th and at Ye Old Meeting Place on the 21st. Red Halo are back by popular demand for a return gig in our area this month at Hulls Landing in Muncy on the 6th.Country music returns to the Cell Block in Williamsport this month with The RockyAllen Band on the 28th. As I look ahead to next month here is a save the date event not to be missed, Into The Spin featuring drummer Jeremy Hummel (formerly of Breaking Benjamin) return to the Front Street Station in Northumberland on April 10th! Thats it for this month, if you have any info or news you would like to share hit me up on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support live music and the PA Musician Magazine!
SANE ADVICE By John Kerecz
Sometimes, despite all the potential sources of inspiration around, artist’s block sets in for all of us. Your creative stream runs dry and you just can’t seem to think of anything new. Typically, this is an opportune time to catch up on other things you’ve been meaning to do. Update your websites, tidy the house or studio, or sort out your gear. You might even enjoy watching some movies or binge-watching a new TV series on Netflix or Hulu. But once you’re all “caught up,” then what? I think the ultimate cure for artist’s block is a trip! It doesn’t have to be to another country (but that would be nice!) The good, old USA has plenty of great places to see that can be inspirational for many different reasons to any of us. Travel websites have made it so easy to catch a cheap flight and book a cheap hotel room! Then again, your trip doesn’t even have to be as far or as extravagant as that to be helpful. Maybe just pull out the map (yes, they still make those) and head to a small town you haven’t been to before. Talk to some folks in the
coffee shop, check out the architecture of the buildings, spend an hour in the park before heading back home. You could even just take a tent out to the woods for the weekend. Take a pen and paper, and while you’re there write down your thoughts, feelings, and anything else that comes to mind. The idea is to get yourself into a new and different environment so that you’ll have new and different ideas. Hopefully, when you get back to your studio, or wherever you normally like to write, you’ll have loosened your gears and gotten the juices flowing again!
“LIVE REVIEWS” By Jim Price Last month’s groundhog prophecy sentenced us not just to six more weeks of winter, but the most brutal winter weather of the season so far! But live music still persevered through snow, ice and frigid cold. Folks who regularly make music in Pennsylvania during the winter months understand that the show must go on, regardless of what Old Man Winter throws at them on a given night. But sometimes Old Man Winter throws the insurmountable, such as a mid-February severe snow squall followed by immediate high winds and plummeting temperatures that caused icy roads, whiteout conditions and a number of cancelled gigs. But one show that did go on during this tough night - at least for two sets - was Emberstitch’s appearance just a few blocks from my house at Altoona’s Family Pizza & Pub. At least a few brave souls weathered the elements to witness and enjoy as singer Tyler Hull, guitarist/singer Keith Little, keyboardist Nathan Smouse, bassist Russ Patterson and drummer Ed Murvine mixed up a fun variety of classic and current hits. The group juxtaposed differing flavors into interesting combinations; at one point jumping from Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny” to Brantley Gilbert’s “Bottoms Up” to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.” Emberstitch also stitched together several entertaining medleys, and stirred up dance floor activity with tunes from the Hollies, ZZ Top, Chuck Berry, REO Speedwagon, Billy Idol,
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Ramones, Romantics, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith/Run DMC, Loverboy and more. Increasing concerns over worsening road conditions brought the night to a close after two sets. Emberstitch should encounter more favorable weather conditions when they return to Family Pizza on May 9th. From the ashes of 10 Million Devils has emerged Darkness On The Radio, who made their official debut headlining a metal triple-bill on a snowy late January night at McGarvey’s. I arrived during the set by openers Hate Grenade, and heard the group do several tunes from their forthcoming full-length CD. The new material being generated by lead howler Jeff Glace, guitarist Chuck Lavera, bassist Rich Johnson and drummer Mike Powers is similarly heavy and aggressive, but tends toward a more groove-geared direction. Black Sun then stepped on stage and did their brand of dark, Sabbathy-flavored original doom metal. Singer Todd McKeone, guitarist Jason Feathers, bassist David Mollica and drummer Nate Woods seemed to emphasize their newer song material, which sounded more experimental with angular melodies and variable degrees of intensity and distortion. Black Sun is planning to record their original song material later this year. Next was the advent of Darkness on the Radio, introducing their new spin on heavy nu-metal. Featuring the former 10 Million Devils nucleus of frontman/guitarist Jason Straw and bassist Greg Hatch, continued on page 19...
Dave Collins, Jamie Shumac, Randy Karle & Rich Piccerillo during Pellegrine’s Jam night by Jim Price
The Professor continued... former Inside Out guitarist Jay Snyder and Pivot drummer Jason Kirchner, Darkness On The Radio picked up where 10 Million Devils left off; their songs showing elaborate hooks, escalating arrangements and a wider variety of tempos. Propelled by Greg’s throbbing bass lines, snarling guitars and frontman Jason’s feralvocals, Darkness On The Radio unleashed several powerful new original tunes, such as “Now Run Like Hell,” “Weapon,” “Strip Search” and more. This show bodes well for the immediate future of area heavy metal, as Hate Grenade, Black Sun and Darkness On The Radio each are honing their own distinctive styles and directions; I eagerly look forward to hearing more from each. McGarvey’s also hosted the triple-bill of Behind the Grey, Let the River Swell and From the Depths in late January. Scranton’s Behind the Grey had mostly completed their opening set as I arrived, but I did get to hear their final song, “Curtain Call.” Hopefully I’ll finally be able to catch a full set by Behind the Grey when they return to McGarvey’s on May 18th. From Johnstown, Let the River Swell introduced a brand of driving, aggressive modern metalcore. Vocalist Devin Kieta, lead guitarist Tyler Litko, rhythm guitarist Mike Orletsky, bassist Dan Crowell and drummer Jeff Hunyady pounded forth originals chock full of battering ram rhythms, snarling guitar chords and all-out vocal aggression on their selection of original numbers, including several from their “Continents” EP. Based in northern Cambria County, From the Depths then finished the night with their slant on melody-driven, alternative-flavored modern metal. Lead snarler Zach Wolfhope, guitarist/singer Alex Ramsdell, guitarist Jairo Cerritos, bassist Jarrid McConnell and drummer Dan Shoemaker unleashed aggressive, scathing arrangements, topped by the contrasting vocal styles of Zach’s feral howl and Alex’s reserved crooning. From the Depths performed original songs such as “Strife,” “It’s Not the End,” “Winning Isn’t Everything” and more. From the Depths is currently recording new songs toward their full-length CD, “Dead/Rest”, expected out later this year. Likewise, this triple-bill showed three bands with distinctive styles and approaches, and it will be interesting to see how all three evolve their sounds in the months ahead. Also in late January, Root and the Fifths and The Blacksnakes teamed up for a fun double-bill at McGarvey’s. The Blacksnakes - singer Brian Elliott, guitar “yeti” Jason Feathers, bassist Hunter Karns and drummer Nate Woods started the night with scorching electric blues and classic rock favorites from the libraries of ZZ Top, the Allman Brothers, Robin Trower, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, original tunes and more. Adding to the electricity was Root and the Fifths guitarist Kayla Feaster, who stood in for the latter half of the set and marched guitar wits with Jason. Introducing new bassist Pat Lang, Root and the Fifths then delivered alternative and ‘90s rock favorites from Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Cracker, Black Keys, Social Distortion, Flys, Blur, Rancid, Bush and more. Pat seemed to fit in comfortably with his new band environment, and worked well with singer/guitarist Jae Smith, Kayla on guitar and drummer Tyke Dodson. Root’s performance was solid, and I especially enjoyed their ‘90s alternative makeover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love.” Jampact recently introduced their new drummer, as Jamie Shumac replaces Wade Flick behind the kit. One of Jamie’s first appearances with Jampact happened last month at Altoona’s Belmar Hotel. Patrick McGinnis opened up the evening, strumming acoustic guitar and singing a mix of select classic folk, rock and blues numbers, along with tunes from his recently-issued self-titled CD. Patrick did songs from the disc such as “Sure Feels Like She’s Gone,” “Give Your Love Away” and “Shades of Grey,” as well as numbers from Neil Young, The Band, John Prine, Stephen Stills and more. Jampact then fired up the party; new addition Jamie, singer/guitarist Ryan Clark and bassist/keyboardist Steve Treado mixed upbeat rock and pop favorites spanning the 1960s to today. Their selection this night included hits from Bob Seger, Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, Van Morrison, Black Keys, Ted Nugent, Poison, Bryan Adams and more. They also broke out the occasional rare gem, such as versions of Walter Egan’s “Magnet and Steel,” Spirit’s “I Got a Line on You,” The Cult’s “Little Devil” and more. Jamie’s addition bolsters Jampact’s vocal arsenal as he shares lead singing duties with Ryan, and the group welcomed several singing guests along the way. Lisa Bock sang lead on several numbers, and dueted with Ryan on Rob Thomas and Lee Ann Rimes’ hit “Gasoline and Matches.” Mike Wilks contributed continued on page 20...
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The Professor continued... his bold voice on versions of “Mustang Sally” and “Rockin’ in the Free World,” and guest singer Pierre from Georgia fronted Jampact on Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music.” The new mach lineup of Jampact continues to bring the party; see them when they return to the Belmar on April 18th. At the risk of glossing my own band’s party, the Backyard Rockers celebrated three years of making music by inviting fans, musical and non-musical friends to a fun early-February bash at Pellegrine’s that alternated musical performances between two stages. Playing keys, guitar and singing; Phil Baskin opened the night with a variety folk and rock favorites, demonstrating intricate, jazz-informed textures and arrangements. The host band then did what they have established during their first three years, mixing acoustic rock, folk, country and blues favorites. Singer/guitarist Rich Dasch, “Harmonica Dave” Baird and a “Professor” on hand percussion did numbers from The Band, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Steve Earle, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Dylan and Old Crow Medicine Show. The group welcomed guests Mo Yon on guitar and vocals plus Ambush 3D bassist D.J. Gates to sit in on several numbers. Two-thirds of 22 East - singer/guitarist Ron
Russell and Rick Guyer on cajon - then offered fresh and tasteful treatments of several classics, including not-often heard gems like Boston’s “Amanda,” the Zombies’ “She’s Not There” and the Guess Who’s “Share the Land.” Ambush 3D then cranked up the rock with their selection of 1970s and ‘80s classics. Singer/keyboardist Adam D, guitarist/singer Kip Woodring, the aforementioned D.J. Gates on bass and drummer/singer Jamie Shumac triggered dance floor action with songs from Steve Miller Band, Journey, Billy Joel, Eagles, Bob Seger, Aerosmith, Styx and more. An added highlight during their set was “Harmonica Dave’s” lead vocal cameo on Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly.” Mo Yon then displayed his cordial, laid-back style on acoustic favorites from Dave Loggins, the Rolling Stones, Jackyl’s “Secret of the Bottle” and more. Another big highlight of the evening was the performance by Skye 2.0, who dazzled with their performance of 1970s-era progressive and arena rock classics. The dual keyboard tandem of Ken Civils and lead singer Adam D, guitarist/singer Don Osborn, bassist/singer Kris Civils and drummer Bill Hocherl tackled some of rock’s most complex classics; doing Yes’ “Roundabout” and “Astral Traveler,” a passage from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and King Crimson’s “Court of the Crimson King,” where their soaring vocal
harmonies sounded almost Sistine Chapel choir-like! Skye 2.0 also rocked the house with numbers from Deep Purple, Styx, Cheap Trick and Boston. Logging the most distance to join the festivities this night, western PA’s Flying Blind singer/guitarist Chris Pickering and bassist Nick Kosanovich - kept the vibe upbeat with their lively renditions of favorites from Rod Stewart, Tommy Tutone, George Michael, CCR, the Beatles, Stone Temple Pilots and more. The night then finished with a jam session, with members of several of the bands plus additional musical guests mixing their chops on several common song favorites. On behalf of my Backyard Rockers bandmates, thanks to everyone who came out and made this a special and fun night, and thanks to all who have supported our musical adventure during these first three years! I witnessed several acoustic performances in recent weeks, one of them in late January at The After Dark (formerly Mojo’s) in Clearfield. The centerpiece of this acoustic triplebill was an “unplugged” appearance by Long Island, NY-based national touring act Blameshift, who played the middle leg of the bill. Singer Jenny Mann and guitarist Tim Barbour showcased acoustic slants on a number of original songs, as well as a few select covers. Jenny and Tim did numbers from Blameshift’s latest “Secrets” CD such as “The Enemy You Need,” the title track “Secrets,” “Destroy Your Masquerade” and others. They also inspired an audience sing-a-long with their version of Aerosmith’s “Crying,” and also offered a rendition of the Foo Fighters’ “My Hero.” Before their set, Eric Koval opened the night with a strong set featuring original songs and select covers; he showed a sturdy voice and poise throughout his set, and offered inventive takes on Pink Floyd’s “Time” and the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.” And following Blameshift’s set, Brandon Giuffre finished the evening with his unique slant on favorites spanning the 1960s to present. With his upbeat, conversational style, Brandon encouraged grooving and even dancing in front of the stage as he performed numbers from Blind Faith, Old Crow Medicine Show, U2, Foo Fighters, Journey, Fallout Boy, Fuel, the Verve Pipe and more. Area native and musician Rue Moyer recently returned to the area after spending several years living in China. During a performance last month at the Belmar Hotel, Rue displayed a clear, vibrant voice and fun, upbeat personality as he mixed original songs with select cover material. Rue explained the inspirations behind his songs; “Appalachian Hills of PA” was a remembrance of where he grew up, “Kicking Stones” was inspired by his grandfather, while “Full Tank of Gas” was inspired by road journeys he took while living in China. He also did the original numbers “Throw Me a Line” and “Wise Words,” and offered his own flavor to favorites from Jason Mraz, Train, CCR, Zac Brown Band, Dobie Gray, John Denver, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles and more. Military endeavors will take Rue out of the area later this year; but in the interim, he will be performing shows around the region. The guitar player for area country favorite Ricky Lee and also a solo performer, Matt Pletcher entertains every other Wednesday night in the upstairs Four Dees Lounge, and he often welcomes friends to help him make the music. That happened when I saw one of his performances early last month, when guest Eric Wertz helped generate the fun. Matt and Eric mixed a wide variety of cover material with original songs from Matt’s recently-issued debut solo CD, “Sure Thing”. Matt and Eric swapped singing duties throughout the night as they performed modern and classic rock, pop and country numbers. Some of their selections included Deep Blue Something’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” Presidents of the United States of America’s “Lump,” The Flys’ “Got You Where I Want You,” plus songs continued on next page...
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by Jim Price
surrounding Kanye West, Beck and Beyonce, an area musician and music historian’s Grammy involvement flew under the radar. In the category of Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, the six-disc vinyl set “The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27)” won the Grammy Award; Jerry Zolten was a collaborator on this
The Professor contines... from Johnny Cash, James, Outfield, George Michael, Steve Miller Band, Dion and more. They also connected Sublime’s “What I Got” into Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumpin,’” and Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer” into Green Day’s “Good Riddance” to end the night. Triple Threat reliably continues to bring their acoustic rock and blues mixture to Pellegrine’s on the second Thursday of each month. During their appearance last month, singer/guitarist Don Osborn, bassist/singer Bill Hunter and percussionist Bill Hocherl entertained a receptive audience with their distinctive renditions of classics from Cream, the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Bill Withers and more. Triple Threat did established favorites like Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love,” J.J. Cale/Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Call Me the Breeze” and Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” but also dug deeper for renditions of Jimmy Thackery’s “Cool Guitar” and James Brown’s “Licking Stick” to end the night. It began recently when during one quiet evening at Pellegrine’s, Nathan Beatty happened to have his keyboard with him, plugged it in and serenaded patrons seated at the main bar. It has evolved into “Piano at the Bar,” as Nate brings his keyboard magic to Pellegrine’s on select Thursday evenings. During one of his appearances last month, Nate tickled the ivories and sang an interesting variety of song material spanning rock, pop, jazz and country. Nate’s keyboard prowess itself was dazzling and entertaining, as his fingers danced through jazz and classically-informed passages while he offered his distinctive and improvisational takes on numbers from Mark Cohn, John Mayer, Ariana Grande, Darius Rucker, Gloriana, Billy Joel and more. Nate mixed his music with personal insights on the songs, humorous stories and more. For fun and relaxing entertainment while dining or conversing with friends, see Nate in action when he presents “Piano at the Bar” or - during frigid cold winter nights like we have experienced lately - “Piano by the Fireplace” at Pellegrine’s. Other performers I saw in recent weeks included participants during the weekly Tuesday Open Mic Night at D’Ottavio’s Gran Sasso in Hollidaysburg; including Ron Balestino, Casey Smith, Tim Boland, Spacefish, John Paul, Carl Rieger and the duos of Tami Hinish & Jeremy Schimansky and Dwane Edmiston & Jordan Albarano. I also witnessed some fun jam displays during Pellegrine’s weekly Wednesday Jam Night. The area and state music scene lost several cherished members and friends in recent weeks. Denise Karwoski (Trautman), the longtime singer with such Johnstown-based groups as Red Alert and the Johnstown Classic Rockers, passed away on January 27th after a lengthy illness at age 60. Joel DiPietro, who played in a number of central PA-based bands including Exit 13, S.B.S., Wiskerbisket and more, passed away on February 1st at age 44. Skell drummer Keith Kweder passed away on February 2nd from a sudden respiratory issue at age 32; besides Skell, Keith was also involved in other
continued on page 22...
Triple Threat by Jim Price Hershey area. And on February 7th, Donald “Tood” Smith, the former guitarist for popular Altoona-based hard rock bands Tommi-Gunn and Half Tempted, unexpectedly passed away at age 48. Tood was known for his guitar abilities as well as his witty personality. In recent years, he managed area acoustic duo Born and the Beanstalk. News and notes…While national news headlines from last month’s Grammy Awards presentation regarded the drama
by Jim Price
projects including Dimwit and Mother Cool, which released a CD in 2013. Mike Moritz, who played with several Harrisburg-based rock bands that frequented the region in
the 1980s and 1990s, died on February 5th at age 54. Mike played bass and sang for such groups as M&M Stew, Ashley Krump, Backstreet Kids, Silver City, Pout and more, and he also taught guitar in the March, 2015
Donald “Tood” Smith
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The Professor continued... project, and contributed as a writer and researcher. The music of area frontman Todd Giornesto’s early 1990s New Yorkbased power-metal project Beyond Reason has been re-issued on a new CD; Arkeyn Steel Records has issued “A New Reflection”, which features the full digital remaster of Beyond Reason’s two demo recordings from 1990 and 1992. The Allegheny Ukulele Kollective presents their second annual Ukulele Soiree on March 2st1 at Penn State Altoona’s Misciagna Family Center for the Performing Arts; the event will feature numerous ukulele skill workshops, as well as workshops and concerts by featured performers Victoria Vox and Stuart “Stukulele” Fuchs. Bastard Bearded Irishmen announced that guitarist Jon Pitcher departed the group reently to devote more time to family. Happy Birthdays to Kent Tonkin (Lies, Inc./Drum the Ecstatic), Jeremy Nelson (Mama Corn), Kirk Tonkin (Cottonmouth), Kevin Siegel (Naildriver), Joe Konior, Bob Muhlbauer (Ozone Rangers), John “JK” Kennedy (Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats/Tyne & the Fastlyne), Dave Nichols (Red Alert/The Boomers), Jim Donovan (St. Francis World Drumming Ensemble/Sun King Warriors), Harry Pepper (Sun King Warriors), Ken Pompa (Night Train/Jerry’s Fault), Pam Hiles (Zombie Butterflies), Chris Lawson (Nobody’s Heroes), Kate Twoey (Pure Cane Sugar), Rick Ramsey (Disorganized Crime), Autumn Shiffler (This Albatross), Walt Yatta (Raining Blue), Ken Civils (Skye 2.0), Tom Brown, Allen Jones (One Brick Shy), Jim Bagrosky, Mycenea Worley, Jimmy Adler, Greg Hatch (Darkness On The Radio), Rene Witzke (Maxwell Strait/Ted McCloskey & the Hi Fis), Junior Tutwiler (Pure Cane Sugar/J-Mac & Junior), Mandy Passmore (Full Kilt), Dan Myers II (Locked and Loaded), Eric Smay (Lucky Lad Green), Paul Chakot (Black Ridge), Mark Diehl (Midnight Rodeo/Dunnings Creek), Jerry Martin (StarChild), Trey Carruthers (The Hope Fallacy), Josh Michael (Saving Jake), Dave Collins, Darren Buchko, Jen Bertiaux, Larry Brest, Fredrico, Alicia Hritsko, Dewayne McKnight and John McKnight. Please send correspondence and recordings to: Jim Price, 1104 S. Catherine St., Altoona, PA 16602. You can also email me at email@example.com. And if you’re into social networking, look me up on Facebook or Google+. SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC
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CLASSIFIED NOTES BUSINESS CLASSFIEDS: WANTED: WE PAY CASH for used guitars, amps, effects, etc!!! Call Matt at Creter Guitar Shop, Jonestown at 717-865-3677. We also do guitar repairs and have a variety of lessons available. WANTED: Vintage guitars, basses, amps, banjos, etc. Fender, Gibson, Martin, Rickenbacker, Gretsch, etc. Top dollar paid! Call Player’s Exchange at 717-975-2385 or stop by and see us at 225 S. Third St. Lemoyne, PA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. THE BEST VALUE FOR YOUR RECORDING DOLLAR: Celebrating our 30th year in business. Pro Tools, HD3/Accel, 192k Interface, 2 inch 24 track
analog, 16 channels of API outboard mic pres, Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute kit, SWR 7 GK bass amps, Marshall half stack, Fender twin & Bassman guitar amps, Hammond B-3, Yamaha C7 grand piano. Authorized Pro Tool dealers. CD/DVD duplication on site 3 CCC Video Services. 5.1 surround mixing. $300 per day. www.datamusicsvcs.com, Altoona PA. Phone 814-9442406. RIGHT COAST RECORDING: State of the art vintage recording environment with years of experience and a long list of satisfied customers. www.rightcoastrecording.com Phone 717-560-1530. WANTED TO BUY: Piano sheet music. Call 717-2504798. FOR SALE: Music Store, complete stock and displays.
Moe’st Everything Muse 825 Ann Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360.Call 570-223-6900 shop or 570-350-2962 cell. DRUM LESSONS: Altoona area. Drum lessons from Jim Bagrosky. Any music or songs. Beginners to advanced. Any age. I can come to you if needed!! Call 814-215-3541. Please say, “I saw your ad in the P E N N S Y L VANIA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE” FOR SALE: Personal Collection 7,200 Country 45’s with origianl papers and picture sleeves. Very good condition, asking $1,800. 814765-1222. Ask for Don. FOR SALE: 700 33 1/3 Records all in sleeves for $100; 700 45’s records all in sleeves for $100; 175 45 records all in sleeves they are Variety and Comedy all for $150. 717-567-3700. DRUM LESSONS: Altoona area. Drum lessons from Jim Bagrosky. Any music or songs. Beginners to advanced. Any age. I can come to you if needed!! Call 814-215-3541.
EQUIPMENT FOR SALE: FOR SALE: 2 Peavey TLS4X 2 Peavey bass bins, Road case PRWN 14x Yamaha MG 16/4 2 Amps PV 2600, QSC, GX5 Lexicon MX200 furman M-8 x 2 DBX223XL $3,000. Call 717513-6671. FOR SALE: Nice vintage Rogers Drums with all hardware of not, your choice. I’m looking for smaller cheaper set to purchase. Also Amp cabinets for sale, combos 717-303-4211. FOR SALE: Vintage Five piece Rogers Drum set; 3 Rogers cymbal stands, rogers Hi Hat stand, Rogers bass drum pedal, Rogers stool, excellent condition, $1,200 firm. 717-737-8443 or 717315-8789. FOR SALE: Elation Light Show. Smokin Gunnz is selling their light show 16 par 56s , 4, 415 packs, 1 board, 4 trees & cables. Ready to Plug & Play. Call Bob 717-8326154. Asking $900 or best
offer only 2 years old we paid over $1,900 new FOR SALE: Tascam 380 24 track recording board with V.U. meters, $500 717-6274800. FOR SALE: Mastering cassette recorders like new, $35 each. 717-627-4800. FOR SALE: Acoustic foam. Great for studio, control rooms, stages, rehearsal space. (4)sheets 2-3” thick, 54” square. $50 takes all. 610488-0914 FOR SALE: Studio/apartment refrigerator. Keep your drinks cold while you rehearse! Small Sanyo refrigerator. $50. 610-4880914 FOR SALE: Compressor/ limiters. Aphex 720 Dominator II, DBX 266XL,Drawmer 241L. Leave message. 610-488-0914. FOR SALE: Microphones. (2) AKG C-391 B condensers. Excellentcondition, low price. Bass roll off and-10db attenuation. Includes clips, foam windscreen, cables and protectivecases. 610-4880914. FOR SALE: Multitrack recorders. Tascam. (3) DA88’s, (1) DA-38 and (1)RC848. Includes sync cables w/balanced snakes, rack cases
PENNSYLVANIA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
and custom oakremote control stand. Leave message. 610488-0914. FOR SALE: Multi effects processors: t.c. electronics M5000 w/digital options.. Lexicon LXP-5 w/MRC. Leave message 610-488-0914 FOR SALE: DI box. ProCo CB-1. $20 Leave message 610-488-0914 FOR SALE: Record video of your band from the stage or Front of Housesound board. Attach any camera to these unique CAMERA MOUNTS. Leave message 610-4880914 FOR SALE: DAT Recorder. Panasonic SV-3500 in very good working andcosmetic condition. Includes power cable, wired remote and original shippingbox. Records at 44.1 khz. 610-488-0914 FOR SALE: Mic stands and tons of cabling. Mic cables, instrumentcables, snakes (RCA, ?”, XLR etc),,monster speaker cables, balanced EDCO to multi-pin etc. Leave message. 610-488-0914 FOR SALE: Hammond Proline 860 Leslie, With foot pre-amp and leslie 11 pin cable, All in great condition! $600.00 Phone 717-248-8739 Email: email@example.com continued on next pg...
Classified Notes continued... FOR SALE: Peavey LB1200 par 64 midi and dmx controled lights with gels, 2 bars with 4 lights each. work great $250.00 Ph. 717-2488739 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
bass and lead. Interested gouls feel free to email, or 717-7709621
DRUMMER WANTED: for originals studio project. hardedged, melodic, progressive rock. Electronic set a big plus. FOR SALE: 1 Pair of JBL Newer stuff is waiting. TR Series Tower speakers, email@example.com dual 15” subwoofers and horn speakers $500.00 570-765- WANTED: LYRICIST 2227 Don. searching for an imaginative
MUSICIANS WANTED WANTED: “One,” a band based in NEPA with published original material and signed with a major promoter; is currently seeking a Keyboardist, Vocalist and Guitarist with vocal ability for recording and concert venues. (Serious inquiries, please) Dennis 570-704-8131. WANTED: Keyboardist witth vocals for classic / original rock-n-roll band: Full size Hammond B-3 with 147 Leslie cabinet provided. Rehearsal Space located in Milton, PA for $20 per hour. leave name, number, brief message; We will return your call 570-412-4312. WANTED: Musicians. Forming all original black metal group. Seeking like minded professional members. Musical abilities, image conscience. Drums,
lyrics writer to put his/her words to my original music compositions for studio recordings. Dark, deep, passionate. firstname.lastname@example.org WANTED: Drummer for all original band.We play rock to hard rock. Must have equipment, transportation, and experience. Craig 717-4180020 or Matt 717-712-2008 WANTED: Frontman/Vocalist Lancasterbased rock band seeking frontman/vocalist. proficiency with rhythm guitar and / or harp a plus. Larry after 5pm 717 252 2616.
Player. Vocals a Plus. Please Call Randy 570-898-6888. WANTED: Piano Player/ Keyboardist for original rock/ folk/ blues project. Singing and songwriting a plus. Contact Nelsoncl36@hotmail.com or 717-813-5158 for details. WANTED: Musicians. All female rock band Streetwalker is reforming in Pittsburgh , seeks female bass , drums. over 21. Must have talent. Your equipment. We have agents and promoters waiting 717-364-5660. WANTED: Musicians. Seeking lead guitar, drums, bassist, keyboards. All original black metal group. Prefer experience, will deal if none. Male or female Image attitude dedication a must. 717-770-9621 dsadler131@gmail. WANTED: Musicians. Original goth metal band seeks male or female Drums, keyboard, lead guitar, bass. Dedication and image a must.
Type O Nightwish Moonspell Dimmu Borgir. dsadler131@gmail. 717-7709621. WANTED: Lead guitarist wanted for working Central Pa rock band Disorderly Conduct wanna make some money and have some fun email email@example.com or call Scott 1-717-318-1725 WANTED: Lyricist seeks composer: Many songs, many genres, rock, rap, country. Need set to music. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bob D
Vocalist. Kevin Dubrow, Robert Plant, Bon Scott, Layne Staley type voice. Rhythm guitar skills also. Prefer established original or cover. HBG area. Reply: email@example.com. AVAILABLE MUSICIAN: Playing 35 years lead, slide, and acoustic guitars. Solid lead or back up vocals if needed. Solid personal stage equipment. Solid transportation and D.L. Playing 35 years Top 20 Dance and party, blues, Southern, and rock music. I am married, clean cut, semi
retired with lots of time. The band I’m in always comes first! I do not use or need heroin, cocaine or alchohol to enhance my playing capabilities. Please no heavy, punk or hard rock. West York, Haover and Gettysburg areas. Please call Dave Lanich. 717817-2165. AVAILABLE: Guitarist from Harrisburg area looking to put together band at my location or yours. Weekend rehearsals only. Covering 70’s I0’s material. Easy stuff to start. 717-303-4211.
AVAILABLE: Male vocalist, excellent range. Some rhythm guitar skills. Best at singing 50s-60s oldies rock and roll or 80s-90s country songs. Carlisle-Harrisburg area. 717533-5263 AVAILABLE:
WANTED: Bassist needed for central pa 80s rock cover band. Call or write for details 717-421-3868 or firstname.lastname@example.org WANTED: Musicians. Autumns Golden Oldies a Working 50’s & 60’s Band. Looking For Keyboard/ Possibly lead Guitar
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PA MUSICIAN CD REVIEWS... by Jim Price “The Professor”
STARCHILD - VOLUME 3 (no label) Starting out as a Kiss tribute band, Harrisburg’s StarChild celebrated and emulated the sound of early Kiss on their first two discs,Volume 1 and Volume 2, along the way evolving an original sound rooted in Kiss’ mid-1970s glory period. While that ‘kiss’ still graces the group’s sound on their latest effort,Volume 3, StarChild steps forward with a more aggressive, heavier and edgier slant. Singer, guitarist and group ringleader Jerry Martin howls with more intensity and reckless abandon; and assisted by wife/bassist Sharon Starr and guitarist X-Bomb, drives the majority of the disc’s ten songs forward at a more urgent clip. The leadoff anthem “Come Back for More” slams the door open to welcome listeners back for the third round, while “Heart Of Stone” drops a Motley Crue-like engine into their Kiss-rooted chassis. StarChild ramps up the velocity with two burners in “Slave (Chained to Love)” and the disc-closer “Urban Blight.” They craft a sturdy melodic rocker with “Anytime (Waiting on Your Call),” and effectively decelerate as well with two power ballads, the breakup-themed “Unfriend” and the rockstar dream ode “Alive.” As they did on the first two discs, StarChild pays homage to their main influence, but this time taps one song apiece from Kiss’ 1980s and 1990s catalogs with remakes of “Tears Are Falling” and “Psycho Circus” respectively. And reprising her first lead vocal appearance from Volume 2, Starr steps up her vocal aggression as well with her feisty read of Joan Jett’s hit “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” The performances are brisk and bold, and StarChild delivers their originals and remakes with ample heart and enthusiasm. Produced by Martin and again engineered by Derek Euston at Harrisburg’s Green Room Studio, Volume 3 sounds appropriately powerful and vibrant, blending the group’s edge with smoothness and fullness. As StarChild continues to tip their hats to their influences on Volume 3, they also proceed to edge their original sound forward, and proudly pound out a path of their own. (The CD can be obtained through StarChild’s Reverbnation page, www.reverbnation.com/StarChildBand.)
HANNAH BINGMAN - LOAM (no label) For more than a decade, Hannah Bingman has honed and refined her distinctive brand of acoustic-based folk music, rooted in traditional folk and Americana. On her latest album, Loam, she expands from that traditional folk music foundation to explore a variety of flavors, spanning jazz, blues, folk-rock and more. Bingman’s songwriting has evolved from the more freewheeling and improvisational approach of her earlier material to more structured and concise melodies on Loam. Her lyrical messages remain direct and assertive, as she celebrates rural heritage, family and her life’s journey. She doesn’t back down from any challenges on the disc-opening “Deep Water,” resolving to ‘swim” and face the elements. That resolve was shaped by her rural upbringing, a theme she recounts in the rustic “Farmer’s Prayer.” She explores rural and traditional values and work ethic on “Hard Times, Our Times,” and considers the plight of the modern farmer on the solemn “Farmer’s Plea.” Introspection is the theme of Bingman’s sturdy folk-rocker “Heart on Fire,” and she sings a hopeful ode for the future on “Mustard Seed (Song for Kathryn Mae).” Bingman’s musical explorations include jazzy terrain on “Hard Hearted Woman,” “Had a Mind, Had a Heart” and the discending “Jericho,” honky-tonk on the barroom-themed “Pennies,” and delta blues on “Stranger.” Several guests help color the arrangements through the album, as Doug McMinn’s clarinet and Nell Hanssen’s trumpet augment the jazzier flavors, Kathryn Johnston’s violin enhances the rustic moods, and Kim Reichley (who co-produced the album with Bingman) adds touches of bass, dobro, mandolin, piano and more. Bingman’s gritty and determined singing style drives her lyrical messages home and provides the cohesive thread that ties this set together, while the varying styles and moods keep the album fresh-sounding and vibrant. Loam clearly shows Hannah Bingman’s growth and maturity as an artist; she adheres to her folk roots, while embracing the adventure of exploring the musical world around her. (The CD can be purchased through Hannah Bingman’s website, www.hannahbingman.com.) PATRICK McGINNIS - PATRICK McGINNIS (no label) Patrick McGinnis has been involved in making music on central PA stages since the 1970s, as a member of multiple band
projects, as a sound engineer, and as a solo performer. He has written numerous songs during his career, and presents eight of them on his first self-titled CD. His general style rooted in the folk singer/songwriter tradition of John Prine, Bob Dylan, Guy Clark and others; McGinnis displays a clear knack for crafting catchy, hook-laden melodies, and also demonstrates excellent skills as a wordsmith with simple, hopeful and heartfelt messages. The disc-opening “Give Your Love Away” mixes spoken narrative and chorus as McGinnis encourages listeners to share the love and take stock in the simple things that provide happiness. The uplifting, clap-along blues of “Winds Of Change” communicates that the only thing constant in life is change. He celebrates the joy and simplicity of quality time with a canine companion on the joyous “Walking My Dog,” and touts the warmth and stability of home on “Shades Of Grey.” Numerous guest musicians help bring McGinnis’ song creations to life; guitarist Mark Ross (Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats) and keyboardist Mark Rossi add punch and swagger to the bluesy “I’ll Cry for You,” while the Hurricanes’ tandem of guitarist Felix Kos and drummer Bobby Watters add muscle to “Sure Feels Like She’s Gone.” Pedal steel player Kim Metzgar and the Pure Cane Sugar vocal harmonies of Natalie Race and Molly Countermine color in the country tones of the tear-in-beer “I’ve Just Killed the Bottle.” (Other guests include guitarists Jason McIntyre and Junior Tutwiler, Daniel Collins on fiddle, Bill Wilgus on mandolin, Tyne Palazzi on banjo, Jack Wilkinson on drums, and Dawn Kinnard on backing vocals.) But perhaps the disc’s most powerful song also features its simplest arrangement, as McGinnis closes the set with a tender and heartfelt acoustic guitar ode to his wife; “Never” features touching words that should bring goose bumps to even the hardest of souls. McGinnis’ voice is strong and constant throughout the set, and the assortment of stringed tones and arrangements from him and his guests help set the atmosphere for each song. The performances are tight, strong and tasteful, and all serve to build and support the song material. The production and mix are balanced and enable McGinnis’ voice and all the instrumental and vocal components to shine. His power of words and simplicity of melodies and arrangements makes Patrick McGinnis’ debut disc a bright, feelgood first chapter, offering a pleasant, heartwarming listening experience. (The CD can be obtained at Pat’s shows, or at Bandman Music in Altoona.) GRACES DOWNFALL - CHANGE. ADJUST. CONTINUE (Saturation Acres) In the time that has transpired since their last CD, 2012’s Resplendent Indignity, Scranton-based rockers Graces Downfall have undergone a transformation, implementing the new rhythm section of bassist Grant Williams and drummer Jamey Fisk. Some band members have undergone tumultuous transformations in their personal lives as well, setting the tone for the group’s third and latest CD, Change. Adjust. Continue. The new blood plus group mainstays Kenneth Norton on vocals and Mark Yanish on guitar reboot their brand of grunge-edged alternative rock and metal through the disc’s ten tracks, weaving together captivating riffs and melodies, topped with lyrics addressing the state of their lives, loves and society. A nasty custody battle appears to inform the words of several tracks, including the terse disc-opener “Fight” and the thunderous courtroom drama ode “Drop the Case,” both firing angry allegations of perjury and manipulation. The harddriving “Letter to Lainey” and the gentler “Lost Time” address the collateral damage stemming from such a battle. “Jesus Crutch” dresses down pomposity and hypocrisy from behind the pulpit, “Strumpets” warns of the evils of band-chasing bar vixens, and “Scranton” paints a bleak picture of the current state of the band’s home base. Graces Downfall is capable of more pleasant moments; the upbeat “Let’s Grow Old” offers a hard-rocking theme of love and devotion, while the disc-ending acoustic ballad “Leah” celebrates an infant daughter. Graces Downfall executes the song material with sharpness and precision, and the arrangements are tight and focused. Norton’s voice and phrasing command attention, and he sings his words with a refreshing clarity. Produced by the band and engineered by Bret Alexander at Saturation Acres Recording Studio, Change. Adjust. Continue. sounds crisp, punchy and balanced, enabling this music to ring out with appropriate thunder and bite. Graces Downfall’s reboot is a successful one, and Change. Adjust. Continue. is a strong set that establishes that after speed bumps in band and in life, this group has refocused their direction and is moving forward. (The CD can be obtained through the group’s website, www.gracesdownfall.net.)
PENNSYLVANIA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
PENNSYLVANIA MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
Published on Mar 1, 2015
Pennyslvania Musician Magazine August 2014 The PA Musician Magazine is a FREE publication with 12,000 copies distributed throughout Pennsyl...