1) A Tribute To David Kosciolek (published 2022-06-14) -- There are a handful of people who have made a mark in the local music scene and David Kosciolek was one of them. He opened Indigo Coffeehouse in 2003 and it quickly became host to not only live music, but a music scene literally created by the venue itself. Nearly two decades later, it’s amazing how many musicians and music fans still recall those days fondly.  At the beginning of June, that community was shocked to learn that David had died from a heart attack on May 16th.  Many got together to play an "Indigo Reunion" after the coffeehouse closed and several pay tribute to him in this article.

2) Catching Up with Mick Chorba of The Successful Failures (published 2022-05-25) -- The Successful Failures formed in 2005 as a side project for Mick Chorba from the Dipsomaniacs - a garage rock band who put out many great albums during their two decade run and was one of my favorite Jersey bands.  It’s amazing to think about it, but The Successful Failures have actually outlasted the Dipsos. Looking at the band’s history, they were bound to succeed...

3) Catching up with Danny White (published 2022-05-01) -- Danny White is a name you may not have heard of much lately.  The singer-songwriter opened Beach Music Studios 18 years ago and has primarily been involved with the business and raising a family, but he’s just released Belmar, NJ - his first album of new music in nearly a decade. 

4) Eighth Blackbird, an Award-Winning Ensemble, to Perform With Rowan University Wind Ensemble (published 2022-04-21) -- It’s not often that college students get to perform on stage with an award-winning sextet, but the members of Rowan University’s Wind Ensemble are getting that opportunity.  They will be performing with Eighth Blackbird, a four-time Grammy winner for Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance, on Friday, April 29, 2022 at 8:00 pm in Rowan’s Pfleeger Concert Hall.

5) Catching up with James Dalton: Talking Brighton Fringe and Memphis (published 2022-04-08) -- James Dalton is a performer, a storyteller, and a musician. He's someone who has managed to perform around the world based solely on talent and ambition. James was featured several times in my old Upstage Magazine and is still very much active today. In fact, he's about to compete for the third time in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and will debut his new show, "Asbury Park & Me," at the Brighton Fringe festival a few weeks later.

6) Catching Up With Keith Monacchio: An interview about "Under A Nightlight Sky" (published 2022-03-22) -- Keith Monacchio has been one of my favorite artists from New Jersey for a long time.  His career started with the Semi-Beings and then The Commons (who put out some of the best records of the era, in my opinion).  He released his 5th solo record, Under A Nightlight Sky on March 22, 2022.  The record explores themes of family, fatherhood, political tribalism, aging, and a hope for a better future in these very uncertain times. 2022 marks the 30th year of Keith's musical journey, which makes him the ideal subject for a new series that takes a look at artists who were part of my old Upstage Magazine days and still very much active today.

7) An Interview With Gerry Rosenthal (published 2022-01-06) -- Gerry Rosenthal is an example of a hard working musician. The singer-songwriter / guitarist from Highland Park plays in multiple bands (an original rock band, Beatles tribute, wedding band, and his own Gerry Rosenthal Trio) and guests with other artists. He released a new EP on January 1, 2022.  In addition to music, he's had an acting career that includes roles in Finding Forrester, "Law & Order", and was the star of a video game called "Bully", which still has a huge fanbase 15 years after its release.

8) Steppin’ Back Out and Celebrating the New Year with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra and the Legendary Songs of Broadway (published 2021-12-28) -- “As an artist, it felt like some kind of cross between a forced retirement and a sort of spiritual imprisonment,” said Maestro David Wroe, who leads the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, as he explained what it felt like for him during the pandemic. “For artists and people who are doing this profession as a vocation, it’s part of our psyche; part of our existence. For that to be taken away from us… for me, it was like being in the wilderness for a year and a half.”

9) Spotlight On Christmas Tunes From Jersey Artists Released In The Last 2-3 Years (published 2021-12-24) -- Last year, I put together a mixtape of 85 holiday songs by New Jersey artists.  It was a collection of nearly 5 hours of music from indie artists to some of the biggest stars to ever come from the Garden State. It's nice if you're looking for something to play in the background as you'll get great originals and cover tunes.  I'm not doing a new show this year, but wanted to point out some of the holiday songs released in the last year or two. These are by no means all of the holiday tracks released by Jersey artists, but a nice sampling of originals and covers.

10) Renee Maskin Talks About Her First Official Solo Record and Future Plans (published 2021-11-12) -- Renee Maskin has been a big part of the Asbury Park music scene for many years as both a solo performer and lead singer and guitarist of Lowlight. Her first official solo release is "When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" - a song written by Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - a 2018 film written, directed, and produced by the Coen brothers.  Her version appears on the new Mint 400 Records compilation "At The Movies II."

11) Members of The Wag Talk About Their Christmas Spectacular Show Coming To The Strand (published 2021-11-04) -- (LAKEWOOD, NJ) — There's nothing like a good old fashioned holiday special, and The Wag's Christmas Spectacular is steeped in the traditions of holiday TV shows of the past. The Wag will bring back the memories of these specials while putting their own unique stamp upon them. This year’s show is special for the band as they will headline a night at The Strand Theater in Lakewood on Saturday, December 11th at 7:30pm.  This will be the band’s first time headlining a show in a theater.

12) Renegades: Obama and Springsteen Wrestling With Ghosts (published 2021-10-30) -- RENEGADES: Born in the USA chronicles the conversations Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen began in Spotify’s co-produced podcast of the same name. During these intimate conversations, they share exclusive stories and ruminations about life, music, and their enduring love of America, with all its challenges and contradictions.

13) Renegades: Born In the USA - How Race Helped Define Springsteen and Obama (published 2021-10-27) -- Ever since he was pictured on the cover of both Time and Newsweek magazines in the same week in 1975, the world has known Bruce Springsteen was something special. But there’s still something awe-inspiring about a guy from Freehold being part of a project with a former President of the United States.

14) An Interview With Bob Malone Who Comes To UCPAC On September 30th (published 2021-09-22) -- Jersey native Bob Malone has been touring the world for over two decades as both a solo artist and a member of John Fogerty's band for the past decade.  He's done session work for artists like Bob Seger and Avril Lavigne, was featured on the 2017 Ringo Starr record Give More Love, and his recording of "You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" was the theme in the Illumination/ Universal movie trailers for "The Grinch", heard by millions.

15) Yee-haw! REV Theatre's "Honky Tonkin'" Hootenanny in Cape May (published 2021-07-31) -- “Yee-haw! Pounds of sequins, yards of fringe, and really big hair! This lil’ ol’ shindig puts the hoot in hootenanny and the jam in jamboree,” exclaimed Rudy Caporaso, Co-Artistic Director & Founder of REV Theatre Company.

16) Bob Burger Talks About His Heart Attack, Recovery, And Return To The Stage (published 2021-07-25) -- Bob Burger has been a part of the Jersey Shore music scene since the eighties when he moved here from Erie, Pennsylvania. He's been a member of the Bobby Bandiera Band, a solo artist, performer in Beatle tributes, and is currently a member of The Weeklings with Glen Burtnik - an artist he's written songs with for decades.  On June 5th, he was just finishing a show at The Vogel in Red Bank when he had a heart attack in the dressing room. 

17) Marc Ribler Talks About His New Record, The Pandemic, and Little Steven (published 2021-07-09) -- “It’s kind of a magical experience, you never know what the Muse has in store for the day,” explained singer-songwriter Marc Ribler.  “Some songs just feel like absolute gifts.  It’s almost like the words and melody are delivered.”

18) Brett Altman Releases "Waiting" (published 2021-05-14) -- Hoboken based singer-songwriter Brett Altman released "Waiting" on Friday, May 14th. This is the latest single from his upcoming album, Not Quite Love. "Waiting" is about overcoming the fear of rejection in order to tell someone how you truly feel. 

19) The Wag At Bar A: Our First Show In A Long, Long Time (published 2021-05-10) -- I’ll admit we were nervous.  It was our first time being to a live event in a long time.  I had been in isolation even before the pandemic due to a medical treatment and it was only one week after getting our second covid vaccine shot, but it was time.

20) Anthony Walker Talks About His Return To Music & More (published 2021-04-09) -- In 2008, a solid bunch of demo songs led to When Strangers Say Hello, the full length debut of Anthony Walker, a roots artist from New Brunswick.  That album included wonderful tracks like "Darlene", "The Year of the Flood", and "Lucky Numbers" - the first two showcasing a lyrical ability far beyond his years, the latter hinting at the full band sound to come.  A three-track EP was released in 2010, followed by This City Won't Sleep - another full-length which came out a year a later.

21) Taylor Tote On "21 Min Drive" (published 2021-04-06) -- In late March, Taylor Tote released an EP called "21 Min Drive" -  a collection of contemporary songs unlike any of Tote’s past work. Joining forces with producer and songwriter, Russell Hayden, the EP delivers a new and exciting sound for Tote.

22) An Interview With New Jersey Bassist Mike Hall (published 2021-03-15) -- Mike Hall is a bassist from New Jersey who toured throughout the east coast with the band Running Late, sharing stages with some of the biggest names in the music industry such as Blondie, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Third Eye Blind, Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon, Three Doors Down, and many more. Since Running Late disbanded last year, he's been featured in Bass Musician Magazine, received an endorsement by Skjold Design Guitars, released his first EP, and began creating bass covers on social media which have received thousands of views.

23) The Postal Project: "Whistling Down The Wire" by Crosby & Nash (published 2021-03-08) -- Today’s record is “Whistling Down The Wire” by Crosby & Nash. This is a record I’ve never heard of before.  As a fan of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, along with their work in The Byrds & The Hollies, I was interested to see what Graham Nash and David Crosby would sound like on this album. 

24) The Postal Project: "Teaser and the Firecat" by Cat Stevens (published 2021-03-01) -- A few years ago, my long-time postal worker retired.  Knowing that I wrote about music and had an online radio station, he surprised me one day by giving me a few hundred albums from his vinyl collection. It was a mix of releases from the late sixties, seventies, and early eighties - generally classic rock and folk music. After Hurricane Sandy he was downsizing and I was one to benefit.

25) Dave Vargo and Sahara Moon To Take Part In First "Not Quite Nashville" Song Swap On Saturday, January 30 (published 2021-01-28) -- Dave Vargo has been running a weekly show online called 2forTuesday for most of the last year.  The show involves Dave or another singer-songwriter popping online and performing a pair of songs Tuesdays at 7:30pm (EST).  He's launching a new show on Saturday, January 30 at 8:00pm.  Entitled, "Not Quite Nashville," which will try to virtually recreate the atmosphere and interaction of a Nashville song swap.

26) Michael Patrick Talks About His Live From The Stone Pony album (published 2021-01-14) -- For years, Michael Patrick has been proving that Jersey artists can have twang too.  He's logged over 1500 shows with performances by the Michael Patrick Band, The Suburban Hillbillies, and his Johnny Cash tribute band - Ring of Fire.  Inspired by the more traditional folk, country, rockabilly,  roots and rock sounds & writing of such artists as Lyle Lovett, Hank Williams,  John Prine, and the Man in Black himself, Michael Patrick has developed an appreciation of simplistic story-telling lyrics, catchy hooks and memorable melodies.

27) Taylor Tote Releases "Quarter-Life Crisis" As Part Of Telegraph Hill Records Vol. 3 (published 2021-01-04) -- The latest song by Taylor Tote was released on Christmas Day as part of the Telegraph Hill Records Vol. 3 playlist. Artists were asked to sum up 2020 as they reflect on a year of limitations and loss and describe their individual contributions in their own words. Taylor Tote's contribution is "Quarter-Life Crisis" - an anthem for those in their 20s and 30s trying to make their way, while striving to discover exactly which way they want to go.

28) Brett Altman Releases "Holding on to Now" (published 2020-12-18) -- Hoboken based singer-songwriter Brett Altman released "Holding on to Now" on Friday, December 18th. The song features music & lyrics by Brett Altman and Max Feinstein. The song is about living in the moment, a task which Brett admits has always challenged him. 

29) An Interview With Tommy Strazza About His Best Of Album (published 2020-12-14) -- Tommy Strazza has been a big part of the New Jersey music scene for over 20 years as a singer-songwriter putting out great records and as a lead guitar for several bands (The Strazzacasters, Hey Bulldog, Misguided Muse, The DeLoreons) and solo artists (Anthony Walker, Anjelia, Emily Grove, and Michael Askin).  His guitar work earned him the Top Guitarist Award at the 2011 Asbury Music Awards and he's earned nominations with the records.  New Jersey Stage featured him in a 2014 magazine article.

30) Classic Jersey Releases Xmas 2020 Radio Mix With 85 Tracks By Jersey Artists (published 2020-12-12) -- (BELMAR, NJ)  — If you’re in the mood for some Christmas music, New Jersey Stage has 85 tracks by artists connected to New Jersey for you to listen to.  Recorded as a mixtape, the show is available in one standalone form (with nearly 5 hours of music) or as individual hour broadcasts.  Either way you’ll get some of your favorite holiday tunes and originals from indie artists to the biggest names in New Jersey musical history.

31) A Dozen New Christmas Tracks For 2020 (published 2020-12-04) -- If you love Christmas music, we’ve got new songs from a dozen artists you should check out.  There are pandemic inspired holiday tracks, a few covers of classic Christmas songs, and even one classic updated with lyrics inspired by 2020.

32) Social Justice and the NJSO (published 2020-11-21) -- The Black Lives Matter movement began several years ago, but reached new heights in 2020. Even a deadly pandemic couldn’t stop protests around the world from making George Floyd and Breonna Taylor household names, while growing a movement centered on social justice. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) was among those who knew it was time to take on a higher role.

33) Dan Amato Releases "Home For Christmas" (published 2020-11-19) -- ​​​​​​​What happens when a musician is stuck in quarantine with two things: no studio to record and an undying love for the holidays? He puts together a Christmas record with the help of some friends. 

34) Gay Elvis talks about "Readymade Blakeup" (published 2020-11-12) -- "Why did we even bother? Why go back 17 years to finish up demoes of music that no one was really asking to hear, for a band that relatively few people even heard about?" 

35) Kriz Oehme Passes, But Leaves Us With One Last Wellbaby Record (published 2020-11-10) -- New Jersey artist Christopher (Kriz) Oehme died one month ago on October 15 after a long hard battle with kidney disease. He was a big part of the Jersey music scene for many years, working as the doorman at The Saint in Asbury Park and performing with his band Wellbaby.  Many knew him for his poetry, which earned him the Poet Laureate title at the Asbury Park Music Awards in 2004, or for his graphic design work, his paintings and eclectic jewelry.  He also put together numerous shows that included poets and musical performances.

36) Glen Burtnik Talks About Returning To His Original Songs (published 2020-10-07) -- On Sunday, October 18, Glen Burtnik will perform in concert as part of the Sundays on St. John's series presented by the Asbury Park Music Foundation.  What makes this show special is that Glen will be performing his original songs - probably for the first time in the local area in a decade or longer. Around the music world some people know him as a member of Styx, some for his popular tribute shows (Summer of Love, Beatles, etc.), and some for his current band - The Weeklings; but before any of those became part of his resume, he was known for his original songs like "Here Comes Sally" and "Follow You."

37) Get Happy at MPAC with the Return of Live Music (published 2020-10-01) -- It’s been a year of reinvention for the arts world ever since the pandemic hit. Venues like Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) in Morristown were forced to shelf the majority of their shows for the year and find new ways to stay active. Instead of shows in the theater, they presented concerts in parking lots and online. On Friday, October 2nd, MPAC will welcome audiences back into the theater for the first time in months – with the added wrinkle of the show being available for purchase as a livestream as well.

38) Shane Casey (published 2020-09-22) -- There are songs with a certain rhythm - a symbiotic balance between the words and the music that seem timeless.  Songs which sound both brand new and as though they’ve been a part of you throughout your life.  That’s how “Oh Father” sounded to me the first time I heard it.  The song kicks off the debut album by Shane Casey, a singer-songwriter from Sussex County.

39) Turns 20! (published 2020-09-22) -- is a website and online radio station that has put a spotlight on New Jersey music for two decades.  Run by Lazlo, the site is also known for music news, benefit compilations, and a never dying mission to promote New Jersey artists.   

40) Almost Queen (published 2020-08-23) -- “The name of the band is a tip of the hat to them,” explained Joseph Russo who portrays the legendary Freddie Mercury in the popular tribute band Almost Queen.  “I mean, nobody could ever be Queen.  We can almost get there, but nobody can get there.”

41) Brian Dunne & NYC (published 2020-08-23) -- The pandemic has been difficult on all of us, but it’s been especially harsh on musicians who routinely spend much of each year on the road.  That’s where the majority of their income is made - everything from selling CDs and merch to money earned at the club. Equally as important is the ability to perform in front of strangers who wind up becoming fans.  For the Brooklyn-based artist Brian Dunne, the pandemic was the first time in years he could honestly say he wasn’t on tour.

42) Kansas: Tom Brislin Joins The Legendary Prog Rock Band (published 2020-07-24) -- Like millions of kids, Tom Brislin always wanted to be a musician when he grew up.  Unlike most with that dream, Brislin’s talent as a keyboardist has led to recording albums and touring with the likes of Meat Loaf, Yes, Patti Rothberg, Renaissance, Camel, and numerous progressive rock bands.  The latest album on his resume, The Absence of Presence, was released in July and marks his first as a member of Kansas.  

43) View From The Sound Board (published 2020-07-24) -- John DiCapua is the Assistant Head of Audio at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark.  He’s also well known to music fans at the Jersey Shore for his work at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park where he got his start. While everyone wants the arts to come back, the people behind the scenes like John are facing difficult times too. Unfortunately, they are part of the forgotten class of people left behind in the arts during the pandemic.

44) Little Miss America (published 2020-07-24) -- Inspiration can strike at any time.  For Gordon Burke, lead singer and songwriter for the Australian band Josh Orange, the band’s latest single was inspired by a waitress who served him at the Miss America Diner in Jersey City.

45) Almost Queen Returns to the Drive-In (published 2020-07-16) -- Today, there are dozens of bands around the world who pay tribute to the legendary act Queen, but back when Almost Queen started nearly 16 years ago, there were next to none. On Wednesday, July 29th, the band will perform at the second music concert in the Drive-In Live series presented by the Count Basie Center for the Arts at Monmouth Park. For Joseph Russo, who portrays lead singer Freddie Mercury, it’s a hometown show.

46) Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes Offer a New Kind of Party (published 2020-07-09) -- When Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes look out from the stage on July 11, they’ll see 1,000 cars instead of fans dancing along to the music. The band kicks off the Drive-In Live series of shows at Monmouth Park racetrack presented by the Count Basie Center for the Arts.

47) Mike Peters of The Alarm Looks back (published 2020-06-23) -- ​​​​​​​The Alarm is a band from Wales led by Mike Peters that arrived on the scene in the early 1980s with a run of anthemic rock songs that resonated with millions around the world. Many of the lyrics were about fighting to survive. In the 90s, Peters fought a battle with lymph cancer.  He’s since fought rounds with chronic lymphocytic leukemia as well.  Looking back, it’s almost as though he’s been fighting cancer through his lyrics long before his first diagnosis.  One such example is their breakout hit for America, “Strength” which opened with the lines, “Give me love / Give me hope / Give me strength / Give me someone to live for.”

48) Matt Slocum on Drumming, Teaching, and the Meaning of Success (published 2020-06-19) -- Matt Slocum always knew he wanted to live close to New York City someday. The Wisconsin native grew up seeing his jazz idols all spend time living and performing in the city, and as he built up his professional resume, he knew fate would lead him there as well. After graduating from the University of Southern California and spending a few more years in California, he moved to the East Coast. He settled in Essex County where he teaches drummers and percussionists at Newark Academy and works with the jazz program at New Jersey Youth Symphony.

49) Bora Yoon: Sound & Vision (published 2020-06-14) -- Bora Yoon is a Korean-American composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist who creates fascinating soundscapes composed of both audio and visual stimuli. While you may see her playing standard instruments like a piano or violin, she also utilizes found objects and instruments from a variety of cultures and historical centuries. Yoon has perfect pitch, which provides her with the ability to hear and know sounds without a reference. It’s a skill that lets her play around with objects and see how their sounds can be manipulated or changed when paired with other objects or instruments.

50) Ben Reel and the Lure of Nashville (published 2020-05-25) -- Irish artist Ben Reel released The Nashville Calling, his ninth studio album, at the end of March.  The plan was to promote the record with a month long tour of Holland and Germany, but the tour was cancelled when the world basically shut down due to the pandemic.  Instead, he’s been promoting the record with live concerts streamed from his house each Friday on Facebook with his wife Julieanne.  It’s a shame because this is his strongest album to date.

51) John Godfrey Talks About A Special Edition Of The Troubadour Show Featuring Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska" (published 2020-05-09) -- Radio Troubadour is a radio show hosted by John Godfrey that plays the best new releases from Independent artists mixed with classic tracks from some of your favorite artists. Radio Troubadour plays a mix of Alt Country, Americana, Country & Western, Folk, Rock, Roots, Singer Songwriters. It's one of several shows available each day on The Penguin Rocks - an online radio station run by New Jersey Stage.  When we learned his latest show was a special edition featuring songs from Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska album (all covered by different artists), we reached out to him at his home in Scotland to learn more.

52) Sara Barry Talks About Songs from Quarantine: A Compilation (published 2020-04-26) -- Because of COVID-19, most of us have had to learn how to adapt to the changing world, and sometimes that's difficult. In the midst of social distancing and quarantine, things can seem disheartening, but ultimately we know we're all taking these precautionary measures so we'll be better off in the long run. But for those on the front lines of this crisis, social distancing isn't always an option. Sara Barry of the band Teen Idle has organized Songs from Quarantine - a compilation of quarantine songs that is meant to benefit those impacted by and on the front lines of this crisis. New Jersey Stage spoke to her for more information on the project, which is available online.

53) Michael McDermott: What in the world is happening here? (published 2020-04-25) -- It’s a strange time to be releasing a new album.  While a release show is still scheduled for June 5 at City Winery in Chicago, Michael McDermott doesn’t know if it will take place or not.  Nevertheless, he feels this is a good time for the album which features a title and opening single perfect for the absurd, terrifying, quarantine world we find ourselves in. 

54) Remembering Bucky (published 2020-04-25) -- “I feel like I’m burying my father again,” said jazz guitarist Ed Laub. Laub was talking about the legendary New Jersey musician Bucky Pizzarelli who passed away from complications of COVID-19.  Laub was friends with Pizzarelli for decades from the days he was a teenager studying guitar with Bucky to playing as his partner in a guitar duo for well over a decade. Pizzarelli died at his home in Saddle River, New Jersey on April 1st at the age of 94.

55) Save The Saint In Asbury Park (published 2020-04-22) -- Every day NJ Stage receives news about venues struggling to stay afloat or laying off employees due to being forced to shut down on account of the pandemic.  I tell people you can’t save them all so choose who means the most to you and donate what you can to help them.  For me, the place that’s on top of the list is The Saint in Asbury Park.

56) An Interview With The BlowUpRadio Founder On "Stay Home With Lazlo" (published 2020-04-15) -- is an online radio station / music website that was launched in 2001 by Lazlo. It has almost certainly played music by more New Jersey based artists than any other station in the world because Garden State artists are the base of the station's programming each day. Lazlo has been very involved in producing concerts, benefits for causes, and has interviewed tons of artists. He's taken advantage of the quarantine period to launch a daily show called Stay Home With Lazlo, which airs every night at 6:00pm.

57) Stormin' Norman Seldin Nominated For East Coast Music Hall of Fame (published 2020-04-14) -- Stormin' Norman Seldin is among the handful of musicians who have been a part of the Asbury Park music scene from the very beginning.  From booking shows as a teenager to breaking racial barriers by including a young Clarence Clemons in his band to performing up and down the east coast for over 50 years, his legacy is intact. Now he needs your help. Seldin is a nominee for the East Coast Music Hall of Fame for Best Music Maker in the Jazz / Blues / Swing / Retro category.  Voting runs until May 30th.

58) Bucky Pizzarelli: Jersey Through and Through (published 2020-04-07) -- On April 1st, the patriarchs of two influential jazz families passed away. They lived more than 1,000 miles apart, but their losses were felt throughout the jazz world. One was Ellis Marsalis Jr. who passed away in New Orleans; the other was Bucky Pizzarelli, who passed away at his home in Saddle River, NJ at the age of 94. Both died from complications of COVID-19.

59) Exploring New Jersey's Musical History (published 2020-03-23) -- In Dewar MacLeod’s new book, Making the Scene in the Garden State: Popular Music in New Jersey from Edison to Springsteen and Beyond, he explores the state’s music history through stories about the musicians, listeners and fans who came together to create sounds from across the American popular music spectrum.  The book was published by Rutgers University Press and released on March 13.

60) Corona Concert Classics Will Keep The Music Playing (published 2020-03-16) -- ​​​​​​​While clubs and concert halls across the country are shut down due to the COVID-19 virus, one music fan has come up with a unique way to keep live music performances going.  Ellen Berman’s Viral Video Productions will host a series of Corona Concert Classics featuring artists performing older albums in their entirety.  The series is initially scheduled to host a live concert on Facebook every Wednesday from March 18 to April 15 starting with a performance by Arlan Feiles and his wonderful album, Razing A Nation.

61) Honey Wild: The Making Of A Band (published 2020-02-26) -- It’s rare that a band plays its first gigs in August, releases its first EP in November, and winds up with the Makin Waves Song of the Year (“Don’t Call Me Baby”).  But that’s the story of Honey Wild, a bluesy rock band led by Hana Denson which is comprised of musicians from Central and North Jersey that has been playing shows in New Jersey and New York.

62) Beauty and Ruin (published 2020-01-25) -- Americana artist David Starr has been on a terrific creative streak in the last five years, releasing several albums that were among the best of each year including Love and Sabotage (2016), The Head and Heart (2017) and South and West (2018).  He’s about to release Beauty and Ruin, an album inspired by a book called Of What Was, Nothing Is Left - the last book written by his grandfather before he died.

63) Sean Glonek In The Studio (published 2020-01-25) -- In 2003, I first became aware of the Trenton band The Commons from their wonderful release Come On Get Gone. It would be one of my favorite albums of all-time from a New Jersey band and still holds up well today.  Years after that band broke up, Commons’ guitarist Sean Glonek has become one of the hottest studio guys in the state, working with local artists like Doc Rotten, The Cryptkeeper Five, Honah Lee, and numerous others in addition to being part of national records by Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly.  It’s a second act that led to SRG Studios.

64) Jay & Molly: Connecting People to the Past via Their Music (published 2020-01-08) -- Art has always been about connecting us to the past.  Hundreds of years after Shakespeare’s death, theatres around the world still perform his plays. People visit museums to see works by artists from the Renaissance era. And music from more than 150 years ago fits nicely into sets by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, a married duo whose song “Ashokan Farewell” was the hallmark of the Ken Burns’ Civil War series. 

65) Highwind Premieres Video for "2023" (published 2020-01-03) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Highwind, a two-piece pop-rock outfit based out of Asbury Park, is premiering the video for "2023" - a stand-alone single that is available on Spotify, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Bandcamp, and pretty much anywhere you can buy or stream music.

66) David Vargo (published 2019-12-25) -- When you’ve been around the Jersey music scene for a while you begin to realize that nearly everyone has a backstory that might surprise you.  David Vargo certainly has one.  When he first became a professional musician after graduating from Berklee College of Music he found himself on the road more than 300 days a year touring with artists like Whitney Houston, Phoebe Snow, and Rupert Holmes. These days he’s running his own successful financial services company, promoting his second solo album, and playing clubs instead of arenas.  Despite the lower profile he sounds much happier.  In fact, he thinks of his national touring days as part of his past musical life.

67) Four Of My Favorite Artists (published 2019-12-25) -- I gave up writing CD reviews many years ago, but like to highlight records from time to time.  As the 2010s come to an end, it dawned on me that four of my favorite artists from New Jersey had all released albums throughout the entire decade with new releases in 2019.  There’s something comforting about knowing these artists (James Dalton, Rick Barry, Arlan Feiles, and Anthony D’Amato) are not just continuing to produce music, but continuing to make great music.  So here’s a look at their 2019 releases.

68) David Spelman of the New York Guitar Festival (published 2019-12-25) -- The New York Guitar Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary in May 2019.  It has explored virtually every type of music that can be created on a guitar and presented many of the world’s most influential guitarists at venues like Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, (Le) Poisson Rouge, National Sawdust, and Brookfield Place Winter Garden.  The lineup includes masters of classical music, blues & jazz, pop & indie rock, folk & Americana, artists from Central & South American, and eclectic, genre-defying innovators.

69) Wesley Stace & His Cabinet of Wonders (published 2019-11-26) -- One of the most intriguing shows this December will take place at The Strand in Lakewood on Friday the thirteenth.  Wesley Stace, an artist who released great albums for two decades under the name John Wesley Harding, will bring his Cabinet of Wonders show to town. It’s a one of a kind variety show featuring musicians, writers and comedians. The goal is to make the audience laugh, think, and sing along. Cabinet of Wonders has been described as a little bit vaudeville, a little bit literary, and a lot of rock ‘n’ roll.

70) Sonofdov (published 2019-11-26) -- ​​​​​​​Those of us who were affected and lived through Hurricane Sandy in 2012 will never forget it.  For many of us, our lives were never the same after that storm.  Dennis King chose to stay in his Morris County house despite having no heat or power for 11 days. One thing he did have was a guitar and a desire to write music.

71) Zaritza (published 2019-11-26) -- In the #metoo era, we have become accustomed to seeing women portrayed as victims.  Zaritza, an artist living in Monmouth County, recently released a single and music video for a song that shows a different side - instead of being a victim, the song celebrates female desire and sexuality.  It would be a bold song in any era, but it’s completely eye-opening today.

72) Sammy Kay: Through Hell & Back (published 2019-08-27) -- Morris County native Sammy Kay didn’t think he had anything left after his third album, Untitled.  He was battling mental health issues and substance abuse.  He was tired of touring and didn’t know what his future would hold, but he still believed. In fact, he ended Untitled with the song “I Believe.” 

73) The Waterboys (published 2019-08-27) -- The Waterboys are one of those bands that people who love music seem to love.  They sprang out of the 1980s and have been creating great albums ever since, often incorporating Irish and Scottish sounds into their folk rock base. Led by Mike Scott, the band will be touring America in support of their latest release, Where The Action Is.  As luck would have it, the American part of their tour kicks off in New Jersey on Tuesday, September 17th at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank.

74) An Interview With Richie Santa Ahead Of His Show At The Strand (published 2019-08-11) -- Richie Santa is a singer/Elvis Tribute Artist, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and now lives in Staten Island, NY about twelve miles from where he initially grew up. His career started with a band called Neighborhood Jukebox, which was an oldies band that opened for Roy Orbison and sang live on the Don K. Reed Do Wop-Shop Radio show on CBS's 101.1 FM. Richie also sang the title track to a short-lived TV show back called "Fast Forward."

75) Williamsboy: An Old Soul (published 2019-07-25) -- ​​​​​​​Songwriters write songs for many reasons.  Matt “Billy” Williams, a singer-songwriter in Burlington County who performs as Williamsboy, writes songs about the human experience with one central goal in mind - to let people know they aren’t alone.

76) Catching Up with Carolyne Mas (published 2019-07-25) -- Carolyne Mas came out of the Greenwich Village music scene in the 1970s along with artists like Willie Nile, Steve Forbert, and The Roches. For a while her career seemed destined for greatness, but a myriad of issues prevented her from reaching that level.  She was up against sexism in the music industry, bad record labels, a manager who stole her royalty checks, eating disorders, and a mysterious knifing attack which almost cost her life.  

77) Why Don’t Indie Artists Create Best Of Albums? (published 2019-06-24) -- Imagine you are in a club watching an opening act that you’ve never seen before.  Two or three songs in it’s clear you are hooked. After their set you head over to the merch table and see several CDs they’ve released over the years.  You pick one up, then another, scanning through the titles trying to find one with songs you’ve just heard. Wouldn’t it be great if the band simply had a CD featuring their best songs?

78) Lauren Davidson: Urban Country From A Jersey Girl (published 2019-05-27) -- It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t that long ago that the New York City radio market didn’t have a single country music station.  One look at the summer concert lineup for 2019 shows country artists headlining several shows at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel and BB&T Pavilion in Camden, while some of the biggest stars have brought huge crowds to shows on the Atlantic City beach in recent years.  Even many of the biggest rock and roll clubs in the Garden State are hosting sold out country music shows nowadays. There’s no doubt that country music is big in the area now and getting bigger each year.  One person who hopes to benefit from this is Lauren Davidson, a country music artist originally from Freehold who aims to build a fanbase while living outside of the Nashville scene.

79) Mountain Man To Perform at SOPAC (published 2019-05-23) -- Many bands are started by a group of friends, but the three women that form Mountain Man were students at Bennington College in Vermont who just happened to stumble upon the magic of how their voices sound together by accident.  That discovery launched a whirlwind ride for them that began in 2009 and led to the release of their debut album the next year and an international tour in which they opened for and backed up Feist. Afterwards, they all went their separate ways, leading the music world to wonder if they would ever return.

80) A Look at Makin Waves Fest 2019 - Help Save The Wave (published 2019-05-12) -- It’s not easy being an arts journalist these days.  Newspapers have continually used the arts section as a place to make cuts - reducing or eliminating arts coverage entirely.  New Jersey Stage was created to help keep arts coverage alive and we have been fortunate to lure many arts writers to our site and magazine.  They come because of our audience, their love of the arts, and because they love covering the arts.  Unfortunately, they are also working for free.  Even celebrated journalists like Bob Makin do not get paid because there simply isn’t the money to do so.

81) Maternal Instinct (published 2019-04-26) -- “I would never have thought I would have a third child,” said singer-songwriter Sheli Monacchio.  “If you asked me a few years back that wasn’t even in the cards.  He’s what I consider to be a gift from the universe.”

82) Remembering Joe Harvard: It's Hard To Be A Saint In Two Cities (published 2019-04-26) -- On Sunday, March 24, 2019, the music world lost one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met.  I say music world because although Joe Incagnoli (better known as Joe Harvard) had become an Asbury Park legend when he moved to the city in 2001, he was already a legend in Boston, and one who played a major role in the career of many bands who went on to become household names.

83) Matt O'Ree: Back On The Road (published 2019-03-25) -- The last five years have been a crazy time for Jersey bluesman Matt O’Ree.  He went on tour across Southeast Asia as a member of Bon Jovi in 2015 and was inducted into the NY/NJ Blues Hall of Fame the following year with Eryn Shewell. He released a record that included a guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen, headlined shows at The Stone Pony, and married Eryn forming the state’s preeminent power blues duo.

84) Women Who Rock! An Interview With Meredith Ochs (published 2019-03-25) -- “Rock and roll is built of fierce women,” writes Meredith Ochs in the introduction to her fascinating book, Rock-and-Roll Woman: The 50 Fiercest Female Rockers.  “Blues, jazz, R&B, and country artists who laid its groundwork.  Girl groups who projected a flashy, united front.  Counterculture singers who protested the establishment.  Punk rockers who democratized music-making.  Riot grrrls who politicized it.  And so many more.  They all subverted stereotypes and challenged expectations, whether they set out to or not.  Their rebellion is empowering and exponential.”

85) Rock on Radio with Danny Coleman Celebrates 10th Anniversary (published 2019-03-25) -- There are many writers who contribute to New Jersey Stage, but one of the most dedicated is Danny Coleman.  He’s been penning a weekly column for us since the end of 2013.  In addition to writing, playing drums for several bands, and making award-winning chili, Coleman has been hosting a weekly radio show called “Rock on Radio” since April 26, 2009.  It currently airs every Sunday night at 7:00pm on

86) Joe Pug: Success May Be Around The Corner (published 2019-02-23) -- Every now and then an artist has a good idea for promotion that makes you wonder why it’s not done by everyone.  For Joe Pug, a singer-songwriter from Austin, that idea is a podcast.

87) James Dalton's Show of Shows (published 2019-02-23) -- Local artists often find themselves performing in small clubs, coffeehouses, house parties, and even on the streets in downtown areas.  They rarely get the chance to show their talents on the big stage, but that may be changing.

88) The Songs 4 U (published 2019-02-23) -- For roughly two decades, Alice Leon led the band The Alice Project.  They released several albums and toured throughout the East Coast.  After the band disbanded, she began releasing music under her own name.  She’s also taken her songwriting talent to a different use - running songwriting workshops and performances for children in schools and libraries, Girl Scout troops, as well as with senior citizens and children with disabilities and life-threatening conditions with TheSongs4U.COM

89) Photographer Barry Schneier Talks About His New Book Featuring Springsteen Photos From A Legendary Night (published 2019-01-31) -- On May 9, 1974, Bruce Springsteen performed a show that basically changed his life and rock and roll history.  He opened for Bonnie Raitt at the Harvard Square Theatre and Jon Landau, a music critic for Rolling Stone magazine and Cambridge-based The Real Paper, just happened to be in the audience.  When Landau's report on the show came out, the words "I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen" jumped out on the page.  Landau was hired by Springsteen, and is noted as co-producer on Springsteen studio records from 1975's Born to Run through 1992's duel release of Human Touch and Lucky Town.

90) John Oates Returns To His Roots (published 2018-12-22) -- What began as a tribute to the music of blues great Mississippi John Hurt became a much wider portrait of American music for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Oates.  On the album, Arkansas, Oates goes back to the music which inspired him to pick up a guitar. He describes the music as being “like Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues.” It’s the record he says he always wanted to make, and one which may never have been created if he had not moved to Nashville a few decades ago.

91) Dr. Demento Covered In Punk (published 2018-12-22) -- Do you remember Dr. Demento radio shows from back in the day? The show featuring music and comedy was nationally syndicated for decades and is still available weekly online. Many of the legendary songs from the show’s history are celebrated in the compilation album Dr. Demento Covered In Punk, which was released in January 2018.

92) Ray Andersen Releases Instrumental CDs Which Will Be Featured On British Airways (published 2018-12-05) -- (HIGHLAND PARK, NJ) -- Ray Andersen has been busy adding another side of music to his resume this year.  The Jersey musician has had four instrumental albums released on the boutique record label, October Night Music in 2018.  It's a label that specializes in relaxing, chill music. Ray's titles include Christmastide, Lighthouse, Winter Hours, and Autumn Road. The latter two will be featured in flight on British Airways starting in 2019.  

93) Gooch & the Motion (published 2018-11-27) -- This New Year’s Day will be 15 years to the day that Ryan Nelson’s life changed forever.  The Salem County musician crashed his pickup truck head first into a tree, smashing his C7 vertebra, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.  Doctors told him he died three times on the helicopter ride to the hospital.  He would move on to a second hospital for spinal cord surgery and a third for rehabilitation.  It was there that music literally saved his life by giving him a purpose.  

94) Roots Rock Legends: Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore (published 2018-11-27) -- “Forty years on the highway, living on dreams and gasoline” That’s a line from the wonderful title track of the album  Downey to Lubbock  the first collaboration from Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.  The longtime friends embarked on a series of acoustic shows in Texas, which were so much fun and well received that they decided to create an album. 

95) The Life Of Tom Richards To Be Celebrated On Saturday, November 17 (published 2018-11-12) -- (WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ) -- The cover story of New Jersey Stage magazine Issue 44 was on Tom Richards, a musician born and raised in New Jersey, and his battle with an aggressive and incurable form of cancer.  At the time, Tom believed he had a year or two left and was fighting to complete an album in that time.  Sadly, Tom lost his battle on October 2, 2018.  A  celebration of his life will take place at the O'Brien Funeral Home in Wall Township on Saturday, November 17 from noon to 4:00pm.

96) Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore: Two Roots Music Legends To Perform At SOPAC on Thursday (published 2018-10-30) -- "​​​​Forty years on the highway, living on dreams and gasoline" - That’s a line from the wonderful title track of the album Downey to Lubbock - the first collaboration from Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.  The two artists had been friends for three decades before embarking on a series of acoustic shows in Texas.  Those shows were so much fun and well received that they decided to create an album.  They’re back on tour and will be performing at South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) on Thursday.  Tickets are $30-$40.

97) Michael Patrick: Garden State Country (published 2018-10-24) -- Growing up in New Jersey doesn’t generally lend itself to becoming a country music artist. Michael Patrick took a bit of a winding road to get there, but he’s about as Americana as they come.  On his latest release, John Wayne Movies, Michael Patrick weaves country songs alongside rock and roll, folk and rockabilly tunes to create an excellent album that few would guess was born in the Garden State.

98) Hendrix & Cream At Monmouth University (published 2018-09-27) -- Imagine getting to see Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton perform on the same night? That’s physically impossible, but the next best thing will take place on Saturday, October 13th when Monmouth University presents Kiss The Sky and Heavy Cream - two tribute bands that do all they can to provide the most authentic concerts around.

99) Larry Weiss: A Second Chance At A First Impression (published 2018-09-27) -- Many people have their jaws drop when they first learn that the classic country song, “Rhinestone Cowboy” was actually written by a Jersey boy.  

100) Mike Aiken Talks About Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch At RVCC (published 2018-09-14) -- (BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- Raritan Valley Community College presents Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22.  The three-day event will feature a number of different musical shows by Mike Aiken, as well as other solo artists and groups.  

101) Kelly McKay: Jersey City's Loss Is Nashville's Gain (published 2018-08-25) -- For a decade, Kelly McGrath and her husband Frankie formed the core of Maybe Pete - a popular rock band from North Jersey whose influences ranged from The Replacements to Bruce Springsteen to The Rolling Stones and the New York Dolls.  It was a unique blend of Jersey Shore roots rock with a punk attitude.  When the band went on hiatus in 2011, Kelly began focusing on her own songwriting.  

102) The Wag Celebrates 20 Years (published 2018-08-25) -- For twenty years, The Wag has been entertaining audiences with a fun and upbeat live show featuring original songs that carry the sounds and spirit of the British Invasion groups of the sixties.  They perform wherever they can - clubs, coffeehouses, festivals, benefits, you name it, and they also push the boundaries more than most bands in Jersey.  They’ve done this by going on tours on the West Coast, Canada, England, and even Japan.  And they’re about to release their first new album in five years.

103) Pat Foran: The Art of Economizing Songs (published 2018-08-25) -- Lambertville native Pat Foran was always told that his songs were too long.  When they clocked in at four minutes, he was told they needed to be trimmed down to three.  It was always a challenge for him until he began working with Rob Figarola, a Los Angeles based A&R consultant who was with - a site that identifies and develops unsigned artists. 

104) Bruce Tunkel Finds His Creative Groove (published 2018-07-24) -- What does an artist do when he finds himself in one of the most prolific phases of his career, but the songs don’t seem to go together?  When he knows there are more than enough songs to create an album, but it just doesn’t feel like an album?

105) S0F Makes Her Move (published 2018-07-24) -- This is an exciting time for Sofia Khorosh, a singer-songwriter who performs under the stage name S0F. She recently graduated from Rowan University and on July 10th announced her next big move - one that immediately caught our eye.

106) Mike Daly & The Planets (published 2018-07-01) -- For a long time, Mike Daly had trouble envisioning himself as a lead singer.  He knew his baritone range was much deeper than the majority of singers heard on the radio and rarely heard anyone who sounded like him. Until one day when the late Pat DiNizio,  a fellow North Jersey artist who fronted The Smithereens, entered the picture.

107) Erik Mason Returns To The Jersey Shore For Three Shows Benefiting Three Non Profits (published 2018-06-15) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) — Piano-based singer-songwriter Erik Mason returns to the Jersey Shore for three shows this summer.  Mason, raised in Brielle, will be performing at The Saint (June 21 at 10:00pm) and House of Independents (July 5 at 7:00pm) in Asbury Park, and at Beach Haus Brewery (August 17 at 7:00pm) in Belmar.  He is donating proceeds from these shows to three nonprofit organizations in the area: Monmouth County SPCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties, and Foodstock NJ.

108) VIDEO PREMIERE: "The Prayer" by John Paciga and Charlotte MacMurray (published 2018-06-06) -- It’s a busy time for John Paciga these days.  The young musician has just graduated from Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey and is preparing to start a new chapter at Yale University.  He’s also just released a cover of “The Prayer” with Charlotte MacMurray and New Jersey Stage is proud to premiere the video.

109) Stacie Rose (published 2018-05-26) -- One thing many female singer-songwriters have in common is that they all seem to disappear when they have a child.  Taking time off is to be expected, but time flies and before they know it a decade has already passed since they last performed or recorded new music.  New Jersey native Stacie Rose did not put her career on hold. In fact, she found herself in a burst of creativity, leading to a complete album in 2013 written from the end of her pregnancy to her son’s infancy. Rose continues to move forward with the recent release of her self-titled album.

110) Willie Nile's Birthday Bash To Take Place At House Of Independents (published 2018-05-17) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- No stranger to the Jersey Shore, Willie Nile returns to Asbury Park on Saturday, June 9 for a Rock 'N Roll Birthday Bash at House of Independents. He will be supported by local favorites Colossal Street Jam.  Doors are at 7:00pm. Tickets range from $30 to $60.

111) The Smithereens With Marshall Crenshaw To Perform At Outpost In The Burbs (published 2018-04-30) -- (MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- When Pat DiNizio passed away on December 12, 2017, the future of The Smithereens was suddenly thrown into doubt. Thankfully, the band has decided to continue motoring on with shows here and there.  One show coming up is at Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair on Friday, June 1st with fellow 80s rock legend Marshall Crenshaw on hand as special guest vocalist alongside Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros.

112) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman (published 2018-04-23) -- A feature on Morris County singer-songwriter Amanda Rose Riley, who recently released her first studio album: Secrets I Told To A Sound Hole.

113) Kids On Keys & Dueling Pianos To Promote Autism Awareness (published 2018-04-23) -- “As a schooled pianist and seeing so much since the age of three when I started formal lessons, I have always thought that when someone has a setback with Autism or something similar, that somewhere they are rewarded with a special talent that I’ll never have,” said Stormin’ Norman Seldin, a Jersey Shore musical legend.

114) The Magic Man In The Studio (published 2018-03-22) -- Steve Greenwell doesn’t care if your demos are polished.  In fact, he doesn’t expect them to be.  He doesn’t care if you’ve sold millions of records or haven’t sold a single one.  He’s worked with everyone from Grammy Award winners to indie artists just starting out.  For him, it’s all about the artist.  If he believes you have what it takes, he will work with you and bring out the best in you. He’s done it time and time again.

115) The Who's Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry (published 2018-03-22) -- Forty-five years after its original release, The Who’s Tommy will be performed as a full-length bluegrass tribute at The Grunin Center for the Arts in Toms River on Friday, April 13 at 8:00pm.  The band bringing this legendary classic rock story to a bluegrass tint is The Hillbenders from Springfield, MO.

116) An Interview With EmiSunshine (published 2018-03-22) -- ​​​​​​​EmiSunshine was only nine years old when a video captured her performing Jimmie Rodgers’ “Blue Yodel No. 6” at a flea market in Tennessee and went viral.  This led to an invitation to “The Today Show” that introduced her to the world.  Since then, she has released several albums featuring songs steeped in the sounds of Appalachia.  It’s rootsy, Americana music, that has found airplay far beyond traditional country radio stations.

117) So, You've Made A Video... Now What? (published 2018-03-22) -- “Hey, I think we might have a video for you,” a woman from Lost Highway Records said in a phone call to Andy Gesner in January 2003.

118) Tom Richards Fights On (published 2018-02-26) -- You won’t find Tom Richards’ name in many history books.  His bands from The Slices to The Baby Seal Club never had a Top Ten record.  He describes himself as a musician’s musician - a guy who has been a professional for decades and one working on his first ever solo album.  It’s more than just something he hopes to put out into the world.  This is more than just a statement from an artist.  This is his chance to leave something for the world to remember. Tom is dying of cancer.

119) Rowan Jazz Festival To Honor Oliver Nelson and "The Kennedy Dream" (published 2018-02-07) -- “He was kind of an unsung hero,” said Oliver Nelson, Jr. about his father, an acclaimed African-American composer and jazz saxophonist. Some of his father’s most remembered work will be performed along with selections from “The Kennedy Dream” to close out this year’s Rowan Jazz Festival

120) An Interview With Michael Brett (published 2018-01-23) -- Michael Brett has been performing and writing songs for twenty years now; both as a solo artist and alongside Deirdre Forrest in The May Darlings. From his first EP (Done, released in 1998) to his latest albums (Serenade Postcards and Dislocate), he has grown with each release.  He’s carved out a niche for himself in a genre that he calls “rock/folk.”   

121) A Look At Light Of Day Winterfest 2018 Kick Off Show At House Of Independents (published 2018-01-12) -- ​​​​​​​(ASBURY PARK, NJ) — I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of time travel and I think I actually experienced such a trip when Light of Day Winterfest 2018 kicked off at the House of Independents on Thursday, January 11.  The night featured performances by Mark Wright, Joe D’Urso and Stone Caravan, Dramarama, and Bobby Bandiera playing tribute to Tom Petty.  For me, it was like reliving my musical past.

122) Rick Springfield Gets "Stripped Down" In Morristown (published 2018-01-03) -- No matter how many hits he’s had throughout his career, Rick Springfield will always be associated with the ‘80s – a period in which he portrayed Dr. Noah Drake on the hit soap opera, “General Hospital,” while topping the charts with “Jessie’s Girl.” But that’s only part of his story.

123) Goodnight Rhonda Lee: Nicole Atkin's Best Album Yet! (published 2017-12-25) -- One of the hardest things for musicians is learning when they should listen to the advice given by others and when they should simply trust their gut instincts.  For years, Nicole Atkins fought her natural talent and tried being what others wanted her to be.  The result was several critically acclaimed albums that always felt as if something was being held back.  On her latest release, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, she is finally at peace with her life and her music.  And she’s never sounded better.

124) Classic Rock Tarot (published 2017-12-25) -- Inspiration comes in many forms.  Sometimes even in the form of a challenge issued by a loving wife. Just ask Anthony J. Parisi, an illustrator and caricaturist from Gloucester County who created a unique line of tarot cards inspired by classic rock musicians based on a dare from his wife, Mary.

125) Light of Day 2018 (published 2017-12-25) -- The annual Light of Day concerts roll into the tri-state area in January with shows in Montclair, Asbury Park, New York City, and Philadelphia. 

126) Pat DiNizio Of The Smithereens Passes (published 2017-12-13) -- According to the official website of The Smithereens, lead singer and songwriter Pat DiNizio passed away on December 12, 2017.  The cause of death was not known as of this writing.

127) The Successful Failures (published 2017-11-21) -- Long before The Successful Failures were even a band, lead singer Mick Chorba had them in mind.  You could almost say he willed them into existence.

128) New Brunswick Seeks To Reclaim Its Place In Jersey Music History (published 2017-11-21) -- Hub City Sounds - New Brunswick’s Live Music Series - wrapped up in early October.  The award-winning arts reporter Bob Makin was a big supporter, including being the driving force being the ROCK! New Brunswick festival, which took place at Boyd Park in September.  That event was intended to showcase some of the performers to come out of the Brunswick scene, while highlighting artists in the scene today.  

129) A Special Why Hunger Benefit In Asbury Park To Feature Night Of Springsteen Songs (published 2017-11-15) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) — One of the best “good guys” in the music scene is Joe D’Urso.  He’s been a major force in benefits for organizations such as the Light of Day Foundation and WhyHunger for years and years.  On Wednesday, November 22, he’s back at it with a great lineup in support of WhyHunger with a night of songs by Bruce Springsteen. In addition to Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan, the lineup includes JoBonanno & the Godsons, Joe Rapolla & the Perfect Square, Bobby Mahoney & the Seventh Son, Jon Caspi & the First Gun, Dan Amato & the Sentimental Gentlemen, Stella Mrowicki and DJ Lee Mrowicki.

130) The Edgy Ember Ensemble Tackles Issue of War (published 2017-11-09) -- The Ember Ensemble of Schola Cantorum on Hudson is not your usual choir.  This eclectic group does not shy from tackling important issues of the day with their programs. In previous seasons, they have examined themes as diverse as energy and the environment to immigration.  This year’s theme focuses on military conflicts and the aftermath of such conflicts.  The season begins on Sunday, November 12 in Montclair when the Ember Ensemble presents the East Coast Premiere of a dramatic oratorio by John Muehleisen called “But Who Shall Return Us Our Children? A Kipling Passion.”

131) The Cryptkeeper Five (published 2017-10-23) -- One of the most unsung bands in the New Jersey music scene for decades has been The Cryptkeeper Five (CK5) from Trenton.  They’ve been banging out their unique style of punk rock since 1997. Punk that includes a wide range of influences from Roy Orbison to the Misfits to Bruce Springsteen.  In a way, they’re like the Ramones with a Jersey twist.

132) The Story Of The Man Who Shaped The Beatles (published 2017-10-23) -- You might think that every angle of The Beatles story has been covered by now, but one very significant piece was largely left untouched - the story of George Martin, the producer who helped shape and mold the music which defined one of the greatest bands in history.   Martin penned three autobiographies, but acclaimed author Kenneth Womack has stepped in to tell the rest of the story.

133) The Matt O'Ree Band To Headline The Stone Pony On October 28 (published 2017-10-16) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Fresh off his honeymoon and ready to rock again, The Matt O'Ree Band will return to The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Saturday, October 28.  They will be joined on the bill by Secret Sound, Slapjack, and Cigar Box Stompers.  Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door.

134) A Different Take On Springsteen On Broadway (published 2017-10-13) -- ​​​​​​​Press reviews are pouring in for Springsteen on Broadway this week and, while the critics love the show, many fans are still upset at the ticket costs which started out at hundreds of dollars more expensive than his regular tour tickets.  Die-hard fans who often attended multiple shows on each tour are struggling with the idea of being able to see just one performance or none at all.  Rich Lynch, a writer/musician from New Jersey who now lives in Nashville, was so incensed by the comments he saw from Bruce fans that he actually wrote and recorded a "protest" song in their honor.

135) The Pair Of Asbury Angels Who Directly Changed My Life (published 2017-10-02) -- (OCTOBER 2, 2017) — I woke up this morning to the news about the devastating Las Vegas shooting and later heard of Tom Petty in the fight for his life.  After weeks of natural disasters and death, I want to end this day with something positive.  So I’m going to report on a pair of Asbury Angels who helped me become who I am today. I rarely write pieces that involve me, but I'm trying to make sense of today and I think this might help.

136) The inner struggles of Deirdre Forrest (published 2017-09-22) -- Deirdre Forrest has been performing for nearly a decade throughout the tri-state area.  She grew up in South Amboy and is best known for her work with the bands Beannacht and May Darlings along with her solo career.  You could say she’s a modern day artist - one raised on social media to the point where her life is truly an open book.

137) New Brunswick Gets Ready To Rock Again (published 2017-09-02) -- When people talk about great rock ‘n’ roll scenes in New Jersey, two areas generally come to mind: Asbury Park and New Brunswick. The former spawned some of the biggest and most recognizable names in the state’s history, while the latter launched the careers of more national acts than any other place in the Garden State.

138) Nalani & Sarina: Moving In Stereo (published 2017-08-22) -- The first thing most people notice about Nalani & Sarina is that they are identical twins, but they are much more than that. The two are extremely confident, focused, and charismatic young musicians who are determined to carve out a musical career on their own terms.  And they recently discussed their goals and vision for their music during a TED talk in Delaware.

139) On stage with Iain Matthews (published 2017-08-21) -- Iain Matthews first gained attention in the late 1960s as a founding member and vocalist for the influential British folk band Fairport Convention on their first three albums. He went on to create Matthews’ Southern Comfort, whose cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” topped the charts in the UK in 1971. In addition to a lengthy solo career, he’s also released several albums with Plainsong.  In a strange twist, he has brought back both Matthews’ Southern Comfort and Plainsong at various times throughout the years.

140) Rick Barry Wins Another Songwriting Award He Doesn't Want To Talk About (published 2017-08-09) -- Some artists give the impression they are shooting to win awards; others act like they couldn't give a damn about them.  Rick Barry is definitely the latter, which is funny because he continues to win them. He's won everything from Asbury Music Awards to earning national recognition with wins in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the Unisong International Songwriting Contest.  Earlier this year, he added another to the list - the Akademia Award for "So Soft, So Sweet" which was named Best Americana Song.

141) "No Tickets Required" - Montclair Jazz Festival (published 2017-08-08) -- ​​​​​​​On Saturday, August 12, thousands of people will enjoy a full day of live music at the 2017 Montclair Jazz Festival. It takes place in Nishuane Park, a beautiful 17-acre setting in Montclair’s South End, and is the culmination of two weeks of musical events throughout the town. Since the end of July, Montclair has been home to everything from live performances on the streets to photography exhibits and master classes–and the festival is the perfect finish!

142) NJ Artist Brian Clayton Has Song Placed In "The Big Sick" motion picture (published 2017-07-31) -- Garwood native singer/songwriter Brian Clayton had his song "She Let Me Go" placed in the feature film The Big Sick, a romantic comedy about how a new couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows. Directed by Michael Showalter and produced by Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, the film stars Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano, and Holly Hunter. 

143) An Interview with DJ Lee Mrowicki of Radio Jersey (published 2017-07-23) -- Radio Jersey is the flagship program of, broadcasting every day Monday through Friday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  Hosted by Lee Mrowicki, the long-time DJ at Asbury Park clubs like The Stone Pony and the Wonder Bar, the show puts the spotlight on the Garden State like never before.  Mrowicki doesn’t just focus on one genre of music, he spins music by New Jersey artists of every genre - including songs you won’t find anywhere else.  You’ll quickly realize just how amazing the state’s musical history once you tune in.

144) Peter Prasa: Poets & Heroes (published 2017-07-23) -- What do you do when your music doesnt quite fit into any particular genre? In an industry that lives on nicely packaged descriptions like rock, jazz, and country, what happens when your music is all three?

145) A Special Night With Constantine Maroulis (published 2017-07-05) -- “For the first time in many years, I feel like I have something to say as a writer,” said Constantine Maroulis, the Tony-nominated actor and rock ’n’ roll star. “I’m 41 years old now and I think it’s starting to click.”

146) Tom Kanach Returns With "Undertow" (published 2017-06-22) -- “Undertow is this damage that we all have in our lives that tries to pull us under and drown us,” explains Tom Kanach, a veteran of the Jersey Shore music scene with popular 80s/90s bands Mischief and Wells of Souls.  The Monmouth County native recently released his first recording of new music in more than two decades with the absolutely brilliant, Undertow.

147) Postmodern Jukebox (published 2017-06-22) -- “A song can be detached from its genre pretty easily,” explains pianist and bandleader Scott Bradlee, the man behind Postmodern Jukebox, a band that gives modern songs a retro twist.  “I think we’re used to hearing songs covered in a certain style because the original artist did it that way.  I decided to take the opposite approach and do it completely different.  You find that a great song can transcend genre.”

148) An Interview With Dw. Dunphy about The Co-Op Communique (published 2017-06-07) -- The Co-Op Communique distributes music from independent artists seeking to share their artistic output with an enthusiastic audience. The latest release, The Co​-​Op Communique Volume Three, went live on May 26, 2017.  It contains songs by 35 different independent artists and is available for free. New Jersey Stage spoke with Executive Producer, Dw. Dunphy about the release and the artist series.

149) Matthew Stephen and the Sweet Action Release Video For "Grooving To The Beat" (published 2017-05-22) -- Matthew Stephen and the Sweet Action might be a new name for you, but fans of Airacuda will instantly recognize the voice. Matthew Stephen Menges began his solo project in April 2016 when Airacuda went on an indefinite hiatus. He was the frontman for the band with major writing credits on both of the band's EPs, including full credit on their singles 'Pals' and 'I Got A Woman'. He has just released the video for his new single, "Grooving to the Beat." The video was shot by Nelson Wong of Something Something Productions. Makeup by Jamie Leigh Artistry, with Matthew starring as the old man.

150) Company of Wolves (published 2017-05-22) -- Company of Wolves was a popular rock and roll band in the early 90s in the tri-state area. They made some noise nationally with a self-titled record on Mercury/Polygram that included “Call of the Wild”, “The Distance”, and “Hangin’ By a Thread” - all of which charted on AOR (album-oriented rock) stations. The band just released its first single in 20 years and is playing a reunion show on June 3 at Club 66 in Edgewood, MD.

151) Music, Dance and Collaboration Brings “Carmina Burana” to Life in Princeton (published 2017-05-16) -- When Carl Orff first conceived “Carmina Burana,” he pictured it as a “scenic cantata” with music and dance working together to create a truly beautiful experience. That combination will be on display at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on May 21st when three Garden State-based arts organizations—Princeton Pro Musica, Princeton Girlchoir and Roxey Ballet—team up for a performance.

152) BobFest: Songs of War & Peace (published 2017-04-24) -- Ever since 1997, Pat Guadagno has been celebrating Bob Dylan’s birthday in a grand way with BobFest. The show returns to the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank on May 25 with this year’s theme: Songs Of War & Peace. In honor of the holiday, Jersey Mike’s is providing tickets for any veterans who wish to see the show.

153) Catching Up With Victoria Williams (published 2017-04-24) -- For many music fans in the 90s, Victoria Williams was their introduction to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The Louisiana born Williams was a rising star in the indie world, touring as the opening act for Neil Young when she first began having neurological problems. Faced with a sudden bout of medical bills and without health insurance, 14 artists including Pearl Jam, Soul Asylum, Lou Reed, and The Waterboys covered songs written by Williams on a tribute album entitled “Sweet Relief: A Benefit For Victoria Williams.” The album did so well that it led to the creation of the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, an organization that aids musicians with their medical bills.

154) A look at female artists and the Artists who inspired them (part 2) (published 2017-04-15) -- For the third issue of 2017, New Jersey Stage featured an interview with Ann Wilson of Heart as the cover story. Thinking back to the classic rock songs from Heart got us wondering who were the female artists that inspired artists in the area. We spoke with 11 artists. In this piece we talk with Reagan Richards (from Williams Honor) Eryn Shewell, Meagan Brothers, Sofia Khorosh (SØF), and Alicia Van Sant (from The Wag). This is part one of two features.

155) A look at female artists and the Artists who inspired them (part 1) (published 2017-04-15) -- For the third issue of 2017, New Jersey Stage featured an interview with Ann Wilson of Heart as the cover story. Thinking back to the classic rock songs from Heart got us wondering who were the female artists that inspired artists in the area. We spoke with 11 artists. In this piece we talk with Karen Mansfield, Amy Schindler (from ViRAGO), Tara Elliott, Jody Joseph, and Catherine Wacha. This is part one of two features. Click here for the second part.

156) An Interview With Jim Testa, publisher of Jersey Beat On 35th Anniversary (published 2017-04-12) -- Jersey Beat has long since morphed from a print zine to an online blog (with a podcast) and remains of the most influential music publications in the Garden State. Created by Jim Testa, Jersey Beat will celebrate it's 35th anniversary at Maxwell's Tavern in Hoboken on Friday, April 14. The show includes performances by many of the artists who inspired Testa to create Jersey Beat including Richard Barone of the Bongos, Glenn Morrow (Individuals, Cry for Help), Mod Fun, The Cucumbers, Tammy Faye Starlight & Keith Hartel, Prosolar Mechanics, Balloon Squad, Karyn Kuhl & Alice Genese, Paul Richard (Adrenalin OD), Marc Maurizi (Cropduster), and Tris McCall. Admission is $12 at the door and $10 in advance. Proceeds will benefit The Project Matters, a local NJ charity that mentors and supports young musicians.

157) Makin Waves Comes to NJ Stage (published 2017-03-06) -- When Upstage Magazine was first launched in 2003, I wanted the publication to quickly gain credibility in the arts & entertainment world. I had a short list of music writers I wanted on board that included Bob Makin and Chris Barry. Both were in our first issue and helped us make an instant splash in the local music scene.

158) Ellis Paul: 25 Years On The Road (published 2017-02-23) -- It’s never been easy to carve out a career in the music business and it may be more difficult now than ever. Despite a plethora of websites to let people discover artists, music fans are largely on their own. MTV gave up on music videos long ago, the power of radio has been greatly diminished, and even publications like Rolling Stone are arguably read more for their political writing today as much as their profiles on artists. With that in mind, it’s remarkable when artists like Ellis Paul can simultaneously build a devoted fan base throughout the country and remain under the radar for 25 years.

159) Valentine's Weekend at Kean Stage (published 2017-02-07) -- What is it like for a pair of artists to be married to each other? The question has been posed to Broadway stars Jarrod Spector and Kelli Barrett over and over again since they tied the knot in October 2014. It peaked their interest enough to begin researching famous musical marriages throughout history; a project that developed into the show “This is Dedicated: Music’s Greatest Marriages.”

160) #50 Brian Molnar: Brian Molnar (published 2017-01-26) -- Before he added The Naked Hearts as his backing band, Brian Molnar performed as a solo artist. On his self-titled debut, he shows a more folk-based style than the Americana/Alt-Country genre that his newer work with the full band possesses. Both styles seem to suit Brian well, and it’s fascinating to look back and see how the different musical directions changed his songs.

161) #49 Echo Screen: An American Tale (published 2017-01-26) -- Echo Screen’s debut An American Tale begins with “The Things We’ve Left Behind,” a brief instrumental that sets a rather somber setting. It sort of reminds me of the cartoon character Schroeder from Peanuts tapping away at his little piano while watching bombs fall during World War III. The song then ends with a loud bang and bursts into “An American Tale,” a blistering pop punk tune that leads into a collection of songs that appear to have been somewhat inspired by 9/11 and its aftermath.

162) #48 Lisa Bouchelle: Paint Your Dreams (published 2017-01-26) -- As a child growing up in Trenton, the only time Lisa Bouchelle’s parents stopped fighting was when Lisa was singing. Her mother was an alcoholic and her father struggled with three jobs to make ends meet. All of their problems seemed to subside when Lisa would start to sing. At four years old, she won a talent contest while singing “America The Beautiful” dressed in an American flag costume. It was at that moment that she knew she wanted to be a singer.

163) #47 Divine Sign: Definitely Overdue (published 2017-01-26) -- Divine Sign began as a duo featuring the pairing of Lindsey Miller on guitar and Kerry McNulty on vocals. Through the years, they added additional members to round out a full band, but often went back to working as a duo. Even though the full band treatment found on this album helped develop the band’s sound from its folk beginnings to a more country/rock flavor, Lindsey and Kerry always remained the backbone of the group.

164) #46 The Bouncing Souls: The Gold Record (published 2017-01-26) -- At a time when most punk bands have long since packed it up, The Bouncing Souls released The Gold Record, another amazing album from start to finish. Full of incredibly catchy tunes featuring punk and pop/rock styles, the release saw the band venturing slightly away from its punk origins.

165) #45 The Gaslight Anthem: American Slang (published 2017-01-26) -- The Gaslight Anthem put a lot of pressure on themselves to make a great album after the breakthrough success of The ‘59 Sound, a release that made them practically a household name for rock and roll fans throughout the world. The band was not only up to the task, but crafted an album in American Slang, which solidified their place as one of the hottest rock bands alive.

166) #44 Ken Shane: South Ridgeway Avenue (published 2017-01-26) -- Ken Shane grew up in both North Jersey (Springfield) and South Jersey (Atlantic City), but it’s clear his heart remained at the Shore. His memories of the beach, boardwalk, and summers spent at his Grandparents’ house on South Ridgeway Avenue were the inspiration behind this wonderful collection of songs.

167) #43 Joe Whyte: When The Day Breaks (published 2017-01-26) -- Born and raised in Matawan, Joe Whyte is proof that even Jersey boys can sing with an honest to goodness country twang. Currently living in Rutherford, Joe is part of New York City’s Americana/Alt-Country scene.

168) #42 Anthony D'Amato: Down Wires (published 2017-01-26) -- Down Wires comes firing out the gate with “Ballad Of The Undecided,” a full-blown rocker that hints at an expansion of the folk-rock sounds Anthony D’Amato was gaining a reputation for. But by the first few stanzas of “Holy War,” he also hints that he is ready to serve as a major voice of his generation.

169) #41 The Dipsomaniacs: The Life You’re Faking (published 2017-01-26) -- The Dipsomaniacs got their name straight out of the dictionary. It means, “one who has an irrepressible desire for alcoholic drinks.” Tom O’Grady, the band’s drummer had it on a list of potential band names he created back in high school. Tom and Mick Chorba, the band’s songwriter and lead singer, had been in bands together since they were 13, but it was the band inspired by alcohol that gave them their shot at stardom.

170) #40 The Milwaukees: American Anthems Vol. 1 (published 2017-01-26) -- For years, The Milwaukees’ band name mystified me. Who names a band from New Jersey after a city in Wisconsin? But with the release of American Anthems Vol. 1, it suddenly all made sense. The band, which has had a series of personnel changes through the years, was the true personification of American rock and roll. And what city in America represents the average blue-collar American more than Milwaukee?

171) #39 James Dalton: Smile Goodbye To The Kings & Clowns (published 2017-01-26) -- Around the time James Dalton recorded Smile Goodbye To The Kings & Clowns, he could be found somewhere on stage most every night along the Jersey Shore. One night he might be seen adding mandolin to the songs of Nicole Atkins, the next he might be jamming on harp with Matt Witte. Everybody knew him as JPAT back then, a young artist with an incredible voice and an unrelenting desire to play.

172) #38 Rick Barry: Declaration Of Codependence (published 2017-01-26) -- Rick Barry is a bit of an enigma. He’s got an uncanny ability to win over a crowd’s attention with even the quietest song, yet that power has rarely shown in the studio. Personally, I think this brilliant songwriter from Point Pleasant is often guilty of trying to dress up his recorded tunes too much. Maybe that’s why I love this particular release.

173) #37 Maybe Pete: Pancakes And Martinis (published 2017-01-26) -- Pancakes And Martinis by Maybe Pete may only contain six songs, but six very impressive songs. There’s no fluff at all here. It contains some of the pounding rock and roll the band was known for, but also shows the band expanding their songwriting through tunes written by Kelly McGrath that sound unlike anything else they had ever released.

174) #36 The Bouncing Souls: How I Spent My Summer Vacation (published 2017-01-26) -- How I Spent My Summer Vacation was the first Bouncing Souls album to feature Michael McDermott on drums. This was the first and only lineup change throughout the history of the band. From the very first track it was clear that McDermott was up to the task and the band had come through with one of their best releases to date.

175) #35 Mimi Cross: I Slept... (published 2017-01-26) -- Mimi Cross is not your typical singer-songwriter. Her music is like a blend of the sound experimention of Kate Bush and the prose of Patti Smith. She lures you in and has the ability to seduce you with her voice. The combination of these attributes is a style uniquely her own; one that sounds mystical and almost spiritual. Mimi was born in Toronto, but grew up in Millburn and Long Beach Island. Later on she would settle in the Red Bank/Highlands area and become a fixture of the Asbury Park music scene.

176) #34 Dramarama: Everybody Dies (published 2017-01-26) -- Dramarama remains one of New Jersey’s most underrated bands of all-time. During the ‘80s, the boys from Wayne had the distinction of holding the #1 fan voted song for KROQ in California (“Anything, Anything”) and WHTG in New Jersey (“Last Cigarette”) yet never truly rose above cult status elsewhere. They broke up in 1994, but their songs lived on through live shows by lead singer John Easdale.

177) #33 Arlan Feiles: Come Sunday Morning (published 2017-01-26) -- Come Sunday Morning sounds much more polished than Razing A Nation, but the themes are similar. Arlan remains true to the ideals he believes in and isn’t afraid to speak out. While, at times, the music may be more upbeat than his previous release, it’s still a folk album at heart; focusing on love and war, and souls seeking salvation.

178) #32 John Gorka: The Company You Keep (published 2017-01-26) -- There’s something about growing up in the Garden State that stays with people; it becomes part of their identity regardless of whether or not it’s readily apparent, and it’s something that’s hard to shake. Even though John Gorka has lived in Minnesota long enough for the state to claim him as one of their own, the man who once penned the song “I’m From New Jersey” has never forgotten the roots he planted growing up in Colonia.

179) #31 Jon Caspi: Eddie Knows! (published 2017-01-26) -- Who would have thought a song like “What Does Eddie Know?” from I’m Not Angry... Anymore could inspire an entire rock and roll concept album? Perhaps more surprising is the fact that it led to a rock and roll concept album that actually works!

180) #30 April Smith and the Great Picture Show: Songs For A Sinking Ship (published 2017-01-26) -- April Smith grew up in Toms River and became one of the stars of the Asbury Park music scene before moving to Brooklyn; there she became an indie-music darling and was placed on several national tours. She’s always had a remarkably powerful voice, it just took a few years to develop a style that took full advantage of it. On Songs For A Sinking Ship, she’s found that style.

181) #29 Red Wanting Blue: These Magnificent Miles (published 2017-01-26) -- Red Wanting Blue first released These Magnificent Miles independently in 2008 as the band’s eighth full-length album. The title was a nod to the band’s lifestyle, a perpetual ride through the country performing night after night as if they were members of the circus coming to town.

182) #28 The Amboys: Everything Between The Moon And The Sun (published 2017-01-26) -- The Amboys hail from Asbury Park. The band, comprised of C.M. Smith, Manny Castanon, Connor Effenberger, and Dan Effenberger (who replaced Kyle Waugh, who played on the album and was the band’s original rhythm guitarist), has been one of my favorites in the Asbury Park music scene since they first began hitting the stage in 2009. Their debut album provides brilliant country-infused garage rock and roll that reminds me of Johnny Cash waking up on the wrong side of the bed after an all night binge, taking some speed, downing a Jack and Coke, and heading out to the local punk rock bar to jam with whoever was on stage. It’s got a true kick ass spirit to it.

183) #27 The Commons: Dirt Waffle (published 2017-01-26) -- Dirt Waffle represented a major change of direction for The Commons. This release moved away from the collective moodiness and introspection of Come On Get Gone towards a mixed bag of rock, pop, and even jazzy numbers. The result is somewhat akin to the music released by the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies during the ‘80s. It was something entirely unexpected from The Commons, but they pulled it off well. In fact, the album seems to get better with age.

184) #26 Casual Gypsies: Crazy Places We Take Ourselves (published 2017-01-25) -- If you try searching for information about Casual Gypsies on the Internet, you won’t find much. The band literally disappeared from the face of the Earth after releasing this amazing collection of songs; a shame because when you hear this debut, you’re bound to wonder just what this band was capable of in the future.

185) Why Asbury Park? (published 2017-01-25) -- Ever since Bruce Springsteen released Born To Run and became a household name, music fans have traveled to Asbury Park to learn more about the town. They came to see the Palace, the boardwalk and the rides and to hear Madame Marie tell their future. They came to have a drink at the Stone Pony and see shows at Convention Hall. They came to imagine they were cruising down the circuit on a Saturday night. And, even after the rides disappeared and Madame Marie left town, the fans kept coming.

186) JPAT (published 2017-01-25) -- James P. Dalton Jr., or JPAT as he’s known, is one of the most interesting musicians along the Jersey Shore. An extremely talented singer-songwriter, he plays guitar, mandolin and harmonica and brings back the spirit of the Upstage Club to Asbury Park. Since there no longer is a place like Upstage where young musicians can go and jam, he’s created his own version of that club. One night you might see him adding mandolin to the songs of Nicole Atkins, the next night he might be playing harp with Matt Witte. He’s known throughout the musical community and he’s jammed with just about everybody.

187) DeSol (published 2017-01-25) -- The faces along the Jersey Shore have been changing as more and more ethnicitys settle down here. In recent years, Spanish food markets and restaurants have opened and conversations can regularly be heard in languages other than English. So it should come as no surprise that one of the most interesting bands to hit the area in some time contains a strong Latin American influence.

188) Matt Witte & The New Blood Revival (published 2017-01-25) -- Matt Witte just might be one of the most exciting artists to come out of the Jersey Shore in decades. He’s known as a brilliant songwriter and tremendous live performer but what really sets him apart from others is the type of music that he plays. Matt infuses bluegrass and country influences with folk, punk and rock and roll. The result is a sound not heard around the Shore for some time.

189) Maybe Pete (published 2017-01-25) -- Maybe Pete is the latest in a long list of great Jersey rock and roll bands to find a home along the Shore. The band is based out of North Jersey, but has been playing clubs like the Saint and the Stone Pony on a regular basis. Maybe Pete was formed at the end of 2000 and includes the husband-wife team of Frankie and Kelly McGrath on guitar, Marc Gambino on bass and Sal DiMaria on drums.

190) Last Perfect Thing (published 2017-01-25) -- Last Perfect Thing is a band based in Asbury Park that has a sound based more in punk music than it does with traditional Asbury sounding bands. They’ve been around since 1998 and are a regular at clubs like the Stone Pony and the Saint.

191) Jody Joseph and the Average Joes (published 2017-01-25) -- Jody Joseph and the Average Joes remind you of what Jersey Shore music is all about. Each show contains the mixture of good blues, R&B, and rock and roll featuring the wonderful vocals and songwriting of Jody Joseph.

192) Bob Burger (published 2017-01-25) -- Bob Burger is a member of the Bobby Bandiera Band and a longtime songwriting partner of such Jersey Shore artists as Glen Burtnick, Bobby Bandiera and Joey Vadala. In 2002, Bob headed to the studio to record a bunch of original songs for a CD called Almost an Island. Backing him in the studio is Rob Tanico from Highway 9 and TJ from John Eddie’s band.

193) Danny White (published 2017-01-25) -- Danny White is proof that the Jersey Shore is still producing great singer-songwriters. The Matawan-based artist writes songs filled with stories of people you feel as if you know. His words capture their hopes and dreams like a modern street poet. He has often been compared to Bruce Springsteen, a comparison not likely to go away anytime soon.

194) Mimi Cross (published 2017-01-25) -- Mimi Cross is not just another pretty face, she’s also one of the most talented singer-songwriters on the Jersey Shore. Born in Canada, she now lives along the Shore and is a veteran of the local music scene. Mimi has graced stages from local clubs like T-Birds Cafe, the Saint and the Stone Pony to Maxwell’s and the Liquid Lounge in Hoboken. She’s played in clubs from New York to Boston, Philadelphia on down to Washington, DC and has opened for such artists as Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Lauryn Hill, Jeffrey Gaines, Jill Sobule and Chris Whitley.

195) Joe D’Urso (published 2017-01-25) -- Joe D’Urso is one of the adopted sons of the Jersey Shore, mainly due to playing here often and because his music evokes comparisons to people like Bruce Springsteen. Born and raised in New York, Joe is a fine singer-songwriter who has released a bunch of records through his own independent record label.

196) The Pony’s Crazy Ride (published 2017-01-25) -- The Stone Pony has always had a strange run during its history. From its early days as a disco bar to the heights of the Asbury music scene when the club would be packed night after night with lines around the block, the bar had seen it all. As the town itself moved further into ruin, the Pony remained the one constant you could count on.

197) The Outcry and Blowup (published 2017-01-25) -- The Outcry started playing the clubs in the early 90s at a time when the Asbury Park scene was in trouble. But the band certainly made the most of their opportunities. They had regular gigs at the Fastlane and the Stone Pony as well as clubs in Long Branch and musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Brian Setzer jammed with them.

198) Peter Scherer of Mr. Reality, Samhill, and Highway 9 (published 2017-01-25) -- At the end of the eighties a new band took over the Jersey Shore scene. Known as Mr. Reality, the band featured the songwriting of Gordon Brown and the vocals of Peter Scherer. Together, along with Rob Tanico, they formed an acoustic trio playing sets unlike anything else. Everything seemed to move fast for the band. One day Peter was opening the door for people at the Fastlane, the next day the crowd at the Fastlane was there to see him. Mr. Reality soon was signed to a deal and released a debut record. A tour of the country followed and then just as quickly as it had started the band was finished.

199) Gordon Brown of Mr. Reality, Samhill & Highway 9 (published 2017-01-25) -- At the end of the eighties a new band took over the Jersey Shore scene. Known as Mr. Reality, the band featured the songwriting of Gordon Brown and the vocals of Peter Scherer. Together, along with Rob Tanico, they formed an acoustic trio playing sets unlike anything else. Everything seemed to move fast for the band. One day Peter was opening the door for people at the Fastlane, the next day the crowd at the Fastlane was there to see him. Mr. Reality soon was signed to a deal and released a debut record. A tour of the country followed and then just as quickly as it had started the band was finished.

200) Soul Engines (published 2017-01-25) -- Soul Engines was one of the most popular bands along the Jersey Shore in the early 90s. Built around the brilliant songwriting of Mark Nuzzi, the band had a largely acoustic rock sound that picked up a loyal following of music fans in Shore towns like Asbury Park and Long Branch.

201) T-Birds Cafe and the Saint (published 2017-01-25) -- Every good music scene needs that one person who goes out of their way to support up-and-coming bands, in Asbury Park that person is Scott Stamper. In the eighties, he was responsible for booking the bands at T-Birds Cafe, an intimate venue located on Main Street. After that club closed, he opened up the Saint and continued to provide new talent with a great place to play.

202) The Fastlane (published 2017-01-25) -- Around the world the Fastlane is noted in rock and roll history for being one of the clubs where a young Jon Bon Jovi got his start. Bon Jovi played here long before becoming famous with bands like Atlantic City Expressway, the Rest and the Wild Ones. The Fastlane was always home to several of the traditional Asbury Park musicians like Billy Chinnock and Lance Larson, but its true claim to fame lies in being the premier venue for alternative music in the area.

203) The Bongos (published 2017-01-25) -- The Bongos were one of the pioneers of early alternative music. A favorite of college radio fans, their music was an eclectic blend of pop and punk that stood just outside the mainstream. The band was originally a trio which included Richard Barone, Rob Norris and Frank Giannini with James Mastro joining the band a few years later. The Bongos released three albums that have reached near cult-like status.

204) Well of Souls (published 2017-01-25) -- Well of Souls was a band on the verge of success for many years. They won the East Coast Rocker “Unsigned Band Contest” in 1989, had a radio hit with the song “No More Rain” and spent countless nights in New York City showcasing in front of music industry people, but never managed to get signed to a record deal.

205) The Whirling Dervishes and Everlounge (published 2017-01-25) -- The Whirling Dervishes was a classic alternative band. They were the typical popular band, always drawing large crowds, always on the brink of success but never quite getting there. During the 80s, the band was part of the emerging music scene along the Jersey Shore in clubs like the Green Parrot and Fast Lane and was a favorite of the alternative rock radio station, WHTG.

206) Billy Donahue of The Blases (published 2017-01-25) -- The Blases were formed by Billy Donahue and Rob Wagner while they were high school students in Union County in 1980. They were originally called the Hernia Boys and also included the bass player, Paul Virdon, who died after being hit by a train. This experience provided the basis for the songs on their only released CD, which came out in 1989.

207) Rob Wagner of The Blases (published 2017-01-25) -- The Blases were formed by Billy Donahue and Rob Wagner while they were high school students in Union County in 1980. They were originally called the Hernia Boys and also included the bass player, Paul Virdon, who died after being hit by a train. This experience provided the basis for the songs on their only released CD, which came out in 1989.

208) James Deely & the Valiants (published 2017-01-25) -- James Deely was born in Washington, DC, but he grew up in New Jersey. After studying music in Los Angeles and a brief stint in the LA based pop-rock band the Palisades, Deely returned home and put together the Valiants.

209) Tony Stives of Red House (published 2017-01-25) -- Red House was formed by a bunch of guys in Union County in the early 80s. They became one of the most popular bands along the Jersey Shore and one of the leaders of the alternative scene taking place in clubs like the Green Parrot and the FastLane.

210) Bruce Tunkel of Red House (published 2017-01-25) -- Red House was formed by a bunch of guys in Union County in the early 80s. They became one of the most popular bands along the Jersey Shore and one of the leaders of the alternative scene taking place in clubs like the Green Parrot and the FastLane.

211) Bob Nichol of Red House (published 2017-01-25) -- Red House was formed by a bunch of guys in Union County in the early 80s. They became one of the most popular bands along the Jersey Shore and one of the leaders of the alternative scene taking place in clubs like the Green Parrot and the FastLane.

212) Ron Baumann of Red House (published 2017-01-25) -- Red House was formed by a bunch of guys in Union County in the early 80s. They became one of the most popular bands along the Jersey Shore and one of the leaders of the alternative scene taking place in clubs like the Green Parrot and the FastLane.

213) Mark Englert of Dramarama (published 2017-01-25) -- Dramarama was an explosive live band that recorded several brilliant records during the late 80s and early 90s. The band was formed by a group of guys from Wayne, New Jersey who moved out to California around the time they were signed to their first record deal. Even while they were living on the West Coast the band played a major role in an emerging alternative rock scene along the Jersey Shore. With sold out shows at clubs like the Green Parrot, the Fastlane and the Stone Pony, Dramarama became one of the most popular bands of its day.

214) John Easdale of Dramarama (published 2017-01-25) -- Dramarama was an explosive live band that recorded several brilliant records during the late 80s and early 90s. The band was formed by a group of guys from Wayne, New Jersey who moved out to California around the time they were signed to their first record deal. Even while they were living on the West Coast the band played a major role in an emerging alternative rock scene along the Jersey Shore. With sold out shows at clubs like the Green Parrot, the Fastlane and the Stone Pony, Dramarama became one of the most popular bands of its day.

215) Chris Carter of Dramarama (published 2017-01-25) -- Dramarama was an explosive live band that recorded several brilliant records during the late 80s and early 90s. The band was formed by a group of guys from Wayne, New Jersey who moved out to California around the time they were signed to their first record deal. Even while they were living on the West Coast the band played a major role in an emerging alternative rock scene along the Jersey Shore. With sold out shows at clubs like the Green Parrot, the Fastlane and the Stone Pony, Dramarama became one of the most popular bands of its day.

216) WHTG 106.3  and the Green Parrot (published 2017-01-25) -- By the mid-80s, the Jersey Shore music scene was pretty much running on fumes. Cover bands were the rage, original artists were no longer getting record deals and the drinking age had been raised, forever changing the face of the bar crowd. Things certainly looked bleak until a small radio station in Eatontown decided to change its format and wound up creating a music scene of its own.

217) Asbury Park Rock ‘N Roll Museum (published 2017-01-25) -- In the eighties, two memorabilia collectors named Billy Smith and Stephen Bumball had a dream to create a museum that would be centered around the Jersey Shore’s top acts like Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and Bon Jovi but also include lesser known bands and artists of historical significance. The museum opened during the summer of 1986 in the Palace Amusements building. It gave music fans a place to go to learn more about their favorite local artists.

218) Joey and The Works (published 2017-01-25) -- Joey Vadala is a talented singer-songwriter from the New Brunswick area. He played in several bands with Glen Burtnick while they were both teenagers and actually replaced Glen in La Bamba and the Hubcaps years later when Glen left for a solo career. After La Bamba, Vadala fronted Joey and the Works, a popular band along the Jersey Shore. From there he went on to the band Poetic Justice, which changed its name to Big Sky after a movie by the same name came out.

219) WNEW On the Beach (published 2017-01-25) -- In the mid-80s, Asbury Park had already become largely a ghost town even during the summer season. The Palace was still open but most of the rides along the boardwalk were long gone as were many of the restaurants and shops. The once crowded beach was largely abandoned in favor of nearby towns like Belmar and Manasquan. But for two days each year, WNEW-FM of New York made Asbury the place to be again.

220) Secret Lovers (published 2017-01-25) -- Secret Lovers was a popular band along the Jersey Shore in the mid-80s. They released a EP in 1986 which contained the hit song, “Desiree (I Know You’re Home Tonight).” That song would be played heavily on radio stations throughout New Jersey and Philadelphia.

221) In Between Dreams (published 2017-01-25) -- In Between Dreams has been called one of the most influential punk bands of the Jersey Shore. The band burst started out at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch during the early 80s and then would go on to play many of the legendary clubs in the tri-state area like Maxwell’s, the Stone Pony, the Green Parrot, CBs, the Loop Lounge, the Court Tavern, the Melody Bar and the Limelight.

222) The Smithereens (published 2017-01-25) -- The Smithereens are one of the most successful bands to come out of the Jersey Shore scene. Based in North Jersey, the band played some of its first gigs at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Lance Larson, a favorite of the Shore crowd, invited the band to open his shows there. With influences ranging from the Kinks to the Who to Buddy Holly and the Clash, the Smithereens developed a sound a bit like punk mixed with Beatlesque melodies. Deemed “alternative music,” it was very different from what the Asbury Park crowds were used to but the band ultimately won crowds over.

223) John Eddie (published 2017-01-24) -- John Eddie may have been born in Richmond, Virginia but he’s got Jersey Shore blood flowing in his veins. A long-time favorite of local music fans from the Shore to Philadelphia and back down to Virginia, his live performances embody the definition of Jersey rock and roll music.

224) Jon Bon Jovi (published 2017-01-24) -- Jon Bon Jovi grew up in Sayreville, just up the Garden State Parkway, but he made his name in the clubs of Asbury Park. Early in Jon’s career his band used to open for Lance Larson and many of the national acts that came through Asbury Park with at the Fastlane. It was a great opportunity for Jon to play in front of the demanding Asbury Park crowds and he became a great performer because of it.

225) Bobby Bandiera (published 2017-01-24) -- Bobby Bandiera has long been considered one of the Jersey Shore’s best secrets, but he’s really not a secret anymore. He’s been Southside Johnny’s right hand man since the At Least We Got Shoes record, has released a pair of independent solo records, has played with Jon Bon Jovi for his solo concerts and has backed up Bruce Springsteen on numerous benefit shows. No longer a secret, the real question may be why isn’t he a household name?

226) Fran Smith Jr. (published 2017-01-24) -- Fran Smith Jr. has been part of the Jersey Shore music scene since the mid-70s. He was a member of the Shakes, a popular Stone Pony house band that was once looked upon as the next big thing to come out of the Jersey Shore by record executives. After leaving that band he joined Johnny’s Dance Band, a legendary band in the Philadelphia/Trenton area that had a record deal with RCA Records. Eventually Fran returned to the Jersey Shore and back to Asbury Park where he was part of the famous Stone Pony house band, Cats on a Smooth Surface.

227) Glen Burtnick (published 2017-01-24) -- Glen Burtnick is a singer songwriter from the New Brunswick area that has been entertaining fans along the Jersey Shore since the early 80s. His first big break was when he auditioned and got the role of Paul McCartney in the West Coast production of Beatlemania alongside Marshall Crenshaw as John Lennon. From there he went on to stints in the Jan Hammer Band and Helmet Boy before returning to New Jersey where he married his high school sweetheart.

228) Cats: The Ultimate House Band (published 2017-01-24) -- The Stone Pony has always prided itself on being a great judge of talent. Ever since Southside Johnny & the Jukes put the club on the map, every house band at the Pony has been thrust into the spotlight. It’s a hard job to acquire but one that instantly catches the eyes and ears of record company executives. The list of success stories include such bands as John Eddie & the Front Runners, Clarence Clemons and the Red Bank Rockers, the Smithereens, the Outcry and Highway 9 and, of course, Southside Johnny & the Jukes. Ironically, the band that just might have had the title of most famous house band in America never made that list.

229) Billy Hector (published 2017-01-24) -- Billy Hector has been a fixture on the Jersey Shore scene since the 70s. Now recognized as one of the best blues guitarists in the state, Hector once played in classic R&B and rock bands like the Shots, Paul Whistler & the Wheels and Hot Romance before forming the Fairlanes and his current band.

230) Lance Larson (published 2017-01-24) -- Lance Larson is one of the most popular artists to ever take the stage at a Jersey Shore club. An extremely talented singer and songwriter, Lance was the leader of Lord Gunner Group which developed a following from New Jersey to Maine and down to Virginia. The band regularly played local clubs like the Fast Lane and the Stone Pony. They were close to record deals, but something always went wrong. Usually it was due to the “rock and roll lifestyle” of Lance that always seemed to crash and burn at the wrong time.

231) Steven Van Zandt (published 2017-01-24) -- Few people were as instrumental in creating the “Asbury Sound” as Steven Van Zandt. He was a lead guitarist with Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, a key member of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and basically left his fingerprints on the entire Jersey Shore music scene.

232) Talking with Joey Stann (published 2017-01-24) -- An interview with Joey Stann, longtime member of the Jukes.

233) Talking with Rusty Cloud (published 2017-01-24) -- An interview with Rusty Cloud, former member of the Jukes.

234) Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes (published 2017-01-24) -- Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes was the first band to make it from Asbury Park after the success of Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen. Originally the house band at the Stone Pony, the Jukes went national with the release of I Don’t Want To Go Home in 1976. A record release party was held at the Pony with the band’s live show syndicated on nine radio stations across the country.

235) Stone Pony and the Asbury Sound (published 2017-01-24) -- Let’s get this straight, there never was an Asbury Sound. It was simply a way of grouping the bands from the area into one category. It was probably more derogatory than anything. It gave the impression that everyone was trying to capitalize on a winning formula. To the musicians and people closely involved, each of the bands had a personality and style of their own.

236) David Sancious (published 2017-01-24) -- David Sancious may have been one of the youngest members jamming at the Upstage but he was one of the most talented as well. He played in several classic Jersey Shore bands including the Sundance Blues Band with Southside Johnny and Miami Steven Van Zandt and Glory Road with Billy Chinnock and Garry Tallent. He first played with Bruce Springsteen in Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom and when Bruce formed the Bruce Springsteen Band and later the E-Street Band, David was there as well. In fact, the E-Street Band was named after the street in Belmar where David lived.

237) Bruce In Asbury Park (published 2017-01-24) -- I can still remember the night Dave and I were invited to the Asbury Rock ‘N Roll Museum to hear an advance copy of Bruce Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love CD. The guys from the museum, Billy Smith and Stephen Bumball, had managed to have a copy sent to them a month before it was scheduled to be released. They invited a bunch of their friends to a special listening party. There must have been at least thirty people cramped into a small room all anxious to hear which direction Bruce was going. Dave and I were the youngest in the crowd by far and we were kind of surprised to be invited. It was the first time I had ever been part of something like that and it would be a night I’d never forget.

238) Bruce Springsteen (published 2017-01-24) -- It’s safe to say that if Bruce Springsteen hadn’t burst on to the national scene with Born To Run the history of rock music along the Jersey Shore might have been a rather short chapter or two. For years, New Jersey had not only lived in the shadow of New York City but record labels there couldn’t care less about bands from the Shore. Even though Asbury Park is only an hour away from Manhattan, it was a world’s away in their eyes. Until Bruce made it big, they wouldn’t even bother come down to see what the area’s biggest bands were all about.

239) Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom (published 2017-01-24) -- For a couple of months in 1971, Bruce Springsteen built a band unlike anything seen on the Jersey Shore before. The band was called Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom. Many people consider it to be a transitional band for Springsteen, who was moving away from the heavy metal sound of Steel Mill and towards the type of music the E-Street Band would later play.

240) The Asbury Riots (published 2017-01-24) -- I was born right around the time the riots were taking place. Racial trouble was boiling in towns all across New Jersey as well as the entire nation. Asbury Park just happened to be one of the towns hit the hardest. The Asbury I knew and grew up with was very different from the Asbury pre-riot. A lot of things have to happen for a town to die, but the riots certainly pushed Asbury towards that end.

241) A Look at Mercy Flight (published 2017-01-24) -- A look at Mercy Flight through interviews with Robbin Thompson, David Hazlett, and Tom "Cool" Yolton.

242) Steel Mill & Mercy Flight (published 2017-01-24) -- There was a time when Bruce Springsteen really knew how to rock. I mean really rock. Picture the best guitar licks from the Darkness On The Edge Of Town record and then multiply them by ten. That will give you a little bit of the hard hitting sound of Steel Mill, one of the legendary bands of the Jersey Shore.

243) Billy Chinnock (published 2017-01-24) -- Billy Chinnock just might be the forgotten hero of Jersey Shore rock and roll. Long before the E-Street Band was ever formed guys like Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez, Garry Tallent, David Sancious and Danny Federici all played in bands with Chinnock. In many ways, the history of Jersey Shore music is incomplete without taking a closer look at Chinnock and his contributions to the scene.

244) Sonny Kenn (published 2017-01-24) -- Sonny Kenn is widely regarded as the first rock and roll star of the Jersey Shore. In the early sixties, his bands Sonny and the Sounds and Sonny and the Starfires routinely played shows at places like the Eatontown Shopping Center (currently known as the Monmouth Mall), the Hullabaloo Club in Asbury Park and the Canteen in Belmar as well as high school dances throughout Monmouth County.

245) Hullabaloo and the Sunshine In (published 2017-01-24) -- In the early 70s, Asbury Park was fortunate to have some of the biggest names in rock and roll come through town. The bands that had already made it could be found playing Convention Hall or the Casino. Those on the way up could be found playing the Sunshine In. Bruce Springsteen played here often with bands like Steel Mill, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom and the Bruce Springsteen Band. But before it was the Sunshine In, it was one of several “Hullabaloo” clubs in the area.

246) The Student Prince (published 2017-01-24) -- Historians and rock and roll fans will forever remember the Student Prince as the place where Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons first met. As the story goes, friends of Clarence had been telling him to check out Bruce’s band and so he did on a very stormy night. The wind was howling and blowing up and down the boardwalk. When Clarence opened the door, a huge gust literally ripped the door off of its hinges. Clarence saw Bruce on stage and yelled, “I want to be in your band.” Seeing the very large man standing in the doorway that no longer had a door, Bruce replied something like, “Sure, you do whatever you want.”

247) Convention Hall and Paramount Theatre (published 2017-01-24) -- One of the most impressive buildings along the Jersey Shore has got to be where Convention Hall and Paramount Theatre converge on Asbury Park’s boardwalk. The complex was built by architects Warren and Wetmore who were also the designers of New York’s Grand Central Station. It opened on July 11, 1930 with a show at the Paramount Theatre featuring the Marx Brothers and Ginger Rogers.

248) The Upstage (published 2017-01-24) -- This is where it all began. Musicians gathered each night at a club on the corner of Cookman Avenue and Bond Street that was set on top of a Thom McAn shoe store. The Upstage brought the sights of San Francisco psychedelia and the sounds of Greenwich Village together in an endless array of all night jam sessions, which attracted the best young musicians in the area.

249) #25 Lost In Society: Eastern Empire (published 2016-12-10) -- Not since The Replacements had an album simply kick me between the eyes the way Eastern Empire did the first time I heard it. Lost In Society has been labeled everything from alternative rock to pop punk, but labels go out the door when you hear this disc. The album moves effortless through rock and roll styles the way Paul Westerberg and his bandmates did in the ‘80s. Lost In Society’s personal influences may be from ‘90s artists like Green Day and Blink-182, but their spirit lies in the songs of ‘80s legends like the Jim Carroll Band and The ‘Mats.

250) #24 Val Emmich: Slow Down Kid (published 2016-12-10) -- Val Emmich originally released Slow Down Kid on Childlike Records, an independent label, in March 2003. When the album was rereleased nationally on Epic a year later, the list of songs changed dramatically. “Unstable,” “Selfish Blues,” “Black It Out,” and “Rat Race” were replaced by “Bury Me,” “Medical Display,” “The Patient Patient,” and the brilliant “Separate Things.” The inclusion of that last song is why the rerelease was chosen instead of the original.

251) #23 Bruce Tunkel: Sitting/Waiting (published 2016-12-10) -- For a few years in the late ‘80s, Bruce Tunkel appeared poised to become the second musician named Bruce from New Jersey to hit it big nationally (or third if you want to include Bruce Willis). At the time, the Linden native was the leader of a popular band called The Red House who released an amazing independent album in 1987. That album led to a cover photo on the College Music Journal (CMJ), something unheard of for an independent band. Record labels soon took an interest in them and The Red House ultimately signed with SBK and released their self-titled debut nationally in 1990.

252) #22 Wicker Hollow: Live Like You Know What You’re Leaving (published 2016-12-10) -- Wicker Hollow, based in Howell, has had an incredible run since releasing their amazing debut, Live Like You Know What You’re Leaving. The band has performed on the main stage of national music festivals like the Bamboozle, had songs in independent films such as Mysterious and The Roadhouse, and headlined some of the biggest venues in the state.

253) #21 The Bouncing Souls: Anchors Aweigh (published 2016-12-10) -- For over 20 years, The Bouncing Souls have been one of the most important acts to ever come out of New Jersey. A seminal punk rock band, they started out as high school kids in Basking Ridge back in 1987. The band released four studio albums in the ‘90s along with a handful of EPs, but an argument could be made that they truly hit their stride in the past decade. During 2001-2010, they released four albums with three appearing in this book.

254) #20 Zak Smith: An Endless Doubt (published 2016-12-10) -- The opening songs on An Endless Doubt simply floored me the first time I heard them and left me scratching my head as to why I had never heard of Zak Smith before. Born and raised in New Jersey, the Montclair artist plays mostly in New York City, which is probably a mixed blessing for him. On one hand, he’s forced to compete with a zillion other bands; but, on the other hand, he most likely avoids the comparisons to being the next Bruce Springsteen that he might hear on a daily basis throughout the Garden State.

255) #19 Jon Caspi: This Town (published 2016-12-10) -- Born in St. Louis, Jon Caspi moved to New Jersey at the age of four and grew up in Montclair. In the ‘80s, he got his first taste of record industry success when his band, Bouncing Off Bob, was played on hundreds of radio stations across the country. Years later, This Town would find similar success.

256) #18 Maybe Pete: Between The City & The Stratosphere (published 2016-12-10) -- Nobody can really explain rock and roll except for maybe Pete Townshend. That line from the film Almost Famous gave Frankie and Kelly McGrath the name for their band Maybe Pete. The husband-wife duo started out from their East Rutherford location, but made their mark in Asbury Park clubs more than anything.

257) #17 Anthony D'Amato: Shades Of The Prison House (published 2016-12-10) -- Anthony D’Amato ended the decade as one of New Jersey’s brightest and fastest rising stars. Born and raised in Blairstown in Warren County, D’Amato fostered key relationships with several prominent artists as a teenager while serving as a music journalist. He was New Jersey’s own Almost Famous character, bouncing around from show to show, penning reviews, and artist interviews. The contacts proved invaluable when Anthony began his own artistic career and was able to utilize those connections to land key opening spots.

258) #16 George Wirth: The Lights Of Brigantine (published 2016-12-10) -- George Wirth seemed to burst out of nowhere with the release of The Lights of Brigantine. While age may not automatically make someone wiser, George’s lyrics carried a sense of purpose and memories that appeared born from a lifetime of experiences. It’s hard to believe that an album so full of wonderful stories and interesting characters could materialize in a debut release, but George, who didn’t even start playing out until he was around 55, had plenty of tales to tell. The album was released a few years after the long-time native of the Jersey Shore began performing in local clubs and coffeehouses and firmly entrenched himself as one of the area’s top singer-songwriters.

259) #15 Echo Screen: Euphoria (published 2016-12-10) -- The pages of rock and roll history are filled with stories of bands like Echo Screen who wound up being a stone’s throw away from greatness, yet just a footnote in the end. Formed in 2003 by four guys who lived within a mile of each other in Brick, Echo Screen had an impressive ride during the decade, but could have been so much more.

260) #13 The Gay Blades: Ghosts (published 2016-12-09) -- If there’s a list of the most creative bands to ever come out of New Jersey chances are The Gay Blades would be among the names chosen. The band features James Dean Wells on guitar and Quinn English on drums, with both sharing vocal duties. And that’s it. Just two guys who happen to make loud, boisterous rock and roll, which they call “trash-pop.” It’s a mixture of gritty guitars and dirty drums that shatters the myth that it takes three to have a power trio. The Gay Blades are that and more.

261) #12 Keith Monacchio: The Long Evening (published 2016-12-09) -- Keith Monacchio of Hamilton may be best known as the former lead singer of The Commons, but his solo career got off to a stunning debut with The Long Evening; an album about growing older, looking at one’s place in life, and peering over to the other side of the bed to see if it’s empty or not.

262) #11 Val Emmich: Sunlight Searchparty (published 2016-12-09) -- Val Emmich had a pretty amazing decade. In addition to releasing seven critically acclaimed albums, appearing in major television shows like 30 Rock and Ugly Betty, shooting commercials for Macy’s and Heineken, being the lead in an independent film, and getting married, he still managed to find time to write a novel. Along the way, he also became a star within the music scenes of Asbury Park, Hoboken, and New Brunswick.

263) #10 John Eddie: Who The Hell Is John Eddie? (published 2016-12-09) -- John Eddie has been one of the most popular artists in New Jersey ever since he left Richmond, VA for the Jersey Shore in the ‘80s. He released two albums on Columbia, and had the hit “Jungle Boy,” but could never shake the hype surrounding him as the “Next Springsteen.” Nevertheless, he kept on plugging away, year after year, performing to “The Faithful” in packed rooms.

264) #9 Brian Molnar and the Naked Hearts: Temperance & The Devil (published 2016-12-09) -- As I listened to release after release, trying to make sure I didn’t leave any stone unturned, there were moments when I wondered if I really needed to go through everything on my list. I remember reaching a period where I didn’t find a single album worthy of the Top 100 within several hundred releases and it seemed foolish to keep going. It was during one of those moments that I stumbled upon Brian Molnar, and he made all those hours searching worthwhile.

265) #8 The Commons: Come On Get Gone (published 2016-12-09) -- The Commons were the pride of Trenton’s rock and roll scene for nearly a full decade. Consisting of Keith Monacchio, lead vocals, guitar, and songwriter; guitarist Sean Glonek, bassist Tom McDonald, and drummer Tom Kale, the band became one of the few Trenton acts to be able to break into Asbury Park’s music scene as well as their own.

266) #7 Arlan Feiles: Razing A Nation (published 2016-12-09) -- Arlan Feiles once taught me a lesson I’ll never forget. A copy of Razing A Nation (The New Lone Ranger) got buried in a pile of releases simply because the cover art struck me in a very bad way. It reminded me of something you might find on a cheap bootleg back in the ‘80s. Months later, while cleaning up my office, I found it unopened in the pile and put it in the player. Within a few seconds, I was hooked.

267) #6 The Gaslight Anthem: The ‘59 Sound (published 2016-12-09) -- Every now and then an album comes out that reminds you of why you love rock and roll. The ‘59 Sound is that kind of album. It was basically an upper cut right to the head of rock fans across the country; the type of album that actually exceeds its hype. While the Billboard Top 200 was littered with rap and dance artists, this release gave notice that rock and roll’s corpse was far from cold.

268) #5 Brian Fitzpatrick: Further Down The Line (published 2016-12-09) -- Further Down The Line is a devastatingly personal, soul-searching album. Brian Fitzpatrick creates an amazing cast of characters to mask the problems taking place within his own life at the time. It’s an utterly beautiful, brutally honest, and simply haunting release.

269) #4 Red Wanting Blue: Pride: The Cold Lover (published 2016-12-09) -- Every now and then you see a band that reminds you just how crappy radio has become. You’ll be listening to the singer on stage and wonder why you haven’t heard of them before. Each song sounds better than anything played on your favorite station that day, yet you have no idea who they are until you ask the bartender or the person next to you. Red Wanting Blue is one of those kinds of bands.

270) #3 My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade (published 2016-12-09) -- The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 changed all of our lives, but for Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance, it was a sign that he needed to do something more with his life. At the time, he was trying to pitch a show to the Cartoon Network that was going nowhere. While contemplating the tragedy that had just unfurled, Way wrote the words to “Skylines and Turnstiles,” a song that would lead to the creation of My Chemical Romance.

271) #2 Bruce Springsteen: The Rising (published 2016-12-09) -- Hailing from Freehold, Bruce Springsteen is without doubt one of the most popular musicians to ever come from New Jersey. Among his many great albums are three masterpieces that all originated from being immersed in extremely difficult situations. When he was caught in the middle of a legal matter following the release of Born To Run, he returned with the brilliantly stark Darkness On The Edge Of Town; troubles within his first marriage led to the amazing and brutally honest Tunnel Of Love; and when our world was turned upside down on September 11, 2001, he responded with The Rising, a remarkable album that, in my opinion, is Springsteen’s last great recording.

272) #1 Fountains of Wayne: Welcome Interstate Managers (published 2016-12-09) -- Simply put, Welcome Interstate Managers is one of the most brilliant pop albums of all-time. From high school kids lusting after their friend’s mom, workers in dead-end office jobs, waitresses that never return to a table, and kids partying while their parents are away on Fire Island, this is the suburban Sgt. Pepper. Songs include the witty lyrics and word plays of Elvis Costello with melodies and choruses that mirror The Beatles.

273) The Bitter Chills (published 2017-01-21) -- “When I formed the band with Pete, part of the mantra for me was I wanted to do something with more of a sense of humor to it,” said Matt Cheplic, talking about the history of The Bitter Chills. “The first go around for me was straight forward and honest, which was fine. It was what I was doing at the time, but I felt I had done that and wanted to do something that was a little more tongue in cheek… a little sillier.”

274) South Jersey Orchestra Presents a Night to Remember (published 2017-01-17) -- Symphony in C has an excellent program for classical music fans on January 28 at 8:00 p.m. The night includes a classic piece (Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88); a rarely performed work (Bernstein: “Serenade after Plato’s Symposium”) featuring special guest Augustin Hadelich, a 2016 Grammy Award-winning violinist; and the world premiere of “Vicious Circles” by Scott Lee, the winner of the orchestra’s 2016-2017 Young Composers’ Competition.

275) The Light of Day Festival Takes Over House of Independents This Week (published 2017-01-11) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Light of Day Festival is taking over Asbury Park this week and some of the best shows are taking place at House of Independents on Cookman Avenue. The festivities begin on Thursday night with the return of Dramarama on a bill with Willie Nile, Remember Jones, Hollis Brown, and Joe D'Urso and Stone Caravan. General admission. Doors open at 7:00pm and the show is open to all ages.

276) Four Jersey Acts In Little Steven's Underground Garage's Top 10 For 2016 (published 2017-01-06) -- Little Steven’s Underground Garage may spin bands from around the world, but 4 of the top 10 coolest songs in the world for 2016 (as voted by the show’s fans) have a Central New Jersey background! Coming in the top 5 was The Weeklings at #2 with “Little Elvis” and Steve Conte at #5 with “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight.” In the latter half of the top 10 was Anderson Council with “Magical” at #7 and “Charlene” by Garry Tallent to close out the top 10.

277) A Jersey Tradition: Southside Johnny On New Year’s Eve (published 2016-12-27) -- For decades, New Year’s Eve has meant two things: Dick Clark and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Dick Clark may have passed on his torch, but Southside and his band are still rocking in the new year – and they will be doing it again at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.

278) Chris Brown Looks Inward (published 2016-12-22) -- Chris Brown is a gritty singer-songwriter from Asbury Park whose songs blend punk and folk in a way that evoke the spirit of an Irish pub. His latest release One More Night was produced by Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls and mastered by Tom Ruff at Asbury Media. It contains six songs that have rarely left my playlist since its release over the summer.

279) What Springsteen song best represents your life? (published 2016-11-24) -- Bruce Springsteen’s long-awaited autobiography, Born to Run, was released in September and an audio version narrated by Bruce himself is coming to stores December 6. The book, written in a voice that sounds as if it was directly transcribed into a recorder, runs through his life from childhood to the present in the rock and roll version of “This Is Your Life.” He pulls no punches, filling in the details that remained from decades of songs.

280) James Deely & The Valiants Ride Again (published 2016-11-24) -- Freed from the constraints of time and the dreams of landing a big record deal, James Deely took his time to work on his first album since 1995. Backed once again by the Valiants, the record called A Harder Road was ten years in the making. This decade of time was as difficult as the title suggests, but led to arguably the band’s finest release.

281) An Interview With John Merjave (published 2016-10-27) -- I first heard John play during Glen's Beatles Bash shows, playing the role of George Harrison and doing so very honorably. Since then, I've seen him as a duo with Bob Burger and as a member of The Weeklings where he is known as Rocky Weekling. His bio lists his earliest music instructors (or inspirations) as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Four Seasons. With that trio, it's easy to see why I love his playing. Ironically, his bio lists his first love as the drums, but once he was determined to learn guitar, he was hooked on it.

282) An interview with Josh Ritter (published 2016-10-24) -- For years, Josh Ritter has been one of the most talented singer-songwriters making music today. Born and raised in Idaho, Ritter moved to the East Coast after graduating college and now lives in New York City. He’s got a pair of solo shows coming up in New Jersey — November 9 at South Orange Performing Arts Center and November 10 at McCarter Theatre in Princeton.

283) Meet The Weeklings! (published 2016-10-23) -- In 2007, the first annual Beatles Bash featured The Smithereens performing the Meet The Beatles album and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band performed by Glen Burtnik and Friends. At the time, Burtnik was planning a series of shows paying tribute to classic albums. He wound up paying tribute to a different Beatles album each year and launched the popular Summer of Love and British Invasion shows. Along the way, fans noticed a tremendous amount of chemistry between the core musicians in his shows and wondered if they would ever create a band of their own.

284) Taylor Tote: "Fighter" (published 2016-10-23) -- Taylor Tote is no stranger to good causes, often lending support to concerts for organizations like Light of Day, Holiday Express, and Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer. She recently performed in Washington, D.C. at Curefest for Childhood Cancer where she debuted a new song called “Fighter.”

285) Ed Tang & The Chops (published 2016-09-26) -- The latest album by Ed Tang & the Chops, Magic Tricks and Rolling Stone, was released over the summer. It’s another brilliant collection mixing Americana, folk, and punk rock songs from a band that always seemed to be caught somewhere between being the next big thing from New Jersey and a footnote in history. That’s the line you walk when your lead singer and writer is in the Navy.

286) Music Of The Knights (published 2016-09-26) -- The Music of the Knights brings songs by three musical legends (Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Elton John, and Sir Paul McCartney) on stage for a truly magical night. In addition to all being Knights, they all have an Academy Award and multiple Grammy Awards as recognition of their wonderful careers that have spanned decades. The show, designed by vocalist Scott Coulter, comes to Bergen Performing Arts Center (BergenPAC) on Friday, October 14. Kelli Rabke will share the stage with Scott as she has done for many of his touring shows like Blockbuster Broadway!

287) Springsteen Group Launches Food Bank Fundraiser In Honor Of Bruce's Birthday (published 2016-09-23) -- (FREEHOLD, NJ) — Fans of Bruce Springsteen from around the world are sending him a special birthday present this year — they’re following his lead and raising money for The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The fundraiser runs from Springsteen’s birthday on Friday, September 23 until Monday afternoon.

288) One More Night For Days Awake (published 2016-08-20) -- 2016 may go down as the year of reunions that many thought would never happen. Earlier in the year, Guns & Roses began their Not In This Lifetime tour and, on September 30, Days Awake will perform together for the first time in about 7 years at House of Independents in Asbury Park — a reunion that was nearly as difficult to put together.

289) Remembering Seeger (published 2016-08-19) -- The Top Folk Albums, Songs, Artists, and Labels chart of July 2016 shows Sam Bush and Joan Baez, a pair of familiar names, at the top. In the third spot is New Jersey’s own, Spook Handy, with Pete, Woody & Me, Volume I - Keep the Flame Alive - the New Brunswick artist’s 5th full length release and the highest charting record of his career.

290) Catching Up With Keith Monacchio (published 2016-08-19) -- Keith Monacchio fans can finally get their hands on a few songs that he’s been playing live for a few years along with a bunch of new ones in his latest release, The Dust-Up. Some of the songs will remind long-time fans of his work in The Commons; some will evoke memories of his brilliant solo release The Long Evening; and some veer into new frontiers. And that’s exactly what he was looking for - a record that sounds a bit like an old friend, but isn’t the same record he’s put out in the past.

291) An Interview With Mimi Cross (published 2016-07-21) -- For years, Mimi Cross was a singer-songwriter who performed live throughout clubs in Asbury Park and New York City. She took home a pair of Asbury Music Awards and shared bills with such artists as Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Jill Sobule, Peter Himmelman, and Nicole Atkins. But her musical career was basically put on hold after the birth of her son.

292) Joseph Alton Miller: The Vagabond Finds A Home (published 2016-07-21) -- It’s been quite a busy summer for Joseph Alton Miller. In addition to releasing Songs of Travel for the Vagabond at the end of May, the folk singer celebrated the birth of his first child in June. Needless to say, touring in support of the new album has been put on hold.

293) Bobby Strange and the Art of Busking (published 2016-07-21) -- Imagine grabbing your guitar and performing on a street corner for tips day after day, year after year. Never worrying about setting up club dates with owners or promoters who require you to bring a certain number of people to the show; being able to perform originals in front of thousands of people each week; and actually earning a living as a musician. Sounds like a dream, right?

294) Persistence Pays Off For Mike Rocket (published 2016-07-21) -- Indie musicians often work hard to get heard, but few have the drive and persistence of Mike Rocket. His persistence paid off in June when he performed at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware. Officially it was his first time playing the festival, but unofficially thousands have seen him perform outside the festival since it first began in 2012.

295) Jeffrey Gaines at "The Beach" (published 2016-07-13) -- (BELMAR, NJ) -- Talk about making lemonade from lemons! 90.5's Songwriters On The Beach series kicked off 2016 inside the Belmar Municipal Building with a view of basketball nets and bleachers rather than the beach and beach chairs, but the atmosphere somehow inspired Jeffrey Gaines to take his set into strange, new directions. The result was a tremendously fun, intimate performance by an artist unafraid to take chances -- even on the fly.

296) A Look Back At The Recording Of Arlan Feiles' Live Album At The Strand (published 2016-07-10) -- (LAKEWOOD, NJ) — Can you recreate magic? Should you even try? Or is it best to go a completely different way? On July 2, Arlan Feiles recorded a live album at The Strand in Lakewood. He was inspired by a live set he performed during one of the Strand’s “Backstage Pass” shows last year, which was broadcast live on internet radio. This time around, the show was designed to be recorded live. The band recorded an earlier run through and recorded the actual show with the hopes of capturing something wonderful for the record. I hope they succeeded because the show was incredible and will make a great album.

297) Anthony D'Amato Returns "Home" (published 2016-07-09) -- (SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) — On Sunday, June 12, the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) was filled with music fans who came to see Valerie June and her band. But some in the audience were there to see the opener, Anthony D’Amato, instead. I was one of them. Having known Anthony since he was a teenager who wrote for several publications (including Upstage Magazine and - previous incarnations of New Jersey Stage), I’ve followed his musical career from early albums recorded in his Princeton University dorm room to his major label releases. And this would be my first time seeing him on a big stage.

298) Zach Caruso (published 2016-06-20) -- When I first heard about Zach Caruso, a musician from New Jersey living in New Mexico writing for an online outlet called Urban Beardsman, my first thought was the witness protection program, but it turns out he just always wanted to live in mountain country. Caruso, who grew up in Salem County, recently released his fifth album called Afternoons With Miss Jones. The album features a lead single about the actress Anna Kendrick that offers hope to all who dream of having their celebrity crush fall in love with them.

299) Arlan Feiles and The Song That Changed His Life (published 2016-05-19) -- In another time, Arlan Feiles would not be an artist floating under the radar. Talent like his would undoubtedly have risen to the top with a record deal, radio airplay, and a collection of writers comparing him to the greats. Unfortunately, Feiles’ solo career emerged during a period of change in the music industry. Many record labels went out of business, MTV stopped playing music videos, and radio station playlists began looking identical from coast to coast. Yet, he refused to let that deter him as an artist. In the past 15 years, he’s released several critically acclaimed albums and has watched one of his songs take on a life of its own - something every songwriter dreams about.

300) An Interview with Taylor Tote Before Stone Pony Headlining Show (published 2016-05-11) -- The Taylor Tote Band is headlining Friday, May 20th at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park with SØF and Wyland. A veteran of the club, but headlining for the first time. New Jersey Stage spoke with Taylor about the show.

301) Miles G. Jackson: My Name Is Asher Lev (published 2016-04-21) -- “As an actor, I understand that feeling of being possessed by a passion that some people can’t understand, but you know you can’t live without it and that you will make it work at all cost,” said Miles G. Jackson. The Linwood, New Jersey native stars in the title role in My Name Is Asher Lev at George Street Playhouse.

302) Harry Chapin: A Celebration In Song (published 2016-04-20) -- Harry Chapin may have died 35 years ago, but his music and spirit live on. There are Harry Chapin fan communities on the internet, his strong legacy of activism and charitable work continued on by his family, and songs like “Cats In The Cradle” and “Taxi” are still played each day on radio stations around the world. And on Friday, May 13, the Chapin family will pay tribute to Harry’s songs along with their own originals at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (BergenPAC).

303) A Different Side Of Jim Testa (published 2016-04-20) -- In February, Jim Testa released two records: American Spirits & Artisanal Cheese and Jim Testa For President. Best known as the creator of Jersey Beat, Testa has been covering rock and roll for decades. He’s so known as a writer that it sometimes surprises people to hear that he’s a musician as well. New Jersey Stage recently spoke with him to learn more about the releases and the history of Jersey Beat.

304) The Weeklings Look Towards Abbey Road And Need Your Help (published 2016-04-19) -- One of the most intriguing bands in New Jersey to debut in recent years is one that looks to the past for its future. Known as The Weeklings, the band plays Beatles-inspired music that comes from actual songs written by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison (but never released by the band) along with their own original songs written in the Beatlesque style. The result is something new that feels like you've known it all along. The band is getting ready to record their second album - one which will take the Beatles sound to a new level with the recording done in Abbey Road Studios.

305) Brian Fallon: The Jersey Interview (published 2016-03-22) -- Last July, The Gaslight Anthem announced they would be taking a break following the conclusion of their European tour for Get Hurt. It had been a great 10 year run for the band, but they all planned to do other projects and needed to take a step back before deciding what they wanted to do next. In March, lead singer Brian Fallon released his first solo album, Painkillers. Some songs are easy to imagine as Gaslight tunes, while others veer into more country and folk music territory. Fallon spoke with New Jersey Stage about the record, what Jersey means to him, and why he thinks the band will play together again someday.

306) Jeff Raspe: Sing This With Me, This is 50! (published 2016-03-22) -- For over 25 years, New Jersey native Jeff Raspe has been one of the most visible DJs in the state. He’s been the host of prominent events such as the Light of Day concerts and the Asbury Music Awards, and has been involved in organizations like Musicians On A Mission. He recently turned 50 and will be celebrating the milestone with a special show at The Strand in Lakewood on Friday, April 22. The lineup includes Jesse Malin, Mark Erelli, and Val Emmich - three artists that are all special friends of his.

307) Darlene Love creates the classic Asbury album (published 2016-02-20) -- Her voice was known to millions even when her name was not. She sang on number one hits and backed up artists like Elvis Presley, Marvin Gaye, and Dionne Warwick. It took several decades for her to finally take center stage, but once she did she never looked back. And last year, she released Introducing Darlene Love — her long-awaited record of new material. Produced by Stevie Van Zandt, it’s not only a great record… it’s one of the best Asbury Sounding records in decades. She may be from California, but she’s got deep Jersey roots and it shows.

308) Bobby Bandiera looks back (published 2016-02-20) -- There are three names who stand above the rest when you’re talking about rock and roll in New Jersey: Southside Johnny, Jon Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen. One man with connections to all three is Bobby Bandiera. For several years now, Bandiera has created special tribute shows around artists like Roy Orbison and Eric Clapton or themes such as Motown or British Invasion acts. On Saturday, March 12 at the State Theatre, he turns the spotlight on his own illustrious career with a special show spanning the artists he’s shared stages with over the last 30 years.

309) Strand Presents A Wonderful Tribute To The Life Of David Bowie (published 2016-01-30) -- Dozens of artists paid tribute to David Bowie at The Strand Theater on Friday, January 29th during an event that did much more than showcase Bowie, the Artist. It showcased the vision Anthony D’Amato has for the Strand. A vision that is exciting and long overdue for the Lakewood venue.

310) Francis Lombardi (published 2016-01-22) -- “Trying to go out and make a living as a musician is the fuckin’ wild west,” said Francis Lombardi, a singer-songwriter based in the Asbury Park music scene who recently completed eight weeks on the road with Daphne Lee Martin.

311) The Death of Internet Radio (published 2016-01-21) -- Independent musicians are losing many of their best supporters because of a major increase in royalty rates charged to internet radio stations. Over 5,000 stations on are forced to shut down at the end of January and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. It’s not that these stations don’t believe in paying royalties to artists, it’s that the royalty rate put in place is simply unworkable. Independent musicians should be upset since internet radio stations often provide their first (and sometimes only) radio airplay. Music licensing companies are supposed to be working for artists and not shutting down promotional outlets and potential revenue sources.

312) Light of Day WinterFest 2016 Preview: Part 2 (published 2015-12-22) -- Light of Day returns to the tri-state area with shows in Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey. These shows feature incredible artists performing for a good cause -- to use the power of music to raise money and awareness in its continuing battle to defeat Parkinson’s disease and related illnesses such as PSP and ALS within our lifetime.

313) Light of Day WinterFest 2016 Preview: Part 1 (published 2015-12-22) -- Light of Day returns to the tri-state area with shows in Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey. These shows feature incredible artists performing for a good cause -- to use the power of music to raise money and awareness in its continuing battle to defeat Parkinson’s disease and related illnesses such as PSP and ALS within our lifetime.

314) Arlon Bennett & The Healing Project (published 2015-12-22) -- Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects your movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand and eventually affecting almost every part of the body. Some of the most recognizable names with Parkinson’s include Muhammad Ali, Michael J. Fox, Linda Ronstadt, and Bob Benjamin whose 40th birthday party led to the creation of the Light of Day Foundation.

315) The Saint Seeks Help From Its Fans (published 2015-12-01) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- It's never easy asking for help, but dire times call for dire measures. The Saint, a rock and roll club in Asbury Park, has set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding page to help raise funds for its stability and growth. The club, which launched in November 1994, is one of the oldest, continously run rock and roll venues in the state. While larger places like the Stone Pony get the majority of press, The Saint has always been the place to see artists on their first go around through town. For many years, it was also my home away from home.

316) Grace Potter (published 2015-11-21) -- For more than a decade, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals have been a fixture on the jam band scene, playing the largest music festivals with a distinctive rock and roll sound that defied easy categorization. Some songs were bluesy, some rocked hard, some sounded like alternative rock and some sounded rootsy, but they were all held together via the powerful and soulful vocals of Grace Potter. In August, she released Midnight, her first solo record and she’s currently on a tour that will bring her to the tri-state area in December.

317) Stone Pony Crowd Welcomes Matt O'Ree Back Home After Bon Jovi Tour (published 2015-11-01) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) — “I can’t tell you how great it felt to be on the other side of the world and to open up Facebook and see so many people saying they were happy for me,” said Matt O’Ree on stage at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. The show on Friday, October 30 was a homecoming for O’Ree who was fresh off a tour of Asia with Bon Jovi. The tour went over so well, he was officially named the band’s new guitarist soon after.

318) Mike June's Revolution (published 2015-10-21) -- When Mike June left New Jersey for Austin about eight years ago, the move made perfect sense. June’s gritty Americana songs seemed as though they were born from a Texan landscape anyway. Years of playing in the local scene helped him further develop his sound, culminating in a pair of brilliant records in 2012 (Exile On Wilson Street and Talkin’ Revolution Blues). His newest, Poor Man’s Bible, will be released early in 2016. It’s one that builds on several themes in his recent records — spirituality, honesty, and a revolution he notices taking place across the globe.

319) Sorrows And Promises: Greenwich Village in the 1960s (published 2015-09-21) -- A year before his fatal plane crash, Buddy Holly moved to an apartment in Greenwich Village where he recorded his final demos. Like many local musicians, Holly used to perform in Washington Square Park. Locals say he often went unnoticed, blending in as just another musician despite having songs on the top of the charts. But he didn’t just live in the Village, unbeknownst to many music fans, Holly was also on top of the emerging folk scene.

320) Brian & His Band of Brothers (published 2015-09-21) -- Sometimes you see something while driving that captures your eye. It could be the way the sky is incredibly clear that day or someone walking along the side of the road. For Brian Fitzpatrick (leader of Brian Fitzpatrick and the Band of Brothers) it was a sign saying, “Welcome to the Heart of the Black Dirt.” He jotted it down in his phone that day so he wouldn’t lose the wording. Within a week later he had written the song which would be the title track of the band’s latest record. But it wasn’t until the band played the song at a show in Middletown, New York that he learned one of the meanings of the sign.

321) Eryn Shewell: Bringing Classy Back (published 2015-08-20) -- Eryn Shewell is building a brand. It’s based on a jazzy, bluesy sound mixed around her soulful vocals, wrapped in ‘50s pin-up culture, and enjoyed with wine and good food. She calls it “bringing classy back.”

322) John Taglieri: The Conversation (published 2015-08-20) -- Many musicians are afraid to have that honest conversation with themselves about their career. The one in which they take a look at what has worked for them and what hasn’t; when they try to envision what the next decade or two will look like; and when they realize it’s time to stop comparing themselves to their idols and start comparing their income to a regular paycheck.

323) A True Summer of Love For Glen Burtnik (published 2015-08-20) -- He may always be a slave of New Brunswick, but Glen Burtnik was reborn in Asbury Park. His story is about to embark on a new chapter on September 19 when he will marry fellow musician Christina Shafer on stage at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park.

324) Cranston Dean Hits The Road (published 2015-07-18) -- Far too often, bands in New Jersey tend to stay in the area. With New York City on one side and Philadelphia on the other, a case could certainly be made that there are more than enough places to play and millions of music fans to reach within a two hour ride; however, there is something to be said for challenging yourself to be that band on the road, hitting a club you’ve never hit before, walking through those doors and performing in front of people who are not your friends or family members -- just strangers.

325) Mr. Ray Tackles The Issue Of Bullying (published 2015-07-18) -- Ray Andersen has had an impressive career as a rock and roll musician with stints in bands from the legendary Stone Pony house band Cats On A Smooth Surface to national acts like Meat Loaf, but he may be best known for something that began as a side project in 1994 — mr. RAY.

326) Mad Dogs and Englishmen To Roar Once More (published 2015-07-18) -- Anthony D’Amato tends to think big. His band, Remember Jones, which is also his stage name these days, has 12 members but that’s nothing compared to the lineups he puts together for his tribute shows. He recently sold out Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park for a live performance of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album with an orchestra of 25. His latest show will recreate the legendary live album by Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, on Thursday, August 27 at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal, NJ and this show is just as ambitious.

327) Donny Most Sings The Standards (published 2015-06-16) -- Generations of sitcom fans knew him as the freckled, red-headed class clown on Happy Days, but these days Donny Most is singing a new tune. In fact, it’s one he’s wanted to sing all of his life. The music he loves is finally in favor and he’s glad to share it with fans across the country, including two shows in the New York/New Jersey area with his 7-piece band this July.

328) Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls (published 2015-06-16) -- The Indigo Girls are back with their first album in four years (One Lost Day) and a tour that will include a number of shows in New Jersey and New York. The duo of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers first met in elementary school in Decatur, Georgia and began singing together during high school. They’ve been releasing records since the late 80s with this being their 13th overall.

329) Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls On Racism (published 2015-06-16) -- The Indigot Girls are known for their work towards peace, justice and human rights; women’s health/hiv/aids; native & environmental; queer; independent media; music community; and voter education issues. So, we asked her if she could only promote and push one issue, what would be the most important to her.

330) JON HERINGTON: From The Jersey Shore To Steely Dan (published 2015-05-20) -- It’s going to be another busy summer for guitarist Jon Herington, but that’s nothing new for him. Since 1999, he’s been touring and recording as a member of Steely Dan along with lending support to a lengthy list of artists that include Boz Scaggs, Bette Midler, Phoebe Snow, Madeline Peyroux, Catherine Russell, and countless others. As a rock and roll player with a solid jazz background and a love for the blues, Herington is often in demand.

331) Somebody's Darling (published 2015-05-20) -- The members of Somebody’s Darling like to think of themselves as something akin to the way My Morning Jacket would sound if they were fronted by a woman or what Alabama Shakes might be like if they’d been born in Texas.

332) FM106.3 Reunion Show Takes Place May 15 (published 2015-05-09) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- When Faye B. Gade, the former owner of the Jersey Shore radio station WHTG (better known as FM106.3), passed away on January 29, it sparked a renewal in nostalgia towards the pivotal alternative rock station. Former DJs and musicians began gathering on social media and posting their memories of Gade and the station. It didn't take long before the idea of a reunion show came into play and on Friday, May 15, the official FM106.3 reunion swill take place at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park.

333) The Story Of Nils & Bruce (published 2015-04-20) -- Nils Lofgren replaced Steven Van Zandt just before the Born In The USA Tour in 1984 and has been with the band ever since. He first met Bruce Springsteen in 1970 when his band Grin shared a bill with Steel Mill at the Fillmore West. Over the years, Lofgren saw Springsteen perform live several times and the two became friends.

334) Nils Lofgren Faces The Music (published 2015-04-20) -- After 26 months on tour, many musicians would be ready for a break, but Nils Lofgren is excited to be heading back on the road. The E Street band member is moving back to his role as front man and touring in support of Face The Music, a ten disc set that serves as a comprehensive retrospective of his career as an artist. The tour will bring him back to the Garden State in May with shows in Wyckoff, Newton, Millville, and West Long Branch.

335) An Interview With Griffin House (published 2015-04-20) -- Singer-songwriter Griffin House has a couple of dates in the tri-city area at the end of April. New Jersey Stage spoke to him about the right blend of music, golf & family; building an audience in the social media age; and performing at a prison.

336) Jim Weider Talks About The Weight (published 2015-04-08) -- The Band may be best remembered for backing Bob Dylan and being the subject of Martin Scorsese's brilliant documentary The Last Waltz, but their music holds a special place in history as well. In fact, one could argue that they were one of the originators of the Americana sound so prevalent in today's music. Songs like "Up on Cripple Creek", "Life Is A Carnival" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" have been staples of class rock radio stations for decades. The music continues on stage thanks to a group called The Weight, which takes its name from another classic cut. The Weight will perform at The Newton Theatre on Saturday, April 18 at 8pm. Tickets range from $32-$42.

337) Marc Muller Discusses Dead On Live (published 2015-04-01) -- In honor of the Grateful Dead's 50th anniversary, Dead On Live is paying tribute to this milestone by performing the band's music in full production, both as heard on the band's commercial releases and as performed live in some of their most famous shows throughout the years. On Friday, April 10 at 8PM, Dead On Live marks their first appearance at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC). Tickets range fro $25-$35.

338) Ignore The Evidence (published 2015-03-19) -- When you first hear the electric guitars roar on “Mercy of the Radio,” you know that Michael Askin’s Ignore the Evidence is anything but a typical singer-songwriter record. The record does have its folk side, but it rocks out just as much.

339) Going Country In Cali (published 2015-03-19) -- A few years ago Anjelia Pelay celebrated the release of her first CD with a giant show at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. In the years since, she’s moved away from the pop/rock sound of her first release to one of country and has left the Jersey Shore for California.

340) The Wayside Shakeup (published 2015-02-22) -- Two guys were walking down the street carrying guitars when a limousine pulled up, a window rolled down, and a guy who appeared to be Sylvester Stallone said, "You guys looking for a wayside shakeup?" The window then rolled up, the limo drove away, and a band was named.

341) Annie Minogue Returns To The Area (published 2015-02-22) -- This March marks the return of Annie Minogue to the area in a big way. She's got several shows lined up in New York and will be coming to New Jersey later in the year. Originally from the Bronx, she now lives in North Jersey and is focusing on this region after years of touring nationally. In addition, she's been in the studio recently and looks forward to releasing her next record (called Suburbia) on the Varese Sarabande record label and distributed through Fontana Universal.

342) ZZ Top: 40 Years of Rock 'n Roll & Cars (published 2015-02-22) -- For over forty years, ZZ Top has been recording, touring, and residing on classic rock stations. The trio of Billy Gibbons on guitar, Dusty Hill on bass, and Frank Beard on drums has remained the same since first forming in Houston back in 1970. They're instantly recognizable thanks to the long beards of Gibbons and Hill and their trademark sunglasses. Meanwhile, over 25 million records sold and a steady stream of hits earned them an induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

343) An Interview with Taylor Tote (published 2015-02-06) -- Taylor Tote will celebrate the release of her debut EP and new music video, "Superman", at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ on February 20 at 8pm. Rock on Radio host Danny Coleman will emcee the night which includes a guest performance by the Glimmer Grass Band and special instrumentalist guests Steve Jankowski and Michael Ghegan. Tickets are $25 with a limited number of tickets available for students at $15. A copy of the EP is included with each ticket purchase.

344) An Interview With Karen Mansfield (published 2015-01-18) -- Despite being well known inside the New Jersey music scene for decades, Karen Mansfield had never released a record of her own until a few months ago. Once a punk rocker with The Bleeding Knees, she has recorded, performed, and shared stages with artists such as Jewel, the Whirling Dervishes, Willie Nile, Mikeal Jorgensen of Wilco, and Erik Paparazzi of Cat Power. Through the years, the Rutgers University graduate has recorded several albums that were never released for one reason or another. Her self-titled debut contains six songs which run through a myriad of influences and sounds like radio stations of the sixties and seventies when the charts weren't so homogenized. It's also well worth the wait.

345) A Souled Out Christmas Delivers (published 2014-12-23) -- (RED BANK, NJ) — The only thing more difficult than finding a parking place in Red Bank during the holidays was finding a ticket to The Count Basie's "A 'Souled' Out Christmas" show on Sunday, December 21. Those fortunate enough to be in the audience were treated to two legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famers backed by two amazing bands. The night was filled with classic hits and Christmas songs with a stage adorned with Christmas trees, lights, and enough poinsettias to put everyone in the holiday spirit.

346) Just Around The Corner To The Light of Day: An Interview With Joe D'Urso (published 2014-12-19) -- It's common for musicians in New Jersey to donate their time and perform at benefit concerts for good causes, but there's nothing like the annual Light of Day concerts. What began as a birthday party to celebrate the 40th birthday of Bob Benjamin, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, has turned into a worldwide movement to raise money to help find a cure. In addition to raising millions of dollars, Light of Day has become its own music community, spreading the sounds of the Jersey Shore across the globe.

347) David Cassidy On His Jersey Roots (published 2014-12-19) -- In the early 1970s, David Cassidy was about as famous as a person could get. He was Keith Partridge, the lead singer in The Partridge Family. He came into people's homes each week and dominated the radio with hits like "I Woke Up In Love This Morning" and "I Think I Love You" along with that memorable opening theme.

348) The Return of Don Lee (published 2014-12-19) -- One of the scariest things in the world for singers is to face surgery on their vocal chords. It's an instrument that cannot be replaced and is usually the most recognizable facet on their work. Don Lee faced such a procedure in the past few months after releasing his fourth solo record since the breakup of Red-Headed Boogie Child. Ironically, the new release is entitled Who's Talkin' Out There?

349) It's Time To Think About Valentine's Day (published 2014-12-19) -- The holidays come and go so quickly. Before you know it, Valentine's Day will be upon us. Rather than wait until the last minute to decide what to do this year, check out the incredible deal available from the Shea Center for Performing Arts at William Paterson University. For $60 you get a seat on stage for A Valentine's Day Celebration featuring jazz and blues singer Catherine Russell. Admission also includes dinner and a dessert buffet along with two hours worth of open bar that includes premiere beer and wine. It's the perfect date night, but seats are limited for the event on Saturday, February 14.

350) A look at PL@Y & The Amboys (published 2014-11-21) -- When Hurricane Sandy hit the area, J.D. Wilson and Nicholas Norcia found themselves stuck in a blackout for two weeks. With no power to use computers or watch television, they began writing the script for a play. The two had always been fans of the Jersey band, The Amboys, and were inspired to write a play based on the characters from the band's songs. The end result was a production entitled PLatY which was first produced in 2013 and is being performed November 21-22 at The Strand in Lakewood, NJ.

351) Lauren Marsh (published 2014-11-21) -- Many indie artists handle every aspect of their careers from writing and recording songs to booking shows and promotion. Some, like Lauren Marsh of Hopewell NJ, go even further. Marsh graduated from William Paterson University in May with a degree in Music Business. Her courses helped her learn what a singer-songwriter needs to know to succeed these days, but her musical education began long before her degree.

352) An East Nashville Christmas (published 2014-11-21) -- On December 10, four critically-acclaimed songwriters from Nashville will bring a little East Nashville Holiday spirit to The Strand in Lakewood. Amy Speace, Rod Picott and Doug & Telisha Williams (of Wild Ponies) will transform The Strand into The Bluebird Cafe. Rod Picott gives us the scoop on the show.

353) Every Picture Tells A Story (published 2014-11-21) -- In 2010, photographer David Bergman began the job that he dreamt of his entire life. In a career in which he's shot everything from Sports Illustrated magazine covers to hundreds of major events and had shots like the one he took of President Obama's inauguration go viral and seen by millions around the world, his dream was to one day be on a tour around the world with a major band.

354) Willie Nile's Journey Continues (published 2014-11-20) -- It always makes me laugh when people say that rock and roll is dead or complain that nobody makes great albums anymore. I guess they've never heard of Willie Nile. One of the most under-rated rock and roll artists in the world, he's been on a roll for the past decade releasing album after album, each better than the one before. In 2013, his American Ride record received nearly universal acclaim as an instant classic. Could he possibly top it?

355) Tommy Strazza: Songs From The Escape (published 2014-10-19) -- Boy meets girl... boy loses girl... boy winds up writing an album about losing girl... boy finds himself promoting the album to men across the country who order razor blades by mail. It's the same old story, right?

356) The Porchistas: DIY Rockers (published 2014-10-19) -- Many bands complain that there aren't enough places to play in New Jersey. The Porchistas aren't one of those bands. They not only developed a great relationship with a local club, but they did the ultimate DIY thing and turned their own home and backyard into venues as well. They're proof that sometimes artists can control more than they think they can.

357) Williams Honor: An Interview With Gordon Brown (published 2014-10-19) -- It's always been rare for an artist to get signed to a major record label. Gordon Brown, a talented songwriter from Long Branch, did it twice — in the late 1980s with Mr. Reality and again in the 2000s with Highway 9. Both bands featured a blend of country and rock and roll, creating a rather unique sound along the Jersey Shore.

358) Diego Allessandro and Lot 25 Take Over The Saint (published 2014-09-20) -- Few local bands ever get a 45-minute set, much less an hour to showcase their own tunes at the rock and roll clubs in the area. On Saturday, October 18 at The Saint in Asbury Park, Diego Allessandro and Lot 25 will buck that trend with a special 90-minute set of originals from all 3 of their full-length releases. The show will also be professionally filmed and recorded as part of something they're calling "The Losin' Kind Virtual World Tour" which will be available on YouTube.

359) Brent Bourgeois: Rip Van Winkle Awakes (published 2014-09-20) -- In the 1980s, a band called Bourgeois Tagg created one of the catchiest songs of the decade, a Beatlesque tune called "I Don't Mind At All." As the song charted around the world, troubles with drugs and alcohol began for Brent Bourgeois, who grew up in Morristown, NJ. Ironically, it wasn't the alcohol and drug use that threatened the future of the band, it was Brent's recovery. After sobering up and becoming a Christian, his lyrics became more and more religious in nature, something that rattled his bandmates.

360) An Interview With Anthony D'Amato (published 2014-09-20) -- Anthony D'Amato grew up in Blairstown, NJ and attended Princeton University. After years of releasing albums on his own (recording them in dorm rooms and apartments), his major label debut, The Shipwreck From The Shore, was released in September. New Jersey Stage caught up with Anthony shortly after his record release show at the Mercury Lounge in New York City.

361) Interview With Scott Terry of RWB on Autobiographical Songwriting (published 2014-09-10) -- The cover story of the August 2014 issue of New Jersey Stage magazine was on Red Wanting Blue, a band from Columbus, Ohio that's led by Scott Terry (who grew up in Moorestown, NJ). Here's a little extra from our interview with him that focused on his autobiographical songwriting style.

362) Canadian Band ZERBIN Plays The Saint in Asbury Park Tonight (published 2014-08-29) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- If you're like me and you listen to satellite radio in the car, chances are you've got a couple of favorite stations you turn to on a regular basis. One of mine is Iceberg, a station that largely plays Canadian artists. One band I've been hearing a lot of on the station is ZERBIN from Victoria, BC, which features the songwriting duo (Jason Zerbin & Peter Mol). Songs like "New Earth" and "Take Your Heart" are regularly in rotation. ZERBIN comes to The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ for the first time tonight (Friday, August 29) on a bill that includes Modern Suits and Underwater Country Club.

363) Tommy Strazza Holds CD Release Party At Rosie's Cafe (published 2014-08-23) -- (BRICK, NJ -- AUGUST 10, 2014) -- "If I knew this would be so much fun, I would have done it years ago!" said Tommy Strazza during a break between songs at his CD Release Party. His big night was not held in a club, as is usually done, but took place at Rosie's Cafe, the name for the house concerts held by Brenda Wirth. These intimate (generally restricted to 25 attendees) gatherings are not only wonderful shows for music lovers, but offer artists the opportunity to have an audience that truly listens to every song -- something that is rare during club shows.

364) Stormin' Norman: a Jersey Shore Legend (published 2014-08-18) -- If you're a fan of Bruce Springsteen, you may have heard the story about how Clarence Clemons was playing in a bar one night when Bruce walked in and was blown away by the music. The band Clarence was playing in was led by Norman Seldin, and while that moment may be part of rock and roll history, it's just one part of the Stormin' Norman legend.

365) The Hopeful Romantic in Red Wanting Blue (published 2014-08-18) -- Most of the country may know Scott Terry as the lead singer in the Columbus, Ohio band, Red Wanting Blue, but the friends and family members that will pack upcoming shows in the tri-state area still think of him as a Jersey Boy. Born and raised in Moorestown, Scott's band released their latest album, "Little America", on July 1.

366) Jack Skuller Wins Buddy Holly Prize (published 2014-07-18) -- Buddy Holly was one of the true legends of rock and roll whose short but brilliant career included such hits as "That'll Be The Day", "Peggy Sue", and "Oh, Boy!" His death in a plane crash on February 3, 1959 was immortalized in the Don McLean song, "The Day The Music Died". In 2009, the Songwriters Hall of Fame began recognizing upcoming songwriters while honoring Buddy's legacy with The Holly Prize. This year's recipient was Jack Skuller of Weehawken.

367) Morristown Rocker Doesn't Want To KickStart His New Record... He Wants To Kick-Finish It! (published 2014-05-07) -- (MORRISTOWN, NJ) — Imagine being a musician accustomed to producing records with budgets of $250,000 suddenly finding himself with just $5,000 to work with. That's the world Brent Bourgeois, one half of the 80s band Bourgeois Tagg, discovered when he started working on his first release in twenty years. High production costs and diminishing sales had soured him on the music industry, but the advent of home recording technology brought him back. His challenge now is to let his fans and those of his former band know he's got a new album.

368) The World Is His Oyster (published 2014-04-23) -- Cassandra Wilson, Fatoumata Diawara, Edmar Castaneda, Nina Attal, and Pat Metheny are just some of the artists performing at this year's Jazzkaar festival, the biggest jazz festival of the Baltics held in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Oh yeah, Bay Head's own James Dalton is also blowing his harp, playing guitar and mandolin, and guesting with some of the biggest names in Estonian music history while the annual festival celebrates its 25th anniversary.

369) NJ Musician Wants To Live In A Dome (published 2014-04-22) -- My first thought upon hearing that Rich Lynch wanted to live in a dome wasn't that he was crazy, it was what does his wife think? Apparently, the Ringwood, NJ, musician chose the right person to share his life with because Laura (his wife) shares his dream of "embracing a more enlightened way of functioning on a daily basis."

370) A Look At Xenia Sky (published 2014-04-10) -- Imagine being asked to write a new song in a matter of minutes now imagine that the song has to be centered around a ridiculous title and you're not only asked to perform it but to do so on live television with millions of people watching. That's the scenario Xenia Sky found herself in last March when she was one of three artists on the Jimmy Fallon Show in a segment entitled, "Battle of the Instant Songwriter". Her mission? To write a song based on the title, "Turtle Sunrise".

371) George Wirth's Words & Music (published 2014-04-07) -- (APRIL 6, 2014) I finally made it out to one of George Wirth's "Words & Music" monthly shows at Espresso Joe's in Keyport. Actually, it was my first time back at the coffeehouse in years and my first time at a show in months. Espresso Joe's was the second place to ever "request" copies of my old Upstage Magazine, so the place holds a special spot in my heart. It's also a great venue for music and tonight was a lineup too good for me to pass.

Interview With Debra L. Rothenberg:
Born To Shoot
(published 2013-09-13) -- For many years, Debra L. Rothenberg was a fixture along the Jersey Shore. She was one of the area's top photographers in the days before everybody and their brother took photos at the local shows. Her shots captured the 80s and 90s in a way few others did. She didn't just photograph the stars, she was the person EVERY band sought out for their promo shots and chances are she had shots of them performing live as well.

373) Two Bongos for the Price of None! (published 2013-08-30) -- (BELMAR, NJ -- AUGUST 29, 2013) -- It was supposed to be the first concert in this year's 90.5 Songwriters Series, but it wound up being the last... And it was worth the wait. The show finished up what hopefully will be the first of many years in Belmar with a huge crowd (the biggest of the ones I was able to attend) and amazing music by The Sunday Blues and Richard Barone.

374) The Sunday Blues: Worth The Wait (published 2013-08-13) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ -- AUGUST 10, 2013) -- Sometimes I worry when bands take several years to release a record. Will they lose momentum? Will people still care? For one incredible night at the Saint in Asbury Park, those questions were answered for The Sunday Blues. A packed house full of fans, friends, and family came out for the official cd release of "City Folklore" proving that sometimes good things can come to those who wait.

375) McDermott and Jerzy Jung Rock Belmar's Beach (published 2013-06-20) -- (BELMAR, NJ -- JULY 18, 2013) -- A new era for 90.5 The Night's summer Songwriter series began on Thursday, July 18th when Michael McDermott and Jerzy Jung became the first artists to take part in the weekly showcase in 2013. Held for years in Red Bank, the show was moved to Belmar this year and was supposed to make its debut on July 11th, but the initial concert featuring Richard Barone and The Sunday Blues had to be cancelled due to inclement weather. I've waited a long time to have shows like this take place in Belmar, shows like those that the town used to hold at the Taylor Pavilion decades ago. If all of the shows go as well as this one, the wait was definitely worth it.

376) Keith Monacchio Named Finalist For Philadelphia Songwriters Project Songwriting Contest 2013 (published 2013-05-04) -- It's shaping up to be a pretty big year for Keith Monacchio. The singer-songwriter from Hamilton is not only about to become a father for the first time, but is one of 11 finalists in the Philadelphia Songwriters Project Songwriting Contest 2013. The song in the running -- "Coffee House" -- is one of my personal favorites from Keith, who has been putting out great records as a solo artist and member of The Commons and Semi-Beings for well over a decade.

377) Eric Miller's Bold Move To Raise Awareness Of Epilepsy (published 2013-03-01) -- Eric Miller is coordinating 50 Concerts in 50 States for Epilepsy Awareness in honor of his wife Carolina who passed away from epilepsy at 25. The concerts partner with the largest organizations (Epilepsy Foundation, CURE & others) in epilepsy on a single weekend. Some of the artists they have on board include Eric Clapton, Colbie Caillat, Owl City, Supertramp's Roger Hodgson, Brian Regan, Loudon Wainwright III, They Might Be Giants and dozens more. The 50 Concerts in 50 States had its origins years ago as a house concert series in Pennington, NJ. recently spoke with Miller about taking the awareness project to a much higher level.

378) Top Songs Of 2012 -- a music playlist for you (published 2012-12-31) -- It's that time of the year again when music journalists and critics praise their favorite songs and albums of the year. Personally, I simply can't rank the songs of the year, I prefer to put them together for a true music playlist. Thus, the songs listed here aren't in any particular order other than I liked the way they flowed together. I love all of these tunes and I hope you get the chance to check out these great artists. The full mix comes out to about 3 hours and will be aired on several times in January.

379) Top EPs of 2012 & Forgotten Discs From 2011 (published 2012-12-29) -- A look back at our favorite EPs of 2012 and album releases from recent years that found their way to The Penguin in 2012...

380) The Completely Unnecessary, Totally Irreverent, Top 70 Albums of 2012 (published 2012-12-29) -- I have a love/hate relationship with these end-of-the-year lists. On one hand, I remember poring through lists from my favorite writers while growing up to see if there were artists I should check out; but, on the other hand, putting this lists together takes a lot of time. I'm not one to simply spit out a list either from memory or by glancing through my notes over the year. No, I'm one of those idiots who actually relisten to everything and grade each release before coming up with the list...

381) Recap: 2012 Winter Solstice Show at The Saint (published 2012-12-20) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Every year I'm simply amazed at the amount of talented musicians in the Asbury Park area. Events like Cook Smith's Annual Winter Solstice Show help bring otherwise overlooked artists to the forefront. On Wednesday, December 19, the annual event returned with over 30 different artists performing holiday tunes in a rapidly moving show at the Saint in Asbury Park. While some of the artists were well known veterans of the local scene, many were artists just starting out or open mic regulars getting the rare opportunity for a true stage performance.

382) Jersey Strong (a look back at Hurricane Sandy & the arts) (published 2012-12-16) -- "Hello, this is Mayor Matt Doherty with an important emergency message. It is with a heavy heart --"

383) Johnette Still Has It: Concrete Blonde At The Stone Pony (published 2012-12-16) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - DECEMBER 14, 2013) -- After many years, Concrete Blonde returned to Asbury Park with a stellar performance at the Stone Pony. I had seen the band a couple of times before through the years, but Johnette Napolitano's voice sounded better tonight than I can ever remember. She's always had one of the best set of pipes in the business, but after seeing her in such form as tonight, I'd say she just might be the most underrated vocalist in rock and roll. And her band can flat out rock.

384) 20th Annual Asbury Music Awards Rant & Recap (published 2012-12-14) -- The Asbury Music Awards was held for the 20th time on Thursday, December 13th at the Stone Pony, bringing most of the local music scene together for a night of fun music and recognition, but, once again, it could have been so much more.

385) Concrete Blonde Returns To The Stone Pony (published 2012-12-12) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- There are many bands from the 80s and 90s who continue to tour around the world, play their most recognizable tunes, and cash a paycheck each night. Concrete Blonde, who is coming to the Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Friday, is not one of those bands. In the past decade, they've released two new albums and lead singer Johnette Napolitano has released several solo releases as well. They even have a new single out called "Rosalie". Chances are unless you're a die-hard Concrete Blonde fan, you probably weren't even aware of those releases. That's not because they weren't good (they are), but because so few radio stations play new music anymore that bands like Concrete Blonde are largely on their own.

386) Said The Whale Makes New Jersey Debut Tonight (published 2012-11-15) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- In just five years, Said The Whale has become one of the most popular bands in Canada. Based in Vancouver, the power pop/rock band won the JUNO Award for New Group of the Year in 2011. They have played New York City and Philadelphia a couple of times before, but will make their New Jersey debut tonight at the Saint in Asbury Park. It's another one of those shows you'll be kicking yourselves a few years from now if you miss it.

387) Asbury Park: The Untapped Legacy (published 2012-10-10) -- While searching my computer for an old file, I stumbled upon this proposal to bring back the Upstage Club. This was actively proposed to the City of Asbury Park in 2004. Unfortunately, at the time, neither Asbury Park nor Monmouth County or even New Jersey had money to really get a project like this off of the ground. I'm posting it to show some of the ideas we had -- some of which have begun seeing the light of day in recent years -- with the hope that maybe some more will become reality in the future. It's also kind of cool looking back at how Asbury Park was in 2004 and just how far it's come in less than a decade.

388) REVIEW: Local Legends Return To The Saint (published 2012-09-29) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- On nights like this, I realize just how lucky we are along the Jersey Shore to have a place like The Saint -- a bar that on certain magical nights resembles "Cheers" with live music. On Friday, September 28, we had one of those nights. Three artists who all stamped their mark into the local music scene shared a bill with one of the area's fastest rising stars. It was one of those rare nights that felt like a homecoming with hardly a barrier at all between the performers and the members of the audience. People sang along, joked with the performers, and turned the club into a living room. We were all friends on this night and those are always the very best and most special shows.

389) Asbury Honors Its Angels (published 2012-09-25) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 23, 2012) -- Apparently, it just became a little easier to be a saint in the city...

390) Asbury Park Pays Tribute To The Concert For New York City On Anniversary Of 9/11 (published 2012-09-07) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Several generations of musicians will gather on stage to pay tribute to the artists who helped soothe the soul of America following the attacks on 9/11. Inspired by the Concert for New York City, Marc Ribler and an assortment of local artists including Glen Burtnik, Bob Burger, Sandy Mack, and Emily Grove will perform original music inspired by September 11 and cover songs by many of the musicians who took part in that legendary showcase. The tribute takes place on Tuesday, September 11th at McCloone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.

391) Interview with Justin Moore of Ingram Hill (published 2012-09-06) -- Back in 2004 or so, I was wrapping up an issue of my old magazine late at night when I saw a band called Ingram Hill pop on a CNN segment. As luck would have it they were playing at the Saint in Asbury Park later that night. I checked them out that night and liked what I saw; four guys from Memphis playing rock and roll with hints of southern rock thrown into the mix. There was only a handful of people that first show, but the next time they returned to the Saint I think there was a couple dozen. They've since kept the Saint on their list of regular clubs they play throughout the country and will be back in town Sunday, September 9 in support of their new self-titled release. I spoke with lead singer Justin Moore about their new album, touring, the difficulties of being named Justin Moore, and the Big East...

392) The New Zoo Music Review Takes A New Look At Music Festivals (published 2012-09-03) -- (KEYPORT, NJ) -- There have been a number of legendary music festivals throughout history for music fans; Woodstock, Monterrey, and Live Aid set the standard while the torch continued with festivals like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Bamboozle, which showcase acts many are seeing for the first time. But I've never actually heard of a festival like the New Zoo Music Review, which will take place on September 15 from 2pm-7pm at the Keyport Marine Basin. For this festival, EVERYONE can be part of the musical lineup.

393) Red Wanting Blue Closes Out Red Bank's Songwriters in the Park Series in Style (published 2012-08-29) -- (RED BANK, NJ -- AUGUST 24, 2012) -- "So this is a Songwriters in the Park show to actually happen. I thought it would be rained out so I didn't prepare," said Rick Barry who opened the outdoor show in Red Bank's beautiful Riverside Gardens Park.

394) Interview With Scott Terry of Red Wanting Blue (published 0000-00-00) --

Red Wanting Blue will be headlining the final Songwriters In The Park show on Friday, August 24 in Red Bank, NJ. They'll also be returning to their regular haunt, The Saint in Asbury Park, on October 14. Led by lead singer Scott Terry, the band is fresh off their network television appearance on The David Letterman Show. I was able to catch up with Terry, a former Jersey boy from Moorestown, as he drove his band's tour bus across Indiana for a gig in Indianapolis. We fought bad cell phone connections and racing truck drivers, but managed to talk about a ton of things.

395) Interview With Scott Terry of Red Wanting Blue (PART 2) (published 2012-08-23) -- Here's part 2 of my interview with Scott Terry of Red Wanting Blue. In this half, Scott talks about the need for artists to leave the basement and hit the road; how staying in Columbus wound up benefiting the band; and his love for 8-tracks.

396) Interview With Scott Terry of Red Wanting Blue (PART 1) (published 2012-08-22) --

Red Wanting Blue will be headlining the final Songwriters In The Park show on Friday, August 24 in Red Bank, NJ. They'll also be returning to their regular haunt, The Saint in Asbury Park, on October 14. Led by lead singer Scott Terry, the band is fresh off their network television appearance on The David Letterman Show. I was able to catch up with Terry, a former Jersey boy from Moorestown, as he drove his band's tour bus across Indiana for a gig in Indianapolis. We fought bad cell phone connections and racing truck drivers, but managed to talk about a ton of things.

397) Belmar Launches Music & Arts Festival (published 2012-08-21) -- (BELMAR, NJ) -- Despite being somewhat of a spur of the moment idea, Belmar's First Annual Music & Arts Festival was a smashing success. In fact, a certain town a few miles away that appears to be eliminating free music should pay attention. Belmar just might grab the mantle if the town decides to use its beach and boardwalk to lure the immense musical and arts talent in the area for free shows. Someone is bound to find a way to do it, why not Belmar?

398) Belmar Holds 1st Annual Music & Arts Festival On August 21 (published 2012-08-18) -- (BELMAR, NJ) -- While Asbury Park gets most of the credit, a little seashore town up the road named Belmar has had a pretty impressive musical history as well. After all, this is the town that put the "E Street" in E Street Band. On Tuesday, August 21, Belmar will hold its 1st Annual Music & Arts Festival to showcase some of the artists and performers who call the town home. Live music by the Danny White Band, Pat Roddy Band, and the Beach Music Rock Band will take place between 6pm and 9pm at the 5th Avenue Pavillion. Local artists will also be exhibiting their work. Admission is free.

399) Asbury Park - Where Music Is On Life Support (published 2012-08-11) -- A few days ago, The Sand Witch got word from the Asbury Park Police Department that their boardwalk establishment could no longer offer live music outside. I spoke with a town official who had no knowledge of why The Sand Witch was told this. "The restaurants are allowed to provide music on the boardwalk as long as they are permitted to operate on the boardwalk," was the response I received via email.

400) Jim Boggia: This Could Be The Last Time (published 2012-08-05) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- It's a bit strange, I know, especially for someone who covers live music, but I don't usually go out on the weekends during the summer. The simple act of avoiding Bennies who haven't a clue as to their destination presents something of an obstacle course; you face cars and trucks that pretend you don't exist, New Yorkers who should stick to the subway, and the entire experience turns my normal five-minute jaunt into a stress-inducing fifteen to twenty-minute slice of hell. But the thought of possibly missing the last local performance of Jim Boggia led me to take a break from the book I'm writing and dragged me out to The Saint in Asbury Park on Saturday night.

401) Jersey Shore Meets Austin Night (published 2012-08-04) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Most everybody that goes to The Saint in Asbury Park on a regular basis knows that Scott Stamper, the club's owner, is a huge fan of music from Austin, TX. Not only has he made an annual pilgrimage to Austin each year for the City's vaunted South by Southwest music festival, but he often encourages bands from the area to make a stop in Asbury Park when they can. On Tuesday, June 26, a pair of bands from Texas took him up on the offer and helped make for a very interesting Jersey Shore versus Austin night.

402) The Trews Hit Asbury Park (published 2012-07-26) -- I can't explain it, but ever since I was a teenager my favorite artists have either been from New Jersey or Canada. If a dozen artists were played on the radio, chances are I'd somehow manage to pick out the ones from those two areas without ever knowing their histories. My collection of Canadian artists began to grow exponentially when I first subscribed to satellite radio a few years back. Ever since then, Iceberg 151 (a station that mostly plays Canadian artists) has been one of my top presets.

403) It's All Good In The Neighborhood (published 2012-07-15) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ -- JULY 14, 2012) -- Just a few doors down from where the magic first happened, Albie Monterrosa held a CD release party for his new band with the hopes that lightning might strike twice. As Albie & The Neighborhood rocked Chico's House of Jazz, it was like a flashback to the early part of the last decade when deSol first hit the scene. People were out on the dance floor, swaying to the mixture of latin and classic rock sounds; the audience had a much more diversified mix than usually found in the clubs around this area; and Albie, once again, was showing why he's such a tremendous front man that lightning just might strike twice.

404) Bob Burger At The Celtic (published 2012-07-13) -- (LONG BRANCH, NJ -- JULY 12, 2012) -- There was a time when Bob Burger owned Thursdays at the Celtic Cottage in Long Branch. Sadly, he only comes by once or twice a month these days. Even though he's branched out and plays shows all over the area now, the Celtic is truly my favorite place to see him. I've heard some people label these shows as just cover nights, they're not only wrong about that but they clearly miss the point. On Thursday nights like these, Burger not only winds up playing the majority of his latest album as well as cuts from his other releases, but he plays them in front of a crowd that's become something of its own unique music community. It's like Cheers in a way, everybody knows your name.

405) James Maddock Finds His Music Community (published 2012-02-22) -- On Saturday, February 25, James Maddock returns to Asbury Park for an early show at The Saint. The British born singer-songwriter was first recognized in the USA as lead singer of the band Wood who released "Songs From Stamford Hill" on Columbia Records in 1999. That album contained the hit track "Stay You" which was included in the first Dawson's Creek compilation. Maddock resurfaced a few years ago with the acclaimed "Sunrise On Avenue C" disc and released its followup, "Wake Up And Dream" last year.

406) Who Says Live Music Is Dead? We Just Had A Great Atmosphere At The Saint (published 2012-02-20) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 18, 2012) -- There's something about a packed rock and roll club that just makes the beer taste better, the music sound spectactular, and the vibe feel right for a Saturday night. The Saint in Asbury Park had that kind of atmosphere on February 18th for a stellar bill featuring James Arlowe and the Ruffian Circus, Rick Barry and the New Rick Barrys, and the headliner, Red Wanting Blue, from Columbus, Ohio.

407) The Completely Unneccesary, Totally Irreverent Top 70 Albums of 2011 List (published 2012-01-02) -- Gary Wien's picks for the Top 70 Albums of 2011. All of these artists were played on The Penguin's online radio station during the past year.

408) Eryn Shewell Talks About Mardi Gras In New Jersey On New Year's Eve (published 2011-12-29) -- Eryn Shewell and her band will once again ring in the new year at Giamano's (310 Main Street in Bradley Beach, NJ) on New Year's Eve with a show featuring a Mardi Gras theme. had a chance to catch up with Eryn to talk about the NYE show, her love of New Orleans, and her upcoming album.

409) An Interview With The Monacchio's (published 2011-10-19) -- On Friday, October 21 from 7:00pm - 10:00pm, Keith & Sheli Monacchio will host a CD release party for Wedding Album at Espresso Joe's (50 West Front Street, Keyport, NJ). had the chance to speak with the two songwriters on writing together, how they avoided sounding cheesy, and what the future holds for them...

410) Michael Askin Celebrates EP Release In Princeton (published 2011-10-13) -- Michael Askin, a New Brunswick area singer-songwriter, first made an impression in the Jersey Shore music scene when he joined the popular Asbury Park band known as Divine Sign sometime around 2006. At the time, he was known as the "guitarist with mystique" -- part of the band's expanded lineup which led the acoustic duo towards more of a full-fledged rock and roll sound. He would move on to the indie band My State of Attraction, before deciding to head out on his own. With a stripped down, alt-country/acoustic guitar sound, Askin writes deeply personal lyrics that remind me of classic songs from the '70s.

411) U.S. Rails Roll Into Asbury Park On Thursday (published 2011-08-30) -- In the summer of 2003, I began working on a new arts and entertainment magazine called Upstage. One of the very first features was on a band called 4 Way Street from Philadelphia who was putting out their debut album and had a show coming up at The Saint in Asbury Park. Comprised of Ben Arnold, Scott Bricklin, Joseph Parsons, Jim Boggia, and Matt Muir, the band was sort of a Philadelphia supergroup of area singer-songwriters. They had a sound that reminded me of Crosby, Stills, and Nash and I jumped at the opportunity to get them in the first issue.

412) Outside The Box Hits Upon Winning Formula (published 2011-08-19) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- House bands at The Stone Pony are part of a pretty interesting history. Some have gone on to get major label record deals or regularly jammed with the Jersey Shore's top musicians or even wound up performing stadium shows themselves, but whoever holds the title knows they are part of something special. Outside The Box, the current placeholder, is not only building upon the club's history, but finding new ways to continue the story. And on Wednesday, August 17, another chapter was born...

413) Andy Vaughan & the Driveline (published 2011-08-07) -- Andy Vaughan & the Driveline are a band from Richmond, Virginia that's a blend of rockabilly, honky-tonk, and old fashioned country music. The relatively new band started towards the end of 2010 when Vaughan left the group Hamburger James that he fronted for four years. He lined up steel guitarist Tim Stanton, drummer Chip Farnsworth, lead guitarist Jerry Renshaw, and bass player Erik Kutzler and formed The Driveline. The band will be heading to the area for a pair of shows in support of their debut album, "Long Gone."

414) Lonnie, Anthony D'Amato, Israel Nash Gripka: A Solid Trio At The Saint (published 2011-07-23) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - JULY 20, 2011) -- Mid-week shows at The Saint in Asbury Park are always the best in my opinion. These are the days when you really get a chance to see up-and-coming artists before the music press gets a hold of them, the hype machine starts spinning, hipsters latch on, and tickets become hard to get. It's also the kind of day when clubs get to present some of their most interesting acts. On Wednesday, July 20, the Saint presented a night that featured two up-and-coming artists along with the club's debut of a wild avant-garde performance act. While attendance was extremely light, I have a feeling all three of these acts will almost certainly play before much larger crowds when they return.

415) Interview with Joel Plaskett & The Emergency (published 2011-07-11) -- Joel Plaskett is a Juno Award-winning artist from Nova Scotia whose band's set at the 2011 Southern Shore Music Festival in Millville was one of the highlights of the day. I was able to catch up with Joel after his set to talk about his band, Canadian music, opening for Paul McCartney, and building an audience in the States. His band will be returning to the area on Thursday, August 18th when they take part in the Philly Folk Festival in Schwenkesville, PA.

416) Raise A Glass For The Big Man (published 2011-06-18) -- (JUNE 18, 2011) -- Words fail me. They really do. I had just come home from a music festival in South Jersey when I checked my emails to find that Clarence had passed away. To me, Clarence Clemons WAS the E Street Band. His sax provided the sound that I fell in love with as a kid. Through that sax, the definition of the Asbury Park Sound was written.

417) Interview With Mike Black (published 2011-06-08) -- Mike Black is one of the leading photographers along the Jersey Shore. He's been shooting the Asbury Park music scene for many, many years. But, in addition to taking photos, Mike's a performer as well. He's also got a background in radio and has had videos of his seen millions of times on Youtube and cable stations across the world. In other words, he's a pretty interesting guy. New Jersey Stage got a chance to talk to him and get to know the man behind the lens.

418) Interview With Michael Brett (published 2011-05-24) -- Michael Brett will celebrate the release of his new album on Sunday, June 5 at Rosie's Cafe at the Atonement Lutheran Hall (308 First AVenue in Asbury Park, NJ). The show runs from 5:00pm to 8:00pm and will include performances by Matt Kay, we are., Emily Grove, along with Michael and special guests. Admission is $5. BYOB and some food to share.

419) Interview with Colie Brice (published 2011-03-14) -- Colie Brice has been a mainstay in the Asbury Park music scene for decades as a musician, industry professional, and record label owner. Unfortunately, few people really know much about his background. caught up with Colie to give people a better picture about the man and his role in New Jersey music.

420) Top Acoustic Artists Celebrated With 2011 JAMMIES (published 2011-03-12) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - MARCH 12, 2011) -- George Wirth, Matt Kay, and Emily Grove each took home two awards in the 2nd Annual Jersey Acoustic Music Awards. Held at the Atonement Lutheran Church Hall, the night contained live performances by 19 artists in front of a standing room only crowd.

421) Interview with Pittsburgh rocker, Bill Toms (published 2011-03-07) -- Bill Toms, the long-time Pittsburgh rocker and former member of Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers will return to Asbury Park for a show at The Saint on Saturday, March 19. New Jersey Stage caught up with Bill via email to talk about the show, his new record, and surviving as an independent artist.

422) Interview With Kimon On Returning To His Roots (published 2011-03-02) -- Kimon & the Prophets won the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation battle of the bands and recently competed in Memphis, TN along with 110 other bands at the International Blues Challenge. Comprised of veteran musicians who have long since paid their dues in the NYC club circuit and beyond, the members of the Prophets have been in numerous bands with national releases. Early on Kimon (pronounced kéy-mon) survived a long stint as guitarist and co-writer with an over-the-top, edgy NYC garage band called The Wilsons, later joining Hoboken NJ favorites Fear of Falling as guitarist, there gaining much experience in making albums and performing via touring in Europe and the U.S. He went on to form Psonica, signing with the now defunct Navarre Entertainment. They released their national debut effort, but disbanded soon after due to internal disagreements, at which point, Kimon went on in the following five years to release 4 critically acclaimed solo albums, methodically cultivating his own brand of protest blues, while simultaneously developing an incendiary guitar technique.

423) An Interview With Dan Coleman, Rock On Radio (published 2011-02-27) -- If it's Sunday night, it's time for Rock On Radio -- a weekly radio show broadcast on a mix of AM/FM and online radio stations throughout the world. Hosted by Danny Coleman, the show features interviews and live performances from artists in the New Jersey music scene broadcast and streamed from the studio at NewJerseyStage broadcasts an encore recording of the show every Thursday (1pm and 8pm) and Friday (7pm) on our station, htttp:// -- we caught up with Danny to see how the show was going and how it's rejuvenated his own personal music career.

424) A Belated Birthday Celebration For John Lennon (published 2011-02-20) -- (NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -- FEBRUARY 19, 2011) -- For the last few years, Glen Burtnik has been organizing shows to pay tribute to the work of the Beatles with friends of his from the music business. The shows went to great lengths to showcase individual albums exactly as the music was originally recorded -- note by note, instrument by instrument; often using dozens of performers to replicate the work of the Fab Four. On Saturday, February 19, Burtnik provided a different sort of tribute to the songs of John Lennon. The show, which ran through Lennon's work from the Beatles to his solo albums, was a bit looser, allowed for creative takes on the songs, and was even a little sloppy at times... in other words, it was probably exactly as John would have wanted it.

425) Glen Burtnick Talks About John Lennon Tribute (published 2011-02-09) -- When I heard Glen Burtnik had some free time while stuck in Alaska, I figured I'd ask him a few questions about his upcoming tribute to John Lennon. The show, "John Lennon - 70th Birthday Celebration," takes place at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ on Saturday, February 19. It's another in a wonderful series of tributes Glen has put together for the Beatles and the Who. If you haven't checked out one of these shows, you'll be amazed at how much fun they are. Glen brings in some of his friends from the music business, some local talent, and fills the stage with incredible musicians who offer you the chance to see music that not many of us were fortunate enough to see live the first go around.

426) Interview With Danny White (published 2011-02-07) -- Danny White has long been a fixture on the Jersey Shore music scene. He's the owner of Beach Music Studios and will soon release his first record in many years. NewJerseyStage had the chance to talk with Danny recently about his career, the studio, and the New York Rangers!

427) Interview with Emily Grove (published 2011-01-06) -- You've had quite an amazing year locally. It seems you've made the move from upcoming star to star very quickly, what are some of your best memories of the year? This has been a crazy year for me, with so many ups and downs and so much soul-searching and decision-making to do. My best memories are all the great people I've met (and keep meeting), and all the fun I've had playing with these people. Sonny from Espresso Joe's has supported me from Day One. Some awesome, talented people let me record with them on their music, and recording my own music has been very cool. But I'd probably hold off on that "star" label just yet, ha ha.

428) My Completely Meaningless Top 20 Records of 2010 List (published 2010-12-22) -- Personally, I thought 2010 was an incredible year for music - and especially local (NJ) music as this list implies. Unlike many people, I no longer do lists of national and local artists. Since my online radio station ( plays the locals alongside national artists I felt this list should treat them the same as well.

429) CD REVIEW: "Strange Situation" by Jon Caspi (published 2010-12-17) -- The latest release by Jon Caspi finds the Jersey artist veering in a slightly new direction. After two solid power-pop releases and a brilliant "rock novel", the new record leans more towards a faster rock/punk feel. Caspi has again penned a couple great songs although what I like most about this record took me quite a while to figure out.

430) Joe Harvard Talks About The Long Weekend (published 2010-12-14) -- The Long Weekend has been making Mondays fun for over two years now. I had the chance to talk with host Joe Harvard about the show just after its second anniversary...

431) Interview with Nicole Lipman, The Mastermind Behind Hey Cole Presents (published 2010-12-13) -- Nicole Lipman is one of the hardest working people in the tri-state music business. She's also been one of the most successful. I recently got the chance to speak with her about her company, her artists, and the services she provides to her clients.

432) Interview with Jon Caspi on his new record, new band - The First Gun (published 2010-12-07) -- I had the chance to speak with Jon Caspi recently about his new record (and new band) - The First Gun. It's a bit of a departure from his usual sound - more punk based. Here's what he had to say...

433) Albie Monterrosa Talks About Love At The Bodega (published 2010-12-02) -- New Jersey Stage talks with Albie Monterrosa of deSol about his new band, Love At The Bodega. Find out who's in the new band, what their music sounds like and how it differs from deSol, and whether or not deSol will ever get back together again...

434) Kat & Me -- Kindred Spirits (published 2010-11-26) -- People who share the same passion have a tendency to run into each other somewhere down the line. I can't remember where or when I first met Kat (Kathleen Falcey), but I think we were bound to meet since we both share a passion for music.

435) Songwriters By The Sea - October 30, 2010 (published 2010-11-01) -- "We were going to play a lot longer tonight, but Jesse's got great stories," joked Joe Rapolla, who along with Joe D'Urso hosted another brilliant "Songwriters at the Sea" show October 30 at the Strand Theater in Lakewood, NJ.

436) CD REVIEW: "Down Wires" by Anthony D'Amato (published 2010-10-08) -- One of the greatest compliments I can give an artist is to say that I believe they carry the spirit of John Lennon in their work. Anthony D'Amato carries that spirit. He's got that Lennonistic ability to be daring musically through different styles while offering provocative and insightful lyrics that can inspire or make one truly think. He's also got John's ability to tear down the walls and strip everything down to its bare skeleton revealing one's true essence, warts and all. On Anthony's latest release, "Down Wires", the young songwriter continues his progression as one of the most impressive talents of his generation. It's a journey that I am thoroughly enjoying. One reason why I listen to so much new music is because there is something magical about discovering artists while they are just beginning to hit their creative stride. Anthony had a coming out party with his last release and "Down Wires" shows he's just getting started.

437) Interview with George Wirth (published 2010-10-07) -- George Wirth is one of the area's best songwriters. With vivid descriptions, his songs come to life with characters that live and breathe in ways few songwriters can match. His first record, "Lights of Brigantine" was one of the best records I've heard in the past decade. His latest disc, "The Last Good Kiss", was released over the summer and is just as good. I had the chance to interview George via email recently to talk about his career, his music, and Asbury Park.

438) CD REVIEW: Ben Arnold -- "Simplify" (3 ½ Stars) (published 2010-09-21) -- Ben Arnold's latest solo album, "Simplify," reminds me of what you might have experienced during an early concert by Billy Joel when he was still experimenting with one musical style after another. Arnold weaves from New Orleans-based rock and roll to smoky piano-bar ballads to upbeat pop numbers with ease. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable and extremely catchy record.

439) CD REVIEW: U.S. Rails (4 Stars) (published 2010-09-21) -- U.S. Rails is the new name for the former Philadelphia-based band 4 Way Street. Long-time fans will not be disappointed in the direction of the band as the debut by U.S. Rails may be even stronger than the lone record released by 4 Way Street. The "supergroup" of sorts continues to include Ben Arnold, Scott Bricklin, Joseph Parsons, and Matt Muir and now adds Tom Gilliam to replace Jim Boggia. The pairing brings together a mix of great songwriters who all have very distinct vocal styles that compliment each other. The end result is a largely brilliant followup record that is sure to please long-time fans and make many new ones.

440) CD REVIEW: The Amboys - "Everything Between The Moon & The Sun" (3 1/2 stars) (published 2010-09-21) -- The Amboys have been one of my favorite New Jersey-based bands ever since they first started kicking around the Asbury Park area a year ago. Their debut record, "Everything Between The Moon & The Sun" provides brilliant country-infused garage rock and roll that reminds me of Johnny Cash waking up on the wrong side of the bed after an all night binge, taking some speed, and heading out to the local punk rock bar to jam with whoever was on stage. It's got a true kick ass spirit to it.

441) The Brunswick Beatles Rock The State Theatre (published 2010-09-20) -- (NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -- SEPTEMBER 18, 2010) -- "I would like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we've passed the audition", said Bob Burger, echoing the words of John Lennon as Glen Burtnik & Friends closed out a set that saw the band cover the American versions of "Help!", "Rubber Soul", and "Let It Be" -- complete and note for note as originally recorded while images and videos of The Beatles played in the background.

442) The Sun Doesn't Always Shine In Asbury Park (published 2010-09-20) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ -- SEPTEMBER 5, 2010) -- As the summer came to a close, more than twenty musicians performed during the afternoon on stages set upon the Asbury Park boardwalk. These artists were loosely part of the Paramount Sessions, a night deemed a celebration of the Asbury Park music scene that featured three artists at the Paramount Theatre followed by an after-party at The Stone Pony. I use the term loosely because none of the twenty-odd musicians were listed on the show posters nor in the press release; in fact, they were not even listed in the information provided on the show's Facebook page. In essence, while 900 people packed the Paramount that night, the artists performing during the day were on their own when it came to promotion and, sadly, many wound up performing largely in front of empty chairs and a dozen folks or so.

443) Hundreds Pack Paramount & Stone Pony As Locals Take Center Stage (published 2010-09-17) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ -- SEPTEMBER 5, 2010) --There may not have been a music festival in Asbury Park this summer, but the local music scene was still able to make waves. Over 900 people packed the Paramount Theatre on September 5th to close out the summer with a free show featuring a trio of local acts (Jerzy Jung, Outside The Box, and Rick Barry) and several guest stars hosted by John Pfeiffer of The Aquarian. Afterwards, most of the crowd headed over to The Stone Pony for another free show, this time featuring The Sunday Blues. By all accounts, the night called The Paramount Sessions, was a smashing success.

444) Asbury Park Music Scene Loses One Of Its Pioneers (published 2010-09-13) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) - The Asbury Park music scene, which lost two of its biggest fans earlier in the year, recently lost one of its founders. Larry "The Great" Gadsby, a member of The Jaywalkers -- one of the scene’s most popular bands in the 1960’s -- and one of the names honored on the Sound of Asbury Park memorial plaque, passed away.

445) Celebration of Life - Susan Lisle (published 2010-08-10) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Asbury Park Music Scene lost another member of its community in July when Susan Lisle passed away at 61. Susan was truly one of the strongest supporters of the local scene and could often be seen throughout the clubs in the area. Unfortunately, in the end, cancer finally got the best of her.

446) Interview with Brenda Wirth about "Rosie's Cafe" (published 2010-07-27) -- Rosie's Cafe brings great singer-songwriters to the area in the tradition of house concerts. The monthly show is produced and run by Brenda Wirth. We spoke with Brenda recently about how the series got started, her favorite shows, and who she would love to see be part of a future production.

447) Recap of Sunday at XPoNential Festival 2010 (published 2010-07-20) -- From the first chords of The Great Unknown to the final notes from Robert Randolph and The Family Band, the 2010 XPoNential Music Festival provided an incredible day of music in Camden. This was my first time seeing a show in this city in many, many years and I couldnt stop thinking about how beautiful the waterfront area is and how perfect it was for a music festival. Between the amazing scenery and XPNs excellent track record in spotlighting some of the best indie artists around, this is definitely one of the best festivals in the state.

448) The XPoNential Music Festival 2010: Five Six Can't Miss Acts (published 2010-07-12) -- One of the best music festivals of the summer takes place July 16-18 in Wiggins Park along the Camden Waterfront area. Known as the XPoNential Music Festival, it has been held annually in Camden by the Philadelphia radio station WXPN for several years now, ever since moving across the river from its original home. It may seem a bit odd for a Philadelphia radio station to hold a festival in New Jersey, but WXPN is far from just a Philadelphia station. In fact, you can easily hear WXPN or one of its affiliates in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland making it one of the most powerful stations along the east coast.

449) The Hidden Gem of Asbury Park (published 2010-07-12) -- Of all the musical landmarks that once existed in Asbury Park, the most important of all is still standing; a tiny club that fostered the talents of Bruce Springsteen and the band mates that would comprise the original E Street Band. According to legend, Springsteen got his big break at The Stone Pony, but locals know that Bruce and his friends actually came of age playing at The Upstage Club- a short-lived venue on Cookman Avenue that may be as important to American music history as The Cavern is to Britain.

450) L.P. Rocks! Why Isn't She FAMOUS? (published 2005-08-01) -- One look at the van's odometer and you realize just how hard L.P. and her band work. They drive that van from one side of the country to the other; over and over again. They practically live out of it, and just might from time to time. For a touring band, a good van means everything. And L.P. certainly pushes their van to the limit. Just as she does with her music.

451) Low Flying Jets (published 2004-11-01) -- Low Flying Jets have been tearing up the New York City clubs for over two years now. Based in Jersey City, the band has been successful in bridging the gap between NYC band and Jersey band by holding steady gigs in New Brunswick and Asbury Park as well.

452) Lisa Bouchelle's Passion Makes Things Perfect (published 2004-09-01) -- Hal was right. That's what I told Lisa Bouchelle after seeing her live for the first time. Hal (Selzer) started telling me about Lisa several months ago, but I finally got the chance to see her when she was part of a bill at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

453) Lanky (published 2005-04-01) -- It may not rank up there with Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Jazz Festival, but watching Lanky grab hold of a Telecaster with the backing of a full band does make a live set different from his solo shows.

454) Better Late Than Never! (published 2004-07-01) -- Some things are definitely worth the wait. That's what I thought when I first listened to Ken Shane's debut CD, "South Ridgeway Avenue". The record, which was released in 2003, is simply a remarkable ode to spending summers growing up in Atlantic City. That once proud city now fallen in decay serves as a wonderful metaphor for loss of innocence and days gone by. With a voice that evokes memories of Warren Zevon and songwriting that has been compared to Jackson Browne, the record may have taken Shane decades to make but it's a story that was worth the wait. Ken may have always lived in North Jersey but his heart clearly remains with the summers he spent along the Shore. His lyrics evoke comparisons to Bruce Springsteen largely because both artists grew up around the same time and both fell in love with seashore towns on the decline.

455) When Johnny A Comes To Town (published 2004-08-01) -- Johnny A may well be on his way to a having a household name, the question is which will get him there first? His brilliant instrumental songs which show off his mastery of the guitar or the custom made Gibson guitar that's named after him.

456) Do Not Be Afraid To Rock (The Jon Caspi Credo) (published 2005-04-01) -- One of the questions we've been getting the most at the magazine is "who's this Jon Caspi guy and where did he come from." Well, the truth is that Jon is actually a veteran of the Jersey Shore music scene through bands like Boss Gremlin and Bouncing Off Bob. The difference is that he's a little bit older, hopefully a little bit wiser, and booking shows under his own name now. But one thing's for sure - he's not afraid to rock.

457) Justina Makes Her Move (published 2005-06-01) -- It didn't take Justina long to realize that she was meant to be on stage. She was finally coaxed on stage by her father one night at "Van Gogh's Ear" in Union and played her first three songs live. Immediately afterwards, she couldn't wait to be back on stage.

458) The Next Billy Bragg (published 2005-07-01) -- Rick Barry may be a man without a home, but he's a man with a vision. The 23-year-old poet turned singer-songwriter is about to release his long awaited debut record. The recordings on the CD issue may very well be the signal that the next great New Jersey songwriter has emerged. Only don't call this guy the next Bob Dylan, he's got too much Billy Bragg in him for that. He's an artist that doesn't give a fuck what people think. In other words, he's the real deal...

459) Red Wanting Blue: Ohio's Indie King (published 2005-03-01) -- Every now and then you see a band that reminds you just how crappy radio has become. You'll be listening to the singer on stage and you'll wonder why you haven't heard of them before. Each song sounds better than anything played on your favorite station that day, yet you have know idea who they are until you ask the bartender or person next to you. Red Wanting Blue is one of those kinds of bands.

460) Country Music's Rising Star Comes to Town (published 2005-02-01) -- Phil Vassar's father gave him two pieces of advice for life. He told him, don't go into the restaurant business and don't get into the music business. So, being a good son, Phil did both.

461) White Boy With Soul (published 2005-06-01) -- The crowd always got a little quieter and paid more attention to the stage every time they heard Phil Bensen's voice project from the Stone Pony's stage. He was a regular at the club's open mic night and he never failed to disappoint. Mixing originals with classics from Marvin Gaye and the Tempations, Bensen created quite a stir with a booming, Motown-influenced voice. It was something the Jersey Shore hadn't heard in a while.

462) Rewriting History... (published 2005-06-01) -- We call it rewriting history because New Jersey's true music heritage has been kept in the dark for so long. That's all about to change with the creation of the New Jersey Music Hall of Fame. The museum was officially announced on May 16th at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

463) New Blood Revival: Jersey's Next Great Hope (published 2004-09-01) -- New Jersey has had a rather impressive history of being the home for great rock and roll artists. Names like Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi instantly come to mind, but it's been a while since the Garden State has sent someone beyond our borders and watched them get embraced by the rest of the world.

464) Mieka Pauley (published 2004-11-01) -- Mieka Pauley is a performer from the Boston area that is very quickly generating a buzz in the music industry.

465) Nobody can really explain rock 'n roll... except for Maybe Pete (published 2004-07-01) -- If New Jersey's first rock and roll couple is BruceSpringsteen and Patti Scialfa then next in line must be Frankie and Kelly McGrath of the North Jersey based band Maybe Pete. The two met in high school and are now leading one of the most exciting bands in the local scene.

466) Matt Keating Is Doomed to Obscurity (Graham Parker told him so) (published 2005-04-01) -- Matt Keating is one of those guys who rarely makes the trek from New York City over to the Jersey side unless he's got something new to support; so it probably won't come as a surprise to find out that he will indeed be bringing copies of his upcoming disc to his show at the Saint in Asbury Park on April 12th.

467) Does Your Church Have A Liquor License? (published 2008-12-06) -- (KEYPORT, NJ - DECEMBER 6, 2008) Review of Jon Caspi's CD Release Party for "Eddie Knows!" at Trinity, Keyport, NJ. There's definitely something special about seeing Jon Caspi perform in Keyport, his adopted hometown. He has a huge base of fans there and they all come out for his shows knowing every word to every song - even on nights like this one where Caspi is celebrating the release of a new CD. Caspi chose Trinity, a former Church converted into an upscale restaurant/night club, as the site for the party this time around.

468) Republic: The Revolution Starts Now (published 2005-03-01) -- "Make sure you tell them that this was the women's bathroom," yelled Brian Saint, of the band Republic, as we shot the picture found on the cover. I'm not sure exactly why he wanted that information to be known, but you can tell him that you read it here.

469) Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers Go Old School (published 2005-02-01) -- "I think of myself like Seabiscuit, an underdog." So begins the bio of songwriter Stephen Kellogg who will be releasing his fifth and sixth records on Valentine's Day (well, actually midnight on Valentine's Day or February 15th if you want to be exact). Kellogg and his band will be making a stop at the Saint in Asbury Park on February 16th along with two other great artists - Virginia Coalition and Matt Wertz.

470) What About Frank? (published 2004-11-01) -- What About Frank? is one of the hottest bands along the Jersey Shore these days. In October, they took home the Asbury Music Award for Top Indie Rock Band and were nominated for a bunch of other awards including Top Live Act (Nick Villapiano, the bassist for the band also took home the Top Bassist Award) but what has people jumping the most is the band's intense live show.

471) The Pierces Will Steal Your Heart (published 2005-01-01) -- Imagine if Simon and Garfunkle were a couple of really hot, young, talented women with Southern accents that melted you every time they opened their mouth...

472) Andy Warhol Called... Your 15 Minutes of Fame are Up (published 2009-04-08) -- Recently a local writer wrote about how the web has taken away the thrill of discovering what was going to be played at a Bruce Springsteen show. I don't normally comment on other people's work, but I just found the idea behind this article so ridiculous that it deserved comment.

473) Rick Barry / Hammel On Trial / Tara Elliott & the Red Velvets (published 2009-03-08) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - February 24, 2009) - Since I had seen Hammel on Trial several times before, I knew tonight was going to be an interesting show, but I wasn't expecting Tara Elliott and the Red Velvets to be so good. It's a shame that the crowd had thinned out a bit before Tara's band closed out the night, because they missed a truly awesome performance.

474) Night in Progress First Anniversary (published 2009-03-08) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - February 11, 2009) -- It's hard to believe that Rick Barry has been hosting the "Night In Progress" shows for an entire year. What started out as a dare from Saint owner Scott Stamper, has become one of the best nights of music in the area and remains as fresh today as it was the day the show made its debut.

475) Just Another Tuesday... (published 2009-02-11) -- (ASBURY PARK -- FEBRUARY 10, 2008) -- Tuesday nights at the Saint has got to be my favorite day of the week. You never really know what will be scheduled, but it's always a night for music fans. It might be a great touring band that doesn't quite have the following for a weekend spot; or an up-and-coming local act that has been flying under the radar; it might be an acoustic show, experimental, or even heavy metal; but it's always something cool. Tuesday nights may get even better if Hey Cole starts booking on a regular basis as the talent base has a chance to go way, way up. And last night was a perfect example of that. Placed in a combination listening room / regular club setting, the show featured Allie Moss, George Wirth, Matt Jones, and Alex Brumel and Janel Elizabeth.

476) Close Enough For Rock-n-Roll (published 2005-02-12) -- I arrived at the Saint sometime around 9:15 or so. Outside the building was Kelly McGrath of Maybe Pete. She was on the cell phone and looked rather nervous. I asked her what time the band was supposed to go on and she said "9:30... but Frankie's not here yet." And so began a rather tenuous twenty minutes for the band as they got ready for the CD release of Between the City and the Stratosphere.

477) Dramarama Returns To Asbury Park for the First Time Since Breaking Up at the Stone Pony (published 2004-05-06) -- Nearly 10 years ago, Dramarama played their final show as a band at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Last Saturday night (May 1st), the band finally returned to the city as the surprise guest headliners for the Upstage Magazine benefit show at the Wonder Bar. Even though the band had played a show the night before, Dramarama gave the crowd a full 21-song set that went from 1:15am until 3:30am.

478) Tearing Down The Upstage Club (published 2005-12-18) -- It was a bittersweet day for the history of rock and roll music as musicians and music fans paid their last respect to the Upstage Club today. The short-lived, but greatly remembered place on top of the old Thom McCann building on Cookman is slated to be gutted for the arrival of a new condo building.

479) Recap of "A Few Uneven Rhymes" show at the Strand Theater (published 2009-02-09) -- (FEBRUARY 7, 2009 -- LAKEWOOD, NJ) -- Jeff Raspe of 90.5 The Night had the unfortunate job of getting the night off to a rather somber note as he announced that a death in the family had canceled the appearance of Frankenstein 3000, who were scheduled to open the show. The show, which included several of the artists who donated tracks to the recent CD, "A Few Uneven Rhymes: A Tribute to Winter Hours" took place inside an art gallery at the Strand Theatre in Lakewood, the room provided an amazingly intimate setting for a night of great music.

480) Christian Beach CD Release Party (published 2009-04-21) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - APRIL 10, 2009) -- I love it when the night starts off with a nice surprise. In this case, it was a band from Dallas called The O's who kicked things off with a really strong set. The duo used guitars, banjo, and a single drum and kick-pedal to give off a sound that had the flavor of country-rock, but was much more alternative sounding than traditional country sounding. Their live set was so strong that you hardly noticed it was just a duo.

481) Songwriters By The Sea - March 2009 (published 2009-04-16) -- (LAKEWOOD, NJ -- March 27, 2009) -- Songwriters By The Sea took a big leap from America's Cup in Asbury Park to the Strand Theatre in Lakewood. Held inside the Theatre's art gallery area, the show featured Willie Nile, Marah, April Smith, and hosts Joe D'Urso and Joe Rapolla.

482) Seems Like Old Times (published 2009-04-08) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - April 6, 2009) -- When the show was announced on April 1st, many people probably thought it was just an April's Fools joke, but it was no joke. Days Awake not only got back together for one night, but showed why they were the Jersey Shore's top live act for several years. Even without practice, the band moved so effortlessly through their set it was as if they had never left.

483) The Torch Has Been Passed to Nicole Atkins (published 2009-03-23) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - March 20, 2009) - The Stone Pony was the site of another special rock and roll evening on Friday night when Butch Walker invited a special guest on stage. For decades, the thought of a special guest at The Pony meant Bruce Springsteen was in the house, but tonight was different. Tonight was the passing of the torch to a new generation of Asbury Park heroes and the leader is Nicole Atkins.

484) The Debate over the Wave Gathering Festival (published 2009-06-25) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - JUNE 19-21, 2009) - The fourth annual Wave Gathering music festival took place in Asbury Park during one of the wettest Junes in memory. The festival got off to a good start on Friday night thanks to a break in the weather, but had to battle the elements through most of the weekend. The rain definitely kept some people away, but couldn't stop another excellent festival from taking place. In many ways, this year's festival was better than any of the previous years.

485) Interview with Gordon Brown about The 2009 Wave Gathering Festival (published 2009-06-10) -- We caught up with Gordon Brown of All Hour Entertainment Group to talk about the festival, which he helped start four years ago along with Scott Stamper of The Saint.

486) Money Can't Buy You Love... (published 2009-06-02) -- The Wave Gathering Festival coming back to Asbury Park this June 19-21 is excellent news! This festival, which has brought hundreds of bands and singer-songwriters to Asbury Park, has improved every year and has added a few new wrinkles (including a free streetfair one day) that should help this year be great as well. A quick look at the bigger names sponsoring the festival is excellent news too. Or so I thought...

487) Recap of Wave Festival 2009 (published 2009-06-26) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Back in the day, I used to judge how good Dramarama shows were by how much my body hurt the next night. I think I'm going to start judging Wave Festivals that way as well. In this case, my body really, really hurt for two days after the festival, which meant I had a pretty good time! The Wave Festival has been a favorite of mine since it made its debut four years ago. Each year seems to get better and better. I remember thinking last year that the festival had arrived when people still hung out despite an afternoon of rain... well, this year people hung out in spite of rain throughout Saturday and Sunday. An impressive feat if you ask me.

488) Maybe Pete Kicks Off Residency at The Saint in Asbury Park (published 2009-07-08) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ JULY 8, 2009) "Cheap beer is good," said Frankie McGrath of the band Maybe Pete. "So keep drinking it."

489) Review of Steel Mill "All Man The Guns For America" (published 2009-08-16) -- In some far off parallel world, Bruce Springsteen signed a record contract with Bill Graham for his band Steel Mill. Instead of saxophones, the sound was defined by soaring guitar licks, thundering drums, and pounding bass and the E Street Band was never formed. Steel Mill took their legions of fans in New Jersey and Virginia and became one of the major rock bands in the country playing music festival after festival. And judging by the tunes found on Steel Mill's second release, "All Man The Guns For America", that might not have been such a bad thing.

490) John Luraschi, Jersey Shore Rocker, Loses Battle To Cancer (published 2009-08-13) -- The history of Jersey Shore rock and roll would be incomplete without the name John Luraschi. One of the "Creators of SOAP (sounds of Asbury Park)", Luraschi passed away on August 12, 2009 after a long battle with cancer.

491) Turning A Curse Into A Blessing (published 2009-08-10) -- Sometimes karma can play strange games with us. Nik Everett, a Delaware-based singer-songwriter was attending his cousin's funeral when he met Christina Eliopoulos, a filmmaker working on a documentary about Asbury Park. As it turns out, Nik's cousin who loved Asbury Park was one of the early supporters of the film The two struck up a conversation and the next thing you know, he's back in Asbury Park and playing a significant role in creating the soundtrack for Christina's film, "Greetings From Asbury Park".

492) Maybe Pete Will Find Their Way Somehow... (published 2009-08-09) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - AUGUST 5, 2009) - "Sorry if I ever let you down when you needed me to be your man. I was out there playing in a rock n roll band..."

493) Interview with Mick Chorba of The Successful Failures (published 2009-07-21) -- Mick Chorbo is probably best known as the man behind The Dipsomaniacs, one of New Jersey's best and sadly overlooked bands. Currently, he spends most of his time with the band, The Successful Failures, who will be releasing a new CD out in a few months. We caught up with Mick through an email interview to talk about his bands, the upcoming record, and his record company - Face Down Records.

494) CD REVIEW: Shades Of The Prison House by Anthony D'Amato (published 2009-09-02) -- I once read that no matter how old we are we will always write with the point of view that we had when we were 25. If that's true then Anthony D'Amato will have a long and amazing career because he gets the world better now than most people will ever know and he's not even close to 25 yet.

495) Status Green:
On To The Next Goal
(published 2009-08-31) -- Status Green has not only been one of the most popular bands along the Jersey Shore for several years, but they one of the hardest working bands as well. Their hard work definitely paid off this summer when the band landed great shows at the PNC Bank Arts Center, Jones Beach, the Warped Tour in Camden, and at the Florida Music Festival. It's always great to see local acts getting a taste of success, but sometimes the good stuff gets lost in the shuffle so I contacted Lou Montessano to hear his take on the band's recent successes and to see if there was anything else under the radar or in the future that people should know about...

496) Review of Night In Progress - August 2009 (published 2009-08-24) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- "This will be our last Night In Progress for a while," explained Rick Barry, the host of the popular monthly series at The Saint in Asbury Park. "Some people don't know this, but I was recently diagnosed with laziness and can't come up with new songs each month."

497) The End of The Woods: An Interview with Chris Batten (published 2009-10-21) -- On Friday, October 23rd, Chris Batten and The Woods will play their final gig at Maxwell's in Hoboken. The band has been one of my favorite local acts over the past five years, so I was glad to get the chance to talk with Chris about the situation and what's in store for the future. The show, which also includes Tris McCall and Val Emmich, takes place during the CMJ Music Festival.

498) He's No Ordinary Joe (published 2004-07-01) -- There's a classic song from the 80s where the artist laments about being "big in Japan." It's normally a bit of a joke among artists to say that you're bigger in Europe, but in some cases it's true. Take Joe D'Urso, for example, he's hardly a household name in the tri-state area, but he's got a major following in places like Italy and the UK.

499) For Jodelle The Adventure Is Only Beginning (published 2005-05-01) -- Virtually every singer-songwriter from New Jersey has been compared to Bruce Springsteen at one time or another. That's a pretty unfair comparison but it's not even close to the unjust world female musicians like Jodelle face every day. Imagine being a female musician that plays piano?

500) Safe In Sound (published 2005-06-01) -- Jim Boggia has been a staple of the Philadelphia music scene for nearly a decade, but the release of his latest CD, "Safe In Sound", should take him above and beyond the local region.

501) Frank Thewes Triumphs With Peripheral Division (published 2006-06-01) -- Singer-songwriter Frank Thewes is the host of Triumph Brewery's Singer-Songwriter Showcase every Thursday in Princeton and on the second Wednesday of the month at Triumph's New Hope club. The Central Jersey native and Rutgers graduate has just released a wonderful record called Peripheral Division that blends together a myriad of musical styles over intelligent lyrics.

502) Erin Wants To See You Dance (published 2005-07-01) -- When Erin McKeown sees the audience dancing, she knows that she's made a connection with them. The singer-songwriter says she feels more like a musician when people dance. That may be something you'd expect to hear from the next Madonna wannabee, but Erin's music is far from the usual sounds heard in a dance club. That and the fact that most people don't seem to dance at rock shows anymore.

503) Dennis Zimmer Is Singing A different song (published 2005-01-01) -- There's something interesting going on in the world of New Jersey cover bands. Several of the most popular groups are taking a break from performing Bon Jovi classics in front of their usual throngs of fans. Instead, they're finding themselves in clubs where a couple dozen people could be called a good night. In other words, they're taking a stab at the original music scene.

504) An Interview with Dave Mac, host of Box of Blues on WBJB (published 2004-10-01) -- An interview with Dave Mac

505) Broadcasting Christmas From Princeton To The World (published 2004-12-01) -- Some people like Christmas music and some people really, really, really like Christmas music. I guess you can count Jon Solomon among the latter. For the past 16 years, Solomon has been manning the controls on Christmas Eve at WPRB (103.3 FM) for a 24-hour marathon of Christmas tunes.

506) Spotlight on Chris Buono (published 2004-08-01) -- It takes a certain level of courage to go out on stage under your own name. For years, Chris Buono said he hid under various band names. This year, Chris has decided to take center stage and place his own name and reputation on the marque. In doing so, he hopes to further his career in more ways than one.

507) They've Got the Swagger! (published 2004-12-01) -- Every now and then a band literally seems to come out of nowhere. Chris Batten & The Woods is that type of band. In less than a year, they've managed to land regular gigs at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, the Court Tavern in New Brunswick and be part of shows at Rutgers University. And these aren't just any shows they're the ones bands would kill for. Shows like the recent Light of Day concert at the Stone Pony or the 2nd Annual Andy Diamond Christmas Show at the Court Tavern on December 23rd and with Gavin DeGraw at Rutgers University on December 10th. In other words, shows where a good crowd is to be expected.

508) CD Review: David Steele (published 2005-01-01) -- If you're looking for something a little different than the usual stuff being played on the radio, check out David Steele's "Underneath The Ice" on City Canyon Records.

509) CD Review: JPAT - "Smile Goodbye To The Kings & Clowns" (published 2004-12-01) -- JPAT is no longer a man of mystery, he's settled into the blues musician his voice has always beckoned him to be. Shortly before hopping on a plane to China, he recorded his first full-length CD of original blues tunes. The disc was recorded raw - usually in just a take or two - with just JPAT strumming guitar, blowing on his harp, and howling in the way nobody in Jersey has ever howled since Southside Johnny first hit the scene.

510) Roots Rock From Southern Jersey (published 2004-07-01) -- Deep in the Southern part of New Jersey lies a band called Casual Gypsies. Their sound is like a natural extension of the Jersey Shore's roots rock and roll mixed with a bit of country flavor. But unlike true Gypsies, this band is just starting to move around a bit. So, keep your eyes open for them because they're somebody you're going to want to check out.

511) BlowupRadio Turns 6! (published 2007-02-01) -- is an online radio station / local music news resource that recently celebrated its sixth anniversary. The website and station is run by Lazlo, a former DJ at Monmouth University's WMCX and the Dover station WDHA. What makes so unique is that the station only plays music from New Jersey artists. So if you're interested in learning more about the local music scene, there's no better starting point than here. The radio station launched on Live365 on December 15th, 2000 and the website was started a few weeks later. We spoke with Lazlo about the website and its six years of operation.

512) Ben Arnold's On His Own Again (published 2004-10-01) -- When bands break up, it's kind of like watching an episode of Divorce Court. Some band members go one way, others go another way. In the case of 4 Way Street, Ben Arnold clearly won the prize settlement. And the result is the recently released CD entitled Calico.

513) Arlan Feiles is The New Lone Ranger (published 2005-03-01) -- Arlan Feiles doesn't want to be a rock star. He just wants to be around people who appreciate and enjoy hearing live music. That's one of the reasons why he spends so much time along the coffeehouse and open mic circuit. In fact, he performed a tour entirely comprised of open mics around the country - playing a staggering 89 shows in 90 days in around 35 different states!

514) One Scary Ass Girlfriend... one rockin' chick (published 2005-08-01) -- April Smith seemed to burst out of nowhere. I still remember the first time I saw her as she was heading to the stage. The crowd expected her to be just another female singer-songwriter. Maybe a little bit like Joni Mitchell; maybe a little poetic like Jewel or quirky like Liz Phair. But they never expected the second coming of Melissa Etheridge with a voice that seemed to attack the audience from every angle.

515) The Hottest thing at Starbucks (published 2005-08-01) -- You might think that the members of Antigone Rising would be getting free cups of coffee for life after selling nearly 75,000 copies of their debut record at Starbucks around the United States, but they're still forced to pay for their lattes like everyone else. Nobody's complaining though as the deal with the coffee giant helped put the band on the map.

516) The Secret's Out (published 2004-06-01) -- Jen Elliott may not want to be called a diva, but her voice is definitely diva-worthy. She's coming to Triumph Brewery in Princeton on July 2nd with her band and she's intent on proving that she's a rocker - not a diva.

517) The Dipsos Take Philly! (published 2004-06-01) -- For several years now, the Dipsomaniacs have watched their career progress on a rather slow, manageable plane. Each year found the Trenton based band playing bigger shows and each new record receiving more recognition than the previous one. It's a path that has definitely built a fanbase throughout the area, but one that practically ensured that the band would never be an overnight success.

518) Pushing Over The Edge (published 2004-06-01) -- Every Thursday night, the Celtic Cottage in Long Branch is packed with people ranging from college students to those in their 60s. They come to see Bob Burger play and they're never disappointed.

519) Back in 20! (published 2004-05-01) -- It's been twenty years since Gary U.S. Bonds has recorded a new studio album, but he's logged hundreds of live shows around the world in that time. Bonds, one of the few performers to have hit records in both the '60s and '80s, is quietly celebrating five decades as a recording artist. Only this time, Bonds didn't have to go very far to record.

520) Walking On The Moon (published 2004-04-01) -- Rock and roll has had its share of poets, but most of the time bands will admit that its their lyrics that need the most work. In true punk style, the Steel Pier Sinners kind of started out backwards. Instead of being good musicians that learned how to write better songs, they were a pair of poets that learned to become better musicians.

521) International Man Of Mystery (published 2004-04-01) -- There's a scene in "Where the Buffalo Roam" when Bill Murray, speaking as Hunter Thompson, is asked if his friend Lazlo is a figment of his imagination. He says,"No, you couldn't make up Lazlo, he's one of a kind." The same thing could be said for James P. Dalton, better known as JPAT.

522) Let The Light Shine In (published 2004-03-01) -- Tommy Anton was destined to be a singer-songwriter along the Jersey Shore. After all, his astrolocation astrologist told him so.

523) The Ayes Have What It Takes (published 2004-03-01) -- From the moment you hear the opening words on the 4-song EP by The Ayes, you know that you're hearing something special. And by the time you run through all four tracks, you're begging to hear more. Rarely has a band become so polished in so short of a period of time.

524) Jen Chapin's Urban Folk Manifesto (published 2004-03-01) -- Jen Chapin isn't quite sure where the word manifesto fits into the description of her new CD, but her publicist may be on to something. Linger, the major label debut for Chapin, truly is a declaration from an emerging voice.

525) It's His Turn Now (published 2004-03-01) -- Boccigalupe and the Bad Boys are ready to take their act across the globe. Their debut CD, It's My Turn Now!, will be released on Sound City Records and available in stores everywhere on March 9th. For Tony Amato, his first major record deal is better late than never.

526) StereoSoul (published 2003-11-01) -- StereoSoul's name may not sound familiar, but the guys have all been part of the local scene for quite some time. The band members started playing together around eight years ago in a series of band names that wound up being Cosmic Avenger. According to Gene Pompilio, the band's drummer, the band basically evolved into StereoSoul after running its course.

527) Josh Ritter: Finding His Voice (published 2003-11-01) -- Josh Ritter is getting used to the comparisons to people like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. He's heard that stuff many times before - it's the kind of comparisons people make when your melodies flow and your lyrics seem like poetry. He doesn't really care about comparisons, he's just looking to find his own voice.

528) Here Comes the Sun (published 2004-04-01) -- "I believe that if you dream and you envision yourself at Madison Square Garden you will get there," explains Albie Monterrosa. He's the driving force behind the band deSol, a group which just might make that dream come true.

529) Dramarama (published 2003-11-01) -- This month I spoke with John Easdale of Dramarama, the 80s rockers who achieved nearly cult-like status. The band broke up over ten years ago, but recently reunited and has a new EP with a full record coming in the future.

530) 4 Way Street (published 2003-10-01) -- When looking at the band 4 Way Street, the sum really does add up to more than the individual parts. The band, from Philadelphia, is comprised of four successful singer-songwriters who have each put aside their solo careers to see where this group may lead them.

531) Bill Chinnock: Livin' In The Promised Land (published 2003-10-01) --

Livin In The Promised Land is the latest record by Bill Chinnock and the first in over a decade. After the release of Out on the Borderline, Bill took a break from the music business and started producing and directing business videos and short films. He even directed a full-length film called The Forgotten Maine. Between that and a nasty bout with Lyme Disease, he's been out of the spotlight for a while. But he's ready to take another run at it.

532) No Need To Panic (Val Emmich) (published 2003-10-01) -- Val Emmich is about as hot right now as any artist in New Jersey. In fact, he's about as hot as any artist in the country. With recent appearances on two different MTV shows ("Advanced Warning" and "TRL") and upcoming guest spots on popular television shows, exposure is not a problem for Val. Neither is keeping true to his music, but it doesn't stop him from worrying about it.

533) End Of An Era (published 2005-09-05) -- He's not quite sure what he's going to do on Tuesday nights from now on, but one thing is certain - Tuesday nights just won't be the same in New Brunswick without the Spook Handy Show. The longest running open mic night in Hub City has a staple for musicians and music fans for the last twenty years. But on September 13th, the Spook Handy Show will celebrate its 1,000 night and conclude an era with a final go around at the Corner Tavern.

534) Josh Zuckerman Headlines Capital Rainbowfest (published 2005-09-05) -- When the school year ends, some teachers go home to relax, some paint houses or do other jobs, and some teachers jet set around the world playing guitar in places like Japan and Thailand. That is, if they're a teacher like Josh Zuckerman, who will be headlining the Capital Rainbowfest in Trenton on September 18th.

535) Back To School With Ronnie Brandt (published 2005-09-05) -- Ronnie Brandt has turned his love for storytelling, teaching, and kids into a wonderfully successful new career. Last year, the singer-songwriter created the company Children's Educational Assemblies and began performing a program called "This Land Is Your Land" at schools throughout the area. This year the program is not only back, but is being performed in schools throughout New Jersey, New York, Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania.

536) The Orchestra In His Head (published 2007-02-26) -- Classic rock and roll stations love to say that it doesn't have to be old to be classic. Walt Ribeiro's new CD is certainly proof of that.

537) Mike and the Magic Pipe (published 2007-02-26) -- When a club owner handed Mike Silverman fifty bucks for his band's set, he knew he could do better. Rather than find another place to play he asked the club owner if he could come back the following week by himself and keep the entire $50. The owner agreed and That 1 Guy, Silverman's new stage name was born.

538) Causeway Finds A Home (published 2007-01-27) -- Sometimes bands in New Jersey focus too much on the local scene. They wind up playing the same clubs week after week and seem almost obsessed with the idea of being a big fish in a small pond; so much so, that they forget that the world's largest pond is just under an hour away. Not only do bands in New Jersey have music scenes to play in areas like New Brunswick and Asbury Park and Hoboken, but New York City and Philadelphia are on that list as well. Sometimes it takes a band from somewhere else to make you realize how special this area really is and today that band for me is Causeway.

539) The S.O.A.P. Stars Shine Once Again (published 2006-12-13) -- (ASBURY PARK, DECEMBER 9, 2006) -- They were the pioneers. The first musicians to play rock and roll live in clubs, dance halls and shopping malls around the Jersey Shore area. It was through their blending of rock, blues, R&B, doo-wop and soul that the sound, which would become known as The Sounds Of Asbury Park (S.O.A.P.), was created. On December 9th, many of the creators returned to Asbury Park for a very special performance at the Stone Pony. It was a fitting tribute to a lot of artists whose place in history was somewhat overshadowed and overlooked due to the success of Bruce Springsteen.

540) Patience Pays Off For Woodfish (published 2006-11-29) -- Woodfish had been knocking around the local scene for a bit when they realized that they were missing a crucial piece to the puzzle. They began auditioning people for lead singer but one after another just didn't seem right until a guy from Oklahoma emailed them and said he wanted to give it a shot. Two thousand miles later, the singer found himself involved with a new musical family and the band thought they had become complete, but the journey was just beginning.

541) FIRST LOOK: Postmark Twain (published 2006-10-25) -- When they were going to high school in Hamilton, Jim Gaven and Dave Sanchez never really talked to each other. Well, maybe once or twice, but they certainly weren't friends. So what are they doing together in the band Postmark Twain? Making extremely smart pop music that's what.

542) Divine Sign Knows How To Support The Local Scene (published 2006-10-25) -- Every now and then a band comes along that becomes one of the favorites of the local scene; a band that other musicians want to hang out with, a band that forces people to change their schedule so they can catch their show; and one that attracts an audience full of everyone from music industry folks to original music fans. Divine Sign is one of those bands.

543) Remember When M Stood For Music? (published 2006-09-25) -- A long time ago, MTV used to play videos. A lot of them. They played videos 24 hours a day in fact. This won't shock anyone over 30, but to anyone younger than that I figured I'd let you in on the little secret because apparently, MTV doesn't want you to know. They recently celebrated their 25th anniversary without even the slightest bit of a party. And MTV really likes to party. So, I knew something was going on and I decided to go to the source to find out...

544) The New King Of The Blues (published 2006-08-28) -- Throughout the last six months, Guitar Center went looking across the country for the next great blues player. When all was said and done and the smoke cleared, they found the next "King of the Blues" in Holmdel, New Jersey. That's not a surprise to us. In fact, we could have saved them a lot of time...

545) Songwriting Is In Her Blood (published 2006-08-28) -- You've probably heard Maia Sharp's music even if the name doesn't sound familiar. That's because in just a few years, the songwriter from Los Angeles has seen her songs released by artists like Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Art Gartfunkel, Edwin McCain, The Dixie Chicks, Paul Carrack, Cher, Mindy Smith and many more. And while she's been busy making a name for herself as a songwriter, her solo career has been taking off as well.

546) ...Water... Releases New Free CD (published 2006-07-23) -- New Brunswick's music scene has seen its share of turnovers through the past decade with bands breaking up, clubs closing, and people moving away; one constant through the last five years though has been ...Water... - one of the Hub City's most popular acts. Mike Montrey from the band contacted us to spread the word about a new live CD the band will be releasing on their website as a free download.

547) Joe D'Urso Believes In The Cause... (published 2006-05-15) -- Sometimes you find people in the entertainment business who like to support good causes because they're the hip thing to do and sometimes you find people who do it simply because they truly believe in the cause. Joe D'Urso is definitely of the latter. He's one of the good guys.

548) This Time Steven Baggs Is Going To Do It Right (published 2006-05-15) -- As the snow kept falling during the blizzard, which hit the tri-state area in February, Steven Baggs took to the stage at the Wonderbar in Asbury Park. An artist from New York City who was debuting his newly formed band, Baggs was playing in area for the first time and a little unsure of the reception he was going to get.

549) Escape With Temporary Grace (published 2006-05-15) -- "We're all addicted to something," exclaimed Rob Eelman. "Music is one of the few substances you can't abuse. We want to provide people an escape from the mundane reality many are forced to accept... some Temporary Grace if you will."

550) The Color Of Green... Status Green (published 2006-05-14) -- The crowd was huddled next to each other staring at the giant curtain covering the stage waiting for the band to appear. Anticipation mounted as shadowy figures appeared from behind the screen. As if on cue, a video started and girls started screaming as if this was a Beatles show in 1964. It was definitely the craziest night I had ever seen at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park for a night of unsigned bands. Led by headliner, Status Green, the club drew nearly a thousand people who went home seeing not just a night of great music, but a band on the verge of something special.

551) Nicole Atkins Will Own Neptune City (published 2006-04-16) -- Things are moving a bit quickly for Nicole Atkins these days and they're about to move even quicker. It's not often you find a photograph of yourself in the pages of Rolling Stone within a feature on the Top 10 Artists To Watch in 2006. And when that happens, the phone starts ringing... a lot.

552) Some Soul Searching for Souls' Release (published 2006-04-10) -- (APRIL 10, 2006) -- A few days ago I received an email that really came as a surprise. It was the announcement that Souls' Release would be breaking up after a series of final shows ending in June.

553) Steve Conte Of The Dolls Undercover... (published 2006-03-20) -- When the guitarist of the New York Dolls wants to break in a brand new band without much hype you would think that wouldn't be much trouble. Except, in this case, that band is making their debut on the first Upstage Nite @ the Saint on Wednesday, March 22nd.

554) The Alarm Continues To Attack (published 2006-03-20) -- Twenty-five years after first performing as The Alarm, Mike Peters and his band are back with a new release called "Under Attack". They're climbing the UK charts once again with a sound that rocks as hard as the band's first records. We had a chance to talk to Mike Peters about everything from being part of the early days of punk rock to his battles with cancer and the band's brand new album.

555) Concerts In The Studio (published 2006-02-03) -- It all started about two years ago when Mark Costanzo read an article in the New York Times about house concerts. It not only peaked his interest, but he decided to call a group called The Kennedys and see if they'd be interested in playing a house concert in the photography studio behind Costanzo's house in Freehold, New Jersey.

556) Jason Mather Is On Fire With The Release Of The Hottness (published 2006-01-15) -- Jason Mather seems to be on a quest to bring back the scorching guitar riffs that dominated FM radio in the seventies. He's releasing his second solo record, The Hottness, on January 17th and will be hitting the rock clubs throughout the tri-state area in support of it. The official CD release party is schedule for the 18th at Grape Street in Philadelphia.

557) Full Out Freak Opens For Bon Jovi (published 2006-01-15) -- The members of the North Jersey band Full Out Freak were finishing off a very good year when bassist Eric Berk asked his bandmates the big question.

558) Remembering John Lennon (published 2005-12-05) -- "I just shot John Lennon," said Mark Chapman when the doorman at the Dakota asked him if he knew what he had just done. And just like that the sixties had ended. With one bullet, the world lost its greatest dreamer - a man that still inspires great debate to the day.

559) Death Threat Radio (published 2005-12-04) -- The news took most fans by surprise when they checked their email and learned that New Blood Revival was breaking up. NBR was one of the most popular bands in the Central Jersey area for several years. They had signed a deal with Atlantic Records and appeared to be poised for bigger and better things. Unfortunately, the record pretty much got shelved by the record company and as NBR played out their last few farewell shows, another chapter in New Jersey music history came to a close.

560) Vini Lopez & Steel Mill Bring Back Lost Springsteen Classics (published 2005-12-04) -- Back in the late sixties and early seventies, Bruce Springsteen wrote a lot of great songs that only exist today on poorly recorded bootlegs. For whatever reason, Bruce decided to abandon these tunes when he moved towards the creation of the E Street Band. Thankfully an original member of the E Street Band has decided not only to save the older material but to bring them back to life.

561) Some Suggestions for the Asbury Music Awards (published 2005-11-10) -- Another year's Asbury Music Awards have come and gone and we've heard another round of artists and fans complaining - sometimes with good reason, sometimes as sore losers. But the fact remains... things can be done to improve the awards and to give them a little more credibility.

562) Too Hip To Be A Rock Star (published 2005-11-05) -- He's played John Lennon in Beatlemania and Buddy Holly in "La Bamba", but Marshall Crenshaw has never seemed comfortable playing the part of a rock and roll star. His music has always been a little too hip for the masses, and playing a cult-hero seems just fine with him.

563) Post Vertigo DJ To Spin Again At City Gardens Reunion (published 2005-11-05) -- Trenton's very own punk rock landmark City Gardens may be gone, but it is far from forgotten. And the people who made the club famous,Aeisome might say infamous,Aeiare going to do it all over again.

564) Too Good To Die (published 2005-11-05) -- Dramarama was one of those bands that never got the radio attention they deserved, but developed a true hard-core fan base that never died. Thanks to the support of those fans and VH-1's "Bands Reunited," the band is back and better than ever with the release of "Everybody Dies" - the first Dramarama record in over a decade.

565) So a Punk, a Hippie and an Irishman walk into a bar... (published 2005-10-06) -- Just think... if Patrick's Head didn't have so many problems holding on to drummers and bass players, the band would sound completely... normal. Thankfully, the three musicians from Philadelphia decided to forge ahead as a trio. The band will be celebrating their latest CD release at the World Cafe (upstairs) in Philadelphia on October 22nd.

566) Interview with Gordon Brown (published 2004-11-27) -- An interview with Gordon Brown, formerly of the bands Mister Reality and Highway 9, as he embarks on the next step of his career.

567) Every Day's A Miracle (published 2007-11-01) -- It's been nine years since William Hart Strecker's Toyota Land Cruiser ran off the road and smashed into a tree. The accident left him in a coma for twenty days and when he awoke he discovered he had broken several bones, a collapsed lung and other internal injuries. It took him about six months before he could walk and talk again and even longer to be healthy once more. But instead of looking back in anger, Strecker looks back and remembers how the accident brought him back to music.

568) Joe Colledge Is Old School (published 2007-10-31) -- It's kind of hard to believe but mainstream rock and rollers haven't been mainstream for quite some time - at least, not in New Jersey. The last few artists to break from the state are closer to eclectic than classic rock, something that represents the change on the radio dial as well. And in a state where cover bands still dominate the landscape, it's hard for artists like Joe Colledge to play the kind of rock and roll they grew up with, but that's not stopping him from trying.

569) One Song At A Time... (published 2007-10-31) -- Eryn Shewell not only believes that music can change the world one song at a time, but she's making others believe as well. She's one of the hardest working musicians in New Jersey and has been attracting the attention of music fans and club owners across the state as well. Recently nominated for several Asbury Music Awards, we finally had a chance to talk to Eryn about her career, her belief in music, and her little girl who might follow in her footsteps if she doesn't become a drummer first.

570) Canadians To Invade Area (published 2007-09-27) -- Sound the alarms - the Canadians are coming! Cherry Suede, a cool rock and roll band based in Ottawa will be doing a pair of shows in the tri-state area and bringing a bus load of their biggest fans along for the ride. You can catch the group at Arlene's Grocery in New York City on November 1st and at The Saint in Asbury Park, New Jersey on November 2nd.

571) Winning Over Fans One At A Time (published 2007-08-30) -- Sometimes it's refreshing when a band simply works their tail off week in and week out and you can see them trying to improve with each show and build their fanbase one person at a time. Lexington Down is that kind of band. They've been plugging away up and down the East Coast for several years now and will be celebrating the release of their first full-length CD, "Partial Possession Claim", at The Saint in Asbury Park, New Jersey on Saturday, September 15th.

572) Travis Tooke Resurfaces As Indigo Planet Records Returns (published 2007-08-30) -- Imagine your band is just about to release their first album on a major record label. You're driving back home to Florida after a successful showcase at New York's legendary C.B.G.B. club when your van has a tire blow out on Inter-state 95 somewhere in Georgia. The next thing you know the van has overturned and you're looking at two of your best friends and your tour manager now dead. It may seem like the script for a movie of the week, but that's what happened to the mid-90s band For Squirrels.

573) International Anti-Folk Superstar (published 2007-08-30) -- New York City has clearly gotten into the soul of Ben Godwin, a musician born and bred in London who moved across the pond a few years ago. Godwin's latest album, "Skin and Bone", is filled with tales inspired by the city. The record is currently being added to college stations across the country. You can see Godwin live on September 5th at the Goldhawk in Hoboken, NJ.

574) Jim Murphy Enters The Country Music Hall of Fame (published 2007-07-28) -- On August 28th, Jim Murphy will receive an honor that no other New Jersey artist has ever received. After nearly 45 years of being involved with traditional country music, Murphy will become the the first inductee from New Jersey into "America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame." The ceremony will take place during the National Traditional Country Music Association's (NTCMA) annual old time music festival held in Missouri Valley, Iowa.

575) The Smithereens Perform Meet The Beatles; Glen Burtnik Performs Sgt. Pepper (published 2007-07-28) -- Sometimes life can be funny. Back in 1978, Glen Burtnik had his first big break when he was cast in the West Coast production of Beatlemania. Since that time, music has taken him all over the world - through a promising solo career, stints in classic rock bands like Styx, gold records, hit singles - and back to New Jersey where he is once again playing Paul McCartney.

576) The Commons' Last Ride (published 2007-08-08) -- Some bands never make it out of the garage while others last a lifetime. Thanks to recordings, fans never really have to say goodbye but the musicians almost always are faced with the difficult decision of moving on or becoming stagnant. For The Commons, they decided they'd rather make the decision to move on rather than wait a year too long.

577) The Dream is Finally Realized For Anton (published 2007-07-11) -- It's not easy being a musician when your favorite music is not the type generally heard in the local clubs. For years, Anton Roolaart has dreamt of the type of record he wanted to make even though he knew his style of progressive rock might fall on deaf ears in New Jersey. Thankfully, he stayed with that dream and not only has created a wonderful record but one that attracted the attention of Umbrello Records, a new label in the UK started by Steve Nardelli, the frontman for The Syn.

578) Red Molly: As Americana As They Come (published 2007-06-29) -- Just as with Pink Floyd, there really isn't a Molly in the band Red Molly. But there are three incredibly talented artists who discovered that together they have something truly special.

579) Ben Carroll: soul singing is back in style (published 2007-06-29) -- Growing up in the shadows of music history, it was probably destiny that Ben Carroll would follow his parents' lead and become a musician. And it was only a matter of time before Carroll would utilize his father's talents on one of his records, which he does extensively on his upcoming release.

580) Astronaut Jones Touches Down In Africa (published 2007-06-29) -- Tony Costa is a singer-songwriter from New Jersey who performs under the name Astronaut Jones. He also teaches music for a living. This past June, he spent two days teaching kids who just might have been seeing a guitar for the first time.

581) Phanphest Takes A Leap Of FAITH (published 2007-05-25) -- Every music scene has them. They're the people who basically make the engine run; they're the talent scouts, the marketing gurus, and the music fans who love music so much that they make it their jobs. It's their passion that makes them successful and it's great to see them get bigger and bigger. Drew Wajnert and Phanphest Entertainment are the perfect example.

582) Will This Be The Next King Of The Blues? (published 2007-05-25) -- Last year, Guitar Center's "King of the Blues" was Matt O'Ree who hailed from Monmouth County, New Jersey. The Garden State hopes to hold on to its crown for a second straight year thanks to Rob Baumiester, a 24-year-old guitarist from Deptford who will be competing in the finals after beating out thousands of guitarists from around the country.

583) The Chilling Details Own The Stage (published 2007-05-02) -- The crowd at the Baronet Theatre in Asbury Park was there for another artist, but it was The Chilling Details who owned the stage from the minute they ripped through their first chords. Even though the show took place in January, it's a fair bet that their set will rank among the year's best. As I was watching these three musicians on stage, I realized this must be why brides dress up their bridesmaids in such ugly outfits. After all, why risk being upstaged when it's your party?

584) Dublin Rockers Stand United (published 2007-05-02) -- What does a band from Ireland do when they suddenly find themselves a bit too big for Dublin? Move to New York, of course, where's there's probably enough Irish on the streets so they'd never get homesick. And that's exactly what the rock band Stand did several years ago. Currently based in Queens, the band recently returned from a brief tour of their homeland and will be playing at the Saint in Asbury Park on May 18th as part of the Wave Gathering festival. We had a chance to speak to lead singer Neil Eurelle while the band was "enjoying" media day in Dublin.

585) Andrew Holtz Has Something To Say (published 2007-05-08) -- Andrew Holtz has been running all of his life. The former Christian Brothers Academy track star earned a scholarship at Fordham University. After graduation, he ran through a series of accounting jobs until he finally was at a top New York city firm. And once he got there, he decide to run one more time - back to his dream of being a musician. His debut CD, "Leaving New York", will be released this month with release parties at the Sidehatch Bar in Asbury Park on May 18th and the Bitter End in New York City on May 22nd.

586) A Long Time Comin' (published 2007-03-25) -- Janey Todd is proof that you should never give up on your dreams. The singer-songwriter, who is a veteran of Jersey Shore clubs and coffeehouses, recently released her long-awaited debut CD entitled "Rusty Water." The disc is a mesmerizing blend of hauntingly beautiful folk rock tunes that showcase Todd's witty and often acerbic lyrics. The end result is a piece of art reminiscent of the best work by Michelle Shocked in the late 1980s.

587) Scarecrow Collection: Takin' The Groove Nationwide (published 2007-02-26) -- Scarecrow Collection is the latest band from New Jersey to sign with a major label. The North Jersey based band will release their first CD ("Radio Frequency Disaster") on Harmonized Records in March and will celebrate with a CD release party at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck on Friday, April 20th.

588) Review of Whatever Planet by the Dipsomaniacs (published 2005-09-05) -- A look at the latest disc by the Dipsomaniacs.

589) Review of Dirt Waffle by The Commons (published 2005-09-05) -- A look at the latest disc by The Commons.

590) Review of Glen Burtnick at the Saint (published 2005-09-14) -- "It's good to be at the CBGBs of Asbury Park," exclaimed Glen Burtnick as he kicked off his first ever performance at the legendary Saint rock club. Performing solo because most of the members of his regular backing band (members of Spiraling) had a gig elsewhere that night, Glen ran through an hour-long set that featured highlights from throughout his career.

591) Review of Friends of Muther Poetry & Acoustic Music Show (published 2005-12-14) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) December 13, 2005 -- It was the annual Christmas poetry and music show hosted by Kris Oehme at the Saint, but it was far from jolly. The host was dressed up in a very interested Santa Klaus suit and handed out candy - perhaps as a reminder not to take candy from strangers. After all, the words spoken last night in the various songs and poems gave the impression that it will be one dark, dark Christmas season.

592) 90.5 Brings Christmas Spirit To The Wonder Bar (published 2005-12-19) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ -- December 17, 2005) -- Not only were there over a dozen people dressed as Santa Claus, but the Wonder Bar was filled with toys as 90.5 The Night's Benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County brought people out in droves. In fact, it was literally a who's who of the local music scene.

593) Review: Maybe Pete / Jason Mather @ Saint - December 29, 2005 (published 2005-12-30) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ -- December 29, 2005) -- Ok, I've gotta admit that I wasn't really planning on reviewing this show but two things changed my mind. The first was hearing an interesting version of "Dancing In The Dark" come out of Jason Mather's guitar and the second was when Scott Stamper delivered the bad news.

594) Review of Rick Barry's Hangover Bash 2006 (published 2006-01-18) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- New Year's Day for those among the Jersey Shore means three things: waking up with a hangover, watching football all day, and going to the Saint at night for Rick Barry's Annual Hangover Bash. The annual show kicked off 2006 with its 4th straight year of rock and roll shows with one of its strongest lineups to date. The cast included The Jigmakers, Arlan Feiles, April Smith, and, of course, our host for the night, Rick Barry.

595) Recap of the Upstage Radio Benefit (published 2006-02-15) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- February 11, 2006 - As the season's first major snowstorm barreled through the tri-state area, the benefit for Upstage Radio took place at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park in front of a crowd of die-hard music fans who were treated to an exceptional night of music.

596) Interview with Christopher Vidal about Jam Tree (published 2006-02-25) -- Christopher Vidal is Executive Assistant Director for AERIA Entertainment L.L.C. - we spoke with him about Jam Tree, a weekly show AERIA is putting on Tuesday nights at the Saint in Asbury Park, NJ.

597) REVIEW: Stone Pony 2/18/06 with April Smith, Soozie Tyrell, Lance Larson (published 2006-02-25) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Few rock and roll clubs have ever stayed around as long as the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park has and so it's fitting that the club celebrates its anniversary with a block of shows each year. The show on Saturday, February 18th was comprised of an interesting look at Asbury Park's past glory and a look at one of the scene's rising stars.

598) REVIEW: Brookdale Guitar Show (published 2006-02-25) -- (LINCROFT, NJ) -- Where else can you find pre-teen kids wearing Pink Floyd shirts, middle-aged men drooling over hand-made strings, and musicians shelling out two thousand dollars for the vintage guitar they've always wanted?

599) Having A Party with Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (published 2006-04-08) -- (MARCH 31, 2006 - Asbury Park, NJ) -- The Stone Pony had one of those special nights on March 31st as Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers rolled into town and showed why they are truly one of the greatest live acts in music today.

600) Interview With Tony Levin (published 2006-04-10) -- It will be another one of those special nights at the Saint in Asbury Park when Tony Levin, one of the world's greatest bass players, brings his band to town on Thursday, April 20th. Mike Black will open the show which will be a progressive rock fans dream bill.

601) Recap of The Wave Gathering Festival (published 2006-05-25) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- There was a mixture of pride, elation, celebration and exhaustion as people strolled into the Wonder Bar after midnight on Sunday, May 21st. It was a crowd of musicians, Wave Gathering crew, and serious music fans who were closing out the remaining hours of the festival. Joe Harvard provided a toast to the festival crew and the look on everyone's faces told the story.

602) REVIEW: Red Wanting Blue Live at The Saint (published 2006-06-16) -- (JUNE 15, 2006 -- ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- It was one of those nights where you wished the club was full; one of those magical kind of nights that happen at the Saint from time to time - the kind of night you pull out your cellphone halfway through the set and try to drag your friend out because you just know they'd fall in love with the band. And, it appears by taking a look at the crowd, that Asbury Park is slowly but surely becoming a decent stop for Red Wanting Blue, an incredible band out of Columbus Ohio that comes around two or three times a year.

603) Interview with Kasim Sulton (published 2006-07-22) -- Kasim Sulton will be performing at the Saint in Asbury Park on Saturday, July 29th. He took some time out of his touring schedule to do an e-interview with us.

604) Review of Writers In The Raw - July 2006 (published 2006-08-05) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) - Writers In The Raw made its debut at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park on July 16th with a show fitting for long-time fans of the series. The national act portion of the show featured three of the original members of 4 Way Street - the popular band from Philadelphia that became favorites of the Jersey Shore largely due to their appearances in the first few Writers In The Raw shows. Rounding out the group was Tom Gillam, the newest member of the band who is replacing Jim Boggia. It was the band's first appearance in Asbury Park under the new look and provided a nice sense of deja vu as well as a reminder of just how far the Writers series has come.

605) REVIEW: King of the Blues Returns To The Saint (published 2006-08-05) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) - On July 27th, the Saint in Asbury Park welcomed back the newly crowned "King of the Blues" - Matt O'Ree - with a great night of blues and power rock performances.

606) REVIEW: The Commons at the Wonder Bar (published 2006-08-05) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) - It's tough for a band to build an audience outside of their area, but it's something that has to be done. The Commons have a great following in their hometown of Trenton, but have struggled to draw along the Jersey Shore. They returned to Asbury Park on August 4th with a show at the Wonder Bar before a Beach Boys Tribute Band. It was a Jersey Shore "Spinal Tap" kind of night for the band.

607) REVIEW: Jen Chapin at the Saint with Divine Sign and Kasey Sheik (published 2006-08-05) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) - On July 20th, the Saint welcomed back Jen Chapin to Asbury Park. She not only brought her husband Stephen Crump with her but her new baby was in the house as well! Supporting her on the bill was All Things New, Kasey Sheik and Divine Sign. It was one of the most anticipated shows of the summer at the Saint and it was worth the wait.

608) REVIEW: Will Hoge at the Saint (published 2006-08-06) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) - On Saturday, August 5th Will Hoge returned to the Saint on a bill that also featured Rick Barry & The Mourning After and Almost There. People have been raving about Will Hoge's shows for years and after seeing him live it's easy to see why. It was an enormously fun night with great sets from all three acts, but Hoge's set might have been one of the best I've seen this year.

609) A True Troubadour Of The Highway (published 2006-09-25) -- There are people who think they have lived interesting lives and those who wish they had, but only a few have ever lived the kind of life of Peter Case. The singer-songwriter best known for his days as the lead singer of The Plimsouls ("A Million Miles Away") will be releasing a new record in the next few months to go along with his first book - "As Far As You Can Get Without A Passport". The book shares stories from Case's life as a musician living on the streets of San Francisco.

610) Interview with Stephen Butler of Smash Palace (published 2006-10-16) -- Smash Palace will be coming to the Saint in Asbury Park on Saturday, October 21st. The bill also includes Luzer, South Of The Bridge and Porter Block. Upstage Magazine recently interviewed Stephen Butler of Smash Palace via email about the band.

611) Val Emmich is Free At Last (published 2006-10-25) -- It was roughly three years ago to the day that Val Emmich was the cover of the first issue of Upstage Magazine. Since that time he struggled as he watched his record label seemingly put his career on hold. After working his way out of his contract, he's back as an independent artist and actually enjoying life again. He's releasing his new CD "Sunlight Searchparty" this month. Upstage recently talked to Val about the new record and the last few years in limbo...

612) The Creators of S.O.A.P. Return To Asbury (published 2006-10-25) -- This December, Asbury Park will pay a long overdue tribute to the creators of the Asbury musical sound. Many of the creators will take part in a once in a lifetime concert on December 9th at the Stone Pony and a permanent monument will be placed on the boardwalk containing the names of the musicians and performers that took the music to its limit by pushing the envelope and digging deeper to change the sound of Rock & Roll forever. We recently emailed Doc Holiday to talk about the show and monument.

613) REVIEW: An Asbury Park Rock & Roll Xmas Show (published 2006-12-29) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ - December 21, 2007) -- 90.5 The Night & Notpop Record presented "An Asbury Park Rock 'N Roll Xmas" at the Saint with a great lineup of local stars highlighted by an appearance by Jeffrey Gaines. Each artist did a pair of songs - one of their originals and one Christmas tune. The mixture worked very well and with Arlan Feiles & The Lone Howdies Orchestra as the "house band" for the night things ran smoothly and sounded incredible.

614) The American Beauty Project (published 2006-12-28) -- The Jersey Shore is literally filled with people deeply involved in the music industry that largely go unnoticed when they walk down the street or order a pint at the local bar. For every Bruce Springsteen or Jon Bon Jovi that attracts attention wherever they go, there is a David Spelman, a man known across the world for his work with the guitar. Spelman's the Artistic Director for the New York Guitar Festival, oversees the Wall-To-Wall Guitar Festival at the University of Illinois' Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and is now adding to his resume the title of Artistic Advisor of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival, an Australian festival launching in November 2007.

615) Inside Zelda Pinwheel (published 2006-12-28) -- Do you think Zelda Pinwheel has been ignored by local media? If so, why do you think that might be so? Are you guys just too unique?

616) The Gay Blades Set The Story Straight (published 2007-08-30) -- The Gay Blades, based in Jersey City, released Ghosts last month. Upstage Magazine takes you inside one of the state's best indie music bands. The band consists of Puppy Mills (aka The Snitch) and Clark Westfield (aka The Aristocrat of Crime). Last year they were nominated for 4 Asbury Park Music Awards including Top Male Vocalist, Top Live Performance, Top Indie Band, and Top Drummer. We were able to interview them via email shortly before the record officially was released.

617) Grace Potter and The Nocturnals (published 2007-08-30) -- Grace Potter and The Nocturnals are a band from Vermont that's as close to breaking big-time as you'll ever find. You've most likely heard their song "Ah Mary" blaring on the radio over the summer or read about their debut record, "This Is Somewhere", that critics everywhere are raving about. The band returns to New Jersey for a date at The Stanhope House on Wednesday, September 5th. Upstage had a chance to talk to Grace Potter during a brief break in the band's touring schedule.

618) Should The Monkees Be In the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame? (published 2007-06-30) -- Ok, so I'm a child of the eighties and a Monkees fan. I'll admit it. I still remember watching every one of their episodes that MTV re-ran for what seemed like several years and fell in love with their music. I even saw them live in the mid-80s at the Garden State Arts Center. It's not called that anymore, but this was before corporate sponsorships. About a month ago, I heard a DJ ask why The Monkees weren't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and it got me thinking. Why aren't they? Since Davy Jones of The Monkees is coming to New Jersey for a pair of shows (the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove on July 7th and BergenPAC on October 26th) I decided to ask him directly.

619) Wave Gathering Recap: Sunday, May 20th, 2007 (published 2007-05-31) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- I had a late start to Sunday thanks to a sleeping pill that actually worked, but I managed to get to America's Cup in time to see The Hesh. Cookman Avenue on Sunday really showed a sense of community as tons of musicians were all hanging out and checking out the venues whether they were scheduled to play that day or not. It was truly a great day for the Wave Gathering Festival as the weather was incredible - the best of the weekend.

620) Readymade Breakup Sticks Together (published 2007-05-25) -- Readymade Breakup has been part of the New Jersey music scene for several years, but finally released their debut record, "isn't that what it's for". It's a brilliant disc that shows just how far the band has come from their early days when they were just a bit too eager to show how much they were fans of Ben Folds Five and were trying to create songs that they thought the record labels wanted to hear. Basically the band had to break up and take some time off before realizing what was needed to become something truly special. These days their live show is as good as its ever been, the songwriting is incredible, and their focus is exactly where it should be. We caught up with Paul Rosevear and Gay Elvis from the band to talk about the group's evolution.

621) Wave Gathering Recap: Saturday, May 19th, 2007 (published 2007-05-25) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- With one day in the books it was time for the longest day of the festival to begin. Of course, Gordon Brown roped me into doing a panel at 11:30am, so the long day would have to be a little longer for some of us. Personally, I hate doing panels. I don't even like attending panels - reminds me too much of going to school I think.

622) The Death Of Internet Radio? (An interview with Lazlo of (published 2007-05-02) -- If video killed the radio star then the Copyright Royalty Board is about to kill the online radio star. Essentially, the CRB is about to shake up the music industry with a ruling that will almost certainly force thousands of online stations to close.

623) SHOW REVIEW: James Dalton at Borders (published 2007-04-21) -- (APRIL 16, 2007 - EATONTOWN, NJ) -- WBJB (90.5 FM) presented the second in its "Emerging Artists" series at the Borders in Eatontown on April 16th. James Dalton, aka JPAT, was on hand for the CD release of Butterflies and Passerbyes" his latest CD and first on the AERIA label.

624) SHOW REVIEW: Sean Lennon (published 2007-04-21) -- (APRIL 9, 2007 -- ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- If there were any doubts that Asbury Park was still a rock and roll town they may have been erased on April 9th when Sean Lennon came to town. Rock and roll royalty came to town for a special Monday night show and a large crowd came out in support. The amount of people at the club was more like the crowd for a weekend than a Monday and added to the special night by providing more energy throughout the club.

625) SHOW REVIEW: Arlan Feiles' CD Release (published 2007-03-17) -- (MARCH 15, ASBURY PARK) -- Arlan Feiles taught me a lesson once that I will never forget.

His CD "Razing A Nation" originally came out on an indie label a few years ago with a cover that looked slightly worse than your average cheap bootleg. The cover turned me off so much that the cd stayed in our pile of new cds for about 4-5 months. When I finally got around to giving it a listen it was like hearing Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" for the first time.

626) SHOW RECAP: Save The Wonder Bar Rally (published 2007-03-17) -- (MARCH 10, 2007 - ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- It was a concert designed to show that Asbury Park has a true music community; an all-day event to show that people truly do care about keeping music and entertainment alive in the new Asbury Park; and a musical lineup put together to hopefully save the Wonder Bar. In the end, it may have failed on all three accounts but it was a tremendous day of the music that left those at the club in awe of the talent throughout the state.

627) Surviving The Rock Star Myth (published 2007-10-31) -- Richard Barone, former lead singer of the legendary band The Bongos, recently released his first book, FRONTMAN: Surviving the Rock Star Myth, a book based on his own experience and those of other rock and roll frontmen. His old band actually reunited at the Hoboken Fall Arts & Music Festival to help promote the release of Drums Along The Hudson - Special Edition finally released the way it was always intended to sound. While the band was back in Hoboken, the city took the chance to honor the band with a proclamation calling September 30th "Bongos Day" - a fitting tribute to the band which pretty much led to the creation of Maxwell's as an original music venue. In doing so, Richard Barone and his bandmates put Hoboken back on the forefront of New Jersey's musical map for the first time since maybe the days when a young Frank Sinatra still walked the streets.

628) Eryn Shewell Band Comes Into Their Own (published 2009-03-11) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ March 3, 2009) I wasn't originally planning on writing a review of this show, but figured I'd do a write-up since people have emailed me saying I hadn't done much with the blog lately. Although I've been going to shows regularly, I just don't feel the need to do show reviews unless something really clicks for me. Tonight was one of those nights. Even though the lineup featured three artists I've seen quite often, the show itself was worth writing about.

629) Rick Barry's "This Antediluvian World" (published 2009-02-07) -- Several years ago, I said that Rick Barry was the next Billy Bragg. I can still remember Steven Bumbera joking that I must have meant Rick would have a career filled with incredible songs that nobody would ever hear. Well, with the release of his latest EP, "This Antediluvian World", it's clear that he no longer wants to be just a big fish in the Asbury Park scene - he's ready for the world to hear him. And, he's ready to shed the Billy Bragg title once and for all.

630) Dear John: You're The Problem
Why Live Nation and Madison Marquette Need To Run John D'Esposito Out Of Town To Prevent A Bloodbath Among The Local Music Community
(published 2008-11-30) --

631) AMA's Graduation Policy: Good or Bad? (published 2008-10-21) -- (OCTOBER 21, 2008) -- It's to be expected that there will be grumblings each time the Asbury Music Awards are announced. Some very deserving artists are bound to get left out while some artists nominated leave you scratching your head. One topic that seems to have been on many people's minds is the idea of the "Beyond Asbury" category given to those who are deemed to have graduated from the nominations.

632) Three Local Shows Worth Checking Out (published 2008-10-20) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The local scene has got three very different regular shows worth checking out each month for the music fan. Rick Barry's "Works in Progress", Bobby Strange & Friends, and Twisted Covers.

633) Works in Progress - October 2008 (published 2008-10-20) -- (OCTOBER 8, 2008 -- ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Rick Barry's "Works in Progress" series has been a favorite of mine since it first launched several months ago, but I think recent shows have taken the series to a new level. This latest show continued that trend. The lineup included Keith Monacchio (formerly of The Commons), Justin Hillman, Glen Burtnick, Brett Mosely, Tommy Strazza, Kelly Carvin, and, of course, Rick Barry.

634) Billy Bragg Preaches to the Choir (published 2008-10-20) -- (OCTOBER 19, 2008 -- WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- Man, did I need this! Part folk-rock show, part storyteller show, and part Barrack Obama rally - it was my first time catching Billy Bragg live and it was definitely worth the wait!

635) Asbury Musicians Get Organized (published 2008-10-17) -- (OCTOBER 15, 2008) -- It isn't always easy to get people involved in causes, but the reason for a meeting held at the Hot Dog House on October 15th struck a chord with many local musicians. The gathering was the result of an email thread started by Dr. Geena regarding a noise complaint filed by a neighbor that led to several hours in court mediation. It was there that she realized she wasn't the only target and this was a problem that affects all of the local musicians.

636) What is Beyond Asbury? Here's the scoop... (published 2008-10-16) -- Beyond Asbury is a new segment of the Asbury Music Awards where we pay respect to artists that find themselves beyond the local area; they may be artists who have already achieved great success in the Asbury Music Awards and are no longer nominees or artists who find themselves playing more shows out of state or around the world rather than in local clubs.

637) CD Review --"Straight to Red" by Maybe Pete (published 2008-08-20) -- There's really no better way to review a new CD by Maybe Pete than by popping open a bottle of cheap Merlot, so here goes...

638) The Commons' Last Show (published 2008-08-16) -- (AUGUST 16, 2008 -- LAWRENCE, NJ) -- Just outside of Trenton, at McGuinn's Place, a bar that the band had played often throughout their career, The Commons played their final show on Saturday night in front of many of their long-time fans.

639) What A Long Strange Trip It's Been... (published 2008-07-31) -- (FRIDAY, JULY 25 - NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- In 1978, two young musicians named Glen Burtnick and Marshall Crenshaw played the roles of Paul McCartney and John Lennon in Beatlemania. Thirty years later - after dozens of albums, world tours, films, and various bands - they found themselves on the State Theatre stage in New Brunswick, NJ playing Beatles songs once again in the 2nd Annual Beatles Bash.

640) Wave Gathering Festival 2008 Recap (published 2007-07-15) -- Each of the three years that the Wave Gathering Festival has taken place has been better than the one before. I think it's become an institution of sorts. People are starting to know that the festival is the place to see great bands they've never seen before, a place to see all of the great bands in the area, and a place to hang out in a city where the line between the music scene and music fans completely disapears.

641) SOAP STARS RETURN IN AUGUST! (published 2007-07-29) -- Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to attend one of the most interesting shows I've ever seen at the Stone Pony. It was billed as a once in a lifetime show - the Creators of the Sound of Asbury Park returning home. Thankfully, they're coming back for one final go around.

642) 2007 Asbury Music Awards - recap (published 2007-11-19) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The 15th annual Asbury Music Awards was held on Saturday, November 17, 2007 at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The event once again brought the majority of musicians in the area together for a night of great music, networking, story-telling, and a lot of drinking.

643) Recap of Anthony Walker's CD Release (published 2010-06-29) -- (ASBURY PARK, NJ -- JUNE 27, 2010) -- Three of New Jersey's finest singer-songwriters were on bill for the release of Anthony Walker's new EP, The Sun Goes On Forever, which took place Sunday night at Rosie's Cafe. Preceding Walker was an all-too-rare performance by Janey Todd and a homecoming show of sorts for Allie Moss.

644) Recap of 2010 Southern Shore Music Festival (published 2010-06-19) -- (JUNE 19, 2010 -- MILLVILLE, NJ) -- I was asked to run a live blog from the Southern Shore Music Festival for Jersey Arts this year. This was the 4th year of this particular festival, which took over from the old Bridgeton Folk Festival that ran for 23 straight years until its last in 2006. The following is a somewhat edited version of my live coverage of the festival - some of which ran on the Jersey Arts Twitter page.

645) Interview with Jody Joseph about her Janis Joplin / Stevie Nicks Show (published 2009-05-27) -- On Saturday, May 30 Jody Joseph will perform a special theatrical tribute to Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park. We had a chance to catch up with Jody to ask her a few questions about the show...

There are hundreds of stories linked on the right. It's nice to finally have them all collected in one place.

written for Jersey Arts

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