With our first-ever Local Music Guide, we celebrate local artists from different genres and profile a few of the area’s many great talents.
When we started planning our first-ever Local Music Issue this past summer, the Atlantic City region was bursting at the seams with live music — in and outside of the casinos — and it was beginning, for some, to appear as though the local music scene was up and running full force again after decades of neglect, more DJs spinning and less live acts, and dance clubs instead of good ol‘ rock clubs.
The truth is, our region has been a live-music mecca since the early 1900s, when cats like Eubie Blake and Eddie Cantor hung out for summers and performed at local clubs. Decades later the Atlantic City jazz scene was as hot as they come, with internationally heralded performers from Billy Eckstine and Louis Armstrong playing residencies at some of the hottest clubs on the East Coast, namely the venues on Atlantic City’s fabled Kentucky Avenue — all of them are gone now — including the Club Harlem, with its famous breakfast shows and Grace’s Little Belmot, where Sammy Davis’ mother bartended and a live recording featuring jazz giants Johnny Hodges and Wild Bill Davis was recorded in 1967.
The Atlantic City jazz scene also drew many of the world’s best Hammond B3 players, including the aforementioned Davis, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Smith and Larry Young.
But South Jersey has not only attracted performers from around the world for a long time; it has also delivered extraordinary homegrown talent unto the world.
Take Atlantic County guitarist Lew London for example, who in 1977 was named the Guitar Player of the Year by the nationally distributed Guitar Magazine. Legendary jazz drummer Harvey Mason was born in Atlantic City and started out in the clubs on Kentucky Avenue — most of the time with Margate’s Dan Fogel (see below).
There are several success stories that have come out of the local music scene. Tony Mart’s and the many popular clubs on Somers Point’s Bay Avenue during the 1950s and ’60s — as well as the clubs down in Wildwood — were pretty much where early rock ‘n’ roll history evolved. There is even a historical marker on Bay Avenue, near the old location of Tony Mart’s, stating so. Many local bands got the chance to play these clubs, as well as the jazz clubs in Atlantic City.
Over the years, the Greater Atlantic City’s local music scene, with a reach down to Cape May and across to Millville, has produced a great deal of talent. In recent years, Egg Harbor Township’s Billy Walton and his Jersey shore-based band have been playing nearly every night in the tri-state area, also performing in England for several mini-tours and recording a couple discs of original blues-rock tunes. Long-time local guitar phenom Danny Eyer, aside from performing all the time at any venue that will have him and his blues-tinged band, recently toured as the guitarist for Billy Paul. Finally, as you’ll read below, Atlantic County’s Patty Blee, who performs weekly at the Library III, had an interesting brush with Bob Dylan’s band when she recorded her critically acclaimed 2002 album Disguise at the remote Scullville Studios in EHT.
Speaking of Dylan, local jazz keyboardist George Mesterhazy (above with his trio), a long-time year-round performer in Cape May, is now being hailed by crtitics — including The New York Times' Stephen Holden just this week — in Jazz City (New York), where for the past several years at the renowned venue Feinstein's he's led a quartet backing jazz singer Paula West. According to Holden, West has "found an invaluable collaborator in the pianist and arranger" Mesterhazy, who performs through Oct. 16 with West at Feinstein's located in the Loews Regency (212-339-4095) at 540 Park Ave., and 61 Street. West and the Mesterhazy-led quartet return for a weeklong engagment Nov. 22-27.
Oh yeah, the Dylan part. Mesterhazy has teamed up with an extraordinary singer in West, who the Time's Holden hails for her open repertoire of "the American songbook, from Irving Berlin through Bob Dylan," calling it, "a banquet from which she selects favorite dishes and stirs in her own secret ingredients to make them her own."
In her new show at Feinstein's West and Mesterhazy have incorporated Bob Dylan's 1974 song "Shelter from the Storm" into their sets. Holden notes its not the first Dylan song West has tackled, adding:
"Her appreciation of the energy of language allows her to inhabit a Dylan song and treat it in the manner of Billie Holiday, slurring its syllables into a hip tone poem, in which the words, while not unintelligible, are subsumed by the rhythms inside the phrases. She has done it before with 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' and 'Mr. Tambourine Man.' And in her new show at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, 'Shelter From the Storm' was similarly reinvented."
As one of the Atlantic City region's great keyboard player and arrangers (he's highly regarded in the local casino entertainment sphere, where for his long-time work at A.C.'s gaming hall showrooms) Mesterhazy has also broadened his audience to an international reach, working with the late Shirley Horn for a number fo years — he picked up a Grammy nomination for his work on Horn's 1997 album Loving You and appears on other Horn recordings including her last studio effort, 2003's May the Music Never End.
Mesterhazy, who's also a regular at the Cape May Jazz Festival, also plays with a local trio, which features Ocean City's Tim Lekan on bass and Bob Shomo on drums.
Thanks to area summer concert series, casino shows and fundraiser and festival events, local musicians do have some top-line opportunities to play and even open up for national acts — especially at the annual Chicken Bone Beach summer jazz concert series and at the Somers Point summer beach concert series. There are also area venues such as the Inlet, Tun Tavern and clubs down in Sea Isle, that book local acts on a regular basis.
As you’ll read — and see/hear/watch in our newly launched Local Music Guide at acweekly.com/localmusic — there is a lot of talent in our region. And young, local musicians are blossoming every year.
Even if it’s only a rare club show or an open-mike night in the fall and winter months, local musicians continue to play, rehearse and write or learn new music.
Because they have to. They’re musicians. They have no choice.
(If you’re a local musician from any genre, create your own free interactive Web page in acweekly.com’s Local Music Guide by going here.)
Peanut Butter Lovesicle, Ocean City
Take two brothers from the Pittsburgh area, add a cousin who plays drums and sings, stir for a few years, hole the trio up in a house in Ocean City and then let them...rock! One of the most interesting and unique sounding bands to come out of our area, Peanut Butter Lovesicle consists of Jake and Mike D’Arc (on guitar/keys and bass respectivley; they both also sing) and Timmy Miller on drums and vocals. The trio packed clubs this past summer as word spread that this was one of the hottest new bands around. The Inlet in Somers Point had them every Tuesday. The now-closed Hibiscus had them at least once a month as did other local spots. The band also recorded the self-released stoner-rock EP Heavy Daze Wildcat Craze. We’re not sure when the band will give local fans another gig as Miller went off to school in Rhode Island last month, right after the band returned from a week-long Los Angeles trip, where they recorded a brand new full-length of original tunes. The brothers D’Arc may be off to Brooklyn to check out the club scene there, which will limit the band’s local gig schedule, but PBL will be back. “We’re going to see what happens. We want to give this our all and just try and make it work,” says Jake D’Arc. “We’ll be back,” adds brother Mike. “We’ll definitley be back.” PBL may be one of the strangest names since Dr. Dog arrived on the Philly scene, but you can’t say the guys and their music don’t fit under the “strange” umbrella. Think Black Sabbath meets the Black Keys with a little Stones, Flaming Lips and Queens of the Stone Age thrown in. Check out their Web site and myspace page and hear PBL's song "Commodore" here. peanutbutterlovesicle.com
120, Atlantic City
“That’s how we came up with the name 120,” Chris “Niko” Morton told AC Weekly columnist Raymond Tyler back in April when the group was preparing for its national TV debut on the BET show 106th & Park that month. “While most successful people give 100 percent, we knew we would be successful if we worked harder and gave 120 percent.” The three-member group of southern New Jersey friends became a group on 1/20/09, according to Morton, who was born and raised in Atlantic City. The three singers have been long-time friends and consider each other as family. Morton calls 120’s music unique, saying, “We like to call what we do ‘Rhythm & Street Rock Soul,’ a.k.a., ‘Red Carpet Music.’” With its blend of hip-hop and soul music, 120 has been performing at select events in A.C., and has appeared on NBC Philadelphia’s 10! Show. “We’ve met a lot of wonderful people” so far, says Morton. “And we hope to take our fan-base to the next level. The music scene in Atlantic City is on the up and up and a lot of artists are beginning to come together for a greater cause.” Listen to the hot new song “Just Rock” at acweekly.com. Hear 120's song "Just Rock" here. Myspace.com/120World
Jumpship, Atlantic City
The southern New Jersey surf scene doesn’t usually bring to mind ‘80s punk groups like the Circle Jerks or the Dead Kennedys, but with the Atlantic City-based Jumpship, surf and punk blend into some raw punk magic. “We wanted something we could play when the waves went flat or it was raining,” says lead singer Dan Bishop Ginsburg. “We had these punk influences and we wanted to play a stripped down version of what we loved.” The band’s current lineup includes JT Malley and Woody Hall on guitar, Rod Carty on bass and Tommy Sullivan on drums. The band has been playing the area for 10 years and lately has been doing a lot of dates in Philly and trying to break into the Washington DC scene. Locally, they’ve been a staple at Le Grand Fromage in A.C. and also play The Boneyard in A.C. “You have to take a time out sometimes,” Ginsburg says. “You can overplay an area. And we’ve been working a lot in the studio.” The band has also been playing premieres for the locally produced surf movie Dark Fall (the band is on the soundtrack) including a couple of gigs at the House of Blues. The band has recorded the album Walk the Plank and is going back into the studio for a new EP. facebook.com/jumpshipac
Private Stock, Galloway Twp.
Private Stock blends rock, funk, reggae originals and cover tunes. The band is a quartet of hometown friends who started as an acoustic guitar/vocal duo. Mike Squitieri and Steve Schurtz were the duo, who added Kevin Schwoer and Chris Wheeler on bass and drums to expand their sound. The band recently opened for Badfish at the House of Blues. Coming shows include Six Flags Great Adventure on Oct. 15; JD’s on Oct. 30 in Galloway, and Nov. 24 at Gourmet Italian Cuisine in Galloway. The band will also be playing at the starting line of the Atlantic City Marathon on the AC Boardwalk Sunday, Oct. 17, from 8am-1pm.
Squitieri explains, “We’re very excited about our new album which we are in the final stages of mixing and mastering. We’ve put together a collection of 14-15 songs that we think will make for a fantastic record. Our music could be best described as rock/funk/reggae but I really think we are almost genre-less. We have two lead singers with very different but complimentary styles and I think we’ve found something with great potential.” As for the AC Marathon gig, “It is a lot of fun, we played last year, It’s an odd mix of people walking by and stopping to enjoy our music, as well as people who just ran 26 miles and come to pass out in front of the stage.” myspace.com/privatestockmusic
Patty Blee, Egg Harbor Township
Patty Blee has been a mainstay in the southern New Jersey music scene for more than 20 years. Currently, the Egg Harbor Township-based singer-songwriter has steady gigs at the Library III in EHT and at Caesars’ Forum Lounge every Sunday with local guitarist Ernie Trionfo. She also performs many other gigs at various area venues throughout the year. Blee says that although there have been more places for local musicians to play in recent years, “there still seems to be far more talented players in this area than venues to play.” On the local scene in general, she adds: “Well, there are actually two separate scenes to speak of: local music, and local original music. You can find a band that plays your favorite cover songs anywhere relatively easily, but original venues are hard to come by. I would love for a venue such as the House of Blues to sponsor a standing local original night such as the one run at Katmandu in Trenton, which I love to attend every couple of months. The networking and camaraderie that takes place at such events would be a good thing, not just for musicians, but it could shine a creative light on the entire area.” Blee has recorded two CDs, the first of which, 2002’s Disquise, was recorded locally and includes Bob Dylan’s long-time bassist Tony Garnier, Dylan’s former guitarist Larry Campbell, recording and accordion legend Augie Meyers, as well as local artists like Patty Balbo and Trionfo. Her EP, From the Inside, was recently released. Listen to the song “From the Inside” at acweekly.com. Hear Blee's "From the Inside" here. Pattyblee.com
Michael Hoebler, Ventnor
Drummers can sometimes be perceived as the wild men of rock ‘n’ roll, but Michael Hoebler kind of counteracts that image with a much more focused and cerebral demeanor. A talented percussionist who’s performed professionally for over 20 years with several ensembles, and in a diversified range of venues (from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to the legendary CBGBs nightclub in New York City, to name two), Hoebler is also a strong advocate of arts in education. Through a company he created called LifeDrums, Hoebler has educational residencies at three area schools where he employs percussion-based workshops and seminars to teach in fun and unconventional ways. In the past he’s been recognized for his work at the local, state and national levels as a resident artist for a local chapter of the International House of Blues Foundation, where he facilitated hundreds of workshops for students, teachers and administrators, and he continues to perform professionally as a drummer/percussionist with groups like the Dan Brown Duo, Big Whiskey, the Pedestrians and others. That latter group will be doing three after-party gigs (midnight-4am) during the Phish Festival in A.C. (Oct. 29-31) at the Trinity Irish Pub at The Pier Shops at Caesars. “That should be a lot of fun,” says Hoebler, who studied music education under current Philadelphia Orchestra principal percussionist Don Liuzzi at Duquesne University before continuing his education at Florida State. “This past summer [the Dan Brown Duo] did real well touring around, sometimes getting eight or nine gigs a week. That often meant doing a lot of traveling, which is fine and can be fun. But I feel blessed to have the residencies, and get a lot of satisfaction from my work in education.” lifedrums.webs.com/michaelhoebler.htm
Don’t Call Me Francis, South Jersey
With nearly 20 years experience in the industry, the band Don’t Call Me Francis is one swinging party/cover band. Led by singer, frontman and trumpet player Frank Orsini, this band is the epitome of cool. Their “little big band” lineup is: Orsini,; Mary Harris, vocals, percussion; M & M, vocals, drums; Dave Maerz, vocals, guitar; Billy Garrett, vocals, guitar; Bill Pearce, vocals, bass; Daniel Wright, trumpet; Tim Jernigan, trombone; Matt Stuver, saxophone; Candice Marie, vocals and Jake Persofsky, keyboards.
DCMF has played in numerous lounges and nightclubs in Atlantic City including The Disco and the Deck at Trump Marina, Eden Lounge at Harrah’s and Ego’s at Trump Taj Mahal. Coming gigs locally include Oct. 16 at Ego’s, Oct. 22 at the Watering Hole Café in Mays Landing, and Nov. 5 at the Eden Lounge at Harrah’s.
The band’s founder Frank Orsini says, “Longevity is the key to success. We stay on top of [musical trends] and make changes accordingly. And you’ve got to have a great sound. I have a lot of front people — it was always a prerequisite that our players could sing.” He adds that, “The great classic songs are always popular and a lot of the songs that are hot on the charts now got a great response.
“People come to our shows expecting to hear fun, danceable music and that is exactly what we give them. We make people get up out of their seats and dance.” francisband.com
Dan Fogel, Margate
Veteran Hammond B3 player and a school chum of jazz drummer Harvey Mason, Margate’s Dan Fogel has been playing jazz in the Atlantic City area ever since he learned how to play the instrument as a young boy. Fogel, who has performed with countless heavy hitters in the jazz world, and Mason would sneak into the “black” clubs in Atlantic City during the ’60s to learn from the greats — Larry Young, Jimmy Smith, Lonnie Smith. Although he was way underage, the very young Fogel got an opportunity to leanr from the greatest jazz players of the Hammond B3 of all time. Thus, he is considered as one of the greatest living players of the instrument. Fogel still performs locally, including an appearance in Atlantic City at the Summer Jazz Series in August, and a show this coming Sunday, Oct. 17, at the First Presbyterian Church in Cape May as part of the Jazz Vespers concert series. Fogel, 62, is a living link to America’s sensational jazz past, and continues to perform in the Caribbean each winter. His last album, 15 West, was hailed by jazz critics and tore up the charts on Temple’s WRTI jazz playlist. In the liner notes to the CD, esteemed music writer Nat Hentoff writes: “His is the kind of jazz that lifts my spirits when nothing else will, making me move with it, and sometimes just shout in pleasure.” Happens to a lot of people who listen to Fogel’s music. danfogel.org
DJ Paulie Day, Atlantic City
Paul DiDio grew up in Philly and resides in Clementon, but the vast majority of his free time since childhood, and the place he’s always regarded as his hometown, is Atlantic City. “I try to do whatever I can to promote the entertainment scene here and get the word out,” says DiDio, who’s best known as DJ Paulie Day. A veteran DJ at many of the top clubs in southern New Jersey, most recently for the past six years as the resident DJ for the the Casbah nightclub at Trump Taj Mahal, and currently at the Disco at Trump Marina, Day is intimately involved in all facets of the local music industry. As proprietor of Elite Entertainment & Promotions, Day oversees a diverse network of DJs, bands and entertainers for parties and special events, and is involved in event planning, marketing, consultation and advertising. His extensive knowledge of music makes him one of the most sought-after and versatile entertainers in the area, as he’s worked countless gigs at local hot spots like the Pool at Harrah’s, the Foundation Room at House of Blues, C5 at the Chelsea, and at the Trump Plaza and Hilton beach bars. “The first place I ever played at was Grabel’s [a bygone bar/lounge in south A.C.], and did a bunch of gigs at places like [the bygone] Crazy Jane’s in Somers Point and other places,” says Day. “I started [Elite] around 2001 but didn’t really get it off the ground until about 2004. I think I started with about 500 e-mails and now it’s up to almost 50,000. It started slow and it’s grown quite a bit over the years. At every club I’ve ever worked, I made sure to network with people and trade contact information for future promotions — whatever it takes to spread the word.” eliteeap.com.
Beth Tinnon, Atlantic City
Beth Tinnon, a Nashville native, is a singer whose versatility is her calling card. Atlantic City Weekly readers acknowledged her talent by voting her the “Best Lounge Act” in the 2009 Atlantic City Weekly Readers’ Choice Nightlife Awards. Tinnon is also a songwriter. She has published eight songs with EMI, some of which can be heard on her latest CD, All Wound Up. Local fans know her for her numerous appearances at the Tropicana’s Top of the Trop Lounge, Tango’s and Rumba Lounge. She can currently be heard in the Rumba Lounge on Tuesday nights at 10pm and will also be at Tango’s Oct. 17 at 2pm, Oct. 19 at 10pm, Oct. 28 at 11pm and Oct. 31 at 2pm. Tinnon’s jazz side includes a fascination with the music of the 1920s era, now a hot genre thanks to Boardwalk Empire. That era of music inspired Tinnon to write and produce a show called A Night at the Speakeasy — a Musical Journey Through the 1920s, which she presented at Dante Hall last year. Tinnon says, “I moved to the area in September of 2000. I had a job within three days and have been performing in the casinos ever since.” She adds that, “I do miss my home town of Nashville but I believed in Atlantic City and saw opportunities here for steady work. I have seen some lounges close over the past 10 years but I believe people want live entertainment.” bethtinnon.com
Gina Roché, Atlantic City
Gina Roché’s love for music spans several genres and is reflected in her vocal versatility, but she is more of a specialist by artistic reputation. Prior to becoming the mother of two daughters, Roche used to perform in the Caribbean during the winter months, and became captivated by the sounds of Brazilian jazz, blues and Bossa nova. “It was a rough life before kids,” she says. “I would go to Aruba for about six weeks during the winter and a lot of Brazilian people vacation there. I became friends with many of them and just fell in love with the music. When I came back I got a steady gig at a casino and put a group together, and that’s when I started singing more jazz and Brazilian music than anything else.” Originally from Delaware County, Pa., and an Atlantic City resident for over 20 years, Roché has played in nearly every A.C. casino with various ensembles over the years. She continues to write music and perform locally, but is more gig-selective since becoming a mom. She is a good friend of Tim Lekan, a bassist who performs regularly at Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro in Somers Point, and together they have produced a substantial amount of original material. Recently Roche performed at a concert in Avalon with guitarist Ricardo Vogt, who is part of a quartet that features jazz bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding. In 2007 Roché released Dawning of a New Way, and has a second CD soon to be released. “I just have to write the lyrics to one of the songs and it will be done,” she says. “I always used to write lyrics and then the song came, but recently I’m playing guitar and became the other way around. It’s a whole different egg.”Roché will be appearing with her quartet (with Ridl, bassist Steve Varner and drummer Jimmy Coleman) as part of the Stockton Jazz & Blues Series on Nov. 29. ginaroche.com.
Joe Breidenstine, Linwood
After graduating from Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, trumpeter Joe Breidenstine attended the jazz studies program at William Paterson University of New Jersey and then moved to New York City, where he played often. After years in New York and “on the road,” Breidenstine moved back to Linwood and has been playing area gigs, many connected with the Somers Point Jazz Society (SPJS). “The local jazz scene is tremendous,” he says. Breidenstine, who teaches trumpet at Stockton College, and can be seen hanging out or playing at nearly every jazz event in the region, performs mainly in Somers Point, but travels to New York for gigs at major jazz venues as well. A board member of the SPJS, he feels the non-profit organization has done a lot to help the jazz scene in our area become what it is today. “The Somers Point Jazz Society is amazing. Without the SPJS we would not have the thriving jazz scene we have today. We put on many, many events throughout the year.” Breidenstine has “some core guys locally” that he usually works with, including tenor saxophonist Michael Pedicin, bassist Tim Lekan and drummer Bobby Shomo. Breidenstine says, “The local jazz scene is really happening right now.” facebook.com/joebreidenstine
The Cole Brothers, Atlantic City
Along with being skilled musicians and popular local performers, Charlie and Zeppy Cole could probably teach a history class on the evolution of music in southern New Jersey. The two brothers have entertained in the area for nearly five decades, having followed in their father’s footsteps as horn players before switching to the hipper instruments of the time, when rock ‘n’ roll infiltrated the lives of America’s youth in the 1950s. “My father [Steve] played the clarinet and saxophone,” says Zeppy [real name also Steve]. “I started on clarinet and my brother on the trumpet, then when Elvis, the Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson and others came along, that took care of the clarinet and trumpet. You didn’t hear too much clarinet in rock ‘n’ roll in those days — or today either, for that matter.” The Coles were hugely influenced by the Everlys, the Mills Brothers, the Beatles and other bands, covering their material and mixing in some homespun stuff throughout Atlantic City’s once-vast private club scene. That carried into a nine-year run as regulars at the Mountain Bar in Bally’s Wild Wild West Casino. Zeppy was well known for his Frank Sinatra sets at Bally’s, and Charlie for his spot-on impression of Elton John. The brothers still show up regularly at places like Absecon’s Heritage Park and Brigantine’s North School gym, and do a regular Saturday night show at Formica Brothers Bakery on Arctic Avenue in A.C. from 7-10pm. And while there are few styles of music that the Coles are reluctant to tackle, there’s an unmistakable old-school vibe about their preferences.
“Some of today’s music, it’s just not our style,” says Zeppy. “It’s nothing personal. I just like a song that, if you play it at your wedding, you’ll be able to sing it to your grandkids years later. That’s not the case with a lot of today’s music, in my opinion.”
Local Music Scene Flashback: Take a look at two records (as in LPs) that were recorded by local artists locally in the 1980s as well as a classic jazz record recorded in Atlantic City in 1967:
Above: Featuring the great local mandolin player Rich Downs and photography by Lew Steiner!
Above: Dan Fogel's debut record, with famed vibes man Kahn Jamal, recorded at Nova Sound Studio in Absecon, 1986!
Last, but not least: Johnny Hodges and the great Hammond B3 player Wild Bill Davis, recorded live "in remarkable pre-dawn sessions," as the album notes say, at Grace's Little Belmont in Atlantic City, 1967.
“As well as being one of most talented bands I’ve ever seen, what makes [Out of the Beardspace] really great is their commitment to making this world a better place. They’re involved in countless grassroots organizations like this one, and have inspired me to do everything humanly possible to give back in every way.”
“You’re seeing it grow again at places like Steve & Cookie’s [By the Bay, which hosts live jazz nightly], at Sofia where my friend [singer Christine Daisy] fronts duos and trios on weekends, of course at Maynard’s and now Bocca. The shore’s coming back. Margate was hit hard but it’s starting to come back.”
It may be winter, but Golden Nugget has put together an impressive entertainment slate, including a live-band bonanza on Feb. 17.
Brick House Pub & Grille has live music most Friday nights and a slew of other ongoing enticements throughout the fall.
Plus, the premiere of 'Bernie & Ges,' the Album of the Week and 76ers coming to Boardwalk Hall.
Mesterhazy had just played with his renowned trio at Sandi Pointe in Somers Point the night before, Wednesday night, April 11.
Dubbed “Hard Rock Rising,” the A.C. Hard Rock has 12 bands/solo artists competing on four Friday nights, 9pm-1am, starting Feb. 24. Ultimately the field is whittled to three finalists worldwide, with the grand prize being an all-expense paid trip to London for the 7th annual Hard Rock Calling music festival July 13-15. The winning band/artist will be on the bill with this year’s headliner — Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
Dave Matthews Band 'Live in Atlantic City' is available for pre-ordering. The 2-CD set will be released Dec. 13, and will include the band’s headlining concert on June 26, the final night of the Atlantic City DMBC festival.
"We recognized we have been out of touch with our members and the music community [in Atlantic City] for too long. The In The Mix networking events are a great way for us to reconnect with a region's music makers, and to learn who's doing what in the area."
In my last column I recommended checking out the new band the Jersey Rhythm Devils, who play music inspired by the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire. However, don’t be surprised if you hear some of their music cross over to HBO’s other hit series, Treme. Treme wrapped its second season this year, and tells the story of post Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Treme is an outstanding series in which the music of New Orleans plays as important a role as any of the cast members. Blues, bounce, jazz and hip-hop all fuses together in New Orleans...
ATLANTIC CITY — In a time when budgets are strained and canned music has replaced genuine talent at many venues, some local musicians consider themselves lucky just to line up any gigs that fuel their passion for music, never mind any that actually pay. Tom Pacitti, born and raised in Brigantine, has been blessed in that regard. A musician for 40 years (having taken up guitar at age eight), Pacitti not only continues to be a fixture as an acoustic soloist at many local establishments, putting personal spins on modern and classic-rock hits, he’s since teamed up with other talented artists to perform with varied ensembles at many area hot...
Motion pictures can share the same title but offer completely different stories. A case in point is Atlantic City — two films with little in common beyond their names. The more recent Atlantic City, which came out in 1981 and was directed by Louis Malle, depicts the resort in the early years of legalized gambling. Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon lead a strong cast in this gritty drama filmed on location.
Dear local musicians, DJs and venues that provide a forum for live, local music: Please excite me, surprise me, be incredible and think big! Or think small — but think differently, think creatively, think funky and think new. I have a music column and I host and produce radio shows, but there have been times when it seemed as though what was available on the local music scene had just skipped town under the radar. Think of this as a two-part request; the first part is an appeal to contact me. Southern New Jersey venues that are not being fully utilized — let’s set up a night of fun and let some great artists and fans enjoy your venue. DJs who are playing beyond the Boardwalk and doing groovy sets in little cubbyholes where...
ATLANTIC CITY — As we near the end of another great summer, there are still some cool concerts and musical events left this season. I am looking forward to YouTube/a cappella sensation Straight No Chaser. If the group’s non-holiday catalogue is as fun as the songs that have become Christmas/Chanukah classics on my laptop, then I am sure the concert will be fun. In fact, several readers have already endorsed Straight No Chaser, performing at Harrah’s Concert Venue through Sept. 4. Another big deal for me is Donnie Osmond coming to the Borgata on Saturday, Aug. 27. I would pay twice the admission to hear Osmond discuss candidly the music business and the changes since he and his brothers first took to the stage in the 1970s. As we say in my circle, Donny Osmond “has seen a lot of...
Included in the collection of jazz-inspired pieces is a one-of-a-kind portrait of the late Gil Scott-Heron, as well as 25 other drawings (and one painting) of artists ranging from Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Thelonius Monk, to Henry Threadgill, Archie Shepp and Eric Dolphy.
The original motion picture Fame has perhaps the most in-depth, most personal, most brazenly raw and dark depiction of what life is like for an artist. Fame captures those seconds, minutes and hours before artists walk on stage. It explores the audition process for the students of New York’s School of Performing Arts, then continues through each of the students’ ninth-through-12th grade years and ends with the final graduation performance that merges the talents of all of the students still left standing at the end of the film. Almost since the first trailer for Fame was released, however, music teachers have criticized the film for not giving a “realistic view” of a performing arts...
ATLANTIC CITY — This year I have felt a lot like Glynn Turman’s character Leroy “Preacher” Jackson at the end of the film Cooley High. I have found myself having to come up with words to remember several friends who have died, in most cases before their time. I want to dedicate this debut “Music Beat” column to several people. Ted Prior, who passed away May 15, was an Ocean City performer who kept Elvis Presley’s memory alive and well. Prior’s music was important to people who loved Elvis but who, like me, never saw Elvis perform live. Through Prior we got a living glimpse of history. He and I hit...
“Live music and entertainment is just not as common a thing as it once was, and we’re trying to help bring it back. And Pistol Pete’s is such an fantastic venue for something like this. It’s got the space, it’s got an ideal sound system, the people who show up are fun loving.
Regulars locally at live-music venues like the Gypsy Bar at Borgata, the RiRa at The Quarter in the Trop, and along the summer nightlife hotspot scenes of Sea Isle City and Wildwood, the members of GoodMan Fiske have taken single-night gigs involving as much as six hours driving in each direction
Plus local R&B group 120 at Casbah for premiere BLUSH event, and two great new CDs from Legacy Recordings from Billy Joel and Phil Spector.
As the late Atlantic City historian and former Club Harlem house band drummer Sid Trusty once said, "Every night was our party. And we invited the world." The party may be starting up again soon.
Alcove's Harvest for Hope fundraiser, Local Music Guide, plus Noyes Museum Family Fun Day
There’s growing affirmation of Atlantic City’s commitment to diversity in terms of enticing visitors into town for reasons other than slots and table games, and one need look no further than the Eden Lounge at Harrah’s Resort to see a sampling of that trend.
In September, Campanell was beset by a serious cardiac condition that left him unable to work, and only able to resume performing again recently. Many of those who have admired him as a person, and respected him as a gifted entertainer, will have a chance to give back in his honor at a benefit Friday night, Nov. 26, at Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro in Somers Point.
A funeral viewing will be held this Saturday, Dec. 4 (from 9–11am) at St. Monica’s Church on 108 N. Pennsylvania Ave. at Arctic & Baltic avenues in Atlantic City.
Back Stage is part of a recent restructuring of that section of Showboat’s gaming level. Live cover bands used to perform in a sort of carved-out section of the HOB restaurant across the hall. Now...
"My family has a history here that we’re proud of and we’re going to restore. Part of that’s bringing back live music. I try to make it as easy as possible [for musicians]. I’ve got guitar amps, a drum kit, mikes, a full PA system. They’re welcome to use my equipment or bring their own.”
“It’s going to be a great show. Atlantic City’s a great place because you can do so many different events, give sponsors so many different looks and feels and ways to interact with the audiences.”
From her perch on Cloud 9, Anj Granieri looks back on perhaps the most emotionally wrenching six week period of her almost 30 years and says it was all worth it. The initial excitement and elation, the occasional doubt, moments of depression — you name the emotion, and chances are Granieri experienced it.
Best Albums of 2012
Rap Legends Return to House of Blues
Clutch Keeps it Comin’ Independently