Plus, Sandy benefits in Atlantic City this weekend, the Album of the Week and Drew Toonz.
Scott Kirby Recording New Album at Charter-Tech
By Jeff Schwachter
Key West, Fla., musician Scott Kirby is regarded highly among Jimmy Buffett fans as well as Buffett himself. Anyone who listens to Sirius XM’s Radio Margaritaville knows his music. The New Hampshire native’s 10th album, slated for an April 15, 2013, release date, is being produced in Somers Point by Lew London at the Charter-Tech High School. Kirby and London have known each other for about 15 years, Kirby tells AC Weekly during a phone chat from Manhattan. “I was playing a gig in Somers Point with Peter Mayer,” says Kirby. “Lew opened for us and we asked him to sit in with us and play fiddle. I think it was The Waterfront. We’ve been playing together a few times a year ever since.” London, who teaches music and recording at Charter-Tech is not only lending his fiddle talents to the new Kirby record, but is giving his students the chance to experience the recording sessions, which have taken place at the state-of-the-art recording studio at the high school for a few weeks. Kirby will finalize his vocal and acoustic guitar parts this week, then will head back to sunny Florida, where he plays frequently. London and Kirby assembled a fine list of musicians for the sessions, including Gabriel Donahue (piano, accordion) from Philadelphia, Michael McAdam (guitar) from Nashville, Jim McConnell (drummer) from Somers Point and Andy Lalasis (bass) from Absecon. The album, Sol Searching, will include nine tracks recorded in Somers Point and one track Kirby cut in Los Angeles last year, “Guys Like Us,” with producer-drummer extraordinaire Russ Kunkel. Virginia harmonica master Gary Green also plays on the album. Kirby hopes that some of the students will either play or lend vocals to the tracks during the overdubbing process. “The students have really been interested in the engineering process,” says Kirby. “It’s been great.”
Terri Showers and Stylistics Headline Sandy Benefits
By Casey Harper
Joining a long list of artists who have made recent efforts in aiding those severely affected by the wrath of Sandy is R&B vocalist Terri Showers. Showers, best known for her powerhouse vocals backing up the Bubba Mac Blues Band, is teaming up with ’70s soul group The Stylistics to raise Sandy relief funds with two benefit concerts on Saturday, Dec. 15, and Sunday, Dec. 16. After hearing of the devastation so many families faced in the hurricane’s aftermath, Showers was compelled to take action. “I called on some of my friends for help and together we decided we want to make a difference by helping those who need it most,” said the local songstress. In addition to The Stylistics, whose chart toppers include hits “You Are Everything” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” Showers has worked with many recording artists and performed for the Queen of England and President Bill Clinton. The performance on Saturday will be held at the Shiloh Baptist Church and Community Life Center, 701 Atlantic Ave. in Atlantic City, from 4-6pm and will include Showers, The Stylistics, Bubby Fann and Praise Beyond, among others. St. Peter’s Methodist Church, 501 E. 8th St. in Ocean City will house the Sunday performance, featuring Showers and Chosen, Mandy Decker, Leon Hart and more. A non-perishable food item or a new, unwrapped toy are asked for admission, to be donated to the Food Bank of New Jersey for victims of Hurricane Sandy. These concerts are a great way for families to come support other families in need, while enjoying an entertaining showcase of abundant vocal talent. For more information, contact Showers at 741-1071.
‘Velvet Underground & Nico’ - 45th Anniversary
It’s not every year you get to celebrate the 45th anniversary of one of the most highly regarded albums of all time, so to honor the 1967 masterpiece, The Velvet Underground & Nico, Universal Music / Polydor has assembled six different anniversary re-issues of the Velvets’ debut. The Super Deluxe six-CD set comes with stereo and mono versions of the remastered original album, rare 1966 Scepter Studios recordings, the previously unreleased recordings of Lou Reed and company rehearsing at Andy Warhol’s Factory for the album as well as an unearthed November 1966 live date from Ohio with the original five-member Velvet Underground. The set also comes with Nico’s sublime 1967 album Chelsea Girl. The 88-page booklet and info therein is also outstanding. An historic release for an historic album. — Jeff Schwachter
Partially owned and run by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority since August 2012, Resorts, on Jan. 10, opened two new players’ club lounges — the Epic Lounge and Paramount Lounge — that combine the elegant feel of a club Boardwalk Empire’s Nucky Thompson would appreciate but with the modern touches — like flat-screen TVs — that current casino patrons will enjoy.
Plus other outstanding releases of the year, including several extraordinary re-issues from the Fat Boys, Velvet Underground and the soundtrack to the documentary 'Searching for Sugar Man.'