Plus Album of the Week: Raphael Saadiq; Southern Shore Music Festival in Millville, and Atlantic City's Surf School
Lifelong Atlantic County resident and decorated U.S. Army veteran Chris Brown will be an honored guest at the Memorial Day parades of both Egg Harbor Township and Somers Point on Monday, May 30. Brown will serve as Grand Marshal for the EHT parade — which starts 9am at Diamond Avenue and Zion Road — and as a post-parade speaker honoring fallen veterans at the Somers Point parade — which starts at Dawes Avenue and Shore Road at 11am and ends at Patriot Park. A graduate of Holy Spirit High School, Rutgers University and Widener Law School, Brown was awarded the Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge for his service in the Persian Gulf War, where he was attached to the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. As commander of the 154th S&S Battalion, Brown was also recognized as outstanding company-grade officer by the New Jersey National Guard Association. He later honorably served his country again, 17 years after his initial discharge, in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brown is the founder of the Chief Arthur R. Brown Jr. Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which has awarded over $180,000 in scholarships to local students since 1992, and is an Assembly candidate for the N.J. 2nd Legislative District.
— Ray Schweibert
Atlantic City Surf School’s Free Luau
The Atlantic City Surf School starts another season this Saturday, May 28, with a free luau at the Raleigh Avenue Surf Beach in Atlantic City. It runs from 9am-6pm and includes beach games, giveaways, food and fun for the entire family. There will also be an inaugural surf contest for kids called the Grom Prix, and two-hour lessons and a weekend mini camp (8am-2pm Sat., Sun. and Mon., May 28-30) will be half-priced. The A.C. Surf Club is the original surfing organization in the Greater Atlantic City area with specialized instructional programs for kids and adults of all ages. It has a teacher-student ratio of one-to-four, in compliance with Surfing America USA (the national governing body of the sport) guidelines, and employs many of the top names in East Coast surfing as coaches. Among them are the only New Jerseyite to ever qualify for surfing’s prestigious World Championship Tour, Dean Randazzo, national Starboards (stand-up paddleboards) coach Mark Colino, and former East Coast surfing champ Tom Forkin, the school’s founder. For more, see acsurfschool.com or call 732-286-2163. — RS
Southern Shore Music Fest
There is a bunch of groovy festivals with big-name artists hitting the Atlantic City region in June, including the three-day Dave Matthews Band Caravan (June 24-26, Atlantic City); Appel Farm’s annual Arts & Music fest (June 4) and the annual Southern Shore Music Festival, which takes place this year on Saturday, June 18, at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds in Millville. Leon Russell, who was brought back into the spotlight via Elton John last year and who has played with an A-list of musicians from George Harrison to Bob Dylan. Steve Earle’s son, Justin Townes Earle, also plays the festival, along with Deer Tick, local favorite Patty Blee and more. Gates open at 11am and the performances run from noon to 8pm. For more details, call 1-800-838-3006. Visit brownpapertickets.com/event/140941 to purchase tickets. — JS
‘Stone Rollin’ (Columbia)
Former Tony! Toni! Tone! founder and frontman Raphael Saadiq has had an interesting solo career since the mid-1990s. Since then, the Grammy winning songwriter has also been a producer for acts such as Macy Gray, D’Angelo and The Roots. The neo-soul artist writes, produces and performs on all 10 songs on his new throwback album, Stone Rollin’ (Columbia), which pays tribute to the soulful sounds of ’60s and ’70s R&B and soul music. At 45, Saadiq sounds like he’s 20 years younger on tracks such as “Heart Attack,” “Radio,” and “Go To Hell.” — Jeff Schwachter
Taking place June 4, the festival specializes in performers working in folk, blues, alt-country, roots, Celtic and acoustic rock, and benefits Appel Farm’s summer arts camp scholarship program and community arts outreach programs.
May is a month of openings in the southern New Jersey shore area. Flowers open, beaches open, Boardwalk french fry stands open ... it goes on and on. But most of all, visitors and residents shake off the winter blues and open themselves up to a little warm weather fun.
We have pulled out some of the best music we raved about this year in our “Raves & Faves” section, plus, we’ve added a few albums we loved this year, but didn’t have the space or time to rave about. Check the videos at the bottom!
Coasting - Ultimate Elvis Contest
Coasting: Lucy the Elephant Benefit
Bader Field Hosts VetRock