Writers In The Raw—The Count Basie Theater, Red Bank—May 1
This next installment of this high class production is instrumental in proving that not only is Writers In The Raw alive and well, but that they still live up to the claim they’ve made since their inception, that they run the premiere show of this kind throughout the Garden State. Their line-up of past artists is top notch and has included Pete Yorn, Pat Dinizio (Smithereens), Steve Forbert, Dan Bern, Soozie Tyrell, Willie Nile, and so many other names. Writers In The Raw traditional choice of “The Round” presentation features four performers taking turns in a shared musical experience, presenting the art of songwriting to the audience in a compelling way.
Writers In The Raw makes its 2009 debut at The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ, on Friday, May 1 with an eclectic line-up of nationally touring artists that include David Johansen, member of the iconic punk band The New York Dolls. He achieved commercial success as a solo artist, and as his alter ego, Buster Poindexter, with the single “Hot Hot Hot.”
Also on the bill will be Rhett Miller, front man and writer for The Old ‘97s, (the Dallas-based alt-country band featured in the film The Break Up). Their single, “Murder (Or A Heart Attack),” has been called one of the best songs of all time by several industry publications. Alec Ounsworth fronts the Brooklyn and Philly-based hipsters, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, who have played Lollapalooza and received a Best New Music commendation from Pitchfork Media.
Also on the bill is self-confessed Patsy Cline crooner Ashton Shepherd. Long considered “the darling of Nashville,” this little gal stepped in the proverbial shit early on, meeting Shelby Kennedy and taking the short hop across town to MCA Records. Produced by Buddy Cannon (Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire) her disc, Sounds So Good, was considered to be the most promising debut of 2008 and Shepherd has been called a “Loretta Lynn for a new generation.” Whether she’s a bonafide Loretta Lynne or not, she’s made her debut (as herself) on The Grand Ole Opry and should be of great interest for this show.
Writers In The Raw was co-founded and produced by Gordon Brown and Barry Dorsey, and supported by a staff of industry veterans. Brown, best known for years as a Jersey shore performer and whose bands, Mr. Reality, Samhill and Highway 9, were all signed to major labels, is also an established songwriter with BMG Publishing.
Status Green To Rock Charity Benefit At Bar A— Belmar, NJ, Sunday, May 3
The Iwill Foundation, in conjunction with The NY Firefighters Burn Center Foundation, are the recipients of a benefit hosted by local music fan and USA Ironman participant, Moira Horan, in an effort to raise money for burn research, as well as to help individuals facing a life altering injury or traumatic illness to help pull themselves back into the human race through hands-on training, inspiration and financial support when needed.
Matt Long, a marathon runner, Ironman triathlete and NYC fire fighter, founded Iwill after a bus accident back in December 2005, a serious incident that changed his life and left him with a whole new perspective on achieving life goals. He says, “Overcoming my obstacles is not the plan, it’s learning to live with them and in doing so give some hope and inspiration to other athletes who may be facing adversity in their life.”
After perusing their website and seeing what they do for people I came away with the distinct thought that I’m glad theres someone out there doing this for humanity. And they don’t just cover sports related injuries. They say that they will work with any other group that genuinely believes that there is an opportunity to succeed and live productive lives despite physical limitations and/or needs.
The New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation is also part of this event and I can’t even begin to tell you what these guys see and the horrors that fire can do the human body. That’s why they are stepping in to make sure quality burn care is available to all who are seriously burned, regardless of age, race, creed or economic status. The money that they receive from this show will go towards worldwide research in that field.
Okay, with all the somber stuff that a fundraiser exists for, there’s always an upbeat note that goes with it and I’m happy to see that Status Green is on board for the entertainment side and ready to rock for a good cause. SG has been busy, working on a new disc and touring the Eastern part of the country like a tornado in a trailer park. I spoke with front man Lou Montesano who told me, “I think its awesome what all these people do for others. The fact that there’s a unique support group out there for those in need just makes me glad that we can be part of this group and help when needed.”
Show kicks off on Sunday at 3 p.m. and runs till 7 p.m. There will be 50/50 and raffle prizes with all proceeds donated to the above charities. The tickets can be purchased directly at the door or by calling 732-449-1596—$25 per ticket, price Includes: Buffet, one drink and live music by Status Green, cc.