Light Of Day 2011 comes alive this weekend in Asbury Park. And while the Paramount Theatre shows featuring big names are all sold out, we thought we’d share some of the other great bands that will be over at the Stone Pony, The Wonderbar and other venues across Ocean Ave that we recommend checking out during this music filled weekend. An important reminder, all set times are approximate so give yourself plenty of time to get there. Rule of thumb is one hour before listed set time—that’s my own rule. Enjoy!
John Eddie, Glen Burtnick (pictured above), Joe Rapolla, April Smith @ McCloone’s Songwriters By the Sea, Jan. 16 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. with guests.
John is the Jersey shore’s most underrated rock and roll outlaw. Ah, but don’t feel too bad for John Eddie. With songs being recorded by some of rock and roll’s top guys today, Eddie just might be having his own private chuckle throughout this decade. But I’ll tell you one thing that ain’t funny: his stage performance. Featuring the state’s best players, John Eddie is a seriously great bandleader and draws legions of hardcore fans to his hybrid Jersey-Nashville sound. Featuring one of my favorite guitarists (besides Sonny Kenn) P.K. Lavengood, Eddie mixes it up all night long. If you haven’t had a chance to catch this Jersey icon, don’t hesitate to find him. He’ll be right on the stage at McCloone’s for the Songwriters By the Sea with Glen Burtnick, Joe Rapolla, April Smith and more!
Jerzy Jung, Christine Martucci, Colin Rocker, Keith Monacchio, Lisa Bouchelle @ The Watermark Songwriters By The Sea, Jan. 16.
Comprised of yet another group of Jersey premier singer songwriters, this gathering represents the shore as well as the Western inland. With powerhouse vocalist Christine Martucci hailing from the Flemington area and storytelling kingpin Keith Monacchio hailing from the Trenton sector, they come to play and play they shall. Teaming up with shore veteran Lisa Bouchelle, Colin Rocker and Shoreworld favorite Jerzy Jung, a writer who breathes easy believability into everything she tackles, these writers in the round make it easy for you to sit back and watch the magic unfold. I know, I sound like a Disney advertisement but, seriously, they’ll knock you out.
Jo Wymer @ The Stone Pony, Friday, January 14 12:25 p.m.
Jo Wymer has been focused on music for several years, performing, writing songs and teaching. She plays guitar, piano, harmonica and leads her own band. She started her own music business, teaching private lessons, including a focus on special needs students with autism, spectrum disorders, Down’s syndrome, etc. She also currently attends TCNJ, and is working toward a Master’s Degree in Special Education, specializing in Mathematics. Wymer is working in the studio on her debut album, which will be released this year, and performs frequently in the NJ/NY region with her powerhouse rock band.
She also performs solo acoustic shows, which provide a unique opportunity to see her perform her music in stripped down form. Jo’s music comes from the scar tissue of adult perspective; sex, guilt, joy, failure, love, loss, lust, their consequences and rewards, and the faith that keeps us moving forward in spite of it.
She will be playing in a duo, Friday night at the Stone Pony at approximately 12:25 p.m.
Tangiers Blues Band @ The Stone Pony, Friday, Jan. 14 at 8:20 p.m.
According to their bio, The Tangiers Blues Band started as a jam session, which initially included John McEnroe on guitar. Imagine channeling John McEnroe’s Seven Grand Slams and his notorious outbursts into a half stack. A combination that is sure to please just about everyone. TBB members have played for bands such as Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Dangermen and Echobrain.
Additionally, Danny Clinch (harmonica) is a well-known photographer and film director, having worked with and photographed many major artists like Tom Waits, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, and more. He also directed a number of Live Music DVD’s for the likes of John Mayer, Ben Harper, Pearl Jam and Guster. I recently caught Danny Clinch blowing harp for the illustrious Nicole Atkins, a singer that can do no wrong in my book and one of the Garden State’s fastest rising stars.
Sonny Kenn @ The Stone Pony, Friday, Jan. 14 at 9:05 p.m.
Sonny Kenn has been playing the blues since he was a kid. His father was a cowboy country singer and the gift of entertaining passed quite naturally from father to son. As he grew, his style exploded. Playing in seminal bands such as The Starfires and Sonny Kenn and The Wild Ideas, Sonny Kenn blazed a trail few guitarists could follow.
From the mid to late ‘60s through the ‘70s, Asbury Park became a haven for musicians and Kenn became king. Being a low-rent beach resort town, there was a built-in audience for rock and roll and many clubs and coffeehouses sprang up. Young musicians had the opportunity to play constantly and develop as performers in Asbury Park and Sonny has played with the best of them. Sonny was the one who cut the path Springsteen and virtually every other shore rocker would follow. From Bruce to Gary U.S. Bonds, Sonny has thrown 6-string mojo all across their stages, truly becoming the area’s most highly underrated player. From his kickass independent releases to his fireball stage show, Sonny is definitely not one to miss. Honestly, when I go see Sonny Kenn play, I just want to burn my guitars. He is the king!
Bebe Buell @ The Stone Pony, Friday, Jan. 14 at 11:25 p.m.
Former Playboy centerfold and rock and roll socialite, Bebe Buell graces the Stone Pony Stage for the very first time along with her great band, made up of former members of Iggy Pop, Das Damen and Spear Of Destiny. She released her first recording in 10 years with a single “Air Kisses for the Masses” in May 2009 and has completed recording of a full-length, 12-song album set for March of this year. Hard-biting rock and roll is what she plays and Buell cut her teeth on years of playing with The Ramones, the Dead Boys and other iconic rockers from New York City and beyond. Filmmaker Cameron Crowe, in his commentary on the extended DVD of his 2000 movie Almost Famous, said he based the film’s Penny Lane character (played by Kate Hudson) on two women he met during the early 1970s—Bebe Buell and Pennie Trumbull, a.k.a ‘Pennie Lane.’ He said he created some of Penny’s dialogue from statements Buell had made in interviews over the years.
Friend to the stars, Bebe Buell knows everyone from Jack Nicholson to Andy Warhol, who quite interestingly discovered her at the now iconic Max’s Kansas City in New York City. Bebe and her full band will be hitting the stage at approximately 11:25 p.m. Don’t miss this priority show! You never know who’s going to be there when the Bebe Buell band rolls into town.
Pat Guadagno @ The Stone Pony, Saturday, Jan. 15 at 1:30 p.m.
Lets face it, Pat Guadagno is a living barfly legend. He’s played with anyone who has graced a stage including some of show businesses biggest acts. His style is his own and he’s been described as everything from raucous to a threatening show stealer. I pity the guy that goes on after this singer songwriter whose finger picking style turns heads from the most seasoned guitar playing curmudgeon, including me. His twenty-five plus years of shore hammering gigs have only made him more of a seasoned tunesmith and one well worth seeing. His ability to draw emotion out of not only his playing, but also his audience makes this show a no brainer. Often joined by percussionist Ritchie Blackwell, this is one not to miss. Pat Guadagno hits the Stone Pony stage on Saturday Afternoon at approximately 1:30 p.m.
The Beauties @ The Stone Pony, Saturday, Jan. 15 at 3:45 p.m.
Whoever said Canada can’t rock doesn’t know this next band of electric warriors. The Beauties were formed in 2006 at a tavern in the West end of Toronto. A Sunday night residency (which was initially intended as an informal jam) soon blossomed into sold out shows, week after week. Darin McConnell and Shawn Creamer share guitar and vocal duties, Jud Ruhl streams the lead guitar while Paul Phisterer and Derek Downham keep time as the unapologetically stoic rhythm section. A four-song, self-titled, EP quickly established The Beauties as a band to watch out for, earning them coveted support slots with acts such as Broken Social Scene and Alejandro Escovedo.
They have also backed up such noteworthy songwriters as Ron Sexsmith, Jim Cuddy, and Serena Ryder. Three years later, they continue to remind the crowds of the tightly knit seams that stem from rock and roll, as well as confirming the often-overlooked truth that there isn’t a single person who will love us like the devil does. The Beauties represent the darker and louder places where songs reside. There is a sober truth in their music.
Corey Wagar @ The Stone Pony, Saturday, Jan. 15 10 p.m.
Corey Wagar takes to country music like virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini took to his Caprice No. 24 in A minor, Op. 1. Think that’s a bold (and wordy) statement? Well, trust me, it’s the truth. At the age of 17 Corey, had already recorded “Lead On,” her first single, a touching story about a girl who follows her dream. Following that session, Corey went back to Nashville to record “Livin’ in a Love Song,” “Now” and “Flowers.”
“Lead On” was written especially for Corey by Wells Productions, the renowned country music writer, performer and famed producer for Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, the Oak Ridge Boys and Brooks And Dunn. She already has a finished album in the can and a top-secret tour slated for the spring. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Hannah Montana. Seriously, Wagars seasoned understanding of true country and her expressive lyrics are light years ahead of folks twice her age. If I hadn’t seen it myself I would never have believed it. Her band is comprised of top-notch Nashville cats and her production team, headed by Gordon Brown (Mr. Reality, Sam Hill, Highway 9) is unstoppable. Good, clean country fun is what she’s selling and it’s going by the bushel.
James Dalton @ The Wonderbar, Saturday, Jan. 15 at 12:30 p.m.
If James Dalton isn’t traveling the globe playing shows and living the life of the charmed vagabond, he’s hunkered down in Bayhead, New Jersey, throwing out folk tinged blues ala, David Johansen, Tom Waits and Randy Newman. Relying on pick-up bands and volunteers, Dalton’s ergonomic style fits the mind perfectly. Organic rock and roll, blues and soul-flavored blue-collar is the outfit of choice and he wears it all well. His passport shows his never-ending quest to entertain; he will go anywhere and perform at any time regardless of the size of the venue or the location on the globe. It doesn’t matter whether he’s performing in front of five people or five thousand; there’s rarely been an artist so comfortable in his own skin. If you’re looking for a one person show that’s different enough to keep you and all your girlfriends from yakking over the music, this is it and you can see him on Saturday January 15th at 12:30 over at Lance and Debbie’s Wonderbar.
Jon Caspi & The First Gun @ The Wonderbar, Saturday, Jan. 15 at 4:30 p.m.
Jon Caspi & The First Gun share the roots of other Asbury Park, NJ notables such as Bruce Springsteen, the Gaslight Anthem and The Bouncing Souls. The trio has just released their first album, Strange Situation, with a sold out multimedia show in an Asbury Park theater in early October 2010. They plan on a vinyl release and a tour in 2011.
Lead singer Jon Caspi has been a longstanding figure on the U.S. national college radio scene. His latest project is The First Gun and is a return to his punk/indie roots. His music has charted on CMJ Top 100, and has appeared on TV, MTV, in films and on stage (in musical theater productions). He has performed with Bruce Springsteen and opened for many international acts. He has been nominated for multiple Asbury Music Awards, has received much critical acclaim, and had a sandwich named after him by a diner in his hometown. That fact alone makes me jealous as hell.