Corey Wagar – A New Record, A Radio Tour And A Music Row Future

When country acts such as Loretta Lynn first made records back in the 1950s, they plied their wares the old-fashioned way. They got in their cars with a stack of 45s and went from home grown radio station to radio station, asking for a chance to play their songs and change the way music was heard forever.

Nashville transplant Corey Wagar lives on that same countrified tradition and with her highly original sound it makes perfect sense that she has taken up the simple method of hitting the road and knocking on radio DJ doors. Her new record is called On The Edge, and by the way country stations are reacting, the doors she’s knocking on are opening at a steady pace. The big single that everyone is talking about is called “Hurricane” and believe me when I say with all pun intended, it will blow you away.

Recently signed to GTR Records-Nashville, Wagar and her band are out as we speak, burning up the tour trails and gaining tons of diehard fans, proving why Grammy-nominated producer Kent Wells (Dolly Parton) snapped her up to work on this sure-fire hit, and why New Jersey songwriter Gordon Brown (Mr. Reality, Highway 9) has put all of his compositional effort into Wagar’s writing talent and performance moxy.

When you look at her lineup and the general buzz in the industry, there’s no denying that this energetic artist is teetering on the edge of star status, especially with this latest record. All 14 tracks were composed or co-written by Wagar. Utilizing smart sounds and killer talent, it’s refreshing to see an artist stay involved in the process. In an industry of production and the pressure of succumbing to “too many cooks in the kitchen,” Wagar and crew have carefully pooled their contributions without spoiling the outcome and that’s the key to a standout disc.

But back to my original thought, Corey and her entourage are touring the stations, breaking out acoustic guitars to sing and play live in the studios. Honest and straightforward, it’s rocking the airwaves from New York to Kansas to Arkansas. If you follow along with Corey’s blog at her site you’ll see exactly how something like this works and what they’re up to on a daily basis. With descriptions of real life through the window of a bus you’ll here tons of interesting stories. You might even find out what a “Zonkey farm” is. For more information about On The Edge and the chart-burning single, “Hurricane,” head over to coreywagar.com.

 

Remembering Robin 2011

Usually the saying “One good turn deserves another” is true. So in that spirit, the second annual show in memory of Robin Suhoskey will be held on Sunday, May 22, at the Wonder Bar, located on 5th and Ocean in Asbury Park. The show will include performances by Maybe Pete, Piehole (featuring Billy Walton), Woodfish, Underground Logic, Rob Tanico, Rob Dye, Michael Brett and Outside The Box, plus special unannounced guests.

A resident of Ocean Grove, Ms. Suhoskey was definitely one of the good ones in town. Never one to cause a ruckus in a town overflowing with scensters, Robin passed away in early 2010 from complications from diabetes. A strong supporter of Jersey Shore music, Robin is an individual that has been greatly missed, not only by her family and friends but also by many of the participating musicians.

Along with supporting many local original artists, she was also a volunteer usher at The Paramount Theatre and a member of Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation.

Last year’s initial show featured 13 acts, including Jen Chapin, Jo Bonanno, Bob Burger and second year vets Maybe Pete. Many of the selfless performers graciously volunteered to play without having to be asked. There were well over 300 people in attendance, enabling the organizers to make a donation of $2,500 to the American Diabetes Association in Robin’s name. Due to this amazing success, this second and possibly ongoing chapter has been added to the cause in Robin’s name.

This year’s show features the emcee talent of Gary Wein and will benefit Camp Nejeda, one of only a handful of diabetes camps nationwide that owns its facilities, providing a full season of residential camping exclusively for children, teens and families affected by Type 1 diabetes.

Founded in 1958, the camp’s 72-acre campus includes a lake, archery range and biking trails. Campers learn how to manage their diabetes, make healthy food choices and, most of all, maintain a positive attitude overall. Camp Nejeda is a member of the Diabetes Education and Camping Association and is accredited by the American Camp Association.

The camp currently offers seven weeks of residential camping and three long-weekend family camps. For more information about Camp Nejeda, visit campnejeda.org. Tickets are available at the door at 4 p.m. for $10. Check out the details over at wonderbarasburypark.com.

 

Robots And Racecars – Burning Rubber Live @ The North Star Bar, Philadelphia

One fine Wednesday night I found myself in the city of brotherly love at the North Star Bar. Stuck in the middle of a mostly residential section, this famous city room reminds one of Maxwell’s or The Court Tavern. We hustled to catch this next band called Robots And Racecars. R&R are a down and dirty four-piece group from the Blink 182 and Dashboard Confessional camp. Based out of Philly, R&R has played with The Ataris, I Am The Avalanche, Emery and many other like-minded bands. They have also appeared live on Radio 104.5 FM in Philadelphia, as well as being featured on many out-of-state radio shows and podcasts from the Delaware to the Atlantic.

Although their crowd was small, these wisecracking ball-busters blasted through 10 songs of varying style like they were playing to a full house at The Trocadero.

Utilizing the traditional snotty, in your face punk-saccharine mix of the industry’s last 10 years, the band has several songs that could land them in commercialville should they crave Lear jets, cocaine and Lamborghini’s someday soon. Songs such as “The High Water Mark” stood out, as did “Snatch And Grab” and “Anchor” (requested by an obnoxious woman in the crowd, throwing the band for a brief loop) off of their 2009 EP, Fighting Nessie.

As I leaned against the bar drinking $10 shot-sized glasses of over-iced Makers Mark, I couldn’t help but notice that the band was at a disadvantage tonight. It was a Wednesday and all the local hipsters were in the other room doing their separatist thing (everybody knows your name), the sound man looked as if he could not have cared less about what was unfolding onstage, and at one point just wandered away from the board; leaving the band to barrel on through muddy and sonically challenged sound. Part of the problem is there were only 15 people in the room so no one who works there gave a fuck. But come on. Give the band a break! Guys like this are the reason real music still exists. Besides, I spent like $50 on booze so it should have been all good anyhow.

Robots And Racecars have a precocious repertoire and a gnarly attitude, accented by their own grizzly rock and roll sound. Playing guitar with their teeth and other “beyond their abilities” guitar hero moves were funny as hell and showed that even in the throes of a mundane club gig, they chose to rise above and entertain a music writer and his thimble full of booze. I would definitely go see this band again and hope to see them on the Shoreworld turf sometime soon. For more info on the band, their views on kicking your fucking ass with the new CD that they are “kickstarting,” head over to reverbnation.com/robotsandracecars.

 

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