Chico’s is best known for its national jazz and blues acts that stop in to wow crowds on their way across our great nation. Chico's House Of Jazz was created by Charles “Chico” Rouse on behalf of his father, the legendary tenor saxophone player, Charles Rouse (Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine, and Count Basie). Chico himself is an amiable gentleman who is usually present at the club he owns. It’s sort of an old school role and a pleasant break from the general club vibe. Along with being open-minded enough to include jazz, reggae, blues and other forms of music, Rouse has opened his doors to the bustling jam scene.
And when I think about any type of “jam” music context, I immediately think of Drew Wajnert and Phanphest Enterprises. Drew has been doing jam bands since Phanphest’s inception at a backyard party in 2002, so it makes perfect sense that he would team up with Rouse to continue the delivery of new and organic sounds to this underrated lakeside club.
In that spirit, Phanphest presents another “Phantastic” extravaganza featuring New York City’s Banooba. Banooba are a hybrid mixture of rock, jazz and reggae and they have been quite successful in their signature mixture of sound and exploration. As guitarist Kevin Torres says about Banooba’s crossover appeal on their site, “We just write the tunes and let them go whatever direction they want to go in. They’re all rock tunes with hints of these genres in them.”
Banooba’s had their rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. The band’s breakthrough record, Banooba’s Travels, was the culmination of years of work by founding member Kevin Kershko, the group’s original lead guitarist. Kershko’s untimely death in 2005 rocked the band and nearly put them out of business for good.
But the band went ahead and played a benefit for Kershko with friends sitting in on guitar and they realized that quitting wasn’t an option. The band later re-emerged with new guitarist Vinny Raniolo before bringing in their current guitarist, Sean Larkin.
Soon after the band returned to its task of realigning with fans and writing new music, “Sinora” (featured on the compilation CD in a 2006 issue of Relix) found itself in rotation on numerous college and commercial radio stations as well as Sirius Satellite’s Jam On station where it quickly reached number one.
The band has continued a very successful run and I have to say, they are fantastic. Usually when I hear the word “jam” I think of tie dye, weed, dirty hippies and lots and lots of patchouli oil. But, aside from the quizzical name, Banooba’s music is catchy and dynamic, moving from tight, progressive passages to the most infectious, pop rock choruses known to humanity. They really are a most pleasant anomaly. They’ve been to bad places and survived to come back even stronger on their arabesque journey to rock destiny.
Opening the night will be Albie And The Neighborhood. AATN hail from Asbury Park and can best be described as "rock and roll with a Latin soul." That’s not surprising as frontman Albie Monterrosa was in the long-running band, De Sol. The band will also be celebrating the release of their brand new record. With a band that includes members such as Sally Perez, Rob Tanico (Mr. Reality, Highway 9) Tom Cottone (Brian Kirk And The Jirks, Marc Ribler) and John Bednar, this is gonna be a highly anticipated debut. $10 door charge includes Albie And The Neighborhood, CD, VIP meet and greet and more. Also, for 21+, it’s $5 at 9 p.m. for the Banooba show.
Chico’s is located at 631 Lake Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ For more info go to phanphest.wordpress.com/upcoming-shows/
David Mayfield Parade - Concerts In The Studio - July 15
David Mayfield is a contemporary artist that knows exactly where he comes from. His influential DNA is a well worn pathway from his early days playing bass in the family band to his current status as one of Americana’s fastest rising stars. His nod to past trailblazers is vast, and he references great artists like Buddy Holly and Randy Newman as well as recordings by Simon & Garfunkel and Melanie. His style runs the analog gamut from ‘70s AM rock to the gritty, alt-country gold of guys like Jim Reeves, Billy Jo Shaver and Joe Ely.
Mayfield is out in support of his second disc, Good Man Down. This second offering encompasses an 18-month journey that Mayfield took in his quest for authentic sound and compositional oddesy. Good Man Down was actually recorded in two of Nashville’s most prestigious rooms. Studio B is where Elvis Presley recorded over 200 hit songs that we all know and sing along with today. Over 1,000 American hit songs and 40 platinum singles came out of that room as well. David also did some work over at The Quonset Hut, a room that boasts HQ status for superstars like Patsy Cline, George Jones, Bob Dylan and the first lady of country music, Ms. Loretta Lynn.
On top of sinking his soul into this latest recording, Mayfield has also been out on the road with Willie Nelson and opened for Mumford & Sons on the Bonnaroo Communion Tour. He has graced the Grand Ole Opry stage, NX35, The Great Northwest Tour and Vanderbilt’s Rites Of Spring. But for all of his accomplishments, the award-winning Mayfield remains humble, stating that his music and connection with fans is of utmost importance to him. His style is bare bones and he bypasses all posturing in his quest to connect with the people who come from all over the country to see him perform.
As Mayfield says in his recent press release to me, “I feel like I owe it to the folks out there that support me by coming to shows and buying merch to make the best album I can, not just for myself but for all of us, because this music really doesn't belong to me anymore. There is a community forming and I feel indebted to them, in a good way. It’s really gratifying and terrifying at the same time.”
Those same fans are primarily responsible for the Kickstarter campaign that has moved his release way up the timeframe ladder. As payback, Mayfield has arranged not only the usual merch gifts, but has gone as far as offering private house concerts and producing a record for certain contributors. Interesting options abound with this artist’s business plan.
But it’s not all about serious stuff when it comes to Mayfield. He’s learning that sometimes it’s best to just let go and join the crowd in front of him. He recently talked about taking part in a crowd surfing moment at the Camp Jam In The Pines festival in New Jersey. Mayfield said of that experience, “It might not sound that cool, but remember, I’m a big guy.”
From the gritty howl of early rock and roll, to the Smoky Mountain twang of folk and country, David Mayfield is a voice that resurrects the country spirit of the past and leads a new generation of modern traditionalists.
Mayfield will be appearing this coming Sunday, July 15, at Concerts In The Studio, located at 3 Jackson Terrace in Freehold. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20. For more information on the record or anything else related to Mayfield, head over to thedavidmayfieldparade.com