BAKED BY HEROES: ASBURY PARK BAKERY AND U.S. ARMY VETERAN TEAM UP TO RAISE FUNDS FOR DRIVEN BY HEROES
Confections of a Rock Star, the Jersey Shore’s first gourmet rock ‘n’ roll-themed bakery in Asbury Park, launched its web series, “More Famous Than You,” this past December. The show gives rock stars an opportunity to create a special dessert that is sold at the bakery for a month with all proceeds being donated to the star’s charity of choice. Driven By Heroes, a nonprofit organization that provides veterans with free transportation to medical appointments, was selected as the charity of choice for the first show by New Jersey-born musician and singer/songwriter Christine Martucci.
Ms. Martucci, who is a U.S. Army Sergeant and Veteran, along with bake shop owner Kimmee Masi, baked gingerbread cake with spiked eggnog filling and frosting and crumbled gingersnaps. The holiday dessert was named “Piece of Heaven,” after one of Ms. Martucci’s original songs. The creation, which was packaged in mason jars and sold for $8.00, raised $436.00 for Driven By Heroes.
Christine Martucci is well known on the original music scene both in New Jersey and on a larger scale. Christine was raised in the small town of Readington, NJ. Throughout her life, she looked to music as her comfort and escape. Over the past decade, she has refined a style that marries both raw grit and tender warmth akin to Janis Joplin and Chrissie Hynde. She has cultivated a home for herself within the historic music scene of Asbury Park and her grassroots following of loyal supporters have dubbed themselves the “Tucci Train”. Christine has opened for national recording acts including Gavin DeGraw, Michelle Branch, Patty Smyth And Scandal, and Mountain.
I have covered most of her releases, including last year’s stellar Angels Of War. Christine chose this project and time frame to team up with two-time Grammy Award winner Marc Swersky (Joe Cocker, Hilary Duff, Roger Daltrey) and Brielle Brown (Gedeon Luke, Jacquie Lee). Together they wrote the confessional Angels Of War over a four-month period. Topping off the record is two songs co-written by renowned songwriter Charlie Midnight (James Brown, Joni Mitchell, and Joe Cocker). The EP was recorded live at Joey DeMaio’s Shorefire Recording Studios in Long Branch, NJ and produced by Swersky. It features the musicianship of Steve Holley (Paul McCartney And The Wings) on drums, Vincent Mascolo (Tunnels To Holland), and top NYC session keyboardist Alan Markley.
The record was a critical success for Martucci and has helped raise her visibility on a much larger personal and professional level. Watch for something new from Martucci later this year. For more on Christine Martucci, head over to christinemartucci.com.
“Driven By Heroes is truly grateful to Christine Martucci for her ongoing support of our efforts,” said Diana St. John, VP and Co-Founder of Driven By Heroes.
For information about Driven By Heroes, drivenbyheroes.org.
Art Of Edgar – Self-Titled Debut
Art Of Edgar is a young Monmouth County band on the fast track to true rock and roll musical salvation. Utilizing the time-tested style of bands such as The Beatles, The Pixies, Radiohead, Pavement, REM, Nirvana and The Cure, they also mix it up with modern influential stalwarts such as Modest Mouse, The Front Bottoms, Together Pangea and the like. The band played The Saint earlier this month and proved to be tight, passionate and completely together, which isn’t bad for a group of Manasquan High School kids that exist mainly in basement show theaters.
Art Of Edgar recently finished their debut disc simply titled Art Of Edgar. The disc showcases the songwriting talents of Dylan Lembo, bassist and singer for the quartet. Joined by Brian DeSeno on guitar and backing vocals, Taylor Morris on guitar and Alex Dettlinger on drums, Lembo and crew tear through nine interesting and well-crafted songs on their debut disc. While each member contributes his own parts in the compositional phase, Lembo is the main writer and exhibits quite a diverse understanding of songwriting and compositional smarts.
Some of the songs on the disc that caught my ear are as follows:
“Pocket Change” is the first tune up and reminds me of the ’80s when the ’80s were good. Guitars hum like anything done by The New York Dolls during their first couple of records. DeSeno and Morris work well together and always come up with interesting parts. Lembo and Dettlinger hold it together and keep the pocket loose and light. Lembo’s vocal reminds me of Rodney Linderman (The Dead Milkmen) and the band harmonizes quite well.
Up next is “Psycho.” Lembo comes more into his own on this one laying out smooth and toned vocals along with backgrounds by bandmates. The song dips and winds through tempo changes and rhythmic overtures as guitars grind and churn along the lines of The Cure or The Godfathers. The band explore complex and skilled playing and writing technique on this one as well, giving space and breath to each and every passage they play. The Beatles influence really shows up at around 2:00 into the piece as guitars, bass and drums slow down and transfer to a more psychedelic side of sounds.
Another interesting song is “The Ballad Of Jerry The Penguin.” Utilizing a swampy John Lennon-styled vibe, Art Of Edgar flows into this tune with a laid back flair and feel. While not truly a ballad, “The Ballad Of Jerry The Penguin” is an odd little number that changes direction at about 3:00 in and kicks the band into high gear as they exit on a high and clever note. Lembo’s vocal talent is on the rise and this kid is gonna be a hell of an original writer in the near future.
“Matador” is up next and wastes no time in bursting through the punk rock gates of The Ramones or The Pixies. Lembo’s fuzz bass revs things up before the band roars into their punkish verse. Guitars bark unionized scales as Lembo sings his lyrical slant. The entire feel is edgy and fun while keeping a great bit of dangerous 1970s panache within the arrangement.
“Incognito” rounds things out and starts things off with a wall of toned feedback guitar. When the band kicks in it is full tilt rock and roll damnation. Lembo and Dettlinger nail this tune to the floor as DeSeno and Morris fly over the top with their guitar scaled prowess. Lembo’s lyrical content is at times dead serious as it is here. He doesn’t waste time painting pretty pictures and he tells you like it is without powder or cover-up.
Art Of Edgar is a very young band just getting their start in the rock and roll jungle. So far they’ve shown wisdom and skill far beyond their early years and I know that as they continue we will be treated to more and more great musical experimentations as they continue to grow.
For more info on the band, head over to artofedgar.bandcamp.com and take a listen for yourself.
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