Howlin Rain Heads To Jersey City by Melanie Wedemeier
In celebration of their fifth album, The Alligator Bride, Howlin Rain will be stopping by Monty Hall in Jersey City on Friday, July 27. Fronted by “a renaissance figure in a madman’s garb,” the American rock band drew inspiration from The Grateful Dead and Mountain Bus for their latest album, resulting in what is best described as “a set of wide-eyed, ragged and unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll.” Since debuting in 2006, the group has embarked on many adventures to bring the perspective of “Old America” to life within their music. To experience classic rock with a modern twist, go to ticketfly.com for tickets.
Johnny Irion At The Hopewell Theater by Melanie Wedemeier
American folk artist, Johnny Irion, will be concluding his extensive U.S tour in New Jersey at The Hopewell Theater on Saturday, July 28. In Driving Friend — his first solo album in over 10 years — Irion delves into the classic American genres of blues, gospel, country, and folk. With roots from an artistically rich family (John Steinbeck was his great uncle, Arlo Guthrie is his father-in-law), creating this album was simple for Irion; the music would naturally form as he sat down at pianos and told stories about his life. Offering insight about life on the road and kids growing up, Johnny Irion’s performance is not to be missed. For tickets, visit hopewelltheater.com. For bonus points, buy his new album, and a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Blackwing Foundation, an organization dedicated to keeping music programs alive in public schools.
Tanukichan Experiences Sundays by Melanie Wedemeier
Something about Sundays sparks an anxiety-soaked ambition that creeps up on us in the final hours of the weekend; something like coffee jitters mixed with the excitement of goal setting. San Francisco musician, Tanukichan, manages to capture the disorienting, mystical vibe of Sundays in her debut album, Sundays. Through hazy synths and echoing vocals, Sundays is the “ideal soundtrack for those steamy summer days when it feels like it’s going to rain, but never does” (Rolling Stone). Catch a live performance of the eerie, yet captivating, Sundays at Union Pool on July 27. For tickets: ticketfly.com.
Mikaela Davis Comes To Deliver by Melanie Wedemeier
Self-made writer, performer, and band leader — who took the beaten path into the music world — will be performing in Brooklyn at Baby’s All Right on July 26. Mikaela Davis, a classically trained harpist who broke away from the orchestra to pursue the indie-pop path, found footing in hometown Rochester, NY, as the thriving music community welcomed and embraced her. Reflecting on her full-length album, Delivery, Davis describes her work as a “record about writing a record.” To hear her challenging yet well rewarding journey into the music world, visit ticketfly.com for tickets.
Rising Star with Roaring Talent Comes to Asbury Park by Debra Kate Schafer
Vehemently fierce and very much her own person, Phoebe Bridgers takes her art seriously. The almost 24-year-old musician hails from Los Angeles and is making her mark for herself there, and, well, everywhere. Named the Best New Artist of 2017 by The FADER and charting on over 25 notable year-end lists by the likes of NPR Music and Billboard, Bridgers is ready to take over. 2017 was clearly her year to breakout, but 2018 is her year to find her home in the music industry. Bridgers falls in the genre of indie rock, but keeps her grip on her personal traces of delicate pop tones and folk tendencies. She is coming to New Jersey for a stop at Asbury Lanes on July 31 and you can get tickets by visiting axs.com.
Amanda Shires Is Doing The Most by Debra Kate Schafer
She has two NYC shows coming up and a record about to drop, so clearly Amanda Shires has won the summer of 2018. Sure, it’s not a contest, but if it was, she definitely takes the cake for excitement and anticipation. The folk singer/songwriter pours her heart and soul into all of her music, making her songs lyrical poetry that hit personal topics of change, addiction, self-esteem, and more. Not only does her stunning voice sing such emotive lyrics, but she is an amazing guitarist and violinist. For more information on the folk singer and her upcoming tour stops in NYC on July 29 and 31, go to amandashiresmusic.com.
True Blues in Asbury Park by Debra Kate Schafer
Critically acclaimed blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd has made fans across the globe with his powerful, groovy, unbeatable music. The Louisiana native is an expressive guitar player with a knack for writing songs that match or even exceed his talent on the guitar. That might be a stretch but it is honest nonetheless. His forceful, fired-up guitar riffs make for can’t miss live shows and songs that other guitar players wish to emulate. His niche is in the blues world, but rock is what made Shepherd as powerful as he is. He’s touring with the Beth Hart Band and hitting the Paramount Theatre on July 31. For tickets, go to ticketmaster.com.
Welcome Back, CKY! by Debra Kate Schafer
It’s hard to believe that it has been two decades since CKY came roaring out of Pennsylvania. The skate punk sound was inspired greatly from the earlier ‘90s and hardened by the metal scene that grew toward the latter end of the decade. Their fifth studio album hit shelves, airwaves, and the ears of fans in June 2017, and it followed some lineup changes that occurred within the years prior. Critics seems to grab hold of this new alternative metal record, The Phoenix, and run with it in its new lineup, 30-minute, eight-track glory. The band has slipped back into their rambunctious ways like they haven’t missed a beat and are sure to bring fans new and old out for their headlining tour this summer. Asbury Lanes is hosting the New Jersey leg of the tour on July 27 and will surely be the best kind of punk show since their early days. For tickets, go to ticketmaster.com.
A Can’t Miss Show at Guggenheim Bandshell by Debra Kate Schafer
The Oscar nominated, Grammy winning performer, Raphael Saadiq, has never stopped working. You may not have seen him tour in a few years or release a new solo album, but his impact is still being made on the music scene. Saadiq has worked with, produced albums for, and wrote songs with iconic artists such as John Legend, the Bee Gees, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, TLC, and most recently: Solange, En Vogue, and Mary J. Blidge. His first national headlining tour in years is coming to NYC on July 25 and it’s imperative that any music lover go, for he is one of the busiest and who knows if he’ll be back again soon. For more information on the show, head to lincolncenter.org.