North Jersey Notes: Last Red Ember, Jackson, NJ

I just received an email from Nick Dowe of the band Last Red Ember asking me to check out his band. Of course I will check out any band that has the balls to ask, so, I logged onto the link that Nick sent me to Last Red Ember’s Reverb Nation page to give them a listen. I have to say that after listening to “No Man’s An Island” and “Dead Weight,” which opens with a clip from The Cable Guy, I am exhausted! The songs were hard, heavy, and brutal! I mean that in a good way when I say brutal! The music is just an audio assault, while the vocals are just amazing! Singer Rich Witzig’s melodies are equally as amazing as his growls and screams! They kind of reminded me of In Flames. Now that’s not a bad band to be compared to!

Last Red Ember is a six-piece metal band out of Jackson, NJ. They formed in December of 2007 when founding members, drummer Will Webster and guitarist Nick Dowe, set out to start a new project with musicians that shared the passion that they did for the music. The duo enlisted former End Of An Era keyboard/synth player Jake Balsai to join the band. He would be accompanied by the extremely versatile former singer of Severed Fate, Rich Witzig, whose screaming ranges from “guttural to glass shattering.” In 2008, something really weird happened. The quartet came across guitarist Dick Horton at a gas station on the Garden State Parkway, of all places. Dick’s passion for prog rock really brings a diverse creativity into the band. Last Red Ember would spend most of 2008 writing some of their own material while juggling their “big boy” responsibilities, such as growing families, side projects, illness, financial woes and, yes, even a brief prison sentence. It wasn’t until August 2009 that Last Red Ember would find their bass player and they would find him through the help of fellow South Jersey metal band Sekond Skyn, who would introduce Last Red Ember to their guitar tech, Nick Prisco. Nick was more than willing to pick up the bass for the band. Later that month Last Red Ember would play their first gig and would never look back.

This year welcomed a full calendar of show dates, brand new merch, the release of their first studio EP Eradicating A Failed Existence, this past May, and new drummer in Nick Povilonis, who replaced Will Webster permanently after Will was sidelined by an injury. Give the boys from Last Red Ember a listen when you get a chance at You can also go there to find out where the boys are playing next!

North Jersey Notes Updates

I just received some horrible news from the boys of Ghost And The Big Sky! Turns out, the boys need a drummer for some future gigs because their current drummer and my bro, Jeff Baron, was recently involved in serious bike accident up in New Hampshire. Jeff will be facing some surgery, physical therapy, and more healing, which will sideline him for some time. Jeff, get well soon, bud!

Now, this is weird, but still very cool. This summer has been pretty busy putting on these contests for local bands to have the opportunity to open for national acts like Bon Jovi and KISS, but now you can throw Hanson into the mix! That’s right! The trio who brought you “Mmm Bop” is currently looking for an opening act for a few local shows, and my pal, Jeryl Orsino, is right at the top of the list. This contest is called “Shout It Out With Hanson” and Jeryl is vying for an opening slot at the Philadelphia show on July 25. So, log onto to vote for Jeryl now.

And finally, my bro, Gareth, from the band Endall, recently reached out to me to let me know that after a very lengthy search, the band has finally found a new singer and his name is Mark Ramsey. Other than finding a new singer, Endall has been writing some new material that they plan on demoing with Joey Z from Life Of Agony. Endall plans to head into the studio in September to record their next full-length CD with their new singer, Mark Ramsey.

That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140 Little Falls, NJ 07424, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next. No cover bands, please! Also, if you haven’t checked out my podcast yet, do it now at!

Just remember….We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!

NJN Concert Calendar

7/8—Bern and the Brights—Bowery Electric, NYC
7/9—APW—Ace of Clubs, NYC
7/9—Kosmic Daydream—Barney McNabb’s, Yonkers, NY
7/9—Trixter—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
7/9—Ender—Willims Center for the Arts, Rutherford, NJ
7/10—With Daggers Drawn—Traxx, Ronkonkoma, NY
7/10—Long Gone Day—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
7/10—Ender—Jefferson Township High School, Oak Ridge, NJ
7/10—The Dirty Stayouts—The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ
7/10—Filter Effect—Jackson Festival, Jackson, NJ
7/10—Endall—The Players Rock Lounge at Club XXXV, Sayreville, NJ
7/10—Black Water Rising—Jugs-N-Strokers, Merrick, NY
7/15—The Briar Patch—Bar A, Lake Como, NJ
7/15—Bled for Glory—TMT Metal Fest, Ghent, NY
7/16—Will Killmore—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
7/16—Last Red Ember—Waretown Firehall, Waretown, NJ
7/16—Endall—The Championship Bar, Trenton, NJ
7/17—Diablo Royale—The College Corner, Elmira, NY
7/17—The Bangs—Primetime Comedy Club, Sayreville, NJ
7/20—Bern and the Brights—Van Gogh’s Ear Café, Union, NJ