Free Fuel Heats Up The Jersey Shore – The Headliner – Aug. 22 – Special Guests End Of An Era And Planeside
We all know who they are, and we know the music that catapulted this Tennessee foursome to megastardom in the early 1990s. Songs like “Shimmer” made Fuel a household name. The band went on to record several other hits including “Bad Day” and “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)” from Something Like Human, as well as “Falls On Me” from Natural Selection. They also had mega-success with hits “Jesus Or A Gun” and “Sunburn.”
But what most probably do not know is that this band got its start hacking away in the Harrisburg, PA club scene as the band Small The Joy. It was during this time frame that songwriter/guitarist Carl Bell would pen “Shimmer,” a song that would push this backwater band into the international spotlight. From that point on it was a whirlwind of success and activity.
And while the 2004-2007 periods saw major issues such as the exit of longtime drummer Kevin Miller and singer Brett Scallions, Fuel pushed on due in large part to guitarist Carl Bell, who recruited more musicians than Spinal Tap to fill the void left throughout the band’s history. My biggest disappointment was when Bell left the band in 2010. Up till that point he had been instrumental, and his direction and compositional guidance are missed by many fans.
But be that as it may, Scallions’ return has produced a focused resurgence that has continued to churn in spite of fickle musical trends and personnel losses. And when it comes to the topic of missing faces, Scallions has much to say to his fans.
His thoughts are viewable on the band’s Wiki page. He says, “There is only one original of anything, and that includes Fuel. The original lineup with Carl, Jeff [Abercrombie], Jody [Abbott] and myself will always be something special to all of us and our first Fuelies [a term for Fuel fans], but it has been 13 years since the original lineup was intact, and since then many great musicians have come and gone. The lineup I put together for Fuel is not meant to replace or diminish what any of the original members created. Just the opposite, it is to give our fans a live destination, and to keep the Fuel name alive for a new generation to discover. Maybe someday we’ll all get on the same page and play together again, but life happens and the next thing you know you just can’t jump on a bus and take off for a month, let alone a year.”
Fuel is back and doing it all for the craft. Scallions adds, “People have said we’re workaholics. Everything we do, we do for the music. Before we were signed, we were working nonstop, carrying our own sound equipment and lights and everything. We love what we’re doing and want to make the most of the opportunity.”
Fuel is an American tradition that has weathered the ups and downs of the entertainment industry and continues to make great music today. Their new record is Puppet Strings, and it will be a major focus alongside the popular hits that they have created.
Joining Fuel will be local New Jersey contenders End Of An Era, Donovan’s Devils, Paris Under Fire and out-of-towners Planeside.
The Headliner is at 1401 Route 35 in Neptune, NJ. Doors open at 8 p.m. This is aFREEshow. You must be 21 or older to enter.
For more information on Fuel and their latest record, Puppet Strings, go to fuelrocks.com. And for more information on the show, head over to theheadliner.com.
The Third Annual Liberty Music Festival – Musical Freedom Fighters Breaking The Boundaries Of The Past – Aug. 20-24
The third annual Liberty Music Festival returns to Philadelphia for a four-day extravaganza beginning today and going throughout the weekend. Organizers, DVT Events and That Mag tell us that this year’s event will take place at Finnegan’s Wake on Spring Garden. All four floors will be utilized to present the biggest festival yet.
As one who has been present at the past two events, I can only say that this show promises even more in the way of music, education and free-form art. All genres of music are present, and that includes rock, pop, hip-hop, EDM and more. Over 80 different acts will take the rotational turn at the Spring Garden establishment.
The unique thing about this festival is the attention to detail. Instead of spreading things out in an unmanageable geographical area, Liberty Music Festival keeps things going in one location in an intimate delivery style that fuels engagement and participation from beginning to end.
In addition to the live performances, Liberty has put together a seamless string ofVIPparties, vendor tables, industry panels, workshops and mentoring sessions.
Event co-promoter Brian Cronin said that some of the covered themes will include “genuine tales of the road with tour managers, social media and the tactics used to gain more exposure. Producers, publishing and the art of licensing your music will also be discussed. Booking agents and talent buyers will converse on booking correctly and opening more opportunity doors. The art of remixing your music for EDM, dance clubs will be addressed, and Beats vs. the Rhymes, an event where beat makers and area emcees will demonstrate building songs and so much more.”
Aquarian-territory performers include New York City’s Evan Russell Saffer. Saffer has seen powerful momentum recently, and he has toured with Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, Joey Belladonna from Anthrax, and Filter, as well as hitting festival highs at Buzzfest and Rockapalooza in 2013.
Also from the north we will get a chance to see the intricate moves of Melody Rose. Rose has toured Europe several times, even receiving the nod to perform at Montreaux Jazz Festival. Her first single, “Dressed To Kill,” has resulted in mountains of press as well as clearing the way for other songs to begin charting in countries such as Spain.
Hailing from the gritty Bronx, Liberty bids a strong welcome to Jay Griffy. This mixtape king is in the middle of hot industry interest and his choice of managers, producers and labels look to be quite vast. Filled with real life concepts, Griffy’s crossbred style is on the must-see list.
The City of Brotherly Love kicks their very own homegrown buzz performer into the mix with South Philly’s D.O.E. Boy Philly. D.O.E. has a history that stretches from Philly to L.A., Atlanta, Chicago, New York and all points in between. The website describes him as “a combination of ‘Biggie, Scarface, and J-Dilla’.”
Other interesting performers include Portland, Oregon’s own Liz De Lise. With an engrossing style that culls the gritty experience of nomadic street kids from Portland, De Lise adopts an intimate and interpretive storytelling method to craft her compositions. De Lise also fronts the band Camp. Her latest EP, To And Fro, is in rotation and will be her focus at the festival.
Not to be outdone, other states such as Florida, Maryland, California and Connecticut throw their own “Best of the Best” into this very diverse mix of total musical representation.
If you’re a musician, producer, songwriter or perhaps just an enthusiastic music fan who wants to understand this crazy business from the inside out, the 2014 Liberty Music Festival is right up your alley.
Liberty Music Fest is the brainchild of Jim Thorpe, Brian Cronin, and Vince Volz. All three have been instrumental in the music scene for years. Together they created the festival to celebrate, educate, and showcase musical talent from across the region.
For complete scheduling and additional attendee information, head over to libertymusicfest.com. Finnegan’s Wake is located on 537 N. Third Street, Philadelphia, PA. Call the room directly at (215) 574-9317 or veiw the site at finnagans.com.