As I was searching for a band to feature this week, I came across a band out of Ringwood, NJ that kind of scares me a little bit. Now, I know that these guys have graced the pages of The Aquarian before, but they just released a new CD back in July called Maple Shade Motel, and they’re due for some love. I’m talking about Reese Van Riper. There is something about their music that scares the shit out of me. I mean, they’re not horror or shock rock, but when I listen to their music, I picture living in a shack near the swamp, sitting in front of a fireplace with a shotgun in my hand and eating squirrel, while I listened to the music of Reese Van Riper on a phonograph. Their music is dark and certainly swampy.

2011 was the year everything changed for singer and guitarist Reese Van Riper, who befriended two band members to help him bring his artistic vision of a band to life. This would be the first time Reese and his cohorts would tour extensively nationwide as a full band covering 3,000 miles in one month, culminating with a headlining gig at the Twelfth Annual Texas Rockfest in Austin, TX. The mileage certainly added up for the Reese Van Riper band, quickly making them more than just a regional Jersey act. In 2012, Reese Van Riper headed into the studio with producer John Ferrarra, known for his work with Trophy Scars, at Portrait Recording Studios in Pequannock, and recorded his CD, Ghost Oil Revival, which contained fan favorites like “Hoodoo Rising,” “Lucy” and “Love Is A Cure.” This time around, Reese Van Riper focused on playing local shows and by doing so, established a strong and dedicated fan base right here in Jersey.

Today, the Reese Van Riper band is a four-piece consisting of Papa Reese himself, lead guitarist Andrew Lange, bassist Paul Beier and drummer Greg Infante. The four friends have grown up with each other and have an undeniable chemistry on and off the stage. Papa Reese, as he likes to be called, commands the stage standing at a towering 6’7″, making him really hard to miss, and his guys feed off his energy live. In July, the band released Maple Shade Motel, which features the songs “I Want You,” “Spoon Fed,” “Witness Says” and “Jessica.” Their sound is dark and swampy, but if you ask me, at times, scary! I’m not a shack in the woods with a shotgun kind of guy. The stuff is pretty good, though. Check it out for yourself at and for more info about the band, visit You can also catch them live this Saturday night (12/19) at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ with Shift, my bros from Pralaya, The Randy Haze Trio, Ed Barsano and Andrew Lange.



Singer and songwriter Deanna DeSio along with The Infinite Staircase will have local rock fans rocking around the Christmas tree this holiday season as the two forces have joined with some of the heaviest hitters in the music industry to release the holiday EP, Gingerbread Pop, a couple of weeks ago. The EP also features Black Label Society bassist John “JD” DeServio, Cycle Of Pain and the Corey Glover Band guitarist Joe Taylor and Atomic Bitchwax and Monster Magnet “Atomic” Bob Pantella, just to name a few. The masterminds behind the project, however, are brothers Lenny and Jeff Cerzosie from The Infinite Staircase, who wanted to work with DeSio immediately after hearing her voice. Gingerbread Pop is available on iTunes,, Spotify and where ever CDs are sold.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a show at The Boneyard in Atlantic City, NJ, but the reason why I am mentioning it in North Jersey Notes is because the promoter of the show was Mike Camp of Jersey Campfire Productions, who many know from some of the amazing shows he’s put on in North Jersey. For a North Jersey promoter, I thought that Mike did a great job packing this South Jersey rock venue. Yes, my band Rahway was supposed to play this show, but since we couldn’t, I felt the need to support a North Jersey guy and I thought Mike killed it with this show and was glad to see the support for local music on this night. Catch a Jersey Campfire Productions show by visiting to find one.

And finally, my homegirl Queen V has announced that she has a new EP coming out called Bridges. She’s been bi-coastal working on the project and it’s finally in the can and ready to be released on Feb. 12. I can’t wait to hear new music from the Queen. For more on Queen V, visit

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, or you can email me at, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next!


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


Tim Louie is the Author of S**t Happens.


NJN Concert Calendar:

12/16—Patent Pending—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/16—Sekond Skyn/Brand of Julez/Pop Evil/Red Sun Rising—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

12/17—Wyland/Small Planet Radio—Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ

12/18—Whiskey Time Machine/Regalia/Lucifer Jones/Cover Her Face/Xenophile/Purple Pam and the Flesh Eaters—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/18—Dinosaur Eyelids (ALS Benefit Show)—John and Peter’s, New Hope, PA

12/18—Jersey Campfires Production Presents: Scottish Widows/Callout/Gathering After Ashes/Another Distraction/Low Roads Ghost—Tenth Street Live, Kenilworth, NJ

12/19—Shift/Reese Van Ripper/Pralaya/The Randy Haze Trio/Ed Barsano/Andrew Lange—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/19—Patent Pending—Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg, PA

12/19—Brand of Julez/Scars of Envy—QXT, Newark, NJ

12/19—Deaf Rhino/Bounders/Annabel Lee/Wyland—Maxwell’s Tavern, Hoboken, NJ

12/19—Voodoo Terror Tribe/TANTRIC/Head Therapy/Paulus Hook—Tenth Street Live, Kenilworth, NJ

12/20—Lorna Shore—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/26—Patent Pending—Revolution Music Hall, Amityville, NY

12/26—THAT METAL SHOW HOLIDAY BASH feat. Caustic Audio/Madysin Hatter/Flathead Sky/Sickness: Black Sabbath Tribute/Lethal Affection/PSSR Frank Ferrer (GnR/PSSR)/Voodoo Terror Tribe—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/7/2016—Those Mockingbirds—The Crossroads, Garwood, NJ

1/8/2016—End of an Era/ORGY/Bobaflex—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

1/8/2016—Those Mockingbirds—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

1/8/216—Without Reason—Rocky’s Bar and Grill, Rahway, NJ

1/15/2016—Those Mockingbirds—Pianos, NYC

1/16/2016—Cycle of Pain—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

1/16/2016—Jersey Campfires Production Presents: MindMaze/Flowers To Flames/Callout/Arc’d Angel/Brenyama—Roxy and Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ

1/23/2016—Jersey Campfires Production Presents: Strive’s CD Release Show/Ascending From Ashes/Chevonne and The Fuzz/Our Fears/Low Roads Ghost—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

1/29/2016—Trixter/Eric Martin/Long Gone Day/Reality Suite—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

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