North Jersey Notes: Flatleaver


I’ve been talking to Ray Hurley on Facebook since he was a kid. He was always asking questions about the band I was in at the time, BlackOcean. This past September, I ran into young Ray at Tattoo Tony’s Autism benefit only to learn that he plays bass in a really cool Southern rock band, Flatleaver. I gave a listen to the band’s music on Reverbnation and heard the songs “Broken Wings,” “Hackensack Bridge,” “Bottle Talkin’” and “Apologize,” and I felt these were all bar-worthy songs! As I listened to these tracks, I closed my eyes and felt myself in a smoky bar listening to singer Ron “Jumbo” Kelly’s bluesy vocal stylings, supported by some hard rocking riffs. This was some really good stuff.

Flatleaver is an original blue-collar rock band out of the backwoods of Howell, NJ and the Jersey Shore area, an area known for breeding legends like Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny, Jon Bon Jovi, Zakk Wylde, just to name a few. According to their bio, Flatleaver was formed back in 2011 by guitarists Leo Tignini, who used to play with Juxtapose from Brooklyn, and Joseph Rossano, who used to play with The Eddie Testa Band. Flatleaver’s loud, “in your face,” guitar-driven music is sure to bring out the rowdiness of any bar room brawl, while their lighter songs “can mellow you out like a good buzz on a Friday night.” Their words, not mine. Anyway, it’s hard to miss their nostalgic sound and Southern rock influences. It’s the powerful whiskey-fueled of Kelly’s vocals that gives the band its unique bluesy sound. With the addition of my bass brother, Ray “Vader” Hurley and drummer Tommy Karrick holding down Flatleaver’s backbone grooves, they are sure to become a Jersey staple for years to come.

In between show dates, Flatleaver has been putting the finishing touches on their second CD, Broken Wings, the follow-up to their debut release, Music for Bar Fighting and Love Making. Look for Broken Wings in 2018, and you will definitely want to check out Flatleaver live in 2018, as well. If you love that Southern rock sound with a bluesy vocal, or if you love tough bar music, you will love the guys in Flatleaver. For more info on Flatleaver, visit


Congrats to my brothers from Ryder! It turns out James and the boys submitted their music for Rocklahoma’s unsigned band contest, and it looks like they made it in! Ryder will be performing at the coveted music festival in Oklahoma with bands like Godsmack, A Perfect Circle, Cheap Trick, Poison, The Cult, Ghost, Sevendust, Halestorm, Clutch, and Stone Temple Pilots, just to give you an idea how huge this news is for Ryder. For more info on Ryder, visit

My bro Dave Incognito and his band Incognito Theory have released a new lyric video for their song “My Dying Soul” off of the band’s CD, Ashes Divide. The song is about addiction recovery and in the description on YouTube, the band posts a phone number for those suffering from addiction. “My Dying Soul” is a strong and emotional one from Incognito Theory. You can check it out now on YouTube. For more on Incognito Theory, visit

And finally, great things happening for the Dark Sky Choir guys in 2018, as guitarist Fred Gorhau finishes up another season with the Wizards of Winter. Dark Sky Choir was recently added to a 25-date Fozzy tour. Fozzy features WWE Superstar Chris Jericho and local boy Paulie Di Leo on bass. Also on the tour are Through Fire and Santa Cruz. The tour will be making stops in this area in April. What a tour to get added to promote your new singer! For more about the Dark Sky Choir tour with Fozzy, 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:

12/27—Chrissie Limos/Liam Reyes/Seb Isaac/Arejay Ella/Justin Sullivan—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

12/28—Atomic Minds/Ami and the Amietttes/Shutter—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/29—Owl Kill/Answer Infinity/Crimshaw/Back From Nothing/The Open Minds—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/29—Bearin’ Peace/Jay Mickens/Shlomo Franklin—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

12/29—Palisades/In Our Glory/My Last Breath/Chasing Utopia—House of Independence, Asbury Park, NJ

12/29—Tool Tribute Schism—Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ

12/30—The Silencer/Resurge/Visits/Darth Hater/Self Induced—Olive’s, Nyack, NY

12/30—Jaws-NJ/Hammer Fight/Negative Sky/Hot Blood/Dissentience/The Silverhounds/Metal Life Crisis—The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ

12/30—Royal Revolution/Fiakra—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/4—Monument of a Memory/Zoume/Refinement/Muerte/Nihilum/Charred Graves—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/5—Brianna Musco (Demo Release Party)/From The Concrete/Gina Royale/The Gray Vines/Silent Tides—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/5—Casual Friday/My Cruel Summer/White Lotus—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

1/6—Don Jamieson/Dusk/Incognito Theory/Blud Red Roses/Sunday Brave—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/7—Flaw/Fall To Rise—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/10—Iron Reagan/Despise You/Cemetery Piss/Left Cross/Dutchguts—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

1/11—Sentinels/Stargazer/Into The Infinite—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/13—Meet Me At The Alter/Silent Culture/Double Header/Crash Landing/A Door with No House/The Final Impression—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/27—Ripped—The Delancey, NYC

1/27—Joe Lynn Turner—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

1/27—The Bathwater/Sick/Vas Difference/The Atomic Disasters/Dig A Revel—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ