Makin Waves Scene Report with Rhyme & Reason Records, Ultra Major, Deal Casino & More

Also featured this week are WRATFEST, Roadside Graves, Keith Kenny, The Wag, Wishbone, and Arts on the Hudson Fest.

  Jersey City-based Rhyme & Reason Records are really proud to have released the latest album by Walter Salas-Humara, “Walterio,” featuring the beautifully soulful, artistically reflective ballad “Come in a Singer” (streaming below). Having gained a blast of fame in the late 1980s with his alt-country band, The Silos, Salas-Humara has continued to chop crafty pieces from the song tree to put on his musical wood pile. Inspired by his Cuban nickname, “Walterio” is chock full of great tunes. The singer-songwriter-guitarist has a hot show September 14 in Nashville with Tony Emmanuel, Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and others before he performs in his home base of Arizona, as well as in California throughout September. Stay tuned to Rhyme & Reason for East Coast dates.

  Another hot Rhyme & Reason act is the eclectic Brooklyn-based Bhangra-inspired Red Baraat, who fuses the percussive, horn-driven South Asian style of music with jazz, hip-hop and psychedelic rock. The new “Sound of the People” is their second outing for the JC indie following last year’s “Bhangra Pirates.” Just home from a summer-long European and national tour, Red Baraat can be seen live October 4 at (le) poisson rouge in New York City.

Working on a follow-up to her RARR debut EP, “There’s no one new around you,” Brooklyn singer-songwriter-guitarist pronoun recently released a single, “Wrong,” and soon will embark on a Midwest/East Coast tour. The trek will be with fellow songsmith Justin Courtney Pierre, an Epitaph recording act from Minneapolis.

  Other RARR acts include the forthcoming NYC jazz trio Royal Artic Institute, the exceptional Jersey City hard rock band Black Wail, and the fantastically meaningful Glenn Morrow’s Cry for Help, all of whom will play the third annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival on October 6 at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City. Five labels and 20 of their acts will participate, including Little Dickman, State Champion and fest founders Mint 400 and Sniffling Indie Kids.

  Speaking of Mint 400, their latest release, the self-titled label debut of Brooklyn fuzz-rockers Ultra Major, will be celebrated on August 30 at Coney Island Baby in New York City with label mates Yawn Mower and Philly’s Birthday Boy. Ultra Major, whose LP follows the 2015 album, Pretending to Swim, also will play the North Jersey Indie Rock Fest, again with Yawn Mower, as well as other label mates The Vice Rags, Guilty Giraffe, Tony Saxon, The Components, and Shithead’s Rainbow. They’ll also play with Yawn Mower on October 18 at Piano’s, New York City, with label mates This Bliss, Rhyme & Reason’s The Royal Artic Institute, and a Chicago band called Problem People.

  The beloved Asbury Park band Deal Casino will tour nationwide with The Wrecks in support of their forthcoming LP, LLC, which will be released in November. The tour kicks off November 10 in Portland, Ore., and heads East for dates on November 23 at Rec Room, Buffalo, N.Y.; November 26, The Sinclair, Boston; November 27, The Foundry, Philadelphia; November 29, Gramercy Theatre, New York City; November 30, Baltimore Soundstage, and December 1, Asbury Lanes, before trekking South through December 9 in Austin. “French Blonde,” the first of several singles leading up to the album, will drop on August 31, but you can hear it now in the “Radio Jersey” archive at and see a live version streaming above. The single’s release coincides with a house show in Asbury Park with Sonic Blume and Mandancing. Contact the band for the address. Deal Casino also will play the See Hear Now Festival on September 30 on the Asbury Park beach with Jack Johnson, Social Distortion, The Front Bottoms, The Menzingers, Lettuce, G. Love & Special Sauce, The Original Wailers, Rayland Baxter, Nicole Atkins, Parlor Mob and more.

  Godsmack and Shinedown’s summer-long tour in support for their respective 2018 albums When Legends Rise and Attention Attention wraps this holiday weekend with dates that include WRATFEST, the annual shindig at PNC Bank Arts Center of the awesome Jersey Shore HR/HM station 9.59 the Rat. This year, WRATFEST will be on September 1. Opening will be Red Sun Rising.

  When Legends Rise, Godsmack’s first album in four years, marks their debut for BMG Records and features the single “Bulletproof,” which is the soundtrack to a hysterical spoof of music videos streaming above. Shinedown’s Attention Attention on Atlantic Records features the scorching single, “Devil”.

    Roadside Graves return to New Brunswick-originated Don Giovanni Records with the anthology, God Makes Junk: 2001-2016, their first album since 2015’s Acne/Ears. The 39-track collection features the best of Roadside Graves, as well as unreleased tunes, demos, live takes and more. God Makes Junk will be celebrated courtesy of CoolDad Music on September 1 at Asbury Park Yacht Club with Lowlight, featuring Roadside Graves drummer Colin Ryan, plus the roots-rockin’, barn-stormin’ two-piece Coach N’ Commando.

  Asbury Park-based one-man-band Keith Kenny isn’t slowing down for a minute after a tour to Alaska this summer. Kenny will open for his New Hope pal Dean Ween on August 30 on the Rocks Off Cruise out of New York City and then throughout September in Nevada, Oregon and California. He’ll also play September 8 at John and Peter’s in New Hope and October 18 at Krogh’s in Sparta before trekking to the U.K. for a six-show jaunt at the end of October. That will be followed by a tour of the Midwest, Eastern Pa. and the Upstate New York through November 19. Now that’s Makin Waves.

  The Bayshore band The Wag will celebrate their 20th anniversary together opening on September 2 at The Stone Pony for Gavin DeGraw and Phillip Phillips. Tickets are only $25 if purchased through the band, who Wil Wheaton of “Star Trek” fame describes as the love child of The Beatles and The Cowsills. The harmonic sense of enthusiastic fun can be heard on their latest recording, Continuum, which soon will be followed by The Wags’ next release, due by year’s end.

  Sharing that DeGraw/Phillips bill will be the great up-and-coming jam band Wishbone, who developed their improvisational chops at esteemed William Paterson University. Earlier this year, they released their debut EP, Haradabee Blue, which is expected to be followed by another EP this fall, sandwiched by a couple of videos. Wishbone also will play September 28 at The Bitter End in New York City.

  The inaugural Arts on the Hudson Fest will feature Evangelia, Foxanne, DAZED, Helloimdyland, Murdock, Stacy Collado, Elvia, 7 on Pump 1 and more on September 1 in Jersey City’s Hamilton Park. Arts on the Hudson are those fine folks who’ve collaborated on bangin’ videos by Murdock and his JC pals in Cook Thugless.

Bob Makin is the reporter for and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at And like Makin Waves at