North Jersey Notes


I came across an interesting artist a bit more south of our North Jersey parts, but she’s making some big noise on the music scene. Her name is Rachel Ana Dobken. After listening to a few songs like “Loner,” “Kiss It All Goodbye,” “Receive,” and “Understand,” I think she’s an excellent songwriter. Musically, not my thing, since I need heavy grooves in my ear, but Rachel can sing her ass off and she’s a great lyrical storyteller. Vocally, she has a retro sound reminiscent of Amy Winehouse. 

Rachel Ana Dobken studied jazz drumming, vocals, and guitar at Bard College in Upstate New York. Rachel, a self-proclaimed “music nerd,” grew up obsessed with the likes of Paul Simon, The Band, and alt-rockers Incubus, just to name a few. Subconsciously she studied everything from lyrics, to guitar tones, to drum fills, desiring to know and play more, which is what has shaped her into the musician she is today. Her music is raw, honest, and personal yet relatable. Rachel’s stage presence is so emotionally captivating, it’s been compared to the likes of Janis Joplin and Levon Helm. Her songs lie somewhere between rock, soul, indie-alt, and jazz. Some liken Rachel’s music to My Morning Jacket meets Amy Winehouse, but she urges new listeners to take a listen for themselves. 

Rachel Ana Dobken released her most recent album, When It Happens To You, back in October of 2018. You can catch her live at Berlin NYC on August 29, and at the Danny Clinch Transparent Gallery in Asbury Park on August 31. For more info on Rachel Ana Dobken, visit


Supergroup Disciples of Verity features singer Corey Glover from Living Colour, bassist George Pond and guitarist Danny Puma from Negative Sky, drummer Corey Pierce from God Forbid, and now the band has added Mark Monjoy from Sekond Skyn on guitars. That’s a killer lineup of some of the best metal musicians this Jersey music scene has to offer. Disciples of Verity released their debut single “Worthy” last week online and it’s every bit worthy to listen to. For more on Disciples of Verity, visit…. My brothers from Killcodeunleashed a new song off their upcoming new record called “New Superman” at the Rock of Ages Festival in Germany last month. They posted a video of the performance on the band’s Facebook page and it leaves you yearning for the new Killcode record. Catch Killcode live on 8/31 up at Stanhope House in Stanhope, NJ with my boys, Sixty Miles Down, Autoerotica, Etherius, Orbynot and Police Navidad. For more on Killcode, visit…. And finally, I wanted to take a minute to pay my respects to Heaven’s Edgebassist George “G.G.” Guidotti, who passed away a couple of weeks ago after a long bout with cancer. I didn’t know G.G. personally, but it was in these pages of The Aquarian that I learned about his band Heaven’s Edge. It was here that I learned they were playing at Studio One in Newark, NJ, and saw them play a number of times after. They were one of Philly’s best rock bands, plus I was fascinated with the fact they had a Chinese guitar player, who could give Eddie Van Halen a run for his money, in Reggie Wu. Now, I run into Reggie all the time in my neighborhood. I’d like to send happy thoughts to the friends, family, and fans of George “G.G.” Guidotti. R.I.P. 

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.