North Jersey Notes

GRIMM JACK – New York City

I seriously cannot believe these guys are still around, but when I saw they were performing tonight (10/16) as part of Ten Ton Mojo’s residency at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC, I knew that I had to feature them this week. I’m talking about NYC’s Grimm Jack. I used to see these guys performing on the club scene back when I was still going to rock clubs many moons ago—when rock clubs were still actually rock clubs! 

New York City’s Grimm Jack has been considered one of America’s biggest underdog rock bands. They are a hard-driving but melodic act, often compared to Aerosmith meets Guns ‘N’ Roses, with a bit of a southern blues flare thrown in. With a loyal fanbase through touring and radio-friendly songs, Grimm Jack’s music can be heard on FM and Internet radio from coast to coast. 

The story of Grimm Jack began in 1985 with guitarist Jimmie Mack and drummer Dave Leeds, two rockers from Long Island who set out to create a contemporary rock band with an edge. Original members included singer Robin DesForges, guitarist Rich Daly, and bassist Sean O’Neill. The band would release their first single, “Janet,” on the independent label Cyn City Records back in 1986. In 1987, Grimm Jack released a five-song EP titled Go For Your Guns, earning the band some minor airplay outside the New York-metro area. By 1988, Grimm Jack shifted into full-throttle; original singer Robin DesForges was replaced by singer Billy Kohout, bassist Scott Bittner jumped onboard, and the group started gaining some national steam with the release of their next EP, Partners In Crime, featuring the songs “One Track Mind” and “Shy Boy,” both which gained a steady amount of airplay on various rock radio stations, especially in the South and mid-Atlantic regions. Partners In Crime received very positive reviews throughout 1988 and the group was also featured prominently in numerous regional and local magazines nationwide.

Currently, Grimm Jack—consisting of singer Billy Kohout, guitarists Jimmie Mack and Joey Masters, bassist GG Zen-Garten, and drummer Dave Leeds—has been connecting with new fans as well as old ones and receiving favorable reviews from their critics. Unreleased songs have been made available along with their 2015 release Thick as Thieves, featuring their latest single “Sex Drive,” which they have a music video for, plus tracks such as “Damned,” “Twilight Girl,” and “Skin and Bones.” If you’ve never heard of Grimm Jack, now is the time to check them out. For more info on Grimm Jack, visit or catch them live tonight at Arlene’s Grocery with Ten Ton Mojo. 


Word has it my brothers from Negative Sky are ready to come back from their break. They’ve been teasing their comeback with cryptic messages on their Facebook page along with a date at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ, on November 29 announced. For now, you can check out bassist George Pond’s other band with Living Coloursinger Corey Glover and God Forbiddrummer Corey Pierce, Disciples of Verity, who recently released their debut album, Worthy, available now wherever music can be streamed or downloaded. For more on Negative Sky, visit…. My buds from Everything Falls released their latest album, Wolves at the Door, earlier this week. These guys performed at my band’s album release party and I’ve been a fan ever since. Wolves at the Door features the first two singles, “Sleep Is For The Dead” and “Forsaken,” along with “Wanted To Find,” “Grey,” “Up In Flames,” and “That Thing Was Me.” Singer Aaron Linkous is an excellent songwriter and if “Forsaken” and “Sleep Is For The Dead” is any indication of what the rest of the album sounds like, I’m pretty excited to listen to the rest. For more on Everything Falls, visit…. And finally, last week, I mentioned that my friend Jackie June was premiering her new music video “Wildflower” on YouTube tonight (10/16). “Wildflower” is off of Jackie’s debut EP and she’s doing something fun and super interactive for her music video’s premiere at 9 p.m. tonight. You can actually watch “Wildflower” with her. For more info on Jackie June and her new music video for “Wildflower,” 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.