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New Jersey's Original Alt-Weekly

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    The late ’70s and early ’80s were some of music’s finest years. With a plethora of bona fide rock bands hitting the charts, there were more than enough artist choices to fit the musical tastes of all music fans that would last from then into the current decade of a now barren industry.

    The late ’70s was also a time of great live musical offerings. And in our area, clubs sprung up from Seaside Heights to the northern suburbs of New York City and beyond. One of those successful rooms was Circus-Circus in Bergenfield, New Jersey. Owned and operated by …


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    I have covered a ton of music festivals over the last 10 years or so. Most have been great and some have done much good for many different subjects and individuals that needed assistance or to bring about awareness in the music scene. The one thing they all have in common is that they are looking to expand on what New Jersey has to offer for both musicians and fans alike. Sometimes that happens through benefits and sometimes it shows itself through education and hands-on interaction.

    That’s why I’m happy to give some press to this next bunch of New …


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    Little Dickman Records continues their home run spread of original music with Fuzz Fest. Comprised of some of the country’s best up-and-coming musicians, Fuzz Fest includes musical contributions from Austin, Texas’ own Ringo Deathstarr, Desert Mountain Tribe from England, Dinowalrus from Brooklyn as well as local champs Dentist, Lunch Ladies and Dan Wazay And The Blackouts, who are said to be the latest and greatest psych band out of Asbury Park.

    The goal of Little Dickman Records is to bring more awareness to great music that doesn’t fit the typical Jersey Shore sound parameters. While the job of bringing that …


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    I’ve known Dave Simmons for many years now. First as a member of different area bands, and then also as a friend and fellow guitarist. While we had not really stayed in touch a lot, I was aware of his continued foray into playing and writing in other situations. When he came to me with his 2012 project, This New Life Of Mine, for review, I was pleasantly surprised with his direction and playing prowess. But Dave and company have not always had easy times in this topsy-turvy business of music. Shortly after the release of his last record, …


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    Cutting-edge rock band Hunter Valentine have been commanding attention for over a decade with their memorable, hard-hitting tunes. The all-girl outfit has captivated audiences with four successful releases, unparalleled energetic live performances across the world, and their unforgettable personalities on VH1’s Make Or Break: The Linda Perry Project and Showtime Network’s The Real L Word reality shows. They have cultivated a loyal legion of fans over the years, and it’s to those fans that the ladies of Hunter Valentine are announcing their indefinite hiatus.

    The band launched their EP, The Pledge, and embarked on the “So Long For Now …


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    Kevin John Allen has been in this column before. Allen is a prolific writer that has written over 200 songs, including several that have been placed in movies and on television shows. He’s been slugging it out in small clubs from New Jersey to Nashville, Texas to Virginia, and all points in between the only way he knows how—straight from the heart.

    Each live show is like a carnival ride through life’s wins and losses. It is music that will make you laugh and love; reflect on hopes and dreams; and grab a beer while remembering old friends.

    I have …


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    Rachel Allyn is an Americana singer/songwriter making a name for herself through her powerful and expressive vocals, skilled songwriting, and engaging live performances. Her first two releases, Late Nights And Early Mornings and Do It Yourself, saw song placements in national television shows on CMT, the National Geographic Channel, and the Discovery Channel.

    Typically performing over 100 shows per year, she has opened for Kenny Rogers, Brett Eldredge, Sara Evans, Trace Adkins, Lonestar, Travis Tritt, Randy Houser, and Tyler Farr, among others. Allyn graduated with honors from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and is now based in her home …


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    Brooklyn-based rock quartet The Energy have been crafting their signature sound for over a decade, and they’ve only gained momentum along the way. With a genuine fire and driving guitar riffs like no other, The Energy are channeling the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll to electrify modern music.

    Each song from each new release gets hearts racing from the propulsive chords to the dynamic melodies, lending themselves to features on MTV, ESPN, Netflix, and beyond. Having been direct support for big names like 3 Doors Down, Vertical Horizon, and Eve 6 on top of headlining the 2011 New York …


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    Accidental Seabirds – Metedeconk

                The New Jersey music scene continues to be the top breeding ground for some of the Tri-State’s best bands. Monmouth County’s own Accidental Seabirds is one of the top groups that continue to demonstrate excellence and musical growth that is taking them further and further into their musical stratosphere and the world beyond. Their last record, The Greenpoint Spill, was a highlight of my weekly column and one of the best records of 2014. And now, Jesse Lee Herdman, Jimmy James Cutrera, Anthony Defabritus and Alex Letiziand are back with eight fabulous gems covering a …


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    Wicked Hollow officially started in the summer of 2015. Lead singer Bryan Wood and drum man Andrew Lawler had been playing together since meeting in sixth grade. They went on to form a band with neighborhood friend Nick Schmidt on lead guitar. Nick could be heard on Wicked Hollow’s first EP, Resolution Revolution. The addition of Anthony Marino on bass came about after Bryan and Andrew’s 2014 high school band bit the dust.  The foursome formed in an effort to establish themselves as more than just another high school band, but the journey was not free of hurdles.

    Things …


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    Waiting For Henry assembled in 2010 as a group of former college bandmates, reuniting to record the album they had never made years ago. Through the 1990s, WFH’s members went their own musical ways, with Dave Slomin breaking through with his NYC-based band, Mr. Henry, which signed to EMI Music and Deep South Records after a major showcase at 1996’s SXSW Festival.

    Mr. Henry’s music captured a unique place between the newly rising alt-country of Wilco and Whiskeytown and the earthy American pop rock of acts like Gin Blossoms. The band recorded with renowned producers John Hampton (Replacements, Gin Blossoms), …


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    Their bio describes them as, “Rhythm and blues to rattle the bones. Sweet soul music to set you free. Grin wider. Groove harder. So goes the mantra of The Shady Street Show Band.” And that’s a mantra I’d have to agree with.

    The Shady Street Show Band has risen to become one of the Jersey Shore’s top shows to see, able to strip down to a simple acoustic setup or stretch out with a 15-piece big band complete with horns and backup singers. Among their achievements include winning the Asbury Park Music Award for best soul act in 2014 and …


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    Six months after New Jersey folk collective River City Extension released their third studio album, Deliverance, they announced their Farewell Show. Now, less than a year later, songwriter and recent Philadelphia resident Joe Michelini is proud to announce his next project, American Trappist. With influences ranging from the haunting folk of Toronto’s Timber Timbre to the melancholy cinematic songwriting of Angel Olsen, Michelini delivers a “post-mortem exhale” of loss, longing, and existential reconciliation in three parts this summer.

    The first part, entitled In Satan’s Kingdom National Park, was released via Michelini’s Philadelphia-based record label Death Salon on June …


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    Tony Appleseed is back with another intricate look into the center of his musical mind. This current project is titled Color Blind, and it contains eight nuance-dripping compositions that take the listener on a musical journey far outside the usual rock and roll humdrum that continues to plague our world. Featuring seasoned musicians such as Sean Polk, Justin Iannarone, Mike Mastropierro, Jordan Garofolo and Jen Santa Maria, Tony Appleseed’s Color Blind EP covers a broad range of styles and experimental songwriting adventures.

    His bio states that, in a reality where Venezuela is on the verge of a social collapse, …


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    Yawn Mower – Get To The Boat

    Yawn Mower is an Asbury-based, two-piece, drum-and-guitar outfit led by fuzz-drenched baritone guitar blaster Mike C. and boom boom bang pow arm tornado Biff S. As their bio states, “These Hawaiian shirt wearing goofballs began like so many others, in a basement making noise and eventually graduating to an honest to god practice space at the Hot Dog House. YACK MASER has been described as garage rock, surf rock, WTF rock, fuzz rock, punk rock, indie rock and most importantly, rock n’ roll. YOND MUTER will have you, your babes and your homies …


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    Joseph Alton Miller – Songs Of Travel For The Vagabond

    For the past decade and a half, singer-songwriter Joseph Alton Miller has been telling his life story on stage with audiences all over the Northeast. Recently, Joseph has shared stages with acts like Robert Randolph, Ellis Paul, Stephen Kellogg, Living Colour, and even ’90s hip-hop sensation, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. His commitment to music and live performance have earned him nominations and awards in multiple categories at highly respected awards ceremonies throughout his newly found home state of New Jersey.

    Originally from the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY, Joseph immersed himself …


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    Colton Kayser is back with round two in his ongoing musical journey of alt-country/Americana explorations. His 2014 self-titled release put him on the map, garnering great reviews and earning him new fans throughout the Tri-State Area and beyond. He hammered that release home with cross-country touring and honing the songs in many rooms across the nation. That hard work has resulted in not only a nomination for Top Male Acoustic Act in the Asbury Music Awards in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, but also Top New Male Act at the 2012 Jersey Acoustic Music Awards. His self-titled debut record …


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    Michael Raz Rescigno has been involved with music most of his life. Starting over 32 years ago, Raz (as he likes to be called) has stayed deep in musical experimentation and performance-based expression in his quest to achieve excellence and harmonious interaction with his musical partners.

    His latest project is a “Greatest Hits” starting in 1984 and going straight through to 2015 when he released his most recent full-length, Madison Park, under the Raz Band moniker. Raz states that “Madison Park was a diverse collection of music from the last few years of our lives.” With production direction …


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                Aquarian friend Ken Sharp is a New York Times best-selling writer who has authored or co-authored more than 18 music books. He also contributes to a variety of national music magazines, works on music documentaries and has done liner notes for releases by Elvis Presley, Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Small Faces, Santana, Cheap Trick and others. But Ken is also a musician and songwriter, marking his career with this, his fourth album called New Mourning.

    Ken Sharp also brings many exciting players on board for this latest record, including Rick Springfield (“Burn & Crash,” “Satellite”), guitarist …


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    Jo Wymer hails from Freehold, New Jersey. Jo’s bio hails her as the black sheep of the Jersey Shore rock scene. We will explore that moniker later. She is a two-time JAM award winner, one-time AMA award winner, and a two-time NAPW Woman of the Year award winner (2013 and 2014). She is a Navy veteran and mother, who has been writing rock, Americana, blues and pop music, as well as music for television and film for almost 20 years.

    Jo’s music can be heard on 250+ radio stations across the United States, and such national TV shows like Sons


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