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NEWS | FEATURES | PREVIEWS | EVENTS

Rock On! This Week's Sound Bites...7/29/21

By Danny Coleman

Rock On! This Week

"OK, let's see, I grew up on Long Island, New York and then moved upstate to Ulster County to go to college at SUNY New Paltz where I studied Public Relations and started my first band. I kind of fell in love with the area and I've lived in Ulster County ever since where I've played a lot of music in a lot of bands throughout the years and about 10 years ago I started playing with this band; not all the same members but The Ark-Tones formed around 2011/2012 I believe and since then we have released three albums of original material, have toured extensively around the country, a little bit in Europe and just put out our third studio album. My husband and I also play as a duo called The Gold Hope Duo and we released a live album a couple of years back." 

Lara Hope is the undisputed front of the band which bears her name; with her retro look, sex appeal and stage presence, she is the bow that sits atop of the fun, rockabilly, rock 'n' roll package know as Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones. 

Lara and crew's recent release, "Here To Tell The Tale" is a full length album which according to Lara was a work in progress which happened to finish up at the opportune time. 

"Here To Tell The Tale" is 11 tracks; all original," she began with sounds of relief and enthusiasm in her voice. "I personally like an album but what I keep hearing is that singles are the future now; everybody likes singles. I don't know, I don't get it, I wanted an album but to each their own I suppose. There is kind of a running theme on the album that wasn't even necessarily something that happened intentionally; it just kind of unfolded that way. The album was written over the course of two or three years and I realized when more and more songs were written; the title track kind of encompasses the theme. It is ironic that we recorded this before the pandemic because I feel that the message is even more true in a post-pandemic world. Before the pandemic, I feel like so many people were living this virtual life and staying in more because there was so much access to Hulu, Netflix and computers and people weren't necessarily going out as much as they used to and appreciating in-person events. So, "Here To Tell The Tale" is about putting that aside, actually going out, having real-life experiences; they're not all going to be good but whether they are good or bad; just making your own memories and basically having your own tale to tell. Now, post-pandemic I feel like people may have a new appreciation of the arts that they may have not even realized after not having access to them for 16 months. I'm hoping that people are excited to get out and make their own tales and make up for lost time now."



 
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In all bands, there is usually a leader; someone who casts the tie-breaking vote or deals with the business end of things but when it comes to songwriting or material choices those lines can become blurred. So, with Lara being the face of the band; who is the principal when it comes to writing or choosing material? 

"My husband is the upright bass player, I play rhythm guitar and write songs, I really like to not tell anybody what to do; we are a team," she stated emphatically. "I won't lie, I do have the final say on our songs for the most part but I am really happy that I get everybody in on it; it's really important to me that everybody is happy. There have been cases where things vary from song to song but there are certainly some songs that I am confident in the arrangement and have already had it in my head the way I want it to be recorded and in that case I'll come in and say to Eddie, or sing a lead line for him but as many times as that happens, I'll come in and say, please; what do ya' got? What are your ideas? What do you think of the arrangement? Where do you think the solo should go? Let's work on the arrangement; so, yeah that varies from song to song."

Given the current climate of home studios and recording software being all the rage; where did they choose to record the record and why the wait on the release date? 

"We went into a professional studio; we live in the city of Kingston which is right near Woodstock and we recorded in Catskill. We recorded with an engineer named Scott Petito and it was our first time working with him; he's pretty well known in the jazz world and he's a jazz bass player and he records a lot of bigger name jazz players like Jack DeJohnette but he's very eclectic and does all sorts of stuff. He's got a great studio called NRS and we spent 10 days in the studio with him at the beginning of 2020 and we thought that we were going to release the album later in 2020 in the summer but then because of everything that happened we decided to just hold off until the time felt right and that time is now."

"Now," is always a good time, no time like the present; right? Considering the unit has been sitting on this record for quite a while and the pandemic being the reason; the fact that it, "Felt right" can only come from the gut. So, what did they do while the record was percolating? Ah but being the fun-loving group they are; they found ways to keep busy. 

"It came out on June 25 and our website is the easiest place to find it," Lara continued. "During the pandemic I did mostly three things; I mentioned already that my husband is my bass player and we closed on our first home on March 11, 2020. So, basically the day the world shutdown; we were planning on leaving that same evening for a six-week national tour. So, needless to say, we closed on our house and as we were packing the tour got cancelled. So, we had this new home and now basically a lot of time to unpack, settle in, paint, make it ours and just enjoy being home. We've been on the road so much this past decade that it was like, alright, we've got all of this time and we've got this space where we're happy to be so, let's enjoy it. We also spent those first few months writing and home-recording a duo EP called, "Songs In The Key Of Quarantine" which we released in July of 2020. We toured often before the pandemic, now we've also started doing a Monday night livestream since the pandemic hit and we've continued to do it every single Monday night since March of 2020 and it can be found on our Facebook page and YouTube pages Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones from 7-8 p.m. Eastern Time. Our connection with our fans is important to me and I really feel that the connection is stronger than it's ever been as a result of the livestream. I would have the livestream up and I'd have the computer open and read the chat and what people were saying and in between songs we would talk; we'd talk back and forth and the fans would talk amongst themselves. We actually formed this really tight-knit community of people that have tuned in every single Monday for the last 16 months; we even started calling them "The Monday Knights" and we made their own Facebook page called "The Monday Knights." We've made our own line of merchandise; one is Joan of Ark wearing the red-framed glasses called "The Tone of Ark" tee-shirt (laughs) and we've had this great community. There are people who pop in from all over the world and I'm sure there are others who only watch once or twice but there are a lot of people who are really diehards and these people have become friends with each other just because it's like this one thing that when everything in the world was so unknown; everybody would know, every Monday night at 7 p.m. grab your drink, sit down and let's all hang out together and that's how it felt. We had one of our Monday nights recently and because of them we made a strong connection in Michigan and during the livestream I said almost in jest, if anybody who is watching wants to come for our album release party; you can stay with us. I was kind of kidding but one of our Monday Knights who I only remember from once or twice while touring in Michigan reached out and said, "If I fly in from Michigan; can I stay with you?" "So, this woman that I don't really know just spent two nights at our house for our album release party on June 26; I joked that I finally gave birth to this album because it was finally out there." 

Fun, danceable, maybe even slightly quirky but always extremely enjoyable, Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones are a great add to anyone's collection and to discover more about them; please visit www.larahopeandtheark-tones.com

That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!



This week's event listings


Arts Council of Princeton     
102 Witherspoon Street Princeton     
(609) 924-8777  
Thurs. 5:30 p.m. Artist Talk with Robin Resch (FREE and located in Dohm Alley next to Starbucks on Nassau St.) 
Fri. 6 p.m. "Summer Nights" Concert Series feat. Mural Dedication Concert: "You May Be Right" A Billy Joel Tribute (Takes place at Princeton Shopping Center 301 North Harrison Street) 
Bill's Olde Tavern     
2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton     
(609) 586-0192     
Fri. 7 p.m. Tom Craig
Tues./Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ "Super" Dave Curtis
Ages 21+    
Blend Bar & Bistro     
911 Highway 33 Hamilton     
(609) 245-8887   
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Bob Banka
Sat. 7 p.m. Deep Release
Bowman's Tavern     
1600 River Road New Hope, PA     
(215) 862-2972     
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. PJ Parker Trio
Fri. 8 p.m. Bob Egan
Sat. 7 p.m. Wendy Simon Trio
Sun. 6 p.m. Lorenzo
Wed. 6 p.m. Andy Prescott
Broken Goblet Brewing   
2500 State Road Bensalem, PA   
(267) 812-5653   
Thurs. 7 p.m. Mike Estabrook 
Fri. 8:30 p.m. Pearl Jam Tribute w/ "The Ledbetters"
Sat.8:30 p.m. Stems and Seeds
Wed. 8 p.m. Open Mic w/ Cara Cartney 
All Shows 21+
Candlelight Lounge     
24 Passaic Street Trenton     
(609) 695-9612     
Thurs. 6 p.m. Thursday Night Blues Jam Hosted by The Mojo Gypsies. $5 (Includes hot buffet) 
Championship Bar   
931 Chambers street Trenton   
(609) 396-5457  
Tuesday 8 p.m. "Jam Night" Hosted by Nikki & Caleb   
Ages 21+
City Streets     
510 Highway 130 South East Windsor     
(609) 426-9400   
Fri. 8:30 p.m. Kindred Spirit Duo
Mon. 9 p.m. "Malibu Mondays"   
Clubhouse at Mountain View
 (The Patio)
850 Bear Tavern Road Ewing  
(609) 771-0400  
Fri. 7 p.m. Radio Fiction Duo
COARadio.com     
125 South Main Street Hightstown     
(609) 241-7103
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. Natalie Farrell and Lou Panico
Cooper's Riverview 
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton 
(609) 393-7300
Thurs. (7 p.m.) Time Peace (9 p.m.) Club Night feat. Rotating DJs (inside event)
Fri. (5 p.m.) "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere Happy Hour" (8 p.m.) The Pinheads
Sat. 8 p.m. No Way Out
Sun. 11 a.m. " Sunday Latin Jazz Brunch" w/ Victor Tarassov 
Mon. 7 p.m. "Sunny Monday Blues Jam" 
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke w/ Karen and Mark
Wed. 12 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" 
All Events Ages 21+
Cream Ridge Winery   
145 Route 539 Cream Ridge   
(609) 259-9797 
Fri. 6 p.m. Deadhead Night w/ Gratefulmen. $5
Sun. 1:30 p.m. Sangria Sunday w/ Ronnie Brandt
Dacey's Pub 
215 West Philadelphia Avenue Morrisville, PA 
(215) 295-4838 
Fri. 6 p.m. Acoustic Music Night 
Wed. 8 p.m. Quizzo 
Dadz Bar and Grill
744 Main Street Lumberton
(609)267-4344
Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Mic Night
Sat. 6 p.m. Banned for a Day
Dempster's Pub
437 Pine Street Mount Holly
(609) 261-0500
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Throwback Thursday/Ladies Night" w/ DJ entertainment feat. retro 70's, 80's and 90's music.
Fri. / Sat. 9 p.m. DJ entertainment
Eddington House Bensalem
2813 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem, PA
(215) 639-1220
Fri. 8 p.m. Jonathan Hesbol
Sat. 8 p.m. Dale Ciccarelli
Escape Resort, Restaurant & Bar
120 Pheasant Run Road Newtown, PA
(215) 968-0600
Fri. 6 p.m. Tubetop Mama
German American Society   
215 Uncle Pete's Road Hamilton   
(609) 585-5200   
Fri. 7 p.m. The Sounds of Billy Joel w/ Chris Pinella
Gleason's Bar
6700 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA
(215) 943-4781
Thurs. 7 p.m. Weekly Corn Hole Tournament
Fri. 6 p.m. "Happy Hour" 
Sat. 8 p.m. Karaoke
Wed. 5:30 p.m. Family Fun Night w/ "Gina the Balloon Girl" 
Greenhouse  
90 South Main Street New Hope, PA  
(215) 693-1657  
Thurs. 8 p.m. "Musicians Night Out" Hosted by Lovelight 
Tues. 8 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Sam Ryan
Wed. 8 p.m. Trivia Hosted by Dwayne Dunlevy
Grover's Mill Coffee House
    
Princeton-Hightstown Road Princeton Junction     
(609) 716-8771      
Sat. 11 a.m. Rodney & Eva
Havana New Hope 
   
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.     
(215) 862-9897    
Thurs. 7 p.m. Funk n' Blues Jam
Fri. 9:30 p.m. DJ Dance Party 
Sat. 9:30 p.m. DJ Dance Party 
Sun. 1 p.m. Midnight Sun Orchestra  
Mon. (9 p.m.) "Lipstick Mondays Drag Show" (11 p.m.) Karaoke w/ Dwayne 
Hopewell Valley Vineyards     
46 Yard Avenue Pennington     
(609) 737-4465     
Fri. 4 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. (5:30 p.m.) Bad Hombres  
Sat. (1 p.m.) Just Us (5:30 p.m.) "Music & Merlot" feat. Craig Leach Group
Sun. 1:30 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Ashley Pettet
Iron Plow Vineyards     
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus     
(732) 306-9111  
Fri. 6:30 p.m. Jim Gaven
Sat. 6:30 p.m. Spoondrift
Sun. 2 p.m. Same Old Antics
Iron Plow Vineyards Tasting Room
61 High Street Mt. Holly 
(732) 306-9111
Fri. 6:30 p.m. IPV  2nd Anniversary Event feat. Wayne Palmer Trio
Sat. 6:30 p.m. IPV  2nd Anniversary Event feat. Steve Guyger & Filthy Rich
Ivy Tavern     
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton     
(609) 888-1435     
Thurs. 9:30 p.m. "Thursday Night Dance Party" 
Fri. 8 p.m. Shameless
All shows 21+ 
John & Peter's     
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa     
(215) 862-5981    
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic (Sign-ups start at 8 p.m.)
Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational     
All shows 21+    
Killarney's Publick House     
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton    
(609) 586-1166    
Thurs. 7 p.m. Radio Fiction  
Laurita Winery     
85 Archertown Road New Egypt     
(609) 752-0200   
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Laurita Junior Idol 2021" Tryouts
Fri. (12 p.m.) "Wine In The Grove Friday" (5 p.m.) "Cornhole Tournament" (6 p.m.) BBQ Grill Night 
Sat. 12 p.m. Winery Weekend feat. (1 p.m.) Roundabout Trio
Sun. 12 p.m. Winery Weekend feat. (1 p.m.) The Bergers
Lawrenceville Main Street
17 Phillips Avenue Lawrenceville
(609) 219-9300
Thurs. 6 p.m. "Music In The Park" feat. Kindred Spirit. (Weeden Park FREE admission)
Makefield Highlands Golf Club
1418 Woodside Road Yardley, PA
(215) 321-7000
Fri. 5 p.m. Larry Hinkes Jazzy Trio
Marie's Kozy Korner
111 Trenton Road Fairless Hills, PA
(215) 943-3131
Fri. 7 p.m. Hind Sight
McGuinn's Place     
1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence     
(609) 392-0599    
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke     
Ages 21+     
McStews Irish Sports Pub     
5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA     
(215) 949-9570     
Sat. 9 p.m. Troublemakerz
Mercer County Park Festival Grounds
Hughes Drive/Old Trenton Road West Windsor   
(609) 448-1947 
Fri. 6 p.m. Summer Concert Series: "Motown Night" feat. The Sensational Soul Cruiser/The Discoteks,  $5 (Parking fee) 
Sat. (10 a.m.) Mercer County 4-H Fair (6 p.m.) Summer Concert Series: "Jersey Shore Night" w/ Best Of The Eagles / Reock and Roll Revue. $5 (Parking Fee)
Sun. 10 a.m. Mercer County 4-H Fair (1 p.m.) Crown Acoustic 
Millhill Basement     
300 S. Broad Street Trenton     
(609) 989-1600     
Sat. 9 p.m. "Millhill Returns From the Dead" feat. Breaklite, Worst Ones, Hateful Scarecrows, Bury Your Brother. Ages 21+, $5
More Than Q 
13 Klines Court Lambertville 
(609) 773-0072
Sun. 11 a.m. Gospel Brunch Open Mic
Music Mountain Theater
1483 Route 179 Lambertville
(609)397-3337
Fri. 8 p.m. Matilda
Sat./Sun. 3 p.m. Matilda
Music On Main 
25 East Main Street Yardley, PA
Sat. 6 p.m. Peter Veteska & Blues Train
New Hope Solebury High School
184 West Bridge Street New Hope, PA
Sat. 7 p.m. Calla Bere and the Attitude. (FREE event)
New Hope Winery    
6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA   
(215) 794-2331   
Fri. 8 p.m. "Into The Mystic" The Van Morrison Experience
Sat. 8 p.m. "Into The Mystic" The Van Morrison Experience
Newtown Brewing Company
103 Penns Trail Newtown, PA
(215) 944-8609 
Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Harry Potter Trivia Night
Sat. 7 p.m. Jake Bracey
Sun. 12 p.m. Local Artisan Craft Fair
Nick's Roast Beef
4501 Woodhaven Road West Philadelphia, PA
(215) 637-5151
Fri. 8 p.m. The Naturals
Sat. 8 p.m. Kenny Raye Band
Sun. 4 p.m. AJ Slick 
Wed. 7 p.m. LeCompt Acoustic Duo
O'Fowley's Tavern & Grill
200 State Road Croydon, PA
(215) 785-6998
Fri. 8 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Old Hights Brewing
123 West Ward Street Hightstown
(609) 469-5976
Thurs. 7 p.m. Trivia 
Olde Liberty Tavern
2114 Liberty Street Trenton
(609) 396-2262
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Sara and the Sound
Old Town Pub     
135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown     
(609) 291-9232    
Thurs. 7 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia   
Palmer Square
40 Nassau Street Princeton
Thurs. 4 p.m. "Locals Night" w/ Live "Strolling" Musician 
Sat.12 p.m. David Alastre & Latineo
Pasquale's Sports Bar
9078 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA
(267) 202-6268
Fri. 5 p.m. Happy Hour feat. (TBA)
Sat. 8 p.m. DJ or Live Band Entertainment 
Tues. 7:30 p.m. Quizzo
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic
Patriots Crossing     
1339 River Road Titusville     
(609) 737-2780    
Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night
Sat. 8 p.m. The Brooks Brothers
Wed. 7 p.m. "Quizzo"   
Restart The Arts
407 High Street Burlington
Sat.1 p.m. Acoustic Linda with Bryan Cooper
Revere Restaurant
802 River Road Ewing
(609) 882-6365
Fri. 6 p.m. Paul Plumeri Duo
Sat. 6 p.m. Brian Elliot
Wed. 7 p.m. David Boyd
Rosedale Mills
101 Route 31 North Pennington
(609) 737-2008
Sat. 1 p.m. Outdoor Line Dancing. $10 (Rain date Sundays 12 p.m.)
Sandy's Beef & Ale
2028 E. Old Lincoln Highway Langhorne, PA
(2670 852-2333
Thurs. 8 p.m. Quizzo
Sav'Aged Designs
110 South Main Street New Hope, PA
(609) 937-6104
Sat. 10 a.m. The Art of Adriana Groza
Sherman Theater/Penn Community Bank Amphitheater
2400 Byberry Road Bensalem, PA
Wed. 7 p.m. "Best Friend's Girl" A Cars Tribute. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m., tickets available online)
Small World Coffee     
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton     
(609) 924-4377 x2   
Thurs. 8 p.m. "The Fluid Acrylics of Adriana Groza" (Runs 7 days a week thru 8/3)
Stars & Stripes Harley Davidson
600 South Flowers Mill Road Langhorne, PA
(215) 752-9400
Thurs. 5 p.m. "Wet & Wild Bike Night" 
Sat. 11 a.m. Customer Appreciation Day "Bikini Bike Wash and BBQ"
Stumpy's Hatchet House (Princeton) 
745 Alexander Road Princeton
(609) 436-9737
Sat. 3 p.m. Asylum Choir
Tara's Tavern    
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown     
(609) 286-2300     
Fri. 9 p.m. Mike & Karly
Sat. 9 p.m. Zach Trucksess
Tavern On The Lake      
101 Main Street Hightstown     
(609) 426-9345     
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Temperance House     
5 South State Street Newtown, PA     
(215) 944-8050     
Thurs. 7p.m. "Blues Night" w/ Steve Guyger
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia w/ Righteous Jolly 
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic Night w/ Cara Cartney
Terhune Orchards  
330 Cold Soil Road Princeton  
(609) 924-2310  
Fri. 4 p.m. "Sips & Sounds Friday" feat. Bill O'Neal and Andy Koontz
Sat. 1 p.m.  "Weekend Music Series" feat. Acoustic DuoVer
The Bog (Cranbury Golf Club)
49 Southfield Road West Windsor
(609) 799-0341
Sat. 7 p.m. Guns 4 Hire
The Buck Hotel
1200 Buck Road Feasterville, PA
(215) 396-2002
Thurs. 7 p.m. Kevin Kirko
Fri. 7 p.m. Love Junk
Sat. 9 p.m. Danny Lynch Duo
The Cool Cricket     
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro     
(609) 291-9110     
Fri. 8 p.m. Karaoke  
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Unleashed
The Dubliner   
34 North Main Street New Hope, PA   
(215) 693-1816  
Fri./Sat. 7 p.m. Gerry Timlin
Sun. 3 p.m. "Traditional Irish Session" 
The Five Four Bar & Grill   
8919 New Falls Road Levittown, PA   
(215) 547-5525   
Sat. 9:30 p.m. The Polish Nannies
The Morrisville Tavern
376 West Trenton Avenue Morrisville, PA
(215) 295-5310
Fri. 7 p.m. Dan Ward
Mon. 7 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Tim
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic
Wed. 7 p.m. Trivia Night
The Sycamore Grill     
255 North Sycamore Street Newtown, PA     
(215) 908-6326     
Fri. 8 p.m. Kickbax Acoustic Trio
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)     
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.     
(215) 862-8300     
Thurs. 8 p.m. Trivia   
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage 
All shows 21+  
Vault Tap Room
19 West College Avenue Yardley, PA
(267) 907-8550
Thurs. 7 p.m. Comedy Night w/ 
Fri. 7 p.m. BoondaShark
Sat. 7 p.m. Brieann Wall
Wilson's Pub
1870 Brownsville Road Trevose Heights, PA
(215) 355-4739 
Fri. 7 p.m. Keep The Change
Working Dog Winery     
610 Windsor Perrineville Road Hightstown     
(609) 371-6000 
Sat. 1 p.m. Roger Gardella
Sun. 1 p.m. The Williamsboy
WWFM 89.1 FM HD2 Radio
MCCC Old Trenton Road West Windsor
Jazzon2.org
Mon. 7 p.m. "Danny Coleman's Got The Blues" 
Yankee Doodle Tap Room
10 Palmer Square Princeton
(609) 921-7500
Thurs. 6 p.m. Dueling Piano Night (Palmer Square)
 


Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.


originally published: 07/29/2021


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