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Cherry Suede

By Gary Wien

Sound the alarms - the Canadians are coming! Cherry Suede, a cool rock and roll band based in Ottawa will be doing a pair of shows in the tri-state area and bringing a bus load of their biggest fans along for the ride. You can catch the group at Arlene's Grocery in New York City on November 1st and at The Saint in Asbury Park, New Jersey on November 2nd.

The shows are part of a New York City mini-vacation for the popular Canadian band and their fans. They'll be spending a total of four days and three nights in the area. Everybody will be travelling on a chartered coach bus with three nights hotel lodging and tickets to the shows included in the deal. It's a great way for a band to experience playing in new areas as they'll be playing both in front of their own fans and guaranteeing the club owner a good draw. More bands should consider doing things like this!

For the founding members of Cherry Suede (Randy Young and Randy Scott), the idea of playing in Asbury Park was not merely due to its proximity to New York City. Both musicians are fans of Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen and looking forward to seeing where those artists got their start.

Cherry Suede's music leans a bit more on the Bon Jovi 80s vibe than the Springsteen side, but fans of 80s music in general will definitely enjoy this band and Cherry Suede makes no apologies for their love of the 80s.

"I still think that it (80s music) eclipses a lot of the stuff that's coming out now," said Randy Young. "I can count the bands on probably one hand that came out of the 90s that will be truly legacy acts. I don't really see people looking back in ten years and saying "remember that hit from the 90s? It's a classic" the same way you have something like "Livin' On A Prayer." If you look back at the early 80s, every second record was moving 10-15 million units. Things like Joshua Tree, Slippery When Wet, Born In The U.S.A., Purple Rain - that's all in a matter of a few years and every single song on those records is fantastic!"

Cherry Suede has been plugging away and building their audience in Canada for the last 8 years. Their debut record was released last year with the followup scheduled for 2008. They took a long time to get to this point but it's all gone pretty much to plan.

"We didn't want to cut any corners," said Young. "At the end of the day when this is all said and done songwriting is really our focus. We want to write the best songs we possibly can and we wanted to take the time to develop our craft together and then work with the people we wanted to work with in the places we wanted to work. That's why we did some recording in Los Angeles, some in New York, and mixed in New Jersey. We wanted to source out to people who we thought would add to what we're trying to achieve and that took time."

Some of the musicians on the record include several artists they met during their time in Los Angeles including bassist Eric Holden (Josh Groban, Bodeans, Five for Fighting), drummer Craig MacIntyre (Josh Groban, Vertical Horizon), and pianist Zachary Provost (Josh Groban).

Ironically, the band's name actually came from when they moved to California. Randy Young and Randy Scott had done a few demos and wanted to build a live band so they moved out to Los Angeles for about a year, but the move was anything but eventful.

"We ended up down there and all of our equipment and everything was delayed several weeks," said Young. "We literally were living in an empty room apartment. We started talking to some of the neighbors and ended up getting pieces of stuff donated to us. One was a somewhat ratty pillow. It was made of a suede-like material and it was red. We figured it was a little symbolic of the way the band was starting."

On the band's website, they describe their music as "capturing the fun and optimism of the 80s without the spandex and hair" and that's a pretty good way of putting it. Their music has been compared to that of Eddie Money, which I would agree with. It's a very melodic, pop/rock kind of sound and definitely upbeat.

"I like a bit of the escapism," says Young. "You put on something like 'Jessie's Girl' and you don't take it very seriously, but it's just really fun. I would hope that that comes across in our stuff. That's what we're really trying to go for.

"I mean when you listen to someone like Journey, the song writing was fantastic; the playing for the most part was fantastic. I guess you have to cut through a bit of the image which dated it."

Cherry Suede started out in Montreal but moved to Ottawa after realizing they weren't fitting in too well with the Montreal scene. Arcade Fire thrusted Montreal on to the national spotlight, and spawned numerous Arcade Fire clone bands while doing so.

"It's a beautiful city, it's just not my music," said Young. "It's a little too eclectic for us. Us being what has traditionally been mainstream, we don't tend to be welcomed with open arms there."

Ottawa, meanwhile, has taken to the band. According to Young, Ottawa not only has a healthy music scene but is crawling with live music every night of the week through a rather large concentration of clubs for a city of its size (roughly one million people or so).

Now that the Looney is worth as much or more than the U.S. dollar, the band hopes to both enjoy their stay in the States and also have this be the first of many such trips.

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South Jersey Pops To Present Holiday Shows On Sunday & Monday
(CHERRY HILL, NJ) -- The South Jersey Pops, the area’s own non-profit orchestra, will take a world view of this magical season as it presents “Celebrate: A Global Holiday” on Sunday, December 16 in Medford. The second of its four performances during its 49th season, the program will feature holiday carols from around the globe including France, Germany, and Spain, local music to warm the hearts of Philadelphians, along with Hanukkah songs and popular and timeless holiday classics.
Experiment 34 To Hold CD Release At Asbury Lanes
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Experiment 34 will celebrate the release of their debut full-length album, "What Dying Feels Like," on Saturday, February 16 at Asbury Lanes. E34 are a hard, heavy, aggressive mix of punk, funk, rap, metal and psychedelic rock with an inventive chemistry and explosive bond to which audiences of all kinds react well. Tickets for the CD release show are $15 at the door and $12 in advanced. Admission will include a free copy of the CD. 
Daniil Trifonov performs Schumann's Piano Concerto in NJSO debut
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Daniil Trifonov, Musical America’s 2019 Artist of the Year, performs Schumann’s Piano Concerto in his NJSO debut, January 25–27, in the final program of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Winter Festival, “Music Speaks.” Music Director Xian Zhang conducts the program, which also features Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra and the NJSO premiere of Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy. Performances take place on January 25 at 8:00pm at NJPAC in Newark, January 26 at 8:00pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick and January 27 at 3:00pm at Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.
Audible and NJPAC Present "Jazz in the Key of Ellison"
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and Audible have announced the first three national performance dates of “Jazz in the Key of Ellison,” celebrating the musical world of the esteemed African-American novelist, critic and scholar Ralph Ellison and his remarkable collection of jazz recordings.
Centenary Stage Presents Michael Davis and the New Wonders
(HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) -- Centenary Stage Company’s annual January Thaw Music Festival returns to the Lackland Performing Arts Center featuring three musical guest artists throughout the month of January. The series launches on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 8:00pm in the Lackland Performing Arts Center with Michael Davis and the New Wonders.

Melissa Etheridge LIVE! at the State Theatre
The lobby of the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, is buzzing with activity this Friday, November 30, 2018 evening as rock music fans ready themselves for a special Holiday Show by singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge!
Join The Greater South Jersey Chorus For "A Winter's Night" (Or Afternoon)
The holidays bring many special things and, for me, one of the best is the music. It sets a mood, invokes memories, soothes the soul and provides a seasonal soundtrack for my life.
An Interview with Chip Davis Of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
You can experience the magic of the holidays — Steamroller-style — when Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis makes a tour stop this Thursday, December 6, 2018, at New Brunswick, NJ’s historic State Theatre.
Max Weinberg’s Jukebox LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Something is different about tonight’s November 18, 2018 concert at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts starring Max Weinberg, celebrated drummer from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band!
PHOTOS: Matt O'Ree Band at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Matt O'Ree Band returned to The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Friday, November 16 and photographer Estelle Massry of Coucou Photography was on hand to take some photos.  David Bryan from Bon Jovi was one of the special guests that night.

Event calendar
Sunday, Dec 16, 2018


CHRIS GULLACE BAND - A BENEFIT FOR ST. JUDE @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 2:00pm

SOLAR CIRCUS / DOOBIE DECIBEL SYSTEM @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

ELEVEN ELEVEN @ Lobby Bar at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 2:00pm

SUNDAY JAZZ @ Hard Rock Cafe at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 10:00am

Joy to the World: A Christmas Suite @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 4:00pm


Elf, The Musical @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm

A Christmas Story @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm

Seussical @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 2:00pm

Peter pan @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 1:00pm and 5:00pm

A CHRISTMAS CAROL @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 3:00pm

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 7:00pm

A Wonderful Life @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Junie B. Jones The Musical at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 11:00am

A Charlie Brown Christmas @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm

Hudson Theatre Works presents "And My True Love Gave To Me" @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 5:00pm


Cocktail Hour: The Show Featuring the B-Twist Orchestra @ White Eagle Hall, Jersey City - 6:00pm

NEW JERSEY BALLET’S NUTCRACKER WITH NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 1:00pm and 6:00pm

The Nutcracker: The Russian National Ballet @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Carol of the King: The Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 3:00pm

Bolshoi Ballet: Don Quixote @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 3:00pm


Shopkins LIVE! Shop It Up! @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 11:00am

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