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Eryn Shewell Band Comes Into Their Own

By Gary Wien

(ASBURY PARK, NJ – March 3, 2009) – I wasn't originally planning on writing a review of this show, but figured I'd do a write-up since people have emailed me saying I hadn't done much with the blog lately. Although I've been going to shows regularly, I just don't feel the need to do show reviews unless something really clicks for me. Tonight was one of those nights. Even though the lineup featured three artists I've seen quite often, the show itself was worth writing about.

Michael Brett led off with a set of tunes that should form the bulk of his next record once he gets a chance to lay down the tracks. The set included, "Gambling Man," "Labor Day," "Let the Show Begin," "Vanishing Act," and "Old Ghosts." It's interesting watching Michael evolve as a songwriter. As he's blended his work within the coffeehouse scene with shows at venues like The Saint, it's appears that he's been paying attention to the vast range of good songwriters in the area. That, in turn, has led Michael to raise up his game a notch or two. His new songs sound better than the ones on his last record, which were better tunes than on his previous record (a record he's pretty much disowned). In essence, his next record should be one worth checking out. Hopefully he'll be able to release something later this year.

Keith Monacchio was up next and also featured a set completely comprised of new material. Keith has been one of the area's most consistent songwriters for a while now, both with his work with The Commons as well as solo shows. Like Michael Brett, the new songs from Keith are among his best – and that's saying a lot. In fact, I think one of the songs he performed tonight – "Coffeehouse" – just might be his best yet. His set included, "Out of Reach," "Spare Parts in a Chop Shop," "Just So You Know," "Indiana Jones," "If You Want Me To," "Louisa – Guess Who," "Coffeehouse," and "Three Times." The highlight for me had to be when Keith performed "Coffeehouse" and sang the line about the cash register mere seconds before Scott Stamper hit the cash register himself. The combination was so funny and beautiful at the same time that I think Keith might want to record a version that includes the noise from a cash register, if he hasn't already.

The final act of the night, the Eryn Shewell Band, is the reason for this review. I've been very impressed with Eryn and her music for several years now, but I think the band has fully come into their own now. They recently returned from recording in Nashville and the trip seems to have done them a lot of good. They've got a sort of confidence now that was lacking somewhat in the past. Take Eryn for example. In the few years that I've known her, I've watched Eryn transform from a timid backup singer to a full band leader that's clearly in charge. Likewise, her music is eloquently executed by some of the area's strongest musicians. Together, they all combine to produce one if the vest live shows you will ever see.

In fact, I think her band's music is meant to be experienced live. Yes, their studio recordings are good, but they pale in comparison with the thunderous roar of her live shows. It's an experience that can't be matched on tape; It's part roadhouse, part arena, and part tent revival - a sound that picks you up and raises you to a place that few can reach.

It's funny, thinking about how so many bands compete to be the house band for the Stone Pony while Eryn and her band just might be the ultimate house band for The Saint. Their music fits the club like a glove, filling every crevice of the joint as if the club was her own. And tonight, it was.

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Arijit Singh's New North American Tour Will Include Single Stop In Tri-State Region At Prudential Center on April 13
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Bright Brain Productions, the leading entertainment company based in California announced the “Arijit Singh LIVE Tour” in 12 cities all across the U.S. This is the first of its kind and largest tour done by Arijit Singh or any Indian artist. The tour beings on April 5 and travels through major U.S. cities culminating on May 5.  The tour stops at Prudential Center in Newark on Saturday, April 13 at 7:00pm.
Light of Day's Main Event To Be Broadcast Live at McLoone's Supper Club
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- If you couldn't get tickets for the fabled "main event" of the 2019 Light of Day Winterfest, you have another chance see the show.  For the first time in the 19-year history of the festival, the "main event", the star-studded “Bob’s Birthday Bash” on January 19th (a show that has long sold out), will be broadcast live via fiber optic cable at McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts To Hold Winter Open House On January 27
(BERKELEY HEIGHTS) -- Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will host a Winter Open House on Sunday, January 27 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The free event is open to the public and will be held at the Performing Arts School (PAS) located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights.
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens To Perform At Count Basie Center For The Arts
(RED BANK, NJ) -- Billy Idol and Steve Stevens, one of rock’s most iconic and enduring duos, will hit the road this March for their first ever tour performing as a duo: Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged. The Billy Idol/Steve Stevens tour comes to The Count Basie Center for the Arts on Thursday, April 4th.
McDonald's Gospelfest To Celebrate The Life of Aretha Franklin With Return to Prudential Center
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The 37th Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest returns to the Prudential Center on Saturday, May 11 for the gospel event of the year. This year's event will honor and celebrate the life and legacy of the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with an All-Star cast. The 5:00pm to 7:00pm portion of the evening will feature a rising stars competition for all ages and cultures in categories including Soloists, Choirs, Praise Dancers, Singing Groups, Gospel Comedians, Gospel Poets and Gospel Rappers. The gospel concert, beginning at 7:00pm, will feature some of the most renowned gospel artists in music history with the goal of spreading love, peace and joy to all races, nationalities and beliefs.

Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes At Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme
This coming Sunday, January 20, Scott Wolfson and his band will be serving up their unique blend of Americana at the Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme series at Investors Bank Theater in Succasunna, New Jersey. The band – Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes – formed in Jersey City in 2011, and, even though the members have migrated in various directions since then, they still consider themselves to be a Jersey City band.
"He Totally Wowed Us!" John Oates LIVE! at SOPAC
It’s brisk for an evening walk on South Orange Ave. in South Orange, NJ, this Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 evening, but it’s a good road to follow as it leads us directly to the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) for a special performance by singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Oates and his backup group, The Good Road Band.
“Tons of Fun!” The Glenn Miller Orchestra LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Although Friday, December 21, 2018 is the shortest day of the year, the audience of big band music lovers here at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts is hoping for a long evening of classic swing and holiday tunes performed by the incomparable Glenn Miller Orchestra!
Mike Davis and The New Wonders
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Ana Gasteyer's "Holiday Tipple" LIVE! at the Grunin Center
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Event calendar
Friday, Jan 18, 2019


John Forster at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

David Massengill - Folk Concert @ Christ Congregation Church, Princeton - 8:00pm

SAL "THE VOICE" VALENTINETTI @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm

The Elvis Birthday Bash @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:30pm


"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm

Annie Jr. @ The Oakes Center, Summit - 7:30pm

Some Girl(s) @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 8:00pm


Big Apple Comedy Club @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm


The Jason Bishop Show to Benefit CASA @ Pfleeger Concert Hall, Rowan University, Glassboro - 7:00pm

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