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By Gary wien

Virtually every singer-songwriter from New Jersey has been compared to Bruce Springsteen at one time or another. That's a pretty unfair comparison but it's not even close to the unjust world female musicians like Jodelle face every day. Imagine being a female musician that plays piano?

It's hard to find one that doesn't inspire comparisons with Tori Amos - regardless of what she sounds like. If she plays piano, she sounds like Tori Amos period. Of course that's as ridiculous as lumping every Jersey singer-songwriter into the Springsteen genre.

It's kind of strange because guys who play piano in the rock and roll world (names like Elton John, Bruce Hornsby, Ben Folds, etc.) are hardly ever lumped together. But for musicians like Jodelle it's a way of life.

"I think people just need a familiar artist to kind of get them started on being interested in you," said Jodelle. "I personally don't like compairing myself to anyone because I don't think I'm exactly like anybody. I'm really not like Tori Amos. I mean, she's amazing and I'd like to think of myself as talented, but I'm different than her. It's a difficult situation when you're forced to compare yourself to someone."

Tori Amos is definitely one of the influences in Jodelle's music, but she counts artists like Joni Mitchell, Fiona Apple, and Sarah McLachlan among the list as well. She believes her music is actually a combination of all of these artists and one listen to her new CD, The Adventures of Jodelle, will most likely have you agreeing.

The CD is named after a long out-of-print comic book that came out in the 1960s. She was able to find a used copy and actually tracked down the original author, who let her have permission to use the images within her CD release.

"Jodelle was the main character," she explained. "She was kind of a spy hero or wonder woman type of person. For a brief moment I thought it would be cool to take on that character and come out for my shows dressed like her. I really don't look like her actually. I have red hair, but I'm wearing a wig for the photos. But after thinking about it and talking with some people, I decided I shouldn't do that because I could get stuck with people always expecting it. It's like Marilyn Manson - he always has to walk around looking like that. It's part of his persona now."

This CD is Jodelle's first full-length release. She previously released an 4-song EP entitled "Find Me If You Can". You can hear clips of every song on each record at her website - lyrics for each song are also available online.

Her lyrics deal with loneliless, relationships, depression, hopes and dreams, desires and fears. Her words are like poetry, but not quite to the obscurity of someone like a Tori Amos. Jodelle is accessible.

Some of her accessibility may stem from a woman that influenced her work from an early age, in fact it's somebody that inspired her to reach for the stage. That person was Stevie Nicks.

"People have mixed feelings about her, but she was one of the first rock and roll women that I would listen to," said Jodelle. "I would listen to her and watch her videos and feel like, 'wow! I want to be a rock star like that!' She'd be on stage twirling around with her big cape and her big flowing outfits and it was just so cool!"

Jodelle's recent shows in New York City are beginning to get a little buzz going about her work. One reviewer said, "New Jersey's secret is now New York's discovery". Her goal is to create a buzz throughout the tri-state area and shows like her upcoming stop at the Saint in Asbury Park on May 17th should help her achieve that goal. Jodelle will be part of a special acoustic festival with other female artists like Sheryl D, April Smith, Melissa Chill, and Judd & Maggie.

Once you see hear Jodelle's music you'll discover what a great talent she really is. And the adventures for this Jersey girl are just beginning...

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.
Bickford Theatre Presents Herb Gardner's Groundhog Jam
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- The great Groundhog Jam has a long history of prying jazz fans out of their warm burrows and into the chill of February weather in order to welcome the advent of spring.  The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum continues a tradition of hosting this event on Monday, February 4 at 7:30pm. Herb Gardner, who plays both trombone and piano, is assembling a stellar group of musicians from the New York, New Jersey, and New England areas including: Fred Vigorito on cornet, Joe Licari on clarinet, James Chirilloon guitar, Mike Weatherly on bass and Robbie Scott on drums.  Daughters Abbie and Sarah Gardner will be handling the vocals and guitar.

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
Mike Davis traces his love for the trumpet back to a Disney movie. He grew up in a musical family, with both his parents playing strings in the Seattle Symphony. But Davis wanted an instrument of his own. Then, at age 9, he saw “The Aristocats,” the animated film about a bunch of French felines — including a group of jazz-playing alley cats.
Ana Gasteyer's "Holiday Tipple" LIVE! at the Grunin Center
The Grunin Center stage in Toms River, NJ is set this Saturday, December 15, 2018 with drums, a grand piano, a guitar, an acoustic bass, and various microphones for vocals. A stool and several microphone stands are bedazzled with colorful garlands of shiny red, gold, and green, and wrapped gifts are strewn on stage among the instruments. Projected white snowflakes adorn the walls, and Christmas music plays as patrons enter the theater to put everyone in the mood for tonight’s holiday show — Ana Gastayer’s Holiday Tipple!

Event calendar
Thursday, Jan 17, 2019


Open Mic Night! @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 7:30pm


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


AMERICAN GIRL LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

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