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It's All Good In The Neighborhood

By Gary Wien


(ASBURY PARK, NJ -- JULY 14, 2012) -- Just a few doors down from where the magic first happened, Albie Monterrosa held a CD release party for his new band with the hopes that lightning might strike twice. As Albie & The Neighborhood rocked Chico's House of Jazz, it was like a flashback to the early part of the last decade when deSol first hit the scene. People were out on the dance floor, swaying to the mixture of latin and classic rock sounds; the audience had a much more diversified mix than usually found in the clubs around this area; and Albie, once again, was showing why he's such a tremendous front man that lightning just might strike twice.

On the liner notes of the band's debut, "11-37 Jackson St.", Albie writes, "This record is dedicated to the spirit of reinvention, transformations, and starting over. The belief that when one door closes another one opens. It is our faith that allows us to walk through a new door, into a new day. We give daily gratitude to all that has been given to us inherently, and to that which we work tirelessly for."

Monterrosa, who led deSol on a tremendous ride for much of the last decade, looked like he was having a great time back on stage. Some guys just have it. I could see it the first time I saw him perform many years ago. He took his talent, his vision, and his charisma all across the world. In my opinion, he was perhaps the most successful musician from the area of the last decade. While deSol never had the success they'd have liked in album sales, they quickly became known as an incredible live act and landed spots on the festival lineups of Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Langerado, All Good and South By Southwest. They took part of an Armed Forced Entertainment tour visiting bases throughout the Middle East and once had an amazing gig opening for REM in Mexico City. In other words, sometimes success shouldn't be marked by album sales. For Albie, I think success can be measured by the places they've seen, the memories they made, the people they met, and by the number of fans they built up throughout the world. The Neighborhood hopes to build upon that fanbase and continue from where deSol left off.

As with deSol, Albie has put together a tremendous band to work with. The Neighborhood is hot -- a bit smaller in numbers than deSol was, but they certainly bring it. Led by Albie and his wife Sally Perez (who handles lead vocals on some tracks and back up vocals on everything else), the band featured a stellar lineup of musicians including John Bednar on guitar, Nerio Mattheus on percussion, Tom Cottone on drums, and long-time Jersey Shore bassist Rob Tanico (best known for his work with Mister Reality and Highway Nine) who seemed to enjoy having more freedom on bass than he usually does. If coverage of the band is anything like the press thatthat deSol received, you'll hear an awful lot about the Latin-influences in the music; however, classic rock fans will love the guitar work found here. I hope that gets mentioned this time around because there was some serious shredding going on during the guitar solos.

With the crowd ready to go, the band began playing the opening riffs of "The Fighter" from the new CD. After a few bars, Sally Perez came on stage. A few moments later, Albie followed as the audience roared. Some musicians just know how to work a crowd. They make each show an experience. Albie is one of them who gets it. After the opening number, he welcomed people to the show and spoke of his return. "I wouldn't say I was on hiatus, let's say I was recharging my batteries."

The band ran through several of the tracks from their debut including "The Fighter", "Give Myself Away", "Angel Saved My Life", "All Good In The Neighborhood","Chain Reaction", and "Boom Boom Magic". Covers included "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" by Sly and the Family Stone and "New York Groove" by Ace Frehley of Kiss. With a nod to the deSol fans in the audience, the band also brought out "On My Way" and "Blanco y Negro" to great response.

I think his producer, Jon Leidersdorff of Lake House Music, put it best. After the band's set, Jon said, "We see a lot of live music, but Albie just lights up the room, doesn't he?"

He sure does Jon... he sure does. And it's great to see him back in town.



Saturday night was presented by PhanPhest, who will be bringing Albie & The Neighborhood back to Chicos every Wednesday night throughout the summer.





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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
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
Friday, Jan 18, 2019


MUSIC

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


THEATRE

"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







COMEDY

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


MISC

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

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