New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

BIG NEWS! Here's the latest Issue of NJ Stage Magazine -- Click here

Jim Boggia: This Could Be The Last Time

By Gary Wien

(ASBURY PARK, NJ -- AUGUST 4, 2012) -- It's a bit strange, I know, especially for someone who covers live music, but I don't usually go out on the weekends during the summer. The simple act of avoiding Bennies who haven't a clue as to their destination presents something of an obstacle course; you face cars and trucks that pretend you don't exist, New Yorkers who should stick to the subway, and the entire experience turns my normal five-minute jaunt into a stress-inducing fifteen to twenty-minute slice of hell. But the thought of possibly missing the last local performance of Jim Boggia led me to take a break from the book I'm writing and dragged me out to The Saint in Asbury Park on Saturday night.

In case you haven't been following the situation, Boggia, a veteran singer-songwriter from Philadelphia, has been telling his fans that he's giving serious thought about removing underperforming venues from his tour list. Since The Saint was now being singled out for the second straight time, I took notice and heeded his warning. Apparently, I wasn't the only one.

A rather nice crowd turned up for an early Saturday night show. Hitting the stage around 8:30pm, Jim Boggia became the first artist I've seen to "hack" the Saint's new curtain. As Scott Stamper pulled open the curtain, Boggia was nowhere to be found -- all the audience saw was an empty mike stand. Apparently, Jim had been hiding as far to the left as possible. Upon bewildering the crowd for a few moments, he ran across the stage exclaiming, "I love the curtain!"

After opening with "On Your Birthday", he joked, "It's always good to be here at the newly curtained Saint. I won't tell you what I was doing before the curtain opened, but don't go near that part of the stage!"

His next song was the brilliant, "Annie Also Ran" -- a tune that he also brought along to 4 Way Street. Hearing him strum those chords really made me miss that band. They were the very first band I interviewed for my old publication, Upstage Magazine. That band turned me on to the group of Philly-area singer-songwriters and I've followed their solo careers ever since.

It was nice to see Jim in a good mood on stage. He was relaxed, joking, and seemed to really enjoy having a decent crowd in Asbury. He closed out "Annie Also Ran" with a segue into "Something In The Air" by Thunderclap Newman and then took a look out into the audience.

"It's always good when Scott gives you the chance to play The Saint to have more people than you can see from the stage," said Jim.  "So, what would you like to hear?"

I'm pretty sure it was Hinge at the soundboard who shouted "NRBQ" but whoever it was got Jim's attention and earned the request. If you're not familiar with the song, "Listening to NRBQ" is a wonderful tale about a music fan's lost romance as he looks back on his life many years later. He's since sold his vinyl collection on eBay and has a wife and a kid, but still recalls the times he drove around in his old Charger (which hauled ass) with his girl listening to NRBQ on the car's 8-track.

Before launching into the request, Jim wanted to make sure one thing was crystal clear. "Ok, before we proceed, can we be clear that this is about a band, not a radio station? And it's not autobiographical!"

Jim went on to showcase tunes from several of his releases including, "To and Fro", "No Way Out", "Bubblegum 45s", "So", "Let Me Believe (Evan's Lament)", and "8 Track". Sadly, those last two tunes really emphasized his disgust with the record industry right now. Before launching into "Let Me Believe" he said, "and I once did"; meanwhile, he opened "8 Track" by saying, "This is a song that is of no relevance anymore, but I had the last laugh because the whole industry died."

In between, he gave us a beautiful cover of Bob Dylan's, "The Girl From North Country" and closed with the amazing, "That's Not Why I Hate New York".

He pretended to stop and come back for an encore, but acknowledged the folly of it in this setting. "It would be great to do an encore, but then we'd have to close the curtain and reopen it..." So, instead he just burst into a tune about John Maynard Keynes, an influential British economist of the 20th century. I'm not sure if this was improv or not, but it was strange nevertheless.

Boggia finished the night by telling a story about Bruce Springsteen and how he tried to explain to a friend of his that people weren't booing him, but saying "Bruuuuuccccee" instead. He tried to get the audience to imagine what they would do if Bruce were to suddenly come through the door behind the stage. Timed perfectly, Hinge came right on through to great applause and chants of "Bruce!" It was hilarious!

Jim then played a very sweet version of "Thunder Road" on the ukulele. You really haven't lived until you hear someone sing, "Well, I got this ukulele and I learned how to make it talk!" Making the experience even more beautiful, Jim ended with a few bars of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", which is just magical on the uke.

It was difficult to judge whether we were watching an artist tired of the game or someone just having fun, but it was a great evening through. Yet, for some reason, with each song, I got the feeling he truly is writing off venues that aren't working for him and simply not worth the aggravation. Looking back at the night at The Saint, I was reminded of John Lennon who once famously said, "I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition."

Before Jim Boggia's set, two great upcoming artists took turns on stage. Brook Girard, a promising young keyboardist, led off with a set of strong and instantly memorable original songs including "Ordinary Girl", "Road Trip", "Wanderlust", and "Trembling". She also presented a fine cover of "All This Time" by Onerepublic.

Michael Dante Summonte followed with another fine set. This was probably the sixth or seventh time I've seen him and it finally occurred to me who he reminds me of. While, I've seen him compared often to Bob Dylan, he actually reminds me more of John Lennon -- specifically the way John sounds on his demo recordings, stripped of the overdubs and studio highlights he always felt the need to hide behind. Michael's songwriting even heads down many of the same dreamy avenues that John used to take us (listen to his song, "Rats" for an example).

Summonte's set featured several brilliant originals including "Grandfather Grandfather" and a cover of "Catch and Release" by Petal Tree, a band he also plays in.

Both Brooke and Michael were the type of artists I used to give ink to in Upstage.  One thing I was always proud of was the mag's track record of highlighting artists who had little or no exposure beforehand but certainly deserved it. Sometimes I wish I had more time to continue down that road... maybe someday. But for now check them out at:

Michael Dante Summonte --
Brook Girard --

and you can learn more about Jim Boggia at

For more by this author, click here

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


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

View all events

New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 |

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.