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Makin Waves Scene Report with Hub City Music Festival, Hub City Stompers, Let’s Get Folked Up and more

By Bob Makin

originally published: 04/04/2018

Makin Waves Scene Report with Hub City Music Festival, Hub City Stompers, Let’s Get Folked Up and more

Makin Waves Scene Report with Hub City Music Festival, Hub City Stompers, Let’s Get Folked Up and more

In addition to what’s in the headline, the latest Scene Report includes the Makin Waves 2018 Concert Series, Springsteen Symposium, Asbury Park Music + Film Festival, Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son, ManDancing, LEEDS, Asbury Park Music Foundation, Secret Sound, Mike Montrey Band, Carl Palmer of ELP, The Mylars, Project/Object, Baron Praxis, Jammin’ for Jaclyn, Unlovable, Frankenstein 3000, and Jeff Crespi


I would like to thank the artists, sponsors, Wonder Bar staff, family and friends who participated in the Makin Waves 30th Anniversary Party on March 31. Artists included DJ Lee Mrowicki of “Radio Jersey”; The WaterMakers, a new local super group featuring members of Well of Souls, Dramarama and Whirling Dervishes; Karen Mansfield; Mike Brody Vs. the People; Mike Daly & the Planets; LEEDs; Nalani & Sarina; Sutton Thomas Band; Williams Honor; Colossal Street Jam; The Vansaders; Deal Casino, and an Upstage reunion jam with Dawg Whistle, featuring Vini Lopez, Gary Cavico, Paul Whistler, and Jon Sebastian Brice, plus Joe Petillo and Billy Ryan. In addition to Makin Waves’ four outlets and the Wonder Bar, sponsors included Confections of a Rock$tar, Danny Clinch Transparent Gallery, Debra L. Rothenberg Photography, Brew TEA Spot, Silverball Museum Arcade, Bukkaboo’s Burritos, Asbury Park Music Foundation, Cookman Creamery,WRAT 95.9 the Rat, “Jersey Rock,” 1450 WCTC, Jersey Indie, Danny Coleman’s Rock On Radio, and Carousel Arts. More than $800 was raised for a music mentorship program run jointly by APMF and Boys & Girls Club of Asbury Park. 

The Makin Waves 2018 Concert Series will continue with Hub City Music Festival through April 29 throughout New Brunswick, as well as Highland Park. Highlights will include Experiment 34 and P-Funk North on April 6 at Hub City Brewhouse; an ’80s reunion with The Wooden Soldiers, Spy Gods, Chris Harford, Jigs & the Pigs and DJ Don Dazzo (of Whirling Dervishes), April 7, Court Tavern; The Grouch Marxists, Nervous Triggers, Erotic Novels, and Feeny, April 13, Volume IV; Secret Sound and Mike Montrey Band, April 13, Harvest Moon; the festival’s first-ever Hub City Hardcore show with Steel Toe Solution, Dusters and Player Hater, April 15, Greenhouse Loft, Highland Park; Modern Chemistry and The Vaughns, also April 15, The Yard, and Silent Knight and Seluna, April 22, Evelyn’s. Money collected at the door will go to the Elijah’s Promise food justice and empowerment program. During the past five years, the festival has raised more than $15,000. For a complete festival lineup, click the link above.

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The Makin Waves Concert Series will continue with the Second Annual Makin Waves Jam N Groove Fest on May 12 at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen with Experiment 34, Cook Thugless, P-Funk North, Green Knuckle Material, Offkey Lifestyle, Groove Gangstas, Murdock and Composition of Sound. The funky fest will pay tribute to Parliament-Funkadelic and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Then the Makin Waves Summer Concert Series at Asbury Park Brewery will feature The Brixton Riot, Mr. Payday and more, June 23; Hub City Stompers, The Cryptkeeper Five, Molly Rhythm, Experiment 34 and Chalk & the Beige Americans, July 14; Crazy & the Brains, Hot Blood, Little Vicious, Doc Rotten and more, July 28; and Cranston Dean Band, Levy & the Oaks, The Burns, The Paper Jets, and Tara Dente, Aug. 11. The summer series will be announced next week. Looking to give sponsors some great exposure from several media sponsors, including Makin Waves’ four outlets. Need about $1,500 in underwriting. If interested in contributing, please email

The concert series also will feature three events Makin Waves is sponsoring. “Let’s Get Folked Up: Songwriters in the Round!” will be May 16 at the Watermark in Asbury Park. The songwriters circle will include Nashville roots-rocker Jo Smith and local greats Chris Brown, J.T. Makoviecki of Jackson Pines, Matty Carlock, and Renee Maskin of Lowlight. Organizers are hoping that this will become a series of shared songs and stories. 

The fifth annual Asbury Park Surf Music Festival is developing nicely with four days of tubular fun from Aug. 16 to 19. Surf-guitar pioneer Dick Dale will kick things off at the Wonder Bar, while the main event will feature another stellar lineup throughout Convention Hall on Aug. 18, including Satan’s Pilgrims, Surfer Joe, The Volcanics, Frankie & the Pool Boys, Black Flamingos and much more. Warm-up and after parties are so hot that folks will be flying in from all over the world for this one, so get your tickets now before they’re all gone via the link above.

And then there’s the fifth annual Hub City Sounds: ROCK New Brunswick Festival on Sept. 8 in Boyd Park with two continuous stages of music featuring Hub City Stompers, Doc Hopper, Nalani & Sarina, Sharief in Burgundy, Danielle Illario, Silent Knight, Pleased Youth, Experiment 34, Professor Caveman, and Sus Bus. The weekend celebration of the New Brunswick music scene also will feature a warm-up party at the Court Tavern and an after party at Fatto Americano’s with DJ Derrick Braxton. More acts and other details will be announced soon at Fall dates of the Makin Waves Concert Series also will be announced soon …

I am honored to moderate a media panel on April 12 at Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’: An International Symposium” at Monmouth University that will feature longtime music media compadres Jean Mikle of the Asbury Park Press, Jay Lustig of and Michelle Amabile of 107.1 The Boss. As part of a weekend-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” we will discuss how the seminal Bruce Juice relates to NJ. Other highlights of the symposium include keynote lectures by Peter Ames Carlin, author of the 2012 biography “Bruce”; “Darkness” photographer Frank Stefanko; and Grammy- and Emmy-winning Springsteen videographer Thom Zimny. Smaller breakout sessions will explore the roles gender, depression, dreams, religion, spirituality, psychology, politics, economics, and many other themes in Springsteen’s work. Bus and walking tours of Bruce-related sites in Asbury Park and Freehold will be led by Mikle and her “Rock & Roll Tour of the Jersey Shore” co-author Stan Goldstein. Concerts will take place throughout the weekend at the university and in Asbury Park …


I also will be featured on a panel moderated by the great Rich Robinson, program director of 90.5 the Night, about “History of the Asbury Park Music” on April 29  at the Wonder Bar as part of the Asbury Park Music + Film Festival. Other festival highlights will include Dentist on April 27 also at the Wonder Bar in their first hometown gig since a triumphant return from South by Southwest last month. They were named one of the entertainment industry fest’s best new discoveries by San Jose Mercury News and National Public Radio. They’ll share the bill with Brooklyn’s Sharkmuffin and Canada’s Beams, also official SXSW showcasing artists. Other participating Asbury Park Music + Film Festival artists will include Danny DeVito, Sublime with Rome, Wyclef Jean, Gov’t Mule, Michael Franti, North Mississippi Allstars, The Battery Electric, Black Flamingos, Stringbean & the Stalkers, Dark City Strings, Overlake, Eastbourne, the Lakehouse Music Kids and more …

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The aforementioned Hub City Stompers have an album, “Haters Dozen,” out April 20 with a slew of shows surrounding it, including the band’s long-awaited return to the Court Tavern on April 13. Guitarist Reggae Bob’s Birthday Bash also will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the great Jersey ska band Bigger Thomas. Sharing the bill will be the Hub City hardcore band Dusters and the old-school Jersey hardcore/punk band Damage Done. Hub City Stompers will celebrate the release of “Haters Dozen” with a listening party on April 20 at Randy Now’s Mancave in Bordentown. On April 22, the punk-ska greats will participate in the Mosh for Paws Punk Rock Flea Market a Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck. They’ll round out the month at the ska-oriented This Is Croydon Fest at Neshaminy Creek Brewing with The Pietasters, King Django, Spring Heeled Jack (in their first area show in four years) and much more. Other upcoming dates include May 12, El Cortez, Brooklyn, with No Redeeming Social Value, Ladrones, NAA; Supernova International Ska Festival, May 26 and 27, 1781 Brewing Co., Spotsylvania, Pa., with The Pietasters, The Suicide Machines, The Stubborn All-Stars, Spring Heeled Jack, The Scotch Bonnets, and Rude Boy George, a ska tribute to the ’80s featuring members of Bigger Thomas, and June 23, Mohawk Place, Buffalo, N.Y., with The Abruptors. Look for a Makin Waves Record of the Week on April 19 …

Congrats to Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son opening April 8 for Bon Jovi at Prudential Center in Newark. With a fifth album of new songs to fuel them, the rootsy East Brunswick-based punk band already had an impressive April lined up. Upcoming dates include April 7, Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market AND Amfest at American University in Washington, D.C.; Mahoney’s birthday show, April 13, Asbury Park Yacht Club; Rock a Mile in Their Shoes Benefit, April 14, Mohawk Place; Light of Day Canada, April 15, Seneca Queen Theatre, Niagra Falls, Ontario, with Southside Johnny; April 20, Bowery Electric, New York City, with All Night Sounds, and April 21, Georgian Court University, Lakewood. The fun continues May 5 at Debonair Hall and May 6, Scarlet Pub, New Brunswick …

Congrats to ManDancing, who have signed with Mass.-based Take This to Heart Records, also the home of Hodera. The label has reissued “Everyone Else,” which was reviewed here a while back. A new LP is expected to drop in June. In the meantime, check out ManDancing live on April 27 at Asbury Park Yacht Club with Modern Chemistry … 

The edgy rootsy Old Bridge-based band LEEDS will take its fusion of classic and modern rock out on the road with South Jersey rockers Triple Goddess. In support of a forthcoming single, the tour will kick off April 27 with a New Brunswick basement show also featuring The Stonewall Vessels and Illusionist and will continue May 4 at Milkboy, Philadelphia, which will be Triple Goddess’ record release show. After a May 5 stop at Arlene’s Grocery, the tour will continue to Richmond, Raleigh and Nashville before heading back home where area dates will include June 9 at Asbury Park Yacht Club with Experiment 34, who will drop a the first single, “Cut the String,” soon from a forthcoming album …

The aforementioned Asbury Park Music Foundation will benefit from “Come Together,” a tribute to The Beatles by Remember Jones, on April 7 at Danny Clinch Transparent Gallery. At $100 per ticket, the event not only will raise funds but also awareness of APMF’s support for youth music education and community events directly from the nonprofit’s board, as well as many of the children they serve. Highlights also will include a presentation of Monmouth University Dean Ken Womack’s multimedia presentation, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Evolving Artistry of The Beatles”: a performance by young Lakehouse Music Academy and Hip Hop Institute musicians, a preview of APMF’s Music Saved My Life Beat Bus mobile studio classroom, and cocktails and catered fare by Marilyn Schlossbach Group, owner of Langosta Lounge …

In addition to the aforementioned Hub City Music Festival show on April 13, Secret Sound and Mike Montrey Band also will share a bill on April 7 at the Wonder Bar in a joint record release party. Sharing the bill will be up-and-coming singer-songwriter Joshua Mark. MMB also will play April 6 at John & Peter’s in New Hope, which also is a rescheduled record release party. After Hub City Music Fest, they’ll tour Nashville, Knoxville, Chicago, and Colorado, before heading back home to play the Stonehenge Music Festival on June 23 in Jermyn, Pa. Meanwhile, Secret Sound also will play April 28 and May 26 at the forthcoming Blackthorn Pub in New Brunswick; May 4, Triumph Brewing Co., New Hope; May 18, Dive Coastal Bar, Rumson, and May 26, Perth Amboy Waterfront Arts Festival …

Don’t miss one of the greatest rock drummers of all time, Carl Palmer, on April 21 at The Theatre at Woodbridge Middle School. The Emerson, Lake & Palmer great will perform in a special historic presentation, “Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy.” Palmer is the only surviving member of the powerhouse progressive rock trio, who need to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The show will span such hits as “Lucky Man,” “From the Beginning’ and “Karn Evil 9 (Welcome to the Show)” in an effort to keep the legacy of his late band mates, keyboardist Keith Emerson, and vocalist-bassist Greg Lake, alive. Palmer, who also was a member of the progressive-rock super group Asia, featuring members of Yes and King Crimson, is joined in ELP Legacy by guitarist Paul Bielatowicz and bassist Simon Fitzpatrick. Tickets and more information are available at

I’ve been hearing from a few folks lately about how they’re jonesin’ for some live Dramarama. Well, it may be a while before they all reassemble in their home state of Jersey, but in the meantime, front man John Easdale will be playing a solo show on April 14 at McCloone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park with Dramarama/WaterMakers guitarist Pete Wood and Splintered Sunlight/WaterMakers keyboardist Billy Siegel as special guests. And don’t miss the opening band, The Mylars, which features one-time Dramarama drummer Chris O’Hara, now also with The WaterMakers, as well as Danny Roselle, formerly of The Crash Moderns … 

The New Brunswick-originated Frank Zappa tribute band Project/Object returns to Hub City for the first time in many years on April 19 at the Court Tavern. The lineup includes former Zappa band mates Napoleon Murphy Block on sax and vocals and Denny Walley on slide guitar, both of whom have toured with Project/Object since 2000, but never together. The set list will feature tracks that they worked on with Zappa, such as together on “Bongo Fury” and separately on “Roxy & Elsewhere,” “One Size Fits All,” “Sheik Yerbouti,” and “Joe’s Garage.” Project/Object’s tour also will include area dates April 18, Sellersville Theatre, Sellersville, Pa., and April 24, Toad’s Place, New Haven, Conn.; May 12, Cutting Room, New York City, and May 13, Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia, opening for Brand X …

In support of the recent album, Satanic Panic,” Toms River-based grungesters Baron Praxis, who take their name from the villain in the Jak II video game, have a sweet schedule on tap. They will play April 6, Deer Park Tavern, Newark, Del., with Hotbed; April 12,  The Cavern, Englishtown; April 21, The Brighton Bar, Long Branch; April 27, Asbury Park Brewery; May 4,  Proud Mary's, Atlantic City, and May 19 to 21, Jersey Shore Music Festival, Seaside Heights … 

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The Fifth Annual Jammin’for Jaclyn Benefit Concert to fight cancer will feature a hot and cold buffet catered by more than 50 eateries, 12 live bands, a 50/50 raffle, a door prize and a cash bar for a minimum donation of $25 at the door on April 21 at the Knights of Columbus in Sayreville. In memory of Jaclyn Squillace, this year’s beneficiaries will be Chris Szatkowski of South Amboy & Katya Hernandez of Sayreville. Performers will include Series of Shocks, John Walsh, Damian & The DCQ, Amber Morgan, Patsy Palma, Jake Tavill & The ICBB, The FOG, Rocco & The MOB, The Nick Ryan Band, The Taylor Tote Band, Xol Azul Band, and Michael Squillace, the event’s co-organizer and father of the honoree. Bert Baron of WCTC 1450 AM Radio will emcee … 


Unlovable are a new Smiths/Morrissey tribute band that will play April 22 at The Stone Pony. The South Jersey band features members originally from The Smiths’ hometown of Manchester, England …

On the heels of the release of the DVD of “Let Me Down Hard” starring Frankenstein 3000 front man Keith Roth, his band will release their latest LP, “The Blunt Truth!” on April 20. The Main Man outing features special guests Finn Ryan (Atomic Bitchwax), Bob Pantella (Monster Magnet), Kenny Aaronson (Bob Dylan, Joan Jett), Peter Marshall (Iggy Pop), Punky Meadows (Angel), and Tim Cronin (The Rib Eye Brothers). Frankenstein 3000 will play April 13 at Berlin in New York City with Soraia, Palmyra Delran & the Doppel Gang, and The Nuclears … 

Happy Birthday to my buddy, Jeff Crespi, who’ll celebrate with his annual bash at Happy Mondays on April 9 at Wonder Bar with Reality Suite, Levy & the Oaks and Evangelia. Jeff is the preeminent photographer at the Jersey Shore, so if you need pics, he da man! 


Bob Makin is the reporter for and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at And like Makin Waves at



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