New Jersey Stage logo
New Jersey Stage Menu

Makin Waves with The Carousers: All in the Family

By Bob Makin

originally published: 05/02/2019

Makin Waves with The Carousers: All in the FamilyLong Branch-based The Carousers will help kick off Makin Waves Fest on May 17 at the Brighton Bar. PHOTO BY ANTHONY VITO COSENTINO

In preview of the opening “Joey Nite”of Makin Waves Fest on May 17 at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, Joey Affatato chats about his deep relationship with each act on the bill: Christine Mitchell, The Carousers, The Mighty John Caseys and The Cryptkeeper Five!

Joey Affatato is one of the hardest- working people in the New Jersey music scene. He plays in two bands – The Carousers and The Mighty John Caseys – and manages others as a staff member of Dimm Entertainment. They include one of my favorite Jersey acts, The Cryptkeeper Five, whose founding front man, Johnny Ott, is Joey’s band mate in The Mighty John Caseys, as well as his uncle.

In tribute to this hard-working guy’s dedication and lovable, uplifting personality, the opening night of Makin Waves Fest unofficially but affectionately has been dubbed “Joey Nite.” The evening on May 17 at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch will feature all three of the aforementioned bands, plus an opening solo set by Joey’s GF, the lovely ‘n’ talented Christine Mitchell whose emerging duo with Joey will be a force with which to be reckoned. 

Joey will play featured in three sets that night with Christine, The Mighty John Caseys and then The Carousers before CTK5 close out the night. I recently spoke to Joey about this performance, his close relationship with each of the evening’s acts and the upcoming plans for each. For The Carousers, that includes a June 22 show at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen with Infinitus Mortus, Steel Spade Syndicate, Jernee Mill, and Jag One.

As a band, do you live up to your name by drinking excessively together or does it have another meaning related to the band?

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

(Laughs) Mainly just a name, although we all had our fair share in college!


How did The Carousers get together, were you in any bands together before that, and what other bands were the three of you in before The Carousers?

We met in college. All of us went to Monmouth University and studied in the music program. Cassidy’s wrapping up her senior year!

When will you be following up your 2017 self-titled five-song EP and with what?

We’ve been writing for a long while now. Definitely have some great stuff, but it’s definitely all about quality over quantity for us. Expect a new single or two in the coming months.

Any details you can share about that, such as the status of the project, where you are recording it and with whom, and anything else you would like to share?

Nothing as of yet! Keep on lookout on our socials for announcements.

Makin Waves with The Carousers: All in the FamilyThe Mighty John Casey are Joey Affatato of The Carousers, left, and his uncle, Johnny Ott of The Cryptkeeper Five. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MIGHTY JOHN CASEYS

You are very close to your uncle, Johnny Ott, the leader of The Cryptkeeper Five, not only as family but also as manager of his band for Dimm Entertainment, his partner in your duo, The Mighty John Caseys, and band mates in your former band The Ramparts Rebel. How did Johnny influence you to make music and at what age did that influence begin to take shape?

My uncle has been my biggest inspiration! He started teaching me how to play/sing/write songs when I was around 11. I’m pretty thankful the way he taught me since it really put my songwriting first and my instruments secondary. I’d really consider myself a songwriting rather than a singer-guitar player, and it’s pretty awesome to learn from the best I’ve ever known. If ya’ have a sec, go check out the CK5’s new album, The Stronghold, and you’ll see what I mean.

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info


What do you like most about working with Johnny as both manager and band mate?

He’s super creative. Probably the most creative person I know! He knows pretty well what he’s going for and is able to execute. Not many people can do that. It blows my mind.

What do you like most about working for Dimm?

Our slogan ‘Where Artists Are Family’ pretty much sums it up.


Are there any acts besides TCK5 that you handle for them?

I help with all the bands!


Are there any other music gigs you have besides your bands and Dimm? If so, what are they and what do you do?

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

I’ve been dabbling in graphic design if anyone needs help! Hit me up!


For a while, you were running Lakehouse’s label, MOTO Records. What did you learn most from that gig?

Definitely learned how to wear a lot of different hats well while working with a deadline. It gave me the chance to get better at my craft and develop new ones. Super thankful for the whole Lakehouse team and MOTO Records. If you have a opportunity, check them out!

 Makin Waves with The Carousers: All in the Family

Jersey Shore singer-songwriter Christine Mitchell, left, and Joey Affatato of The Carousers in a screen shot from their Facebook video covering Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” PHOTO COURTESY OF JOEY AFFATATO


Your girlfriend, Christine Mitchell, is very talented. Any plans to collaborate with her live and/or in the studio?

(Laughs) We’ve been jamming for sure! Maybe sometime soon? We’ll keep that one a surprise.


You performing with Christine, The Carousers and The Mighty John Caseys, who are sharing the bill with TCK5 on May 17 at Makin Waves Fest at an event I affectionately have dubbed ‘Joey Nite’ as a salute to your impact on the local music scene at a young age. What do you think of Joey Nite and what are you most looking forward to about it?

(Laughs) I appreciate the recognition! It’ll be a fun night for sure with a lot of great talent. I hope a lot of people come out!


If you could, what you do to make the New Jersey music scene even better?

I’d put a soda machine in every venue!!!! (laughs). I think the NJ scene is pretty great. Adding more DIY spaces would be cool. Also, I think more networking events could be cool to help bring more musicians together besides playing gigs.

What else are The Carousers and Mighty John Caseys up to this spring and summer?

Hopefully recording? I’ve been working diligently with both projects, stay tuned!


As the manager of The Cryptkeeper Five, what else is up with them?

We’ve got a few small tours in the works. New music cooking. Be on the lookout for a very big announcement coming next month.


Is there anything I didn’t ask on which you would like to comment?

Thanks again for putting on this show, Bob! And for your dedication to the scene and Makin’ Waves!

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info


Makin Waves with The Carousers: All in the Family


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





Tuesday, February 20, 2024 @ 7:30pm
Count Basie Center for the Arts
99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
category: music

Click here for full description

Richard Shindell

Wednesday, February 21, 2024 @ 7:30pm
Lizzie Rose Music Room
217 E. Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ 08087
category: music

Click here for full description

Lee Brice: Me & My Guitar

Thursday, February 22, 2024 @ 8:00pm
State Theatre New Jersey
15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: music

Click here for full description

Click here for more events

Listings are available for $10 and included with our banner ad packages.

Click here for more info.



Woodbridge Township presents Screaming Orphans at The Avenel Performing Arts Center

(AVENEL, NJ) -- Woodbridge Township presents Screaming Orphans at The Avenel Performing Arts Center on Sunday, March 10, 2024. They are known worldwide for their award-winning sound combining original pop songs with a unique take on traditional Irish music. Showtime is 7:00pm.

Danú Takes Audience to Ireland on March 10th

New Brunswick Performing Arts Center presents Chris Ruggiero's "Summer Serenade"

Lucy Wijnands Salutes Sarah Vaughan at March Jersey Jazz LIVE! Concert in Madison

Click here for more event previews

New Jersey Stage

© 2024 by Wine Time Media, LLC
PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762

Nobody covers the Arts
throughout the Garden State
like New Jersey Stage!

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.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and on our RSS feed

Art | Comedy | Dance | Film | Music | Theatre | Ad Rates | About Us | Pitch a Story | Links | Radio Shows | Privacy Policy