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REVIEW: An Asbury Park Rock & Roll Xmas Show

By Gary Wien

(ASBURY PARK, NJ - December 21, 2007) -- 90.5 The Night & Notpop Record presented "An Asbury Park Rock 'N Roll Xmas" at the Saint with a great lineup of local stars highlighted by an appearance by Jeffrey Gaines. Each artist did a pair of songs - one of their originals and one Christmas tune. The mixture worked very well and with Arlan Feiles & The Lone Howdies Orchestra as the "house band" for the night things ran smoothly and sounded incredible.

Jeff Raspe of 90.5 kicked things off by welcoming people to the show and then let the musicians take over. Arlan Feiles & the Lone Howdies started the night with "Little Drummer Boy" before handing over the keys to the stage to Anthony Fiumano and one of the night's best highlights - a rocking version of "Run Run Rudolph" in which Anthony showed he could rock with the best of them! It was fun watching Anthony rock out since many of his originals are more mellow story-based songs than Chuck Berry rockers.

"It was like when Dylan went electric!" said Scott Stamper of Anthony's performance. "And now watch Allie Moss blow the crowd away." Scott's obvious a fan of Allie's, but he was right she was awesome and has a beautiful voice.

Other highlights of the night included Val Emmich providing an amazingly deep soul searching take on "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" - a song that is the perfect "wear your heart on your sleeve" type of song he excels at singing.

Rob Tanico (Mr. Reality / Highway 9) took a rare stab at lead vocals on a slow, grooving version of "Please Come Home for Christmas." This might have been the first time I've ever seen Rob on lead vocals outside some alchol-fused nights at the Celtic Cottage where anything goes.

Kerri McNulty of Divine Sign did a fun version of "Santa Baby" with Arlan Feiles accompanying her on keyboards.

Rick Barry managed to take his acclaimed song "Courage For a Rainy Day" to new heights as he silenced the crowd and managed to use the Christmas time for further introspection about a war that seemingly will never end. Tthe longer the war goes on the more meaningful the song has become and hearing it at a holiday show led many to think more about the soldiers celebrating the holidays in a fox hole rather than at home. Breaking the seriousness, Rick had April Smith join him for "Baby, It's Cold Outside" which featured April's soft and sexy vocals. I'd have liked to hear Rick do a line or two holding a martini and pretending to be Dean Martin, but that's just me. Their take was very good on a song I had heard butchered the night before.

April stayed on stage for a wonderful version of her Asbury Music Award winning song of the year "Bright White Jackets" and then gave way for Jeffrey Gaines. After one of his originals, Gaines launched into a beautiful version of "Silent Night" which was simply stunning.

After Gaines finished the Lone Howdies took over for one of their originals. The band which included such artists as Kerri McNulty (Divine Sign) and Greg D has a full, rich sound and truly is a tight sounding orchestra these days. With the horn section going, they turn Arlan's new songs into something that reminds me of The Beatles during Abbey Road days - just fun, rollicking tunes.

Most of the performers all returned to the stage for the night's closing number "Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon. Artists on stage included Rick Barry, April Smith, Allie Moss, Anthony Fiumano, Val Emmich and Rob Tanico. It was a very appropriate way to end a tremendous night of local music. It's one of my all time favorite Christmas songs... it'll be nice to hear it played the day the war finally ends.

Photos from the show are available online at

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NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.
Idle Wave To Hold Record Release Party At Asbury Park Brewery
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Pop-punks Idle Wave will celebrate the release of their self-titled EP on Saturday, December 1st at Asbury Park Brewery.  The record release show also includes performances by Skyeline, Roderick, and Pollyanna.

"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!

Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

View all events

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