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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 http://www.upstagemagazine.com/photos/photos.php?directory=NotPopXmas2006



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Event calendar
Sunday, May 19, 2019


MUSIC

Believe: A Fundraiser Benefit for Marilyn's Place @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 4:00pm

Tash Sultana @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

Will Martin Sings Dean Martin @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 3:00pm

MICHAEL BOLTON @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

Band Together for Veterans @ Bar Anticipation, Lake Como - 1:00pm

ART OF THE DOUBLE CONCERTO - NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 3:00pm

Carmina Burana New Jersey Youth Symphony 40th Anniversary Concert @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 3:00pm

Derek Bermel's Mango Suite @ Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton - 4:00pm

Laurie Berkner, Solo @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 3:00pm

Grace Morrison at Riverside!! @ Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme, Succasunna - 4:00pm

The Bronx Wanderers @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 5:00pm and 8:00pm







THEATRE

Frost/Nixon @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

Surfing My DNA @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 2:00pm

Camelot @ Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan - 3:00pm

She Loves Me! @ The Summit Playhouse, Summit - 2:00pm

Morir Sonyando @ Passage Theatre Company, Trenton - 3:00pm

Rapunzel @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm

MET Encore: Dialogues des Carmelites @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 1:00pm


DANCE

Roxey Ballet Presents Cinderella @ The College Of New Jersey’s Kendall Main Stage Theater, Ewing - 2:00pm

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KIDS

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY @ Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook - 2:00pm

Double Dare Live @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 1:00pm and 7:00pm


SPIRITUAL

Transform Your Thoughts & Heal Yourself Spiritually @ 10 Colonial Court, Hainesport, NJ 08036, Hainesport - 1:30pm

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