New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Did you know NJ Stage offers FREE Event Listings? All events are picked up by search engines/ Be sure to add your events to our calendar and get your shows noticed!

Review of Writers In The Raw - July 2006

By Gary Wien


(ASBURY PARK, NJ) - Writers In The Raw made its debut at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park on July 16th with a show fitting for long-time fans of the series. The national act portion of the show featured three of the original members of 4 Way Street - the popular band from Philadelphia that became favorites of the Jersey Shore largely due to their appearances in the first few Writers In The Raw shows. Rounding out the group was Tom Gillam, the newest member of the band who is replacing Jim Boggia. It was the band's first appearance in Asbury Park under the new look and provided a nice sense of d?j? vu as well as a reminder of just how far the Writers series has come.

In addition to the members of 4 Way Street, the local portion of the show featured some of the best talent of any Writers in the Raw grouping. The lineup included Lou Montesano of Status Green, Chuck Schoonmaker of Days Awake, Rick Barry, and Christine Martucci.

The guys from 4 Way started off the show taking turns playing tunes and telling stories but the entire band lend a hand to each number. It was kind of like a stripped down concert - almost like an MTV Unplugged - more than a traditional Writers show. The artists played many cuts from the band's upcoming CD as well as 4 Way favorites "Change Gonna Come", "Maze", and "Shoot The Moon" from their first album.

Newcomer Tom Gillam (who has been part of Joseph Parsons' band for years) showed how he not only fits in with the band but also adds a nice blend of country-tinged flavor to the mix. At times, 4 Way Street seemed to effortless move from CSN inspired music to more of an Eagles sound as Tom's vocals echoes Don Henley's a bit.

There's just something magical and pure about the artists in 4 Way Street. Not only do their vocals and melodies complement each other wonderfully but their friendship and love for each other clearly comes across. They generally like playing on stage with one another and it shows. As good as each of these artists is on their own, the sum may exceed the individual efforts. They bring out the best in each other and it's great to see them back!

When it came time for the covers round, Joseph Parsons brought out "Jokerman" by Bob Dylan; Scott Bricklin did a wonderful "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys; Tom Gillam brought out "How Could You Want Him? (When You Know You Can Have Me)" by the Spin Doctors; and Ben Arnold gave us "Angel From Montgomery" by John Prine.

Some highlights included the band comforting Scott Bricklin when he introduced a song by saying "I got two friends? isn't that sad?" and Joseph replied, "You've got three up here!" Ben Arnold casually asking for some whiskey that finally shows up just before the band's final song. Joseph Parsons talking about how the entire band has been involved with writing the songs for the next CD including one by drummer Matt Muir and Ben Arnold yells out "we're not doing that one!" And Joe Harvard guesting with the band with an electric banjo.

Up next was the local lineup and it was definitely one of the best local lineups for any Writers show. Not only that, but the setup at the Wonder Bar made this one of the best listened to local segments. Unfortunately, one of the things that has marred WITR shows in the past has been loud talking during the local segment. It's something that is probably always going to be a problem since people will have been listening to music for several hours and drinking during that time. So, by the time the locals take the stage there are more than a few people feeling pretty good and talking it up; however, for the Wonder Bar show you couldn't hear the talking if you were anywhere near the stage. People have told me the talking was present, but neither the artists nor the people listening to the locals could hear it. So, that was a giant plus tonight.

The locals started out with one depressing song after another - almost trying to top each other. The seriousness was broken up a little when Lou Montesano stopped halfway through his second song. "Oh shit!" he said. "I forgot the words! I knew I would because Gordon (Brown) said, ?hey, if you fuck up it's cool because it'll be funny!'" After restarting, he made it completely through the song he dedicated to a friend of his. It was yet another sad, depressing number.

"I guess this is the downer version of WITR with Chuck and his brother and Lou's friend," sad Rick Barry. "So, I'll do this one. Next round will be happy songs? Wait, I don't think I have any happy songs."

Some highlights included Chuck Schoonmaker doing the Days Awake numbers "My Life", "Devil In Disguise"; Lou Montesano doing "City Streets" off of his solo album of a few years ago; Rick Barry doing "Courage For A Rainy Day" and "Stupid American Song" and Christine Martucci with "I'm Here For You".

I hadn't seen Martucci in a while and was very impressed. She has a powerful voice sort of reminiscent of early Melissa Etheridge and the stripped-down-ness of WITR suited her wonderfully.

All in all, this was definitely four artists to keep an eye on and a great night overall. The only complaint was in having a special menu for the night rather than the regular Wonder Bar menu. Several people wanted to simply have some appetizers rather than the complete meal, but that wasn't an option. Still, food is an important part of the WITR experience in my opinion. It's one of the things that makes the show a special night, so it was nice to have the show back in a setting where one could make a complete night out. The special menu was a nice idea, but it backfired. Stick to the regular menu and the Wonder Bar succeeds in every way as a setting for future WITR shows.

As Rick Barry said, "I knew this would be a good night when ESPN wasn't on!"


** You can view photos from the show at:
http://www.upstagemagazine.com/photos/photos.php?directory=WritersInTheRawJuly2006



For more by this author, click here




More Articles You Might Like

P!NK Announces 2019 Spring Dates, Tour To End At Madison Square Garden
P!NK Announces 2019 Spring Dates, Tour To End At Madison Square Garden
Shawn Mendes To Perform At Prudential Center
Shawn Mendes To Perform At Prudential Center
New Kids On The Block To Perform In Newark With Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Naughty by Nature
New Kids On The Block To Perform In Newark With Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Naughty by Nature
Whitney Houston Exhibit Opens at The GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center
Whitney Houston Exhibit Opens at The GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center
NJPAC To Present "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" In Concert with the NJSO
NJPAC To Present "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" In Concert with the NJSO
Iron Maiden Announces 2 Local Dates
Iron Maiden Announces 2 Local Dates






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

Kick Dance Studios presents I LOVE the 90s @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 1:00pm


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

View all events
























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

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.