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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...1/1/14

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 01/02/2015
"Not only is Sam Cooke's music catchy, popular and beloved, it's groundbreaking in terms of importance, inspiring change and in elevating social awareness. Sam's classic "A Change Is Gonna Come," although inspired specifically about civil rights, can easily be applied in spirit to any cause or issue facing people. People struggling and hoping for that overdue change. In the context of Candlelight Concerts, that would be epilepsy," says Candlelight Concert for Epilepsy Awareness founder Eric Miller in preparation for the next installment of this ever growing popular series of shows. Miller suffered a loss when his young wife Carolina tragically passed away from an epileptic seizure in her 20's. Since then he has made it his mission to draw awareness to this condition which affects one in every ten people.

Eric has assembled an all star cast for this latest event which features Gary U.S. Bonds, Living Colour's Corey Glover, Labelle's Sarah Dash, Jeffrey Gaines, the Push Stars Chris Trapper and others performing "An All Star Tribute to Sam Cooke" at 7 p.m. January 10 at The Trinity United Methodist Church located at 1985 Pennington Road in Ewing, NJ.

Miller didn't just stop at the performers; he has also recruited a top notch "House band" under the direction of Living Colour bassist extraordinaire Doug Wimbish to compliment the array of vocal talent. "We've got this," chuckled Wimbish. "Eric, well, I like what he's doing; he comes with a passion born of his wife's passing. I tip my hat to him and his passion, it is selfless. I was here earlier this past year with Living Colour and I loved doing this! I feel blessed and I send blessings to Eric for what he's doing to change peoples lives and I am honored to be part of it. Eric has put together this great line up and the band is just incredible. We have Paul Pesco who plays guitar on "Live from Daryl's House" and tours with Madonna and Alicia Keys. We have Calvin Weston on drums and David Dzubinski out of Philly on keyboards and a local guy named Danny Coleman on percussion; we are going to stay as true to the song catalog of Sam Cooke as possible. There will be some variations but I don't want to give too much away."

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With a cast which also includes Carsie Blanton, Lili Anel and Danielia Cotton; Miller had the unenviable task of putting together a soundtrack fitting the various styles and vocal ranges that he has assembled. "In coordinating the singer-song choices and setlist, I was struck by how many performances could easily steal the show! Chris Trapper is doing You Send Me, Carsie Blanton is doing Cupid, Gary is doing this, Sarah Dash is doing that. Jeffrey Gaines, Danielia Cotton, Lili Anel, every one is poised to blow the roof off. I mean, Corey Glover singing Sam Cooke songs in a church, where else would you be??"

The performers are excited as well and to a person are honored to have been asked to be part of this tribute to the legend that is Sam Cooke. One of those is former Candlelight Concert headliner, Carsie Blanton. "Sam Cooke was one of the best singers of all time, and an insightful and heartbreaking songwriter as well. He had a totally disarming, divine, deeply pleasurable voice, and could have gotten away with being a pop singer. Instead, his voice became a harbinger of change, and a powerful force in the civil rights movement. "A Change is Gonna Come" is one of the most stunning and chilling songs of that movement. I have the utmost respect for him as a singer and a writer, and I'm so glad for the opportunity to pay homage to him."

A very special performer at this event is a former touring partner of Cooke's; Gary U.S. Bonds. Bonds who admits that Cooke stimulated his career by literally "Knocking some sense" into him when he was a nineteen year old emerging talent, is a perfect compliment to the evening. "Gary is classic American history," says Wimbish. "He made his mark, like Sam, at a key time. The fact that he's still around says volumes about his ability and talent. U.S. Bonds is responsible for classic rock 'n' roll, it's ageless. "Quarter to Three," "New Orleans," come on these are classics and his collaborations with Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt and him being able to be a part of this just brings things full circle. I grew up listening to him and in my opinion we couldn't have a better artist to pay tribute to Sam."

Cooke's contributions and presence during a very tumultuous time in our country's racial history had a profound impact on many including Wimbish. "I could go on and on. He has so many classics and this show just scratches the surface really. Sam Cooke came along during the beginning of the civil rights movement and as a black artist owned his own club, a record label and being an African-American in that era he made people dance and come together. I am honored to be the musical director for this; he was a great artist who died tragically and too soon."

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The tribute, which Wimbish says will include at least 22 different songs sung individually and as duets is special in several ways. "After Living Colour appeared here in April, Eric pulled me aside and asked me to get more involved. I was more than willing to do so and he assembled these great guests. Listening to all of these great Sam Cooke songs, which are woven into so much modern music brought me back to my childhood. Sam's DNA is in my musical system for sure."

Tickets for this all star affair can be purchased for $40 in advance by going to or $45 the day of the show.

That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!


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Amalfi's Restaurant

146 Lawrenceville-Pennington Rd. Lawrenceville

(609) 912-1599

Fri./Sat. 8:30 p.m. (TBA)

Amarones Windsor Inn

29 Church St. Windsor

(609) 448-7144

Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Scott Cager & Debbie

Fri. 8 p.m. Rick & Kenny

Sat. 8 p.m. Meg Hanson Band feat. Billy Hill

Wed. 7:30 p.m. DJ John Rossi

Big Shots Bar and Grill/Hebe Music Lounge

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835 E Rte. 130 South, Burlington

(609) 267-1200

Fri. 8 p.m. Z88.9's Backstage Kickoff Party

Sat. 8 p.m. Jack and Our Now, Danielle and Jennifer, One Punch Mickey, Treetop Casino

Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic. feat. Nicole Fahs

Blend Bar & Bistro

911 Highway 33, Hamilton

(609) 245-8887

Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam

The Backstage at Championship Bar
931 Chambers St. Trenton

Fri. 7 p.m. Burn The Empire, Mindless Flesh, Mortanius, Buried In The Walls. All ages, $10

Sat. 5 p.m. Emergency Protocol, S.O.L., Keys To the Cadillac, Episode Earth, Between The Vertebrae, Gordon's Alley. All ages, $10

Wed. 8 p.m. WU-Wednesday. Ages 21+, $5

Candlelight Lounge
24 Passaic St. Trenton
(609) 695-9612

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Sat. 3 p.m. Andre Mutherson Quartet. (No cover-$10 minimum)

Chambers Walk Cafe
2667 Main St. Lawrenceville
(609) 896-5995

Fri. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton

Chickie's & Pete's

183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown

(609) 298-9182

Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs

Dog & Bull Brew House

810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.

(215) 788-2855

Sun. 3 p.m. Dick Gratton

Fran's Pub

116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.


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Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam

All shows 21+

Havana New Hope
105 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-9897

Thurs. 10 p.m. Beat The Clock DJ Dance Party

Fri. 8 p.m. "Damn The Torpedos" Tom Petty Tribute. Doors at 6 p.m., $15

Sat. 8:30 p.m. FM

Sun. 2 p.m. Midnight Sun Orchestra

All shows 21+

Ivy Tavern
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435

Fri. 10 p.m. F2 and The Anchovy Brothers

Sat. 10 p.m. The Ernie White Band
All shows 21+

John & Peter's
96 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981

Thurs. All Day brunch and Pajama Party

Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night

Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+

JoJo's Tavern

2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton

(609) 586-2678

Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke

Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton
(609) 838-7979

Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

All shows 21+

Patriot's Crossing

1339 River Rd. Titusville

(609) 737-2780

Fri. 7:30 p.m. Sensei Juan and The Black Belts

Sat. 7:30 p.m. Lisa Bouchelle & Joe D'Angelo

Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton
(609) 585-8008

Fri. 9:30 p.m. The Hamiltones

Sat. 9:30 p.m. Crosswick

RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300


Fri. (TBA)

Sat. (TBA)

All Shows 21+

Tavern On The Lake

101 Main St. Hightstown
(609) 426-9345

Fri. 9 p.m. Out of The Red

Sat. 9 p.m. Sneak Attack

Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night

The Ivy Inn

248 Nassau St. Princeton

(609) 921-8555

Thurs. Open 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Fatha Ramzee

Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Copacetic

Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv

The HOB Tavern

146 Second Street

(609) 291-7020

Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke

The Millhill Basement

300 South Broad St Trenton

(609) 989-1600

Check web page for upcoming shows.

The Record Collector

358 Farnsworth Ave. Bordentown

(609) 324-0880

Sat. 8 p.m. Ricky Byrd / Janet Labelle. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $12 (advance)

The Sun National Bank Center
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 656-3200

Check web site for upcoming events

Tir Na Nog
1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 392-2554

Fri. 9 p.m. Rick Winow

Sat. 9 p.m. Bill Shannon

Sun. 3 p.m. "Irish Sessions" w/ Kathy DeAngelo & Dennis Gormley

Wed. 9 p.m. Paul Wiese

All shows 21+

Trenton Social

449 South Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-7777

Thurs. 8 p.m. Cinema Thursdays Presents: (Closed)

Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday Presents: "Young at heArt" a Watercolor Exhibit by Nonagenarian Stephen M. Marusky

Mon. 10 p.m. Service Industry Night w/ DJ-Jay Kountree

Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-8300

Fri. 10 p.m. Something Shiny. ($5 cover charge)

Sat. 10 p.m. Ronny. ($5 cover charge)

Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night

Tues. 9 p.m. Acoustic Bengal Gold

All shows 21+

Wildflowers Inn

2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington

Sat. 9 p.m. Live Acoustic Rock
Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.



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