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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites....5/1/14

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 05/02/2014

“The Name?” explains Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery, “It comes from Lajon. He’s always saying that we are like “Time Travelers” because we do our old and new songs on stage. The Bonfires represent our new songs, which are a little more up, rockin’ acoustic types.”

Fans of Sevendust have been down this road before; 2004’s “Southside Double-wide,” which won critical acclaim, was a huge success with their doggedly loyal base and something, which no doubt, played a part in the band’s latest release and marketing strategy, as “Time Travelers & Bonfires,” their second acoustic effort, is about to hit the shelves on April 15.

This disc, their tenth studio album, is the first “fan funded” CD the band has ever done. Utilizing a funding site along the lines of the popular “Kickstarter” called “Pledge Music,” the band relied on their faithful to be not only the financial backers but actually more informed and somewhat involved in the recording. “We decided to do it this way,” explained Lowery, “Well; it’s an interesting time in music right now. Making music isn’t done the same way and neither is the way we pay for it. We have such a diehard fan base and we talked about wanting to involve them more, pay them back for their support; after we talked with Rich at “Pledge Music” we decided that’s the way we wanted to go. “Pledge Music” is so different from other starter campaigns, they allowed us total access to the process and we can involve the fans and they get updates; it was just a great way to go about it.”

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Involve the fans may be a bit of an understatement, as their legions (which the band considers “family”) not only allowed the group to hit their established goal in the first weekend of the campaign but were involved in the song selection as well. “Time Travelers & Bonfires” is a collection of half acoustically redone selections from their catalog and half new material. The “family” was asked for their opinions and they responded in a big way; helping new versions of “Black,” “Gone,” “Denial,” “Karma,” “Trust” and “Crucified” come back to the forefront.

The recording process took the band back to a familiar place, Architekt Music Studios in Butler, NJ; rather far from their Georgia home but where they felt that they needed to be after the previous success of “Black Out the Sun;” also recorded at Architekt. “It’s a long story how we found those guys,” says Lowery. “We randomly sent out a tweet asking about studio monitors, we kept messaging back and forth and we became fast friends. We began exchanging ideas for some recording and sending tracks to each other, to the point where we had done enough for a second EP, yet we had never met. As our relationship developed, we started letting them do our production work and eventually we went and did the album there. We like it there so we decided to go back and record this one there too.”

Coming off the heels and success of “Black Out the Sun,” one may wonder as to why the group decided to switch gears and go for this acoustic disc now; according to Lowery it was time. “Well, we did a small run before; around fifteen dates I think it was and it was a success. There was a DVD and our fans really liked what we did. People think of us as a heavy band and probably rightfully so but we can also be very melodic. There are really two versions of our band; heavy and light. This is our first full on acoustic tour and a nice switch of pace; we are happy with this record and ready to get out on the road and support it.” “For me, on an acoustic, I’m able to showcase my vocals more. This is just a little something different, you know, we get off the beaten path every now and then,” said vocalist Lajon Witherspoon in a recent press release. Clint and Lajon are not alone in their sentiments as their band mates are just as raring to go. “We wanted to do an acoustic run,” “This will be cool for us, to kind of go in and just focus on just the acoustic side of the band” and “I hope our fans dig it. We play the heavy stuff all the time. It’s good to throw something different in there and change it up a little bit,” are all recent quotes attributed to the remaining members.

One thing is certain, the boys of Sevendust will be well received no matter where they go. With the tour launching on April 1 in Athens, GA and scheduled to complete at the end of June in Kent, CT, they are confident that their fans will not be disappointed. “You know,” said Lowery, “It’s so hard to say if we have a favorite city or if our fans are any better in one city more than the next. I mean, we’ve been doing this for a long time and we’ve had great experiences; had some really crappy ones too (laughs) but we play our hardest for our fans in all of the cities that we go to. We’ve had up and we’ve had down shows; recently, Chicago has been really hot for us and performing in our hometown is always a good time but overall, we just love getting out and playing for them.”

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So what does the future hold? “I guess it’s more of the same,” stated Lowery. “There’s no change in what we do. Every time we put out a record, we tour eighteen months to support it, then take some time off and start all over again.”

Eighteen months of touring to support “Time Travelers & Bonfires,” revisiting and trying to recreate past acoustic successes. From the sounds of things, it’s not just “An Evening With Sevendust” but a big long “family” reunion!

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


Alchemist & Barrister

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Candlelight Lounge
24 Passaic St. Trenton
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1140 River Rd. Ewing

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116 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.


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

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

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Wed. The Invitational (Featuring John & Peter's House Band)
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JoJo's Tavern

2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton

(609) 586-2678

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Millhill Basement

300 South Broad St. Trenton

(609) 989-1600

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

Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Sat. 9:30 p.m. No Way Out

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. Kevin Toft & His All Star Band

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

Fri. 9:30 p.m. Radio Fiction

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RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300

Thurs. 9 p.m. College Night w/ DJ Jeff Scott Gould

Fri. (4:30 p.m.) Karaoke w/ Jilly Sentino (8 p.m.) Rheminis (10 p.m.) DJ Jimmie Palumbo

All Shows 21+

Spigola Ristorante

3817 Crosswicks Hamilton Square Rd. Hamilton

Fri. 8:30 p.m. DJ Frank Oliveti

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Tony Malandro

Sunsets at Cream Ridge

181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge

(609) 208-2500

Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Joe Kaplow

Fri. (6 p.m.) Rob Silvers Duo (9 p.m.) Drew's Farm

Sat. 9:30 p.m. The Psycho Misfits

Mon. 7 p.m. Open Mic. and Karaoke w/ Rich Barry

Tavern On The Lake

101 Main St. Hightstown
(609) 426-9345

Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Night

Sat. 9 p.m. Black Rose

Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night

The Cool Cricket

216 4th St. Fieldsboro

(609) 291-9110

Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke

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The Ivy Inn

248 Nassau St. Princeton

(609) 921-8555

Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ Ron Sherr

Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Darius

Sat. 10 p.m. Root Glen

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

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The Record Collector

358 Farnsworth Ave. Bordentown

(609) 324-0880

Fri. 8 p.m. Paul Plumeri Blues Band. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $12 (advance)

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The Sticky Wicket
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(609) 439-0007

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The Sun National Bank Center
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Tir Na Nog
1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 392-2554

Fri. 9 p.m. Seamus Kelleher

Sat. 9 p.m. John Patrick Bastiani

All shows 21+

Trenton Social

449 South Broad Street Trenton

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Fri. 10 p.m. Friday night w/ Jay Kountree & Jaxx

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

Thurs. 10 p.m. Christian Lee Hutson

Fri. 10 p.m. The Lawsuits. $5 (coverage)

Sat. 10 p.m. Mike Miz Trio $5 (cover charge)

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Villa Romanza

429 Rte. 156 Hamilton

(609) 585-1717

Fri. 6 p.m. Arturo Romay

Wildflowers Inn

2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington

Sat. 9 p.m. Live Acoustic Rock
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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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