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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites....6/12/14

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 06/12/2014
"I view the stage as if I'm inviting the audience into my living room," says songwriter/musician extraordinaire Christine Ohlman as we spoke in advance of her scheduled 8 p.m. appearance this Saturday evening at The Record Collector on Farnsworth Ave. in Bordentown City.

This self professed "Beehive Queen" (due to the prototypical sixties hairstyle which she proudly sports), is an amazingly talented writer and performer who has shared the stage and/or recorded with some of music's biggest names. Cutting her first record at the age of sixteen and a veteran performer prior to that, Ohlman has seemed destined for greatness from day one.

Seemingly having an incredible knack for surrounding herself with the right people and being in the right place at the right time; Ohlman has made full use of her talents. A founding member of The Scratch Band (which included current SNL band members G.E. Smith and Paul Ossola), Ohlman blazed a rock 'n' roll trail along the east coast; combining her songwriting skills with her guitar and piano work to grab the attention of audiences everywhere she went.

One such audience member was none other than SNL big man Lorne Michaels. Michaels, as it was, seemed to have become enamored with Christine's musical abilities after seeing her perform at his wedding reception. "I was asked by G.E Smith to come to New York and do a gig on Long Island; which turned out to be Lorne Michael's wedding reception. I've known G.E. for years so I was like sure, why not? Well, I got there, did the gig, I never even saw Michaels all night; you know how wedding receptions are, people get busy at those things especially the bride and groom (laughs). The next season of SNL began just shortly thereafter and Lorne was there of course, when he saw the band he asked G.E., "Where's the girl?" Apparently he really liked my work at the reception and asked that I be part of the SNL band; I didn't even see him but hey, I was in the right place at the right time."

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Ohlman has been a fixture with SNL for more than two decades now, assuming the majority of, if not all of the lead vocal duties all while managing a fantastic solo career which includes six CDs with her current band Rebel Montez. "These guys are great," she told me, with clear enthusiasm in her voice. "My original guitarist, Eric Fletcher passed away and then my husband a short time later, so these guys really are like my support system at times. I have Michael Colbath on bass, Larry Donahue on drums and for this tour I'm using Chris Bickley who came up from South Carolina to tour with us."

Their most recent disc, 2012's "The Deep End," is what Ohlman calls a "Healing and perhaps the deepest studio experience" that she's ever had. "I did that album after I lost my husband and my guitarist," she explained in halted tones. "It kind of came about because I was speaking with Roseann Cash and we discussed sad songs and she asked me if I thought that it took courage to fall into love? This disc is about just that."

Staying busy is never a problem for the "Beehive Queen" as in her words, "I tour constantly, I never really stop." Recently returning from what she likes to call her "Pet Charity," that of the New Orleans Musicians Clinic; Ohlman beams when she discusses the cause. "Oh yes! I actually just got back from playing two sold out shows at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to support the cause. This was the fifth year and Dr. John showed up, the Radiators and gosh so many others to support this great clinic. This is all the musicians have, especially post Katrina; I mean, even with "Obama Care," they still need money to pay the deductible. You know yourself, most musicians have no healthcare and this clinic provides a huge service to the community. I'll be going back down again soon. I try to time my visits during the summer when SNL isn't a factor. This year I intend on going down to Muscle Shoals and seeing some friends and doing some recording; I just need to find the time to make another record!"

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Ohlman has shared the stage or recorded with the likes of Ian Hunter, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson and Bill Medley. She has performed at the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction and has won multiple awards herself as well as made a host of television appearances aside from her weekly stint on SNL. However, when speaking with this engaging personality, one would not sense that she has hob knobbed with the industry elite. When asked if she ever expected such success she was both gracious and candid in her response. "No. You know, that is a great question; nobody has ever asked it of me that way. I got into music for the love not the money. I am in this for the love of the work and anybody who is in it for the money or anything else; shouldn't be in it at all. You're setting yourself up for disappointment if you think it's a get rich quick scheme. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life; I am where I'm supposed to be, so yeah, I never expected it but I wanted it, worked for it and I love what I do."

Ohlman is very excited about coming to the Record Collector on Saturday, not only to perform but to browse their wares as well. "I've never been to this venue before," she said. "I'm friends with Marshall Crenshaw and he tells me it's a great place! I am a collector of old records myself so I'll probably spend what I make in the same place (laughs)! Other friends of mine who've either played or been there speak very highly of it so I am looking forward to performing in such a small venue as well as perusing their inventory."

Ohlman's music which was recently referred to as "Rockin' female Honky Tonk / Americana," is well structured, fantastically produced and speaks to many on multiple levels. Young female artists should be looking to her for inspiration instead of the Disney Channel or any of the current talent contests that are invading living rooms all across our country; giving young musicians the wrong impression, that of, to make it big you need to go through a panel of judges. Ohlman is a perfect example of hard work and believing in oneself, with determination, can make it happen.

Tickets for the Record Collector performance are only $15 in advance. To learn more about Christine Ohlman, please go to . To find out more about the Record Collector, go to and to discover more about the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, please visit

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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

28 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-5555

Thurs. 10 p.m. Molly Sue Gonzalez

Wed. 10 p.m. Open mic. night Hosted by Eric Puliti

All shows 21+

Amalfi's Bar & Restaurant

146 Lawrenceville-Pennington Rd. Lawrenceville

(609) 912-1599

Sat. 8:30 p.m. F2 and the Anchovy Brothers

Amarones Windsor Inn

29 Church St. Windsor

(609) 448-714

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Thurs. (6:30 p.m.)Pizza Night w/Scott Gager & Debbie (7:30 p.m.) Texas Hold'em

Fri. 8 p.m. The Phaze Band

Sat. 8 p.m. Shore Soundz

Tues. 7:30 p.m. Texas Hold'em

Big Shots Bar and Grill/Hebe Music Lounge

835 E Rte. 130 South, Burlington

(609) 267-1200

Fri. 8 p.m. Supreem and the New Experience, Rich Quick, The Philly Reggae Band, Elliot Ruckus.

Sat. 8 p.m. Stone Baby, Steve Oakley Band, Paul Kurrey.

Wed. 8 p.m. Open Mic.


911 Rte. 33 Hamilton

(609) 245-8887

Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke

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Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Jam

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

Sat. 3 p.m. Webb T Quartet (No cover-$10 minimum)

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

Fri./Sat. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton

Dubh Linn Square
167 Rte. 130 North Bordentown
(609) 298-7100

Sun. 4 p.m.Billy O'neal

Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night hosted by Shaun Ruymen

Erini Restaurant

1140 River Rd. Ewing

(609) 882-0303

Sat. 8:30 p.m. The Gyrl Band

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Fran's Pub

116 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.


Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Night

Sat. 8 p.m. BKWG

Sun. 3 p.m. Aftershok

Mon. 8 p.m. Open Mic Blues Jam

All shows 21+

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

Thurs. 6 p.m. Big E and Xanders Badabing Cigar Lounge Present: The Summer Smoke Out

Fri. 8 p.m. "Count Down To Ecstasy" Steely Dan Tribute.

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Jumper

Mon. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron Sherr and Bridge

Tues. 8 p.m. Ten Foot Tall CD Release Party

Wed. 8 p.m. Local Original Series feat. ROTIMI and de afrophonik. ($5 cover charge)

All shows 21+

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

Fri. 10 p.m. Highway 41

Sat. 10 p.m. Infinite Bandwidth
All shows 21+

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

Thurs. 9 p.m. Snackpile

Fri. 8 p.m. Chris Harford & The Band of Changes

Sat. (# p.m.) Crosscut Saw (9:30 p.m.) Keith Kenny

Sun. (3 p.m.) David Falcone (9:30 p.m.) Eric Sommer

Mon. Open Mic.

Tues. 9 p.m. Jerry's Bones

Wed. The Invitational (Featuring John & Peter's House Band)
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. Steve Bross

Sat. 7:30 p.m. Kevin Toft and The All Stars

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

Fri. 9:30 p.m. Deep Release

Sat. 9:30 p.m. (TBA)

RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300

Thurs. 9 p.m. College Night w/ DJ Wessy Wess

Fri. (4:30 p.m.) Matt & Rachel (8:30 p.m.) The Papa Delux Party Band (10 p.m.) DJ Jimmie Palumbo

All Shows 21+

Sunsets at Cream Ridge

181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge

(609) 208-2500

Thurs. 7 p.m. Joe Kaplow

Fri. (6 p.m.) Rob Silvers Duo (9 p.m.) Audio Pilot

Sat. 9:30 p.m. Country Night w/ John & JJ

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. Pretty Baby

Sat. 9 p.m. ArHouse

Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night

The Cool Cricket

216 4th St. Fieldsboro

(609) 291-9110

Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Sat. 9 p.m. Polish Nannies

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. El Ka Bong

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

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

The Record Collector

358 Farnsworth Ave. Bordentown

(609) 324-0880

Fri. Screamin' Rebel Angels. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $12 (advance)

Sat. 8 p.m. Christine Ohlman. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $15 (advance).

The Sticky Wicket
2465 South Broad St. Hamilton
(609) 439-0007

Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Fri. 9 p.m. Never Enough

Sat. 9:30 p.m. Love Thorn

All shows 21+

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

Please check web site for upcoming events

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

Fri. 9 p.m. Some Assembly Required

Sat. 9 p.m. Hannah Marie & The Bearded Ladies

All shows 21+

Trenton Social

449 South Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-7777

Thurs. 8 p.m. Cinema Thursdays Presents: Nor'easter

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

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

Tues. 9 p.m. LiveMusic/Open Mic.

Wed. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton

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

Fri. 8 p.m. Benefit Show for Jon Bross.

Sat. (1 p.m.) On Kie Jazz (10 p.m.) Manifested w/ Galaxy Dynamite. $5 (cover charge)

Sun. (1 p.m.) Dharma's Kindess (7 p.m.) Open Jam Night

Tues. 9:30 p.m. The Naughty professor

All shows 21+

Villa Romanza

429 Rte. 156 Hamilton

(609) 585-1717

Thurs. 5:30 p.m. Trenton Freedom Coaches Show

Wildflowers Inn

2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington

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

All shows 21+

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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