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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...6/18/15

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 06/19/2015
The stage looked like a garage rehearsal space, very comfortable with faux lava lamps, large cloths with designs and soft lighting; framed by a classic rock sound track, welcoming all as they filtered into Red Bank's Count Basie Theatre. A quick inventory revealed nine guitars (two of which were of the double neck variety), a grand piano, an amp and a whole lot of anticipation of what was to come. 
The predominantly female audience lined the front of the stage; taking pre-show selfies until the house lights dimmed and the dull murmur which permeated this small New Jersey venue became a deafening roar. There was no doubt who they were there to see and when Melissa Etheridge took the stage at 8:05 p.m., acoustic guitar in hand to the weighted strums of "Ain't It Heavy," the deafening roar was accompanied by a stampede of fans anxious to get near the front  of the stage. Cell phone video, pictures and attempts to push closer kept security busy and Etheridge, seemingly enjoying the adrenaline rush plowed forward strong and undeterred by the chaos which surrounded her. A sly smile and wide eyed looks were enough to keep the raucous crowd, now at a fever pitch at bey as she welcomed her fans at the tune's completion. 
"Take My Number" was followed by "Ruins" and Melissa showed no signs of slowing down, even as the denizens slowly filtered back to their seats; she knew that they were hers on this night. Prior to "Ruins," Etheridge introduced us all to her new musical toy but only after playfully teasing some well wishers in the crowd with her response to what she hears on stage versus what they actually yell out. Sounding briefly like a character from "The Muppet Show," Melissa couldn't help but laugh as she offered her version of a reply and picked up an Irish Bodhran drum and began to play an almost tribal rhythm. Her attempts were interrupted by the crowds over eager few, which she shrugged off with a laugh as she was going through a looping process; capturing the beat and recording it for playback. The Tambourine was next added in an offset pattern which added brightness to the other wise dark of  the tune. 
Changing up rhythmic patterns once again, Melissa joking said, "I call this playin' with myself,"  as the crowd laughed in unison and one over zealous patron asked if she needed help. Busting into "Royal Station 4/16" Melissa was on fire as this one woman show was really picking up a head of steam. Her use of today's technology, her playful disposition and her gritty style were making for a perfect combination on this night at this intimate venue. Joking that in, "1988 you were alive but your hair was completely different," "Occasionally" was up next as she turned her guitar around and pounded out the songs rhythm pulse with bare palm on its back and sang the haunting lyrics to perfection. 
Allowing the applause to die down and in total command of the stage, Etheridge gave the crowd a little tale about growing up and getting in trouble. "I stopped getting in trouble when I was fifty," she said with a laugh. "I'm not in trouble any more. I know you all know what I mean; that's why you bought the record!" As she broke into "I Want To Come Over," the crowd once again cascaded to the stage like a wave heads to shore. Melissa wasted no time in rockin' this one hard as the sing along had begun, stopping only when she raised an extended arm, head bowed under a single spotlight daring the crowd to push her forward. A sudden shift to chorus of her pal Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire," brought her out of the dramatic pause and quickly back into her tune. 
A revved up fan base was quickly quieted as Etheridge made her way to the piano and relayed a lengthy story about "Who Are You Waiting For." "These were my wedding vows," she started; "The first time I ever played this song was at my wedding. There's nothing more intimate than that," she said with a laugh. 
The softness of a beautiful ending was shattered by applause as Melissa quickly transitioned back to guitar for "Your Little Secret" and "Like a Preacher." Once through those two, it was time to work the crowd up once again and she did so beautifully. Switching back to a twelve string acoustic guitar; Melissa performed a great interlude showing off her improved fret board skill set before launching into the one time mega hit "Come To My Window." 
"Ain't That Bad," was followed by a transition back to the piano for the eloquent "The Letting Go," yet again quieting a raucous yet mesmerized crowd. 
"Since we are in Jersey, I'd like to bring out two of my band mates who are from Jersey" and with that she introduced Arden Altino and Jerry Wonda who took their places behind the piano and a bass guitar. The audience, never allowed to get comfortable, was brought to their feet once again by the opening lead in of "I'm The Only One," in which she used an impromptu piano and harmonica solo to extend this crowd pleaser buoyed further along by a nifty electric guitar solo; once again showing off her lead guitar abilities. 
Breaking out her Dobro style guitar and slide, accompanied by a dynamic bass line, "Monster" was next on tap and definitely carries the WOW factor. A bass guitar driven tune that thumps harder than a playground bully and is interspersed with fabulous slide guitar; this could be the one that works its way up the charts. 
"Bring Me Some Water" closed out the fifteen song set and as she and her band mates took a bow at 9:59 p.m., one knew that she wasn't through just yet. After a two minute wait, she burst back on stage in much the same way she did nearly two hours earlier, acoustic guitar in hand strumming powerful, driving chords; this time they were "Like The Way I Do." Joined again by Altino and Wonda, Etheridge took this song to its limits, pounding it out for approximately ten minutes and ending the night on a high note; sending her sweat drenched fans into the Red Bank evening happy and wanting more. 
Overall, the show was truly well done. Etheridge really utilizes technology and brings the tracks off of her great new album "This Is M.E." to life in a way that allows this talented artist to bare her various sides while maintaining her persona; that of a rocker who takes no prisoners. 
To discover more about the "This Is M.E. 2015 Tour," please go to 
 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. Paul Plumeri Band

Sun. 9 p.m. Ed Wilson

All shows 21+

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Amarones Windsor Inn

29 Church St. Windsor


(609) 448-7144


Thurs. 6:30 p.m. "Country" Ron Crites

Fri. 8 p.m. Shore Soundz

Sat. 8 p.m. Tony Malandro

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Tues. 8 p.m. Ambiance the Duo


Blend Bar & Bistro

911 Highway 33, Hamilton

(609) 245-8887


Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam 


The Backstage at Championship Bar 

931 Chambers St. Trenton

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info


Fri. 6 p.m. Shiva's Destruction, Stargazer, Without A Hobby, Lost In Betrayal, Glass {Houses}, Humanist. All ages, $10

Sat. 5 p.m. Between The Vertebrae, Arson's HARBOR, dead Robins, Catching Wasps, After Midnight, The Midnight Sound, Bodies Under Siege. All ages, $10


Candlelight Lounge 

24 Passaic St. Trenton

(609) 695-9612


Sat. 3 p.m. Vince Ector Drum Quartet. (No cover-$10 minimum)


Chickie's & Pete's

183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown

(609) 298-9182


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

Wed. 9 p.m. Trivia Night


Dog & Bull Brew House

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

(215) 788-2855


Thurs. 8 p.m. Soul Kitchen

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour Jam" feat. Cecil Middleton (9 p.m.) Brian Bortnick

Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. Jazz 180 (9 p.m.) Vic's Mix

Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Joe Robinson (3 p.m.) Pop Fiction

Mon. 8 p.m. Mike Cono

Tues. 8 p.m. Brian Cono

Wed. 8 p.m. Andalusia Jug Band


Fran's Pub

116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.



Thurs. 9 p.m. Curtain Call

Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam

All shows 21+  


Halo Pub

4617 Nottingham Way Hamilton Square

(609) 586-1811


Sat. 7 p.m. Black Cat Habitat

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info


Havana New Hope

105 S. Main Street. New Hope, Pa. 

(215) 862-9897


Thurs. 10 p.m. "Thirsty Thursday Beat The Clock" DJ Dance Party

Fri. 8 p.m. Wired

Sat. (12 p.m.) Canal Music Studios Event (8:30 p.m.) Mike Lecompt

Sun. 8 p.m. Ginger Baker. Doors 6 p.m., $75 

Mon. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron

Tues. 8:30 p.m. Al DiMeola / Elegant Gypsy and more. Doors 6:30 p.m., $75 (Advance)

Wed. 8 p.m. Pat Foran & Friends feat. Kevin Toft and The All Star Band


Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn

15 E. Broad Street Hopewell

(609) 466-9889


Thurs. 8 p.m. Acoustic Ten Foot Tall


Ivy Tavern 

3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton

(609) 888-1435


Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Fri. 10 p.m. EL Ka Bong

Sat. 10 p.m. The Dawgs

All shows 21+


John & Peter's 

96 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-5981


Thurs. 9 p.m. J & P's Comedy 

Fri. 9 p.m. Eric Sommer

Sat. (3 p.m.) Seoul Delhi (8 p.m.) Billy Hector

Sun. (3 p.m.)River City Healers (9 p.m.) The Happy Dog

Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Tim

Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational

All shows 21+


JoJo's Tavern

2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton

(609) 586-2678


Sat. 10 p.m. Moot Davis

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. Paul Plumeri Blues Band

Sat. 7:30 p.m. (TBA)


Pete's Steak House

523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton

(609) 585-8008


Fri. 9:30 p.m. F2 & The Anchovy Brothers

Sat. 9:30 p.m. Dusty Rivers Band


Randy Now's Man Cave

134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown

(609) 424-3766


Check web site for upcoming shows


RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300


Fri. (4 p.m.) Happy Hour Buffet. $10 (8:30 p.m.) Once Again

Sat. 10 p.m. "The All White Party" Hosted by Yandy Smith. All White Attire Required, $30 (advance)

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. Temporary Grace

Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 


The HOB Tavern

146 Second Street

(609) 291-7020


Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke


The Ivy Inn

248 Nassau St. Princeton

(609) 921-8555


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

Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Darius

Sat. 10 p.m. Diablo Sandwich Band

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

Wed. 8:30 p.m. Tune Trivia (10:30 p.m.) DJ Rockn Ron


The Millhill Basement

300 South Broad St Trenton

(609) 989-1600


See web site for upcoming shows


The Record Collector

358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown

(609) 324-0880


Fri. 8 p.m. Latin Dance Party w/ De Tierra Caliente Band. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $15 (advance) 

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


The Sticky Wicket 

2465 South Broad St. Hamilton

(609) 439-0007


Fri. 9 p.m. Tangled

Sat. 9 p.m. (TBA)


The Sun National Bank Center 

81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 656-3200


Check web site for upcoming events


Tilted Kilt 

557 US Hwy. 130 North, Hamilton

(609) 585-1800


Sat. 9 p.m. (TBA)


Tir Na Nog 

1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 392-2554


Fri. 9 p.m. Moot Davis & Bill Corvino

Sat. 9 p.m. Mike Barniskis

Tues. 7 p.m. Jerry Monk

All shows  21+

Trenton Buzz

702 Pine St. Trenton

(609) 392-6000


Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Hek Cat


Trenton Social

449 South Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-7777


Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Cinema Thursday Presents: (TBA)

Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday

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

Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic.


Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)

400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-8300


Fri. 10 p.m. Jeremiah Tall w/ Black Horse Motel. ($5 cover charge)

Sat. 10 p.m. Wise Old Moon. ($5 cover charge)

Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night

Wed. 9 p.m. Ryan Cavanaugh

All shows 21+


Wildflowers Inn

2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington

Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock 

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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