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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...8/27/15

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 08/27/2015
Joss Stone broke big with her multi-platinum debut album “The Soul Sessions,” followed up by five additional works and now her seventh release, Water For Your Soul” has hit the masses in July.


A fourteen track eclectic mix of sounds and styles that marks somewhat of a departure from the vintage Stone who garnered a 2005 Grammy nomination for “Mind Body & Soul,” this new release is still a remarkable showcase of Stone’s vocal ability with all the heart and soulful renderings that we’ve come to expect from this talented Brit.


“Love Me,” the opening track; sets the tone with its rehearsal space uncertainty at the start quickly giving way to a rhythmic, electronic, semi-reggae feel. Stone’s vocals are much more pop oriented than what her fans may be used to; yet quite as enticing as the title suggests.


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“This Ain’t Love,” makes great use of additional percussion to set a sultry tone. The conga drums and shakers lightly woven into the background by the engineer/producer are a beautiful touch and create a sensual feel; highlighted once again by Stone’s R & B influenced crooning.


Two tracks into this effort and one may be faced with a dilemma; press on to track three or stop fighting the urge to smoke a cigarette. The first two cuts oozing sexuality, Joss cuts us a break with the Middle Eastern/Indian sound that permeates and dominates “Stuck On You.” “Every time you get me close enough, I fall for you, it’s everything you do, I just can’t get enough you’ve got me truly, you got me truly…” This track has a harder edge than the first two but still a nice departure in style and is the first markedly “Different” sounding offering on the record.


“Star,” is a synthesizer driven work using faux strings and what appears to be a tuba track embellishing some nice guitar work and Stone’s layered vocal. The utilization of a children’s playground at the end is a neat touch but not really needed to drive home the point. This track may be the weak link in an otherwise strong chain as it seems to be more of an add-on rather than part of a progression.


Joss instantly redeems herself with “Let Me Breathe;” a decidedly Latin flavored tune with a flamingo style guitar which permeates this conga laden cut. A mildly aggressive touch is perfectly done as Stone attacks this one with an edge that would make Sade blush.

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“Cut The Line” is yet another percussion driven ditty which uses it’s choppy rhythm punctuated by a perfectly placed, accented guitar wah pedal to create a great back-line for Stone’s urban-esque, near rap vocal track. Again, another semi-aggressive mature effort showing just how far she has come in her career and one she should be happy with.


“Wake Up” is a cross between reggae and slowed down hip hop and is no better or worse than anything else on the disc but it definitely requires a different taste and an open mind. Somewhat urbanized with a Jamaican rap interjected in various spots behind a repetitive percussive keyboard riff; Stone fluctuates between song bird and street corner busker with relative ease. The song itself seems to lack a definitive direction but as stated; an open mind works wonders here.


The reggae vibe continues with “Way Oh,” in which Joss shows some very nice range as she winds her way up and down and in and out of this tune like a snake through high grass; sneaking up on you one minute and lying low, almost unseen the next.


“Underworld” is the ninth cut and has a definite movie theme feel to it. Here too, Stone combines an urban sound with reggae, rap and soul overtones; which much like the aforementioned “Star,” seems to be a bit all over the place. Joss shows her vocal versatility, utilizing many styles to meld the tune together much like a patchwork quilt where the individual parts are a sum of the whole.


“I met this boy in Molly Town I said, boom, boom, boom…” this is one of the strongest offerings on the disc. “Molly Town,” with its reggae feel and playful yet seductive story line has punch and a great feel; once again showcasing Stone’s ability to harmonize and dominate with her strong vocals.

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“Sensimilla” is the most diverse track on the record and another left up to one’s interpretation; enough said.


The twelfth cut is “Harry’s Symphony” and it takes us on a unique ride through various styles of R & B, scat, ska and rap. Stone takes what could be considered a near cacophony of sound and blends it perfectly into a smooth transient trip, complete with a stop at “Cops” which lends a small touch of humor as well.


Track thirteen is titled “Clean Water” and is a synthesizer driven piece with some nice guitar work and a well-produced back mix that accents Stone’s vocals with precision. The upbeat pace makes this one even more appealing.


“The Answer” should be an emphatic yes! This song rocks from beginning to end as its tribal African drum sound gives way to a fantastic rhythm laden, semi-gospel performance with Stone really pouring herself into the song from start to finish. Another prime cut off of this “Grade A Top Choice” album and a beautiful way to close it out; if “Always leave them wanting more” is true then Stone has done her job.


Over all, “Water For Your Soul” is a great mix of rhythms, soulful vocals and styles that is guaranteed to evoke some “Wow” moments with a lot of toe tapping, dancing and head bobbing thrown in; don’t fight it, just go with it.


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



Amarones Windsor Inn

29 Church St. Windsor


(609) 448-7144


Fri. 8 p.m. Rock & Rhythm

Sat. 8 p.m. Hunter Hayes


Blend Bar & Bistro

911 Highway 33, Hamilton

(609) 245-8887

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Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam 


The Backstage at Championship Bar 

931 Chambers St. Trenton


Fri. 7 p.m. Stories Ff Living (Album Release), Another Day Wasted, Cut The Act, Too Far Gone, D'bkle. All ages, $10

Sat. 5 p.m. Results Not Typical, No Wifi, Redox Envy, (TBA). All ages, $10

Wed. 6 p.m. Fire From The Gods, In Search Of, Silent To Slaughter, Rome's In Ruins, (TBA). All ages, $10/$12


Candlelight Lounge 

24 Passaic St. Trenton

(609) 695-9612


Sat. 3 p.m. John Simon Sax 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

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


Dog & Bull Brew House

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

(215) 788-2855


Thurs. 8 p.m. Kevin Toft & The All Stars

Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour Jam" feat. Keli Vale Jazz Duo (9 p.m.) New Pony

Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. Dave Dzubinski Group (9 p.m.) Soul Custody

Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Dick Gratton  (3 p.m.) Pop Fiction Trio

Mon. 8 p.m. Mike Ghantt

Tues. 8 p.m. Brian Cono

Wed. 8 p.m. Joe Robinson


First n Ten 

1961 Hamilton Avenue Hamilton

(609) 587-1028


Sat. 2 p.m. "Quests For Vests" feat. The Dawgs 


Fran's Pub

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116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.



Thurs. 6 p.m. North X New Hope

Fri. 9 p.m. North X New Hope

Sat. 9 p.m. North X New Hope

Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam

All shows 21+  


Havana New Hope

105 S. Main Street. New Hope, Pa. 

(215) 862-9897


Thurs. 10 p.m. "Beat The Clock" College Night DJ Dance Party

Fri. 8 p.m. Citizens Band Radio. General admission, $15

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Jumper

Sun. 6 p.m. JB Kline

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

Tues. 7 p.m. A Taste of Artistry's "Paint & Sip Night"

Wed. 8 p.m. Pat Foran & Friends 


Ivy Tavern 

3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton

(609) 888-1435


Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Fri. 10 p.m. Papa Deluxe

Sat. 10 p.m. Polish Nannies

All shows 21+


John & Peter's 

96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-5981


Thurs. 9 p.m. Justin Pope

Fri. 8 p.m. North X New Hope

Sat. 3 p.m. North X New Hope

Sun. 3 p.m. North X New Hope 

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


Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke


Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series at the Capital Green

201 Barrack Street Trenton


Sat. 7 p.m.  Justin Trawick and The Common Good. All ages, outdoor event


Mamma Rosa's Restaurant

572 Klockner Rd. Hamilton

(609) 588-5454


Sun. 6:30 p.m. Deb & Mike


McGuinn's Place

1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence

(609) 392-0599


Sat. 9:30 p.m. It Starts With I 


Millhill Basement

300 S. Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-1600


Please check web site for upcoming events


Mill Hill Park

Front & Broad Sts. Trenton


Thurs. 12 p.m. "Summer Concert Series" feat. Paul Plumeri Band


NJ Weedman's Joint

322 East State St. Trenton

(609) 337-9973


Sat. 4 p.m. "Music For The People" Hosted by Steve Meer, feat. Kevin Toft & The All Stars, Saxophone Dre, Master Samuka Capoeira & Samba Dancing


Palermo's Of Hamilton

310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton

(609) 838-7979


Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

All shows 21+ 


Pete's Steak House

523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton

(609) 585-8008


Fri. 9:30 p.m. Polish Nannies

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


Randy Now's Man Cave

134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown

(609) 424-3766


Check Web Page for Upcoming Shows


RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300


Thurs. 9 p.m. "College Night" w/ DJ Paul Desisto

Fri. (4 p.m.) Happy Hour Buffet. $10 (8:30 p.m.) The Black Frost Band

Sat. 9 p.m. "Birthday Event for The Trillest" w/ DJ William H. Live Performance Performance. Ages 21+, $25 (advance)

Tavern On The Lake

101 Main St. Hightstown

(609) 426-9345


Fri. 9 p.m. El Ka Bong

Sat. 9 p.m. Quartet Of Catastrophe

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. Seth Tieger Band

Sat. 10 p.m. El Ka Bong

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

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


The Record Collector

358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown

(609) 324-0880

Fri.  8 p.m. Hilary Scott Band / Quimby Mountain Band. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $12 (advance)


The Sticky Wicket 

2465 South Broad St. Hamilton

(609) 439-0007


Fri. 9 p.m. Breeze Band

Sat. 9 p.m. General Crank


The Sun National Bank Center 

81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 656-3200


Check web site for upcoming events


The Yardley Inn

82 E. Afton Ave. Yardley

(215) 493-3800


Sat. 9 p.m. Paul Plumeri & Jerry Monk


Tir Na Nog 

1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 392-2554


Fri. 9 p.m. Mike Brill

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. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P

Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic.

Wed. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton


Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)

400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-8300


Thurs. 10 p.m. Holy Ghost Tent Revival

Fri. 10 p.m. Porch 40 ($5 cover charge)

Sat. 10 p.m. Mister Revelator / Quimby Mountain Band ($5 cover charge)

Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night (Sign ups 6:30 p.m.)

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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