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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites 1/9/14

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 01/09/2014
Welcome to my musical world! This is one man's attempt to alert you to the best in area entertainment!

Lately, a debate tending to spring up in our local area music establishments seems to be on the topic of available venues in comparison to the amount of performers. Also included in the discussion is the ratio of cover bands vs. that of original acts, along with their differences.

It is a well documented fact, that we are blessed with a plethora of fantastic cover acts; any of which can be found every weekend strutting their stuff in various watering holes. A recent discussion which took place on my "Rock On Radio" program this past Sunday between myself and members of Mercer County stalwarts Gunsmoke, centered around shrinking amounts of venues and the stagnant or shrinking amount of pay for the entertainment. We joked about, how in the early '80's, we were making the same amount of pay as we are today, perhaps even less in some cases.

We also took a trip down memory lane based on this very space and how it was nearly thirty years ago. The author, just like the times, was different but the glaring difference was that there were two printed pages full of business card sized, smaller and larger ads of Trenton and surrounding area bars/restaurants and their featured entertainment. Names like "Off White," "Aviator," "Back Steppin'," "Expressway," "The Cop Shoo Bops" and many more used to fill this center spread as our choices for live entertainment were many. Bars such as the "Merry Go Round," The Red Carpet Lounge," "The Manor Hotel (aka The Whitehead Manor)," "Carnegie Hall," "Don Young's," "Brothers Saloon," "Casey Jones (aka Jessie's, Savoys)," "The Woodside," "The Windsor Manor" all had music; even the old "Treasure Chest," on South Clinton and Beatty, a "dancing establishment," had bands play on Saturday evenings with "dancers" in between sets.

Well, it's today and this space occupies one page, cover bands vie to get their time and original acts are pretty much left out of the equation. Since there are literally only several area clubs willing to take a chance on these creators of perhaps the next big hit, and so few people give original artists a chance, the solo acts and bands are forced to use the internet as their primary source of exposure or drive to thriving original music scenes like Philly or the Jersey shore to ply their trade.

In last week's piece, I featured local blues greats Paul Plumeri, TJ Nix and Blues In Disguise. I was extremely enthused to arrive at RHO Waterfront in Trenton on a cold snowy evening and find it difficult to get a close parking space as the venue was filling up quickly. The big room at RHO had no tables and nary a seat available as many were also forced to stand and witness one of Trenton's most talented bands. This was a CD/DVD Release Party for their self titled disc and their live performance was spectacular. To see the throngs of fans and local musicians come out to support their own was a great experience.

Speaking of the blues, I did a piece a while back which ran around the fourth of July called "Red, White and Blues." In this piece, I discussed the perceived "death of the blues" with great players like John Patrick, Jerry Monk, Chuck Lambert and Jo Wymer. They all lamented the genre's "fading popularity" and how "kids today and the younger generation don't enjoy or appreciate the blues." I wrote the piece but never agreed entirely with their assessments. Granted, the majority of blues players that I seem to come across are of "veteran musician" status but I do notice that no matter what the generation, I've never seen anyone stay still when watching or listening to a blues band. Just some food for thought, as the blues are the foundation of all rock 'n' roll music.

Locally this week: Jersey Shore artist John Alberici returns to our area Thursday evening at 9:30 p.m. at Centro Grille on Rte. 33 in Robbinsville. Alberici, with his syncopated guitar style and smooth vocals definitely has the "WOW factor" working in his favor.

The Ivy Tavern located on South Broad St. in Hamilton features great bands on both Friday and Saturday evenings. The Ernie White Band returns for their first 2014 appearance on Friday evening and The Aldrich Brothers Band returns on Saturday. Both are 10 p.m. start times. I'd like to wish Dan Aldrich a speedy recovery, as he unexpectedly found himself in the hospital with a collapsed lung. Dan's doctors won't let him sing but he tells me that he will be playing some guitar; if you stop out, make sure to wish him well.

There are two new bands playing the Sticky Wicket, also on South Broad St. in Hamilton. Once again, Friday is Steamboat and Saturday is Kharma Train. I am not familiar with either group, so I am counting on one or more of you to e-mail me a review of this fresh talent.

Saturday afternoon, one of the area's best jazz players will be at The Candlelight Lounge on Passaic St. in Trenton as the Bob Smith Trio takes to the stage. Smith is an amazing talent who's mastery of the frets is just plain jaw dropping to witness. Show time is 3 p.m.

Also on Saturday night, my favorite husband and wife duo, Deb & Mike entertain the late dinner/early bar crowd at the Revere Ristorante on River Rd. in West Trenton. Playing popular covers and great duets, they're always a lot of fun to behold.

This space welcomes any suggestions and/or comments. Please send them 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

Sun. 9 p.m. Thomas Johnston

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

All shows 21+

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Amarones Windsor Inn
29 Church St. Windsor
(609) 448-7144

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

Sat. 7:30 p.m. Living The Dream

Tues. 7 p.m. Texas Hold'em

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911 Rte. 33 Hamilton

(609) 245-8887

Sat. 7 p.m. Polish Nannies

Tues. 8:30 p.m. Karaoke

All shows 21+

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

Sat. 3 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Bob Smith Trio. (No cover-$10 minimum)

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

Cedar Gardens Pub
661 Hwy. 33 Hamilton
(609) 587-0930

Fri. 9 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Bob & Tom

Sat. 9 p.m. January Jam Night

All shows 21+

Centro Bar And Grille

2360 Rte. 33 Robbinsville

(609) 208-9300

Thurs. 9:30 p.m. John Alberici

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

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

The Backstage at Championship Bar
931 Chambers St. Trenton

(609) 394-7437

Fri. 6 p.m. Autocracy East, Valacar, Community Service, Picaxe, The Makeshift Uprising, Drowning Swans, Results Not Typical. All ages, $10

Sat. 5 p.m. Another Day Wasted, Under The Radar, When Thieves Are About, The Cavalry Is Us, Windermere, D'Bkle, In Aviation. All ages, $10

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

Sun. 5 p.m. "Fix Champs Fundraiser" feat.: Triggered Impulse, Paralysis, (TBA). All ages, $8

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

Sun. 4 p.m. Irish Sessions w/ Billy O'Neal

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

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

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

Fri. 9:30 p.m. DJ Dance Party

Sat. 8:30 p.m. The Naturals

Sun. 4 p.m. Rocky & His Friends Band

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

Wed. 8 p.m. "Wino Wednesday" Local Unplugged feat. Conor Choi

All shows 21+

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

Fri. 10 p.m. The Ernie White Band

Sat. 10 p.m. The Aldrich Brothers Band
All shows 21+

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

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

Thurs. 9 p.m. Mike DiAlto Holiday Hangover Comedy Show

Fri. 9 p.m. Rebels Been Rebels

Sat. (3 p.m.) Cross Cut Saw (9:30 p.m.) The Hyde w/ The Burgeoning

Mon. Open Mic.

Tues. 9 p.m. Matt Setzer

Wed. The Invitational (Featuring John & Peter's House Band)
All shows 21+

JoJo's Tavern

2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton

(609) 586-2678

Sat. 10 p.m. Kindred Spirit

Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke

Mastoris Lounge

144 Rte. 130 Bordentown

(609) 298-4650

Fri. 7 p.m. DJ Chris Barlow

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

Mill Hill Basement

300 South Broad St. Trenton

(609) 989-1600

Thurs. 9 p.m. The Sirs, City Limits, The Howl, The Young Leaves. $6

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

Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Tues. Trivia Night

All shows 21+

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

Fri. 9:30 p.m. Blind Lemmon Pie

Sat. 9:30 p.m. Mercer County Pour

The Revere Ristorante

802 River Rd. West Trenton

(609) 882-6365

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Deb & Mike

RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300

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

Fri. (5 p.m.) Matt & Rachel (8 p.m.) The Verdict Is In (10 p.m.) DJ Jimmie Palumbo. $10 (cover charge includes buffet, bands and DJs)

Sat. 9 p.m. "Let It Glow" A UV Active Event feat. DJ Entertainment

All Shows 21+

Spigola Ristorante

3817 Crosswicks Hamilton Square Rd. Hamilton

Fri. 8:30 p.m. Hutch Ford

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Soul Gypsies

Star Subs Café

621 Rte. 130 Buckley Plaza Hamilton

(609) 333-1230

Wed. 7 p.m. Acoustic Open Mic. Night hosted by Bri LoBue

Tavern On The Lake
101 Main St. Hightstown
(609) 426-9345

Fri. (8 p.m.) Sarcasm Comedy Night (9 p.m.) Whiskey Fueled

Sat. 9 p.m. The Night Out

Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night

The Cool Cricket

216 4th St. Fieldsboro

(609) 291-9110

Thurs. 8 p.m. Kinky Bingo

Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Sat. 10 p.m. Kevin Toft and His All Star Band

Wed. 5 p.m. DJ Chris Barlow

The Record Collector

358 Farnsworth Ave. Bordentown

(609) 324-0880

Sat. 8 p.m. Jules Shear w/ Pal Shazar. 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. Steamboat

Sat. 9 p.m. Kharma Train

All shows 21+

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

Sun. 8 a.m. Heavy Hitters Cheerleading. $12, $10, Children 6/under Free

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

Fri. 9 p.m. Seamus Kelleher

Sat. 9 p.m. Greg Carpenter

Tues. 9 p.m. Taylor Reed

Wed. 9 p.m. Tommy Glover

All shows 21+

Trenton Social

449 South Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-7777

Thurs. 7 p.m. Social Thursdays w/ DJ Tangency

Fri. 7 p.m. Social First Fridays

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

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

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

Fri. 10 p.m. La Capitana. $5 (coverage)

Sat. 10 p.m. Root Glen. $5 (cover charge)

Sun. (2 p.m.) John Danaher w/ The Walking Flukes (7 p.m.) Open Jam Night hosted by The Lawsuits
All shows 21+

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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