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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites....11/2/17

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 11/02/2017

"Yeah it sounds a little strange; doesn't it? Well, number one, you can fight everything but you cannot fight old age; even though I still feel 29 inside," explained a laughing John McLaughlin as he discussed his latest and last North American tour along with  his November 10 show at the NJPAC in Newark, NJ. "Second, only for America will I feature the Mahavishnu material. This is where it all started so I feel that it should end here as well. I've got Jimmy Herring opening up who is a great musician and whom I discovered by watching performances of him doing my material and I thought; why didn't I do it like that? (laughs)"

From his first album, "Extrapolation," to his most recent, "Live at Ronnie Scotts" and all of the glorious stops in between, this modest man who is one of the most revered and legendary guitarists of all time, takes nothing for granted, appreciates the journey and is legitimately taken aback by the countless honors which have been bestowed upon him and his talent. Grammy Award winner, voted one of the, "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" by Rolling Stone along with several other, "Top Guitarist" awards as well as a plethora of additional hardware in his trophy case serve as stark reminders that his quest for excellence must continue. "I'm very humbled by all of these accolades. I mean incredibly humbled but it's all relevant really, because at 75 years of age I still learn something every day (laughs).Can I just tell you? I play my guitar everyday and do so because I want to. Music is infinite, there is always something to learn or attempt and I consider myself very lucky to have gotten the opportunity to become and be a musician as my life's work. Yes, the awards are great but very humbling as well." 

Over the years, he has performed with, taught or worked alongside of some of the greatest guitarists and musicians of all time. John's ability to cross genres and mix jazz with fusion, funk, progressive rock and more accompanied by his undeniable talent have made him a man in demand since he first burst upon the scene courtesy of a chance encounter with the incomparable Miles Davis"Miles Davis was my hero," he stated as if in awe, much like people react when his name gets bandied about. "My most fantastic memory over the years has to be arriving in New York City in January of '69 and Tony Williams was there and the next day I find myself in a recording studio with Miles Davis and it was a radical, unexpected, baptism by fire. He was my hero and I got to play along with him. I've worked with some very capable and talented people. I taught John Paul Jones harmony; he and I were in a couple of soul bands together and yes, Jimmy Page and I know each other and I was a couple of years ahead of him so I would show him some things and teach him a little bit. I still speak to him and John, we all get on quite well." 

After making a splash with Davis, McLaughlin began branching out and experimenting with his music and abilities; taking the jazz niche found with Miles and developing it into something unlike anyone had ever seen by incorporating various high quality players with diverse backgrounds into a unit that would take the U.S. by storm. The combination of Jerry Goodmanon violin, Keyboardist Jan Hammer, bassist Rick Laird and drummer Billy Cobham became the Mahavishnu Orchestra and their mix of electrified jazz, rock, progressive chord structures, and Indian influences was new, exciting and drawing crowds in droves. "Mahavishnu was formed and in 1971 it was such a phenomenon; more than I could've imagined. This is why I want to feature it on this last tour. I want to bring it full circle, it started in America and I want to bring it back and end it there." 

Alas, much like every fire which starts fast, the dangers of burning out too quickly often exist and the first incarnation of the group lasted only three years. "Failure is easy to deal with but success is difficult," he said with a slight chuckle. "Not sure where I heard that but it's very much true, or at least it was in our case. My biggest regret is the way the first Mahavishnu split apart. It was unbelievable how much success we had but it was too much too fast. We all had our way of doing things and mine was to do yoga or meditate after our performances. I was no longer into smoking dope or partying; I'd done that and because I'd go off and do my own thing I was construed as anti-social. My band mates stopped talking to me and I recall asking them why play and make music with me but not talk to me? They never really answered me but the music was beautiful and that's what mattered I suppose but I look back and regret that it happened and that I was perceived that way. I tried to reform the band in the '80's thinking that music was more powerful than ego but I guess not." 

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Speaking with John, one cannot help but realize that he is a class act. Even his reasoning for this, his final North American tour shows his thoughtfulness and admiration for his fellow musicians. "I'm not feeling my age but I am getting older and I'm afraid that something may happen. Touring does require a rigorous schedule at times and it can become rough and I don't want something to happen while I'm on stage. That would be a betrayal to my band mates, my audience and my fans. I've seen that happen recently and I don't want to be that guy. I am not retiring; I may take a year off after this and then do gigs here and there, maybe some select festivals and more localized shows."

"The Meeting of The Spirits Tour," has been selling out venues in nearly every stop along its way. The November 10 show inside Prudential Hall at the NJPAC does have some tickets available and McLaughlin promises it is going to be great. "I'm quite excited about this tour to be telling the truth," he said with much enthusiasm. "For the last year I've been thinking about the new charts that I'm doing for the Mahavishnu set. I'm re-organizing the score for a now nine piece band and I look back and thought it was complicated and I wasn't even on drugs and now it's even worse (laughs)! I'm so thrilled that Jimmy (Herring) is opening up the sets; he's so talented. The way it will go is his band first, then my band the "4th Dimension" and then both bands combined to do the Mahavishnu set. 

When one reaches the status of a John McLaughlin, be it musically, athletically, academically or in any field where others imitate, duplicate or drawl inspiration from your art, sometimes it may be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective. McLaughlin summed it all up perfectly when he said, "In 1967 I was poor, then I suddenly found myself very wealthy and then poor again and now I'm comfortable but one thing I've always been is grateful that I am a musician." 

To obtain tickets for any of the upcoming shows or discover more about McLaughlin and his final North American tour, please visit

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

This week's event listings

Backstage at Championship Bar 
931 Chambers Street Trenton
Sat. 7 p.m. Death Rattle, Supporting The convalescence, Wings denied, Shaping the Legacy. All ages
Bill's Olde Tavern
2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton
(609) 586-0192
Thurs. 9 p.m. Trivia
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke Contest (Cash prizes) 
Ages 21+ 
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33 Hamilton 
(609) 245-8887
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia  Jam
Wed. 7 p.m. Karaoke
Bowman's Tavern
1600 River Road New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2972
Thurs. 6 p.m. Gary Reed & Arturo Baguer
Fri. 8 p.m. Liz DuFour
Sat. 7 p.m. Patrick & Debra
Sun. (12 p.m.) Brunch With Ottmar (6 p.m.) Lorenzo
Mon. 6 p.m. Andy Prescott
Tues. 6 p.m. Fermenters Trio
Wed. 6 p.m. Lovey Williams
Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room
19 E. Union Street Burlington
(609) 733-3562
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Shorty Rock
Candlelight Lounge 
24 Passaic Street Trenton
(609) 695-9612
 Sat. 3 p.m. (TBA) $10 (cover charge/$10 Minimum includes buffet) 
Tues. 6 p.m. "Tuesday Jazz Jam" Open Session feat. James Stewart / Tom Littwin Trios. $5 (Lite appetizers)
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
(609) 298-9182
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night
Wed. 9 p.m. Quizzo Trivia 
City Streets 
510 Highway 130 South East Windsor
(609) 426-9400
Mon. 9 p.m. "Malibu Mondays" w/ DJ Brett Gash
Tues. 9 p.m. Trivia w/ Jessie & Chelsea
Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" w/ Rich Genoval 
Main Street Hightstown 
(609) 241-7103
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. Stephanie O'Connor / John Bastiani's "Tribute to Bobby Rue"
Dadz Bar & Grill
744 Main Street Lumberton
(609) 267-4344
Thurs. 9 p.m. DJ Jason Byrd / "Beer Pong Tournament"
Fri. 10 p.m. Nobody's Business
Sat. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Dubbs
Sun. 4 p.m. Aaron Hehl & John Dutton
Tues. 8 p.m. "Game Night"
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Superstar Entertainment
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
(215) 788-2855
Thurs. 8 p.m. Dane Rosenfeld
Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour Jam" feat. funky music (9 p.m.) Michael Leggerie
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch" feat. David Dzubinski Group (9 p.m.) Gypsy Mother
Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Dick Gratton (4 p.m.) Ed Wilson
Mon. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night Hosted by Dana Collins
Wed. 8 p.m. A Thousand Days Band
Freddies Tavern
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
(609) 882-0978
Fri. 8 p.m. Gyrl Band
Sat. 8 p.m. Jim Delre Band
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Joe Vadala
Grover's Mill Coffee House
Princeton-Hightstown Road Princeton Junction
(609) 716-8771
Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Anker
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA. 
(215) 862-9897
Fri. (8 p.m.) Tower of Power Tribute w/ Will Power (10:30 a.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sat. (8:30 p.m.) Red Hotts  (12 a.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sun. (1 p.m.) Midnight Sun Orchestra (9 p.m.) Peter Gabriel Tribute w/ The Security Project. Doors at 7 p.m., $35
Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 8:30 p.m. Mobius. Doors at 7 p.m., $35
Wed. 8 p.m. "Local Original Music" Hosted by Pat Foran
Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn
15 East Broad Street Hopewell
(609) 466-9889
Fri. 8 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
(609) 737-4465
Fri. 6 p.m. Deb & Mike
Hurricane Jacks Bar and Grill
7759 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
(267) 914-4517
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paul Kircher
Fri. 9 p.m. Whiskey Dick
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula & Sam
Iron Plow Vineyards
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus
(732) 306-9111
Fri. 6 p.m. Bob O & Jess
Sat. 1 p.m. Lefty Mann
Sun. 2 p.m. Joe Vadala
Ivy Tavern 
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435
Fri. 9 p.m. The Ernie White Band
Sat. 9 p.m. AM Mafia
All shows 21+
John & Peter's 
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981
Thurs. 9 p.m. Dead Boys feat. Cheetah Chrome & Johnny Blitz
Fri. 9 p.m.Wineskin
Sat. (3 p.m.) Lonely At The Top (9 p.m.) Hawk Tubley & The Ozymandians
Sun. (3 p.m.) River Dogs (8 p.m.) Whiskey Dick / Spencer Johnson
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic.
Tues. 9 p.m. Brad Staudle
Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
Laurita Winery
85 Archertown Road New Egypt
(609) 752-0200
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Laurita Fall Singing Showcase"  Junior Idol Tryouts
Sat. 1 p.m. The Bergers
Wed. 6 p.m. Girls Night Out "Snowman Wreath Making"
Mamma Rosa's 
572 Klockner Road Hamilton 
(609) 588-5454
Thurs. 6 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Richard Schneider 
McGuinn's Place
1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence
(609) 392-0599
Sat. 9 p.m. Einstein Bridge
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Ages 21+
McStews Irish Sports Pub
5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
(215) 949-9570
Thurs. 10:30 p.m."Beer Pong" w/ DJ RV & MC Slim
Fri. 10 p.m. "Frisky Fridays" w/ Fish Out of Water and DJ Favs. & MC Fredo Ages 21+
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo hosted by Mike
Mill Hill Amphitheater
Mill Hill Park (Corner of East Front & South Broad Streets) Trenton
Thurs. 6 p.m. Cellist, Dan Kassel
Millhill Basement
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-1600
Fri. 9 p.m. Molly Rhythm, Boss' Daughter, Bern and the Bastards, John Underwood. $8
Tues. 10 p.m. "Local Artist" Hip Hop, Experimental EDM and Bass Music Showcase 
New Hope Winery
6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA
(215) 794-2331
Sat. 8 p.m. The Ultimate Creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute w/ Green River. $30
Nook's PourHouse
2043 Route 130 South Florence
(609) 447-0927
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Tuesday w/ Quizoholics
Nottingham Tavern
9 Mercer Street Hamilton Square
(609) 587-6623
Thurs. 7 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Super Dave
Sat. 9 p.m. Chris & Ant
Wed. 5 p.m. "Weekend Warm-up" w/ DJ Chris Barlow
Ages 21+
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Road Hamilton
(609) 838-7979
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. Running With Scissors
All shows 21 +
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
(609) 585-8008
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Rick & Kenny
Sat. 9:30 p.m. John Savage & the Classic Rockers
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 424-3766
Fri. 8 p.m. The Undead. $10
Sun. 3 p.m. "Meet & Greet" w/ the Undead and Grandpa Munster
Salt Creek Grille
1 Rockingham Row Princeton
(609) 419-4200
Fri. 8 p.m. Keith Franklin 
Sat. 8 p.m. Jackie Jones
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton 
(609) 924-4377 x2
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Black Cat Habitat
1867 Sanctuary 
101 Scotch Road Ewing
(609) 392-6409
Sat. 8 p.m. "Bedlam" feat. Kayleen Sanchez & Loudon Schuett. $20
Wed. 7:30 p.m. Theater To Go Presents: "The Aisling" (A Ghost story). $20
Tara's Tavern 
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
(609) 286-2300
Fri. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ Big Daddy G
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
(609) 426-9345
Fri. 8 p.m. Pop Comics
Sat. 9 p.m. Sideways Willy
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night
The Cool Cricket
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro
(609) 291-9110
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. ArHouse
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street Bordentown
(609) 291-7020
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 8 p.m. (TBA)
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 921-8555
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Fatha Ramzee
Sat. 10 p.m. The Polish Nannies
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. 10 p.m. "Wednesday Wheel Night Spin To Win Karaoke" w/ DJ Rockn Ron
The Pines Tavern
6217 North Radcliffe Street Bristol, PA
(215) 788-1659
Sat. 9 p.m. Pop Fiction
Sun. 3 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Bill Monach Jr.
The Raven 
385 West Bridge Street New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2081
Thurs. (5 p.m.) Russell Eiffert (8 p.m.) Will & Grace Viewing Party (10 p.m.) All Male Revue
Fri. (9 p.m.) Michael Ferreri (10 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sat. (5 p.m.) Russell Eiffert (10 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sun. 5 p.m. "New Feathers" Theatrical Shorts
Mon. 9:30 p.m. "Lipstick Monday" Drag Show 
Tues. 8 p.m. "Bearlesque In The Oak Room"
Wed. 6 p.m. Dena Underwood
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 324-0880
Sat. 8 p.m. Vinny Martell Band / Velocity.  All ages, Doors at 7:30 p.m., $18 (Advance)
The Roost 
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
(609) 208-0050 
Fri. 9 p.m. Joe Vadala & Friends
The Sticky Wicket 
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton
(609) 439-0007
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Throwback Thursday" w/ DJ Chillio
Fri. 9 p.m. Accelerator
Sat. 9 p.m. (TBA)
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke
The Sun National Bank Center 
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 656-3200
Check website for upcoming events
Third State Brewing
352 High Street Burlington
(609) 387-1620
Sat. 6 p.m. Radio Fiction 
Tir Na Nog 
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton
(609) 392-2554
Fri. 9 p.m. Billy McGovern
Sat. 9 p.m. Billy Walsh
Sun. 3 p.m. "Irish Sessions" w/ McDermott's Handy
Tues. 9 p.m. Trivia
Wed. (7 p.m.) "What's Next? Rockin' Happy Hour" Hosted by Danny Coleman feat. Radio Fiction. (9 p.m.) Open Mic. Hosted by Jerry Monk
All shows  21+
Trenton Buzz
702 Pine Street Trenton
(609) 392-6000
Fri. 8 p.m. Live Band & Open Mic. 
Trenton Social
449 South Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-7777
Thurs. 8 p.m. "Audio History of Funk and Soul" w/ Professor DJ Tangency
Sat. 7 p.m. "Zen That Beat" Yoga w/ Cheryl Young scored to live music
Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Night w/ Benny
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-8300
Fri. 10 p.m. The Jazz Burglars. $5 (cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. Kelly Stratton Band. $5 (cover charge)
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage Night (Sign ups at 6:30 p.m.)
All shows 21+ 
Triumph Brewing Company
138 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 924-7855
Fri. 9 p.m. Wood Vibrations
All shows 21+
Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Road Pennington
(609) 773-2392
Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Ernie White
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock Night
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia
Ages 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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