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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...12/13/18
By Danny Coleman
originally published: 12/13/2018
"We started out as fans and then we got into the business and then sometimes the business can be an interesting experience and then you just deal with it and move on and you find out that you really are a musician and this what you're supposed to be doing."
Bassist Rudy Sarzo is best known for his work with metal acts, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake and time spent with Ozzy Osbourne but his current role as bassist for legendary rock pioneers The Guess Who may have caught more than a just few people unaware.
"I actually took over for the original bass player Jim Kale," he said as he recounted how he joined the group. "We released our record, "The Future IS What It Used To Be" and Jim had started the record but it was about a two year process or more to finalize. So he wanted to take some time off and then the first sub that came into the picture was Michael Devin of Whitesnake and then I got into the picture because I guess Michael was busy with Whitesnake; so I became the new sub. By the time that happened, Jim was pretty much ready to fully retire but he wasn't fully off the road and I believe it was at his last show that he introduced me to the audience as the guy who was going to take over for him; by then I had been subbing for about eight months"
Wait a minute; a new album? Yes you read that correctly, a new album from The Guess Who was released in September and the band launched a small tour of the western states; in essence to get their feet wet but according to Sarzo, they've never really stopped touring over the last four decades.
"The band has been touring all this time, in addition to Garry (original drummer Peterson) being the founding member and drummer and Jim being a founding member and bass player, our keyboard player Leonard Shaw has been in the band for over 20 years. Then you have Derek Sharp who is our singer songwriter and front guy who also shares guitar duties with Will Evankovich; he's been in the band for over 10 years now. Will joined the band maybe five years ago and they're both producers, as a matter of fact, Will co-produced and co-wrote the last Styx record, "The Mission" with Tommy Shaw. Will is a frequent collaborator with Tommy Shaw which is how Will Evankovich got into the band because Derek is really close friends with Tommy so when it came time to look for a guitar player Tommy recommended him. We have the cream of the musicians, it really rises to the top and they're all good people.We kicked off our album promotion tour out west and we've been touring non-stop whether we have a new album out or not."
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"The Future IS What It Used To Be" is their first new studio album in decades and as "New" as it is, Sarzo says that they purposely created it as close to the sound of The Guess Who as possible and the same thought process accompanied the release of several videos; so far their fans are pleased with the effort.
"It's 10 tracks and most of the material was written by Derek with collaboration from Will and they are both producers so the band didn't have to go outside and hire someone. Some writers and producers, they can't help but to create so a lot of these songs were being written without having a specific home at the time. So they approached Jim and Garry and said, listen instead of us giving these songs to someone else; why don't we record these as The Guess Who? So it was a very organic process and one of the things that we really concentrated on was keeping it in the vein of the legacy sound of the band. We do four songs from the record live and when we put them in the sets a lot of people don't even realize that they're new songs because they fit right in with the rest of the hits.
We also have three videos from the album, "In America," "Playin' On The Radio" and "Haunted" are the three that have sprung from this record and so far our audiences love it."
Being veteran rockers can be both a blessing and a curse at times, so with the release of this new disc; what kind of help have they received from their label and are there any plans to go the licensing route for film and television as opposed to the traditional sales and touring efforts? Sarzo couldn't help but look back on past options and empathizes with the frustrations of trying to get on a label in today's music business environment.
"Usually the label does that," he explained, "We're on Cleopatra Records who were also the label I was on with Quiet Riot and they're very good at placing music in movies and on TV shows and The Guess Who gets a lot of placements from their catalog like the TV show, "American Woman" and that is the theme song; then there's the Lenny Kravitz version out there too.They (record companies) don't nurture the artists like they used to, there's no artist relations department and things like that. I can't blame the musicians for this because it's a whole different industry now. Basically with The Guess Who, the record was finished and we gave it to the label. Where as back in the day you worked with the label and they assigned you a producer and an artist relation guy to make sure that the album was complete and the material was well rounded and promotion guys to get you a hit on the radio; it was a whole different machine."
Widely considered by many to be one of heavy metal's premier bass players; was it a challenge for Rudy to adapt his style to that of The Guess Who?
"Musical styles," he started with a chuckle. "I've been playing bass in bands from like the late sixties before metal became a staple; what we used to consider metal back in the day was actually just rock'n' roll. The founding fathers of metal such as Hendrix and Cream, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and so on and the whole evolution; so I was playing in "Top 40" bands back then. We didn't have tribute bands back then, we had "Top 40" bands playing in clubs and stuff. So whatever was on the radio back then; I played that. You had to if you wanted to get through so it was part of our set list, whatever was on the radio we played that whether you were a party band or in clubs."
"To me what differentiates styles of music is the foundation, which to me is the rhythm section. I didn't really start playing metal and hard rock until I moved to L.A. and started playing with the Randy Rhoads version of Quiet Riot and then of course I joined Ozzy. Tommy Aldridge is one of my favorite drummers so to get to play with him in Ozzy was an incredible experience because he did not approach it exactly like the record; he leans forward when he plays which is something I think he developed from playing live with Black Oak Arkansas and playing a lot of shuffles. So he's not your typical English drummer who is either a little bit on top of the beat or behind it; he was always pushing forward. So to play with him in Ozzy and then again in Whitesnake was an incredible experience. So what I'm getting at is; playing with Garry Peterson, the original drummer on all of those Guess Who records is really a treat. He plays it the way it should be played, it's not a tribute it's the legacy drumming and boy what a treat to play with him."
Now that they've toured in support of the new album; will they go on a solo jaunt of any length or will they bundle with other classic rock bands with similar appeal like many of the acts do today? Sarzo thinks that it's advantageous to the concert goers when bands group together because they're getting to hear greatest hits sets, yet at the same time he sees value in trying to attract new fans with every show.
"I think the audience gets a bigger bang for their buck because all of these bands just lay out their catalog which is all of their hits. It's interesting because I agree that many of the songs are really appreciated now because, well I hate to use the word nostalgia but those songs really push a certain sentimental button in people's memory. It could've been a friend who has passed or a love that's passed on or they're still with you and you celebrate that but the way things are going, we're adding a whole bunch of dates already for next year and I can see us doing something that The Guess Who hasn't done in a long time; which is actually go out on a regular tour. I mean, getting on the bus and just co-headlining or as a support band on a package tour. Right now we've been doing a lot of casinos, fairs and civic centers which is great but we want to be able to branch out and reach a whole younger audience."
The Guess Who had a string of hits, many of which are still staples in every bar band's repertoire and with the original members all still viable music makers; has the new line up heard any feedback either positive or negative?
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"Randy (Bachman) has not been an official member of The Guess Who since I think it was 1970 and he went on to form Bachman Turner Overdrive and he had huge success and Burton (Cummings) hasn't been in the band since the 70's either when he went on a solo career. It would be very nice if we had their blessing but they've not said anything to my knowledge but I can tell you this much," he said with a laugh, "Jim and Garry own the name The Guess Who; I am just the bass player."
To discover more about The Guess Who, please visit www.theguesswho.com.
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
Alchemist & Barrister
28 Witherspoon Street Princeton
Thurs. "Pasta and Sinatra Night"
Wed. 10 p.m. (TBA)
19 Everett Alley Trenton
Fri. 7 p.m. "Ink & Drink"
Sat. 12 p.m. Y.A.L.
Bill's Olde Tavern
2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton
Thurs. 9 p.m. Trivia
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33 Hamilton
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Jam
Wed. 7 p.m. Karaoke
1600 River Road New Hope, PA
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Dave Dales Trio
Fri. 8 p.m. Bob Egan
Sat. 7 p.m. Patrick & Debra
Sun. (12 p.m.) Brunch w/ Ottmar (6 p.m.) Lorenzo
Mon. 6 p.m. Andy Prescott
Tues. 6 p.m. Ed Wilson
Wed. 6 p.m. Lorenzo
Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room
19 E. Union Street Burlington
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Byrd
Sat. 10 p.m. Coaches Son and Special Guest Band
Broken Goblet Brewing
1500 Grundy Lane Bristol, PA
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Quizzo from The Darkside
BT Restaurant & Tavern
2031 Route 130 South Burlington
Sat. 8 p.m. Malpractice
23 North Union Street Lambertville
Sat. 11:30 a.m. Puppy Adoption Day
24 Passaic Street Trenton
Thurs. 6 p.m. Thursday Night Blues Jam
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)
2360 Route 33 Robbinsville
Wed. 9 p.m. Fast Ant and Friends
931 Chambers street Trenton
Mon. 8 p.m. "Art Chill Night"
Tuesday 8 p.m. "Jam Night" Hosted by Nikki & Caleb
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night
Wed. 9 p.m. Quizzo Trivia
510 Highway 130 South East Windsor
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Boys 'round Here
Mon. 9 p.m. "Malibu Mondays"
Tues. 9 p.m. Trivia w/ Jessie & Chelsea
Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" w/ Rich Genoval
125 South Main Street Hightstown
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. The "10th Annual Christmas Spectacular" (Various artists performing live and via recordings)
Common Sense Brewing
102 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Sat. 6 p.m. Kyle Alexxander & J
2 North Main Street Yardley, PA
Thurs. 9 p.m. Bob Rotondo
Fri. 9 p.m. Jack Capik & Friends
Sat. 9 p.m. Michael Meade
Curly's at the Nest
1492 Woodbourne Road Levittown, PA
Sat. 8:30 p.m. The Bambu Weasels
Diamond's of Hamilton
661 Route 33 Hamilton
Fri. (6 p.m.) Tara Woodcock (10 p.m.) DJ Frank Oliveti
Sat. (6 p.m.) Masterpiece Party Band (10 p.m.) DJ Ron Meisner
Sun. 10 a.m. "Jazz Brunch"
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
Thurs. 8 p.m. Fred S
Fri. (2 p.m.) WMGK "Home Town Event" Hosted by Andre Gardner (9 p.m.) Audio Pilot
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch" feat. Keli Vale (9 p.m.) The Mix
Sun. 11 a.m. "Sunday Brunch" feat. Mikey Raggz
Wed. 8 p.m. Brendan Johnson
116 South Main Street New Hope, PA
Sun. 3 p.m. "Winter Blues" w/ Peter V Blues Train
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
Thurs. 8 p.m. Trivia Night
Fri. 9 p.m. Dave Orban & The Mojo Gypsies
Sat. (7:30 p.m.) "Freddies Christmas Comedy Show and Dinner." Hosted by Johnny Smallwood, feat. Kevin Downey Jr. / Eric Potts. $75 (8 p.m.) Ernie White & John Bushnell's Unplugged Christmas
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Joe Vadala
Grounds For Sculpture
80 Sculptors way Hamilton
Thurs. 5 p.m. "Sing Along with Sculpture" w/ Seward Johnson
Grover's Mill Coffee House
Princeton-Hightstown Road Princeton Junction
Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Anker
4617 Nottingham Way Hamilton Square
Sat. 7 p.m. The Darla Rich Trio
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.
Fri. (8 p.m.) AC/DC Tribute w/ IC/DC. Doors at 6 p.m., $20 (11 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sat. (2 p.m./4 p.m.) Princeton "School of Rock." (8:30 p.m.) The Buzzard Band (12 a.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sun. 3 p.m. John Eddie "All Ages" Christmas Show. Doors at 2 p.m., $15 (Adults) $10 (Kids)
Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Wed. 8 p.m. "Local Original Music Showcase" Hosted by Pat Foran feat. "Pat Foran's Christmas Show"
5 South Greenwood Avenue Hopewell
Sat. 12 p.m. Family Fun Concert "It's The Holidays" w/ Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats. $19.73/$28.92
Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn
15 East Broad Street Hopewell
Fri. 8 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
Thurs. 6 p.m. Darla and Rich
Fri. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Victor Tarrasov
Sat. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Got 35
Sun. 2 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Four + 1 = Jazz
Hurricane Jacks Bar and Grill
7759 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paul Kircher
Fri. 9 p.m. Ernie White Band's "Christmas Party"
Sat. 9 p.m. Asylum Choir
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula & Sam
Iron Plow Vineyards
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus
Sat. 2 p.m. Gypsy Mother
Sun. 2 p.m. Audio Pilot
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
Thurs. 9:30 p.m. Karaoke
Fri. 9 p.m. Kindred Spirit
Sat. 9 p.m. Unleashed
Tues. 7 p.m. "It's a Holly Jolly Teddy Z Jam"
All shows 21+ Jake's Eatery
869 Bustleton Pike Richboro, PA
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Ladies Night"
Wed. 8 p.m. Trivia Night
Jimmy's Firestone American Grill
140 Route 130 South Bordentown
Thurs. 8 p.m. "Bar Games and Trivia"
John & Peter's
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa
Thurs. 9 p.m. Cosmo Iacavazzi
Fri. 9 p.m. Jonah Jam
Sat. (3 p.m.) The Real Fugitives (8 p.m.) Red Pants Presents: Pitschl & Titze, Sourland, Ellis Wilkinson, Dave Mooney
Sun. (3 p.m.) Jamie & The Guarded Heart (9:30 p.m.) Jared Mancuso
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic.
Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
Killarney's Publick House
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Girls Night Out"
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Bay Nice
Mon. 7 p.m. "Paint Night"
Wed. 8 p.m. Drop the Beat Bingo
85 Archertown Road New Egypt
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Wooden Snowman Painting"
Fri. 6:30 p.m.
Sat. (1 p.m.) Rick Winow (5 p.m.) Accordion Playing Santa
Sun. 5 p.m. Accordion Playing Santa
Wed. 6 p.m. "Girls Night Out" Holiday Cupcake Class
10 West Ferry Street New Hope, PA
Fri. 7 p.m. Arianne Rox
Sat. 7:30 p.m. John Beacher
Sun. 11 a.m. "Jazz Brunch" feat. Dave Dales trio
Mama Flora's Trattoria
1750 North Olden Avenue Ewing
Sat. 6 p.m. Bryan Hill
Marcellos Coal Fired Restaurant & Pizza
206 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Sun. 10 a.m. "Blues Brunch"
1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke
McStews Irish Sports Pub
5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
Thurs. 10 p.m. Beer Pong Night"
Sat. 9 p.m. All Lit Up
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo hosted by Mike
Wed. 9 p.m. "Karaoke Time" w/ Kirchner Entertainment
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
Fri. 8 p.m. "Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market Holiday Show" feat. Shades Apart, Lost In Society, Erotic Novels Band, Crossed Keys. Ages 21+, $10
Tues. 10 p.m. "Local Artist" Hip Hop, Experimental EDM and Bass Music Showcase
New Hope Winery
6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA
Thurs. 8 p.m. Raul Malo. $65
Fri. 8 p.m. "A John Denver Performance" w/ Ted Vigil. $35 (SOLD OUT please check for ticket availability)
Sat. 8 p.m. Griffin House. $25
Sun. 6 p.m. Comedian Eric Schwartz. $20
New Jersey WeedMan's Joint
322 East State Street Trenton
Thurs. 6 p.m. "420 Smoking Word"
Fri. 8 p.m. "420 Fire Friday" feat. 420 Karaoke Night
Sun. 2 p.m. Old Skool Hip Hop Sundays.
2043 Route 130 South Florence
Sat. 9 p.m. Out 2 Lunch
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Tuesday w/ Quizoholics
9 Mercer Street Hamilton Square
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Super Dave
Fri. 9 p.m. Papa D'Luxe & The Main Street Groove
Sat. 9 p.m. Running With Scissors
Old Town Pub
135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Thurs. 8 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia
Fri. 9 p.m. "Ugly Sweater Party"
Sat. 9 p.m. Radio Fiction
Tues. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night Hosted by Sir Xerri
Oliver - A Bistro
218 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Sat. 6 p.m. Dine w/ "Live Carolers"
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Road Hamilton
Thurs. 8 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21 +
1339 River Road Titusville
Thurs. 8 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Bobby Jones
Fri. 8 p.m. Static Drift
Sat. 8 p.m. Paul Plumeri Blues Band
Wed. 7 p.m. "Quizzo
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
Fri. 9 p.m. No Way Out
Princeton Public Library
65 Witherspoon Street Princeton
Sun. 3 p.m. Dan Rauchwerk (CD Release)
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Fri. 7:30 p.m./9:30 p.m. Harpist/Vocalist Erin Hill. $15
Sat. 8 p.m. Run-hide-fight/JT Terlesky $10
River Cat Cafe`
142 South Main Street New Hope, PA
Mon. 6 p.m. "Monday Night Jazz"
Rossi's Bar & Grill
2110 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton
Thurs. 7 p.m. Joe Zook & Paul Plumeri
Saint Gregory the Great Church
4620 Nottingham Way Hamilton
Fri. 7:30 p.m. "Fear Not, God is With Us Christmas Concert" feat. The Community Christian Choir. (FREE admission/good will offering benefiting the Works of Mercy Ministry)
Salt Creek Grille
1 Rockingham Row Princeton
Fri. 8 p.m. Tim Brent
Sat. 8 p.m. Jerry Topinka
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-4377 x2
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Adelante
2673 Main Street Lawrenceville
Fri. 7 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Anker
101 Scotch Road Ewing
Fri. 8 p.m. An "Americelticana Christmas" w/ The Shenanigans. $20
Sat. 8 p.m. The Jayplayerswith The Quixote Project. $20
Sun. 6:30 p.m. Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble: "Mary's Lullaby" feat. Princeton Girl Choir. $20
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
Fri. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ Big Daddy G
Sat. 10 p.m. Ned Ryerson & The Groundhogs
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
Fri. 9 p.m. Pretty Baby
Sat. 9 p.m. Hybrid
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night
5 South State Street Newtown, PA
Thurs. 7 p.m. Blues Open Mic Hosted by Steve Guyger
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Session Jazz Night
The Cool Cricket
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. El Ka Bong
The Cure Insurance Center
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
Check website for upcoming events
34 North Main Street New Hope, PA
Fri. 7 p.m. Gerry Timlin
Sat. 8 p.m. Na' Bodach
Sun. 3 p.m. Jam Session w/ Seamus Kelleher
The Five Four Bar & Grill
8919 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
Fri. 9 p.m. Stranger Than Normal
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Se7en Band
Wed. 7 p.m. "Lyrical Conundrums" w/ Cara & Righteous
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street Bordentown
Fri. 8 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Tues 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 8 p.m. (TBA)
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau Street Princeton
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
Fri. 10 p.m. Riverdogs
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Jonn Gosselin
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
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Finster
Sun. 3 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Bill Monach Jr.
385 West Bridge Street New Hope, PA
Fri. 7 p.m. "Merry-n-Fun" w/ Chin & Blum
The RRazz Room
6426 Lower York Road New Hope, PA
Sat. 8 p.m. The Golden Gays NYC "Thank Yule for Being a Friend." $25/$35 (Limited VIP)
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke
The Sticky Wicket
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Throwback Thursday" w/ DJ Chillio
Fri. 9 p.m. Einstein Bridge
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke
The Sycamore Grill
255 North Sycamore Street Newtown, PA
Thurs. 8 p.m. Steve Tesluk
Fri. 8 p.m. Kick Bax Acoustic Trio
Sat. 8 p.m. Plush Duo
Third State Brewing
352 High Street Burlington
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Running Wild" w/ BRC feat. Andrew Miller.
Tir Na Nog
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton
Sat. 9 p.m. The Shantys
Sun. 3 p.m. "Irish Sessions" w/ Diarmuid MacSuibhne
All Shows 21+
702 Pine Street Trenton
Fri. 8 p.m. Live Band & Open Mic.
Sat. 10 p.m. "Buzzed Saturdays" w/ Bockman
449 South Broad Street Trenton
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Night w/ Benny P
Triumph Brewing Company
(New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
Thurs. 8 p.m. Trivia
Fri.10 p.m. Essie. $5(cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. The Wood Vibrations. $5 (cover charge)
All shows 21+ Triumph Brewing Company
138 Nassau Street Princeton
Fri. 10 p.m. Rob Duncan
2572 Pennington Road Pennington
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock Night
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia
Working Dog Winery
610 Windsor Perrineville Road Hightstown
Sat. 1 p.m. Roger Gardella
Yardley Inn Restaurant & Bar
82 East Afton Avenue Yardley, PA
Sat. 8 p.m. Zuka & Billy D
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.