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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...12/29/16

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 12/29/2016
Many bloggers, columnists, entertainment writers and journalists use their final columns of each year as a "Best Of" or a "Recap/Year In Review." Well, rest assured this is not one of those. 
This offering will be different, starting with Tiffany at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ. Not only was the iconic 80's pop star a straight shooter in an earlier preview/interview prior to the show but she was also very engaging both on and off stage as well. Tiffany thrilled the small yet vocal crowd which awaited her arrival (delayed by a tour bus malfunction) with a mixture of both old and new material, backing tracks and a trio of musicians who fit her style to perfection.   
Now to see a show at the Wonder Bar is always an interesting event; made as such by the lack of seating and an odd bar configuration but on this night it didn't matter as most attending were pushed up against the stage; something she seemed to relish. 
Climbing the steps and onto the stage to a roar of approval from the denizens, most of whom instantly revisited the days of big hair, anklet socks and "Members Only" jackets; she flashed a large smile, followed by a wave and a hello. The one time shopping mall concert queen let it flow from the opening notes of "History," to the closing notes of "I Think We're Alone Now." 
Stopping often between offerings to tell a quick story and even poking fun at herself for "Loving to shop" and "Knowing a thing or two about shopping malls;" she had the charismatic touch which increases the comfort level between star and fan that very few possess. 
Make no mistake, this is no longer the 14 year old girl who made her way with remakes and cute looks; this is a confident woman who has a powerful voice, much to say and puts on a surprisingly dynamic show featuring mostly her own material. This was definitely one of the best kept secrets and surprises of 2016. 
Another would be the resurgence of classic rockers Foghat. With the release of "Under The Influence," and a foray into their own wine; Roger Earl and the boys can still rock the house with the best of them. 
Such was the case with the New York City release of the disc at BB Kings. Opening with their classic, "Fool For The City," instantly bringing the capacity crowd to its collective feet; these blues rockers ripped off two hours of hit after hit. 
Joining them on stage for several tunes were former Savoy Brown guitarist and Earl band mate Kim Simmonds, along with the very talented Scott Holt. Punctuated by an Earl drum solo in the middle; this 16 song set list rocked from start to finish. Several highlights included, "Upside of Lonely" off of the new disc, old standards "Sweet Home Chicago" and "I Just Want To Make Love To You" along with an encore of "Slow Ride" which turned 40 years old, yet still sounds as fresh as the day it was born and is included on the new album as a remix. 
A third surprise was the return of Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin who are collectively known as ARW. These three Yes alumni still have gas left in their proverbial tanks and a recent show at The Count Basie Theatre in Red BankNJ showed just how much. 
From the symphonic beginning and into "Cinema" and "Perpetual Change," the music was vintage Yes; just without the entire cast. Although he's slowed a bit, Anderson's voice is still as potent and capable as it was during his former band's hey day; none more evident than when they did, "I've Seen All Good People-Your Move." Where if one closed their eyes, it was as if you could see them "In The Round" once again. 
Wakeman, the master, was dressed simply in jeans and a tee shirt but  adorned his trademark cape. The cape was present and its regal look evoked the days of yesteryear once again as he performed like the wizard of the keyboards; a well deserved title. Several exceptional solos served as reminders that age is truly just a number as Wakeman and Rabin ripped off lick after lick and along with top notch bassist Lee Pomeroy and drummer Lou Molino III transformed "The Basie" into a progressive rock party.  Making it more festive was the fact that it was also Jon Anderson's birthday; a fact not lost on Rabin as he led the crowd in a loud rendition of "Happy Birthday" as Anderson seemed overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection. 
Playing their favorite selections from various eras of the Yes catalog, they picked songs from all of the configurations of the band; even allowing a tribute to the legendary Chris Squire as Pomeroy did a tremendous job on "The Fish." A very nice use of the harp by Anderson really set the tone throughout for Rabin's haunting guitar and Wakeman's synthesizers during the classic "Awaken." 
"Owner Of A Lonely Heart," was followed by an encore of the monster that is "Roundabout" and if the house wasn't shaking before; it was now. The appreciative crowd sang both the vocal and musical parts back to the band and when done; they begged for more. Alas, it was not to be on this night, the approximate two and one half hour set was going to have to be enough as the five piece unit took a collective bow and walked off stage. 
These three shows were the surprises of 2016 as what was old was new again. These acts proved that if the music lives within one's self, then it shall live forever. "You're never too old to rock 'n' roll," is a quote that is rooted in those who choose to stay young at heart and dance to the music which makes up the soundtrack of their lives. We are all sound engineers and producers, able to create our own symphonies; so dance my friends and support live local music, musicians and the arts. 
Thank you all for your support of this space. Many heartfelt thanks to Gary Wien for allowing it to come into your screens and homes via New Jersey Stage Magazine and for taking a chance on me, as well as all that you do for the music and art scenes in our fair state. 
I wish all who read this a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year! 

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

The Alchemist & Barrister
28 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-5556
Sat. 10 p.m. Paul Plumeri Blues Band
Amarones Windsor Inn
29 Church Street Windsor
(609) 448-7144
Fri. 8 p.m. Meg Hanson Group feat. Billy Hill
Sat. 8 p.m. Tony Malandro
Artworks Trenton
19 Everett Alley Trenton
(609) 394-9436
Sat. 1 p.m. Print Making
Backstage at Championship Bar 
931 Chambers Street Trenton
Fri. 7 p.m. Fairhaven, (TBA). All ages, $10
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33 Hamilton 
(609) 245-8887
Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam
Bowman's Tavern
1600 River Road New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2972
Thurs. 6 p.m. Eric Mintel Trio
Fri. 8 p.m. CJ Steinway
Sat. 8 p.m. "New Year's Eve Party" w/ Bob Egan
Candlelight Lounge 
24 Passaic Street Trenton
(609) 695-9612
 Sat. 3 p.m. (Happy New Year) $10/$10 (cover charge includes buffet and 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. Quizzo Trivia 
City Streets 
510 Highway 130 South East Windsor
(609) 426-9400
Fri. 9 p.m. Live Band Karaoke w/ The Golden Boyz
Mon. 9 p.m. "Malibu Mondays" w/ DJ Brett Gash
Tues. 9 p.m. Trivia w/ Jessie and Chelsea
Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" w/ Rich Genoval
Dempster's Pub
437 Pine Street Mount Holly
(609) 261-0500
Thurs. 8:30 p.m. DJ DNIAL
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Chris
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
(215) 788-2855
Thurs. 8 p.m. Paul Donovan
Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour Jam" feat. Visoon  (9 p.m.) The Mix
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. David Dzubinski Group (9 p.m.) Cara Cartney & Friends "New Year's Eve Extravaganza"
Sun. 11 a.m. "Sunday Brunch" feat. Dick Gratton  
Wed. 8 p.m.                              
Fran's Pub
116 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.
Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam
All shows age 21+
Freddies Tavern
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
(609) 882-0978
Fri. 8 p.m. Rich Scanella Group
Sat. 8 p.m. Off The Record
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Joe Vadala
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA. 
(215) 862-9897
Fri. 8:30 p.m. 52 Pickup
Sat. 9 p.m. "New Year's Eve" w/ Coast 2 Coast
Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 8 p.m. Jerry Lee Watkins
Wed. 8 p.m. "Local Original Music Series" Hosted by Pat Foran 
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
(609) 737-4465
Thurs. 6 p.m. Bill Henry Trio
Fri. 6 p.m. Hopewell Valley Vineyards Jazz Ensemble
Sat. 5:30 p.m. "Music & Merlot" w/ Sergio Neri
Iron Plow Vineyards
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus
(732) 306-9111
Sat. 9 p.m. "Plowing Through New Year's Eve" feat. Ed Wilson / Ken Neuhauser
Ivy Tavern 
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435
Fri. 9 p.m. Gunsmoke
All shows 21+
Jake's Pub
869 Bustleton Pike Richboro, PA
(215) 876-9000
Thurs. 7 p.m. Danny Lynch
Tues. 5 p.m. "Acoustic Happy Hour" feat. Bill Shannon
John & Peter's 
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981
Thurs. 9 p.m. Kitty City/ Naked
Fri. 9 p.m. Jerry Fiess & Friends
Sat. 9 p.m. "New Year's Party" w/ Aggreschen
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night w/ Mike
Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
Laurita Winery
85 Archertown Road New Egypt
(609) 752-0200
Sun. 1 p.m. First Call
Mamma Rosa's 
572 Klockner Road Hamilton 
(609) 588-5454
Thurs. 6 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Richard Schneider 
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
Sat. 9 p.m. "New Year's Eve" w/ Last Call. $10 (Includes breakfast buffet)
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo hosted by Mike
Millhill Basement
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-1600
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
Please check web site for upcoming events
Olde Liberty Tavern
2114 Liberty Street Trenton
(609) 396-2262
Sat. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Road Hamilton
(609) 838-7979
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21 +
PANJ Radio
Bridge Street Lambertville
(609) 460-4673
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" will return on 1/8/17. Happy New Year
Wed. 7 p.m. "Live Radio/Concert Performance" feat. A Halo Called Fred 
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
(609) 585-8008
Fri. 9:30 p.m. The Drunk Monkeys
Sat. 9:30 p.m. "New Year's Eve Party" w/ 80's Undercover
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 424-3766
Fri. (8 p.m.) "Randy Now's Holiday Party" feat. Raymond the Amish Comic. (9 p.m.) "Randy Now's New wave 80's DJ Dance Party From Zadar's & City Gardens" w/ DJ Gal/DJ Randy with a special appearance by Amy Wuelfing. Now. All ages, Doors at 7:30 p.m., BYOB, donations accepted (pay what you want). 
RHO Waterfront
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton
(609) 393-7300
Sat. 8 p.m. "New Year's Eve" feat. DJ Paul DeSisto / Boss Radio AM Gold Band. Ages 21+, $50/$70 (Premium dinner, open bar)  
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton 
Sat. (Happy New Year)
South Rio
120 South Warren Street Trenton
(609) 943-2123
Thurs. 7 p.m. "All You Can eat Crabs." Music, Drink Specials, Sports on TV
Tues. "$2 Tuesday"
1867 Sanctuary 
101 Scotch Road Ewing
(609) 392-6409
Fri. 6:30 p.m. "Exquisite Meditation Experience for Unprocessed Endings" w/ Tuen Genco and Harpist Professor Gloria Galante. $25 (Registration required)
Tara's Tavern 
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
(609) 286-2300
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Party Hardy
Sat. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Big Daddy G
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
(609) 426-9345
Fri. 9 p.m. Boys Round Here
Sat. 9 p.m. "New Year's Eve" w/ Anything Goes
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. "New Year's Eve Party" w/ DJ entertainment
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
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 Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 324-0880
Fri. 8 p.m. Popa Chubby Band "The Catfish" Release Party. All ages, Doors at 7:30 p.m., $20 (advance)
The Roost 
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
(609) 208-0050 
Fri. 9 p.m. Joe Vadala Duo
The Sticky Wicket 
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton
(609) 439-0007
Sat. 9 p.m. "New Year's Eve" w/ The Drunk Monkeys
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke
The Sun National Bank Center 
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 656-3200
Check website for upcoming events
The Youth Warehouse
1580 Reed Road Pennington
(609) 213-1878
Fri. 7 p.m. Deadline Tuesday "EP Release Party" w/ The Season. $5
Tir Na Nog 
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton
(609) 392-2554
Sat. 9 p.m. "Irish New Year " w/ Seamus Kelleher
Sun. 3 p.m. "New Year's day Hangover Sessions" w/ Kevin McCloskey
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
Fri. 4 p.m. First Friday 
Sat. 8 p.m. Cook Thugless / Chalk & the Beige Americans. $10
Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-8300
Thurs. 10:30 p.m. 
Fri. 10 p.m. The Funk Ark. ($5 cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. "New Year's Eve Party" w/ Swift Technique. $10 
All shows 21+ 
Triumph Brewing Company (Princeton, NJ Location)
138 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 924-7855
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Z
Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Road Pennington
(609) 773-2392
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia
Tues. 9 p.m. Ed Wilson
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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