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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...1/26/17

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 01/27/2017
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"The tour? Well this tour has always been more about the book but also the music as well," says John Hall, former U.S Congressman and a co-founding member of the classic rock band Orleans
Hall and his very talented opening act, Phoebe Legere, will be taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. on February 1 at  Woodbridge Middle School located at 525 Barron Avenue in Woodbridge, NJ. 
"The book," to which Hall refers is his memoir and is titled, "STILL THE ONE: A Rock 'n' Roll Journey To Congress And Back." "I finished it over the last several years because I just kept remembering things and people that I've met over the years. I started recalling things from conversations I had in elevators or discussions that I would have with vets on a canoe trip that I took every year. When I was a member of congress, I was the chairman of the sub committee on disability. Each year, I'd take a trip down the Hudson river with veterans who had been wounded. Some had loss of limbs and honestly, they were better Kayakers than I was and we'd trade stories and ultimately, no matter who I spoke with they would say, "You should write a book" and I often thought about doing so. I think about the things that I've done from touring with bands, music, running into John Kerry in the hallways of congress, elevator rides, the Green Zone in Iraq; I lost my brothers, my mom and my dad in a three year period since 2010 and I just kept remembering things so I decided to do something about it." 
When listening to Hall speak, one can not help but feel his appreciation for the road he's traveled and the experiences that he's had from music to the House of Representatives. "I was in a band called Kangaroo that played this place in Greenwich Village called Cafe Expresso and our first night there, Jimi Hendrix comes walking in and sits down right in the front row. James Taylor had a band called The Flying Machine and they would perform in this club called the Night Owl, we'd finish up our set and I'd run over there. James and his band took over after Lovin' Spoonful had left to go on tour and could no longer perform there. Sometimes we would alternate sets with them or other bands and this place was a dry club, they didn't serve alcohol. Hendrix, Bob Dylan with Tim Hardin, lots of...." and his voice trailed off as he seemed to be searching for an apt description of such a fascinating time, not only in his life but in that of our country as well. "It was an incredible piece of American history that I was part of and I didn't even realize it; actually I'm not sure that any of us did. I think about it, I went from talking to Janis Joplin in her living room to talking about the Affordable Care Act with Nancy Pelosi; talk about two different circumstances." 

Whether he was organizing the No Nukes Concert, playing music or writing legislation, Hall feels that he's always had to prove himself. "I've been on boards, run for office and even in music; I've been underestimated every time. In politics and in music you are selling a product. I've been heckled, had things thrown at me and I'm neither as good or bad as my best and worst reviews. You're hot until your not and music, politics and radio all have much in common; remember the "Payola"  scandal in radio? Have you ever heard a song and thought, geez how'd that get on the radio? That's because there was money behind it. In politics, if you don't have the ability to raise money it's nearly impossible to run, you're in trouble. Money is the unifying faction between music and politics but music is better. Helping vets, building bridges, those things feel really good but music is more satisfying and better for the soul." 
During his time in government, Hall was involved in the Affordable Care Act but lists his bill which sped up veterans disability claims as his greatest accomplishment while in office. "I remember receiving my Selective Service notice and having to go register for the draft. I remember standing against a wall, practically naked with 200 others and they'd go down the line and I was told to go home and they'd keep me informed; one year went by and they never called me back. Years later I was elected to the House of Representatives and Nancy Pelosi came to me with an unusual request for a freshman member and that was to chair the sub committee. I had campaigned against the war in Iraq so I ran on that and my number two was healthcare. My biggest impact during my time in office was a bill that I got passed unanimously without one dissenting vote to speed up veterans disability claims. Those claims used to take six months and my bill required the V.A. to pay immediately upon verification of the disability. These veterans return damaged emotionally, physically, some can't work, can't deal with people; they hear a loud noise and some of them dive under their bed and they didn't go there that way. Everybody voted "Yes," it was an amazing experience. There was not one debate, nor amendment and President Bush signed it as soon as it hit his desk." 
Hall says that Orleans has been, "Pretty much constantly going" and that even though he departed from the band in the late 70's to pursue a solo career, that the group kept going. It was a sad event which brought them all back together; the death of co-founder and drummer Wells Kelly. "When Wells died, we all got together at his funeral and we sang a bit. We were all kind of excited that we still sounded great together and we looked at each other and said, "Maybe we should try doing this again" and we did. While I was in Congress, I was replaced by Dennis "Fly" Amero. He is a great guy and I really enjoy performing with him; he's got a great voice. We sound like Orleans even though me and lance are the only surviving original members." 
So as Hall tours promoting the book he enjoys telling the stories and continuing on the Orleans tradition. "I like relaying the stories and intertwining them with the music. In Woodbridge, those coming to the show will hear some stories about crossing over from music to politics and back again, some Orleans, some new unreleased stuff, it feels like coming home again. I will review my musical life, and political career; I hope the people find it funny (laughs)." 
Opening up for Hall will be the exciting Phoebe Legere. This attractive veteran of the music industry has 15 albums to her credit and has been making music since she was, "Able to walk." "John and I are both community activists who write hooky pop songs," she stated with a slight laugh; "I am honored to be opening for him, he's a hero with positive messages and it will be fun." 
Legere plays seven instruments, among them are piano, accordion, guitar and cello and has a stunning vocal range. "I started playing piano as soon as I could reach the keyboard somewhere around the age of three," she said in a soft almost whimsical voice. "I also walked across the street in my diaper to where a piano teacher lived because I could hear the music coming from her house. I actually wanted to play guitar as I got older but my mom wouldn't allow it; she thought it was unladylike. I had my first professional performance at the age of nine when i was paid to play the organ in church." 
Legere is a descendant of the Abenaki Indians and a full fledged Acadian whose family crossed the border from Canada into Maine. "My bloodline is that of a Shaman. I sing in Abenaki as well as in French; I have an album that i was asked to do that is entirely in French." 
As a young lady with many seeds to sow and the desire to perform music; Legere became a runaway as a teen and worked as a musician and an actress/model. "Radio saved my life when I was a kid," she started softly. "Radio got me through some rough times. I ran away from home when I was 15 and became a professional musician. It was the music on the radio that kept me together instead of turning to drugs or worse. I was signed to a record deal with Epic Records when I was a teen aged girl. I was 16 years old and I had 10 people who were assigned to me; each made over $100,000 dollars and the way I see it, i'm doing all of their jobs today by myself. I figure that I'm worth over a million dollars; No? (laughs)" 
The rough times paid dividends for her persistence, or should we say, perseverance saw her through. Phoebe has appeared on major television shows in the UK as well as the U.S. and has been in film and on screen and as an opener for Hall, Legere says that it will be anything but dull. "Well, I'm going to play my songs," she said with a sweet, matter of fact tone. My songs combine contemporary themes such as, computer dating, texting, you know' things that help us all figure out who we are these days. I'll be performing on several instruments, perhaps even two at a time. On stage, I don't even know what to expect but it will be great fun that is for sure. I learn a lot of things from the children that I work with, they teach me a lot. Kids with disabilities, autism, etc.; they all just have a different way of communicating and they are brilliant and inspiring."
Phoebe will also be performing selections from her upcoming release called, "Heart Of Love." "I am releasing it on February 14; quite appropriate I think. This is a group of songs, poems, tall tales, about life on the road, birth, death, grief, brothers and lovers in my Americana style. My blues, folk, country and storytelling all rolled into one. This was what I envision music was before machines and if you pre-order it, you'll get a handmade by me, heart shaped lollipop with it." 
To discover more about John Hall, please go to  To read more about Phoebe Legere, 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
Fri. 8 p.m. The Obsessed, Crackfiller, Dirty Merlins, Husky Bundles, (TBA). Ages 21+, $15 
Sat. 5 p.m. Broken Angels, Oshian, The Breakout Year, DogParc, Cut The Act, The Definition Of Anxiety, (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. 6:30 p.m. David Dales Trio
Fri. 8 p.m. Bob Egan
Sat. 8 p.m. Hazelrigg Brothers
Sun. (12 p.m.) Ottmar (6 p.m.) Lorenzo
Tues. 6 p.m. Brad Stauble
Broken Goblet Brewing
1500 Grundy Lane Bristol, PA
(267) 812-5653
Sat. 8:30 p.m. The Drunk Monkeys
Candlelight Lounge 
24 Passaic Street Trenton
(609) 695-9612
 Sat. 3 p.m. Josh Lawrence Trumpet Quartet. $10 (cover charge/$10 Minimum includes buffet) 
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
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 
Main Street Hightstown 
(609) 241-7103
Check web site for upcoming programming
Dadz Bar & Grill
744 Main Street Lumberton
(609) 267-4344
Thurs. 10 p.m. "Pong Tournament"
Fri. 10 p.m. Next
Sat. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Dubbs
Wed. Karaoke w/ Superstar Entertainment
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. Jay Regan
Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour" feat. keli Vale & Nick Bucci Jazz (9 p.m.) Dustin Beck Trio
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. Michael Leggerie (9 p.m.) Soul Custody Trio
Sun. 11 a.m. "Sunday Brunch" feat. Dick Gratton (4 p.m.) Dick Gratton & Linda Lee
Wed. 8 p.m. Joe Robinson
Fran's Pub
116 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.
Fri. 8 p.m. The Bansai Bills
Sat. 9 p.m. Manifested
All shows age 21+
Freddies Tavern
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
(609) 882-0978
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
Sat. 7 p.m. 3-26 Rodney & Eva
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA. 
(215) 862-9897
Fri. 8:30 p.m. "Count Down To Ecstasy" A Tribute to Steely Dan. Ages 21+, Doors at 6 p.m. (As of publication this show is SOLD OUT. Call for availability) 
Sat. (1 p.m.) Midnight Sun Orchestra (8:30 p.m.) LeCompt with Horns
Sun. (3:30 p.m.) BOTE ("Best Of The Eagles" Eagles Tribute) Ages 21+, Doors at 1:30 p.m., $35 (6:30 p.m.) JB Kline / Greg Sover
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 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
Thurs. 5:30 p.m. Spaghetti Dinner/Music & Merlot fet. Dave Homan. $19.95 (adults) $8.95 (Children 10 and under)
Fri. 6 p.m. Hopewell Valley Vineyards Jazz Ensemble
Sat. 6 p.m. Deb & Mike
Sun. 2 p.m."Jazzy Sundays" feat. Vince di Mura
Iron Plow Vineyards
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus
(732) 306-9111
Thurs. 7 p.m. Wine & Paint Night
Sat. 2 p.m. Tom Fuller
Sun. 2 p.m. Rob Ballonoff
Ivy Tavern 
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435
Fri. 9 p.m. Gunsmoke
Sat. 9 p.m. Papa Dlux
All shows 21+
John & Peter's 
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981
Thurs. 9 p.m. Jerry Fiess
Fri. 9 p.m. Dusty Mason / Cowbell Superstar
Sat. (3 p.m.) Desoto Rust (9:30 p.m.) Disgruntled Sherpa Project
Sun. (3 p.m.) Miss Pumpkin's Drag Show (9:30 p.m.) Old Lady
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night w/ Tim
Tues. 9 p.m. Nothing Is Happening
Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
Legends Pizza 
318 High Street Burlington
(609) 386-3001
Sat. 7 p.m. Kim Yarson and Sandy Zio
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
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo hosted by Mike
Millhill Basement
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-1600
Fri. 9 p.m. Byan McPherson, The Cryptkeeper 5, T Gunn and The Semantics, DIM, Logan Carpenter. $7
Tues. 10 p.m. "Local Artist" Hip Hop, Experimental EDM and Bass Music Showcase 
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" feat. Thomas Johnston
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
(609) 585-8008
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Kindred Spirit
Sat. 9:30 p.m. (TBA)
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 424-3766
Sat. 7:15/9:15 "Celebration of The Life and Music of David Bowie" w/ Harpist Erin Hill. (Two shows) $15 
Salt Creek Grille
Princeton Forrestal Village 1 Rockingham Row Princeton
(609) 419-4200
Fri. 8 p.m. Carrie Jackson
Sat. 8 p.m. Paul Plumeri Blues Band
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton 
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Pyrenesia
2673 Main Street Lawrenceville
(609) 414-3320
Fri. 7 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Anker
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. 7 p.m. "4th Friday Open Mic." 
Sat. 7 p.m. Jack Furlong Quartet. $20
Sun. 3 p.m. McMillan & Co. $20
Tara's Tavern 
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
(609) 286-2300
Fri. 10 p.m. Out Of The Red
Sat. 10 p.m. Fish Eyed Blues
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
(609) 426-9345
Fri. 9 p.m. Pretty Baby
Sat. 9 p.m. Quartet Of Catastrophe 
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. 80's Undercover
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. Little Mac & the People's Champ
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Jon 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 Roost 
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
(609) 208-0050 
Fri. 9 p.m. Ar House
Sat. 9 p.m. El Ka Bong
The Sticky Wicket 
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton
(609) 439-0007
Fri. 9 p.m. The Polish Nannies
Sat. 9 p.m. J. Spirit Walker
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke
The Sun National Bank Center 
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 656-3200
Check website for upcoming events
Tir Na Nog 
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton
(609) 392-2554
Fri. 9 p.m. Michael Nabinger
Sat 9 p.m. The Shantys
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 
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
Fri. 10 p.m. Mo Lowda & The Humble ($5 cover charge)
Sat. (1 p.m.) "Winter Festival Beef and Brew" feat. the Berries (10 p.m.) Levee Drivers ($5 cover charge)
Sun. (1 p.m.) "Winter Festival Chili Cook Off" feat. Sons Of Pitches (7 p.m.) Open Jam Night (Sign-ups at 6:30 p.m.)
Tues. 9 p.m. Live Band Karaoke
All shows 21+ 
Triumph Brewing Company (Princeton, NJ Location)
138 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 924-7855
Fri. 10 p.m. Jared Mancuso
Sat. 10 p.m. Wallace Brothers
All shows 21+
Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Road Pennington
(609) 773-2392
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia
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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