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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites.....2/27/14

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 02/27/2014
Welcome to my musical world! This is one man's attempt to alert you to the best in area entertainment!

" My eyes were full of tears, I cried like a baby; I mean I was overwhelmed. I'm still shaking my head over it today, it's like, How'd "that" happen?" A very honest and candid response from Princeton, NJ native Mary Chapin Carpenter as she described the euphoria of winning her first of five Grammy Awards.

A 2012 inductee into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame, this amazingly talented lady has garnered fifteen Grammy nominations, two CMA "Female Vocalist of the Year" Awards as well as two Academy of Country Music Awards, countless TV appearances, performances at The White House, The World Series, Super Bowl XXXI and The Grand Ole Opry. Carpenter's music has been featured in film as well. "Tin Cup," "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "Dead Man Walking" as well as others have all used her material for their soundtracks.

This Friday, February 28 and Saturday March 1 at 8 p.m., Carpenter will be making an appearance in New York City at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Avery Fisher Hall, along with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and some very special guests, as she tours in support of her latest release "Songs From The Movie."

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Reprising ten songs from her past, reworked, rearranged and redone by producer/arranger and her "collaborator" Vince Mendoza; one gets the feeling that Carpenter has exceeded even her own expectations with this effort. "This is so different," she explained, "So different from the original recordings. This is an entirely different way to present my music. All of these years playing music and making records and I'm still on a learning curve."

Quick to heap praise, Carpenter speaks with near reverence as she can't hide her appreciation for Mendoza. "It was an honor, an incredible honor to work with him. Vince transformed and added so many beautiful passages to my music; it was emotional. He transformed them the way that I wanted them done; he's wonderful."

Utilizing a fifteen voice choir to go along with a 63 piece orchestra during the recording process, Carpenter elaborated on her time spent at London's prestigious Air Studios; an old church converted into a music lab, which she calls "Phenomenal." "I've been there once before," she said, "It's a special place, phenomenal really." "I've played London so many times in the past but never, other than that one time really spent any length of time there. The rooms are divided up and the acoustics are just beautiful, fantastic sound and a testament to the facility."

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Along for the ride on Friday will be some very special friends, beginning with drummer Peter Erskine. "Peter is just amazing," she gushed. "He is a world class, revered musician and human being; just such a nice man. One can not help but feel joyful being around Peter and I consider myself lucky that he'll be performing with me." In addition to Erskine, Joan Baez, Shawn Colvin, Jerry Douglas, Tift Merritt, and Aoife (pronounced EEF-ah) O'Donovan will be joining Carpenter and her band mates. "Each one of them are seminal and it is an honor and I mean an honor that they are joining me. I hold every one of them in high esteem; I look forward to being on stage with them."

Although having performed at Lincoln Center in the past, Carpenter sees this next appearance as "unique and more exciting," much like her childhood memories of growing up in Princeton. "I was born in Princeton Hospital," she said with a small laugh, "Right there in the middle of town." "Growing up there? Gosh yeah, I have fond memories; it was a small town and a great place to grow up, to ride your bike as a kid; there was lots of freedom, just a beautiful place. One of my best memories was when my mother had us, my siblings and I, in community theater; I was really young, maybe age six or seven. We were in "The King and I" at McCarter Theater and I remember being overwhelmed at the time, so young and in front of so many people. I've performed there now as an adult and it's a cosmic, wild feeling standing on the stage where I was as a child, or where my family and I would go to see "The Nutcracker" every Christmas season. I look out at those chandeliers and just think...."

As her voice trailed off, a sense of calm and confidence seemed to permeate the conversation as I asked Mary Chapin about her future and what she hopes to accomplish. "Well," she started, "I'm writing new songs." "New songs for a new record, I'll be touring all of this year and into the beginning of next year. Yeah, that's what a musician does. I am very happy with what I do, what I've done and will do, it's who I am. I am proud to call myself a working musician."

With that, we parted ways. As I sat back and the reality sunk in a bit, a smile came to my face. You see, I too am very happy with what I do, so on a certain level I could relate to this incredible lady; isn't that what it's really all about? As Mary Chapin said when I asked her why she did this album now; "Don't ask me why, rather, ask me why not?"

Tickets for these shows range from $55 - $245 and can be found, along with more information on Mary Chapin Carpenter at .

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Keeping with a Princeton theme, former Montgomery High School graduate, one time Princeton resident and a current member of the world famous Harlem Globetrotters, Dizzy Grant and I spoke via telephone recently about the Globetrotters upcoming March 8 appearance at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton.

Grant lived in the Princeton area for approximately eleven years and went to college at The College of New Jersey. Upon graduation he began playing basketball professionally for, ironically enough, the Nationals; one of several different teams that are Globetrotter foes. "Yeah, I played with The Nationals and after one particular game, the Globetrotters asked me to tryout and I've been with them ever since for the last eight years."

Wearing the number 2 and featuring moves such as his patented "Over The Hill and Through The Woods," Grant said that the individual team members are left pretty much alone and have the freedom to create their own maneuvers that we've become so accustomed to seeing on the court. "Yes, we're allowed to come up with individual moves on our own. The coaches have creative input but we're allowed individual creativity. My move was actually an accident but I kept working at it and I got it down. I start the ball on my right arm, then up my right shoulder, down my left shoulder and against the left side of my face. Then down my left arm and that's it (laughs)."

Life on the road can at times take it's toll on performers and entertainers, to stay healthy in mind and body, Grant enjoys reading, fishing and golfing; preferring reading. "Unfortunately I won't be at the Trenton Show, I'll be out west," lamented Dizzy. "This is going to 300 different cities and this tour began back on December 26 and will not be done until April 29 so yeah, I'll be doing a lot of reading (laughing)."

Over his tenure with the team Grant has amassed so many fond memories of kids and adults alike but one in particular stands out for him. "I had the opportunity to perform for the troops in Iraq back in '09. We landed on an aircraft carrier, were able to watch the jets come in; I'll never forget it. More important was that I got to see and thank the troops for what they do; very touching for sure to see what they do for us, all of us."

Grant mentioned "the kids," a very important cog in the Harlem Globetrotter machine. "Without them, there's no Harlem Globetrotters," he said. "They make every show unique. It doesn't matter what race, creed or color; nor does gender come into play and there's no age limit. When you come out to see the Globetrotters, everybody's a kid again; grandparents, parents, it doesn't matter everybody has fun."

The team also uses its status for more serious things as well. "We go to 200 to 300 schools a year; this year we've put together a program called the "ABCs of Bullying" and we're trying to teach kids about what to do and how to handle being bullied, hopefully we can put an end to it; or at least have a small part in stopping it."

Tickets for the 7 p.m. March 8 show are currently on sale at The Sun National Bank Center or through their web site at and range in price from $22 to $120.

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!

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Alchemist & Barrister

28 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-5555

Thurs. 10 p.m. Rob McMahon

Sun. 9 p.m. Princeton Area Blue Grass

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

All shows 21+

Amalfi's Restaurant and Bar

146 Lawrenceville-Pennington Rd. Lawrenceville

(609) 912-1599

Sat. 8 p.m. The Aldrich Brothers Band

Amarones Windsor Inn

29 Church St. Windsor

(609) 448-714

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Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Pizza Party Night feat.Scott Gager & Debbie

Fri. 8 p.m. Phaze

Tues. 7 p.m. Texas Hold'em


911 Rte. 33 Hamilton

(609) 245-8887

Sat. 9 p.m. Some Assembly Required

Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke

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

Sat. 3 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Landom Brothers Sax & Drums Quartet. (No cover-$10 minimum)

Centro Bar And Grille

2360 Rte. 33 Robbinsville

(609) 208-9300

Thurs. 9:30 p.m. Mark Macmanus

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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

Thurs. 7 p.m. "Laughing To the Finish Line" Hosted by Topp Fliight feat. Hez Green w/ Billy Da Kidd, Brandy Hayes, Stax, Alisha, Dewayne Ali, Steve Brown w/ a special performance by Arif, DJ Boogie. Ages 18+, $10/$13

Fri. 7 p.m. Paradigms, The Involuntary, Tie Goes To The Runner, Dethroned, Provenance. All ages, $10

Sat. 5 p.m. 3 To Breathe, Dethrone The Empire, Circus Fiction, (TBA). All ages, $8/$10

Sun. 10 p.m. Black Collar Biz, A Mankind Complex, Liz Cisco, Tre-L. Ages 21+, $5

Wed. 4 p.m. Affiance, Close Your Eyes, My Enemies And I, Proletariat, Of Morla, Liars & legends, Silent Future, (TBA). All ages, $12/$14

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

Fri. 9 p.m. Class A Kings

Sat. 9 p.m. The Shaun Ruymen Band

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

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

Erini Restaurant & Bar

1140 River Rd. Ewing

(609) 882-0303

Fri. 8:30 p.m. Ja-Tun
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Mike Matisa & Karly Coleman w/ Bob "O"

Fran's Pub

116 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.


Fri. 9 p.m. DJ entertainment
Sat. 9 p.m. Royal Noise

All shows 21+

Halo Pub

4617 Nottingham Way Hamilton Square

(609) 586-1811

Sat. 7 p.m. Blue Jersey Band

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

Thurs. "Beat The Clock" College Night DJ Dance Party

Fri. 8 p.m. Vince Martell. Doora at 6 p.m., $15

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Fish Out Of Water

Sun. 2 p.m. Midnight Sun Orchestra

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

Wed. 8 p.m. Wino Wednesday Local Original Music Night w/ Connor Choi

All shows 21+

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

Fri. 10 p.m. Gunsmoke

Sat. 10 p.m. Highway 41
All shows 21+

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

Thurs. 9 p.m. Reed Turchi

Fri. 9 p.m. Ammunition

Mon. Open Mic.

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

JoJo's Tavern

2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton

(609) 586-2678

Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke

Millhill Basement

300 South Broad St. Trenton

(609) 989-1600

Thurs. 9 p.m. Teeel, JoyCut, Samarkand, Kind of Creatures. Ages 21+, $7

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

Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Sat. 9:30 p.m. No Way Out

All shows 21+

Patriot's Crossing

1339 River Rd. Titusville

(609) 737-2780

Sat. 7 p.m. Black Cat Habitat feat. Rachel McCullough

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

Fri. 9:30 p.m. F2 and The Anchovy Brothers

Sat. 9:30 p.m. Kindred Spirit

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 Soul Cruisers (10 p.m.) DJ Jimmie Palumbo. $10 per person includes buffet, bands and DJ

Sat. 9 p.m. "Ladies of Bass" Dance Event feat. The Basscadettes, DJ 1:37, DJ Angel, DJ Linda Leigh. $10/$8, (ladies free)

All Shows 21+

Spigola Ristorante

3817 Crosswicks Hamilton Square Rd. Hamilton

Fri. 8:30 p.m. Steve Bross

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Tony Malandro

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. 9 p.m. War Hammer

Sat. 9 p.m. Black Rose

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. 9 p.m. Gyrl Band

The Record Collector

358 Farnsworth Ave. Bordentown

(609) 324-0880

Fri. 8 p.m. Ricky Byrd/John & Brittany/ Jeff Otis Brown/ WMMR's DJ Jacky Bam Bam. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $12 (advance)

Sat. 8 p.m. Richie Cole w/ Vince Lardear. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $20 (advance).

The Sticky Wicket
2465 South Broad St. Hamilton
(609) 439-0007

Fri. 9 p.m. Dr. Doz

All shows 21+

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

Sun. 8 a.m. NJCDCA Cheer and Dance Championships.

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

Fri. 9 p.m. Bill O'Neal

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.

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. Juggling Suns. $5 (coverage)

Sat. 10 p.m. Q Dot. $5 (cover charge)

Sun. (2 p.m.) Tiff Jimber (7 p.m.) Open Jam Night
All shows 21+)

Villa Romanza

429 Rte. 156 Hamilton

(609) 585-1717

Tues. 9 p.m. "Mardi Gras Celebration" w/ DJs Scott Valyo, Frank Oliveti, Marky Hawkes

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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