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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...5/2/19
By Danny Coleman
originally published: 05/02/2019
"Middletown" is a production written by playwright Dan Clancy and stars Cindy Williams, Didi Conn, Adrian Zmed and Donny Most; a veteran cast of thespians brought together in what's being called a, "Dramady."
After a Las Vegas opening and recent dates at The Bucks County Playhouse in the quaint town of New Hope, PA; former "Happy Days" co-star Donny Most spoke about this; his most recent endeavor.
"The play is about two couples from Middletown, New Jersey that have been friends for 33 years who have dinner every Friday night. Their personalities are kind of opposite in some ways and maybe you wouldn't expect them to be friends but on the other hand maybe there is a recipe for a great friendship and it certainly works for these four people. It takes you through all the ups and downs of marriage and having kids and going through all those years which I certainly can relate to and it seems like the audiences are relating too; friendship and things that we all go through in life or have shared experiences with. It's beautifully written by Dan Clancy an award winning play-wright and director Seth Greenleaf who has won Tony awards for producing and directing and the production company has got about 40 Tony awards to their credit; so they're a great group of people to be working with and that was one of the main things that attracted me to the play in addition to the play itself. I saw the key art for the poster and it was like a roller coaster and I thought, oh OK that's interesting and then as we've been doing the play and I see the audience reaction it has totally turned out to be that. There's great laughs, so much heart and a lot of emotion that people go through during the play and it's rewarding to have that kind of reaction; the play has gone beyond what I'd expected."
Most's co-stars include, "Beauty school drop-out" Didi Conn who portrayed Frenchy in "Grease," Adrian Zmed of "TJ Hooker," "Dance Fever" and "Grease 2" fame and Cindy Williams who was best known for her role as Shirley Feeney of "Happy Days" spin off "Laverne and Shirley." According to Most, the familiarity of the cast with one another goes beyond just his connection to Williams and was totally unplanned.
"Cindy and I had seen each other at certain events and functions but we haven't worked together on the acting side since the original episode of Happy Days" where Laverne and Shirley appeared as guest stars and then with the great response they got and how good it played then of course they got a spin off and their own show. So that was the last time that we actually worked together but like I said, we've seen each other and gotten to know each other better over the years but it's a joy to be able to work with her again and I'm thoroughly loving it. Didi; talk about how things all intersect, her first job when she got to L.A. was playing my girlfriend on "Happy Days." So that goes back and then Adrian and I use to work together and played ball on the same Hollywood celebrity softball team as well as working on the Broadway tour of "Grease" back in the late 90's. I worked with Adrian for about six months on that tour so there's all these connections with the cast. I don't know how much that all played into the casting because I don't think they knew. Actually now that I'm thinking about it I think they were surprised at how many connections there were. I think the producer and director knew that Cindy and I had worked together but I think that was it; I don't think they knew the other connections. Adrian worked with Didi in "Grease 2" and I'm not sure if Cindy had ever worked with Adrian or not but I think it was just one of those serendipitous kind of things that just happened."
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So now that the play has made two stops with a third scheduled to begin a six day run on May 28 at The Delaware Theater Company in Wilmington, DE; is there a proposed national tour in its future?
"That's the plan and I think it will; nothing is concrete yet or set in stone but we did the play for the first time a short time ago in Vegas at a performing arts center; we did five performances and it went incredibly well. Honestly I have to say again that it sort of exceeded my expectations; I read the piece before I accepted doing it and really liked it and thought it had a lot of potential but I don't think that I could have really predicted what happened. It was one of those fortuitous pairings of the cast and material that transcends; it's like that old saying, "The sum is greater than its parts" and this became something on a bigger scale than I expected which is great to see and be part of. So we did it in Vegas and now at The Bucks County Playhouse which I've never been to in New Hope, PA which is a charming beautiful town. The theater was great and we got a great response again; so I'm feeling excited and encouraged about the prospects for this show."
When you're an actor who achieves success like Most did playing "Ralph Malph" on "Happy Days," it can be a struggle at times to break free of that persona and that same success can quickly turn to a hindrance; was this the case and how did he overcome it?
"It was a definite challenge and I left the show after the seventh season. The show ran 11 years but when my contract was up I thought it was time to move on because I knew what I was up against and what I'd be facing and I felt it was time to try to climb that wall and it was difficult. It's kind of a double edge sword; when something is that successful and so intertwined with a period or genre or whatever you want to label it; to be totally honest, yes it was very difficult. I did manage to continue working, sometimes in theater; I didn't want to do TV so I told my agents I wanted a break from television, I only wanted to do movies and theater. I couldn't even get auditions for movies because back then especially if you were in a sitcom you were like a second class citizen to film. It's not like today where people go back and forth between the mediums; it wasn't like that back then. So it was difficult but I continued to work and I directed three independent films and started getting more and more and as time passed it started to get better. So as of late I've been doing all kinds of roles in films and totally different kinds of parts, I've had a recurring role on, "Glee" and right now I'll be doing another movie in July and then I've got my own projects to hopefully be directing again. There's a few that are getting some major traction and I feel confident getting behind a camera and doing that as well. I love doing that, I love doing theater, I love doing film, I love getting on stage with a big band so it's kind of an interesting combination of things that are happening right now. I love them all and if I was doing one for a while then I'd be yearning; like after several months of doing theater I'll be yearning to tackle some more films and then a live stage with music and then directing. I love the challenges and the collaboration with all the different mediums and doing good work; that's what it's all about for me."
Most enjoys singing with a live band and is particularly fond of old standards, big band music and legendary crooners such as Frank Sinatra. This Sunday May 5 he will be performing in Freehold, NJ at the County Seat Jazz & Blues Street Fest in downtown Freehold. The Fest starts at noon with CMJ Jazz Band kicking things off at 1 p.m., followed by the great Chuck Lambert Band at 2:30 p.m. and The Donny Most Band at 4:15 p.m. To find out more about the event, please visit www.downtownfreehold.com.
To discover more about Donny Most and his diverse career, please go to www.donnymost.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
Allentown Presbyterian Church
20 High Street Allentown
Sat. 6:30 p.m. "Jazz and the Gospel"
19 Everett Alley Trenton
Sat. (12 p.m.) YAL "Art of the Graphic Novel" (7 p.m.) Opening Reception for The Shared Meal / All In the Family.
Bill's Olde Tavern
2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton
Thurs. 9 p.m. Trivia
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33 Hamilton
Fri. 8:30 p.m. Markens and Friends
Sun. 7 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Jam
Wed. 7 p.m. Karaoke
1600 River Road New Hope, PA
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Fermenters Trio
Fri. (4 p.m.) Ottmar (8 p.m.) Bob Egan
Sat. 7 p.m. Dave Dales Trio
Sun. (12 p.m.) 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
Wed. 7 p.m. Quizzoholics
Broken Goblet Brewing
2500 State Road Bensalem, PA
Wed. 8 p.m. Quizzo
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)
661 Route 33 Hamilton
Fri. 8 p.m. The Sensational Soul Cruisers. Doors open at 7 p.m., $20
Sun. 12 p.m. "Disco Brunch" w/ DJ Ron Miesner.
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
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. Grace Field
411 Hobart Avenue Hamilton
Fri. 6 p.m. The Blue Eyed Balladeer
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Thirsty Thursday" w/ DJ. Ages 21+ (Ladies free before 10 p.m. w/ college ID)
Fri. (3 p.m.) Paradise Happy Hour (7 p.m.) 80's Night w/ The Suspects
Curly's at the Nest
1492 Woodbourne Road Levittown, PA
Sat. 8 p.m. The Fredz
215 West Philadelphia Avenue Morrisville, PA
Fri. 7 p.m. John Richards
Wed. 8 p.m. Quizzo
Diamond's of Hamilton
661 Route 33 Hamilton
Fri. (5 p.m.) Fulvio Ranni (9 p.m.) DJ Frank Oliveti
Sat. (5 p.m.) Jason Wingerter
Wed. 6 p.m. Tony Malandro
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
Fri. 5 p.m. First Fridays "Cinco Bash" feat. Pale Horse
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch" feat. Dick Gratton (9 p.m.) Gypsy Mother
Sun. 11 a.m. "Sunday Brunch"
Tues. 7 p.m. 90's Trivia
116 South Main Street New Hope, PA
Sat. 8 p.m. Electric Martin Band
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Country Night" Hosted by Jeremy Line Dance. (FREE event)
Fri. 9 p.m. In The Groove
Sat. 9 p.m. Jim Delre Band
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Joe Vadala, Falcey & Marc Hoffman
90 South Main Street New Hope, PA
Tues. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night Hosted by Sam Ryan Music
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. Trenton Makes Band
Halo Pub (Fete)
9 Hullfish Street Princeton
Sat. 6 p.m. Budd & Maggs w/ Bob Daley "Outside The Box"
Hamilton Tap & Grill
557 US Route 130 North Hamilton
Tues. 8 p.m.Trivia Challenge
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.
Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Rocky & His Friends
Fri. (8 p.m.) "Hello I Must Be Going" Phil Collins Tribute. Doors open at 6 p.m., $35 (11 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sat. (8:30 p.m.) Big House. $8 (12 a.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sun. (1 p.m.) Midnight Sun (6:30 p.m.) American Hawk Band. $10
Mon. (10 p.m.) "Lipstick Monday" Drag Show Hosted by Cyannie Lopez (12 a.m.) Karaoke
Tues. 8 p.m. Funk 'N' Blues Jam Hosted by Sidewinder Blues Band
Wed. 8 p.m. "Local Original Music Showcase" Hosted by Pat Foran Feat. Ron Maletich
5 South Greenwood Avenue Hopewell
Fri. 8 p.m. "This Really Happened...Storytelling at HT." Hosted by Joey Novick feat. Jude Treder Wolff, Tracey Miller Segarra, Denise McCormack, Cory Kahaney. $19.73
Hopewell United Methodist Church
20 Blackwell Avenue Hopewell
Fri. 6:30 p.m. First Friday Open Mic
Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn
15 East Broad Street Hopewell
Thurs. 5 p.m. Tom Tallitsch Organ Trio
Fri. 8 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
Thurs. 6 p.m. Karaoke / Open Mic
Fri. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Girl Jam
Sat. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Craig Leach and Friends
Sun. 2 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Victor Tarassov
Hurricane Jacks Bar and Grill
7759 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paul Kircher
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula & Sam
Irish Rover Station House
1033 Bellevue Avenue Langhorne, PA
Fri. 9:30 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Big Whiskey
Sun. 3 p.m. "Chill Sunday Acoustic Afternoon"
Tues. 7:30 p.m.
Iron Plow Vineyards
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus
Fri. 6 p.m. Frank Stagliano
Sat. 2 p.m. Audio Pilot
Sun. 2 p.m. Bob Daley & Dave Dedrick
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
Thurs. 9:30 p.m. Karaoke
Fri. 9 p.m. Ess Gees
Sat. 9 p.m. Unleashed
All shows 21+
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. Billy Hector
Sat. (3 p.m.) The Real Fugitives (9:30 p.m.) The Great Bonfire
Sun. (3 p.m.) Riverdogs (9:30 p.m.)
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic
Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
2677 Nottingham Way Mercerville
Sat. 10 p.m. Tour de Force
Killarney's Publick House
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton
Thurs. 6 p.m. "Girls Night Out"
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ BAY Nice
Sat. "Kentucky Derby Party"
Mon. 7 p.m. "Paint Nite"
Wed. 8 p.m. Drop the Beat Bingo
85 Archertown Road New Egypt
Sat./Sun. 12 p.m. "Cinco de Mayo Weekend"
Wed. 6 p.m. "Girls Night Out"
10 West Ferry Street New Hope, PA
Sun. 11 a.m. "Jazz Brunch"
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
Thurs. 6:30 p.m.
Fri. 6 p.m. Mike Oregano
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke .
McStews Irish Sports Pub
5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
Thurs. 10 p.m. "Beer Pong Night"
Sat. 8:30 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. 9 p.m. "First Friday" Hosted by Unc Roy feat. Alpha Rabbit, DJ Flea Market
Sat. 7 p.m. Narcan Training Jay Lassiter
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.
Fri. 8 p.m. Fleetwood Mac Tribute w/ "Tusk. Doors open at 7 p.m., $39 (Sold OUT call for ticket availability)
Sat. 8 p.m. Fleetwood Mac Tribute w/ "Tusk. Doors open at 7 p.m., $39 (Sold OUT call for ticket availability)
Sun. 6 p.m. Fleetwood Mac Tribute w/ "Tusk. $39
New Jersey WeedMan's Joint
322 East State Street Trenton
Fri. 8:30 p.m. "420 First Friday"
Sat. 9 p.m. Jazz Night
Sun. (2 p.m.) "Old School Sunday" (4:20 p.m.) "Sugar Magnolia Sundaze"
Wed. 8 p.m. "420 Game Night"
2043 Route 130 South Florence
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Tuesday w/ Quizoholics
9 Mercer Street Hamilton Square
Thurs. (7 p.m.) "Rock On Radio Happy Hour" Hosted by Danny Coleman feat. Radio Fiction Duo (9:30 p.m.) Karaoke w/ Super Dave Curtis
Fri. 9 p.m. Frank Pinto & Rich Ziegler
Sat. 9 p.m. Asylum Choir
O'Connors American Bar & Grille
1383 Monmouth Road Easthampton
Thurs. 5 p.m.
Fri. 6 p.m. "Guinness Keep The Glass"
Old Town Pub
135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Thurs. 8 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia
Fri. 9 p.m. Gypsy Mother
Sat. 9 p.m. Deuces Wild
Old York Cellars
(Quakerbridge Tasting Room)
3320 Brunswick Pike (US Rte 1) Lawrence
Fri. 5 p.m. Jim Gaven
Sat. 4 p.m. Anker
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Road Hamilton
Thurs. 8 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21 +
1339 River Road Titusville
Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night w/ Sean Cavalier
Fri. 8 p.m. Cover Up
Wed. 7 p.m. "Quizzo
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Kindred Spirit
Sat. 9 p.m. ArHouse
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Sun. 7 p.m. "Cinco de Mayo" w/ Dan Bern. $30
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. Monk & Kramer
Salt Creek Grille
1 Rockingham Row Princeton
Fri. 8 p.m. Keith Franklin
Sat. 8 p.m. Glenn Alexander
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-4377 x2
Sat. 8 p.m. Chris Harford & The Band of Changes Starbucks Coffee
(Trenton Community Store)
102 South Warren Street Trenton
Sat. 3 p.m. Open Mic
101 Scotch Road Ewing
Fri. 8 p.m. Kenny K and the Way. $20
Sat. (2 p.m.) Shane Barker and Robert Keiser. $20 (8 p.m.) An Evening with Gordon Thomas Ward. $20
Sun. 3 p.m. Hopewell Valley Pops Orchestra. $15
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
Fri. 10 p.m. The Quattro
Sat. 10 p.m. Nami Lane
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
Fri. 9 p.m. Funk Point 5
Sat. 9 p.m. DJ Mike
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
The Cool Cricket
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. El Ka Bong
The Cranbury Inn
21 South Main Street Cranbury
Fri. 7:30 p.m. Nelson Rangell w/ Gerald Veasley. Doors open at 7 p.m., $40
The Cure Insurance Center
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
Check website for upcoming events
34 North Main Street New Hope, PA
Fri. 8 p.m. Willie Lynch
Sat. 7 p.m. Seamus Kelleher
The Five Four Bar & Grill
8919 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
Fri. 9 p.m. The Fredz
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Stem Live
Wed. 7 p.m. "Lyrical Conundrums" w/ Cara & Righteous
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street Bordentown
Fri. 8 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Sat. 6 p.m. "May the 4th be With You" Star Wars Party
Tues 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau Street Princeton
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
Fri. 10 p.m. Paper Shakers
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Darius The 1st
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. Sister Blue
Sun. 3 p.m. "Sunday Funday"
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Sat. 8 p.m. Wishbone Ash. All ages, Doors open at 7:30 pm., $40 (advance)
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
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke
The Sycamore Grill
255 North Sycamore Street Newtown, PA
Thurs. 8 p.m. Ryan Gaughan
Fri. 8 p.m. Stage Left
Sun. 3 p.m. "Cinco de Mayo" w/ Dan Ward
The Union Firehouse
18 Washington Street Mount Holly
Thurs. (4 p.m.) Happy Hour w/ Jimmy Mannix (7 p.m.) "Local Thursday"
Fri. (4 p.m.) Acoustic Happy Hour w/ Sara James (8 p.m.) "R & B and Chill." Ages 21+, doors open at 7 p.m., $15 (advance)
Sat. 8 p.m. Steal Your Face. Ages 21+, doors open at 7 p.m., $10
Tues. 7:30 p.m. Open Jam w/ Blue Light Digital Sound
Tir Na Nog
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton
Sun. 3 p.m. "Irish Sessions" Hosted by McDermott's Handy
Mon. 7 p.m. "Intuitive Medium Session" w/ Natalie Diane. $35
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Jerry Monk
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
Thurs. 5 p.m. "Happy Hour" Hosted by Jay Kountree
Tues. 7 p.m. "Social Musicology Series" / Open Mic
Triple Sun Spirits
126 South State Street Newtown, PA
Sat. 7 p.m. Mike & Shanna
Triumph Brewing Company
(New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
Thurs. 8 p.m. Trivia
Fri.10 p.m. William Matheny. $5 (cover charge)
Sat.10 p.m. Dean and Company. $5 (cover charge)
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Bluegrass Pick
All shows 21+
Triumph Brewing Company
138 Nassau Street Princeton
Fri. 10 p.m. The Inflatable Head
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. Brooke DiCaro
Yardley Inn Restaurant & Bar
82 East Afton Avenue Yardley, PA
Sat. 8 p.m. Brian Elliot
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.