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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites....6/8/17

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 06/08/2017

Brian Ray began playing professionally as a teenager making stops along the way with Etta James and The Bayonets and currently can be found plying his wares along side of Paul McCartney. He is a guitarist, composer, producer and very much the epitome of being in the right place at the right time.

A  set of rare, fortunate, circumstances have propelled Ray to some of the world's largest stages, with even larger names and allowed him to become a professional musician at the tender age of 17. "It's a funny story actually," he explained with a laugh. "I love being a musician and one of the first gigs I did was playing Bobby "Boris" Pickett's, "The Monster Mash" at a fund raiser for Phil Kaufman. I was in this band and we were playing gigs at amusement parks, my sister was in the band too. Phil had gotten in some, uh, trouble because of the Gram Parsons thing (Kaufman had stolen Parsons dead body and set fire to it in the desert; honoring a pact they had made with each another) and we were one of the bands playing to try and help Phil with his legal expenses. Phil took a liking to me and we became friends."

With a friend like Kaufman in his corner, Ray upgraded his fortunes by once again being the recipient of good timing. "Phil and I were out one night and he took me to meet Etta James. I was asked if I wanted to play a bit, it was a very informal. A week or so later, her guitar player couldn't make a gig and she contacted him and said, "I like that little white kid' and suddenly I found myself performing with Etta James. Not too long after, I became her musical director and I did that for 14 years."

Always the musician, Ray also pursued his own music and would often recruit his friend, drummer Oliver Leiber to play on his recordings. Leiber has written material for name acts such as Rod Stewart, Ke$ha, The Corrs and is the son of Jerry Leiber of the famed songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller who penned such hits as, "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Stand By Me." Upon working so closely with Ray, Leiber suggested that the two form their own project and The Bayonets were born circa. 2011. The duo recruited Argentinian multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Lucrecia Lopez Sanz to complete the group and began to release material beginning with a string of singles in 2013. " I met Lucrecia while on tour in Uraguay and we asked her to join us, so she flew into L.A. and we went to work."

Now, four years later, Jem Records has taken an interest in the band's sound and popularity and is re-releasing material from their, "Crash Boom Bang!" album. Ray is loving the attention that the band has been getting from not only the record company but the public and radio stations as well. "I think it's great," he stated enthusiastically. "We have interest from Marty Scott at Jem Records. We have been featured on, "Little Steven's Underground Garage" and he named our songs, "Sucker for Love" and "Smartphone" as two of, "The Coolest Songs in the World," back  around 2013, so that's really helped generate interest and since then, we've had multiple songs from the album given the same titles. It's always good to have a guy like Steven Van Zandt in your corner."

Even though The Bayonets have had some commercial success, don't expect the band to do much more beyond the re-release as Ray's current job with rock 'n' roll royalty, a.k.a. Paul McCartney takes up much of his time. Once again, he stumbled upon this good fortune somewhat by accident. "Yeah, I've been with Paul for the last 15 years now," he said as if he still has trouble believing it at times. "I was in France and touring with some popular French artists; we were playing stadiums and large arenas and I received a call towards the end of the tour that a friend of mine knew that Paul was searching for a guitarist and I set up an audition. Had I not been looking for my friend I'm not sure I would've known; that was back in 2002. The audition was in New Orleans and I remember being so nervous and walking around just to kill time before I went in and just going over things in my head. Paul was looking for a consistent player and I seemed to fit right in. He keeps me pretty busy, between tours and recordings (He is on several of McCartney's studio albums) it makes it difficult at times to tour with other acts."

When questioned as to what it is like to perform with a man who is widely considered the most legendary bassist and/or performer of all time and to how much leeway he gets; Ray's response was short but poignant. "Consistent, I need to be consistent at every show and if I'm not, he's not the type to go off; he'll say something like, "You might want to listen to that one more time (laughs). He has a great ear and is very casual about most things."

The Bayonets recent re-release is sure to draw rave reviews, much interest and may once again be considered some of the, "Coolest Songs," out there today and if you'd like to discover more; please go to  or to follow Brian Ray, please go to 


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
(609) 924-5555
Wed. 10 p.m. Paul Plumeri Blues Band
All shows 21+
Backstage at Championship Bar
 931 Chambers Street Trenton
Fri. 6 p.m. Enfold Darkness, Invoking The Abstract, Assayer, The Fall Of Chernobyl, Imperial Crypt, Vision Serpent. All ages, $10
Wed. 6 p.m. Millenium, Royal Street, The Reasons, (TBA). All ages, $10/$15
Sat. 8 p.m. "Barzallnight" feat. Lavaa Hosted by Nina Capone w/ Music by DJ T-Dogg. Ages 21+ (18+ to perform), $10
Bill's Olde Tavern
02694 Nottingham Way Hamilton
(609) 586-0192
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke Contest (Cash prizes) 
Ages 21+ 
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33 Hamilton 
(609) 245-8887
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia  Jam
Bowman's Tavern
1600 River Road New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2972
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Glenn McClellend Trio
Fri. 8 p.m. Bob Egan
Sat. 8 p.m. Hazelrigg Brothers
Sun. (12 p.m.) Brunch With Ottmar (6 p.m.) Lorenzo
Mon. 6 p.m. Andy Prescott
Tues. 6 p.m. Lovey Williams
Wed. 6 p.m. Lorenzo
Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room
19 E. Union Street Burlington
(609) 733-3562
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Curran
Sat. 9 p.m. River Bones Band
Caffe Galleria
23 North Union Street Lambertville
(609) 397-2400
Fri. 7 p.m. Russell Norkevich
Candlelight Lounge 
24 Passaic Street Trenton
(609) 695-9612
 Sat. 3 p.m. Jeanne Brooks. $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)
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
(609) 298-9182
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night
Wed. 9 p.m. Quizzo Trivia 
City Streets 
510 Highway 130 South East Windsor
(609) 426-9400
Fri. 9 p.m. Asylum Choir
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
Please check web site for programming
Dadz Bar & Grill
744 Main Street Lumberton
(609) 267-4344
Thurs. 10 p.m. "Pong Tournament"
Fri. 10 p.m. Al's Pals
Sat. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Byrd
Sun. 4 p.m. Rick Winow
Wed. 9 p.m. 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. Ed Wilson
Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour" feat. Joe Robinson (9 p.m.) Mike Estabrook
Sat. (11 a.m.)"Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. Michael Leggerie (9 p.m.) Jeff Selby
Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Keli Vale Jazz  (4 p.m.) Soul Custody Trio
Wed. 8 p.m. Stephen Anthony
Fran's Pub
116 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.
Fri. 8 p.m. Mario & the Slyders
Sat. 8 p.m. The Inflexables
All shows age 21+
Freddies Tavern
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
(609) 882-0978
Fri. 8 p.m. Paul Plumeri Blues Band
Sat. 8 p.m. JB Rocks
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
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA. 
(215) 862-9897
Fri. 8 p.m. Romeo Delight "The Ultimate Van Halen Tribute band." Doors at 6 p.m., $15
Sat. 8 p.m. Coast 2 Coast
Sun. 7 p.m. "A Tribute to Kiss" w/ Rock and Roll Over. All ages, doors at 7 p.m., $15
Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke
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. 6 p.m. Deb & Mike
Fri. 6 p.m. Jazzfunktion
Sat. (No music/private event)
Sun. 2 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Sergio & Lars
Iron Plow Vineyards
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus
(732) 306-9111
Fri. 6 p.m. Victor Tarassov
Sat. 2 p.m. Rob Ballonoff
Sun. 2 p.m. Lisa Bouchelle
Ivy Tavern 
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435
Fri. 9 p.m. Zero 8619
Sat. 9 p.m. Smoked Ice
All shows 21+
John & Peter's 
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981
Thurs. 9 p.m. The Dwarves/Murphy's Law
Fri. 9 p.m. Jerry Fiess & Friends
Sat. (3 p.m.) Basement Noise (9:30 p.m.) Dinosaur Eyelids
Sun. 3 p.m. Jason Trzaska & Friends
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Chris
Tues. 9 p.m. Lisa Bouchelle & Jerry Steele
Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
Killarney's Publick House
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton
(609) 586-1166
Thurs. 5 p.m. Dave Murray
Sat. 9 p.m. DJ Jimmy G
Kovacs Corner
46 Evergreen Road New Egypt
(609) 901-4146
Sat. 9 p.m. ArHouse
Laurita Winery
85 Archertown Road New Egypt
(609) 752-0200
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Laurita Idol" Senior Idol Tryouts
Sat. (10:30 a.m.) VinoVinyasa w/ Mettamade (12 p.m.) Jersey Corn!
Sun. 4 p.m. Bucks County Women's Chorus
Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Girls Night Out" Wine and Sign
Mamma Rosa's 
572 Klockner Road Hamilton 
(609) 588-5454
Thurs. 6 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Richard Schneider 
McGuinn's Place
1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence
(609) 392-0599
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Asylum Choir
Ages 21+
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
Fri. 10 p.m. "Frisky Fridays" feat. DJ Favs. Ages 21+
Sat. 10 p.m. Witzend
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
Fri. 8 p.m. The Weeklings. Doors at 7 p.m., $25
Sat. 8 p.m. Griffin House. Doors at 7 p.m., $25
Nook's PourHouse
2043 Route 130 South Florence
(609) 447-0927
Sat. 9 p.m. Out Of The Red
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Tuesday w/ Quizoholics
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. Karl Dietel
Patriot's Crossing
1339 River Rd. Titusville
(609) 737-2780
Fri. 8 p.m. (TBA)
Sat. 8 p.m. (TBA)
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
(609) 585-8008
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Ernie White & Tom Reock
Sat. 9:30 p.m. (TBA)
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 424-3766
Sat. 8 p.m. Cracker "Unplugged" / Dan Stuart and Tom Heyman. All ages, $30 (advance) This show takes place at The Open Arts PAC located at 146 Route 130 South Bordentown
RHO Waterfront
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton
(609) 393-7300
Thurs. 10 p.m. "College Night" feat. DJ entertainment. Ages 21+, $5 (with college ID $15 (without college ID)
Salt Creek Grille
1 Rockingham Row Princeton
(609) 419-4200
Fri. 8 p.m. Dave Pollack
Sat. 8 p.m. Jackie Jones
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton 
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Rainbow Fresh
Sun. 7 p.m. Princeton Bluegrass Jam
1867 Sanctuary 
101 Scotch Road Ewing
(609) 392-6409
Fri. 8 p.m. "Classical Piano" w/ Liyana Paniyeva. $20
Sat. 8 p.m. "Violin and Piano Masterworks of the German Baroque" feat. Alexandre Djokic & Robert Gajdos. $20
Sun. 3 p.m. Joe Holt & Danny Tobias. $20
Tara's Tavern 
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
(609) 286-2300
Fri. 10 p.m. El Ka Bong
Sat. 10 p.m. Mr. Lucky
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
(609) 426-9345
Fri. 9 p.m. Kick Bakk
Sat. 9 p.m. Round Trip
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 
Temperance House 
5 South State Street Newtown, PA
(215) 944-8050
Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Mic Blues Session w/ Steve Guyger
Sat. 7 p.m. Craig Lieboff
Wed. 7 p.m. Live Jazz w/ John Sheridan
Terhune Orchards
330 Cold Soil Road Princeton
(609) 924-2310
Fri. 5 p.m. "Sips and Sounds Summer Music Series" w/ Larry Tritel
The Birdhouse Center for the Arts
7 North Main Street Lambertville
(215) 681-4660
Fri. 8 p.m. John Beacher
The Cool Cricket
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro
(609) 291-9110
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. "Bob's Birthday" w/ El Ka Bong
The Dubliner
34 North Main Street New Hope, PA
(215) 693-1816
Fri. 8 p.m. Na Bodach
Sat. 8 p.m. Ray Coleman
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. Ser Xerri
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 921-8555
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
Fri. 10 p.m. Diablo Sandwich Band
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Darius
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
(215) 788-1659
 Sat. 9 p.m. Vermillion
Sun. 3 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Bill Monach Jr.
The Raven 
385 West Bridge Street New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2081
Thurs. 5 p.m. Russell Eiffert. 
Sat. (9 p.m.) Russell Eiffert (10 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Tues. 8 p.m. Burlesque
Wed. 6 p.m. Dena Underwood
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 324-0880
Sat. 8 p.m.  Soraia / The GTV's. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $12 (advance)
The Roost 
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
(609) 208-0050 
Fri. 9 p.m. Boys Round Here
Sat. 9 p.m. Sideways Willy
The Sticky Wicket 
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton
(609) 439-0007
Fri. 9 p.m. The Suspects
Sat. 9 p.m. No Way Out
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. ZQ Acoustic
Sat. 9 p.m. The Shantys
Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Taylor Reed
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
Thurs. 8 p.m. "Audio History of Funk and Soul" w/ Professor DJ Tangency
Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Night w/ Benny
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-8300
Fri. 10 p.m. Emily Drinker & Friends. $5 (cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. Anders & Friends. $5 (cover charge)
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage Night (Sign ups at 6:30 p.m.)
All shows 21+ 
Triumph Brewing Company
138 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 924-7855
Sat. 9 p.m. Julian Fulton, Jonah, Tolchin, Patrick Donovan. $10 (Suggested donation)
All shows 21+
Updike Farmstead/Historical Society of Princeton
354 Quaker Road Princeton
(609) 921-6748
Sat. 6:30 p.m. "Concert Under The Stars" feat. Gravity Hill
Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Road Pennington
(609) 773-2392
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia
Ages 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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