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Rock On! This Week's Sound Bites...7/1/21

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 07/01/2021

“In my mind, each of the songs is a tiny boat I constructed, which I now hope to launch across a glassy pond, or -more like it- a turbulent sea," said multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, session player and performer James DiGirolamo in a recent press release about his new EP titled "Paper Boats." 

Growing up in the Philadelphia area, he like so many others became involved in the Philly and surrounding area music scenes but James thought he would take a different approach with his writing talents and as he discovered; things don't always work out as planned. 

"I wouldn't recommend my career path to anybody; it has been pretty much all over the place. I guess some of that just goes with the territory but when I was younger and just coming out of college I really thought I was going to write film scores and concentrate on stuff for TV and motion pictures. I moved up to New York, probably very overconfident; I got a few pieces on TV and I did a bunch of stuff. It was all work made for hire and it didn't take off the way that I thought it was going to and at the time I don't think I realized what it was really going to take to do that. New York City is a tough place to struggle so, I moved back to Nashville and just kind of started to get in local bands. I never really set out to do that so it came as a bit of a surprise to me that I was being asked to join bands and at some point in there, I think that my early exposure to the great singer-songwriters of the 1970's that my dad was constantly playing; I think that all sort of started to seep out and I very tentatively started to try my hand at songwriting." 

The question which then comes to mind is; how does one transition from writing for film and television into a songwriter, a session player, a live performer when called upon and how does he pen his catalog of songs?

"I was a piano major in college and have since taught myself enough guitar and bass and drums to; I don't think I'm ever going to get a gig as a drummer but maybe eventually as a bass player and the guitar is probably second after the piano. I'm comfortable enough on rhythm guitar basics where I could conceivably add that to my list of side-man skills at this point," he started with a laugh. "Once again, I didn't start out to become a songwriter or a performer and those are interesting and very good questions. I think what tends to happen now, because I've been writing songs for a long time and it has only been in my last couple of projects that I have been getting any kind of real confidence in what I'm doing. I mention that to say that over this long period of time, I've been through the process of just writing a song going all the way through; whether it's the greatest thing I've ever written or whether I feel particularly good about it or not; let's call that the exercise of writing. My current way of doing it is still a little mysterious but I'll encapsulate it this way; I typically sit down with the guitar or at the piano and play a few chords or notes and sometimes something I play will strike my imagination or a melody will suggest words of a certain number of syllables or a certain phrase and certain things just tumble out. You have probably heard people say that they, "Write from the sub-conscious" a lot, I really think that's the one sentence way of stating my process, I write from the sub-conscious. I sit down and some days it feels like I've been struck by lightning and I have an idea and it almost feels like I'm just channeling it and I'm doing very little work; those are the best times. There are exceptions to that too, there are times when I have some part of it or an inkling that there is something there and if I dig a little more I'll find it; it can be done where I get the germ of an idea quickly and then spend quite a long time tinkering until I find just the right words or phrases or just revising it enough times until I really feel satisfied but most of the time it happens fast and it's a delight when that happens." 

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"Paper Boats" is a song or two shy of a full-length record and when asked as to why he stopped short of going for the gusto of a full-length; he responded quickly and confidently. 

"It's six songs and that's a great question," he said with a laugh. "I had this material and some of it was kind of "Hot off the press" so to speak and a few of them I had started recording just before the pandemic, some of them I was kind of working on and tinkering with over a long period of time and I was trying to decide what to do with it all. There is quite a bit of diversity between the six of them and for some reason I was starting to feel like they were a document of a moment for me personally and I kind of like the way that they all relate to one another and I think that's why I landed on the six of those. I think I could've waited to expand it but I've moved on and written a whole bunch of other stuff since then and I'm going to try and do it a different way; I'm going to try and record in a more cohesive way. There are a couple of exceptions to this but on a lot of this stuff I played all or most of the instruments and that can take a really long time; you save money but you pay for it in effort and time. So, I think that is why I didn't try and expand it into a full length record."

"I recorded it here," he continued, "I live just north of Nashville in a suburb called Hendersonville. The majority of it was recorded just by me at home. There are two tracks where I went into Joe Pisapia's private studio, he is a great producer, guitar player and multi-instrumentalist and songwriter himself; he was kd lang's music director for a while and he was in Guster. Joe is from New Jersey originally but I can't remember what part; he had a band called Joe Mark's Brother and it was he and his brother Mark and a guy named "Hags" Haggerty and they all moved down here to Nashville like 25 years ago and never looked back and they're all doing really well. So, we recorded "Girl Who Has Everything" and "Top Of The World" on the same day at Joe's place with just me, Joe and a guy named Lex Price who was co-producing the tracks with me; Lex is a great producer and bass player himself who has also worked with kd lang, Shemeika Copeland, Rodney Crowell, Lee Ann Womack and Neko Case and he is also responsible for hiring me for other things as well."

James plans on doing whatever he can to promote the new release but he will do so with caution and claims that return to the stage as a solo act will be well thought out.

"Hopefully I'm going to hit the road. I'm not sure on what scale and I mean that right now but the plan is to start doing some shows. I have been very cautious about re-entering the world so to speak; I've got some irons in the fire on that right now so stay tuned because hopefully there will be some shows announced soon. It feels exciting, like I can't wait to do it because I've taken an extremely long hiatus of playing shows of my own; I'm talking like 15 years since I've even gone out to a writer's night. I've played with lots of other people in the meanwhile, so, it's exciting." 

To discover more about James DiGirolamo, please visit

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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

Bill's Olde Tavern     
2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton     
(609) 586-0192     
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Ladies Night"
Tues./Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ "Super" Dave Curtis
Ages 21+    
Broken Goblet Brewing   
2500 State Road Bensalem, PA   
(267) 812-5653   
Thurs. 7 p.m. Mike Estabrook 
Sat. 8:30 p.m. "First Saturdays" w/ Bridge Beat Duo  
Wed. 8 p.m. Open Mic w/ Cara Cartney 
All Shows 21+
Candlelight Lounge     
24 Passaic Street Trenton     
(609) 695-9612     
Thurs. 6 p.m. Thursday Night Blues Jam Hosted by The Mojo Gypsies. $5 (Includes hot buffet) 
Championship Bar   
931 Chambers street Trenton   
(609) 396-5457   
Tuesday 8 p.m. "Jam Night" Hosted by Nikki & Caleb   
Ages 21+     
125 South Main Street Hightstown     
(609) 241-7103
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. Laura Cheadle, Alex Radus of Hot4Robot
Cooper's Riverview 
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton 
(609) 393-7300
Thurs. (8 p.m.) Ear Candy (9 p.m.) Club Night feat. Rotating DJs (inside event)
Fri. (5 p.m.) "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere Happy Hour"   8 p.m.) GruvTyme
Sat. 8 p.m. 80s Undercover
Sun. 11 a.m. " Sunday Latin Jazz Brunch" w/ Victor Tarassov 
Mon. 7 p.m. "Sunny Monday Blues Jam" 
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke w/ Karen and Mark
Wed. (12 p.m.) "Wine Down Wednesdays" (7 p.m.) Waiting On Chris
All Events  Ages 21+
Dacey's Pub 
215 West Philadelphia Avenue Morrisville, PA 
(215) 295-4838 
Fri. 6 p.m. Acoustic Music Night 
Wed. 8 p.m. Quizzo 
Dadz Bar and Grill
744 Main Street Lumberton
Fri. 6 p.m. The Bilco Band
Dempster's Pub
437 Pine Street Mount Holly
(609) 261-0500
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Throwback Thursday/Ladies Night" w/ DJ entertainment feat. retro 70's, 80's and 90's music.
Fri. / Sat. 9 p.m. DJ entertainment
Eddington House Bensalem
2813 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem, PA
(215) 639-1220
Fri. 8 p.m. Rob Groden
Escape Resort, Restaurant & Bar
120 Pheasant Run Road Newtown, PA
(215) 968-0600
Fri. 6 p.m. Ryan Schubert (Acoustic)
German American Society   
215 Uncle Pete's Road Hamilton   
(609) 585-5200   
Fri. 7 p.m. "Rainbow Full of Sound" Retracing Europe '72 (Grateful Dead Tribute)
Gleason's Bar
6700 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA
(215) 943-4781
Thurs. 7 p.m. Weekly Corn Hole Tournament
Fri. 6 p.m. "Happy Hour" 
Sat. 8 p.m. Karaoke
Wed. 5:30 p.m. Family Fun Night w/ "Gina the Balloon Girl" 
90 South Main Street New Hope, PA  
(215) 693-1657  
Thurs. 8 p.m. "Musicians Night Out" Hosted by Lovelight 
Tues. 8 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Sam Ryan
Wed. 8 p.m. Trivia Hosted by Dwayne Dunlevy
Grounds For Sculpture   
80 Sculptors way Hamilton   
(609) 586-0616    
Sat. 10 a.m. "Member Mornings" 
Sun. 1 p.m. "Family Meditation"
Havana New Hope 
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.     
(215) 862-9897    
Thurs. 7 p.m. Funk n' Blues Jam
Mon. 9 p.m. "Lipstick Mondays Drag Show" 
Hamilton Veterans Park
1865 Yardville-Hamilton Square Road Hamilton
Fri. "Independence Day Concert & Fireworks" (6 p.m.) The Heartbeats (9:30 p.m.) Fireworks (FREE event, rain date July 3)
Hopewell Valley Vineyards     
46 Yard Avenue Pennington     
(609) 737-4465     
Fri. 4 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. (5:30 p.m.) A Little Bit Off  
Sat. (1 p.m.) The Mac Paige Band  (5:30 p.m.) "Music & Merlot" feat. Brian Erickson
Sun. 1:30 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Bobby Davis
Iron Plow Vineyards     
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus     
(732) 306-9111  
Fri. 6:30 p.m. John Rossi
Sat. 6:30 p.m. Ryan Zimmerman
Ivy Tavern     
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton     
(609) 888-1435     
Thurs. 9:30 p.m. "Thursday Night Dance Party" 
Fri. 8 p.m. Cover Up
All shows 21+       
John & Peter's     
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa     
(215) 862-5981    
Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational     
All shows 21+   
Killarney's Publick House     
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton    
(609) 586-1166    
Thurs. 5 p.m. "Girls Night Out" w/ Radio Fiction  
Laurita Winery     
85 Archertown Road New Egypt     
(609) 752-0200   
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Laurita Idol 2021" (Tryout) (Open to adults 18+, $15 registration fee to tryout)
Fri. (12 p.m.) "Wine In The Grove Friday" (7 p.m.) BBQ Night
Sat. "Red, White & Blue Food Truck Festival"  feat. (11 a.m.) The Successful Failures (2:45 p.m.) The Surge (6:15 p.m.) Nikki Briar & The Sweet Briar Trio. $12. (Fireworks night) 
Sun. "Red, White & Blue Food Truck Festival" feat. (11 a.m.) 80's Undercover (3:15 p.m.) Shore Bet. $12 
Makefield Highlands Golf Club
1418 Woodside Road Yardley, PA
(215) 321-7000
Fri. 5 p.m. Tim Fitzpatrick
McGuinn's Place     
1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence     
(609) 392-0599    
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke     
Ages 21+     
McStews Irish Sports Pub     
5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA     
(215) 949-9570     
Tues. 7:30 p.m. Trivia Night
Mercer County Park Festival Grounds
Hughes Drive/Old Trenton Road West Windsor   
(609) 448-1947 
Thurs. 5 p.m. "Mercer County L.E.A.D. Fest" feat. (6:30 p.m.) Lovelight w/ Mark Diomede. $5 
Fri. 5 p.m. "Mercer County L.E.A.D. Fest" feat. (6:30 p.m.) Tequila Rose 
Sat. 1 p.m. "Mercer County L.E.A.D. Fest" feat. (6:30 p.m.) Rock Of Ages (Fireworks night)
Sun. 1 p.m. "Mercer County L.E.A.D. Fest" feat. (6:30 p.m.) Kindred Spirit (Fireworks Night)
Mon. 1 p.m. "Mercer County L.E.A.D. Fest" feat. (6:30 p.m.) Paul Plumeri Blues Band
Tues. 5 p.m. "Mercer County L.E.A.D. Fest" feat. (6:30 p.m.) Cosmic Jerry Band
Wed. 5 p.m. "Mercer County L.E.A.D. Fest" feat. (6:30 p.m.) El Ka Bong 
Millhill Basement     
300 S. Broad Street Trenton     
(609) 989-1600     
Fri. 6 p.m. "First Friday Summer In Da City" Art Show. Curated by Uncle Elroy, live music, free food (FREE admission) 
Music Mountain Theater
1483 Route 179 Lambertville
Fri. 8 p.m. "Murder At Cheltenham Manor"
Sat./Sun. 3 p.m.  "Murder At Cheltenham Manor"
New Egypt Flea Market Village
933 Monmouth County Road Cream Ridge
(609) 758-2082
Sun. 8 a.m. Heroes Day / July Scavenger Hunt Hosted by The Whatever Shop-2W
New Hope Winery    
6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA   
(215) 794-2331   
Sat. 5 p.m. Rebekah Leigh
Newtown Brewing Company
103 Penns Trail Newtown, PA
(215) 944-8609 
Thurs. 7:30 p.m.  Trivia Night
Fri. 7 p.m. Bob & Dave
Sat. 7 p.m. Christopher Hynd
Nick's Roast Beef
4501 Woodhaven Road West Philadelphia, PA
(215) 637-5151
Fri. 6 p.m. Irish Joe Band
Sat. 6 p.m. AJ Slick Band
O'Fowley's Tavern & Grill
200 State Road Croydon, PA
(215) 785-6998
Fri. 8 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Old Hights Brewing
123 West Ward Street Hightstown
(609) 469-5976
Thurs. 7 p.m. Trivia 
Fri. 5 p.m. Chet & Ari
Olde Liberty Tavern
2114 Liberty Street Trenton
(609) 396-2262
Fri. 8:30 p.m. Asylum Choir
Old Town Pub     
135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown     
(609) 291-9232    
Thurs. 7 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia   
Sat. 12 p.m. "Revolutionary Pub Crawl" 
Tues. 7 p.m. "Dinner Is A Drag"
Palmer Square
40 Nassau Street Princeton
Thurs. 4 p.m. "Locals Night" w/ Live "Strolling" Musician 
Sat. 12 p.m. The Outcrops
Pasquale's Sports Bar
9078 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA
(267) 202-6268
Fri. 5 p.m. Happy Hour feat. (TBA)
Sat. 8 p.m. DJ or Live Band Entertainment Finster
Tues. 7:30 p.m. Quizzo
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic
Patriots Crossing     
1339 River Road Titusville     
(609) 737-2780    
Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night
Wed. 7 p.m. "Quizzo"   
Pete's Steak House     
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton     
(609) 585-8008     
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Mario & Frank w/ Gary Bernabe "An Acoustic Clapton Show" 
Revere Restaurant
802 River Road Ewing
(609) 882-6365
Fri. 6 p.m. Keep The Change Band (Acoustic)
Wed. 7 p.m. David Boyd
Robbinsville Community Concert
Town Center Lake Drive Gazebo, Robbinsville
Tues. 7 p.m. The Suspects
Romeo's Restaurant & Pizza
10 Schalks Crossing Road Plainsboro
(609) 799-4554
Fri. 7 p.m. The Blue-Eyed Balladeer 
Rosedale Mills
101 Route 31 North Pennington
(609) 737-2008
Sat. 1 p.m. Outdoor Line Dancing. $10 (Rain date Sundays 12 p.m.)
Sandy's Beef & Ale
2028 E. Old Lincoln Highway Langhorne, PA
(2670 852-2333
Thurs. 8 p.m. Quizzo
Sherman Theater/Penn Community Bank Amphitheater
2400 Byberry Road Bensalem, PA
Wed. 7 p.m. Steely Dan Tribute w/ "Countdown To Ecstacy" (Doors open at 5:30 p.m., tickets available online)
Tankard Pub
440 Keim Boulevard Burlington
(609) 306-5079
Thurs. 7 p.m. The Williamsboy
Tara's Tavern    
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown     
(609) 286-2300     
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Big Daddy G
Sat. 9 p.m. Ryan McGuire
Tavern On The Lake      
101 Main Street Hightstown     
(609) 426-9345     
Fri. 9 p.m. Springwood
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Temperance House     
5 South State Street Newtown, PA     
(215) 944-8050 
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia w/ Righteous Jolly 
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic Night w/ Cara Cartney
Terhune Orchards  
330 Cold Soil Road Princeton  
(609) 924-2310  
Fri. 4 p.m. "Sips & Sounds Friday" feat. Jerry Steele
The Buck Hotel
1200 Buck Road Feasterville, PA
(215) 396-2002
Thurs. 7 p.m. Kevin Kirko
Fri. 7 p.m. Love Junk
Sat. 9 p.m. Shameless
The Cool Cricket     
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro     
(609) 291-9110     
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke  
The Dubliner   
34 North Main Street New Hope, PA   
(215) 693-1816  
Sat. 7 p.m. Seamus Kelleher
The Sticky Wicket     
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton     
(609) 439-0007     
Sat. 8 p.m. "In My House Saturdays" $20
The Sycamore Grill     
255 North Sycamore Street Newtown, PA     
(215) 908-6326     
Fri. 8:30 p.m. Kickbax Acoustic Trio
Trenton Buzz     
702 Pine Street Trenton     
(609) 392-6000         
Sat. 10 p.m. "Buzzed Saturdays"
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)     
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.     
(215) 862-8300     
Thurs. 8 p.m. Trivia   
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage 
All shows 21+   
Working Dog Winery     
610 Windsor Perrineville Road Hightstown     
(609) 371-6000 
Sat. 1 p.m. Spoondrift
Sun. 2 p.m. Fabulous Benson Boys
WWFM 89.1 FM HD2 Radio
MCCC Old Trenton Road West Windsor
Mon. 7 p.m. "Danny Coleman's Got The Blues" 

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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