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Rock On! This Week's Sound Bites...8/6/20

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 08/06/2020

"We have everybody involved," said Brian Erick with a laugh as he elaborated on his latest endeavor, "Demos For A Difference." "It's a fundraising compilation and it benefits the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; we have just a shade over 180 artists involved. There are plenty of people from our area; Dave VargoRenee from Lowlight, Tara Dente, Mark Tappan, Bobby Mahoney are all involved and that's just off the top of my head. We have artists from New York City, from across our country, we have a couple from Europe and I say artists because it's not just musicians. We have some spoken word, poetry; a lot of interesting stuff here." 

In the Jersey Shore area music scene, there are movers, shakers, donators and trend-setters; there are givers, takers and those who just go with the flow; fortunately for us, Erick creates the flow and when he does there are many who are glad to ride the wave. 

Recent events struck a nerve with the man known as "Red Pants" and in typical fashion he chose to do something about it. Using his standing and connections in the music communities he frequents; he has assembled an outstanding collection of "Artists" in an effort to raise not only funds but awareness.

"This kind of came together rather quickly, it came together in two weeks," he explained. "I started doing outreach a little bit before then, maybe three weeks prior. I wanted it to be big but initially only expected about two or three dozen local artists; which would've been cool, 35 or 36 people but 180? I'd say it definitely went and made the rounds (laughs)."

"It started here in New Jersey and word of mouth and kind people from the press have helped us spread the word around; in terms of Jersey based artists, there's also Levy & The Oaks, Stella Mrowocki, Joshua Van Ness and 173 more. The project went active two or three months ago and the response has just been overwhelming. We did individual outreaches, just kind of like hey this is what we are trying to do here; the response speaks for itself. The numbers speak for themselves; people seemed very happy to want to do something."

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What they did was donate time and raw recordings. The Jersey Shore music community has stepped up and literally bared their collective souls to the public by submitting these un-mixed, un-mastered demo recordings. These are the kind of songs which normally go un-heard by anyone other than the artists themselves or their trusted collaborators; yet they have freely given them to this project. 

"We told all of the artists; we did not ask for any kind of exclusivity on these songs so the artist can take them and do whatever else they want with them," stated an elated Erick. "We figured that might work in our favor in terms of keeping everything complete and on this site forever. These songs were all individually done and because we were on such a time crunch; we could have maybe picked a different release date but it seemed that Independence Day weekend seemed appropriate and that way too, we were able to amass a large collection of songs and tracks in a pretty short amount of time. You're going to get some things that are kind of rough studio cuts, some fuzzy rehearsal room recordings, some are people singing into a tape recorder; it was "Demos" for a reason. We asked people to submit demos for a specific reason because usually people just have them kicking around and they don't always plan on releasing them. So, we said, OK give us something you already have; you don't have to put yourself under pressure to record something new for this, just take something you've already got; it was able to get us almost 200 songs in basically two weeks. This took a little less than a month from conception to birth and a lot of the tracks are coming through as is; it's not a collection that has been mastered, it's pretty much as the artist has given it to us. We just make sure it is in the right format; if it's a little quiet we might get in there and boost the volume a little bit or something like that but we're not getting in there and mastering the tracks. Maybe with more time we would've but we felt the immediacy of it might be a little more impactful."  

Erick is modest when he speaks of how the project came to be and is very appreciative of the support he has received from literally all over the world. 

"All I really did was send out some e-mails and texts to a bunch of people; the project doesn't exist without the artists involved. I say "We" in terms of, I'd reach out to one person and they'd reach out to one or two people and it's kind of snowballed like that. I reached out to Levy and next thing I know Lou their bass player sent something over and Natalie Farrell who they perform with all of the time sent something over, so that's what I mean by "We" because everybody responded very positively. Maybe I sent the first few messages out there but it's been a collective effort. I have had specific help from Hana Denson from the band Honey Wild; she's been running our social media sites and helped with the direct outreach and Bill Greenwood and Jaybird Communications who are based in New York have been helping with press. So, in the office is kind of like a three-person team; I don't really feel comfortable taking full credit for that because a lot of people have spread the word." 

Thus far the compilation has gotten more than 4,700 listens and raised approximately several thousand dollars in its first five weeks; Brian feels the potential is limitless and once again looks to those who contributed. 

"If you look at it from the participant perspective, you're always under pressure to sell tickets or sell merchandise but from a participant's standpoint; if each one can get four people to buy this, we will raise over $10,000. So, obviously we want to raise as much as possible but even if each artist only gets returns in the single digits the amount that we can raise is really, really impactful."

The undertaking is huge and is Erick's primary focus; so much so that he has put his band and solo efforts on the back burner until the fall as the cause continues to gain momentum. There is a livestream event planned for August 26 at 7 p.m. Eastern featuring various "Demos For A Difference" artists and more in the works; so, where can we get these recordings and what's the cost? 

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"It's a Bandcamp exclusive album. So, if you go to the album is live and you have the option of paying $10 for the entire collection or you can download individual songs at a dollar apiece if you prefer. There is also an option where you can give a little bit more if you want but we're only asking $10 for this massive collection of songs."

To find out more about "Demos For A Difference" please visit their Facebook page at . 

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

Arts Council of Princeton     
102 Witherspoon Street Princeton     
(609) 924-8777 
Tues. 7 p.m. "In Conversation" w/ Diana Weymar (FREE event/Donations are accepted)
Broken Goblet Brewing   
2500 State Road Bensalem, PA   
(267) 812-5653   
Fri. 8:30 p.m. "First Fridays" 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) 
Sat. 3 p.m. (TBA) $10 (cover charge/$10 Minimum includes buffet)     
Clubhouse at Mountain View  
850 Bear Tavern Road Ewing  
(609) 771-0400  
Fri. 6 p.m. Ernie White     
125 South Main Street Hightstown     
(609) 241-7103
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. Nick Perri & The Underground Thieves, Sandi Joy
Cooper's Riverview 
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton 
(609) 393-7300
Fri. 7 p.m. Stems and Seeds
Sat. 7 p.m. Tour de Force
Mon. 7 p.m. "Sunny Monday Blues Jam" 
Tues. 8 p.m. Karaoke w/ Karen and Mark
All Events Ages 21+
Dog & Bull Brew House     
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.     
(215) 788-2855    
Fri. 6 p.m. Box of Books
Sat. 4 p.m Vince Schneider
Sun. 4 p.m. Brian Elliot
Hamilton Tap & Grill  
557 US Route 130 North Hamilton  
(609) 905-0925  
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke                                                                                        
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia 
Wed. 7 p.m. Country Night. $5
Hopewell Valley Vineyards     
46 Yard Avenue Pennington     
(609) 737-4465     
Thurs. 6 p.m. Tom McMillan Group
Fri. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Rick Winow
Sat. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Got 35
Sun. 3 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Good Bye Blue
Iron Plow Vineyards     
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus     
(732) 306-9111 
Fri. 6 p.m. Bob O & Kim
Sat. 5 p.m. Carol Brooks & Jonah
Sun. 2 p.m. Jerry Steele 
Killarney's Publick House     
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton    
(609) 586-1166    
Thurs. 6 p.m. "Girls Night Out" w/ Radio Fiction Duo
Fri. 5:30 p.m. Tiltin' Catz
McGuinn's Place     
1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence     
(609) 392-0599     
Fri. 9 p.m. Mike Oregano
Newtown Brewing Company
103 Penns Trail Newtown, PA
(215) 944-8609 
Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Movie Night:
Fri. 6 p.m. Victor Tarassov
Odd Logic Brewing Co.
500 Bristol Pike, Bristol, PA
Thurs. 6 p.m. "The Office" Trivia
Old Town Pub     
135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown     
(609) 291-9232    
Thurs. 8 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia   
Fri. 7 p.m. Radio Fiction
Patriots Crossing     
1339 River Road Titusville     
(609) 737-2780    
Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night
Wed. 7 p.m. "Quizzo"   
Robbinsville Community Concert
Town Center Lake Drive Gazebo, Robbinsville
Tues. 7 p.m. DJ Reggie
Romeo's Restaurant & Pizza
10 Schalks Crossing Road Plainsboro
(609) 799-4554
Fri. 7 p.m. The Blue-Eyed Balladeer
Rossi's Bar & Grill     
2110 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton     
(609) 890-2004     
Thurs. 6 p.m. Monk, Monk and Kramer
Sparky World Famous Beer Garden
4333 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
(215) 943-2321
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Mon. 9 p.m. Game Night w/ Kid Dalton
Tavern On The Lake      
101 Main Street Hightstown     
(609) 426-9345     
Sat. 9 p.m. Complicated Matter
Temperance House     
5 South State Street Newtown, PA     
(215) 944-8050     
Thurs. 7p.m. Steve Guyger & Filthy Rich  
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia w/ Righteous Jolly (outdoors) 
Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic Night w/ Cara Cartney
Terhune Orchards  
330 Cold Soil Road Princeton  
(609) 924-2310  
Fri. 5 p.m. "Sips & Sounds Friday" feat. Mark Miklos
Sat. 1 p.m. Mike & Laura
Sun.1 p.m. "Sunday Music Series" feat. Maggs & Bud
TGI Fridays   
780 Route 130 South Hamilton  
(609) 581-6910  
Fri. 7 p.m. Paul Plumeri
The Cool Cricket     
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro     
(609) 291-9110     
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke     
Sat. 2 p.m. "Apocalyptic Soiree Of Love" w/ DJ Super Dave Curtis, Asylum Choir, El Ka Bong. $10
The Ivy Inn     
248 Nassau Street Princeton     
(609) 921-8555     
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Rockin' Ron  
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv    
Wed. 10 p.m. Total Request w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
Tindall Road Brewing Co.
102 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown   
(609) 526-8651    
Thurs. 5 p.m. "Thirsty Thursdays" (6 p.m.) "Special Guest Vocal Performance" 
Fri. 6 p.m. "Billy Joel Extravaganza" w/ Midnight Masqueraders and Mike Gilch
Sat. 7 p.m. The Jone Dylan Band
Tir Na Nog     
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton     
(609) 392-2554
Wed. 7 p.m. Monk & Monk
All Shows 21+    
Train Wreck Distillery
25 Madison Avenue Mount Holly
(609) 288-6300
Fri. 7:30 p.m. Ronnie Brandt
Trenton Social      
449 South Broad Street Trenton     
(609) 989-7777    
Thurs. (5 p.m.) "Happy Hour Throwback Thursday" (8 p.m.) EDM Hosted by Jay Kountree  
Fri. 5 p.m. DJ ItsJustAhmad
Mon. 8 p.m. "Monday Night Karaoke" Hosted by Sweets
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic Night w/ Kyle & Mike
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)     
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.     
(215) 862-8300     
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage 
All shows 21+   
Village Idiot Brewing Company
42 High Street Mount Holly
(609) 975-9270
Sun. 1 p.m. Open Mic
Wildflowers Inn     
2572 Pennington Road Pennington     
(609) 773-2392   
Thurs. 6 p.m. Love & Duffy
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia  
Working Dog Winery     
610 Windsor Perrineville Road Hightstown     
(609) 371-6000 
Sat. 1 p.m. Chris Swatt
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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