When a band leaves the comfort zone of its own backyard and tests the waters beyond their own sphere of influence, a.k.a. friends, family and local venues; there is a certain amount of trepidation and perhaps self-doubt. Will these new audiences like us? Will they like our music? Our stage show? Will the venues and sound guys work with us? These are all legitimate questions and have kept many new road warriors awake at night and then there are others who welcome the challenge, throw all caution and concerns to the wind and view any failures or setbacks as experience and part of a learning curve.
Southern Avenue is not one of those bands; as a matter of fact, in Asbury Park, New Jersey at the legendary Stone Pony, they put any doubts to rest; grabbed the crowd by throat, threw caution to that very wind and rocked the Summer Stage to its very core.
Signed as the first local act in 40 years to Stax Records and firmly ensconced in their Memphis roots, this unit is the perfect blend of blues and soul with a bit of New Orleans style jazz thrown in like icing on the proverbial cake. High energy is an understatement as their approximate 45-minute set opening for headliner Jason Mraz garnered so much enthusiasm that one had to wonder whether Mraz was possibly second guessing his choice of openers.
Ah but alas, it seems that Mraz has a hand in the band's latest release which became available on August 27 and he was more than accommodating to them as they toured in advance of its debut; Mraz you see, gets co-write credit for "MoveInto The Light"a horn laden upbeat composition, "Suitable for framing." as has been said."Be The Love You Want" is their third effort and as they showcased song after song from the yet (At the time) unreleased album, the crowd and this journalist became quickly enamored.
Vocalist Tierinii Jackson commanded the stage like no other as she danced, twirled, incited and engaged the denizens on a humid Jersey evening in ways that would make Tina Turner blush. Jackson's powerful range and raw talent were on full display as she belted out some new tunes, older material and a stoked cover of Aretha Franklin's "Rock Steady."
Supported by guitarist and co-producer of the new album, Ori Naftaly, bassist Evan Sarver and keyboardist Jeremy Powell; Jackson goes about her business in a way that just sucks you in and doesn't let go but it is her interaction with her sister, drummer Tikyra Jackson that stands out immediately.
First off, Jackson herself; like all the others in this group, is extremely talented; she sings, plays and sings while she plays and does so with impeccable timing and a smile that could melt even the coldest of hearts. When John Bonham passed away, the remaining members of Led Zeppelin said they chose not to go on because it was no longer Led Zeppelin. After watching this band interact and how the sum of their parts makes it whole; it is difficult to imagine how they could ever recreate the presence and charisma they currently exude when on stage with any others in the mix.
Songs such as "Don't Give Up,""Move Into The Light," "Push Now," "Whiskey Love"and the title track "Be The Love You Want" were all stand-out moments from this Grammy Award nominated and 2018 Blues Music Award winning juggernaut. They were the perfect opener as they whipped the crowd into a frenzy setting the tone for Mraz who also gave a very spirited performance along with his multiple piece band complete with horns, backing vocalists and a top-notch exchange between the percussionist and drummer which was easily one of the evening's highlights.
Southern Avenue is currently on the move in Colorado with a series of shows on their western swing and to purchase tickets or find out where they will be next; please visit www.southernavenuemusic.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
Al's Airport Inn 636 Bear Tavern Road West Trenton (609) 883-5252 Sun. (12 p.m.) Sunday Brunch (6 p.m.) "Sunday Funday" w/ DJ SpinningBill's Olde Tavern 2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton (609) 586-0192 Thurs. 7 p.m. DJ Moe Green Fri. 7 p.m. Moot Davis And The Lizardmen Mon. 7 p.m. Trivia 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 Sun. 6 p.m. Kulick w/ The Boastfuls & Desoto Jones 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) Sat. 3 p.m. Jazz feat. (TBA) $10 (cover charge/$10 Minimum includes buffet) City Streets 510 Highway 130 South East Windsor (609) 426-9400 Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" w/ Rich G. Aveo Clubhouse at Mountain View (The Patio) 850 Bear Tavern Road Ewing (609) 771-0400 Fri. 7 p.m. River DogsCOARadio.com 125 South Main Street Hightstown (609) 241-7103 Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. Jake Thistle w/ a call from Dean Friedman and new music from SOFCooper's Riverview 50 Riverview Plaza Trenton (609) 393-7300 Thurs. (7 p.m.) Philly Rock and Soul (9 p.m.) Club Night feat. Rotating DJs (inside event) Fri. (5 p.m.) "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere Happy Hour" feat. Barry Wasserman (8 p.m.) Tom Petty Tribute w/ "Full Moon Fever" Sat. (8 p.m.) Pez Head Band (9 p.m.) "Back 2 School Party" w/ DJ Michael T. Ages 21+, Contests, prizes. Sun. 11 a.m. " Sunday Latin Jazz Brunch" w/ Victor Tarassov Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke w/ Karen and Mark Wed. (12 p.m.) "Wine Down Wednesdays" (7 p.m.) Blues Jam on the Deck / Disco Hustle Night (Inside) All Events Ages 21+Cream Ridge Winery 145 Route 539 Cream Ridge (609) 259-9797 Fri. 6 p.m. "Bark For Bottles" Hosted by Amazing Mutts w/ DJ Party Hardy, Wine Tasting. $15 (Portion of proceeds to Amazing Mutts Puppy Rescue) Sat. 6:30 p.m. "Latin Night" Sun. 1:30 p.m. Sangria Sunday w/ PaulCross Pollination Gallery 2 North Union Street Lambertville (609) 213-6734 Fri. 5 p.m. "Friday Happy Hour." (Talk art, wine and musicians who bring instruments) Sat. 5 p.m. "Third Anniversary Celebration" 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 (609)267-4344 Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Mic NightDempster'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 entertainmentDog & Bull Brew House 810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA. (215) 788-2855 Fri. 6 p.m. (TBA) Sat. 4 p.m. Jay Regan Sun. 4 p.m. Gabe GumaEddington House Bensalem 2813 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem, PA (215) 639-1220 Fri. 8 p.m. Crabby from Bigg RomeoEscape Resort, Restaurant & Bar 120 Pheasant Run Road Newtown, PA (215) 968-0600 Fri. 6 p.m. The Zings Band Sat. 8 p.m. 90's All That! Pool PartyGerman American Society 215 Uncle Pete's Road Hamilton (609) 585-5200 Fri. 8 p.m. Rainbow Full Of Sound & Jazzadelic w/ Kenny Brooks. (Outdoor Biergarten event)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" w/ (TBA) (9 p.m.) Dance Party w/ DJ In D Groove Sat. 8 p.m. KaraokeGrover's Mill Coffee House Princeton-Hightstown Road Princeton Junction (609) 716-8771 Sat. 11 a.m. Chris SinghHalo Pub (Fete) 9 Hullfish Street Princeton (609) 921-1710 Sat. 6 p.m. Maggs and Bud/Outside The Box feat. Bob DaleyHamilton Tap & Grill 557 US Route 130 North Hamilton (609) 905-0925 Tues. (5 p.m.) Central Jersey Classic Car Show (8 p.m.) Quizzoholics Trivia Havana New Hope 105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA. (215) 862-9897 Thurs. 7 p.m. Funk n' Blues Jam Fri. 9:30 p.m. DJ Dance Party Sat. 9:30 p.m. DJ Dance Party Sun. (1 p.m.) Midnight Sun Orchestra (6:30 p.m.) JB Kline Mon. (9 p.m.) "Lipstick Mondays Drag Show" (11 p.m.) Karaoke w/ Dwayne HG New Hope Pizza 6510 Lower York Road New Hope, PA (215) 862-1740 Sat. 6 p.m. Stranger ThingsHopewell Valley Vineyards 46 Yard Avenue Pennington (609) 737-4465 Thurs. 5:30 p.m. Fri. 4 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. (5:30 p.m.)Bad Hombres (8 p.m.) Sat. (1 p.m.) The Mac Paige Band (2 p.m.) (5:30 p.m.) "Music & Merlot" feat. Just Us Sun. (10 a.m.) "Art on the Vineyard (1:30 p.m.) "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Chris P Mon. 1:30 p.m. Tune BanditsHowe Commons Main Street Pennington Thurs. 5 p.m. J4 feat. Joe Vadala, Joe Kramer, Jerry Monk, Joe FalceyIrish Rover Station House 1033 South Bellevue Avenue Langhorne, PA (215) 970-5412 Fri. 9:30 p.m. DJ Entertainment Paula & Sam Dance Party Sat. 9:30 p.m. Karaoke Party Hosted by Paula & SamIron Plow Vineyards 26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus (732) 306-9111 Fri. 6:30 p.m. John Rossi Sat. 6:30 p.m. Monk & Monk Sun. 2 p.m. Maggs & Bud w/ John BastianiIron Plow Vineyards Tasting Room 61 High Street Mt. Holly (732) 306-9111 Fri. 6:30 p.m. Wayne Palmer & FriendsIvy Tavern 3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton (609) 888-1435 Thurs. 9:30 p.m. "Thursday Night Dance Party" John & Peter's 96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa (215) 862-5981 Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational All shows 21+ Joseph Lawrence Park 317 Ward Avenue Bordentown Sat. 4:30 p.m. Bordentown End of Summer Fireworks (Begin at dusk)Killarney's Publick House 1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton (609) 586-1166 Thurs. 5 p.m. "Girls Night Out" w/ 7 p.m. Radio Fiction Sat. 5 p.m. Mario & FrankLaurita Winery 85 Archertown Road New Egypt (609) 752-0200 Fri. (12 p.m.) "Wine In The Grove Friday" (5 p.m.) "Cornhole Tournament" (6 p.m.) BBQ Grill Night w/ Adults ages 13+ $34.99, Kids ages 6-12 $19.99. Ages 5 and under FREE. (7 p.m.) "Be Your Own Van Gogh" Paint and Sip. $40 Sat. Grape Stomp Food Truck Fair feat. (11 a.m.) AudioPilot (2:30 p.m.) The Rangers Nouveau (6 p.m.) The Darla Rich Quartet. (Fireworks after dark) $12 Ages 21+ (advance), Under 21 FREE Sun. Grape Stomp Food Truck Fair feat. (11 a.m.) Rhyme & Reason (4 p.m.) Fast Forward 80's Mon. 12 p.m. "Customer Appreciation Day" Wed. 12 p.m. "Girls Night Out" Ages 21+Lawrenceville Main Street 17 Phillips Avenue Lawrenceville (609) 219-9300 Thurs. 6 p.m. "Music In The Park" feat. Kindred Spirit (TBA) (Weeden Park FREE admission)Makefield Highlands Golf Club 1418 Woodside Road Yardley, PA (215) 321-7000 Fri. 5 p.m. Brick DuoMamma Rosa's 572 Klockner Road Hamilton (609) 588-5454 Fri. 6 p.m. O.G.S. Sat. 6 p.m. Meg Hansen w/ "Guest" drummer Wed. 7 p.m. KaraokeMcGuinn'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 Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula and SamMillhill Basement 300 S. Broad Street Trenton (609) 989-1600 Fri. 9 p.m. Glass Spitter, KPG, Grape Arch Vector, GNSG, Abby Cadaver. $5-$10 donations are much appreciatedMore Than Q 13 Klines Court Lambertville (609) 773-0072 Sat. 2 p.m. (TBA) Sun. (11 a.m.) Packy's Sunday Brunch feat. Sim Cain & Dave Haneman w/ "Special Guests" Keith Kenny, Bill Fowler, Keith Hartel and more. (2 p.m.) "3 Days of Peace & Brisket" feat. Dinosaur Stampede w/ Mike Greenblatt and 18 additional acts.Music Mountain Theater 1483 Route 179 Lambertville (609)397-3337 Fri. 8 p.m. Carousel Sat./Sun. 3 p.m. CarouselMusic On Main 25 East Main Street Yardley, PA Sat. 6 p.m. Drew Nugent and the Midnight SocietyNewtown Brewing Company 103 Penns Trail Newtown, PA (215) 944-8609 Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Trivia Night Sat. 6 p.m. The Real FugitivesNick's Roast Beef 4501 Woodhaven Road West Philadelphia, PA (215) 637-5151 Fri. 8 p.m. Ryptyde Sat. 8 p.m. AJ Slick Wed. 7 p.m. LeCompt Acoustic DuoO'Fowley's Tavern & Grill 200 State Road Croydon, PA (215) 785-6998 Fri. 8 p.m. DJ EntertainmentOld Hights Brewing 123 West Ward Street Hightstown (609) 469-5976 Thurs. 7 p.m. Trivia Old Town Pub 135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown (609) 291-9232 Thurs. 7 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia Palmer Square 40 Nassau Street Princeton Thurs. 4 p.m. "Locals Night" w/ Live "Strolling" Musician Sat.12 p.m. Phil & Ron DuoPasquale'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 Tues. 7:30 p.m. Quizzo Wed. 7 p.m. Open MicPatriots 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 p.m. Cover UpRosedale Mills 101 Route 31 North Pennington (609) 737-2008 Sat. 1 p.m. Outdoor Line Dancing. $10 (Rain date Sundays 12 p.m.)Sav'Aged Designs 110 South Main Street New Hope, PA (609) 937-6104 Sat. 10 a.m. The Art of Adriana GrozaScreamin' Hill Brewery 83 Emleys Hill Road Cream Ridge (609) 401-2025 Fri. 4 p.m. Successful FailuresSmall World Coffee 14 Witherspoon Street Princeton (609) 924-4377 x2 Thurs. 8 p.m. The Art of Elina Lorenz (Runs daily thru 9/7)Sparky World-Famous Beer Garden 4333 New Falls Road Levittown, PA (215) 943-2321 Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Dance Parties w/ the Paula & Sam LivingstonStars & Stripes Harley Davidson 600 South Flowers Mill Road Langhorne, PA (215) 752-9400 Sat. 11 a.m. "Tailgate Party" and FREE DemosTankard Pub 440 Keim Boulevard Burlington (609) 306-5079 Thurs. 7 p.m. The WilliamsboyTara's Tavern 1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown (609) 286-2300 Fri. 9 p.m. The Williamsboy Sat. 9 p.m. The AmptonsTavern On The Lake 101 Main Street Hightstown (609) 426-9345 Wed. 9 p.m. KaraokeTemperance 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 CartneyTerhune Orchards 330 Cold Soil Road Princeton (609) 924-2310 Fri. 4 p.m. "Sips & Sounds Friday" feat. Dark WhiskeyThe 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. ShamelessThe Cool Cricket 216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro (609) 291-9110 Fri. 8 p.m. Karaoke Sat. 8:30 p.m. Kindred SpiritThe Dubliner 34 North Main Street New Hope, PA (215) 693-1816 Sat. 7 p.m. Sean Fleming Sun. 3 p.m. "Traditional Irish Session" The Morrisville Tavern 376 West Trenton Avenue Morrisville, PA (215) 295-5310 Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic Wed. 7 p.m. Trivia NightThe Roost 181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge (609) 208-0050 Fri. 8 p.m. Jack Furlong and Pat KerssenThe Sycamore Grill 255 North Sycamore Street Newtown, PA (215) 908-6326 Fri. 8 p.m. Sister BlueThomas Sweet Ice Cream 183 Nassau Street Princeton (609) 683-8720 Sat. 7 p.m. DragonflyTindall Road Brewing Co. 102 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown (609) 526-8651 Thurs. 5 p.m. "Thirsty Thursdays" Fri. 7 p.m. Tiltin' CatzTriumph 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+ Wilson's Pub 1870 Brownsville Road Trevose Heights, PA (215) 355-4739 Wed. 10 p.m. Beer Pong WednesdaysWorking Dog Winery 610 Windsor Perrineville Road Hightstown (609) 371-6000 Sat. 1 p.m. Spoondrift Sun. 1 p.m. Jersey Sure CatsWWFM 89.1 FM HD2 Radio MCCC Old Trenton Road West Windsor Jazzon2.org Mon. 7 p.m. "Danny Coleman's Got The Blues" Yankee Doodle Tap Room 10 Palmer Square Princeton (609) 921-7500 Thurs. 6 p.m. Dueling Piano Night (Palmer Square) 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 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.