New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


For great Jersey music and much more, tune into our radio station at AsburyMusic.com

Two Bongos for the Price of None!

By Gary Wien


(BELMAR, NJ -- AUGUST 29, 2013) -- It was supposed to be the first concert in this year's 90.5 Songwriters Series, but it wound up being the last... And it was worth the wait. The show finished up what hopefully will be the first of many years in Belmar with a huge crowd (the biggest of the ones I was able to attend) and amazing music by The Sunday Blues and Richard Barone.

The Sunday Blues kicked off the night with songs from their recently released disc, City Folklore, as well as a few new tunes. It was fun seeing Lindsey Miller and Keith McCarthy get the opportunity to play in front of a large crowd and they sounded great! I love seeing artists get out of their comfort zone to see how they'll do and these two hit it out of the park.

"It was awesome to look at the ocean while we played, it was a great crowd and it looked as if everyone was really listening!" said Lindsey Miller. "It certainly was one of the biggest crowds we ever played for, especially cool, because it was basically full of people who had never heard our music before or even knew us. We sold a bunch of CD's and got really great feedback from all the people. I'd say it was a wonderful night."

It's kind of funny hearing a band like The Sunday Blues play new songs just weeks after having a CD released, but the new songs really sound to me as if they're among the band's strongest material. I guess they recognize that too and don't want to wait to play them. It's nice to see that their writing has not only continued, but is getting better and better. Hopefully it won't take another 4-5 years for them to release a followup record.

Up next was Richard Barone who was joined by his Bongos bandmate, Rob Norris, on bass. "Like I said on Facebook today, it's two Bongos for the price of none!" said Barone. This set was a real treat as the two of them circled through a virtual Greatest Hits of Richard's solo career and songs by The Bongos - including songs like "My Wildest Dream" from the band's long-awaited and soon-to-be-released album Phantom Train. The set list also included "The Bulrushes", "I Belong To Me", "Miss Jean", "Tangled In Your Web", "River To River", "In The Congo", "Video Eyes", "Barbarella", and the closer, "Number With Wings".

In between Richard played a couple of rarities like his "Hey, Can I Sleep On Your Futon?" tune that was inspired by the classic "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?" -- a Great Depression era tune. Richard's song was recorded for the Occupy This Album record. Richard also gave a wonderful cover of "It's Only Love" by The Beatles.

One of the highlights of the night came from when Richard tried staring out into the crowd, but struggled to see past a handful of people. He asked if anyone was out there and if they were to light up their cell phones. A sea of lights soon filled the beach. "I wish I could put this on my Instagram," said Richard as he gazed out from the stage.

"The Jersey Shore is a very special, almost sacred place for me that I've been going to every summer for most of my life," Richard said via email. "I've written many songs and performed many of my most memorable shows there, such as that last night of the Green Parrot. So to have a concert there now, especially on the actual Beach of Belmar and after the devastation of last year's Hurricane Sandy, was something very close to my heart.

"I always feel a special kind of love and acceptance from the Shore crowds - It's a rare sensation of being onstage yet also feeling I am part of the crowd myself," he continued. "Last night's show was about connecting - connecting the past and present with the songs we chose, and connecting with the awesome crowd in every way we could. It was such a beautiful, clear, cool breezy night - a perfect beginning to that last weekend of summer. I wanted to see and sense every person in the audience. That's why I asked them to light up their phones. It looked so beautiful from the stage; Like hundreds of stars twinkling and glowing right there on the beach. Which is, in a way, exactly what they were."

Sometimes it's easy to forget just how important The Bongos and Richard Barone's music was to New Jersey music history, but these songs are like classic rock to many of us. Richard was the last artist to perform at the legendary Green Parrot rock club and recently performed with The Bongos on the last official night of Maxwell's in Hoboken. Those two nights are like bookends on a stellar career that is far from done. In fact, the new release by The Bongos is about to write a new chapter in the band's history and introduce them to a whole new generation of fans. The Bongos, to me, are like a new wave version of The Velvet Underground. Their songs always reached towards places others dared not go. Musically and lyrically, both bands were extremely unique, highly influential, and timeless.


For someone like me that lives in Belmar, it's hard to express just how great it is to have 90.5 bring their Songwriters series to town. Music on the beach and boardwalk has always been a huge part of my summers, and being able to walk to a free show like this is incredible. Plans for 2014 are still up in the air, but I'm hopeful the series will return to Belmar. Watching the size of the crowd build after each show, I know I'm not alone. With the Taylor Pavilion being rebuilt, 90.5 just might be able to have the best of both worlds in Belmar -- a tremendous location on the beach and boardwalk, plus an indoor facility in case of rain. And, judging by the weather of the last few years, an indoor location next door would be very welcome.

"Nothing says summer on the Jersey Shore more than hanging on the beach with friends, listening to great tunes," said Rich Robinson of 90.5 The Night. "That's basically what Songwriters on the Beach was all about. Thanks to the people of Belmar for letting us bring our weekly party to the beach. Hope we can do it again next year."



Photos courtesy of Jeff Raspe of 90.5 The Night.


For more by this author, click here






State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Friday, December 7 at 8:00pm, Saturday, December 8 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday, December 9 at 2:00pm. Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a division of Cirque du Soleil, has become a critically acclaimed, state-of-the-art Broadway musical, and a fun-filled, holiday family show. Tickets range from $35-$98.
NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.


"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!










Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


MUSIC

New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


THEATRE

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm







DANCE

PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


FILM

Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

View all events
























New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.