New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

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

Works in Progress - October 2008

By Gary Wien

(OCTOBER 8, 2008 -- ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Rick Barry's "Works in Progress" series has been a favorite of mine since it first launched several months ago, but I think recent shows have taken the series to a new level. This latest show continued that trend. The lineup included Keith Monacchio (formerly of The Commons), Justin Hillman, Glen Burtnick, Brett Mosely, Tommy Strazza, Kelly Carvin, and, of course, Rick Barry.

The idea between "Works in Progress" is a unique one. Instead of the traditional singer-songwriter nights, artists are supposed to perform songs which were created just for the show ? generally written in the days before the show, sometimes written on the day of the show, and a few songs have reportedly even been written on the way to the show or in the back room while warming up.

This was the first time "Works in Progress" actually reminded me of the old "Writers in the Raw" shows back in the days of Harry's Roadhouse. Not only was the lineup absolutely filled with great musicians, but the club was packed with at least twice as many people as in previous shows of the series and included tons of musicians who simply came to hang out and support the scene. That's what used to happen during WITR as well. It helped bring about the same kind of atmosphere and spirit that made me fall in love with those WITR shows and made it a must see date on my calendar each month.

Some of the artists found in the crowd included Mimi Cross, Joshua Van Ness, Frankie and Kelly McGrath (of Maybe Pete), Anthony Fiumano, Joe Harvard, Ken Shane, and Lindsey Miller.

Keith Monacchio kicked off the night with a strong set that included his coffeehouse song, which I think is one of the best tunes he's ever written. It was very cool to see Glen Burtnick as part of the show ? especially now since he's moved to the area. His daughters were on hand as well and performed backup singing duties on one tune. Glen performed some of his newly written songs as well as one or two written along with his usual songwriting partner Bob Burger. Seeing Glen perform so many new songs in one set reminded me of a show he performed once while I was in college. I remember coming back home for a holiday and catching Glen at a Caf? Bene show billed as "a night of all new Glen Burtnick music." It was great seeing something like that again.

Rick Barry was? well, Rick Barry. The man could write brilliant new songs in his sleep. I still think this series is one of the best things to happen to Rick and his career. While he floats back and forth between band gigs and solo shows, between writing new songs and revisiting his regular songs in new versions ? this show FORCES him to keep writing. And, it's led to many great new songs including the series theme song, which is a wonderful take of Rick's life, the efforts of his musician friends, and the redevelopment of Asbury Park.

Justin Miller was a nice surprise and something else that reminded me of Writers in the Raw. From Massachusetts (I believe), Miller was an artist Rick Barry met on the road. This reminded me of the artists Gordon Brown met during his days on the road ? songwriters that were wonderful but rarely household names. Miller had a strong set and even managed to have a Jersey connection through summering in Cape May while growing up. It was nice to see Rick branching out and bringing in an artist whose name wouldn't be familiar to regular music fans in the area.

Bret Mosely and Tommy Strazza have both become regulars to Asbury Park in recent years and each showed that their songwriting abilities continue to shine. Kelly Carvin closed things out with a nice set, but it was really getting late for a work night so I didn't get to see it all. The Works in Progress shows usually end a half hour or more earlier than they did tonight and I think they may have put one too many artists on the bill. Nevertheless, it was a tremendous night of music and Rick Barry deserves a lot of credit for maintaining this series and the quality of musicians he brings to the stage each time out. "Works in Progress" is not only a treat for the music fan, but provides a wonderful glimpse into the songwriting process as a whole.

For more by this author, click here

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.
Idle Wave To Hold Record Release Party At Asbury Park Brewery
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Pop-punks Idle Wave will celebrate the release of their self-titled EP on Saturday, December 1st at Asbury Park Brewery.  The record release show also includes performances by Skyeline, Roderick, and Pollyanna.

"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


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


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


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


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 |

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.