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Paper Mill Playhouse has announced the winners of the 2019 Rising Star Awards!
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Columns By Danny Coleman

People become musicians or artists for various reasons; some are pushed into it by parents aspirations, some develop an aptitude early on through experimentation and others, well, they just love being creative. The common thread within this cloth is a love of performing and sharing these talents with friends, family and although some may deny it; an audience. ... READ ON

"I thought of that name for the group because first, I always liked the candy and thought it was very special stuff; kind of like medicine that tasted good," says lead vocalist and guitarist Mimi Betinis of the '70's "Power Pop" group PEZBAND. "What really kind of fascinated me was the letter combination; P E Z. I thought it was kind of unusual and out of high school we had a little jam band and called it PEZ and then I thought; why don't we make it something that people will only associate with us instead of the candy? So I decided to call it PEZBAND so that the name just meant the group instead of the candy."... READ ON

"Middletown" is a production written by playwright Dan Clancy and stars Cindy Williams, Didi Conn, Adrian Zmed and Donny Most; a veteran cast of thespians brought together in what's being called a, "Dramady." ... READ ON

"Steve DeAcutis is a treasure; he's a really talented guy. I'm with Deko Records, Steve is Sound Spa Productions; it's an amazing place."... READ ON

"In Germany when we started out it wasn't like a bar scene that we played. We played in a lot of youth places; where people congregated in art centers and stuff like that or at school events. It was only when the Scorpions came that I started playing bars and places like that." ... READ ON

"We had great success with "You Really Got Me" and "All The Day and All The Night" and "I Need You" and "She's Got Everything;" there's quite a few Kinks tracks recorded that have my guitar sound on it. The Kinks music was very varied, it's not just hard rock, it's a mixture of many things really."... READ ON

"It was a development; I know what you're asking but there's no answer," says legendary guitarist Martin Barre as he discussed 50 years of Jethro Tull, his time spent with group and their success. "I never had a eureka moment, the band never had something happen that changed our lives overnight. We just worked really, really hard every week of every month of every year for a long, long time and it developed a career. We had good albums, we had albums that weren't so strong but it was always the touring that was really good, we were always known to be a live act, a live band and it just grew. It was a really slow development like being on the back burner of a cooker, the flavor is rich and intense but it's well seasoned. It wasn't a flash in the pan and I quite like that, so there were no gigs where I could say wow that really changed my life and I enjoyed everything. I loved the tiny clubs, the huge festivals; live music can be really varied and it brings the same sort of joy in whatever format it is but I just like the history because it was never crazy. We never had a year where we were flying around in private jets and staying in five star penthouse hotel suites; we never did it. We were comfortable, we were successful but it was always the music came first and the work came first. We worked hard and I think that brings a different reward." ... READ ON

"I think that I have a rebellious nature and it's always bothered me that people aren't more willing to talk about sex; especially female sexuality. I think I talk about sex for the same reason that I talk about radical politics because nobody else is talking about it" and rest assured that there is nobody else like Carsie Blanton.... READ ON

Dean Friedman is yet another example of the depth of New Jersey's talent pool. This native son of Paramus has eight albums, more than four decades of experience, multiple hits and a zest for making music that many of today's artists lack. ... READ ON

"We flew in and did our first ever opening show in the US at The Fillmore East with Bill Graham who had previously booked our friends Ten Years After from Chrysalis Records; an embryonic record company, they had proceeded us by a year in the USA, rather like Led Zeppelin did. So Ten Years After were the senior model for the beginning of our career there because we shared the same management and agency and that began our long journey." ... READ ON

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