On Saturday, October 1 at 3pm, Don Elliker and his band “Me & My Big Ideas” will perform. Don is a songwriter focusing on what is typically called Americana, however other styles get in the mix.
The songwriter / singer performs his own music as a solo artist or with his band, “Me and My Big Ideas”. Don has performed at The MusikFest in Bethlehem PA, The Blues Bash / Centenary College in Hackettstown NJ. The Black Potatoe Festival in Clinton NJ, the WNTI Music Festival in Delaware, NJ and Roy’s Hall in Blairstown, playing in support of such artists as Bill Payne, David Bromberg and Chris Smither and sharing the stage with many others. Don is also a past winner of the MTV Beach House Band Search competition, a nation-wide original music and performance competition. Learn more about Don at Reverbnation.
On Saturday June 25th, at 3pm, Toby Walker, a seasoned acoustic blues player from Denville, NJ will perform. Toby is an accomplished and award winning blues player and historian. He spent many years traveling the deep back roads of the south seeking out the ‘real deal’ players….the front porch guys…and learned the roots blues first hand.
Toby will also host a one-hour workshop prior to the show at 1pm. To sign up for the workshop, email Toby (tobywmusic at gmail.com.)
Internationally and nationally acclaimed, Toby Walker has been hailed as an award winning, roots music fingerstyle guitar virtuoso and songwriter who has toured the US, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Blending the styles of blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, old-time jazz and rock, Walker has developed his own style and as such received numerous awards, including being the 1st place recipient of the International Blues Challenge Award in Memphis and the NY Music Award for best instrumental CD. Walker has also been inducted into the NY Blues Hall Of Fame.
Walker is a nationally recognized guitar instructor, having taught at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch, Woody Mann’s Guitar Seminars, The Swanannoa Gathering, and the National Guitar Workshop. Walker also has eight instructional DVD’s on Happy Traum’s Homespun Music Instruction, and has produced hundreds of instructional videos on his own.
Toby’s passion for blues, rags, folk, and other traditional American music drove him to leave an apartment crammed full of recordings, books and instruments for the Mississippi Delta, Virginia and the Carolinas where he tracked down some of the more obscure – but immensely talented – music makers of an earlier era. He learned directly from Eugene Powell, James “Son” Thomas,Etta Baker, and R.L Burnside, among others.
“If he doesn’t get them with his phenomenal guitar playing or catchy songs, he gets them with his wonderful stories. True entertainers have an engaing spirit that puts a smile on your face. Arlo Guthrie has it. David Bromberg has it. And so does Toby. “ – John Platt – WFUV
“Flat out… you have to hear this great musician… I’m blown away“ Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna and the Jefferson Airplane
On Sunday, August 28th at 4:30 pm Alex Radus, a contemporary/jazz influenced guitarist and his band will appear. Radus’ music draws from across the American songwriting spectrum and beyond, leapfrogging genres and blurring the lines between them. An award-winning and critically acclaimed singer/songwriter, Alex hails from Pennsylvania’s artistically rich Lehigh and Delaware River Valley region. His work has been featured in film, radio and television.
Radus is known as a “sultry crooner” (The City Paper) and a “master guitarist” (Courier News), but his songwriting always takes center stage. Equally comfortable composing in diverse genres, Radus pairs whimsical and poignant storytelling with a sophisticated mix of Americana, swing, blues, folk, Anti-folk, country and more.
Radus’ music and performances have been featured on radio, film and television, including three songs featured in 2018’s Adolescence, directed by Ashley Avis (Black Beauty). His discography includes: Jewels & Tinware (“creative, original…perfect” – Steel Notes Magazine); Love Me Like You Hate Me (“impressive…eerie, intense and wonderful” – The Morning Call); and duende (“a fluid, melodic hybrid of roots music” – The Village Voice). Most recently, Radus released a self-titled, debut album with his alt rock project, Hot4Robot (“a brilliant vision…a multi-layered, adventurous soundscape” – Underground Music Collective). His upcoming album, Tributaries, was recorded live at the legendary listening room, Godfrey Daniels.
The Alex Radus Trio features Daniel Manchester (Pyrenesia) on upright bass and Charlie Heim (Martha Graham Cracker; Grady Hoss and the Sidewinders) on drums. A staple of the eastern PA music scene, Radus is a frequent performer at Musikfest, Godfrey Daniels, and more.
The Karl Latham Quartet will present a swing jazz show featuring Karl on drums, Martin Pizzarelli on upright bass, guitarist David O’Rourke and Grammy Award-winning clarinetist, Linus Wyrsch. Karl has been recognized as one of the world’s top drummers by multiple publications and has played with waaaay too many Jazz artists to list. Martin is the son of the legendary Bucky Pizzarelli and has an enormous reputation as one of the best also. David O’Rourke will amaze you with his playing. And Grammy Award-winning clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Linus Wyrsch puts the icing on the cake.
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, David O’Rourke grew up hearing many styles of music from classical to jazz, folk music and pop songs of his generation and he loved it all. A listening session with his father could include anything from Mozart to Miles, Errol Garner to Debussy – he remembers he and his dad listening to Joshua Rifkin playing Scott Joplin’s rags. At the age of 21, David was a finalist in the RTE Young Musician Of The Future, the first time a non-classical musician made it to the finals. David performed as soloist with the RTE Concert Orchestra, an ensemble that he would return some years later to conduct in the National Concert Hall. O’Rourke has built a career defined and shaped by his exposure to and association with many of his musical idols, both in the US and abroad. He has played with Les Paul and Bucky Pizzarelli and studied with legends such as Barry Galbraith and Pat Martino. He currently leads and writes for his own 20-piece band (The O’Rourkestra) at the Zinc Bar NYC, composing and arranging including recent commissions for the City Of Dublin Jazz Orchestra while continuing to perform in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia jazz clubs.
Martin Pizzarelli is known for his work with his brother John Pizzarelli, appearing on many of his albums in a swing trio that includes pianists Ray Kennedy and Larry Fuller. He has recorded one album as bandleader for Victoria Records with Kennedy and his father, legendary swing guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli.
Grammy Award-winning clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Linus Wyrsch was born in Switzerland in 1987 and has been based in New York City since 2008. Having become one of the city’s most sought-after instrumentalists, the Berklee College of Music alumnus frequently works with Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats, the legendary Pizzarelli family and many other well-known artists of the jazz and Latin jazz scenes. Linus tours in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America, and regularly appears in New York City’s and the East Coast’s finest venues, and can be heard on more than 20 albums. Being an actual part of the music scene enables him to provide listeners with a unique backstage pass, including high-caliber guests.
Kicking off the season on Sunday May 15th at 3pm will be Yarn, an Americana/jam/rock group with a large local following. The Brooklyn and Raleigh based band — which is currently comprised of Blake Christiana, Rod Hohl, bassist Rick Bugel, and drummer Robert Bonhomme — have made their mark, and in dealing with their emotions, scars and circumstances, they find themselves in a position to share those experiences with others who have juggled similar sentiments.
If you expect that a band that calls itself Yarn to, naturally, tend to spin a yarn or two, you’re right! “That’s what we do, we tell stories, live and in the studio, truth and fiction” singer/songwriter Blake Christiana insists. “We don’t always opt for consistency. There’s a different vibe onstage from what comes through in our recordings. There’s a difference in every show as well, you never know what you’re going to get.”
Yarn have never been content to simply ride a wave and see where it takes them. Yarn’s ability to persevere ought to come as no great surprise, especially for a band that spent two years honing their chops during a Monday night residency at the famed Kenny’s Castaway in New York’s Greenwich Village. In effect, it allowed them to rehearse onstage, mostly in front of audiences that often ranged in size from five to a hundred people on any given night.
Indeed, the accolades piled up quickly along the way. They have landed on the Grammy ballot 4 times, garnered nods from the Americana Music Association, placed top five on both Radio and Records and the AMA album charts, garnered airplay on Sirius FM, iTunes, Pandora, CNN, and CMT, and also accorded the “Download of the Day” from Rolling Stone. Shine the Light On found shared song writing credits with John Oates (the Oates of Hall & Oates fame), and when audiences expressed their admiration, it brought the band a populist following of diehard devotees, popularly known as “the Yarmy.”