He may be the son of the legendary Jim Croce but for more than two decades A.J. Croce has been traveling his own musical road. The multi-talented pianist, singer/songwriter who was born in Bryn Mawr, PA, has had his soulful music appear on a variety of music charts, including the Top 40, Americana, College and Jazz.
The idea for Croce’s most recent album, By Request, came from his love of entertaining friends in his home. It’s an ubiquitous album which finds the Croce not only paying homage to some of his favorite musical memories from artists like Billy Preston, Faces, The Five Stairsteps and Tom Waits, but also celebrating friendship and camaraderie.
Fans will get to experience a multitude of songs from the artist’s work, including a few songs from his father’s catalog, on Friday, August 6, when Croce performs an intimate show at New Hope Winery in New Hope, PA.
I recently spoke with A.J. Croce about his upcoming performane in New Hope, his album, By Request, and more in this exclusive new interview.
What can fans expect from your upcoming performance at New Hope Winery?
Croce: It’s a duo concert and very intimate show. David Berard, who’s played bass with Dr. John for more than thirty years and with so many other artists, will be with me playing and singing. I usually hate sticking to a set list so it will be a lot of fun to have the flexibility to just pull things out of thin air and work with the feeling and the moment.
Does the area hold any kind of special meaning for you?
Croce: Absolutely. I was born in Bryn Mawr and have visited the area just about every year since I was born. My grandmother is in Philly, my godmother is in Phoenixville and I have aunts, uncles and cousins that live in the area as well.
Jordan Rudess is perhaps best known as the keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist for the platinum-selling progressive rock band Dream Theater and the side project, Liquid Tension Experiment. But Rudess, a classically trained virtuoso from the age of 10, has also worked with the likes of Deep Purple, The Dixie Dregs and David Bowie among many others.
He’s also the owner of Wizdom Music, an application development company that makes award-winning apps for keyboard synthesizers.
At 8 p.m. June 25, Rudess brings his solo piano tour to the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville. Tickets are available for $33-45 at st94.com 215-257-5808. Limited seats remain but a livestream is available.
The show, dubbed ‘A Chapter in Time,’ will document Rudess’ musical journey — which began in grade school, then to Julliard and progressed to his work with Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment. Rudess will also explore improvised selections from his progressive rock roots as well as his beautiful new album, ‘A Chapter in Time.’
In addition to Rudess’ performance on the Sellersville stage, a livestream is available for fans with COVID safety concerns. All livestream ticket holders will be emailed a link to enjoy the show.
I spoke with Rudess about his upcoming performance as well as his latest album.
James Wood for The Morning Call: What can fans expect from your upcoming Sellersville Theater performance?
Rudess: “I love doing these piano shows because the piano is my home territory. As much as people know me as the Dream Theater keyboardist the piano is where it all started. When I do these events, it’s a chance for me to let my musical spirit out. I’ll play Bach, some Chopin and improvise or play arrangements of progressive rock, Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment. I’m happy I chose the piano because its wide range allows me to do this kind of thing. People can expect to hear a full representation of who I am musically and get a feel for all the things I’m involved with.”
Did you always know music would be your calling?
“Honestly, I did. The short version is that I had been playing piano in my second-grade classroom. My teacher called my mom and told her how I was playing so beautifully. My mom told her she must be talking about someone else, because I didn’t play. No one in my family was involved in the arts or even played an instrument, although my mother always liked music. Once she heard I was playing it sparked her imagination and a few days later a white piano arrived at the house. I started taking lessons and never looked back.”
Universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world, Foreigner‘s timeless anthems include ten multi-platinum albums and 16 US Billboard Top 30. With a formidable musical arsenal that includes monster hits like “I Want To Know What Love Is,” “Cold As Ice,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” “Hot Blooded,” “Juke Box Hero,” the band continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales,
Foreigner is bringing these hits back to concert stages across the world with the recent announcement of a new, 121-date concert tour across sixteen countries.
The US leg of FOREIGNER’s world tour will take the band to 71 cities in 42 states. Dates are listed below. For tickets and more information, visit www.foreigneronline.com.
FOREIGNER is: Mick Jones (guitar), Kelly Hansen (lead vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass, vocals), Michael Bluestein (keyboards, vocals), Bruce Watson (guitar, vocals), Chris Frazier (drums) and Luis Carlos Maldonado (guitar, vocals).
Thursday, June 24 Ottumwa, IA – Bridge View Center
Friday, June 25 Sioux Falls, SD – Washington Pavilion
Saturday, June 26 Bismarck, ND – Bismarck Civic Center
Tuesday, June 29 Casper, WY – Casper Events Center
Wednesday, June 30 Billings, MT – MetraPark Arena
Friday, July 2 Welch, MN – Treasure Island Great Lawn
Sunday, July 4 Fort Bragg, NC – Pope Army Airfield
Tuesday, July 27 Fresno, CA – Saroyan Theatre
Wednesday, July 28 Prescott Valley, AZ – Findlay Toyota Center
Friday, July 30 West Valley, UT – Maverick Center
Saturday, July 31 Grand Junction, CO – Los Colonias Park Amphitheater
Sunday, August 1 Rio Rancho, NM – Rio Rancho Events Center
Wednesday, August 4 Lubbock, TX – Buddy Holly Hall
Thursday, August 5 Enid, OK – Stride Bank Center
Saturday, August 7 Park City, KS – Hartman Arena
Sunday, August 8 North Little Rock, AR – Simmons Bank Arena
Tuesday, August 10 West Allis, WI – Wisconsin State Fair
Wednesday, August 11 Cedar Rapids, IA – McGrath Amphitheatre
Friday, August 13 Arcadia, WI – Ashley For The Arts
Saturday, August 14 Interlochen, MI – Kresge Auditorium
Sunday, August 15 Peoria, IL – Civic Center Arena
Tuesday, August 17 Kettering, OH – Fraze Pavilion
Wednesday, August 18 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
Friday, August 20 Doswell, VA – AfterHours at Meadow Event Park
Saturday, August 21 Selbyville, DE – The Freeman Stage at Bayside
Monday, August 23 Syracuse, NY – New York State Fair
Wednesday, August 25 Bridgeport, CT – Hartford Healthcare Amphitheatre
Thursday, August 26 Webster, MA – Indian Ranch
Friday, August 27 Cohasset, MA – South Shore Music Circus
Saturday, August 28 Hyannis, MA – Cape Cod Melody Tent
Thursday, September 9 Grand Forks, ND – Alerus Center
Friday, September 10 Rapid City, SD – Rushmore Plaza Civic Center
Saturday, September 11 Butte, MT – Civic Center
Tuesday, September 14 Everett, WA – Angel of the Winds Arena
Wednesday, September 15 Nampa, ID – Ford Idaho Event Center
Thursday, September 16 Airway Heights, WA – Northern Quest Resort & Casino
Saturday, September 18 Fort Hall, ID – Fort Hall Casino
Tuesday, September 21 Bend, OR – Les Schwab Amphitheater
Wednesday, September 22 Kennewick, WA – Toyota Center
Sunday, September 26 Reno, NV – Grand Theatre at Grand Sierra Resort
Wednesday, September 29 Saratoga, CA – Mountain Winery (orchestral)
Friday, October 1 Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre (orchestral)
Saturday, October 2 Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl (orchestral)
Monday, October 11 Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre (orchestral)
Tuesday, October 12 Youngstown, OH – Foundation Amphitheater (orchestral)
Wednesday, October 13 Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena (orchestral)
Friday, October 15 Johnson City, TN – Freedom Hall Civic Center
Sunday, October 17 Knoxville, TN – Civic Auditorium
Monday, October 18 Columbus, OH – Palace Theatre
Tuesday, October 19 Charleston, WV – Municipal Auditorium
Thursday, October 21 Reading, PA – Santander Performing Arts Center
Friday, October 22 Wilkes Barre, PA – F.M. Kirby Center
Saturday, October 23 Baltimore, MD – MECU Pavilion
Monday, October 25 Providence, RI – Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, October 27 Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theatre
Thursday, October 28 Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
Friday, October 29 New Brunswick, NJ – State Theatre
Saturday, October 30 Atlantic City, NJ – Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
Thursday, November 4 Corbin, KY – Corbin Arena
Friday, November 5 Springfield, IL – UIS Sangamon Auditorium
Saturday, November 6 Southaven, MS – Landers Center
Monday, November 8 Savannah, GA – John Mercer Theatre
Tuesday, November 9 Augusta, GA – Bell Auditorium
Wednesday, November 10 Greenville, SC – Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Friday, November 12 Macon, GA – Macon City Auditorium
Saturday, November 13 Tupelo, MS – Bancorp South Arena
Sunday, November 14 Brandon, MS – Brandon Amphitheater
Tuesday, November 16 Huntsville, AL – Mark C. Smith Concert Hall
Wednesday, November 17 Birmingham, AL – BJCC Concert Hall
Friday, November 19 Biloxi, MS – IP Casino Resort & Spa
Saturday, November 20 Pensacola, FL – Saenger Theater
Multi-platinum selling supergroup Asia are celebrating their 40th anniversary with new 5-CD boxset, The Reunion Albums: 2007-2012. The package includes the three albums (Phoenix, Omega and XXX) that reunited original members John Wetton, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and Geoff Downes. The reunion albums are presented together in a collector’s boxset designed by Roger Dean, who produced all of the artwork on the original albums.
A dual-CD live recording, Fantasia: Live in Tokyo rounds out the package and features many of the tracks from the band’s first two albums, Asia (1982) and Alpha (1983) as well as heritage tracks from each band member’s musical history. The live concert also includes an acoustic version of Ride Easy, a B-side from the band’s debut single, Heat of the Moment, performed for the first time.
We spoke with guitarist Steve Howe about the new boxset, 50 years of Yes’s landmark single Roundabout, and his undying love for Martin guitars…
How did The Reunion Albums: 2007-2012 boxset come about?
“Because there hasn’t been much touring, there were discussions with management about the idea of taking a look at those three albums which had recently returned to our ownership.
“When I listened back to Phoenix, Omega and XXX, it was a delight to put them in perspective. It was a very productive period for the band. Phoenix has a bit more intricacies and proggy bits and the other albums are a development from that starting point. So we decided to put together a boxset with Roger Dean and everyone else who’s worked with us. It’s marvelous.”
The set includes the 2CD live concert Fantasia, Live in Tokyo from 2007. Did the idea to do a full-on reunion album build out of that tour?
“When we met in 2006, Geoff said he and John were starting to write together and that there was enthusiasm from Japan, America and England. At the time, Yes had taken a hiatus and I thought, ‘Great! I hadn’t played this music in years.’ My only pre-condition was that we would play the songs more meticulously than we did in the old days.
Anyone who’s heard guitar maven Samantha Fish’s previous albums knows she’s developed an uncanny knack for combining elements of contemporary blues with guitar ferocity and visceral emotion.
Her most recent album, 2019′s “Kill Or Be Kind,” is reflective of that. It’s the first album to feature Fish as the sole guitarist and is rooted deep in the Delta, with a strong Memphis undertone.
Fish will bring her energy, and guitar, to Bethlehem’s SteelStacks 7 p.m. Friday, April 16, for an outdoor performance at the Highmark Blue Shield Community Stage on the Air Products Town Square. For this round of shows, she has stripped her band down to a three-piece unit, giving her the flexibility and freedom of extending lead breaks with dynamic improvisation.
CDC guidelines for proper social distancing and to provide a safe dining experience for all patrons will be in place at the performance, and Levitt Pavilion lawn spots will be spaced out accordingly. Food and beverages will be available via the Mack Truck Stop and bar on the lawn. No outside food or drink will be permitted.
I recently spoke with Samantha Fish about her upcoming show at SteelStacks. We also discuss her latest album, “Kill Or Be Kind,” memorable moments, and what makes blues such a great form of music.
As an artist, how has it been going for you this past year with touring being canceled due to COVID-19?
Samantha Fish: “Some days are better than others. The industry itself has changed so much over the last 10 years and performers now have to be on the road to have any kind of career. To have it all go away suddenly was a little jarring. It took me several months to truly understand that we were going to be in this for the long haul.”
Read the rest of my of my Interview with Samantha Fish by Clicking Here.
Legendary producer & Hall of Fame songwriter Linda Perry has curated and is set to take part in this weekend’s two-day Rock ’N’ Relief: Concert Series (& Live Stream) at L.A. City and CORE’s mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on March 5 and 6. CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is a non-profit organization started by Sean Penn and Ann Lee that has worked tirelessly, and without any government funding, to provide access to free Covid-19 testing and vaccines across Los Angeles.
This two-day live stream will benefit CORE’s life-saving programs as well as raise money for CORE’s mobile vaccination. A program which brings access to the vaccine directly to low-income and communities of color who need it most. Perry’s Rock n’ Relief concert aims to give the community live entertainment, in the safety of their cars, while they wait to receive the vaccine.
Hosted by DJ Kat Corbett of SiriusXM & KROQ, the lineup for this two-day concert series features live performances from artists like Miguel, Macy Gray, Scream, DJ Adam Bravin (She Wants Revenge), Macy Gray, Willa Ami, Juliette Lewis, Donita Sparks (L7 & Friends), Linda Perry, Pete Molinari, Kevin Bacon, Silversun Pickups, Jen Awad, Aloe Blacc, Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas, Troy Noka and house band Flashback Heart Attack. The series also includes digital performances from artists around the world, including Carly Simon w/ David Saw, Foo Fighters, Deadmau5, Gavin Rossdale, Pete Yorn, James Blunt, Jewel, Gary Barlow, Tracy Bonham, Deborah Cox, Shaed, Sheryl Crow, Sammy Hagar and Jenny Lewis & Blake of Rilo Kiley.
I recently spoke with Perry about the Rock N’ Relief Concert Series, her involvement with CORE, songwriting and much more in this exclusive new interview.
What’s it been like for you as an artist (and person) living during these uncertain times?
Linda Perry:I feel very focused, clear, creative, and determined to be of service in any way that I can. There’s a lot going on in the world right now. There are people who are dying and others who’ve lost stores they’ve spent their whole lives building. I’m extremely grateful to be alive and that my family is healthy and safe.
How did you become involved with CORE and what inspired this event?
LP:I first got involved with Sean Penn when I scored the documentary he made about his organization going to help Haiti to assist after the earthquake in 2010 and how they’re continuing to help them. Here in L.A, Sean’s CORE Response has been out for eight months. With zero government funding they’ve given out five million covid tests for free. Now they’ve given over 450,000 vaccinations (12,000 a day). I decided to help raise money for the mobile units they’re putting together to go across the county and in places like New Orleans and Chicago. There are a lot of people in the Latino community who are struggling to get to this sight to get vaccinated and older people who can’t sit in a two-hour line. They need someone to come to them. That’s why me, my team and the artists got involved. It’s a human cause to help each other get through this very difficult time.Seeing how people have come together to unite and take a stand to help the world in crisis has been a beautiful thing to see.
With a career spanning 22 albums in a multitude of styles ranging from rock, surf, blues, and metal, Gary Hoey is one of the prolific guitarists in music.
His unique style and popular “Ho! Ho! Hoey” series during the holiday season brought him legions of fans. Hoey has toured with guitar legends like Jeff Beck, Brian May, Ted Nugent and Joe Satriani. And as a producer, he’s worked with artists like Lita Ford, as well as scoring the soundtrack to the film, “The Endless Summer II.”
On Saturday, March 13, fans will be able to experience a unique taste of Hoey’s musical legacy when he brings his intimate Retrospective Solo Show to ArtsQuest’s Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem.
The high-energy performance will feature Hoey along with backing tracks from his original albums. Fans can expect to hear songs including “Mass Hysteria,” “Drive,” and “Peace Pipe,” as well his cover versions of the Focus hit “Hocus Pocus,” and War’s “Low Rider.”
Hoey will also entertain the audience with a Q&A session and share behind-the-scenes stories, which will likely include his 1987 audition with Ozzy Osbourne — an experience that inspired his move to Los Angeles and launched his career.
ArtsQuest’s Musikfest Cafe will be following CDC guidelines for the show, including temperature checks prior to entry, mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing. SteelStacks also has upgraded and expanded its cleaning and disinfecting procedures before, during and after all events to ensure patrons’ safety.
I recently spoke with Hoey about his upcoming Lehigh Valley performance.
James Wood: As an artist, what’s it been like for you adjusting to the lockdown requirements?
Gary Hoey: “It’s been quite a year navigating … but like everyone else, we’ve been dealing with it one step at a time. Early on, I decided to go online and do more livestreaming to try to connect with the fans in a different way. It worked out well because it exposed me to a whole new fan base. I also do a coffee time with my mom where we hang out live on Facebook and have coffee. I also do a ‘Hang Out With Hoey’ where we play songs and do whatever we can to keep people engaged.”
What can fans expect from your upcoming SteelStacks performance?
“In this business, it’s about reinventing yourself and finding ways to take a difficult situation and make it better. The thing about doing these limited capacity shows is that the venue doesn’t make as much money and neither do I, but what’s important to me is to support these venues. So I decided to put together a solo tour. It’s an intimate show where I’ll do a little bit of storytelling and a retrospective of my 22 albums. There will be early stuff, surf, blues, metal, shred and acoustic. I want to give everyone a taste of my career and make it an interesting night.”
You’d be hard pressed to find someone with a music career more indelible than Steve Lukather. Best known to fans for his guitar work in the band Toto, Lukather has performed on thousands of albums as a session musician, including Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the best-selling album of all-time.
Luke’s new solo album,I Found The Sun Again continues his legacy as the quintessential guitarist. Co-produced by Ken Freeman, Luke brings a rawness and energy to the eight-track collection. With original compositions like the ethereal title track, the jazz-infused “Journey Through,” the rocking “Along For The Ride,” and the slitherly “Serpent Soul,” Luke showcases the guitar prowess and versatility that made him one of the most in-demand session players. Also included in the new set is Luke’s take on obscure but powerful covers by Traffic (“Low Spark of High Heeled Boys,” ) Joe Walsh (“Welcome To The Club,”) and Robin Trower (“Bridge of Sighs.”) The result is an album of one or two-take performances, raw production and jam fades tastefully reminsiceint of 1970s recording.
Special guests on I Found The Sun Again include Gregg Bissonette (drums), Jeff Babko (keyboards), Jorgen Carlsson and John Pierce (bass), as well as Toto bandmates David Paich (piano and organ) and Joseph Williams (vocals). One of Luke’s idols, Ringo Starr, also appears on the album, performing on the fun and hook-laden track, “Run To Me.”
I recently spoke with Lukather about I Found The Sun Again, his writing process, session work and more in this exclusive new interview.
How would describe I Found The Sun Again in terms of its sound and how it relates to some of your previous work?
It’s the most honest and real thing I’ve ever done. It’s different in the fact that it’s under-produced and everything is played live. I purposely kept the song forms loose so that there would be room for improvisation and longer fades for the jams that happened. There are all sorts of moody things on this record: jazz elements and a lot of rock, second line Little Feat, the [Jimi] Hendrix vibe and a few pop songs on there, because I just love a good pop song. There’s also a piece where I get to do my Jeff Beck impression. We ran through the songs one time, and the second take was the record.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Steve Lukather by Clicking Here!
With disparate influences ranging from the glam, experimental music of David Bowie to the poetic sounds of The Velvet Underground and bands like 8 Eyed Spy and Sonic Youth, Thanks For Coming is the debut album by Princess Goes To The Butterfly Museum. The band features vocalist, lyricist, musician and actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under, Hedwig and the Angry Inch), drummer Peter Yanowitz (The Wallflowers, Morningwood) and keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen (Blondie).
There’s a heightened senseof awareness and romanticism that exists in the band’s songwriting, as exhibited in tracks like “Armageddon Suite.” Then there’s the fun but deeply dark and disturbing undertone in songs like “Eat An Eraser.” There’s also material which began as subliminal inspiration on vintage instruments, as was the case in the groove-ridden “The Deeper Down.” Thanks For Coming also includes the band’s unique spin on Phantogram’s “Cruel World,” a song which has since become a staple of their live show.
While eschewing traditional rock instrumentation in favor of theatrical sensibility and a colorful, stripped-down synth/drum approach, Princess Goes To The Butterfly Museum combines the best elements of glam, pop, new wave and theater, as well as the noisy, art rock vibe of the New York City scene. The result is a welcomed debut that’s both ethereally melancholic and hauntingly brilliant.
I recently spoke with Michael C. Hall, Peter Yanowitz and Matt Katz-Bohen about Thanks For Coming and much more in this exclusive new interview:
How did Princess Goes To The Butterfly Museum come together?
Peter Yanowitz:The three of usmet in the most unlikely of places for a rock band — on Broadway doing Hedwig [and the Angry Inch]. Mike was Hedwig and Matt and I were also part of the show. It started with us just being in the band playing someone else’s music. After we’d finished the show Matt and I kept jamming and Mike heard some of the instrumental ideas we’d started and offered to sing on them. One thing led to another and three years later, here we are.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Matt Katz-Bohen:I think we would all agree that [David] Bowie is someone we can really get behind. Then there’s a lot of the noisy art rock of New York City, starting with The Velvet Underground, No Wave, 8 Eyed Spy and Sonic Youth. There’s a lineage there we can all appreciate, just getting into that vibe from hanging around the East Village.
What’s the band’s approach to songwriting?
Michael C. Hall: There’s no set formula.We’ve written songs in every way possible. There have been instrumentals that have been the beginning of things. Then there’s melody ideas and songs with structure but no musical accompaniment. Most of the lyrics on these songs were written in the past few years. It’s been a pleasant surprise and welcome exercise to find myself in a situation where I’m called upon to write words.
Read the rest of my
Interview with the band by clicking here.
When Jon Braun — vocalist for (Lehigh Valley-based) Talking Heads tribute band Start Making Sense — was asked about doing a residency at ArtsQuest, the multitalented artist had a perfect idea: Gather a bunch of musical friends for a run of shows featuring not only hits from Dave Byrne’s ‘80s New Wave pioneering band, but also to rock out tributes to Tom Petty and Jane’s Addiction.
The aptly titled Start Making Sense & Friends, begin their Bethlehem/ArtsQuest residency with the music of Petty’s seminal “Wildflowers” album on Feb. 5, and will follow this up with full album shows of alt giants Jane’s Addiction’s “Nothing Shocking” and “Ritual de lo Habitual” on Feb 12.
Braun will then bring the original three-piece rock project, Ruby Dear, to the Musikfest Cafe on Feb. 19 for a record release performance. The residency will culminate on March 5 with a unique and special Start Making Sense concert.
ArtsQuest says all shows are being presented with a safety layout designed to follow CDC guidelines and health measures. This includes mandatory mask requirements, capacity and social distancing measures, limited table reservations (2-6 guests with chairs spaced 6 or more feet apart), as well as regular cleaning of facilities, including major touchpoints.
The venue’s HVAC system has also been reconfigured to allow more fresh air to circulate within the building and HEPA filters have also been upgraded.
I recently spoke with Braun about the upcoming residency and more.
James Wood: As an artist how has it been dealing with the lockdowns imposed by COVID-19 this past year?
Jon Braun: “I assume it’s very similar to everyone else whose work has been restricted. We normally do more than a hundred shows a year. Last year we did 10. Fortunately, a lot of us also teach music throughout the year so that’s given us a little sense of normalcy. We’ve also had a lot of time to put together things like this residency, which is something we’d never have time to do in a normal year.”
What were those first shows like for you after being away for so long?
“We’d already done a few livestreams but the first outdoor show we did was odd because it wasn’t the normal set up, and the crowd size was limited in capacity. At the same time, the first time we finished a song and heard people clapping and cheering was just amazing!”
Read the the rest of my
Interview with Jon Braun by Clicking Here.