Friday, January 29, 2010

Rock on, Rob!

Coming Tuesday to The Reporter's Lifestyle section, the intriguing story of 1985 Souderton grad Rob Bonfiglio (bon-feel-e-o), the husband of Carnie Wilson and co-star of Game Show Network's "Carnie Wilson: Unstapled."
The couple's musical passion brought them together, and now you can watch them trying to balance their music, Carnie's TV schedule, their two young daughters, and alone-couple time every Thursday night.
It's downright upsetting that Bonfiglio's band, The Skies of America, didn't hit it huge, probably due to being on the indie label Damask Records. The title song of their disc, "Shine," was on the "Bridge to Terabithia" soundtrack. It also features a cover of Badfinger's "Come and Get It" and a bunch of satisfying Beatles-inspired power pop. It's what Fountains of Wayne would sound like if they stopped screwing around so much with the humor of their lyrics, and got down to business.
Don't get me wrong, I have much love for Sellersville product and FOW singer and songwriter Chris Collingwood. But have a listen for yourself.

In 2009, Bonfiglio put together a solo album called "Bring on the Happy." The title says it all because these are the kind of songs you ought to put on at the end of a hectic day.

Although he likens it to Paul McCartney's "McCartney" album, the only similarity I observe is that McCartney and Bonfiglio played all the instruments and wrote all the songs on their respective solo works. Unlike the hurried, work-in-progress vibe that's present on most of "McCartney," Bonfiglio's songs on "Bring on the Happy" are actually thought out.
Then again, Bonfiglio wasn't bickering with John Lennon and George Harrison at the time he was making his "record."
Here's a link to sample the McCartney disc.

One of the times we really connected in our conversation was when Bonfiglio recalled having a social studies class with Mr. Rossnagel in a migraine-headache-yellow, basement classroom in the 1930s section of the former Souderton Area High School building. Here I thought I was the only one that remembered that dungeon-like classroom.

Friday, January 22, 2010

On my honor, I will do my best ...

Those opening words to the Boy Scout Oath, from my days in Lansdale's Troop 610, popped into my head as I prepare to write a story commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. I have my own standout Cub and Boy Scout memories, but I'm more interested in hearing yours, either as a scout, leader or involved parent. E-mail me at or call me at (215) 412-8905.
As the Scout Motto says: Be prepared.
Meanwhile, check out the alumni link at

Friday, January 15, 2010


The Hooters in a recent performance.

One of the intriguing concert dates of the new year at Sellersville Theater will be Jan. 23. There will be solo performances by members of The Hooters, namely Eric Bazilian and John Lilley.
Among Bazilian's career activities have been writing the Grammy-nominated "One of Us" by Joan Osbourne, "Kiss the Rain" by Billie Myers and "Private Emotion" by Ricky Martin (haven't heard those last two in ages!), and playing guitar on Clay Aiken's debut album.
Lilley, meanwhile, has recently discovered within him "a sleepin' cowboy who has a lot to say and won't shut up." The result is the album "Lucky Kinda Guy."
And I would imagine there will be some old-school Hooters tunes in the mix somewhere ;)
Anybody remember when The Hooters played at North Penn? They were playing in about every high school in the Delaware Valley at that time. I want to say that was 1982 or 1983.
Show time is 8 p.m. on Saturday the 23rd with tickets from $21.50-$33. Call (215) 257-5808 or go to

More links:,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Taking the post-holiday letdown personally

After being saturated by Christmas for more than a month, and then for a week by New Year's, there's going to be a whole lot of nothing going on. It's a classic example of binge and purge.
As the chief content provider for The Reporter's weekend section for close to 10 years, this is the time of year I dread the most -- the winter doldrums. The New Year really is like starting from zero -- waiting for things to start happening again.
Well I'm doing something about it.
My acoustic duo, Raspberry Tea, will be the first act of 2010 for the Indian Valley Public Library's Second Fridays series. I get a kick out of how the library makes sure to mention my name (even though they spelled it wrong on their Web site) in promoting Raspberry Tea ... as if I was a rock star or something.
Ken Kennedy and I will be celebrating the release of a five-song mini-album, "Just Like That!" which showcases our singer-songwriter skills, plus a Bo Diddley beat arrangement of Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."
This being a library, we'll have some other songs among our originals that were inspired by literature.
Admission is free and Raspberry Tea is on at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8.
February's entertainment (Feb. 12) is Lazy Sundays, featuring Elena Eschbach and Dawn Hunsdorffer, who I know from Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal. They performed during the Lansdale Center for the Performing Arts open house fundraiser earlier this month.
Now and Then is featured March 12.
On April 9, cigar box guitar/diddley bow specialists One-String Willie and Gerry Thompson will show that sometimes a store bought guitar just won't do.
Keep checking for updates to the Second Fridays series. offers you a sneak listen to track 1 of the CD, "Curly Howard's Blues."