Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Talkin' First Fridays in Lansdale

The time for talking about the rather ambitious LCPA First Fridays is drawing short. Because ready or not, it's coming to Lansdale 5:30 to 8:30 Friday April 2.
Checking the bios of the musical performers for the debut of this monthly series, I decided to look up MySpace niches and respective Web sites.
LINDSEY MCKAY, Her debut album of original songs with lyrics written by her manager and mom, JKay, appears to be on the verge of release. Without the day in/day out pressure cooker karaoke contest that is "American Idol," McKay is allowed to breathe and shine. "Wouldn't Change a Thing" and "Broken Vows" are tasty pop nuggets. Brett Kull's production on these tunes makes them special, and I'd like to see if that translates to a live performance. My fear is that she's going to face an uphill climb trying to get noticed nationally because she somehow has to get out of the shadow cast by established "Idol" superstars Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
KEVIN JAMES DEVINE, The dude is brilliant. Hard to believe this guy just picked up a guitar and could suddenly play and sing like that. Dig the tinges of '70s country rock on "Long Way to Go."
MORGAN ASHLEY, Another one that seemed to find an instant passion for playing and performing. She was so much in the zone that she took off right away for the U.K., Italy, Australia and New Zealand and came back with an entire notebook of original songs. Are you kidding me!? M.A.'s MySpace audio is a maddening study in contrasts. The charming, minimalist, low-fi of "All" makes you wish her voice was more to the fore. Meanwhile, the fully produced rock of "Bold" is overkill. Can somebody find this girl a happy medium between the two extremes?
HIDDEN AGENDA, They're a Blue Bell cover band out to "break up the monotony of the cover band scene." Too bad the video clip of a performance of "Shout" suffers from subpar audio. The drunk guy in the audience falling on the floor I could've done without.
ELITE STRINGS, Impressive musicianship. There's performance video of each age group, then one of all the divisions combined.

Friday, March 26, 2010

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

What goes on behind closed doors? OR More than just XFest

From a newspaper/entertainment standpoint, I run into kind of a tough spot with the Xtreme Folk Scene. They offer this series of monthly house concerts, but because they're in private homes, you have to RSVP to to get the address. So it makes them kinda semi-private.
As a card-carrying XFS member, I can tell you that they're fun. Here's some video from the March concert, held in Mt. Airy. There's Electric Man solo doing Diamond Rio's "One More Day," with his trademark mobile amplification system and bag of tricks. Then, Electric Man morphs back into Steve Perlsweig to perform what became an interactive version of Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man" with his wife, Jeanette. Ever heard a WOMAN sing "I'm Your Man"?
BTW Jeanette and Steve Perlsweig are playing their "An Evening of Songs from the Heart" show at 8 p.m. March 27 at Always by Design Gallery, 265 S. 10th St., Philadelphia (between Locust and Spruce streets). Comedian Emily Cohen also performs. Cover is $10 and there's light refreshments after the show. If you're wondering, they do have a CD.
Youngster T.J. McGlinchey was quite the eye-opener! He's a talented player, promising songwriter, and has a whopper of a singalong going on in this video. He says it's about a woman he met at the Philadelphia Folk Festival LOL.
Xtreme Folk Scene's XFest is June 11-12 close to home at the Country Creek Winery! Discount advance tickets are available now at

Monday, March 8, 2010

A coming out party

3/5 of Fish Relics. From left to right: Me, Joe Digney, Paul Saylor.

The Rising Sun Inn on Allentown Road in Franconia Township has a really good assortment of live music. I'm not just saying that because my cover band, Fish Relics, plays there every month or so. The various lineup incarnations of Rollin' & Tumblin' and The Manatees are regulars. On April 23, this group, Planets, is throwing a birthday bash for somebody in the band. Also, this one band called Big Fun, which has been booked for a future date, has a Michael Jackson tribute set within their act (!).
Ladies and gentlemen, a star was born March 6 at the RSI! Hatfield resident Amy Brobst had a band once upon a time, but they never got out of the basement. Her alto (with a detectable country twang) is quite pleasing and she's easy on the eyes. Hers is a talent that I took an interest in nurturing because I saw a performer with an itch overdue for scratching. Turns out all the support she required was someone strumming a guitar and an encouraging attitude.
As the video shot by her husband, John, shows, it looks like I found something promising. Some of our friends call us Kenny & Dolly, as in Rogers and Parton.
There are several '80s songs Fish Relics has wanted to tackle, but shied away from because they only work with a female singer. Amy/Dolly's already-impressive fan group will be pleased to know that the plan is to get her singing with the full band at the RSI Saturday May 15. That particular show will be an '80s party, hopefully with a prize for showing up in your finest period attire.
Save the date and refer to the Rising Sun entertainment schedule at