Had a great experience judging four cover bands competing for the honor of becoming 102.9 WMGK's next official Houseband. The opening round was held at Malvern's Twenty9 Restaurant.
If you haven't yet heard Mystery Guest, The Paper Shakers, The Tommy Froelich Trio, or Work Release -- who were the victors of Round One -- I recommend going to see all of these talented musicians!
Mystery Guest is from Downingtown. Lead singer Matt Stauffer's natural rasp was great on versions of "Vehicle" (Ides of March, anybody?) and Bob Seger's "Main Street."
The Paper Shakers, a group of young 'uns from Philadelphia, brought tremendous energy and hipster cool. It hurt to have to judge them on their song selection. "I Fought the Law," "Build Me Up Buttercup, "I Only Want to be With You" and "Johnny B. Goode," are all terrific songs, but you won't hear any of them in MGK's classic rock format.
Hailing from Coatesville, Tommy Froelich and his trio brought some tasty southern rock and blues. Big, powerful sound for just three guys.
And I wish I could have seen more of Collegeville's Work Release. The enthusiasm of their posse was noteworthy, but distracting at times. Can't deny that the music was very well done though.
But wait, there's more!! Round Two is set for July 31 at Havana, 105 S. Main St., New Hope, with Fuzzy Side Up, Reaction, The Outlits and PixieDix. Performing Aug. 7 at the Craft House, 2310 W. Marlton Pike, Cherry Hill, N.J., will be Strange brew, iCDC, The Whitewalls and The Pour Boys. Then on Aug. 14 at Big Heads, 1034 Second Street Pike, Richboro, it's Tangled, Some Assembly Required, Parmageddon and Cool With Me. These are all Thursday nights, and the music happens with no cover charge from 8 to 11. The finals will be Aug. 21 at Parx Casino.
Good luck to all the semi-finalists, who will all be vying for $1,000 of new gear, two days of studio recording time and the opening slot of the Let Freedom Rock Festival.