By Rachel Rocks
April flew by in a whirlwind of craziness and it’s already May! Of course, May is Mom Month so have to start this very late article by saying Happy Mother’s Day Mom to one of the most amazing women ever created! Mom, aka Robin Noll, is not only my Mom but my BEST friend! I was blessed to have a very open relationship with my Mom all my life. We never go a day without talking, we barely even go an hour some days. I think God invented unlimited calling just for us! I can’t imagine if I was charged long distance fees every time I talked to Mom. We have our special escape to the beach planned with my equally amazing sister Andrea for Mother’s Day. I can’t wait to spend some quality time with them and I’m hoping this year we can even convince Dad to come along for the fun! I love you Mommy!!!
Now on to the music… This month started with another visit out to the Fredericksburg Eagle Hotel to see Bob Morris and his brother play some acoustic music. It was supposed to be 2 Gunnz Unplugged, but unfortunately Mike Brady underwent some unexpected heart surgery, and he was still in the hospital. Thank goodness he is feeling great and ready to play! Bob has also had his fair share of crazy health scares, but he is also on the road to recovery. After a long bout of not being able to play, I’m sure their comeback show on Saturday, May 6th at Double K is going to be insane! They also have another big show coming up on May 28th at Hollywood Casino. You can keep up to date on their whereabouts by checking out their ad in this issue, or on their website, www.smokingunnz.com. Now back to the show I did see… Bob and his brother Carl have been playing together for years and it shows! Everyone listening were constantly surprised by all of the different songs and decades they were able to cover in just one set! I was glad I was able to stop out and check out their show. At the Eagle they do their acoustic acts early on a Friday from 6:30-9:30, then afterwards they usually have a DJ. It’s nice on days when I can get out early. You can check out The Eagle Hotel’s full schedule in their ad in this issue.
After The Eagle Hoooootel my friend Lou and I headed over to Hollywood Casino for Emily’s Toybox. I love every chance I get to check these guys out. They are such amazing entertainers. Even their antics between songs crack me up. Their impromptu song mashing and change ups are crazy too. Well you get my drift, they are some crazy characters. If you haven’t seen Emily’s Toybox lately, I highly suggest going out for a fun night of shenanigans for sure!
Hollywood Casino’s shows end early too, so I still had time for one final stop to Double K to see Booby Trap. The guys recently found a new drummer, Chris Swope. It was their first show back with their drummer and from what I could tell, it looked like smooth sailing. Finding new band members is definitely not an easy task. I’m glad Booby Trap could find their perfect fit so quickly. When I got to Double K there were plenty of sweaty people up dancing on the dance floor, so it was obviously a fun night at the Double K.
My next early afternoon out and about I headed to the Trash Queen Festival in York at the Marketview Arts building. Sadie Swartz from the Ok-Ok’s put this festival together to raise money for the PA Equality Act and to encourage people that discrimination stops with us! They had quite a few vendors. One I really found interesting was Punks for Positivity. This group does their part by getting teens together to do things like clean up a local park or some other positive event. Definitely something I am looking into further so I can get my kids involved. The Trash Queen Festival had different punk/rock bands playing throughout the afternoon. The first band I saw when I arrived were The Ok-Ok’s. I haven’t seen any punk bands in a while and I forgot about how much crazy energy they have. Not only were they all amazing musicians, but it was awesome to see a band moving around so much and enjoying the energy from the crowd and vice versa.
Next up they calmed things down a bit with a solo performer, Emily Del Rio. Emily is an amazing song writer and performer. Her lyrics just rolled right off her tongue so fast and smooth, her songs were truly mesmerizing. Some of the songs were more fun and some were more serious. I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for her. She was very entertaining to sit back and enjoy her music.
The last band of the festival that I saw was Amanda & the Noise. Not only are they a new advertiser, but this is my good friend Patty’s new band. Patty used to be the drummer for Take 147. I’m used to seeing Patty so upbeat, smiling and positive, in Amanda & the Noise, they are all angry, even their song lyrics are angry, but yet they are still a lot of fun to listen to and watch. They are constantly writing new songs and keeping their lyrics fresh and very entertaining. Not only do they have their well written originals but they also covered “We Got the Beat” which of course got everyone in the room dancing along and going crazy. The really cool part is the crowd kept dancing even to their originals. Sometimes as a new band that is something very hard to do. I’m glad I finally got the chance to catch these crazy ladies. Hopefully I will see them Out and About again soon. If you want something wild and fresh in your venue, check out their ad in this issue for all of their booking information.
Believe it or not, my day wasn’t over yet, from York I zoomed out to Richland to check out a new advertising venue, The Union House Taproom and Livery. With fewer and fewer places supporting live music I was thrilled to be able to go somewhere new to me that supports live music every weekend. The Union House is in a small town, so obviously as soon as you walk in the door you feel at home. I was definitely new in their town, but I was quickly welcomed with open arms by Anna, the bar tender, and all of their staff and patrons. We had a blast trying out their special drinks. You can definitely leave there saying, “The devil made me do it!” Not only do they have plenty of beer selections, the bar tenders are very creative with their mixed drinks and they are a fraction of the price that you pay in the big city! I also had some of their quesadillas. They are not the pre-frozen kind, they are made from scratch and mine were filled with chicken, bacon, and ranch. I’m sure everything on their menu is delicious!
This rockin’ night Six Bar Break and End of Silence were on the stage. When I got there Six Bar Break was just starting their show. Unfortunately for them Dave was off on an amazing vacation so Ben and RT ruled the stage together. To them it made it a little awkward to not have their drummer backing them up, but I thought they sounded great as a two-piece. They pulled it off no matter how awkward it was for them. Six Bar Break is getting ready to release their newest album which “Broken Road” on Cinco de Mayo, May 5th. I’ve already had my sneak peek and trust me it’s worth the wait! You can check out their ad in this issue for details on how to get these guys booked at your next venue or private event.
The next band to rock the Union House was End of Silence. I haven’t seen these guys in forever, but I’m so glad I finally got the chance to catch them again. I have to admit Six Bar Break got the show started off right because I was head banging along in the first set of End of Silence. At that point the locals probably thought I was a tad bit on the crazy side, but I was having fun and that’s all that matters. What can I say, when music moves me, I have to move along! I wasn’t the only one moving either. Their monitors kept dancing along too! That’s how rockin’ End of Silence really was!
My next night out was a quick stop by Double K to see Steel. It was way too long since I hung out and danced the night away with Steel and the entire Steel family. Double K was packed and it was standing room only. Steel has been playing together for many, many years. It’s awesome to watch their fan base continue to grow. No matter if you’ve been to the last 50 shows, or this is your very first Steel experience, Chris and everyone in the band make you feel welcomed and appreciated. Maybe it’s just a fist bump or a hug, but they make sure and personally connect with everyone. It’s awesome to watch! Not only that but most times that person also shows up at their next show. Not only does Steel always give a great performance with their amazing musicians, but it is an overall drama free, fun filled night. Check out Steel’s ad in this issue and get out there and bang your head with the rest of us!
The last night out on the town for me this month was a trip down to the Racehorse Tavern for one of the many Tubby’s benefits. Mom was able to come along with me and my good friend Rochelle, aka Ro-Star from Take 147. We had a blast with plenty of laughs along the way. It was so awesome of Jim, the owner of The Racehorse to open his doors to support Tubby’s. It was great to see so many people banning together to help the employees of Tubby’s get through this tragic event. There were benefits happening all over the midstate and I know Tom and Linda and the crew were trying to get around to each and every one. I’m glad I caught a glimpse of them at The Racehorse before they headed out to the next show. All of the benefits so far have made close to $10,000 if not a little more. I’m sure that will help all of the staff tremendously. Rumor has it that Tom and Linda are planning on re-building, I know plenty of us can’t wait til they do!
So many bands have been wanting to help raise money for Tubby’s so benefits have been popping up all over the place. Steve Junkins did an amazing job at fielding the calls and getting most of them organized. Plenty of ladies stepped up at a lot of venues helping out with bake sales, silent auctions, etc.. plus sound, security, space, etc.. was all donated. It was beautiful to see the music community coming together. There is at least one more benefit on Saturday, June 3rd starting at 1pm. There will be at least 10 different bands performing, so it’s going to be a rockin’ day! You can check out the ad in this issue for all of the details. Now on to the bands I did see as part of The Racehorse Benefit.
The first band on stage when we arrived was Six Bar Break. I already wrote about these guys this month, but they are well worth the mention again. This time Dave was back on the stage and all was right in 6BB land. Mom really enjoyed their originals. She said that out of all the bands we saw they were her favorite. It could also be because they were the least heavy out of all the bands we saw, but don’t let her fool you, she was up dancing and having a good time all night long. Don’t forget Six Bar Break is dropping their new CD on May 5th. You can check it out and enter their contest at www.sixbarbreak.com.
The next band to take the stage was Steve Junkin’s latest project, Can’t Be Saved. I’ve heard a lot about these guys and it was great to finally hear them. They were definitely a lot harder rock than Six Bar Break, they quickly had the dance floor packed with plenty of people ready to hear their music. Mom couldn’t comprehend how people could just stand still and not move to the music. Even though people weren’t moving as much as Mom wanted them to in their limited space, you could tell they were all enjoying the music they were hearing, I know I was!
The last band of the night was Gun Metal Gray. I’ve seen these guys quite a few times and they didn’t disappoint. They definitely rocked the stage for the rest of the night. I’m so glad the guys are continuing on as a four piece. It just gives them more room to move and bang their heads without banging into each other. Gun Metal Gray has a lot of original music with great hooks in them that quickly get you singing or chanting along. It was also cool to see how their fanbase is more of the 20 somethings… No offense to any of us out supporting live music, but at most of the venues I go to the crowd is usually my age or even older. It’s super hard to get the younger generation to actually come out and enjoy the music! Overall it was a great night at The Racehorse. Jim has a great venue with plenty of space for even the craziest of shows. You can check out Racehorse’s full schedule in this issue and get out there and support live music yourself. You’ll be glad ya did!
That’s all I got for this month. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing Mom’s out there. Having my babies was definitely some of the most rewarding days of my life. Some days they drive me crazy, but deep inside I love them more than I can even imagine. Have a beautiful month, and don’t forget the decks are opening! Get out there and support the acoustic acts on the deck. It’s a great way to spend a beautiful Spring day. If you see me Out and About please stop me and say Hi! If you have any questions or comments, you can e-mail me at RachelRocks@pamusician.net. SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!!!!