By: Rachel Rocks
Yet another whirlwind of a month goes speeding by! It’s hard to believe this is already my October article. This month was so crazy with hurricanes and earthquakes and other crazy weather and disasters. It really does make you hug your loved ones a little tighter, and always keep in mind no one knows the day or time that disaster will strike. Live each day to the fullest! My days have definitely been full and crazy, that’s for sure and I am truly blessed with a life partner that is a true partner in life, I love you Kris!!
I started out this month going out to celebrate my birthday. After a super fun day delivering the September issue, I sucked it up and some how found enough energy to go check out Stonewood at Joe K’s and I’m glad I did. I called my friend Kristin right before I drove by her house and she quickly got ready and headed out with me. Stonewood has been advertising for a while now, but they usually play more over towards the Gettysburg area, so usually they are too far away for me to see. I’m glad to see they are stretching out their area, and are showing up more and more, closer to Harrisburg. A majority of Stonewood’s songs are country, but they also throw in a few of your favorite party rock songs too. With so many vocalists in their group, they can really cover a large variety of artists and songs. They also have three guitar players, which at first you think is a bit crazy, but soon you quickly realize the depth and dynamic it adds to each song. Shannon’s voice is amazing and when she gets a break from her vocal abilities she quickly comes out in the crowd to dance along with their fans. Stonewood does a great job including the crowd and making sure everyone is having a good time. There aren’t many bands out there that have the energy or the stage presence of Stonewood. If you want a band that can keep your crowd entertained all night long, Stonewood is the band for you! Check out their ad in this issue and get out there and see this band for yourself, or better yet, get them booked at your venue or private party!
My next exciting weekend, my son Zack was turning 15. The one thing he said he wanted was an Acoustic guitar. My Dad, Whitey, has done an amazing job at teaching Zack how to play guitar, and passing on his love for music to my kids! Music is truly an amazing thing and it’s even more amazing how it can connect generations. My life has been insanely busy so we haven’t gotten up there nearly enough for lessons, but I’m glad to say that Zack keeps practicing and improving. It’s awesome to see someone just sitting in my living room playing music, it’s how I grew up, and it’s truly something I took for granted all those years. I love my Daddy oh so much, and the love and devotion he has for his family is something I do truly appreciate. I know I don’t tell him nearly enough how much he means to me, but I love you Daddy, and I’ll always be your baby…
The next night I was out planning my 20th Year Class Reunion, (holy crap I am getting old). We met at Joe K’s to plan, I was hoping they’d have a band later, but no such luck. It was a Friday night, and no entertainment, except a guy playing songs on his laptop. Needless to say, they had maybe 10 non-employees in the entire bar. People say that bands don’t bring a crowd.. but when you compare nights of places that have live music regularly to nights they don’t have a band, it’s a big difference, anywhere I go. People do still prefer live entertainment, no matter what anyone says… A live band is more unpredictable and a heck of a lot more entertaining, even if you might not necessarily like their style of music, they can still draw you in and keep you at a venue way longer than a jukebox.
Since nothing was happening at Joe K’s we decided to head down to Appalachian Brewing Co. (ABC) for Nate Myers and the Aces. It’s been a long time since I saw the full rockin’ Aces along with Nate, and as usual they didn’t disappoint. Jimmi really helps out on lead vocals and gives Nate a break, and when he’s not singing Jimmi wails away on his guitar leaving a path of shock and awe through the crowd. It was good to see Kenny banging on this drums again too. He does a great job at keeping the guys reigned in and on track throughout the night. Nate and Pete were amazing as usual, I don’t want to leave those guys out, they are always there working hard and keeping us all entertained all night long. It was great to meet Steve and Sandy from out towards Johnstown. Steve is a long time reader of the magazine, and does his best to get Nate Myers and the Aces booked at venues near him out in the Johnstown/Altoona area. Appalachian Brewing Co.’s Abbey Bar is a great place to go see live music, I really don’t go there nearly enough. They not only get a lot of amazing local acts, but they also get quite a few national acts passing through the area. I wish we could convince them to advertise, but right now I try and keep an eye on my e-mails to see who is playing there next. While we listened to the music, my friend Holly and I enjoyed ABC’s specialty a “beer float”.. It’s a chocolate stout with Hall’s Dairy vanilla ice cream!! Hall’s Dairy is from my old stomping grounds up in Millerstown, PA, it definitely has a soft spot in my heart, and especially in my stomach! Ha!! Next time you stop in at ABC do yourself a favor and get a float, it is mmm..mm.. GOOD! And of course support live music!
My last band of the month was Back in Black at Blarney’s in Mechanicsburg. I haven’t seen these guys in a very long time, and it was just what the doctor ordered, a night of some good old, heavy rock n’ roll! It’s hard watching them in such a tiny venue like Blarney’s, it really makes me miss Tubby’s even more! (From a distance the other day it looked like there might’ve been some kind of construction crane near Tubby’s, I definitely hope that’s what I saw, and hopefully they are still planning on rebuilding bigger and better…) But for the time being, I am just grateful that Back in Black is willing to make the commute and come down to the burg from Massachusetts and play in such a small space. Blarney’s is another place I wish I could convince to advertise. They take the time and energy to book bands at their venue, but then they don’t promote their shows anywhere. It’s sort of sad. It’s a gorgeous venue and they have a lot of potential, but half of the people don’t even know where Blarney’s is. Blarney’s is the old “Wanda’s”, “West Shore Hardware Bar”, etc. etc. It’s changed it’s name and set up so many times, it is truly hard to keep track of not only what it’s called, but what’s happening over there. Anywho.. back to the music. Back in Black as always puts on an amazing show. Dan “Angus” is absolutely crazy on guitar, by the end of the night his knees were all beat up from all of his duck walking and throwing himself down on the stage, jumping in the air, etc. He didn’t let the limited space stop him, he was all over the place! Tony’s vocal range and his ability to cover all of your favorite AC/DC songs, young and old, is amazing. They were rockin’ their new American Flag backdrop. It looked really nice and fit perfectly on the back of Blarney’s stage. Congrats again to Tony and Roxy on their new grandbaby Auggie!! He is so stinkin precious and Tony is one proud Pappy!
We want to welcome Yak Bone to our pages as well as Suicide Puppets this month. Did you notice Yakbone is on the cover?!? We were actually going to put Stonerook on the cover but couldn’t get it together with Dan in short notice so than we asked Amanda + The Noise as they have been advertising for a while but Patty (who is in the band) has also started a new project, Yak Bone and preferred them to be featured on the cover and they were able to get everyone togeether in a few days for a pic and interview. (Thank you). We try to accommodate our clients wishes. Make sure and check out Yak Bone’s cover story and check out this new and upcoming acoustic act. I can’t wait to see their show live and in action!
Fewer and fewer bands are choosing to advertise in the PA Mu sician Magazine. It’s amazing how many bands have used our pages to promote their business: Green Eggs, Emily’s Toybox, The Sharks, Halestorm, Smooth Like Clyde, Screaming Daisys, etc… Do you know what all of these bands have in common?? They all ADVERTISED for YEARS! When I ask some of them why don’t you still advertise? Their response is that the magazine served it’s purpose and they have a big enough fan base now, they don’t need us any more or they don’t have the money because their crowds aren’t as big as they use to be and they don’t get paid enough. (hmm). Do you know what else all of these bands have in common?? they still play in the area, just a lot of people don’t know they are still around or where they are playing. Do you know why?? Because they STOPPED advertising! I wish people would feel that Facebook isn’t their only answer for promoting their shows. Facebook takes over such control about who sees your posts, when, how often, if ever, etc. Our readers see all of our advertisers every month. We don’t block anyone from advertising, if you have a band or business that would like to promote themselves, give us a call at 717-444-2423. We also share all of your events, etc on our Facebook page as an added bonus plus the entire paper is placed on the web for we know many people prefer to read the magazine on their devices. Now the only way we can share your event on our page is if we actually see it, sometimes unfortunately, we do miss some events. We also have business card sized ads for only $30/month! If you’re going to take the time and money to buy equipment, form a band, and play gigs, do yourself a favor and promote yourself. End rant…
Well that’s all for me this month. I am very grateful to 5 Hour Energy for helping me write this article, and thankfully they come in 2 packs, so I can drink the next one mid-afternoon tomorrow at work! Ha! I hope you all have a fabulous month filled with music, happiness and love! Remember to live every day to it’s fullest, and hug everyone you love, if they are too far away to hug, give them a call and let them know how much you love them. If you see me Out and About, please stop me and say Hi! I love meeting my readers! Support Live, Local Music!!!!!