By: Eric Hoffman
Greetings Rockers ‘N’ Rollers! As you may know, there will be changes regarding the helm of PA Musician. Owners, Whitey and Robin Noll have decided to retire after 36 incredible years in the Central PA music scene. Their son, Josh, is taking over full duties as owner, editor and publisher. In today’s world, media publications have struggled to survive with readers drifting towards the internet. We truly appreciate YOU our readers, Your over-whelming response of losing “the Mag” is one of the reasons that Josh Noll decided to carry on the legacy. Music magazines have been lost locally (Fly, Origivation, Shinbone, Unsung Hero, Go) and nationally (Vibe, Blender, Spin). Amazingly, the PA Musician’s history has outlasted all of them and will continue to be a staple in the Pennsylvania music landscape. A massive Thank-You to Robin and Whitey, for all the years publishing and giving me the opportunity to contribute.
The Martinis (former Martini Bros) returned to the scene last month with a show at American Bar & Grill in Lancaster. The three-piece band took a break after the departure of founding bass player, Mike Mead. Martini Bros originated in 1994 and had only one other line-up change with the loss of drummer Chad Matson. The band has remained consistent and relevant in Central PA with current members Deuce Gibb, Rej Troup and Brian Cartwright. Martinis next show takes place May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) at Johnny Joe’s in Mechanicsburg.
Big news of Harrisburg last month was the grand opening of Club XL – a premier nightclub with a capacity of 1400. The new venue opened on April 13 with DJs, the following night included Honeypump and Smooth Like Clyde and the inaugural weekend ended with National act Puddle Of Mudd, Saving Abel, Tantric, Inherit The Earth, and Small Town Titans. The venue will continue to bring National artists including KIX (June 16), Jerrod Neimann (May 25), Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown (May 24), O-Town, Aaron Carter & Ryan Cabrera (June 29) and tribute bands to Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC (May 12), Earth Wind & Fire (May 5), and Pink Floyd (May 19).
Local original band The Twindows rocked The Underground Bike Shop in Harrisburg on April 17. A fairly new venue in Midtown on Third Street that supports original bands. The Twindows have acquired a new bass player and as a group their stage presence gets better with each performance. The band recently released their debut cd “Valkyrie 2.0” and return to the Bike Shop on May 25 and June 30.
Punk band Brom Bones of Lancaster played the Brickyard bar on April 18. It had been a couple months since their last show and the band put on a great performance consisting of three sets. Brom Bones released an album a year ago titled “Get down, Stay down,” and they continue to record with the possibility of the next release a double-record on vinyl. The same night, Dirt Cheap played in their hometown of York at Fat Daddy’s. The hard rock band base themselves on the Bon Scott era of AC/DC and have recently recruited new drummer, Ryan Bencak. Dirt Cheap put on an amazing show that exposes the great sound and stage at Fat Daddy’s.
The highlight of last month involved the recent L7 “I Came Back To Bitch” tour covering 10 cities across America. After shows in New Jersey, Boston, New York City .. L7 visited the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia on April 13. The Los Angeles rock band held popularity in the 80s and 90s as part of the grunge movement and toured with such bands as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Faith No More, Marilyn Manson. L7 are in the process of recording their first new album in 18 years and have released two new songs on 7” vinyl. I was beyond fortunate to meet with the band backstage after the show and talk music and the current state of L7. Truly one of my all-time favorite rock bands.
NATIONAL NEWS: Huey Lewis And The News have canceled all scheduled 2018 dates due to Lewis’ hearing problems. The band’s website includes a lengthy statement apologizing. In brief …“Two and a half months ago, I lost most of my hearing. Although I can still hear a little, I can’t hear music well enough to sing. The doctors believe I have Meniere’s disease and have agreed that I can’t perform until I improve. I feel horrible about cancelling shows. I hope that one day soon I’ll be able to perform again. Sincerely, Huey”
Lindsey Buckingham has reportedly departed from Fleetwood Mac. The band is about to tour and will take Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn in place of Buckingham. “We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the caliber of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family. With Mike and Neil, we’ll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs,” Fleetwood Mac stated. The band added, “Lindsey Buckingham will not be performing with the band on this tour. The band wishes Lindsey all the best” Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, following the departure of Bob Welch. The guitarist was first featured on the band’s self-titled 1975 album.
The Outlaw Music Festival has added a second leg, adding Van Morrison and Tedeschi Trucks, to its summer tour. The first leg begins May 25 featuring Willie Nelson & Family, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Alison Krauss, Sturgill Simpson and Edie Brickell & New Bohemians. The second leg features Willie Nelson & Family, Van Morrison, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Sturgill Simpson, Lukas Nelson + Promise Of The Real and Particle Kid. The Outlaw Music Festival visits Hersheypark Stadium this year on Sept 8. The Outlaw’s last visit to Hershey sold 20,387 tickets and grossed $1,091,770.
Kurt Vile has announced his first North America shows with The Violators in over a year. The former War On Drugs member has remained busy working with such artists as John Prine, Cyndi Lauper, Courtney Barnett, John Cale and Kim Gordon. Vile’s upcoming tour takes place in June & July, with a visit to Lancaster’s Tellus 360 on June 14. Connections appears with Vile And The Violators through June 16 and Dylan Carlson handles support duties July 10-17.
Sinead O’Connor booked her first live shows since changing her name and entering a treatment center for mental health issues. The Irish singer changed her name to Magda Davitt to be “free of parental curses,” saying that “Sinead O’Connor is gone. That person is gone.” The performances took place April 24 in Portsmouth, N.H, and April 25 in Northampton, Mass. The singer is also slated for a tour this summer. Except for an appearance at Shane MacGowen’s 60th Birthday concert in January, O’Connor has not played a live show since 2015.
DMX was sentenced to one year in prison in a New York court March 28 for evading $1.7 million in taxes. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff accommodated DMX’s desire to listen to his autobiographical song “Slippin” in court before he sentenced the rapper. The judge called DMX’s crimes “brazen and blatant,” but gave him a sentence below the five year maximum that prosecutors sought, calling him a “good man.” The Ruff Ryders rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, pled guilty to tax fraud in November 2017. He spent six years evading taxes. The rapper has been behind bars since January.
UPCOMING SHOWS: Steve Forbert Mifflinburg Rusty Rail May 4. Martinis Mechanicsburg Johnny Joes May 5. Bouncing Souls Lancaster Chameleon May 12. The Sharks Lancaster Village May 12. Steel Harrisburg Double K May 12. Liam Gallagher (Oasis) / Richard Ashcroft (Verve) Philadelphia Festival Pier May 17. Steel Thomasville Racehorse Tavern May 19. Bulletboys Philadelphia Kung Fu Necktie May 22. The Twindows Harrisburg Underground Bike Shop May 25. The Menzingers Harrisburg Stage On Herr May 27. Psychedelic Furs Phoenixville Colonial Theatre May 30.