Happy Retirement Mom and Dad!! What a ROLLER COASTER of a month!!!!! I called Mom right after she sent the mag to the printer last month and she said, “I did it, I announced the end of the magazine..” I’ve been trying to convince her to retire for YEARS, so I was completely shocked that she finally did it. It was a whirlwind of contemplating what should we do now. We had a couple people interested in buying it, two guys were getting pretty serious, and then Josh Noll, my big brother, started talking to Mom saying he wanted to have a stab at it… WHAT?!? My mind was blown! I had a few weeks to accept that it was the end, no more articles, no more interviews, no more “Rachel Rocks”… I think I finally accepted my fate, when Josh made his decision. Obviously, I can’t leave my brother and make him forge the world of music on his own, so alas, Rachel Rocks will continue to rock….
Thank you so much to EVERYONE who commented, loved, liked, and cried along with me with all of my crazy Facebook posts this month. Mom and I were continually saying to each other, I really didn’t think anyone cared… As with any business you always get told negative things about what you’ve done wrong, said wrong, looked wrong, etc… But you rarely get praise, or ‘atta girls’ and let me tell you, the littlest compliment can go a long way.. So do me a favor when you see me Out and About, say Hi and let me know that you read my article, then maybe I’ll feel like I should continue typing my fingers off and caffeinating late into the night…. And better yet… ADVERTISE!!!! I can tell you now that my brother won’t keep this magazine going unless he makes enough money to live. He’s not going in debt like Mom and I have for years. It’s not cheap going Out and About, let alone creating a magazine, printing it, delivering it, etc. Yeah sure we could go exclusively digital, but even that costs HUGE bucks to have a decent/interactive website with constant changes and updates.. Stuff doesn’t create itself, websites aren’t free, especially complex business ones. We all know that Facebook limits what you’re allowed to share, who you’re allowed to invite, who sees your posts, etc.. If you want to make sure everyone who is interested in supporting the local music scene sees your ad, then ADVERTISE!!! Promote your band or business! USE IT.. Or I promise, you REALLY will LOSE IT!
I am so happy for Mom and Dad. This magazine has meant so much to so many people. I know it wasn’t easy, but it was their dream, and they definitely outlived their expectations. I know Dad especially never thought it would last THIS long. Dad thought maybe it could help provide enough money for Christmas for all four of us kids, and it wound up providing so much more for so many years. Looking back it’s hard to believe all this magazine has seen our family through. Dad and Mom have definitely built up a legacy, and I am truly glad that Josh is giving it a whirl. I’m sure you’ll still see Mom and Dad around, and for that I am truly grateful. Thanks to everyone who donated for my super special secret ad to allow me to give Mom and Dad some extra surprise money, again I can’t say enough how much all of your kind words and encouragement have meant to all of us. Thanks also to 105.7 the X and the People’s Morning Show, Jen and Nipsy, for giving me some air time to say goodbye to Whitey and Robin’s legacy, and I was also able to let the listeners know first, that Josh was taking it over. It was a great opportunity and a great way to break the news!
The magazine started when I was just 3 years old. I of course never really liked, or appreciated the magazine for probably over half of my life. I saw all of the hard work and hours Mom and Dad would work on the magazine, yes it did allow her to take off whenever I had a game, or one of us kids needed her for anything, that’s one thing self-employment is good for. As I started yet another new job this week, (I finally got a job at the Commonwealth), I realized once again how much having a business in our house my whole life made me into the employee I am today. I saw Mom do it all: answer the phones, pay the bills, design the ads, call the clients, deliver the mags, do the invoices, etc. etc.. Because of her amazing example I am an all-in hands on girl with any job I’ve ever had, and I’m sure I have Mom and the magazine to thank for that. I’ve always, since I was 6 years old been “professional” at answering the phones. The only way we were allowed to pick it up was if we could say, “The Shopper’s Remedy and PA Musician Magazine, how can I help you…” that is a MOUTHFUL.. all so I could hold the phone in the air and scream, “MOM!!!!! It’s for YOU!!!” For anyone who’s ears I blew out, I apologize, but I was just trying to talk to my friends before the day of Caller ID and cell phones. The magazine and all of my new friends were here for me when I needed it the most. I had a terrible bout of Post-Partum Depression after my 2nd baby, Mason, was born. Mom and my husband Kris knew I needed help. Mom came up with the plan that she could really use someone to cover the music scene around Harrisburg, and Rachel Rocks was born. Getting out of the house and interacting with adults is just what I needed. It really helped reign me in to being a stable stay at home Mom. With my boys at 12 and 15 now, and me working a full-time job out of the house, I feel like my only time to be with my family is on the weekends, we get so busy doing things, that by the time the bands start I’m usually sacked out on the couch, or we’re just still out being us… a family. So I am still going to be Rachel Rocks as much as I can, and I’ll help Josh as much as possible, but my moto has always been Family First. Thanks for continuing to read my ramblings and thanks for all of your support and friendship. I can’t wait to see the legacy continue, Josh will undoubtedly change some things, but ultimately we’ll still be out there supporting those that support us, the musicians! Now, I can finally get to exactly that, the music!
It all started many moons ago at Bravo 11 for Adrian Blitzer. It was awesome to not only see and hear Adrian Blitzer, but also to be able to see so many of my old Tubby’s friends. A little birdie told me that Tubby’s is still pushing hard to come back, hopefully by September, just in time for my 40th Birthday celebration! WhooHOO!! Anyway, back to Adrian Blitzer.. I was surprised to hear them play some more party rock songs and not going completely hard rock, but I guess that just proves on how versatile they can be for their crowd. It’s awesome to hear a band play songs that aren’t the “normal” songs every other band plays, and even if they do play a common cover song, they throw enough of their own twist on it to help give it some extra grit. Andy is an amazing frontman, and I always enjoy watching him perform. Ever since the MMC it’s great to see Bravo 11 growing in popularity. It’s definitely the place to be on the West Shore for live music, that’s for sure!
The next night I headed back to Bravo 11 for The Famous. I went with a group of friends and again the place was packed. Chad Kintz has been doing amazing things for Bravo 11, you can always guarantee the bands at Bravo 11 are going to be top notch, and the bar tenders are hustling to keep everyone happy. It’s nice now with the nicer weather they can open up the deck doors and people can listen to the music from the deck. Their deck is massive and at least doubles the amount of people that Bravo 11 can hold. Now back to the band, it’s always so awesome hearing so many talented musicians on one stage, and talk about a band that plays some “different” songs than any other band in the area, The Famous is all over the place, with all of their different vocalists in the band they blow you away with their versatility. Even though Joey sings a lot of the lead vocals, Shelby sings her fair share too, and the way she can cover crazy songs like “Heartbreaker” from Pat Benatar and “The Chain” by Stevie Nicks is even crazier because even tho she’s the lead on it, the harmonies with everyone singing in the band is just intense! Of course Joey sings Journey which everyone knows I love, and so many other super cool songs that are big hits with everyone in the crowd. If you haven’t gotten out to see The Famous yet, you should do yourself a favor and get out there and ‘Be Famous’. SIDE NOTE: Since writing this article, I found out the new name for Bravo 11 is now, Park Inn Deck Stage. Again, the place should be called Used to Bes. They also have a new bar and food manager, so I’m sure once again there will be some changes, but hopefully the music will continue. Check out their ad in this issue for all of the details and for the full schedule of bands coming to the Park Inn this month.
The following weekend I headed to Chick’s in Hummelstown for Yak Bone. Their guitar player, Sandi, also has an acoustic duo she plays with, called SXRCHXX, with her friend Rachel. They opened up the night and got everyone singing along early. You know if a band can get people singing along before 11pm they must be doing something right, because it’s hard to get anyone to sing along til after midnight, or at least until after they’ve had a few more drinks!
When I got there I was thrilled to see so many familiar faces out supporting Yak Bone’s first official show. At first you could tell Yak Bone was a little nervous, but it didn’t take them long to just let loose and have a good time. They were giving out free stickers to dancers and there was some interesting placement of those stickers happening right there on the dance floor… It was quite interesting to say the least. It was awesome seeing Patty and Rochelle on the stage again, and Sandi was just the added bonus! Yak Bone is playing so many of your favorite dance and sing-a-long songs. Everyone was having a blast and enjoying the music. I can’t wait to see more of Yak Bone very soon! Keep an eye on their schedule in future issues of the PA Musician Magazine.
Saturday night was definitely a busy night Out and About. The night started with Sweet Corn and Peanut at Blue Moose, opening for Six Bar Break. I heard Sweet Corn and Peanut before at the Blue Moose open mic, and I was impressed then, but even hearing them and watching them sing even more songs, I was blown away. Mostly all of their music is their own originals, the covers they do play sound nothing like the originals, but they will shock and awe you! Their voices are both awesome enough, but I also love all of the lyrics to their songs, I could really connect with their songs which helps you really get sucked into their show and every word of every song. I’m glad they opened up for Six Bar Break and I could see them again.
Next up were the headliners of the night, Six Bar Break. It’s been way too long since I saw these guys! It seems like every time they have a gig in this area I’m busy running around somewhere else, but I’m so glad our lives finally connected again. Ben, Dave and RT are not only great musicians, but overall some of the nicest guys in the planet. I love hanging out with them and listening to their music. Ben has one of those voices that would be perfect in radio, not only does he sound great just talking, but he really blows me away every time he sings. I love the style of their original music too. It’s a great mixture between rock and blues with lots of roots! Their originals are all so well written, and also tell a story that hits you deep into your soul. Six Bar Break takes the time and the effort to record every live performance no matter how big or small, then they create awesome videos of their live music show to share with their friends on facebook, Instagram, you tube, etc. If you want to be entertained, check out the videos on their website, www.6bb.rocks, or if you really want to be entertained, check out their schedule in this issue and plan your next night out on the town with Six Bar Break.
After Six Bar Break the night wasn’t over yet… it was also the soft grand opening of Club XL on Cameron St. in Harrisburg, and curiosity kills the cat, so we decided to go check it out. WOW! What a club!! It’s definitely XL.. or maybe GINORMOUS.. There were probably a couple hundred people there, but the place hardly looked busy. It’s absolutely gorgeous interior. The patio is amazing.. I’m so glad they didn’t chop down that XL tree.. The people watching is amazing too! It’s like it’s own little world… It has a great VIP area balcony a little food/snack area, and the main bar is inside, but it also has a great bar on the patio too for busy, warm nights. Smooth Like Clyde was on the stage when we got there and they had a nice crowd on the dance floor, moving and grooving to the music. I really hope the Harrisburg area gets out there and supports this club. They have so many big shows coming up in the next couple of weeks. In Gratitude: A Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire on May 5th, Back in Black on May 12th with Time Bomb opening for them, and May 19th is The Machine, which is a Pink Floyd Tribute band, and in June Kix will playing on June 16th! Their state of the art, 60k Watt Digital sound & light system is going to get a workout, but I’m sure it will be up for the test! These are just some of the shows, they have some special country shows coming too. Make sure and check out their full schedule in this issue. Oh and another cool thing about this venue for downtown Harrisburg, is they have FREE parking! They have over 500 well lit parking spots in their main lot, and they have an overflow lot too that you can easily walk to.
Next up was a special Sunday night show, it was the Redemption Tour hosted by 105.7 the X with Small Town Titans, Inherit the Earth, Tantric, Saving Abel, and the big headliner, Puddle of Mudd at Club XL. I was excited to see a “big” rock show at Club XL and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. It was awesome seeing Small Town Titans on this new, big stage. Small Town Titans did a great job getting the show started and the crowd fired up. I heard a lot of good things about Tantric, and they definitely lived up to their reputation. I think I liked them even more than Puddle of Mudd. Puddle of Mudd played all of their hits I know, it was cool hearing them play “Psycho” the first time I heard that song was when Asking Andy played it at the West Shore Hardware Bar, I instantly became a Puddle of Mudd fan. Seeing a bigger show at Club XL made me even more excited for all the bands yet to come to this new club. It will be an awesome place for National Acts to make a pitt stop in Harrisburg.
My next adventure was a super special brewery tour with my friends Joanie and Terri. I was between jobs. I recently got a state job, I am now officially a Commonwealth of PA employee, so to celebrate my new position we went on an adventure. Our tour started at Selins Grove Brewing Co, then out to Danville for Old Forge Brewing Co, and then we happened to see a map for a brewery we were going to drive by, so we made an extra pit stop at West Branch Brewing at the Bull Run Taphouse, then we zoomed thru my hubby’s home town and went to Rusty Rail Brewing Company. Their logo was RR, so obviously it was truly named after me, Rachel Rocks. It was bittersweet since at that time I thought it was the end of “Rachel Rocks”… Rusty Rail was HUGE, gorgeous, and well worth the drive. I know I will be spending a lot more time at Rusty Rail, that place is amazing. After some absolutely delicious dinner, we zoomed a little further west to Shy Bear Brewing Co. in Lewistown. If you’re ever stuck in traffic on your way to State College, Shy Bear is a great little side trip. It’s only maybe a mile off of 322, and right along 522 if you take the back roads to State College. Not only did all of the breweries have fabulous beer, but almost all of them also host live music. Breweries and wineries are popping up all over the place, and it’s great to hear that on most occasions that means new venues are popping up too! It was a great drive through the countryside. Thanks Joanie and Terri for an amazing adventure! It was a great day with even greater friends!!
The next weekend started out on the calmer side. I was dropping off equipment at my Youth Sports Photo office in Middletown and happened to see Mike Wise was playing a special solo acoustic show at Hops and Barleys in Middletown. I decided to pop in and of course I was highly entertained with all of Mike’s antics. In the hour and half I watched him I don’t know if he made it thru a whole song without cracking a joke about something or someone, and every time there is a guitar solo the crowd is encouraged to drink, which of course makes things even more entertaining. Mike’s solo show is definitely an acoustic comedian spectacular. If you need some good laughs, and truly a night to let loose and relax I highly suggest catching a Mike Wise 1.0 Acoustic Show. Thanks Mike for the laughs.. it was just what I needed.
The next night was the 21st Annual Bob Bash. This year the performers were: Michael Tyler, Drew Baldridge, Jordan Davis, and Parmalee was the headliner. Of course there was plenty of entertainment between sets by Nancy and Newman, two of the Bob 94.9 DJs. Congrats to Bob 94.9, it’s awesome that they have been hosting this bash for 21 years, and raising money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, to help fight to end childhood cancer. This show was once again at Club XL. One bad part about Club XL is 5 bathroom stalls for 100s of women! The woman’s bathroom line was horrendous all night long! Hopefully they find a way to put in an extra bathroom somewhere because that was crazy! All of the artists did a great job and I was once again impressed with how quickly the bands changed over and the show kept moving. Bob 94.9 does a great job every year at bringing in artists that are just on the cusp of making it big in the country music industry, I will be watching to see what happens with all of these artists and their musical careers. My personal favorite of the night was Drew Baldridge, he had a great stage presence, and I could actually hear all of the words he was singing.
Since the show was over so early I decided to walk across the street to see Maiden America. That’s always been a favorite part of my job, all of the different genres of music I get to see, sometimes all in the same night! When I got there Anatomy of the Sacred was just finishing up their set. It was awesome to see Brenda behind the mic belting out such hard rockin’ dare I say metal! She was killin’ it and it was amazing to see and hear. I’ve heard about Maiden America for a while now and I’m so glad I finally got the chance to see them. It’s always fun to see Space rockin’ away on the drums, plus I saw some other familiar faces in this band, Sean Padelsky and AC Alfano both on guitar, Justin Shaffer on bass, and a new face and voice on lead vocals, Gordon Tittsworth. Letting loose and banging my head a little while was just what I needed, it was a great way to end the night, and ultimately this month of music. Still, even at this point I thought it was final hoorah as Rachel Rocks. You can see by the length of this article I squeezed as much as humanly possible into this month. I saw a lot of bands and I barely slept. Little did I know my brother had other plans…
I’m looking forward to the takeover of the next generation of PA Musician Magazine. I know Josh has the same mind of Dad, so now that he has accepted the mission of taking over the magazine, his mind is on overdrive coming up with crazy ideas. I know I personally can’t wait to see what happens. Thanks again to all of the musicians, businesses and fans that advertised to support this LAST Issue of Robin and Whitey Noll as the publisher/editors, etc. This will be issue #415… Wow.. what a ride.. Thanks Dad for coming up with this amazing concept and bringing it to fruition and supporting our family through all of your hard work and dedication to the music community. You both did a truly outstanding job!
Next month will be issue #1 for Josh Noll. If you want to be in the FIRST Issue with Josh Noll behind the helm, please send him an email at JoshNoll@pamusician.net. Both this issue and Josh’s first issue are both collector’s editions for sure! I personally hope that our advertisers stick with us through the change in command, and even more advertisers will jump on board! Again, I can’t stress enough… the support that you’ve given our family over the years is so appreciated, we are truly thankful for each and every one of you for reading, supporting, and most importantly advertising in the PA Musician Magazine!!! One chapter closes… but another is just beginning… Any questions or comments, hit me up at RachelRocks@pamusician.net and please get out there and SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!!!!!!