By: Josh Noll
November is here, not much we can do now accept start the battle with mother nature over staying warm for the winter. We turn the clocks back this weekend so we get the longest party night of the year! We also get our evenings reduced to darkness for the next 5 months which pretty much sucks the life out of you for the first couple weeks. Once the brain adjusts, it’s time to get your holiday season on so brace yourself people, Santa is soon coming to town.
November marks our 37 Year Anniversary as a family business. It wasn’t easy for my parents raising 4 kids and starting a business but they pulled it off. Through years of hard work, late nights and dedication, Whitey and Robin did something amazing. They started the dream that has become a Central PA staple and one that I am very lucky to have the chance to continue. Some would call it a dream job and while I’m not rich by any means, I am very grateful to be able to get by and continue the dream that they started. I have some big shoes to fill and with the changing times I am always struggling to keep us relevant. I thank all the supporters who read and use the paper and hope we can continue the tradition for another 37 years.
We had a sad moment in PA Musician Magazine history this month when Michele Kelley dropped the bomb and decided she needed to move on and focus on some new endeavors in life. It’s not easy doing this monthly writing gig and it takes a lot of time and dedication to make it happen month after month. The good news is, Chris Rider has decided to soldier on and will be continuing to snap awesome photos for us and now will be writing about them as well. So please take the time to read his first go at it. I think he did a great job and look forward to many more articles from him. If your band is looking for professional shots or have a show coming up you want to let him know about, just hit him up on facebook @chrisriderphotography.
October flew by like a bat out of Halloween. I did get out and catch a couple of shows. We started off down in Hummelstown at The Warwick Hotel. I stopped by to drop off papers, eat some fine food and listen to some great local music. Ben Pierson was playing an acoustic set when we arrived so we ordered some drinks and food and took in some carbs and enjoyed the atmosphere. The Wick, if you’re not familiar, is a staple of Hummlestown and has been around since the 1790’s. Pretty impressive building if you’re into old wood working. Its amazing comparing what we build now days to what the people built years ago. A lot of pride went into the old buildings and the owners of The Wick have a lot of pride in what they are doing. One of the ways they are doing this is by hosting live music every Friday and Saturday. So flip on through to the cover story on page 13 and get the full scoop from Rachel Rocks. Also check out the ad on the next page and make plans to go catch some live music and enjoy the food.
After we left The Wick we headed over to Blarney’s for what would become my last show ever at Wanda’s. Hard to believe that it’s going away but the memories will last a lifetime for many in the local 717. We got there late but caught a lot of action at the Rebel’s for a Cause Benefit. The benefit was for two people battling medical issues (Lisa Weaver and Rochelle Bair Schoffstall) and for one who sadly lost his battle, Scott Von Sprankle. From what I was told this was the first time Steel had played without Scott behind the controls on the sound board. I am glad to say that even though there was a somber tone people were not letting this get them down and the place was just packed wall to wall. We caught the last couple songs from Asphalt Valentine who were rocking the stage complete with the tour bus lined up right out side the stage area. Really upping the late 80’s early 90’s vibe they had going. Nothing says, we are rockers, like a sweet tour bus. Up next was EMN or Every Mothers Nightmare. They had a grungy almost hank III vibe going and we really dug the whole set. Last up was my obvious favorite of the night Fade to Black. I love me some Metallica and these guys love delivering the goods. They jammed out the whole set and got everyone rocking. I really wish I still had my sweet mullet cause some head banging was in serious order. It was great seeing the local music community come out in full force for such a good cause and thanks to all the bands and people that made this event happen.
The following weekend I headed down to Greencastle for the Helping Little Hands Rock & Ride Benefit. Which is a two day music extravaganza that hosts a motorcycle ride on Saturday along with a stacked list of bands playing from Friday night all the way through Saturday. All proceeds went to Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Once again I was late to the party, as I rounded up some of the local Greencastle BMX crew to take them out for some live action. We caught most of The Suicide Puppets set, who as always, were melting faces and scaring local children. We stuck around for Gun Metal Gray, which I have heard a lot about but never got the chance to see them in person. They did not disappoint even though they had guest singer David Zienkiewicz at the helm. I would have never known it wasn’t the standard lineup as they performed flawlessly. My favorite song they did was a killer version of “Hotel California” played like the Eagles mixed with Metallica. Killer time, and I must say the stage, sound and lighting were all on point making for a killer show. Hats off to all that donated time and made the event happen. Be on the lookout cause they do this a couple times a year and the next event is scheduled for June 27th 2020.
Well that ended my live music for the month as the next couple weekends were taken up with family visits at Lake Heron, an awesome 150 mile trip on the Gap Trail with my cycling homies from Pittsburgh to Cumberland MD, followed by a lovely weekend of maintaining my failing fleet of old automobiles. Always time to play but sometimes you have to take care of some chores in your life to keep things moving.
As for November there is a lot going on in PA. Slayer is coming to Hershey on the 6th with Primus and Ministry. Three bands that spent a lot of time in the old cassette player when I was a kid. XL Live has a great month of music for Harrisburg. With names like Aaron Watson on the 9th, Bone Thugs and Harmony on the 22nd and of course at the end of the month its local legend weekend; with KIX on the 29th supported by Steel and The Sharks Reunion on the 30th. BAM!! get out the hair spray Harrisburg its the 80’s all over again.
Reverb, in Reading, will not be out done with the hair bands as they have the one and only Bret Michaels on the 2nd. Later in the month they have heavy hitters Ensiferum on the 15th and Suffocation on the 23rd.
Racehorse Tavern in York has a stacked month with music and entertainment for everyone’s tastes. On the 1st and 2nd they are hosting The Big Autism Benefit 2. Which is two nights of local music with all proceeds going to the Vista Autism Services. So stop out and donate for a good cause. On the 7th they are hosting a Magic Mike show for all the ladies and gentlemen that are into that sort of thing. Penntera with Thousand Pound Destruction on the 16th is rocking the Racehorse. A 717 Entertainment night featuring Defiant on the 22nd, Don’t Tell on the 23rd, a Thanksgiving Eve party with Partial Post and ending out the month with heavy hitters Voice the Chaos on the 30th. Stay tuned in December as they bring us Live Midget Wrestling on my Birthday December 19th.
The Scottish Rite Theatre is having a Dance Party on the 17th with Catch the Groove and Bunchafunk, motown funk and more! Doors open at 2 with tickets at just $12 each. Get your dancing shoes warmed up cause its going to get funky at the Scottish Rite Theatre.
The year is flying by and before we know it MMC24 will be here The Millennium Music Conference will be moving back to downtown Harrisburg this year to the beautiful Hilton Hotel on February 27th thru the 29th. Let’s all try to be good this year so we can enjoy the conference in the downtown area once again for years to come, (haha). Deadline for showcase submissions is November 30th so if you’re a band or solo performer wanting to get in on the action check out the website at http://www.musicconference.net.
Well, that’s all for this month as the action never stops with news of my nephew Zack being rear ended (as I write this) in his old truck he just fixed up. Has me wondering if Rachel Rocks will get her cover story done on time or not. “AYE, AYE, AYE” as my Grammy would say. It’s always something, luckily it sounds like everyone will be ok although a little banged up.
If you’re looking for something to do just read through the pages and plan your month there is tons of live music to keep you going. Before we know it, we will all be eating turkey, shooting deer, and buying christmas gifts. Keep in mind, BUY LOCAL! Even if you’re too far to drive down to the local music store most places also offer mail order, so no excuses! Hit up the local music shops or buy merchandise from a favorite band for all your Christmas needs and help keep them around for years to come.
If you’re interested in the paper and want to join in on the fun just give me a ring (717-636-4203), send me an email (email@example.com), friend me on facebook and shoot me a message. Let us help you promote your band or venue, it’s what we do. Rock on PA see you next month!