By: Rachel Rocks
February.. the month for lovers! I’m definitely a lover of live music! I’m truly blessed to have all the jobs I have so I can live, breathe, and support music, pretty much 24/7. Even when I do sleep, I feel like I even dream about music! HA! Let’s get on to my adventures…
It all started off quick last month because my first stop was when I was out delivering magazines! My good friend, Neil McClain was playing at Flinchy’s on a Wednesday, so after I got done delivering I stopped in for some music. I’ve known Neil for years, and have followed him playing from his kitchen, or wherever he could while raising his little girls, now that his girls are growing up, you see him hitting local stages more and more! He definitely belongs on the stage, and I’m glad he’s getting out there and sharing his music with the masses!
The next night out was a long one! When I’m home I try and take full advantage of every second I have and see as much music as possible. It all started with a trip to the River House in Middletown for DMC Duo. It unfortunately wound up being D solo, because Marisa was super sick! (I’m glad to note she’s fully recovered and back out there!) Darrell knew that the show must go on, and go on it did! Darrell has been playing music for so long, he’s lucky to have quite the repertoire of songs to sing by himself when he has to. He was able to keep the crowd entertained all night long, but I’m sure he’ll be very happy when Marisa is back by his side! Huge Congrats goes out to DMC Duo for being nominated for the Best Duo, and Marisa for being nominated as the Best Female Vocalist in the 2022 CPMAs!!
Next, I went and picked up Angie and zoomed down to Katz 22 at the York Casino. It was no surprise to see Katz 22 already had the dance floor full and everyone was having a great time! Katz 22 plays so many great covers that you don’t hear everywhere else, but they are all songs you definitely remember and love! Congrats to Katz 22 for being nominated as the Best Cover Band in the CPMAs!
After catching a Katz 22 set, the night wasn’t over yet, we zoomed over to Racehorse to catch the end of the Steel show. Their shows and my schedules very rarely align, so when I’m in town and they are playing, I do my best to get there! The Racehorse Tavern tries to accommodate all of their patrons, so after 8, when there is a band they don’t allow smoking inside, but they do have a nice, closed in patio for the smokers to go, so they aren’t left out in the cold. I can’t imagine how hard it is for singers in a smoking establishment, so I feel like it’s a really good compromise. I know I appreciate it. Steel was also kickin’ a** and taking names when we got there! It’s awesome to see Kyle getting more and more comfortable on the stage. Steel will be rockin’ the Hanover Moose on Saturday, March 4th, make your plans now! You won’t be disappointed.
On a Saturday I tried to go see Matt Jameson at the Doyle Hotel. I highly suggest if you want to go see a musician at the Doyle, make reservations, and get there early! There was unfortunately no room downstairs where Matt was playing so we were stuck upstairs for a while until a table opened up. It was a bummer, but he was loving it! The place was packed and everyone was loving the music, and that’s what’s most important! Matt’s back at the Doyle, Thurs, Feb. 5th. Let’s hope it’s another packed night at the Doyle! It’s awesome to see Duncannon as a new place to kick back and love live music! The food is delicious and they do their best to keep the drinks flowing, just be sure to make a reservation. You can check out the Doyle’s full schedule in this issue. Huge congrats to Matt Jameson for being nominated as the Best Male Artist in the 2022 CPMAs. It is crazy to look back and see all that he has accomplished in 2022! I’m so proud of him, it’s kinda ridiculous. And no, I was NOT the one who nominated him.. Thanks to whoever did though!
After Matt’s show I zoomed to Flinchy’s for the 2nd half of Derek Henry’s show. Out of all the acoustic musicians it’s always cool to see how Derek brings in his own chair and table, makes himself comfy, and then amazes the crowd! Derek always seems to have people just randomly come up and talk to him while he’s playing. He can somehow manage to keep it together to finish the song, I would be so distracted, and probably very salty, but Derek just handles it with a big smile on his face! I also caught Derek at the Hook n’ Flask this month and it was the same situation. It was packed, standing room only, and everyone was having a blast, and there’s Derek, smiling and playing, like it’s all just completely normal. Congrats to Derek Henry for being nominated as the Best Male Vocalist in the 2022 CPMAs, and also to his Band Observe the 93rd and their nomination as Best Rock Band, and DEAD! Being nominated for the Best Tribute Band in the 2022 CPMAs. So much exciting things happening!
Another night started early with Matt Jameson at Fratelli’s. Fratelli’s is Matt’s hometown bar, where he had his first show, so it will always be a special place for him. It was awesome to see so many of his friends, fans and family packing the place and having a blast! Jimmy finally got a chance to hear Matt’s rendition of “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead. If you request it, there isn’t much Matt won’t at least try to play! Don’t forget to check out Matt’s new website, www.mattjamesonacoustic.com. He has his full schedule on there, and he also has it in here! So go check it out, his schedule is jam packed for February!
After Fratelli’s, I headed back to Flinchy’s for Phil Cannizzaro. We couldn’t believe how jam packed Flinchy’s was! You could barely fit in the door! Phil was trying to play, but had a guest on the mic and in his face helping him sing a long! I’m telling ya the place was crazy town! Josh and Ali were cool, calm and collected behind the bar, and everyone was having a great time! With so many watering holes closing up shop and not having music, we are very grateful for the ones that do. And we support them as much as possible.
The next night started out super early at Grandpa’s Love Shack in Shermans Dale, where Matt Jameson was playing from 5-7pm. Grandpa’s Love Shack is no longer BYOB now that Woodburn Pub & Brewery is right next door serving up beer and spirits! It’s a pretty cool set-up they have and all the food looked absolutely amazing and everything I ate was simply delicious! They have a cool stage where Matt played his heart out and quickly gained some new fans! The place was packed and everyone was singing and dancing along. Matt will be back at Grandpa’s Love Shack, Friday, Feb. 24th.
After the Love Shack we zoomed to Hook N’ Flask for a little bit of Derek, and I picked up Angie and zoomed again to Lovedrafts in Mechanicsburg for Hot and Dangerous and Dead Centre. Hot and Dangerous are exactly that! Erica’s voice is amazing! Appropriately enough, Hot and Dangerous is also nominated for Best Cover Band, and Erica herself for Best Female Vocalist for the 2022 CPMAs. I seem to almost always miss their set because of them being openers, but this night I made sure I got there in time to hear them. Since they were opening for Dead Centre, they didn’t mess around they were pulling out all of their heavy hitters and playing them with ease! It was a great set to get the show started!
Dead Centre has been around for a little while now, but with such limited places to play, when they get the opportunity, their fans are ready and waiting to hear it! Lovedrafts had a great crowd that was ready to mosh and bang their heads, and they were definitely given every opportunity to do so! Mark’s vocal range is insane, and with two killer guitar players, they could really nail every song! I couldn’t stick around for the full show, but I’m glad I was able to see what I could!
On a Wednesday after another early show with Matt at Spring Gate Arcona, we ended the night at Flinchy’s for Colt Wilbur. I haven’t heard Colt solo for a while, so it was good to see him again. Once again, it was another packed night at Flinchy’s! The Colt Wilbur Band has been busy getting ready to release a new album called Pretty Big Deal. They recently released a music video to go along with their title track, “Pretty Big Deal”. Check it out!
The following weekend, I had to fly out to Lawrenceburg, IN for BRP Entertainment. When I arrived on Friday I was very excited to see Wade & Murphy were playing at the Hoosier Ice House literally 300 feet from my room! I heard Wade & Murphy on my last trip to Lawrenceburg when they played at the Fall Festival, and I’ve been following them since. It was awesome hearing them again and a great way to start off my weekend! I found out they will also be playing there February 10th, when I fly out again, so that’s awesome for me!
Saturday it was time to get to work when George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic showed up on site. With having 35 members in their band, I was a little nervous about this undertaking, but everything went so smoothly! Must be our wonderful office staff at BRP Entertainment, making sure all of the fine details are worked out ahead of time, so the event goes as smooth as butter! The show itself was amazing. I saw them in 2019 at XL Live, and it was crazy to see how much better George was health wise. He was jumping up and down, dancing, and smiling the whole time! At 83 years young, it was a beautiful thing to see! The next day it was time to fly home. Believe it or not it was snowing in Cincinnati and all flights got grounded.. Just a little proof that you can’t control everything, that’s for sure!
After my crazy weekend of traveling, I was extremely happy to have a nice weekend at home. Friday night we headed back down to the York Casino for Emily’s Toybox. The York Casino isn’t very big, but I couldn’t believe the amount of people there! We were all squished into the band area, and all of the slot machines were super busy too! At the end of the night, ETB was actually told by security that it was their biggest night ever at the casino! Emily’s Toybox definitely didn’t disappoint they put on one heck of a show with a fine mix of rock, country, and a bunch of shenanigans! I’m glad I was finally there to catch their special 50s medley, where Millhouse gets on the saxophone, Mike takes over on bass, and Reece jumps on lead vocals! They get everyone doing the Twist, and all of the other fun and crazy dances of that era! It’s quite shocking at first, but people quickly embrace it, and join in the fun! It was awesome to see so many people out supporting live music!
Saturday night started with dinner at Flinchy’s for the “jukebox” himself, Dave Gates. He came up with a stack of little sticky notes for people to easily make requests, and they definitely were! Dave can quickly switch from genre to genre with ease, and keeps the night flowing from one request to the next! I personally requested a Dave Gates original. I love hearing an artist playing their own music! Nothing quite compares. Dave had Flinchy’s packed and it was standing room only for a while! So awesome to see!
Last but not least, we went out to Hollywood Casino in Grantville for Funktion. I thought they’d be a little more funky, but at least while I was there they were playing some dance party favorites and they had the dance floor hopping. With I think at least 8 people on stage, including a full line of brass, and keys, they could definitely put out one heck of a sound! It was awesome to see and hear! It was also great to see people of all ages packing the dance floor!
That’s all of my excitement for this month. February will feel weird without the annual MMC, but my good friends are doing a music conference in Philly called the PLAY Music Conference, if you get the hankering for a fun and educational music conference this month, I’d definitely check it out. There is still plenty to see and do this month, this magazine is full of schedules with fun and exciting things to choose from! Flip through the pages and check it out for yourself!
This month is super crazy for me. I’m really hoping to catch some local fun during the week, because my weekends are filled with lots of travel! I hope to see you Out and About when I am in town, and if you see me, by all means, say Hello! If you have any suggestions for me, feel free to email RachelRocks@pamusician.net. Don’t forget you can check out the whole magazine online at www.pamusician.net. Get out there and SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!!!