By: Rachel Rocks
It’s hard to believe it’s July already! June just went zipping by.. We had a blast on our family vacation, but it’s always good to get home too! I did manage to squeeze in a few bands this month.
It all started a long time ago when I got a call that Roy Lee was up from Nashville and playing a special show at Copper Pub, right down the street. I zoomed over there in time to hear the last few songs. I’ve seen music set up in many different places at Copper Pub, but I really liked how Roy set up right in the middle of the two rooms with a speaker in each room so he could have fans everywhere that could still enjoy the show. Roy has been busting his butt in Nashville, writing lots of songs, and playing every chance he gets. Even though he’s having a blast in Nashville, it’s always nice to come up to PA and see all of his friends and musical family. It was a great show and I’m glad I got over there to at least hear a couple of songs.
Next up I headed to Spring Gate for an early show with Nate Myers and Chris Purcell. It’s been a long time since I saw these two playing together, but yet they never miss a beat! I love watching them play and talking about the change of keys and just their overall musical magic. It’s amazing that even with years of not playing together, they have no problem picking up where they left off and entertaining the masses. You can check out Nate Myers full schedule as a Duo, Trio, or even full band on their website, www.natemyers.com.
Later that night after a nice chill dinner with my good friend, and #1 Merch Girl, Angie, I headed out to Hollywood Casino for the Hot Toddys! It’s been a few years since I saw these guys and gal play. Todd definitely does a great job at keeping you entertained as the main front man, but Juan and Stacey not only help on vocal duties, they also whip out the brass as well to help add to their overall sound. Linda and Kelly were there partying the night away when I got there. It had been forever since I saw these two friends, and we had a blast dancing with the music. The Hot Toddys play a lot down along the coast in the Summer so keep an eye out for them if you’re heading down to the shore.
My next day out was a crazy one, but I knew I had limited days where I could actually go see bands, so on this open Saturday I took advantage of everything I possibly could. I started the afternoon at the Shermans Creek Inn Roadhouse Pavilion at Appalachian Harley Davidson for Stricken and Dead Cowboy. When I got there Stricken was already warming up the stage. Stricken is a Disturbed Tribute Band. If you are a Disturbed fan, you really need to check these guys out. They are the real deal and do their best to represent Disturbed to the best of their ability. If you close your eyes and just listen, Dave’s vocals really make you feel like you are listening to the original band. He does such a great job!
After Stricken Dead Cowboy got on stage and just continued to set the stage on fire. They play all of your favorite hard rock cover songs. It was awesome to see how many people they had out supporting them on a Saturday afternoon. I also saw quite a few people that I haven’t seen in a long time. For some it was their first time seeing Dead Cowboy and even from the first few songs, they were blown away. These guys put on a great show from start to finish and really had their fans wanting more!
Next up I zoomed over to Steelton for the Cannabis Health Expo, hosted by CoExist Glass Gallery. Shawn Gold put on one heck of a party! They shut down the main road through Steelton and had vendors, food trucks, and even a small little skate park set up right on the street! He also had an impressive stage area with live music all day! I got there in time to see Dan Jameson playing along with his friend on the mandolin. Dan Jameson plays a lot of Grateful Dead music and other jam band music, so his music was perfect for this festival and everyone seemed to be enjoying it. Bobby Gentilo was up next with a whole band backing him. I’m not sure of the name of this band, but you can tell they’ve been playing together for a while. They played some amazing music that had people dancing along. Bobby recently released his debut album called “Gentilo”. He’s an award winning international record producer, but after years of helping others develop and produce their own music, it was finally time for him to release his own! It’s truly awesome watching him wail away on his guitar and sing! Of course, he also has the privilege of knowing some amazing musicians, which I’m sure helped him form his band that was backing him at this show. Everyone, a Harp, Sax, bass, and even a female drummer, banging away, all with Bobby as the frontman was definitely a special treat! Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay all day to enjoy the music, because it was time for the next show. But kudos to Shawn for bringing the community together with this special event. Everyone was having a great time and I’m sure the crowd continued to grow throughout the day.
Next up I headed down to Carlisle to Hook & Flask Still Works for Matt Jameson, and playing between his sets was his friends Hunter and Liam. Matt had no idea he was going to be competing with the Ford Nationals Parade driving by right as his set began, but luckily you could still hear him over the roar of the engines. It was cool to see that even after the parade was over, people stuck around to listen to the rest of the show. Matt does such a great job connecting with his crowd and helping everyone feel like they are part of the show, and he loves getting people to sing along, dance, and have a good time! During his breaks his friends Hunter and Liam played a few songs, they even played some originals. They haven’t played together in a while, but they loved being back up on stage, getting the itch to play even more, which I’m sure they will because the crowd loved them too! Matt will be back at Hook & Flask on July 9th, ready to entertain the masses. If you’d like to get Matt booked at your venue or private party, check out his ad in this issue for all the details!
Thankfully Katz 22 ran their schedule in the June Issue, just like they do every month, because I was able to see that they were playing at the Hummelstown Carnival on a Wednesday night, and I was thrilled to be back in town for their show. I didn’t see them in forever, and now I got to see them two months in a row! Katz 22 had a great crowd hanging out in lawn chairs and on the bleachers enjoying the music. I took some pictures, but then realized I could still hear them play even from the Bingo area, so Holly and I got to play some Bingo and support the firemen all while listening to great music! It was definitely a win-win situation. Katz 22 will be playing a few carnivals, casinos, and legions throughout the Summer. Check out their ad in this issue for their full schedule and get out there and support some amazing music!
On a Thursday night I was able to go catch Derek Henry’s debut at the Harrisburg Beach Club. If you haven’t checked out this awesome place yet, you really should. It is located on the far end of City Island, right beside Water Golf. They have a ton of comfortable seating where you can overlook the river, listen to good music, and even drink your favorite beverage. They do have a full bar, and usually a food truck. You can also get ice cream and other yummy foods from the Water Golf area too. It was a great place for Derek to play on a Thursday because there was also kickball games happening by the Harrisburg Young Professionals, so they came over and hung out and listened to the music after their games. It’s always fun seeing people get hooked in to any musician as they play. By the end of the night they were requesting songs and wanting Derek to keep playing! Derek has a bunch of shows this month doing his acoustic stuff, he’ll actually be back at the Beach Club on July 4th and July 7th. He also has a very big show with his band Observe the 93rd on July 1st they will be doing a CD Release Show at Lovedrafts in Mechanicsburg. Their new album is called “an eeriness to everything”, I can’t wait to check it out!
The last weekend of the month I headed back out to Hollywood at the Meadows in Washington, PA for BRP Entertainment. I had the opportunity to work with The Nixons, Fastball, and Everclear. My first show with 3 bands was super exhausting. 3 load ins, 3 sound checks, and 3 tour managers! But we made it to show time, and from that point I just get to sit back and enjoy the show. All three bands put on a great show and the crowd was all happy, so overall it was a success. I’ll be covering 3 shows in July, The Commodores, Ultimate Aldeen and Luke Bryant (both tribute bands), and Verve Pipe! Plus, I’m going to Wisconsin for a week, so again I really won’t be around much, so please hit me up with your mid-week shows so hopefully I’ll be able to catch some shows throughout July!
On another personal note.. this month I will be changing day jobs. I’ll be leaving the State and going to work at Bob Ruth Ford in Dillsburg Buying Cars! If you have an extra car that you’d like to get rid of, or maybe it’s time for a change… all I need is your VIN number, and I’ll hopefully be able to help you get a more than fair deal. You don’t need to buy a car from Bob Ruth, even though that’s also nice, but you just need to sell us yours! Bob Ruth bought my son’s VW GTI, it was such an easy process and really helped Zack in a time of need, so I want to be able to help other people get out of a bind, or just get a new car of their dreams, so here I go… on to my next adventure! If you would like to sell your car, give me a chance to see what we can do for you!
My life is completely nuts, but yet completely awesome! I’m truly blessed to have my husband who supports me in all of my job changes, additions, and just overall craziness. There wouldn’t be a Rachel Rocks if he didn’t support me and let me run around and support music every chance I get. He truly is one of the best guys in the world.. Love you Kris!
Well, that’s all for this month, like I said, again I’ll be gone every weekend in July. So, please hit me up for any mid-week shows because I’m still going to NEED to get out and support music as much as I possibly can. Please get out there and support live music for me! Tag me and let me know what I’m missing. Go live at shows so I can see them from my hotel room! Let me live vicariously through you. Hit me up at RachelRocks@pamusician.net with any show suggestions. Please support live music and continue to support the PA Musician Magazine!