By: Rachel Rocks
AHHH!! It’s my birthday month!! The BIG 4-0!!! It’s truly hard to believe I’m in the final days of my 30s. It’s also even harder to believe I’ve been writing articles for over a DECADE of my life!! So many bands, so many friends, so much fun!! Cheers to the next decade! Ready or not, here I come! My son, Zack is also turning 16 this month, and my puppy Rosie is turning 1! We are going to have a very busy family birthday month, and if I needed any extra excuses to have a mid-life crisis, I think Zack learning how to drive will be the straw that breaks my sanity! Ha! Anyway.. on to the music.
Last month I was driving up to one of my many trips to Mifflinburg to help my mother-in-law and I happened to see one heck of a party happening, so of course I googled it, and it turns out it was Gilson’s 3rd Annual Summer Snow Day Party. Gilson’s make custom snowboards, so why not bring in some snow on a hot July day! They had a ramp where they piled on snow and there plenty of snowboarders dusting off their boards and doing some tricks. They also had FREE beer from Troegs and some other amazing local breweries and Bulliet bourbon, and of course live music!
When I arrived the Martini Bros. were just taking the stage. I haven’t seen these guys in forever, so of course it was my first time seeing them without Mike, which is of course old news to most of you, at first it was a little odd, but the new guy plays one heck of a bass and it’s awesome how he fits right in. Mike was a blast watching on stage with all of his crazy moves, which is missed, but hopefully after a few more shows they’ll get back to their regular crazy stage antics. The Martini Bros. are definitely a one of kind band with amazing originals that quickly had everyone dancing and bopping to the music, and most importantly having a great time.
The 75th Annual Marysville Carnival was taking place in the beginning of August and one night I stopped in to see Saddle Horn. These Perry County boys always make me miss home, but they do a great job singing all of the crowd favorites, keeping everyone dancing and having a good time. Their lead singer Steve Clouser has one heck of a range and can sing a wide variety of songs. And just in case he can’t mix things up enough, a regular guest to their show, Valerie Eaton from 40 Degrees North, took the stage and belted out a couple songs. It was super sweet when she sang “Sweet Child O’ Mine” with baby Jemma in her belly and Jemma’s Daddy was playing the drums too! Saddle Horn is out there heating things up at venues throughout central PA and beyond. You can check out their ad in this issue to find out where they will be playing next, or you can also get their info and get them booked at your venue or private party. You can also check out Steve in his Acoustic project Unplugged where his son plays the guitar while he sings. They are a new advertiser and hopefully I will get out there to see and hear them soon! Thanks for advertising!!
My next night out was a wild, head banging, good time because Steel was playing again at Double K. I was so happy that I had a free night and could hang out and have a good time. Now that Double K only has bands on Saturdays it’s so hard for me to get there because I am rarely home on a Saturday night. I’m really hoping my life calms down and I can get out there more to see all of the great entertainment that Karen and Jim have on the schedule at Double K. All of the Steel family was out in full force to support the band and have a good time. We definitely had the hair flying and the dance floor packed! Mark from Ebenezer Screw also stopped by to say Hi and Chris had him come up a sing a song. You often see the guys from Steel out supporting other bands, and in turn, you usually see a stray musician or two hanging out and having a good time at Steel shows too. That’s what we need so much more of, bands supporting bands, building relationships and helping each other out. If you are ever feeling lonely, just check out Steel’s schedule and get out to one of their shows and join in the fun!
Music is limited on a Friday night so I decided to go to the Park Inn Deck Stage (Blarney’s) for Chapel Hill. I’ve heard a lot about these guys, and I’m glad I finally got the chance to check them out. Chapel Hill’s lead singer, Roy Barrett, has a lot of experience playing with many different bands throughout the years, and he’s very comfortable on stage. He has a great stage presence and can definitely sing a wide range of songs. He’s also not afraid to jump down into the crowd and dance with the ladies! To add to the excitement of the night they had a brand new husband and wife, and their wedding party and guests come in and join in the party! That is definitely a bonus to play adjacent to a hotel that hosts weddings! Chapel Hill plays all of your country favorites and beyond, so grab your boots and your cowboy hat and get out there and boot scoot and boogie!!
On a very special Thursday night I headed in to Club XL for Skerryvore, a Scottish Celtic Rock Group. I’m always looking for interesting things to do during the week and when I clicked on Club XL’s advertisement on Facebook I was intrigued. They remind me of Drop Kick Murphys, but they don’t play quite as hard, but they are a huge band with bagpipes, recorders, violins, guitars, drums, etc. Technically with too many instruments to list! The bagpipe and violin duel was pretty amazing, but really it was all amazing. It was sad to not see a HUGE crowd there supporting this crazy good band, but I think people are still trying to get used to the fact that we have such an awesome venue in our area. Club XL is now advertising with us, so do yourselves a favor and keep an eye on their schedule for the bands they have flowing through our city. Since we are on such a thoroughfare, Harrisburg is a great place for touring musicians to stop by on their night off. In September they are having a Metron Reunion with the Luv Gods and DJ Ray Rossi that I’m sure will be a blast. They also have special events such as Emily’s Toybox on stage September 29th for the PSU vs OSU White Out Blowout! I’m telling you, they have a lot going on. They also do specials for free or discounted tickets, so check out their ad and plan your next night out on the town!
The following weekend my friends and I had a wonderful girls’ weekend at the Gettysburg KOA. It was so relaxing and while we were floating around in the pool I heard some music we decided to go check out. It was Tom Jolin from just down the road in Gettysburg playing banjo, accordion, guitar, and even a homemade hammered dulcimer! He was a perfect campground musician. He had a whole stage filled with percussion instruments and he had all of the kids involved, playing music and having fun! It was super chill and so relaxing and enjoyable. He made his dulcimer in the 70’s and it still plays like a dream!
The last night out this month was another Thursday night show at the Park Inn for Nash 93.5’s NashNext 2018 Competition. After some online voting they had the top 5 musicians in the area competing for a chance to play in Nashville and if they win that competition, they could wind up with a record deal! The winner of this local competition gets their song played for 6 weeks on Nash FM 93.5, so that’s already a great reward! The performers were Connor Manley, who also had a well known face we know playing with him, Jake Puliti. Then Callie Tomblin who had Bobby Gentillo on stage with her, Jason Raymond, Garret Shultz, who had the boys from Stonewood playing with him, and last but not least the big winner devoN Nickoles. Devon is just a young farm girl from Westminster, MD that just wants to get her music heard, and she’s definitely doing that. Her song that got her in the competition and her last song of the night “Fighter” is a great song about never giving up on your dreams, and Devon is doing just that. Good luck in Nashville. I can’t wait to see what happens next in Devon’s career.
Well that’s all for this month, school starts tomorrow and we are all gearing up for the next school year! It’s a crazy time of year, but I’m hoping to get out there and support as much music as possible!! I also wanted to give a huge shout out welcome to Michele and Chris Rider!! Welcome to the crazy family! They are a great husband and wife team. Michele will be doing the writing and Chris has photography skills that are truly amazing! Don’t forget the PA Musician Magazine is solely funded by our advertisers. If you enjoy looking through our pages and seeing if you or your favorite band made the Hot Shots or one of our articles, maybe you should consider advertising. It’s only $30 for a business card page!! Just give Josh a call, 717-636-4203. If you have any questions or comments you can hit me up at RachelRocks@pamusician.net. Get out there and SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC!!!! And if you see me Out and About, please say Hi!!