Rider’s on the Storm – December 2023

By the time you read this (you DO still read this, right? LOL), it’ll be December…and with that, 2023 is almost over. If this morning’s weather is any indicator, it could definitely be an interesting winter. November was an eventful month on a lot of fronts for me (all positive), but I will still able to get in a few great nights of music with great variety.

My first trip out was down to the Capital Room at HMAC for a night of Industrial Rock. Thanks to Cody with Rock Documented for reminding me of the show and inviting me down to cover it beside him. First up for the night was Central PA based The Russian White, a dark electronic and death-wave band. While certainly not my normal style to listen to, I did find it interesting and at times haunting. They’ve recently signed with Distortion Productions and have a new album coming out in the next few months! Next up was Detroit based electropunk duo ADULT. Utilizing drum machines, synthesizers and electronic/punk elements, this husband and wife team has been cranking out their unique tunes since 1998. I knew we were in for something different when the first song started off using a roll of clear packing tape and a microphone as an instrument, and it was definitely that. Their style of music is certainly of a different track with an artistry that can’t be denied. Headlining the evening was Chicago based pioneers (at least according to wikipedia) of the industrial music genre – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. I knew these guys sounded familiar to me and a quick search revealed why – their song “After The Flesh” was featured on The Crow: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Their setlist of songs blended styles between rock, industrial, electronica, and even disco at points. They had huge energy that the crowd really got in to.

A few days later, I was invited to trek up in to the woods outside Muncy PA to join Jeff Pittinger of the Pennsylvania Pipeline Music-tv to photograph a few acts during a filming session in his studio. If you haven’t checked out the Pipeline, definitely give them a look, follow and like on Facebook and other social medias as they put up a ton of videos from their studio with artists spanning a wide range of genres! Each of the three acts got to perform three or four songs for recording over the course of the afternoon. Starting out the afternoon was a band I’ve heard a lot about and have been hoping to cover for a while now, Williamsport based The Heartstrings. I can only describe this young band as hard hitting. Cranking out their powerful mix of hard hitting rock and country tunes including Whiskey River, High & Slow Rollin’, they definitely left me wanting to hear and see more. I look forward to catching them again in the future for a full set and highly recommend checking them out! Next up was a young girl who’s been no stranger to my article over the last few years – Faith Noel. With songs like Only You Know Why, One Of The Good Ones & Heart Like A Truck, I have to say Faith gets better every time I see her perform. She’s been working hard playing a bunch of shows, recording music and even doing some recording down in Nashville! Rounding out the day was someone I’d recently become friends with on Facebook, Williamsport based Jeremy Edge of the Jeremy Edge Project. Jeremy played a mix of songs like Ghosts Of The Living, Sunrise, Austin Valley and Heaven, Hell & Whiskey with a soulful voice and powerful guitar work that combined to remind me at times of a mix of Chris Stapleton and Joe Bonamassa…two artists that I listen to frequently. I really enjoyed listening to him and hope to catch a show of his again in the near future. I want to reiterate that if you haven’t checked out Pennsylvania Pipeline Music-TV, you definitely should. Their support for our music scene is fantastic and I definitely look forward to working with them again.

My next trip out was one I’d been looking forward to since it was announced. I headed down to The Englewood in Hershey for a cd release party. Opening up the evening was a band I’ve followed for a while on social media and was finally getting the chance to photograph: Very Fine Gentlemen. VFG is a Harrisburg based instrumental jazz funk band with a heavy emphasis on the “funk”. These guys came out and played a bunch of original tunes including Monaco, Not A Chance, and ending their set with a really cool rendition of Cult Of Personality. It was clear from the moment they took the stage that these guys just love to get on stage and have a ton of fun performing their music. Headlining the evening was a trio of guys that I’m proud to call my friends: the Martini Bros. Celebrating the release of their new album Four Banger, these guys crush their rock-a-billy style with a power that (at least to me) just should not be possible for only three guys…and yet they do it. You simply can’t watch these guys on stage and not have a good time. I’d challenge you to try, but really what’s the point of that? LOL Their energy on stage is just infectious and it shows as they never fail to get the crowd up and moving. Congrats to Deuce, Brian and Rej on their latest release. If you haven’t picked up the album, I can’t recommend it enough!

My final trip out for the month was back down to HMAC to their Stage On Herr for a night of jam. Opening up the evening was a band that I first covered three years ago at Waynestock: Pittsburgh based The Roof. Self described as an American Band blending hues with Rhythm & Blues, these guys have an awesome sound that at times reminds me mildly of Grateful Dead with maybe a little bit of My Morning Jacket. Their songs are heartfelt and honest, and really just a great listen. Headlining the evening was South-Eastern PA based Flux Capacitor. These guys are a festival band blending progressive & psychedelic rock with elements of electronica for a unique music experience. While their music includes a lot of improvisation, it amazes me while listening to it as to how “tight” they are throughout the experience…it’s almost as if they read each others’ minds as they go. Flux Capacitor has four albums, a live album and several singles out and available to check out…you should probably go do that. I also wanted to thank Sarah of Greenbelt Events and Wayne of Waynestock for putting this show together and promoting it so well. 

So there it is, my month of music through my eyes and ears. Just a reminder: if you’ve got a show coming up that I should see; make sure to send me an invite, shoot me an email or a message, let me know about it. Venues: please don’t hesitate to reach out to me as well. The majority of the shows that I go and shoot I find out about through invites from all of you or your friends. Hit me up on facebook: @chrisriderphotography or email: chrisriderphotography@gmail.com, stop me if you see me around and say hi. Until next month…go find some live music and give them and the venue your support, they truly need it more now than they ever did.