Rider’s on the Storm – June 2024

It’s hard for me to believe we’re almost in June already, but here we are none-the-less.  May was a pretty exciting month with a few awesome events even with the hit or miss weather we’ve had.  Looking forward to June, I’ve got the Irockradio.me Birthday Bash at Lovedrafts, Waynestock Outdoor Adventure & Music Festival a few weeks later in beautiful Fayetteville WV (ok, it’s not a PA event, but it’s organized in PA, features quite a few PA bands and many of the attendees trek down from PA so it counts in my book LOL), and I’m sure I’ll find a bunch more “shorter” events to fill the gaps for the month LOL.  Let’s take a look at my view of May, shall we?

I started off the month at the beautiful Doyle Hotel in Duncannon for some grub and tunes.  I stuck with the tried and true Cubano sandwich with it’s half pound or so of ham on it while Two Desperados played in the corner.  Comprised of two members (Jef with one f and Rich) bothBanded Desperados, and also of Get Petty, the duo played acoustic rock classics mainly from the 60s, 70s and 80s with some favorites of mine from The Doors, Jimmy Buffet, Van Morrison, The Beatles, and more. 

The following day I headed down to Mechanicsburg for the first annual Vertical For Life Music Festival. The rapidly created brainchild of Brad Wetherbee, this event was created to benefit Cover Six Canines which is an organization that trains service dogs for Veterans and First Responders.  Meeting Brad and the crew from Cover Six prior to the music beginning, this event quickly became a favorite of mine and one that I look forward to covering each year in the future.  The weather honestly sucked being cold and rainy, but the music was hot starting off with Matt Jameson Acoustic and followed by Hank The Buffalo, Coal, Steel and Dead Centre.  There were a few food trucks as well as a coffee stand set up by Barracks Baristas, another veteran owned company.  I might have hit the coffee stand more than a few times and can honestly give them my personal two thumbs up recommendation (those that know me personally know how I love my coffee LOL).  I almost forgot to add that there was also a stand set up by Jimmy Jaxxx Shine Shack who’s Smoky Mountain Snow Cream (vanilla shine) goes really, really well in a cup of coffee.

The following weekend, I headed down to Hanover for the third annual Rock On The Hill music festival, organized by my buddy Brenden Starr. Two stages, eighteen or nineteen bands, a ton of food trucks and other vendors, plenty of activities for all ages of attendees, and I’m probably missing a few things on top of all of that…it made for an awesome day of music.  Local bands including Jon Garcia & The Hopeless Romantics, Heads Or Tails Experience, Before The End, Hate Grenade, Brenden Starr and more.  On top of that we had acts from around the east coast and even further including Guides, Veer, Silvertung, Scotty Austin, Simon Says, Jimmies Chicken Shack and more.  All of the bands kicked ass the whole day even despite a few rain showers (and a solid downpour during half of Scotty Austin’s set), and the weather didn’t put a dent in the energy of the day.  If you haven’t been to Rock On The Hill yet, I definitely recommend following their page and watching for next year’s date!

A few days later, I headed over to Shermans Creek Inn in Shermansdale for a bite and some tunes.  They’d just set up their tent out in the parking area and Brad Harden kicked off the outdoor music season for the creek with solid solo acoustic covers of songs like Kryptonite, Say It Ain’t So, Radioactive as well as an original or two including “Self Loathing, Empty Bottles”.  After catching a fair bit of Brad’s set, I headed inside to see another act I’ve been following for a while but hadn’t managed to catch until now: SuckerPunch’d.  Billing themselves as “Central PA’s Premier Party/Rock Cover Band playing all your favorites from Green Day to Lady Gaga”, it seemed like quite the claim.  I’m happy to report that they back their claim up with gusto, playing a whole slew of covers from all over the music spectrum like Ring Of Fire, Hey Jealousy, Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Wagon Wheel (I think this is a requirement anymore LOL), Tainted Love and a ton of others.  These guys were a blast!

My last trip out for the month was the following day, a last minute decision to head down to the West Shore Theater for Very Fine Gentlemen and Friends.  Now, I already knew I enjoy VFG’s unique instrumental music that includes bits of jazz, funk, rock and more…but when they brought friends on stage like Larry & Bryce from The Jellybricks, Joey Dalto, D-Bo, Nate Myers, Andrea Britton, Amy Simpson, Deuce from The Martini Brothers, Jose Johnson, and Donovan Donnelly…it was basically a “who’s who” of Central PA’s music scene.  This was just an incredible show in a beautiful setting and couldn’t have been planned and executed any better. 

So there it is, my month of music through my eyes and ears. I want to once again thank all the bands, venues, and everyone else involved in our incredible local music scene for everything they do.  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 out 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.