Future’s So Bright…

Dachuckdomsmall_3I have to admit that sometimes I despair about the state of popular music, and the future of rock and roll in particular. This weekend I saw two bands that go a long way toward easing my concerns.

On Saturday night, Days Awake played at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, and they succeeded in delighting a crowd that was there to see headliner Dickie Betts. Though this is a young band, I continue to be impressed by their knowledge and respect for the music and musicians that came before them. In their sound you can hear echoes of great seventies band like The Faces, and yet their sound is all their own, with great songwriting skills, and finely tuned performances.

Maybe_pete_keeper_4x6Today I was back in Asbury Park for the annual Clearwater Festival. The final act of the day was the Bergen County based band Maybe Pete. I’ve seen this band perform a number of times over the past couple of years, and they just keep getting better every time. After changing drummers a few times, they seem to have found the final piece to the puzzle with new member Johnny Macko. Frankie McGrath continues to provide an incendiary presence as the band’s frontman, and Kelly McGrath shows that practice pays off, as her guitar playing is markedly improved, as is her confidence on stage. Bassist Marc Gambino remains solid as a rock in holding down the bottom end of things. The band released a terrific album, "Between the City and the Stratosphere" earlier this year.

These bands represent the best of the current original music scene here in New Jersey, but they’re certainly not the only ones. Go out to a club. Buy a cd. Support original music in New Jersey. It’s the only hope there is to keep the music alive.


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2 thoughts on “Future’s So Bright…

  1. Don’t think Ken is saying all these nice things about Days Awake because they are friends. Take if from me (a tourist for the weekend from Rhode Island) that this band has it all! Killer keyboard player (watch out Bocci!!), electric guitarists, a talented and hot drummer, and a frontman that has as much charisma and stage presence as I’ve seen in a LONG time.
    Maybe Pete was great as well. Frankie has a classic rock voice and a personality that works great on stage. I love the fact that his wife stands by his side, not as a typical wife would be on the side of the stage watching, but instead playing a pretty mean guitar. Love to see that!
    Wish I could find these kinds of bands in Rhode Island, but unfortunately I haven’t yet. Until then, looks like I’ll be taking more road trips to Jersey. Unless the boys want to take a road trip to me!!

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