Thursday, May 29, 2008

Trump Marina Margaritaville

Word just out that Jimmy Buffitt Inc. is purchasing the Trump Marina in Atlantic City, which will become the Margaritaville Hotel and Casino.

Employees of the Trump Marina were told today, Thursday, May 29.

Trump Marina, which has been on the market now for some time, will be renamed the Margaritaville Hotel and Casino Atlantic City. It has been on the market, along with the other two Trump casinos in Atlantic City, Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal.

More informaiton as it becomes available.

Jimmy's got a concert set for the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall later this summer, and he'll have the "Hap" Farley Marina to put his saleboat, a long term lease that comes with the property.

It's going to be quite a change, from the stuffed shirt and shiney shoe Donald, to the laid back, flowerprint shirt guy in flipflops on the blender.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008



FRIDAY Higher Ground at the Crab Trap; Acoustic Fish at Library III: The Rocco Brots at Maynard's Margate;

SATURDAY Lew London at Deauville Inn deck, Strathmere; Marion Sable at Library III; Highter Ground at the Crab Trap; Don Ellsworth at Maynard's Margate:

SUNDAY Lew London at the Deauville Inn deck; The McCool Bros at Maynard's;

MONDAY Lew London at the Deauville Inn deck;

TUESDAY Patty Blee at Library III; Kickin’ Bear at Stumpo’s;

WEDNESDAY Acoustic Fish at Library III; Higher Ground at the Crab Trap.

THURSDAY Gianni at the Crab Trap; Patty Blee at Library III: The Back Bay Duo at Maynard's Cafe Starlite Garden;


Le Grand Fromage 25 Gordon's Alley 347-2743

Maynard's Cafe Margate 9306 Amherst Ave. On the Bay. 822-8423

The Trinity Pier Shops at Caesars 609 345-6900

30 JUNE - Bubba Mac Blues Night Trump Marina. 7:30

2 Edgardo Cintron and the Azuca Band Atlantic City Library 6pm

4 Boz Scaggs Borgata Music Box 9pm

4 Edgardo Cintron & the Azuca Band Cuba Libra [ ]

4 Bobby Campanell Band at the Somers Point Beach

4 Beach Boys at Hilton Beach Bar (Free)

4 Melessa Etheridge Event Center 8pm $35 - $100

4 Boz Scaggs Borgata 9pm.

4 Rush Trump Taj Mahal 7:30pm

4 Neville Bros at HOB.

5 Gretchen Wilson HOB 9pm

5 Three Dog Night at Hilton Beach Bar

6 Mickey Rooney AC Hilton (and 7,8,9,10)

6 Two Funny Guys from Philly (Joe Conklin & Big Daddy Graham) Borgata Music Box

7 “Summer Solstice” with Jim Brickman. Stockton Beach OC Music Pier.

9 Weird Al Yankovic HOB 8pm

10 Jimmie Van Zant Band HOB 9pm

11 Gizzae reggae at Somers Point Beach 7pm

11 The Frankadelics (R&B $15) Dante Hall (14 Mississippi Ave. AC 609-344-8877)

11 Tony Bennett Caesars 10pm

11 The Alarm, English Beat, The Fixx HOB

11 Russell Peters Borgata Music Box

11 Russell Peters Borgata Music Box

12 Steel Pulse Trump Marina.

12 Zombies Trump Marina

12 Van Morrison Borgata

14 Riders in the Sky (Comedy & Western) Stockton Beach OCMP

17 Boyz II Men HOB 9pm

17 The Eagles Borgatta. (and 19)

18 Lil’ Dave Thompson Somers Point Beach 7pm

18 Dom Irrera w/Richard Belzer Borgat Music Box 9pm

19 The Eagles Borgatta.

19 Elton John Boardwalk Hall. 8pm

19 Eddie Griffin HOB 9pm

19 Brad Garrett Borgata (8 & 11)

21 “Stayin’ Alive” Bee Gees Tribute Stockton Beach OCMP

25 Dr. Bobby Fingers with Danny Eyer at Somers Point Beach 7pm

25 Yes Borgata 8pm

25 Arthea Franklyn Borgata Music Box 9pm

25 Donna Summer Caesars 9pm, also 26.

26 Crosby, Stills & Nash Borgata. 8pm

26 The Fab Faux HOB 8pm

28 Chris Hilman (Byrds) with Herb Pedersonj SB OCMP

30 Dark Star Orchestra HOB 9pm

31 Zappa Dweezel Zappa at HOB.


1 Howard Isaacson Somers Point Beach 7pm

2 Earth, Wind & Fire Borgata Event Center 8pm $45 - $ 65.

2 Clutch HOB 8pm

2 Damon Wayans Resorts 8pm

2 Peter Frampton Tropicana 9pm.

3 Jill Scott Borgata

4 Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience SB OCMP (What a accordian!)

6 Jay Mire Jazz at Atlantic City Library 6pm

6 "New York" Allen Goggarty The Trinity

7 Miranda Lambert HOB 9pm

8 Jill West and Blues Attack Somers Point Beach 7pm

8 Hootie & The Blowfish HOB 9pm

8 Counting Crows & Maroon 5 Borgata 8pm

11 Rusty Evans Johnny Cash Tribute SB OCMP

15 Billy Walton and South Jersey Horns Somers Point Beach 7pm

15 Boston Tropicana 8pm

15, 16 Smokey Robinson Trump Marina

16 Bob Dylan Borgata. 8pm

16 Herbie Hancock Borgatta 9pm $75.

16 Elvis in Atlantic City HOB 7:50pm

16 Bruce Hornsby HOB 9pm

17 Robert Cray Band/Keb'Mo' and Band HOB

18 Dickie Betts (Allman Bros) & Great Southern SB OCMP

22 New Old Fashioned play Billy Somers Point Beach 7pm

22 Andrew Dice Clay Borgata Music Box (and 23)

22 Rod Stewart Borgata

23 Rod Steward Borgata

23 Andrew Dice Clay Borgata Music Box

23 Greg Fitzsimmons Trump Marina 10pm

23 Billy Idol HOB

24 Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band Boardwalk Hall 8pm

25 Jesse Cook (Rumba flamenco guitar master) SBOCMP

29 Big James and the Chicago Playboys Somers Point Beach 7pm

30 Foreigner Trump Taj Mahal

30 Travis Tritt Trump Marina 8pm

30 Smashmouth HOB 9pm

31 Carlos Mencia Borgata


3 Mike Pedicin, Jr. at the Atlantic City Library 6pm

5 Debbie Davies Somers Point Beach 7pm

12 David Maxwell Somers Point Beach 7pm

20 Celine Dion. Caesars. $55 - $225.


10 The Black Crowes Borgata 8pm

May Jazz Fest 15th Year 30th Event


Benefit at DiOrio's for DJ Rick DiFrancesco

THURSDAY May 22 Benefit at DiOrio's.

This just in. There will be a benefit show tommorow night, Thursday, May 22 at DiOrio's for DJ Rick DiFrancesco, featuring some of the best local entertainers around, with all proceeds going to Rick's family in a time of need.

This musical tribute to DJ Rick DiFrancesco, will be Live at DiOrio’s CafĂ©, with dynamic pianist Bobby Fingers, guitarist extradonaire Danny Eyer, living local rock & roll legend Bob Campanell, Steve Moore & the Billy Walton Band. If you haven't heard Billy Walton yet, you need to check this guy out, and this is the perfect opportunity to do it.

There will be a dance party with musical performances dedicated to Rick.

“Share our love and support for Rick and his family,” say Nancy and Carmen Marotta, who helped organize the affair.

DJ Rick’s wife Donna, is Nancy Marotta’s cousin.

There will be a silent acution and raffles with prizes.

It all begins at 6 PM and goes until 9 PM, Thursday, May 22.

The $35 donation includes 3 hour buffet, beer and wind and hours of South Jersey’s own best live entertainers.

For more info or do make a donation call: 609-653-6069

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

2008 Somers Point Beach Concert Listing

Somers Piont taps acts from around the country for beach concerts - Current Story: p. 15

The 16th Annual Somers Point Beach Concert Series

June 13th The Duke Robillard Band

Grammy Award Winning Swing Jump Band

June 20th The Shakes

Popular Local Party Band

June 27th Scott Holt

Contemporary Rock Singer/Songwriter

July 4th The Bob Campanell Band

A Patriotic Salute

July 11th Gizzae

Ethiopian Rooted Reggae

July 18th Lil’ Dave Thompson

Mississippi Delta Blues

July 25th Dr. Bobby Fingers with Danny Eyer

Pop Rock Sing-a-long & Christmas in July Party

August 1st Howard Isaacson CD Release Party

Contemporary Melodic Jazz

August 8th Jill West and Blues Attack

Party Band

August 15th Billy Walton with the South Jersey Horns

Hot Young Jersey Boy Rockers

August 22nd The New Old Fashioned

Premier Billy Joel Tribute Band

August 29th Big James and the Chicago Playboys

Trombone Led Chicago Soul Band

September 5th Debbies Davies

World Class Female Guitar Singer

September 12th David Maxwell

Old Fashioned Boogie Woogie Piano & Gospel Show


2008 Somers Point Beach Concert Series

Many blues and jazz acts from across the country go on the road in the summer, playing blues festivals and clubs like the old Chitlin' Circuit of traveling blues bands. Now they include the Somers Point beach on that curcuit, as the Friday night series, now in its 16th season, has been tapping into that high energy talent that's traveling around, some promoting award nominated recordings. From humble beginnings, this concert series now features recording stars that have been nominated for multiple W.C. Handy and Grammy awards, and play regularly at major festivals and blues and jazz clubs in Chicago and New Orleans.

Supported by local businesses and organized by the city’s department of Community Education, the concert series is one of the most popular events around, and encourages neighbors to spread out their beach towels and sit back in their beach chairs to enjoy some of the best music around.

The lineup is as strong and varied as usual, with a good mix of fine local talent and traveling recording bands, with different types of music that should satisfy everyone’s taste, and turn people on to something new and different.

Since weather was usually uncooperative, and the early season events not as well attended as later ones, they decided to start late and finish later, so they’re going to start on Friday the 13th of June with the Duke Robillard Band.

Led by the Duke of the blues guitar and supported by his Grammy Award winning swing jump band, Robillard has recorded a now legendary session with Jay Giels and Garry Beaudoin, and his latest sound is moving towards a soul, jazz swing thing.

On the following Friday, June 20th, , a local band, The Shakes will get people dancing in the sand. As a popular South Jersey party band that has gone through a lot of personal changes over the years, the Shakes continues to maintain their popularity, now with a classic funky sound.

On June 27th we’ll hear from Flordia guitarist Scott Holt, who is billed as a contemporary rock singer/songwriter and vocalist, who performs with bassist Richard Sanders and Tyler Crowell on drums. Holt has a recording, "Messing with the Kid."

For the past few years they’ve added a special July 4th concert featuring Bob Campanell and his friends, but since this year July 4th falls on a Friday, and Bob gets to kick off the holiday weekend with his patriotic rock & roll salute. While Bob used to front the Shakes, he went out on his own, and now gets together with friends to jam when he needs a band, like for this night. You can expect guitarist Danny Eyer to be there, along with some other surprise guests, who will jam with the fireworks over the bay.

For something really new and different, Friday July 11th will feature Gizzae, an "Ethiopian Rooted Reggae," that includes a band with four grammys winners, some having played with Ziggy Marley’s touring band. Sunday is usually Island Night at the Point, but on this Friday, Rocket, Ruphael, Clem, Asrat and Ralph will certainly have the beach jammin’ and dancing in the sand.

On Friday, July 18th Lil’ Dave Thompson, a North Carolina guitar legend, will be passing through on the old Chitlin’ Circuit. Lil’ Dave leans heavy on Mississippi Delta Blues, or at least he did with his old Howlin’ Blues band, but now he’s with a new group that includes Josh Presler, Leon Baker and Dave Stuart, and Somers Point may be introduced to a new sound from Dave’s guitar and his new friends.

On July 25th, , when things couldn’t get any hotter, Dr. Bobby Fingers will play the keys and Danny Eyer guitar in what they’re billing as a Pop Rock Sing-a-long & Christmas in July Party. Now the good Doktor is a great pianist who does Billy, Bruce and Elton in his sleep, and on request, but he has this goof off schtick that’s sort of cross between Larry Ferrie and Soupy Sales that the girls like, and so will the kids.

Not all the recording talent is on the road and from out of town. On Friday August 1st local jazz saxman Howard Isaacson will celebrate the release of a new CD as the Somers Point beach becomes a CD Release Party for Isaacson’s contemporary melodic jazz. Familiar to anyone whose been to a Somers Point Jazz Fest, Isaacson will have some local players in his band and all his family, friends and neighbors will be there for this gig.

It’s going to be real hard to top Duke Robillard, Scott Holt, Gizzae, Lil’ Dave, but on August 8th Jill West and Blues Attack Party Band will play and may take things to new heights. From Pittsburgh, this hard edged blues band includes Nick Crano on drums, Hank Rattetto on bass, and Greg Krupa and Mark Cholewski in duel guitars, backing the fine vocals of Jill West.

August 15th is Billy Walton night. The hottest new guitarist around, Billy Walton earned a return to the beach after his hot show last summer, and he returns with his South Jersey Horns and Hot Young Jersey Boy Rockers. From Asbury Park, Walton opened for Jacque Major at the Stone Pony, and now has a strong Somers Point fan contingent. See and hear him yourself.

Things slow down a little on Friday August 22nd, when they bring in The New Old Fashioned, a Billy Joel Tribute Band, but hey, there’s a lot of Billy Joel fans out there who can now hear Billy’s songs on the beach.

But wait, this just in, a correction.

Drew Nielands checks in and reports that, "Hi Bill, I represent a band called "the New Old Fashioned." They are scheduled to perform as part of Somers Point Summer Concert Series. Somehow that band has been slated as a "Billy Joel Tribute Band". I don't know how this descirption came about but it is completely inaccurate. They do not play Billy Joel Covers. They are an original Americana band (that play a mix of eclectic covers as well). The band is signed to the CheapO Records label and regularly tour the east coast and beyond. If possible, a revision of your blog would be greatly appriciated. Thank You!

My blog has been revised to reflect the truth. And I hope to catch the show, with a bottle of red and a bottle of white and some clams at the Clam Bar.

The following week on Friday August 29th when we hear from Big James and the Chicago Playboys. It’s hard to believe that a guy who plays trombone can lead a band, but Big James Montgomery will make you a believer in the Chicago blues. Having played in the horn section behind Little Milton and Albert King, Big James struck out on his own, having recorded, "Thank God I Got the Blues," and played regular gigs at the House of Blues and Buddy Guy’s Legends, the Somers Point beach will be a different kind of gig for both Big James and for the audience.

As the summer schedule winds down, things stay interesting as blues guitarist Debbie Davies puts into the Somers Point beach on Friday, September 5th. Not as well known as the people she plays with, like James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, Charles Musselwhite and Tab Benoit, Debbie Davies is a rare, red head guitarist who has been nominated for the Best Female Blues Artist, so she’s going to have to live up to that billing.

Boogie woogie piano player Dave Maxwell will close out the 2008 summer season on a high note, on Friday, September 12th. Maxwell, who has been nominated for Handys, Grammys and a Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award, is responsible for the original Roomfull of Blues, and has a CD "Maximum Blues Piano," which says exactly what he does.

Most people in Somers Point may not have heard of Duke Robillard, Scott Hold, Lil’ Dave, Jill West, James Montgomery, Debbie Davies or David Maxwell before, but by the end of the summer they will if they attend the free Friday night beach concerts.

[Bill Kelly can be reached at ]

Friday, May 16, 2008

Camp Jam Spring 2008

When I first heard about Billy Hector from Tim, a Browns Mills neighbor who lives a few blocks up on Lakeshore Drive, I didn't realize that he not only had a cult following of people who really like good music, but that they also put on their own little rock fest Camp Jam.

Camp Jam in the Pines started small, but is now almost a major industry, as their web site shows:

The first Hector groupie I met after Tim was Roger Beckweth, also a Browns Mills neighbor, who used to have a radio show on the Burlington College station (Where Michael Tierson can also be heard on Friday nights), and now puts out a weekly tip sheet for live music

From Dad's, Clarke's and Dempsters in Mt. Holly, to the Hedger House (A real Roadhouse) in Chatsworth, Jake's Escape on 206 or Harper's in Clementon, there's a group of twenty or so avid music fans who follow Billy Hector around and try to catch him whenever and whereever he plays.

One night at the Hedger House, I overheard someone call "Cooch," who I inquired, "Coochanada? from Camden Catholic High School?"

Indeed it was the same "Cooch," who was a few years ahead of me, but who had a sister Ellen, who was a year behind me, and married one of my good friends from down the Shore, Pete Pospech, from Mack & Manco Pizza days.

Cooch was one of the Billy Hector crowd, along with his cousin Lisa, and her friends, all of whom go to Camp Jam.

Most of these people also like to dance, and one Sunday afternoon last summer, while Billy Hector was playing in the back barn at the Hedger House, one of the dancers was a wild red head, who I got to talking to later on.

She's the main driving force behind Camp Jam, and was enthusiastically telling me about when Billy Hector came over and asked when he's going to get to play Camp Jam again?

Well, it's not this time, as Billy's not on the list, but these people know good music and whoever is playing Camp Jam you can be sure they've been checked out, seriously vetted, and are truely terrific.

I was with Tim, the neighbor who first turned me on to Billy Hector, and he was packing up his pickup to head out to Elmer and stake out his camp site on Thursday afternoon. After all, getting the right spot at Woodstock was half the battle.

So here it is early Friday morning and I'm looking out the picture window at the rain coming down hard on the lagoon, and the ducks playing around like it's just right, and thinking of Tim setting up his camp in the rain.

Just like Woodstock! In the rain.

It won't make any difference, except a few of the less hearty souls will stay away, but those who show will have a great time.

Tim wants me to stop by his campsite and the crazy red head promised me a free pass if I wrote something positive about Camp Jam, so there you have it.

But I don't know about camping out in the rain. I was at Woodstock and it was no walk in the woods.

Hold on, I'm coming.


Roger: 2006 - photo 030

The Red head:

Billy Hector:

Billy and Reds: