Friday, May 27, 2011

Billy Walton w/Southside Johnny


Billy Walton now plays guitar with Southside Johnny's Asbury Jukes
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Southside Johnny, with Billy Walton on guitar

Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes at Ocean City Music Pier
Saturday, May 28 • 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Ocean City Music Pier
Moorlyn Terrace & Boardwalk
Ocean City, New Jersey
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 on the day of the show and are available online [] for this all ages, all seated show.
Doors open at 7:30 PM.

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes could be the best party band at the Jersey Shore, but they've been around the block and up and down the boardwalk a few times, so we're familiar with the songs and pretty much know how things will go down on the Ocean City Music Pier, but there's going to be something fresh and even more invigorating with guitarist Billy Walton playing along.

I remember when Southside Johnny did a show in the ballroom of the Atlantic City Convention Hall (now Boardwalk Hall), a totally underused venue that should be used more frequently. That had to be in the late 70s or early 80s, as I recall stopping to see Bob Campanell and the Shakes at Merrels in Margate, the best show of the night. Bob fronted the hotest band at the Shore then, and now Billy Walton does.

While Southside comes from the same vein of music, if not the same exit off the Parkway as Bruce and the boys from the Park, so does his new guitarist Billy Walton.

Anybody who goes to the Southside show at the Ocean City Music Pier this Saturday should pay special attention to Walton, who many will recognize from his Somers Point Beach concerts the past few years, and his frequent appearances at local clubs with his own band.

Billy Walton is the hottest guitarist to come out of the Jersey Shore since Billy Hector, whose a older, wiser and more refined, and also from the same school, but is outshined by Billy Walton's youthful energy. Walton started playing in bands when he was 15 years old, and now he's been doing it for 15 years and is ready to breakout on his own like a wild stallion on a leash.

The Billy Walton Band is an often expanded power trio that also includes creative bassist William Paris and solid drummer Marcus Croan, and keeps its roots close to funky blues and a jam band style that lets the thirty year old Walton shine on guitar.

Tony Mart's son Carmen Marotta was the first to spot Billy Walton's exceptonal talent and bring him down here to play a Tony Mart reunion, and he's done several Tony Mart shows since then, as well as Good Old Days at Kennedy Park, beach concerts and local bar gigs. Walton is widely considered to be the best guitarist around, and only Danny Eyer gives him serious competition.

Just as many of the British bands came over to make it here during the British Invasion years, the Billy Walton Band is more popular in the UK than it is in the USA, and makes routine tours of England, where Walton is a protege of guitar guru Roger Mayer.

Sometimes The Billy Walton Band will open for Southside and Walton will do double-duty, without a letup on his guitar licks.

Southside has a big band, usually a nine piece orchestra, complete with horn section, but if you go, you'll see how Billy Walton stands out, and whose bound for glory, so one day you can say that you saw Billy Walton when he was just a sideman with Southside Johnny.

Now with Billy in Southside's band, they have to work the Billy Walton Band gigs around the Juke's schedule, but still manage to get some local gigs in.

The Billy Walton Band will be at the Sweetwater Casino on Sunday, June 5, Breezes Bar & Grill on Rt. 9 in New Gretna (Parkway Exit 50), and will probably be back on the Somers Point Beach sometime this summer. (Beach Schedule to be announced, check back here soon).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Daryl Hall with Todd Rundgren

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Daryl Hall

Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren
Date: May 27th
Time: 9 p.m.
Venue: Borgata Event Center
Location: One Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ, 08401
Phone: 609-317-1000

Of course we know Daryl Hall as a local guy from Philly whose partnership with John Hall resulted in an incredible string of hits in the 70s and 80s, selling over 60 million albums, including "Do It For Love," "Rich Girl," "Kiss On My List," "Maneater," "Private Eyes," "I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)," "Sara Smile," "She’s Gone" and "One On One."

While Hall & Oates continue to perform together, and appear to be set for a Friday, June 17, 2011 gig at the Borgata, Hall's May 27th show will be with another Philly guy, Todd Rundgren.

Rundgrin, best known for his studio work with other bands, has a few hit singles of his own, like "Hello It's Me," "I Saw the Light," and "Bang the Drum All Day."

The first time I heard Rundgrin, and didn't know it at the time, was in 1968 when he was with Woody's Truck Stop, a band that played at the Philadelphia Airport when Presidential Peace candidate Gene McCarthy visited town.

After that he signed with Dylan's manager (BTW Happy Birthday Bob!) Albert Grossman, in a band Runt, with Soupy Sales' sons Hunt and Tony.

One interesting tidbit on Todd is that on the day Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon, Chapman left an eight-track tape of Rundgren's album The Ballad of Todd Rundgren, along with other artifacts, in his New York hotel room in an orderly semicircle on the hotel dresser. "I left it as a statement, I guess," he was quoted as saying in Let Me Take You Down: Inside the Mind of Mark David Chapman, the Man Who Killed John Lennon (Jack Jones, Villard Books, 1992). Chapman had been obsessed with Rundgren and told Jones, "Right between the chambers of your heart is how Rundgren's music is to me. I cannot overestimate the depth of what his music meant to me."

Todd's mom lives in Ocean City, which was also at one time home to Stevie Nick's mom, and I believe is visited on occasion by Patti Smith's mom, which makes me think they should all get together sometime for lunch - Rock Star Moms.

In any case, it is a special occasion for Daryl Hall to join forces with Todd Rundgren, and this new union stems from Rundgren's appearance on Hall's video internet show, Live From Daryl's House, which is a really good show that everyone interested in good music should check out.

I first tuned in after I heard John Fitzpatrick and the Tantrum's - Fitz & the Tantrum's "Moneygrabber," which gets good airplay on the University of Penn station WXPN, and were featured on Conan last month.

They also do a show with Daryl Hall at Daryl's House, and the setting and scene appears quite relaxed, as the guests visit Daryl and his wife and have dinner and talk about music before getting down to playing a half dozen songs. It's really pretty good.

Well, according to Daryl, the show he did with Todd went over so well with both of them that they decided to take it on the road, and bring it to Borgata on May 27.

I don't know if I can make it, but would like to hear a report from anyone who goes to the show - email me or post your comments below.