David Bromberg, Godfather of Americana, highlights 2015 Blues Bash; Wolfe/Ginty team up to headline Friday night

The 6th Annual Blues Bash at Centenary College March 20 and 21 blends Blues, Americana, and other styles of music in a two - night extravaganza that will be a real treat for music lovers.  This year's Bash features the Godfather of Americana, David Bromberg and his Quintet, on Saturday night.  Bomberg's material, based in the folk and blues idioms, encompass the blues, bluegrass, ragtime, country and ethnic music. Presented by Joe Hirsh Productions, in association with the Centenary Stage Company, Blues Bash 2015 will be held at the Sitnik Theater at Centenary College’s Lackland Center.

Friday night's lineup includes the award-winning Todd Wolfe Band performing with special guest John Ginty on the B-3 Hammond Organ, along with Gentlemen East.  Wolfe was part of Sheryl Crow's band for many years, but has a distinct sound of his own that has gotten him national recognition.  Ginty, a founding member of the Robert Randolph Family Band, is one of the most sought after keyboardists in the U.S., having played with the Allman Brothers, Santana, Govt. Mule, Bob Wier and Ratdog, Widespread Panic, and on a regular basis, the Dixie Chicks, among others.  The newly formed Gentlemen East is comprised of former members of The Badlees and Breaking Benjamin, two bands with their own solid history. 

Bromberg was born in Philadelphia in 1945 and raised in Tarrytown, NY. “As a kid I listened to rock ’n’ roll and whatever else was on the radio,” says Bromberg. “I discovered Pete Seeger and The Weavers and, through them, Reverend Gary Davis. I then discovered Big Bill Broonzy, who led me to Muddy Waters and the Chicago blues. This was more or less the same time I discovered Flatt and Scruggs, which led to Bill Monroe and Doc Watson.”

Bromberg’s sensitive and versatile approach to guitar-playing earned him jobs playing the Village “basket houses” for tips, the occasional paying gig, and employment as a backing musician for Tom Paxton, Jerry Jeff Walker and Rosalie Sorrels, among others. He became a first-call, “hired gun” guitarist for recording sessions, ultimately playing on hundreds of records by artists including Bob Dylan (New Morning, Self Portrait, Dylan), Link Wray, The Eagles, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, and Carly Simon.

He toured with his own band for some time and then went into semi-retirement for a while and got into the violin making business. In 2013, content with the balance of both his violin business and performing career, Bromberg was ready to record again with his live band. Enlisting old friend Larry Campbell (three-time Grammy-winning producer for Levon Helm and multi-instrumentalist with Bob Dylan) and engineer Justin Guip, David and his group entered Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY, in March 2013. Enlisting some of Helm's former recording and touring musicians for added instrumentation, the David Bromberg Band emerged twelve days later with 'Only Slightly Mad,' a return to his genre-bending albums of the Seventies and Eighties. Bromberg fans will find blues, bluegrass, gospel, folk, Irish fiddle tunes, pop and English drinking songs happily coexisting as they can only on a Bromberg album. 

Opening up for Bromberg will be the blues duo Mulebone. The Blues Bash also features pre-shows at Marleys Gotham Grill each day, and a post show party on Saturday night at Marleys.

Sponsors and supporters of Blue Bash 2015 are the Inn at Millrace Pond, Good Impressions Printing & Mailing, Karmabridge Acupuncture, Hackettstown Business Improvement District, Marley’s Gotham Grill, PNC Bank, Cathy Miller Photography, HTV Media Productions, WNTI, and CHP Communications.  

The Inn at Millrace Pond, a quaint B&B in nearby Hope, NJ, is offering special Blues Bash room rates. Call 908-459-4884 for details!  

Show Schedule and Ticket Pricing:

Friday March 20th
Todd Wolfe Band w/ John Ginty
Plus, Gentlemen East (with former members of The Badlees and Benjamins)
Advance (All Seats) - $25.00
Day of - $30.00
Premier Seating (Must call box office to purchase)

Saturday March 21st
David Bromberg Quintet
Opener -  Mulebone
Orchestra - $45.00
Day of - $50.00
Balcony - $37.50
Day of - $42.50
Premier Seating (Must Call box office to purchase)

Blues Bash Flex Pass:

($65.00) 2-night admission ($5.00 discount off Adult Ticket Price). Cannot be used for Premier Seating.

The Blues Bash also features pre-shows at Marleys Gotham Grill each day, and a post show party on Saturday night at Marleys. Other related events can be found at joehirshproductions.com or "like" the Blues Bash NJ Facebook Page. Tickets at http://www.centenarystageco.org/centenary-blues-bash.php.

Navy man turned comedian Watson brings laughs to Inn at Millrace Pond Jan. 10

Too many comedians exaggerate about themselves when performing. Johnny Watson doesn't need to. When Johnny Watson tells a joke about himself and his family, it's real life. 

Watson brings his personal reality comedy routine to the Tavern at the Inn at Millrace Pond in Hope for a special show Saturday night Jan. 10. Hackettstown's  Chad Peterson, a regular on the New York/New Jersey comedy club scene, opens up for Watson.

Watson, who grew up in a tough New Jersey neighborhood, told jokes to survive. "I had to do something because I couldn't fight a lick," he said. So he told jokes to survive. - "I was the poor kid on free lunch who always got picked on.  I had to be funny if I wanted to stay alive!" 

And he’s still funny. Very funny - making countless fans laugh until they cry throughout North America. Many of his (real life) bits are about his family, his heroin addicted dad, apathetic mom, and his own juvenile alcoholism before quitting at age 18. "I was the designated driver before they had designated drivers," he said. Johnny has turned life’s hard-knocks into comedy and is loved by audiences for it. 

After graduating dead LAST in his class, Grandma Watson implored him to become a comedian because "It's what you do best! And… you're no good at anything else!"  After a semester in college and four years in the Navy, Johnny returned to his first love – comedy as his full-time profession. Several years later he remains one of the most popular comics on the circuit. Watson has appeared throughout the United States and Canada at many of the biggest clubs, including HA Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club in New York City, and The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. He has also appeared in numerous TV, film and theater productions. 

Peterson, who grew up in Stanhope, started performing stand up in 2009 and has been on the circuit ever since. He jokes about everything from world politics to garbage disposal. Peterson was nominated earlier this year by the readers of Seven Days newspaper as one of the best comedians in Vermont. 

Showtime is 8 p.m. Dinner reservations for the show starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for the comedy show are just $10 each. The Inn offers an array of cocktails and craft and domestic beers. The Inn at Millrace Pond is located in the heart of historic Hope, just minutes from Route 80, Exit 12. To make a reservation, call 908-459-4884. For more about the Inn, visit www.innatmillracepond.com.

WNTI's new showcase series at Millrace Pond debuts Feb. 6 with Gina Rajeckas Royale

WNTI prides itself on not only playing great music of established musicians, but also highlighting up and coming talent, particularly when it comes to Northwest New Jersey.

A new showcase series that focuses on these up and coming artists kicks off at the Inn at Millrace Pond in Hope on Friday night Feb. 6 with Blairstown's Gina Rajeckas Royale taking center stage in The Tavern. WNTI DJ Jeff Rusch, whose Saturday morning show, Crow's Nest, has been a fixture at the station for many years, will host the Tavern Showcase Series.  

"This is an opportunity to give some very talented musicians a showcase to perform live," said Mel Thiel, Development Director and Manager of WNTI. "We have an amazing pool of talented musicians in our region and we want to use this series to highlight them in a cozy setting."

The historic Inn, located in the heart of Hope, is a B&B/Restaurant that offers entertainment throughout the year. The WNTI Showcase will be a semi-regular event at the Inn. Admission to the showcase is $10 per person, with proceeds going to the hugely popular WNTI, a public non-profit radio station. 

Rajeckas Royale, a senior at North Warren Regional High School, plays the piano and has an amazing voice that will surely take her places in the years to come.

A contemporary singer/songwriter, she is a driven musician with passion. Her upcoming EP, "Heir", is a compilation of a few of her original songs. Inspired by a teacher, an ex-friend, and a guy, Royale pours her heart into the EP, drawing inspiration from a wide variety of artists such as Stevie Wonder, The Broods, P!nk, John Mayer, Michael Jackson, and The Beatles. Royale has sung and played the piano for almost all her life, but she started writing her own songs at 14 years old.

"After writing my first song, I remember sitting at the piano and just soaking it in," she remembered. "The fact that I just put my thoughts and feelings into my own song was awesome. It was unreal."

Since then, she has come a long way with an abundance of support from family, friends, and fans. Her ultimate goal is for her music to inspire people across the globe. "I want my music to do for people what it does for me; music heals, and music inspires," she said. 

For more about Royale and to give her music a listen, visit www.ginaroyale.com

Show is from 7 to 9 p.m.. The Inn offers an array of cocktails and craft and domestic beers. The Inn at Millrace Pond is located just minutes from Route 80, Exit 12. To make a reservation, call 908-459-4884. For more about the Inn, visit www.innatmillracepond.com.