Los Straightjackets, Garland Jeffreys, Incendio highlight WNTI Stage Music Festival July 15-17

The iconic Los Straightjackets, Garland Jeffreys and Incendio are among the featured bands set to take the stage at this year's WNTI Stage Music Festival July 15-17.

Over the course of three days on two different stages, there will be a host of acts covering an array of genres, from singer-songwriters to full steam ahead rock and roll bands.

WNTI Stage, presented by WNTI.ORG, is Northwestern New Jersey’s premier summer music festival, this year taking place Friday through Sunday, July 15-17. 

Los Straightjackets, traveling in from California, is one of the most entertaining surf rock bands anywhere. Over the years the band has developed a cult following through its tight instrumentation and gimmicky stage shows. When performing live, band members dress identically, wearing black clothing, gold Aztec medallions, and personalized Mexican wrestling masks. Amis (aka "Daddy-O Grande") is the only member who speaks, introducing songs in fast, badly accented Spanish.

As time goes on, their stage shows have become more elaborate. Shows frequently feature choreography and guest vocalists.

Garland Jeffrey's background is unique as he uses parts of his Puerto Rican and African American heritage has influenced his songwriting.  

"It’s affected my songwriting in a major way when it comes to how race has influenced it," he said. "My grandmother came from Puerto Rico; My mother was born in the States. I had quite an interesting family, to say the least. But the music itself does not come from any of that. Early on in my career, I started writing songs about issues, and the race issue (was just one of several areas that was focused on)."

Incendio is described in the following way:  An exotic melody accompanies a desert caravan moving beneath a blazing sun. The sound of waves wash against a pristine South American beach. A lone flamenco guitar echoes through the cobbled streets of old Sevilla. And a lilting three quarter time rhythm conjures images of the rolling green hills of Ireland. The music is cinema. It is sound given shape and color. This is the music of Incendio.

Among the other acts during the weekend will be the Grand Slambovians, the Dana Gaynor Band, and Uncle Floyd. The full schedule can be found at www.wntistage.org.

Presented by the hugely popular station WNTI.ORG from Centenary University, in partnership with Kennedy Event Services. WNTI Stage, now in its fifth year, takes place at the Lions Pavilion on Route 46 in Knowlton Township and has become a weekend-long party for enthusiasts of the music festival scene. In addition to the non-stop music, there's plenty of food and beverages, and some of the region’s most phenomenal crafters and vendors. 

This year's sponsors include: Century Link, Gallagher's Plumbing and Heating, Horizon Services, Inc., PocoNote, LLC, RP Machine, Minglewood Kennels, Direct Millwork, and First Hope Bank. 

Friday hours are 6-10 p.m., Saturday 12-10 p.m., and Sunday, 12-7 p.m. The charge for admittance is: Friday $20. Saturday $25. Sunday $20. A 3-day pass is $50. Children 12 and under free, and parking is free as well. 

The food menu is as diverse as the music, with everything from seafood to vegetarian to American Classic food available. Vendors selling a variety of products from jewelry to funky tee-shirts will also be on hand.  

Organizers only ask that you leave the coolers and pets at home.  

Discount three day passes now available online www.wnti.org or www.wntistage.org ($50 each until the end of June.  This is a $15 savings). Day passes also available online.

For more information about the festival or WNTI.ORG in general, go to www.wnti.org.

Stanhope House to launch summer jam band series on Wednesdays

If it's a Wednesday this summer, then it's Stanhope Jamboozel Night at the Stanhope House.

The iconic night club will be featuring the music of jam bands every Wednesday night this summer, starting on June 29. Every Wednesday will start with an open mic hosted by Dave Fields for musicians who want to jam it out from 7 to 9 p.m., followed by a featured band starting after 9.

The band IDB kicks off the summer series on June 29, followed by Steel Gravy July 6, Tweed on July 13, JP Jammin' July 20 and Mythic West on July 27.

In addition to the music of the likes of Grateful Dead, Moe, Phish and other jam bands, the Stanhope House will offer a "Headie Happy Hour" from 5-7 p.m., and specials throughout the night including a crafted Grilled Cheese Sandwich Menu.

The Stanhope House is located at 45 Main Street in Stanhope.

Cover charge for the Wednesday Night Stanhope Jamboozel is just $5.

Setting the stage for the series will be IDB.

IDB, based out of Somerset County, is quickly making a name for itself in "jam circles." They are a quintet that combines decades of live performance experience, unique improvisational skills, and a love of the Grateful Dead. The result is a unique blend of music that's creating a buzz and drawing bigger and bigger crowds at each tri-state area show. Playing songs from each unique era of the Dead, each member of IDB brings their own style to every song to make it their own.

IDB is not a tribute band, but a group of musicians who pay tribute to the style and experience of a Grateful Dead concert each and every time they take the stage

For tickets and further information about the Stanhope House, go to www.stanhopehousenj.com or call 973-347-7777.

Bob Lanza, Grover Kemble & Za Zu Zaz, Bad Hands reunion, Hair of the Dog to hit the blues at Inn at Millrace Pond's 4th Annual Blues and Craft Brews Fest July 24

A reunion of The Bad Hands with special guest Dan Fadel, Bob Lanza, Grover Kemble & Za Zu Zaz, and Hair of the Dog will make for a super cool day when the Inn at Millrace Pond hosts its annual 4th Annual Blues and Craft Brews Festival on Sunday July 24.

This year's musical line-up is killer, with four power-packed bands ready to crank out the blues. The gates open at 1 p.m. and the music is set to start at 1:30. The music continues until 7 p.m. An assortment of Craft Beers will be on tap, along with plenty of food for purchase.

The Blues and Craft Brews Fest is presented by the historic Inn at Millrace Pond and First Hope Bank in association with Joe Hirsh Productions and Tramontin Harley-Davidson.

The Bob Lanza Band has been lighting up the blues circuit big time over the past year, and is now a frequent act at blues festivals in the tri-state region. Grover Kemble & Za Zu Zaz have signed on for a rare appearance in Northwest Jersey, and Hair of the Dog is a Sussex County-based band that's been making some waves.

The special attraction, though, is the reunion of one of the area's most formidable acts, The Bad Hands led by Mike Gallemore, and for this show, featuring guest drummer Dan Fadel, haven't played in New Jersey in over a year. The Chicago blues sound will surely have folks thumping to the music.

Advanced tickets can be purchased at the Inn, in the Village of Hope, or at Tramontin Harley-Davidson, which is located at the Route 80 Exit 12 ramp. They are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Tickets for seniors, bikers and students are just $10. Kids 12 and under free with accompanying adult. You can also make ticket reservations by calling the Inn, 908-459-4884.

Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs if they'd like, however, please no coolers or pets.

The Inn at Millrace Pond, a historic bed and breakfast and restaurant just minutes from Route 80, Exit 12. The Tavern, located in the restaurant's tap room downstairs, is the perfect setting to listen to music and enjoy a pub style menu.  The Inn regularly features music with its Friday night music series and on some Saturday nights patrons enjoy dinner while listening to live piano music. Weather permitting, the Inn also offers patio dining outside.

The Inn at Millrace Pond is located in the heart of Hope at 313 Johnsonburg Road by Route 519. For more information about the Inn at Millrace Pond, to make a reservation in the restaurant "upstairs" or in the "Fireside Tavern" downstairs, call 908-459-4884 or visit www.innatmillracepond.com.