‘Not for Nothing Tour’ has Quimby Mountain Band teaming up with Midnight North w/Grahame Lesh

Midnight North (featuring Grahame Lesh, son of Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh) and Jersey-based Quimby Mountain Band are teaming up and hitting the road together in June for the “Not For Nothing Tour”.  The 9-day, seven show tour has stops in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

The tour opens up on Thursday June 11 at Daryl’s House Club (owned by Daryl Hall) in Pawling, N.Y., and finishes at the 8x10 Club in Baltimore on June 19. The opening weekend also includes the Stone Pony in Asbury Park June 12 and the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg on June 13. This is the first east coast tour for Midnight North.

The iconic Stone Pony in Asbury Park, a venue that Quimby Mountain Band has played in the past, has been the home to scores of great acts over the years. The Midnight North/Quimby Mountain show kicks off the summer music season down the shore. 

The Sherman Theater is located in Downtown Stroudsburg. Quimby Mountain Band has played the Sherman many times. Most recently they opened up for Rusted Root there in December. 

They say if you work hard enough, opportunity flies like seeds on the wind. Midnight North is a case in point. Midnight North, which features Phil Lesh’s son Grahame, is not resting on any laurels. The California Bay Area based band takes nothing for granted as it moves forward. The band’s debut album ‘End of the Night’ proved successful enough online and on CD that they chose to press a limited edition mixed colored vinyl record. In an age when bands seem to come and go like fireflies, Midnight North is entering its second year of making things happen. The band’s weekly gig at the famous Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA gives them an expansive outlet and through webcasting live they have been connecting with fans as far away as Japan.  

Quimby Mountain Band, meanwhile, continues its surge upward not only in New Jersey, with new fan bases opening up in Baltimore, Washington DC, Eastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere every day. The band is currently working on its fourth album. Its third disc, simply titled Quimby Mountain III, received solid reviews. The Aquarian Weekly noted that "Quimby's third album demonstrates the depth of their music, with each song telling its own story. It's a blend of musical styles that boasts individual personalities while seamlessly tying the disc together." Quimby has opened up for a host of major acts, including Rusted Root, Marshall Tucker, Dark Star Orchestra, and Railroad Earth.

Tickets for all shows are available on line at the respective venues. For info on Quimby Mountain Band see www.quimbymountainband.net. For more about Midnight North, go to www.midnightnorth.com.


Mef Gannon to give special performance at the Inn at Millrace Pond May 1

One of Northwest New Jersey’s favorite singer-songwriters, Mef Gannon, will give a special performance at the Inn at Millrace Pond on Friday May 1.

Formerly of The Partners and longtime duo, Mef & Angela, Gannon performs mainly solo these days. Throughout the years she has played at many venues and festivals in the region, including The Stanhope House, Groove in the Grove, Knowlton Riverfest, and the Festival in the Borough in Washington.

Gannon’s bluesy voice and song selection runs the gamut, from upbeat power pop/folk to soul-searching ballads to down home rock and roll.

Gannon will play in the Tavern at the Inn from 7 to 9 p.m. There is no charge for the music. Reservations for this show, in particular, are highly recommended.

The historic Inn, located in the heart of Hope, is a B&B/Restaurant that offers entertainment throughout the year. Every Friday night the Inn features an array of area performers.

In addition to a Tavern and full menu, 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.

New Jersey native Danielia Cotton takes center stage for WNTI Fundraiser May 2

American rock singer Danielia Cotton, who grew up in Hunterdon County and is now performs throughout the United States, takes center stage on May 2 when WNTI Radio hosts a fundraiser for the public station at the Historic Blairstown Theater. 

Show time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 each, with proceeds going to WNTI.

Cotton, who comes from a musical family, is the daughter of jazz vocalist Wenonah Brooks and the niece of jazz vocalists Jeannie Brooks and Carol Brooks-Meyners.

"Danielia really brings it on stage," said Melanie Thiel, Development Director at WNTI. "She is one of those 'wow' performers."  

When not doing her jazz thing, Cotton's single mom also supported the family doing accounting work. When Danielia was 12 years old, her mom gave her an acoustic guitar, a prescient move designed to help a daughter find an emotional and creative outlet. She also started harmonizing with her mom and her aunts in a gospel group, the Brooks Ensemble Plus. 

Along with her growing love for rock, Cotton developed a warm appreciation for jazz and gospel and to this day, her musical style can run the gamut. 

In 2005 Cotton released her debut album Small White Town (title inspired by Hopewell). Although Cotton is not a fan of comparisons, she was soon earning them after her debut album with such titans as Tina Turner, Janis Joplin and even the Rolling Stones.  She was immediately pegged by World Cafe as an "Artist to Watch". And it's been an upward swing ever since as Cotton has played in clubs and festivals around the country, and has opened for some of the biggest names in rock, R&B and blues including the Allmans, BB King, Bon Jovi, and Robert Cray, 

For tickets and other information,visit www.wnti.org or call 908-979-4355, Ext. 1. For directions to the theater, visit www.thehbt.com.

Community Festival Goes Bigtime

The Bourbon Street Blues Festival in Lebanon Township (Hunterdon County) started simply enough. Organizers wanted to raise money to build a new playground. Nine years later the one-day festival that annually features national and regional acts is as strong as ever, with its initial intent still intact - raising money for community endeavors.

This year's festival, scheduled for Saturday May 16, once again will take place at spacious Lebanon Township Memorial Park, The Bourbon Street Blues Festival will have great music, and most importantly though, raise money for worthy organizations. Over the years, over 20 groups have been beneficiaries of the event's proceeds, totaling tens of thousands of dollars. 

While the festival remains a "community event" in Lebanon Township, it has also become a must-go festival throughout the area - and beyond.  

"It's a win-win for everyone," said Greg Starr, a founding organizer. "You got amazing music, including nationally known bands and terrific regional acts right here close to home, and the community benefits."

Bourbon Street Wine & Spirits has been the presenting sponsor since the event's inception. 

This year's musical line-up includes the Ed Palermo Big Band with special guest Rob Paparozzi, Alexis P. Sutter, and the Trudy Lynn Band from Texas, with guest players Steve Krase on Harmonica and Bob Lanza on guitar. CB Radio is among the many other acts that will take part that day on two different stages.

For this show, the versatile Ed Palermo Big Band is focusing on the blues music of Paul Butterfield & Mike Bloomfield. Alexis P. Sutter's throaty voice brings her style of blues together with a mix of gospel and funk. In Trudy Lynn, New Jersey will get a real treat when the internationally renowned artist takes the stage. Lynn, who rarely plays in the Northeast, is being joined by Krase, described by one critic as a "one man wrecking crew" with a harmonica. 

The family-friendly festival quietly draws thousands of attendees each year. There is free parking, food, beer, and lots of vendors. Tickets are always kept reasonable price: $30 for adults, $15 for college students and military folks, $7 for children 6-17 years old. Kids 5 and under are free. 

Gates open at 11 a.m. and music commences at 11:30 and goes until 9 p.m. For more information about the festival and advance tickets, go to www.bourbonstreetbluesfest.com.