Formerly known as Localpalooza, Artistree will takeover downtown Norfolk October 23 -25. Hosted at several downtown venues including The NorVa, Granby Theater, The Plot, FM Restaurant, The Parlor on Granby, The Naro and many more, Artistree will feature more than a hundred local, national and regional musician and artists.
Many Live Music Friday alums will take part including Bria Kelly, RastaMiles, Corbin Dallas, The Dahus, The Wet Boys, SicMan of VA, The Muckrakes and Traprock Misfit. Headliners include Biz Markie and Darkest Hour and the much-anticipated reunion of Left Wing Fascists.
Music will not be the only thing you can see and hear – you can check out the several independent films that will be screened and take part in education panels that will cover music industry-related topics. Panelist include Dave Ravikoff of Warner Brothers Records, Bill Reid of The NorVa and Nick Chappell of 96X.
The Festival will also be working with Music 4 More to raise funds and collect instruments to school and community music programs. Chesterfield Elementary, Blair Middle School and Granby High School will benefit from this year’s donations.
It’s not everyday you meet a band that truly understands the passion and work ethic it takes to make it in this crazy business. It’s not everyday that you meet a band that has a true connection with their fans, that take the time to talk, hangout and listen to every single fan. Today was a day that I met that band – The Raskins.
Comprised of twin New York born and raised brothers, Logan and Roger Raskin were born in this business. Their father, Tony Raskin, was a Broadway actor starring in feature roles in South Pacific, Oklahoma, and Damn Yankees just to name a few and their mother, Judy Lee Raskin, an accomplished jazz singer. “Watching my dad perform and watching the audience react to him – that’s what grabbed me into the entertainment business” said Roger Raskin (guitar), who as a kid would sit at the high end of the piano playing while brother Logan (lead vocals) would sit at the low end playing. “We didn’t have any TVs in the house but we didn’t need that, music filled the house.” Influenced not just from their parents but also from the NYC rock scene with Blondie, The Ramones, and the New York Dolls, the brothers knew this is exactly what they wanted to do. And they have certainly done it well.
This past May, The Raskins released their debut album and it’s good – really good (click here for my review) but it’s not just the music itself that makes it good, it’s the passion in it that you hear past the chords that really makes this record special. “This records is ours, we recorded, we mixed it – it wasn’t easy but it’s our”. Roger and Logan played all the instruments, recorded it themselves and mixed the record themselves – and that’s not an easy task to tackle. “We wanted to do it our way”. The record is raw and organic – no autotune, no funky modulating effects – just pure rock ‘n’ roll. Plug and play. They took what they did in the studio and applied it to their live show.
Backed by an incredible team of musicians (Johnny Martin – bass, Jet Lopez – guitar, Troy Patrick Farrell – drums), The Raskins are in the midst of touring the country opening up for Motley Crue’s Farewell tour. They are gaining new fans by the thousands at every show they open and it’s not just from the live performance but the interaction and relationships they have with their fans. After their set, they go out and meet everyone at their merch booth and spend the rest of the show signing autographs taking pictures and, more importantly, taking to them. Roger: “We understand the importance the connection between the band and the audience is.” Logan: “We answer every email, every tweet and fans know that they can reach us and that is what it is about.”
That really is what it is about – connecting with the fans. The Raskins are truly great band and even better people. They have a work ethic that’s like no other and they put 110% on that stage every night. Do yourself a favor and see The Raskins perform as soon as possible and buy their record now. They have a long and successful future ahead of them.
It’s one of my favorite events of the summer and it’s happening this weekend, the 52nd annual East Coast Surfing Championship. Professional surfers from all over the world converge on the Oceanfront to take on our swells and their competitors but there’s a lot more than the great surfing at ECSC – there’s skating, BMX, a 5K (your truly will be running), flag football, volleyball, the famous Miss ECSC swimsuit pageant and, of course, the music.
This year’s lineup is one of the best ECSC has ever had, with a great mix of local and national artists including several Live Music Friday alums. They will all be performing on a newly constructed massive beach stage on 4th Street. The music kicks off tonight at 5:30p with the great Brian Grilli, who will be playing songs from his album ‘A Damn Good Day’ and Natalie Stovall and the Drive. Below is the rest of the lineup for the weekend, so make sure you get out there and checkout all of the great acts – oh, did I mention that all of the concerts are FREE!
Brian Grilli – 5:30-6:45p
Natalie Stovall and the Drive – 7:05-8:30p
Cheap Thrills – 4:30-5:40p
Karnivale – 6:00-7:05p
The Deloreans – 7:15-8:25p
Bria Kelly – 8:45-10:00p
Freedom Hawk – 3:30-4:30p
Seth Stainback and Roosterfoot – 6:00p-7:00p
Jesse Chong Band – 7:20p-8:20p
Vans Presents: Plain White T’s – 8:45-10:00p
It’s been a little over a year since The Local Music Show on 96X was cancelled. That news stunned the local music community as it was their only outlet to get their music played on the airwaves. Well, I have a bit of good news for you. Starting Monday August 4, The 7:57 with Crizti Walsh will debut on 96X at, you guess it, 7:57pm and the best part is that the show will be on 5 days a week, Monday-Friday
So you’re asking, “How do I get my songs played?”. Easy, just send your tracks to email@example.com. This is exciting news as our community is rich in original talent and all of it deserves to be played on the airwaves.
The 7:57 – Your Daily Dose Of Local starting Monday, August 4 at 7:57PM on 96.1 FM or 96.5 FM
Mark September 30, 2014 down on your calendar with two simple letters: “VA”. That date is the day The Last Bison releases their much-anticipated follow-up to their epic Inheritance. The new album is titled VA as in Virginia. Recorded over the span of a few weeks, the band decided to approach a more independent-style of recording much like they did with their first release, Quill. The self-produced recordings were captured in their make shift recording studio called The Wigwam. 11 tunes will comprise VA and they will support it by hitting the road in the fall for a 15 city venture. Dates are below and a majority of them are on-sale now, just check with the venues. I will be hitting a few of the dates to see how the rest of country embraces are hometown band, so stayed tuned to this spot for that.
The Last Bison Fall Tour 2014
Sept. 26 Richmond, VA The Camel
Sept. 30 Pittsburgh, PA Hard Rock Cafe
Oct. 01 Bloomington, IN The Bishop
Oct. 02 Chicago, IL Schubas
Oct. 03 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
Oct. 04 Rock Island, IL Rozz Tox
Oct. 16 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Oct. 17 Fairfield, CT Stage One
Oct. 18 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe
Oct. 22 Durham, NC Motorco
Oct. 23 Atlanta, GA Vinyl
Oct. 24 Athens, GA New Earth
Oct. 25 Charlotte, NC Visulite Theater
Nov. 6 Vienna, VA Jammin’ Java
Nov. 7 Charlottesville The Southern
It’s not everyday that you pop in a new CD (or hit play on your iPod) and are immediately hooked on this music your ears have never heard before. Usually you groove into the first run through and then rinse and repeat a few times before you really love it – That is not the case with The Raskins. The first moments I heard the guitar on the opening track, We Had It All, I was hooked – immediately hooked. NY born and raised twin brothers, Roger and Logan Raskin have crafted a gem of a record. An adult orientated rock album that you just don’t hear anymore.
In this day in age of $.99 singles, there really isn’t a priority from a lot of bands to make a complete record. For the most part, you get a bunch of songs thrown together that just make an album – not a complete album – just an album. The songs on this self-titled record blend really well together and never missing a beat from one power driven guitar riff to another.
A great mix of pure rock tunes like We Had It All and Save Me Now to the pop rock sound of On The Radio to the deep punch of Lost In The Dark – every one of the 13 songs on the record tell a different story but blend extremely well together to make this a complete record. This is a record that every needs in their life.
You will be able to see The Raskins perform these great songs live on August 20 at Farm Bureau Live in Virginia Beach as they open up for Motley Crue’s Final Tour. I will also interview the guys earlier in the day and give you a behind the scenes look at their set. You can pick up this CD at the show or download it on iTunes and other digital outlets.
The sounds of the islands will be coming to the Oceanfront this Friday at the Jewish Mother. What will soon become a regular series, The Virginia Home Grown Roots Series will feature the best reggae and rhythm artists in the 757 as well as a handful of national and world artists.
Tickets are going fast, so get yours here. Doors open at 8p with the performances starting at 9p sharp. In case you missed it, check out Greg Gutty’s performance from The Hampton Roads Show from January 31:
Our good friends, The Last Bison, have been busy the last few months recording their follow-up to last year’s Inheritance. The new album is due in September but they just couldn’t wait that long to share the new tunes with you.
This Saturday they will be holding a special pre-release party at The Parlor on Granby, a new restaurant and live venue in Downtown Norfolk. The venue is small and intimate – so intimate that there were only 135 tickets available. As I’m writing this, there were very few left and it might be possible sold out by the time you read this. Click this link here to get your tickets if you’re so lucky. Tickets are $25 and the show starts at 8:30p and I’m sure it is going to be a great night!
If you didn’t get a ticket to this show, you can still have a great night of great music in Downtown Norfolk. Head across the street to The NorVa for a Night Of Rock ‘N’ Soul. Revery will be releasing their much-anticipated CD, Adora De Phonic, – produced by yours truly and The Fuzz Band, Ghost Of April and Augustine will be along for the ride. Tickets are still available for $12.50 and you can grab them at The NorVa or by clicking this link.
I will talk about this show more tomorrow as The Fuzz Band will be our Live Music Friday featured artist on The Hampton Roads Show.
Most in Hampton Roads consider the unofficial start of Summer Memorial Weekend but in Norfolk, it’s always the first weekend in June – Harborfest Weekend.
Tall ships from around the World sail down the Elizabeth River and dock at Town Point Park for a weekend filled with activities, fun, food and , of course, music. Two stages are setup in the park – the Boat House stage and the Main Stage. Headliners for the Main Stage include the electric Langhorne Slim, the southern rock of Blackberry Smoke and our very own The Last Bison. Ben and the gang have been busy in the studio recording their follow up to Inheritance, so I can bet that they’ll be testing out some new songs Saturday afternoon.
Local musicians fill up the Boat House stage including Live Music Friday alums Bobby Blackhat and Major and the Monbacks. Every genre of music is pretty much covered from the folk of Narissa Bond and Jacob Vanko, the Motown sounds of The Spinners and the indie roots of Apache Relay. Grab the family and get out and enjoy some great music!
This week is Mae week or , more appropriately, #maeweek. It marks the 10th anniversary of their ground-breaking album, Destination: Beautiful and Destination: B-Sides. To commemorate this event, Spartan Records – their label- has been releasing very limited special vinyl editions every day. Each day, 100 copies of different color varieties have been released and quickly snapped up. As of right now, Thursday’s edition has yet to go on sale but when it does, it will sell out quick! So keep up with Spartan Records at this link to get yours and if you miss out, no worries – there is always Friday.
The band - Dave Elkins, Zach Gehring, Jacob Marshall, Mark Padgett and Rob Sweitzer – will be performing a live StageIt show Saturday, June 7 at 9p EST. This will be there first time performing together since their trio of anniversary shows last year. They have been keeping themselves busy on their own respective projects. Dave has a new project called Schematic and released Color (n.) Inside The Lines. Zach started a new band called Demons and they are currently recording an EP. Jacob has been busy managing The Last Bison and Jake Clemons as well as starting the incredible Global Citizen project. Mark has been working behind the board, producing, engineering and mixing. He recently engineered and mixed Revery’s new album, Adora De Phonicand Rob is a member of Logan Vath’s band, The Vacant.