We already have some new music to look forward to next year, courtesy of none other than the great Zach Bryan.
He confirmed on Twitter that he’ll be putting out an album in 2023 called Writers and Fighters, adding that he’s done with new releases for this year, but he’s “never been more excited for anything in my entire life” in terms of the new music he has coming:
“hey guys, done dropping for awhile, besides the live album, working on a new project!
album for 2023 is called ‘Writers and Fighters’ and I have never been more excited for anything in my life.”
Are you a big Metallica fan like me? Never mind. I know you are. They’re the greatest rock band of all time! Certainly, you were excited beyond measure when they released a new song and announced a new world tour this week. It was the best Christmas present I could ever receive, and it’s not even Christmas yet!
Metallica is my favorite band of all time. Full stop. You might be thinking that’s something of a paradox for a priest. Metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth, and Pantera often call attention to the ugliness in the world. They don’t usually shine brightly like pop-divas or Top 40. They don’t often sing the praises of beautiful things like Pavarotti. Instead, they often shine a light on the darkness.
Well, that’s not totally right. They don’t talk about the darkness in order to dwell in it. To remain in it. To stay there in a place of despair. So much of the heavy metal spirit is about naming the darkness of the world in order to then allow the lights of self-determination and hope blaze a path forward. It’s about allowing the darkness to teach us how to persevere when the light is dim, and to even find beauty in those dark moments when the absence of overwhelming light allows us to slow down, to rest, and to wait for the right time to rise up and above.
Advent is a Christian season that shares a similarity with that heavy metal spirit. While the secular joys of Christmas have begun in earnest, within the liturgy on Sundays we hear Scriptures that speak of waiting in the darkness and looking for glimmers of hope. We sing songs in minor keys that name the longing of the human spirit to break away from the bondage of oppression, violence, and hunger. The bondage of sin. This season is a cauldron in which all of our fear, and pain, and unknowing, along with our hopes and joys, swirl together and, by the time we celebrate the First Mass of Christmas, break forth that morning with the energy of having moved through the darkness more fully into the light.
While I love the sights and sounds of secular Christmas, truly I do, I realize that such an almost artificial sense of joy cannot really be sustained for long, nor does it feed us in moments when the darkness is brighter than the light. To quote again my friend Stephen King, “If a fear cannot be articulated, it can’t be conquered.” We can set aside that which scares and pains us, ignoring it and pretending it away. But it will always return to haunt us. The only way to move past the darkness that threatens to overcome is to name it, allow it to wash over us, and then see that we are stronger on the other side of it. The light is found only within the darkness. That is the lesson of Advent and Christmas.
Chris Adams is the Rector at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Washington.
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Return To The ‘CMT Crossroads’ Stage
Pictured (L-R, back row): CMT’s Shanna Strassberg, Margaret Comeaux, and Leslie Fram. (L-R, front row): Robert Plant, CMT’s Michael McNamara, and Alison Krauss. Photo: Catherine Powell
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss returned to the CMT Crossroads stage on Tuesday night (Nov. 29), celebrating the franchise’s 20th anniversary. The duo currently have three nominations for their album Raise the Roof at the 65th annual Grammy Awards.
Tracy Lawrence Donates 60K To Nashville’s Homeless On Giving Tuesday
Tracy Lawrence donates to Brooks House on Giving Tuesday. Photo: Courtesy of OH Creative
Tracy Lawrence got in the swing of Giving Tuesday this year by supporting charities committed to ending homelessness across Middle Tennessee. The country artist, through his Mission:Possible organization, hand-delivered $10,000 to charities such as Safe Haven, People Loving Nashville, Shower Up, The Laundry Stop, Brooks House, and Open Table.
“While we were able to reach new records at the Turkey Fry last week, we realize there is a growing need around Middle Tennessee that continues to need our support,” Lawrence explains. “We’re thankful for all our supporters that make it possible for us to lend a hand to multiple organizations.”
Mission:Possible’s goal is to raise support for and awareness of the homeless population in Middle Tennessee and beyond. The organization’s longest-running annual event–the Thanksgiving week Turkey Fry and Benefit Concert–fried a record-breaking 1,200 turkeys and fed over 9,600 of those in need this holiday season. The benefit concert went on to raise another record-breaking $250,000 in support of Nashville Rescue Mission.
Riser House Entertainment Taps Ashley Mascroft As Promotions & Label Coordinator
Ashley Mascroft. Photo: Shannon Bradley
Riser House Entertainment has added Ashley Mascroft as Promotions and Label Coordinator.
Mascroft started in radio in 2007 at WRNX-FM (KIX 100.9) in Springfield, Massachusetts, and became the Promotions Director for WSIX-FM (The Big 98) in 2018, along with taking on promotional duties for WNRQ-FM (105.9 The Rock) in December 2019. Most recently, she spent time away from music as the COO of a Nashville-based apparel brand, Codeword, before rejoining the industry with Riser House.
“Ashley is incredibly competent and intelligent,” says Riser House Entertainment President and Co-Founder Jennifer Johnson. “Throw her a project, and she’ll have it planned out or fully executed that day. She’s already a huge asset, and I am honored to have her on our dynamic team at Riser House.”
“I’m excited to return to the music industry after taking a couple years away,” adds Mascroft. ‘I’m especially thankful to have found my new home with the Riser House team!”
Carnival Music Brings Out The Stops At Special Gathering
Pictured (L-R): Dale Dodson (No, Dale does not work for Carnival again), Chris Beavers, Mando Saenz, Marla Cannon-Goodman, Nicole Wyatt, Brent Cobb, Brittany Hamlin, and Emily McMannis.
Nashville-based publishing company Carnival Music recently hosted a special gathering in Nashville. Among those in attendance were Dale Dodson, Chris Beavers, Mando Saenz, Marla Cannon-Goodman, Nicole Wyatt, Brent Cobb, Brittany Hamlin, and Emily McMannis.
Alexia Wilkins Inks With APA
Alexis Wilkins and her team. Photo: Courtesy of Wortman Works
Arkansas-bred, Nashville-based artist Alexis Wilkins has inked an exclusive booking agreement with APA. On the heels of her top 10 selling single “Stand,” the Saddle Up Records singer will now be represented by APA’s Jeff Hill and his Nashville team for touring, sponsorship, film and TV, and literary endeavors.
“You are who you surround yourself with, and I couldn’t be more excited to work with such a wonderful group of people who understand the vision, support this music, and believe so much in the live show,” shares Wilkins. “Thank you so much Jules [Wortman] & APA, Jeff, Jenn [Hludzik], and the team, for being incredible partners, I’m already so looking forward to what we’ve got in the pipeline. Excited for 2023, touring, and putting out this new era of music. Let’s go play some country music, y’all.”
“We love the drive and talents of Alexis. She is a strong artist, songwriter, and creative,” adds Hill. “When you have a package and a conviction like hers, we cannot go wrong. Looking forward to growing her career. When promoters call wanting an act back after their first booking, we are surely in for a great run.”
Wilkins is managed by industry veteran Jules Wortman of Wortman Works. Ava Evans of Wortman Works handles PR and day-to-day management.
As Staff Writer and Content Manager, Lydia Farthing helps to generate online content for MusicRow as well as for MusicRow’s annual print issues. As a Nashville local, Lydia has spent her life immersed in the music industry. Prior to MusicRow, she spent time working closely with Provident Music Group’s publishing division as well as Aristo Media’s digital sector. Lydia graduated from the Music Business program at Middle Tennessee State University in December of 2020.
NEW SHOREHAM — After months of discussions behind closed doors, the town of New Shoreham and Ballard’s Inn have reached a settlement over liquor and outdoor entertainment license suspensions imposed by the town on Aug. 22.
The suspensions came as a result of problems that occurred throughout the summer at the popular beach resort venue that culminated on Aug. 8, Victory Day in Rhode Island, when Ballard’s hosted a reggae festival.
Among other measures, the agreement stipulates that Ballard’s “shall not host any music festivals or large-scale live music events.” Ballard’s also agrees to “dismiss the appeals pending before the Rhode Island Supreme Court and the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation.”
The settlement agreement, signed by all of the parties on Wednesday, Nov. 30, upholds the license suspensions that Steve Filippi, president of Shoreham Inc., appealed to the court and DBR, but reduces the 14-day suspension period to “time previously served.”
The agreement paved the way for the renewal of Shoreham Inc.’s licenses for Ballard’s for next year.
Looking for fun this December? Check out these events and activities happening all over New Jersey.
Please note that all schedules are subject to change; visit each venue’s website for more information.
Collective Yearning: Black Women Artists from the Zimmerli Art Museum Thru Dec 11 This month is your last chance to see this exhibition of prints, photographs and multimedia works from Black women—established and emerging artists alike—many of whom are from New Jersey, Manhattan and Philadelphia. Wednesday-Sunday, varying hours; FREE. Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. zimmerli.rutgers.edu
Saya Woolfalk’s artwork is a vast blend of different medias. Photo courtesy of Joseph Wong
Saya Woolfalk: Field Notes From the Empathic Universe Thru Dec 31 Multimedia artist Saya Woolfalk’s exhibition, “Field Notes From the Empathic Universe,” is a unique blend of portraits, landscapes, videos, digital collages and murals. $8-$10. Newark Museum of Art, Newark. newarkmuseumart.org
Canadian comedian Russell Peters is heading to Newark this month. Photo courtesy of NJPAC
Russell Peters Dec 3 Emmy- and Peabody award–winning Canadian comedian Russell Peters is hitting the road with his humorous observations on culture and his own childhood. Peters is best known for being the first comedian to get a Netflix stand-up special (2013’s Notorious). 7 pm; $51-$101. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark. njpac.org
Scott Seiss is known for his skits reenacting his experiences working at Ikea. Photo courtesy of Scott Seiss
Scott Seiss Dec 16-17 Scott Seiss has garnered millions of views on TikTok and Instagram for his videos reenacting interactions with rude and annoying customers during his time as an Ikea employee. Now Seiss is hitting the road to get audiences laughing with more of his relatable humor. 7:30 & 10 pm; $22-$33. Bananas Comedy Club, Rutherford. bananascomedyclub.com
Patti LaBelle is taking the stage at State Theatre New Jersey this month. Photo: Shutterstock/William Ruben Helms
Patti LaBelle Dec 1 The Grammy-winning “Godmother of Soul,” who has been captivating audiences with her powerful vocal abilities since the early 1960s, will be taking the stage at State Theatre this December. 8 pm; $49-$209. State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick. stnj.org
Daddy Yankee, the “King of Reggaeton,” is bringing the heat to the Prudential Center. Photo courtesy of the Prudential Center
Daddy Yankee Dec 8 Ahead of his retirement, the “King of Reggaeton” is embarking on a farewell concert tour in support of his final studio album, Legendaddy. The Puerto Rican superstar is best known for his 2004 hit single “Gasolina,” and his collaboration with Luis Fonsi on the 2017 international hit “Despacito.” 8 pm; $130-$895. Prudential Center, Newark. prucenter.com
Dogs in a Pile Dec 17 This five-piece band from Asbury Park blends rock, jazz, funk and psychedelia influences. They’re returning to the Stone Pony after selling out the venue in the summer of 2021. 8 pm; $25-$30. The Stone Pony, Asbury Park. stoneponyonline.com
Nefesh Mountain Dec 21 Nefesh Mountain is putting on a special Hanukkah show. The boundary-pushing bluegrass group released its third album, Songs for the Sparrows, last year. 7:30 pm; $23-$33. South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange. sopacnow.org
Neil DeGrasse Tyson Dec 8 Famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson has studied and taught at some of the most prestigious universities in the country, earning countless awards and honors along the way. Tyson will be discussing his latest book, Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization, and how having a cosmic perspective can influence the world around us. 7:30 pm; $39.50-$199.50. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark. njpac.org
Rupi Kaur Dec 12 Rupi Kaur made a name for herself when her 2014 self-published debut collection of poems, Milk and Honey, became an international sensation, selling millions of copies. Kaur has since published two more collections, and will be touring to perform both published and unpublished pieces about love, loss, mental health, growth and friendship. 7:30 pm; $39-$59. Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, Red Bank. thebasie.org
The live production of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” is coming to Red Bank. Photo courtesy of Karen Almond Photography
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical Dec 1 Adapted from the beloved television Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is coming to life onstage. Bring the entire family to kick off the holiday season with this classic! 2 & 7:30 pm; $35-$59. Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, Red Bank. thebasie.org
See a show at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo: Unsplash/Rob Laughter
The Sound of Music Opens Dec 2 The famed Paper Mill Playhouse will ring in the holidays with a production of The Sound of Music, an adaptation of the 1959 Tony-winning Broadway show and the 1965 Oscar-winning film. Showtimes vary; $50-$145. Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn. papermill.org
Jingle & Mingle Dec 8 Join the Brielle Education Foundation’s first event since December 2019 for a festive night of mingling, live music, appetizers and finger foods, an open bar featuring wine and beer, and a grand-prize auction for a six-person electric golf cart. Funds will benefit the students of Brielle Elementary School. 7 pm; $100. Boatyard401, Point Pleasant Beach. befnj.org
Ugly Sweater Murder Mystery Dinner Dec 17 The Collingswood Foundation for the Arts is hosting this event. Tickets include two drink vouchers and a buffet dinner; the night will also include raffles, a silent auction and an ugly-sweater contest. Proceeds will benefit the CFFA Inaugural Scholarship and the revitalization of the Scottish Rite Auditorium. 5 pm; $50. Collingswood Grand Ballroom, Collingswood. scottishriteauditorium.com
(HOPEWELL, NJ) — Get into the holiday spirit this December at Hopewell Theater with live music concerts that will make the season merry. James Maddock, Danielia Cotton, and Matt O’Ree Band will perform epic holiday-themed concerts across the month following concerts by Lucy Kaplansky, and Pyrenesia & Alex Radus Band. Patrons can also enjoy an evening of local talent at the theater’s final 2022 “Your Stage at Any Stage” curated open mic. Ticket buyers can also support the theater’s holiday donation drive for nonprofit arts organization, Artworks Trenton, at the box office.
Friday, December 2 – Lucy Kaplansky. Lucy is an acclaimed singer-songwriter of rare talent, “a truly gifted performer with a bag full of enchanting songs” (The New Yorker) and “the troubadour laureate of modern city folk” (The Boston Globe). She has released eight critically acclaimed CDs, two of which were awarded Best Pop Album of the year by the Association for Independent Music.
Friday, December 9 – Pyrenesia & Alex Radus Band. Pyrenesia is an acoustic swing quartet founded on the banks of the Delaware River, combining original compositions and singer-songwriter melodies with the Django Reinhardt-inspired tradition of gypsy jazz. Alex Radus is known as a “sultry crooner” (City Paper) and “master guitarist” (Courier News), but his songwriting takes center stage, pairing whimsical and poignant storytelling with a genre-bending mix of Americana, swing, blues, folk and more. Pyrenesia and Alex Radus are bringing their combined musical talent to Hopewell Theater this December.
Saturday, December 10 – James Maddock’s Festivus Show. James Maddock’s status as a fixture on the Folk and Americana scene is confirmed with every listen of any song in his prodigious catalog. He has performed with Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nile, Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors), and David Immergluck (Counting Crows). According to radio legend Vin Scelsa, Maddock’s “heartbreakingly beautiful and exquisitely crafted” music “touches the soul.”
Wednesday, December 14 – Your Stage At Any Stage: Open Mic Hosted By Michelle Klein. Hopewell Theater’s popular performance showcase returns this December with a curated local lineup of short performances by artists from the area. Patrons are encouraged to support their neighbors and regional talent by attending this lighthearted and entertaining event as audience members. This month’s show will feature a stand-up comedy act by James Christy, solo live music performances by Bill Ihling, Stephen Dijoseph, Nikolai Margulis, and Meg Russell, and band performances by Tiny Home and Cushetunk.
Saturday, December 17 – Danielia Cotton’s Home for the Holidays. Danielia Cotton’s childhood was spent on the Sourland Mountain in Hopewell, NJ. Her mother and aunts were all professional vocalists, and music was in her blood.
Early on she began veering from the gospel and jazz/blues of her mother and aunts, finding greater allure in rock legends like AC/DC, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, and Todd Rundgren, as well as soul and R&B royalty like Stevie Wonder and Donnie Hathaway. Danielia Cotton has since shared the stage with the likes of Robert Cray, Bon Jovi, and Gregg Allman, and in 2010 she was named Lilith Fair’s OurStage Local Talent Winner for NYC.
Friday, December 30 – Matt O’Ree Band: Rockin’ the Holidays. Over the past years, The Matt O’Ree Band has done what most area bands do. They’ve played their shows, developed their sound, released their records and very quietly built a massive fan base in the process. What makes this band different from all the others is that their local fan base includes Bruce Springsteen, David Bryan, and Steve Cropper, all of whom have volunteered to perform on the band’s album, Brotherhood.
HOLIDAY LOCAL ARTS FUND DRIVE:
In addition to hosting the above holiday shows, Hopewell Theater is also raising funds for Artworks Trenton’s local arts and youth art programs.
Artworks Trenton is a professional arts organization that promotes artistic diversity and fosters creativity, learning, and appreciation of the arts. Their exhibitions, workshops, events, and public projects make art an accessible experience for all, building community among and between art students of all ages, professional and amateur artists, inner city and suburban residents, die-hard art fans and first time art appreciators.
Now through December 31, Hopewell Theater patrons will have the option to add a donation of $5.00 or more to their ticket purchase online or in person at the box office. There will also be an option to donate directly by visiting the Donation Drive webpage on Hopewell Theater’s website.
When they left the Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood was born as a result.
Regarding the band’s formative years, Mick recalled to LOUDER: “A lot of people always thought there was some plot in the ranks of the Bluesbreakers because three out of the four people that formed Fleetwood Mac – Johnny Mac, me, and Peter – came out of that line-up.
“Everyone very often thinks that we planned to dump John Mayall and form this band. Absolutely not true.
“We had no idea. I went. Shortly after that, Peter got a hair up his rear end about wanting to move on, and he left.”
The musician added: “That’s when he formed the beginnings of Fleetwood Mac with me.
“Then we wanted John McVie to join…but it was not a plot at all.
“In fact, Peter had no intention of doing anything at all before he approached me.”