NEPA MUSIC NOTES: Black Tie Stereo, Brother Roy, Patrick McGlynn, Dani-elle, Karl Hall, and SMAs
This week in local music, there are some exciting albums set to be released soon, another one that needs your help, a new song and a recent lyric video for a Josie Music Award-nominated song, a brand new music venue coming to Wilkes-Barre that is owned by some great people with personal connections to the music scene, and some events I’m looking forward to participating in next week during the Electric City Music Conference.
♫ Announced during a concert at The Leonard back in November, Scranton pop rock band Black Tie Stereo are finally ready to release their second EP, “DoYOU,” that was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Mark Mazzetti (John Mayer, Janet Jackson, Sting).
They have a 21+ CD release party planned with prizes, a cash bar, and an all-original set by the band at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel (700 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton) on Friday, Sept. 29 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets, which are $10 in advance and include a copy of the CD, can be purchased via Eventbrite; it’s $5 at the door without the EP. There will also be an official after-party at Ale Mary’s (126 Franklin Ave., Scranton) from midnight-2 a.m.:
♫ Known locally for his work in And the Moneynotes and The Bog Swing Group, Clarks Green singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Roy Williams relocated to New York City a few years back and plays under the name Brother Roy, releasing some beautiful, personal piano rock songs influenced by Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, The Band, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young.
Now, he’s recording a full album called “Last Man Standing” and is hoping to crowdfund it through PledgeMusic. In addition to pre-ordering the record on CD, vinyl, or as a digital download, pledgers can receive a handwritten lyric sheet, original demos, a private concert, a recorded cover of their choice, and even music lessons in person or on FaceTime. The campaign ends in 58 days and is currently 18 percent funded.
“For the past year, I have been pouring every ounce of energy I have into this new record. It’s been the record I’ve been waiting to make my whole life and am really excited to share it with the world. I knew for years that I wanted to make an album of this kind but was just waiting to have the right songs and, even more importantly, the right musicians and engineers to make it with. This past year, I found all of that,” Williams wrote on the campaign page.
“I wrote a whole bunch of music quickly that I really loved and felt like the most honest thing I had done to date. And while I have been living in NYC as a full-time musician for years, I have been surrounding myself with all my favorite players. The stars aligned and I made it. Now I have to get it out!
“I am grateful to have any and all support in making this album a reality. The music business is a tough place these days, with little money to be made and a whole bunch of places where you have to spend it. I have sacrificed the last year living on peanuts to get this out to the world. And it’s really important to me. The music on this record is as honest as I can be. It makes me feel good, and I want to share that feeling with the rest of the world.”
♫ As he mentioned when NEPA Scene premiered his song “In the Waves” back in July, Scranton indie folk singer/songwriter Patrick McGlynn has been working on a new EP called “Battle Scars,” and now the first song from it, “Whiskey Flavored Memory,” is streaming online.
Featuring Michael Borthwick on piano and organ and his Blinded Passenger bandmate Steve Werner on drums, the single is part of a collection of songs written by McGlynn and the late Jim Petrie. The pair also collaborated with Nashville songwriter Bobby Fischer, co-writer of Reba McEntire’s “You Lie,” on one of the other songs on the EP.
“Battle Scars” will be released on iTunes and Spotify on Friday, Oct. 13, followed by a release party that night at 8 p.m. at The Keys (244 Penn Ave., Scranton). Admission is $5 at the door, and physical copies of the EP will be available for $5:
Kleha was invited to perform at the 2017 Josie Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee on Sept. 17, where this song was nominated for Song of the Year, and she is up for Entertainer of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, and Female Vocalist of the Year.
“Some pretty exciting things happening with this song, and I’m so excited to see you all love it as much as I do. Stay tuned, the ride is about to get even crazier!” Kleha wrote on Facebook.
♫ Plains Township drummer A.J. Jump and Mary McKenna, owner of Universal Tours in Wilkes-Barre, are planning to open a new music venue in the basement of the Polish Union Building (53-59 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre). Jump is known for his work in local bands like Underground Saints, The Five Percent, Indigo Moon Brass Band, and Abstract Peoples, along with King Radio in Brooklyn, and McKenna’s late husband, Kevin Karl, played in area bands for decades, including Midnight Rodeo and even the original Wackjobs on 98.5 KRZ.
The small venue, which can fit about 100 people, will be named Karl Hall in his honor and hopes to fill the void left by Cafe Metro with shows featuring all genres of music, starting with a soft opening in December and a grand opening early next year. This is the best news we’ve been able to report in a while about NEPA venues, and I look forward to supporting and covering concerts there when it opens.
♫ Speaking of things I’m looking forward to, I will be returning to conduct the red carpet interviews at the Steamtown Music Awards at The V-Spot (906 Providence Rd., Scranton) on Thursday, Sept. 14 from 6 p.m.-7:20 p.m. This time, I’ll be joined by NEPA Scene Podcast co-hosts Johnny Popko and Brittany Boote, and we’ll be live streaming it on Facebook for those who can’t make it. Here’s our recap from last year:
And if you’re not too sick of seeing my dumb bald head, I’ll also be speaking at the free Electric City Music Conference panels at the AfA Gallery (514 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton) on Saturday, Sept. 16, which start at 11 a.m. I’ll be participating in the “How to succeed in the music industry (and life)” discussion from 3:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m., though I recommend attending the entire event if you’re a musician or someone who is interested in the music industry. The full schedule can be found here.
Photo of Black Tie Stereo by Lisa Petz Photography
by Rich Howells
Rich is an award-winning journalist, longtime blogger, adequate photographer, podcast co-host, and practicing poet. He is the founder and editor of NEPA Scene.