Rich Howells

Scranton indie/alt rocker James Barrett comes out of 2020 stronger with new music and fall concert

Scranton indie/alt rocker James Barrett comes out of 2020 stronger with new music and fall concert

When your dream is to become a full-time musician, a global pandemic is a nightmare scenario. Over the last year, though, James Barrett took his already emotional and introspective approach to songwriting and used the anxiety and loneliness of the quarantine to dig deeper into what he started with his debut full band album, “The […]

 Rich Howells

Mahoning Drive-In in Lehighton saved from demolition after outpouring of online support

Mahoning Drive-In in Lehighton saved from demolition after outpouring of online support

Joe Bob Briggs often says, “The drive in will never die,” and today, he is more right than ever before. As the cult film critic, television host, and well-known drive-in supporter prepares to kick off his inaugural Joe Bob’s Jamboree this weekend at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater, the historic Lehighton venue is celebrating a personal […]

 Rich Howells

Planned solar farm threatens to ‘demolish’ historic Mahoning Drive-In in Lehighton

Planned solar farm threatens to ‘demolish’ historic Mahoning Drive-In in Lehighton

Over the past year, drive-in theaters went from rare relics of a bygone era to essential venues for entertainment and social gatherings, providing safe ways to enjoy movies, live music, graduations, and other events during the pandemic and reminding everyone of the historic and cultural significance of these outdoor venues. How quickly people forget. Yesterday, […]

 Rich Howells

NEPA MUSIC NOTES: Brian Langan, Ed Cuozzo, Tisburys, Kali Ma, JT & the Blue Mountain Stone, and more

NEPA MUSIC NOTES: Brian Langan, Ed Cuozzo, Tisburys, Kali Ma, JT & the Blue Mountain Stone, and more

I can’t say that I’ve ever watched a band perform inside a building while standing outside and looking in through a window before, but these are strange times we’re living in. Thankfully, you don’t have to do the same to support local music, but you can get an idea of what I saw at the […]

 Rich Howells

NEPA MUSIC NOTES: Lily Mao, Robinsonade, Jay Luke, Patrick Motto, Lesser Animals, One Thousand Oceans, and more

NEPA MUSIC NOTES: Lily Mao, Robinsonade, Jay Luke, Patrick Motto, Lesser Animals, One Thousand Oceans, and more

Every time I think this column is done for the week, I discover a few more songs or albums that deserve your attention. A few of them work perfectly for your headphones as you dig your vehicle out of the snow, while others are better suited for dancing around your living room after you come […]

 Rich Howells

SONG PREMIERE: From Clarks Summit to Nashville, pop singer Alyssa Lazar admits ‘Maybe I Did Change’

SONG PREMIERE: From Clarks Summit to Nashville, pop singer Alyssa Lazar admits ‘Maybe I Did Change’

Those who have heard young Alyssa Lazar perform throughout the Scranton area since she was in grade school will soon learn that she’s changed… and that’s not a bad thing. “I started singing by the time I was 3 and just never stopped from there. Throughout elementary and middle school, I started singing the national […]

 Rich Howells

NEPA MUSIC NOTES: Brendan Brisk, Kali Ma, Condition Oakland, Sleeplore, Chris Cashmere, White Witch, and more

NEPA MUSIC NOTES: Brendan Brisk, Kali Ma, Condition Oakland, Sleeplore, Chris Cashmere, White Witch, and more

January may be a slow month for entertainment like movies and television (even slower during a pandemic), but it’s been a busy time for local music, so much so that I have to save a few notes for next week. I even had the pleasure of seeing a band play live in front of a […]

 Rich Howells

NEPA MUSIC NOTES: The Sorters, Terry Childers, Patrick McGlynn, No Take Backs, Joe Craig, and more

NEPA MUSIC NOTES: The Sorters, Terry Childers, Patrick McGlynn, No Take Backs, Joe Craig, and more

It’s been a while for NEPA Music Notes, but that’s not to say that there hasn’t been local music to talk about – there’s often too much to cover, so I fell behind on writing this column since I’m the only editor and full-time writer for NEPA Scene. Instead, I’ve been writing larger feature pieces […]

 Rich Howells

VIDEO: State Street Grill in Clarks Summit discusses COVID-19 impact on bars and restaurants

VIDEO: State Street Grill in Clarks Summit discusses COVID-19 impact on bars and restaurants

Pennsylvania bars and restaurants have been able to reopen at 50 percent capacity this week, but some small businesses may never fully recover from the effects of COVID-19 and the shutdowns. Scranton video production company TwentyFiveEight Studios has been examining the true impact of the coronavirus pandemic on this industry and how mitigation was handled […]

 Rich Howells

SONG PREMIERE: From Scranton to Boston, indie rockers Lesser Animals are back ‘For Real’

SONG PREMIERE: From Scranton to Boston, indie rockers Lesser Animals are back ‘For Real’

For those who were part of the Northeastern Pennsylvania music scene about a decade ago, attending or playing shows at small venues like The Vintage Theater, the name Lesser Animals may sound familiar. The Scranton-based indie rock band was formed in 2008 by Clarks Summit native James Sanderson, the vocalist of Awkward Silence, another name […]

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