Hello 2017. I feel like you will be a momentous year for this Earth. I vow to share all the love I have and music I can gather. 2016 took too many of my musical heroes. But the music is still here and so are all the people it inspired. I dedicate my work in 2017 to heroes passed, to being present and to building a future filled with inspiration.
I created a playlist of some of my most memorable shows in 2016. I kept it to twelve songs by twelve bands but obviously I saw many more great shows and bands. All of these bands worked their asses off to make the world a happier place and I thank them for it! I reveled in new releases by Ton-Taun, a new musical pairing with Bjorn Jacobsen and Francois Byers and several new acts that really trip my trigger. Yam Yam is a funk-rock band from Harrisburg that you can’t help but dig. Bethlehem and Sad Patrick are so honest and human; they reach me on a biological level. OVVLS is an experimental psychedelic duo from Liverpool UK who blessed me with the opportunity to be their tour manager for 12 days. I can’t look at that playlist and not feel optimistic about the future of music and the spirit of humanity!
Speaking of music, spirit and optimism: I’m hosting Music Friday concerts at 551 West in Lancaster every month in 2017! To start the year right, Shawan and The Wonton will bring smooth soul, a touch of folk and a trunk of funk to town. I feel like life is sending a healing angel on a day many may feel anxious or upset. Come have some great food and drinks with us. The show is free and it may free you too. Shawan should give you a bump for a week!
By Friday January 27th, I predict you’ll be ready for some heavyweight blues. We have a three-round pounder for you at Tellus360! I named it Three Points of the Compass Blues because these three acts bring a world of blues styles and hail from three different cities. Our center point and headlining is Benjamin Vo Blues Band from little ol’ Lititz. His skills are ridiculous and he pours his heart into every note of vocals and guitar. Nobody’s music made a bigger impact on me in 2016 than Ben’s. Boom.
Hailing from the northern port of Williamsport is Gabe Stillman and The Billtown Giants. I know these cats from Bullfrog Brewery. Gabe is young on the outside and ancient on the inside. He’s actually taking his band south: to The International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. He’s actually the reason I created this show with Tellus360. I hosted Gabe at 551 West in November. Here’s one where Ben sat in!
Our southerner, from The Land of Pleasant Living, is Skribe. You all know I love Annapolis and its bottomless well of talent. Skribe is the guy standing there, grinning, cranking the handle and filling your cup. It won’t take but a few sips of what he’s pouring before you’re loopy for his style. If you caught him when I used to bring him to Dispensing Company, on the main stage at FloydFest, or at any of his 200+ shows a year, I know I’ll see you at Tellus360 on the 27th. This is a $10 show for just $5 folks!
Nothing like a bargain to start the year right! Catch some feels with Shawan and The Wonton for free on Friday 20th. Catch hold of the blues and shake that bugger with Three Points of the Compass Blues on Friday 27th for just $5. I guarantee that will keep you boppin’ and rockin’ till Groundhog Day at least!