Archive | January, 2013

John Waite is ‘Missing You,’ East Coast

17 Jan
John Waite

John Waite

By JESSICA A. BOTELHO

While Jan. 26th will mark the first time singer-songwriter John Waite will take the stage at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts, it’s certainly not his first show in the area.

Considering the fact that he used to live in New York, and knows many people from Massachusetts and Rhode Island, he said Fall River feels just like home.

“It’s stunning, especially this time of year,” said Waite, who was born in Lancaster, England. “I’m used to the East Coast weather and I like the seasons. It’s just great to be out there. We can’t wait to get back East. I’m sure it’s going to be a pretty good show because we love to play.”

The evening will feature two opening acts, including Burlington, Vermont, singer-songwriter Justin Levinson, as well as former Somerset, Mass., resident Shaun Hague, who was a member of Waite’s touring band last year.

“We love him,” Waite said of Hague. “He looks like ‘House,’ so that’s what we used to call him and introduce him as on stage. He’s really great and we’ll be pleased to see him.”

Waite, a guitarist, will have a full electric band with him. They’ll be performing fan favorites from throughout his career, including songs from his days as lead vocalist for The Babys, such as “Isn’t It Time,” as well as “When I See You Smile,” an anthem he released with the rock band Bad English.

Of course, he’ll play songs from his solo career that produced numerous Billboard Top 40 hits, such as the #1 smash hit “Missing You.”

“It will be colorful because there’s a huge amount of songs to choose from,” Waite said. “We keep it interesting and we start each show off differently. If we got into playing the same set every night, everybody would just stay home. I can’t be part of that. It’s just not what I do. I try to keep it as fluid as I can.”

As he said, every show is unique, as is every audience. He believes an audience has a big impact on how a band performs a particular song or even a whole set.

“Sometimes the audience is pretty vocal and sometimes they just watch. It’s my job to sort of bring it,” said Waite. “I don’t really have any rules about it – you just step into it and go. If the vibe is in the air, everything just explodes. It’s music; it’s the best thing in the world.”

Aside from his show at the Narrows, Waite is set to gig at a handful of other venues in New England. In February, he plans to record tracks at an unplugged show in New York for a live album, which he expects to release in the spring. The album will also feature songs he recorded during a Philadelphia performance in November.

He anticipates he’ll be on a world tour shortly afterwards, leaving little time for writing and recording new material. Still, he’d like to go into the studio this month to tinker around.

His last studio album, “Rough & Tumble,” was released in 2011, and contained some of his most personal songs.

“I had a rough couple of years going in to that record, and came out with a lot of interesting lyrics,” Waite said.

He described it as a “funny” album, as he planned to release it as a five track EP, but his former management wanted more songs.

“It was really frustrating because to me, it was complete, so I was completely stumped,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

That’s when Waite hooked up with Matchbox 20 guitarist, Kyle Cook, in Nashville. The two collaborated and made music Waite said is some of his best.

“It was like a career record for me,” he said. “I have no idea how it worked, but it all worked. We completed about seven songs in four days. At the end of the day I was pretty beat, but it’s a great little record. I was very happy with it and it got a lot of airplay.”

He also said working with Cook was “great fun.”

“We got on very well and wrote songs at a very fast speed,” Waite said. “He was always game to jump in and try anything new. He’s a great guitar player and he’s very intelligent.”

When recording the track, “The Evil,” Waite said he made up lyrics on the spot. The demo is on the album as a master track.

But Waite is known for not liking overly produced music. Rather, he enjoys imperfections.

“It’s the honesty of it,” he said. “When you’re in the studio doing a vocal, the first is always the best. You’re bobbing and weaving and you’re in that place. You’re just being yourself completely. You can’t be out of tune and you can’t be going down the road – you have to know where you are, but mistakes make it more human.”

Like his music, Waite appreciates life and all the imperfections and magical moments that go along with it.

“I’m lucky to have the life I have,” he said. “And I love making music. I’m so knocked out by it. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Tickets to Waite’s show can be purchased online at www.narrowscenter.org or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the box office. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Our publisher, JKB Booking, is presenting the show. They can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jkbbooking.

Nominees revealed for fifth annual music awards

12 Jan

We are pleased to announce the nominees for this year’s fifth annual Limelight Magazine Music Awards. Like the past two years, the nominating process was completely fan driven. We received so many nominations that we expanded the number of nominees in each category from seven to eight. We also added two new ones: “Video of the Year” and “Country Artist of the Year.”

As to how the nominees were selected, we simply took the top eight artists who received the most nominations and placed them in each category. Some bands received as many as 50 nominations. Anyone who won an award in a specific category last year is ineligible to be nominated for that same award this year. Public voting begins today and lasts until 11:45 PM on Friday, Jan. 25.

An all-ages awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 16, at the Rock Junction in Coventry, RI, where the winners will be revealed. Advanced tickets can be purchased online at this link: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/315633.

Check out the list of nominees below and be sure to vote in our poll at this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/limelightmagazinereaderspoll. Only one vote per computer (or IP address) counts.

N.E. Tribute Band of the Year

Beast over Boston: Tribute to Iron Maiden

The Great Escape: Tribute to Journey

Gun Powder Gelatine:Tribute to  Queen

Holy Diver: Tribute to Ronnie James Dio

Human Clay: Tribute to Creed

Klassik Kiss: Tribute to Kiss

Lotus Land: Tribute to Rush

LoveSexy: Tribute to Prince

Live Act of the Year

Awesome Express

Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch

Indiana Handshake

Tony Jones & The Cretin 3

Lansdowne

Lisa Markovich & Beyond Blonde

Fly Kite Canvas (previously Scarlet)

Thurskills Vision

Female Vocalist of the Year

Lauren Bateman

Keturah Burgess

Dorian Havers

Tammy Laforest Schneider

Erin Elizabeth Ollis

Jessica Prouty

Jessica Scalese

Jenny White

Male Vocalist of the Year

Corey Amaral

Joseph L. Auger

Walter Barlow

Norman Bishop

Mark Cutler

Steven Scott Haidaichuk

Spogga Hash

Jesse Liam

Album/EP of the Year By Group

Closer Than We Appear – Evaluating Expressions

Fall and Bounce – Kickknack Avalanche

The Few – Headstock

Hemlok – A Cautionary Tale

Omega Reign – Arise

Satellites Fall – Lines On The Road

A Simple Complex – Come Undone

We Own Land – The Plan

Album/EP of the Year By Solo Act

Chris Allen – The Power of Chris Compels You

Sam Chase – Every Time I’m Home

Ian James – Grand Delusions

Brian Jarvis – Beautifully Broken

Ken Macy – Outlines

Jay Psaros – Simply

Hayley Reardon – Where The Artists Go

Sarah Swain – Every Little Bird

Metal Act of the Year

Bigtalkahh

A Dying Breed

The Folly of Man

Fuel of War

Nothing Left to Give

Omega Reign

Santagata

To Die This Night

Country Artist of the Year

Krista Angelucci

Dalton and the Sheriffs

Kiley Evans

Brianna Grace

Highway Ghosts

Shanna Jackman

Ashley Jordan

Erin Ollis

Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Closer Than We Appear

Consuelo’s Revenge

Tammy Laforest Schneider

Nymphidels

popALERT

Carlin Tripp

Weld Square

Zanois

Video of the Year

Krista Angelucci – “C R E E P”

Birch Hill Dam – “Fathom’s Below”

Sarah Blacker – “Knocked the Winds”

Brad Byrd – “On My Way Down”

Ashley Jordan – “Fading Away”

J. Kelley Band-“Shake You”

Greg Lato – “Help You Out”

PopALERT – “I Don’t’ Deserve It”

Singer-Songwriter of the Year

Joseph L. Auger

Samuel Bowen

Nick Duane

Joanne Lurgio

Amanda McCarthy

Danielle Miraglia

Hayley Reardon

Carly Tefft

Song of the Year

“Only Human” by Bigtalkahh

“One More Spin Around” by Kiley Evans

“Second Time Around” by Brianna Grace

“Wicked” by Sara Leketa

“Won’t Ever Quit” by Joanne Lurgio

“I Don’t Deserve It” by popALERT

“One Night” by Satellites Fall

“Silver Wishes” by Jenn Zapata and the Dan Kirouac Band

Band of the Year

City of Squares

Dead Nobodies

For the Love of Sloane

J. Kelley Band

Lisa Markovich & Beyond Blonde

The Mighty Good Boys

Grace Morrison and the SRO

Naked Stills

Personal reflection on JKB’s second year in business

11 Jan

By Katie F. Botelho

Another year has passed and what a year it’s been!

It has been a very successful year in the JKB world and 2013 promises to be even better. With selling out three of the four shows we booked (Jon Anderson, Paula Poundstone, Tom Rush), there really isn’t much to complain about.  Our hard work has definitely paid off and it’s rewarding to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in only a matter of two years in business.

Apart from our bookings, we also had the most successful Limelight Magazine Music Awards. Our 4th annual awards show had the best attendance out of the previous ones and the excitement and involvement from everyone around was just astonishing. You could tell that people were looking forward to it and promoting it as if it were their own event. We like that excitement and that’s why this year’s awards show on March 16th at the Rock Junction in Coventry, R.I., is going to be even better! Aside from that, we also featured over 26 stories on limelightmagazine.com this past year alone. From big names to local musicians, we’ve done it all.

But, of course, life can’t always be about work, right?! On that note, I would have to say the best part of 2012 was going to Dallas, Texas, and the U.K. JKB gave me the opportunity to visit places I wouldn’t normally visit and I am grateful for that. We met a lot of celebrities a long the way and made some contacts that we wouldn’t have made if it weren’t for those trips.

Overall, 2012 was a successful year for us. We met some great people and explored the world. But more importantly, our business wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for our wonderful staff. So, I’d like to conclude by thanking our graphic designer Gorette Sousa, photographer Kristen Pierson and managing editor Jessica Botelho for making owning your own business such a pleasure!

Southfork Pool

Katie F. Botelho

Justin Levinson plans busy schedule in 2013

9 Jan
Justin Levinson

Justin Levinson

John Waite fans will be treated to two opening acts at his Jan. 26 performance at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass., including Somerset’s own Shaun Hague, as well as indie/power-pop artist Justin Levinson.

While Levinson is yet to hear Hague’s music, he’s been told Hague has a strong following in Fall River, and is looking forward to Hague’s set. He’s also excited to be opening for Waite.

“I admire John Waite’s music a lot and it’s an honor to be able to share the stage with him,” Levinson said. “I hope that John Waite’s fans appreciate what I do.”

Levinson will mostly be playing music from his latest full-length recording, “This Side of Me, This Side of You,” which he released a year ago. It features his full-band, Justin and the Valcours, and 10 tracks about love and loss.

But Levinson, who is inspired by artists such as The Beatles, The Everly Brothers, The Hollies, Elvis Presley, Elton John, Bob Dylan, as well as his father, singer-songwriter Bob Levinson, prefers to call it, “feel-good heartbreak.”

“I deal with some serious themes, but I try not to make it overkill,” he said. “There’s a little bit of heart-on-sleeve humor in the music. I try not to take myself too seriously, but also try to express emotions at the same time. That’s what separates it from the other heartbreak albums out there. Writing about love and loss are common themes, but I think the twist out of the music I do is the ‘feel-good’ part and the humor I put in.”

On New Year’s Day, he released a follow-up, three-song EP, “Take Me Time,” which he described as more hopeful than the previous album, as its theme is moving forward.

Aside from working on new material for another full-length recording, he’s gearing up for a TV appearance on WTNH News 8 in New Haven, CT, with is full band, Justin Levinson & The Valcours. The show will air Jan. 28 at 9:00 a.m.

Levinson said he’s pleased he’s going to be touring in 2013 to promote his recent recordings. Last year, he joined Tyler Hilton, who stars in The WB Television Network show, “One Tree Hill,” and has also opened for Waite. This year, Levinson’s anticipating an “extensive tour,” but was mum on details because it hasn’t been finalized.

He did say it might take place in February or March.

“The focus is to do as much touring as possible in 2013,” said Levinson. “There’s already been some talk about some pretty exciting things coming up. I just can’t announce it yet.”

When he’s not touring with national acts, Levinson gigs throughout the Northeast, including Vermont, where he resides and grew up. Usually, he is accompanied by his band, for which he handles vocals and rhythm guitar, an instrument he taught himself how to play by ear later in life.

He’s been playing piano for 20 years – since he was seven – and has been singing since middle school. But he started playing guitar about five years ago when he graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied Songwriting Composition. He decided to learn guitar because he felt keys limited him from using certain rhythms.

It’s also helped him develop a presence of his own.

“When you play piano and sing tenor vocals, everybody wants to say you sound like Ben Folds,” Levinson said. “Playing guitar enables me to separate from the Ben Folds syndrome.”

Levinson doesn’t get to tour with his band as often as he would like because of costs, but said guitarist Sean Witters, bassist Seth Barbiero and drummer Simon Plumpton, are great friends and band mates.

He particularly enjoys performing in Boston, a city he lived – and gigged in – for five years during college. His years at Berklee, he said, were “amazing.”

“You have to spend time learning theory, which is not easy by any means, but I got to spend a lot of time in my apartment just writing songs,” he said. “I wouldn’t have had that experience at any other college. I also got to meet producers and record music four and five days a week. It was such an important part of my musical career, so a lot of my fan base is in Boston and Burlington. It’s kind of a dual hometown type of thing for me.”

Levinson said he’s always happy to talk about his experience at Berklee. While he said the college has a reputation as being a “pop-factory”, he’s proud, and grateful, for his education.

“When you mention that you went to Berklee, people are tough critics,” Levinson said. “People have this false perception that everybody that comes out of the school is this cookie-cutter, robotic songwriter, and it’s not the case at all. I think it was the most freeing place ever, but I’ve learned what times are best to talk about it and when it’s not. If there are any aspiring songwriters out there that want to have the greatest musical experience they should definitely consider going there.”

He also said people should definitely consider going to see him open for John Waite at the Narrows. Tickets to the show can be purchased online at www.narrowscenter.org or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the box office. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Our publisher, JKB Booking, is presenting the show. They can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jkbbooking.

Learn more about Levinson at www.justinlevinson.com. His music is available on iTunes and CD Baby.com

WMVY needs everyone’s help

5 Jan

WMVY

By JESSICA A. BOTELHO

WMVY/mvyradio on Martha’s Vinevard is trying to raise $600,000 in pledges immediately and they need help. Otherwise, they will soon go off the air.

In late November, they announced that the 92.7 FM signal is being sold to WBUR, a Boston NPR station. The sale will allow Aritaur Communications, the company that currently owns the signal, to resolve its obligations to the bank and donate remaining assets to the non-profit Friends of mvyradio.

The funds will cover the first year’s operating budget. If they can secure it, they are in a good position to continue as a non-commercial and non-profit station, funded by listeners and underwriters. In years to come, they plan to rely on grants and other mediums to keep the signal going.

Whether they raise the money or not, said Program Director and DJ PJ Finn, the station will no longer operate on 92.7 FM. However, there is a possibility they will end up on another place on the FM dial and they will continue to air via the web. As of the posting of this story on http://www.limelightmagazine.com, they’ve raised $300,028 in pledges, which represent 2,909 individual pledges.

“We are moving along at a great pace,” said Finn. “The letters we’re getting are just incredible. There are people who are making very generous donations and saying, ‘I wish I could do more. I listen to you every day and if I lost you I don’t know what I’d do.’”

Finn, who has been with the station since 2000, said there are roughly 12-full-time employees and 12 part-time workers at WMVY. He and the rest of the staff are grateful for the outpouring of support so far, including efforts made by the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River. Executive Director of the Narrows, Patrick Norton, sent a letter explaining the situation and asking music lovers to lend a hand.

In the letter, Norton noted that WMVY has always supported and promoted the Narrows, and provides “great music to our friends and fans…They are one of the last bastions of independent radio stations.”

In response, Finn said he’s thrilled that the Narrows is reaching out on WMVY’s behalf.

“We’ve had a really great relationship with them and they’ve been amazing partners to us,” he said. “They’ve let us come in and stream some of their shows live and that’s been great for our audience, but it’s also great promotion for the Narrows. We really help each other out.”

But WMVY needs all the support they can get. Finn is hoping more fans make pledges.

“There are people out there in the listening audience who could help us reach our goal in leaps, as opposed to steps, and we’re really hoping to reach out to those people,” he said. “If you’ve never listened to the station, listen in for a couple of hours and ask yourself, ‘Is there anything else like this on the dial?’ It’s such a rarity and worth being kept alive.”

Finn went on to say that there are far less independent radio stations compared to the past and there is both a need and a desire from the listening audience for such a thing. He said while they have a few homegrown specialty shows, it’s mostly their “straightforward” programming.

“We can probably name in 60 seconds 25 artists that MVY plays that you couldn’t hear anywhere else up or down the dial,” said Finn.

Those artists are from various genres, including David Bromberg, The Band, World Party, Paul Weller, Alabama Shakes and several more.

Additionally, he pointed out a “trend” in many other radio stations: they are moving away from a local feel.

“If you’ve never listened to WMVY, you would know in a very brief amount of time that it was coming from the island of Martha’s Vineyard because we talk about the area, we talk about local news, and we talk about local happenings,” Finn said. “We try to reflect the spirit of the place.”

Finn also has a personal affection for his position at the station. He enjoys getting the opportunity to share music that he’s excited about.

“I like that I can play new bands that I know that our listeners are going to love and have people call up and say, ‘Wow. I’m so glad you discovered this artist. I never heard of them on any other station,’” he said. “That’s why I do the job I do.”
Pledges can be made online at friendsofmvyradio.org by credit card.  Checks can be made payable to “Friends of mvyradio” and sent to WMVY, PO Box 1148, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. Checks will not be cashed unless the goal is met. To call in a pledge, contact Marianna at 508-693-5000.

Visit MVYRadio.com for more information.

Editor’s Note: The sale is technically still in process, as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must approve it. However, all the essential paperwork has been filed. Finn expects the FCC will approve the deal early this month.

Shaun Hague returns ‘home’ to open for John Waite

2 Jan
Shaun Hague

Shaun Hague

By JESSICA A. BOTELHO

 After playing guitar on John Waite’s tour last summer, singer-songwriter Shaun Hague will be opening for him Jan. 26th at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass. Hague said he’s excited to reunite with Waite, as well as perform at the Narrows, as it’s located across the river from his hometown of Somerset.

“I love the Narrows,” he said. “They have a lot of great acts that come through there, and it’s a special place for me to play. The stage has a big window in the back of it, and when I’m there, I look out across the river at the town I grew up in and first learned guitar. I can reflect for a second and look back at that. It’s a good feeling and I love coming back there. It’s going to be good to see everybody.”

As opposed to playing with a full band, he’ll be doing a solo acoustic set. He promises songs from his 2011 debut album, “The Time is Now,” plus a few new songs he has written, but is yet to record. He might even whip out a harmonica.

“It’s going to be a storytellers kind of a deal, with me playing guitar and talking about the songs.” Hague said. “It will be a more intimate show.”

While he grew up in Somerset, Hague lived in California since he was 19. In April 2011, he relocated to Chicago, where he has handled promotions and marketing for Monterey International, a booking agency, since June. The company represents acclaimed artists such as Van Morrison, Bonnie Rait, Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, as well as a bunch of new bands. At times, he helps set up interviews and works on graphics.

But the best perk is attending free concerts.

“The coolest show I’ve gone to so far was Buddy Guy at the Chicago Theater,” said Hague. “I saw him for the first time when I was 17 at Lupos in Providence. He’s just a huge blues guitar influence on so many people – Clapton, Hendrix, and myself included.”

Speaking of Clapton, “Slowhand,” along with Bruce Springsteen, heavily influenced Hague to become a musician, as he mostly plays blues-based and rock music.

“I always tell people if Eric Clapton and Bruce Springsteen had a baby it would be me,” he said. “I take the Springsteen approach as far as music and lyrics go, and do a lot of lead guitar work influenced by Clapton.”

Guy, as well as The Beatles, are also favorites.

“The Beatles got me started on music,” he said, noting that he not only loves them as a group, but also their respective solo careers. “My dad had all their records. I would listen to them when I was three or four. They are the reason I wanted to play guitar. I just wanted to be able to play their songs. I asked my parents for a guitar when I was 12 or 13, and from there I found out who Eric Clapton was, and got into Bruce Springsteen when I wanted to be a songwriter.”

He also said performing with artists such as Waite, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Amos Lee, and John Fogarty have helped him build his resume and mold his career. From tips on how to be a better performer to business advice, he’s grateful for the opportunities.

“It’s a great learning experience,” said Hague. “I’ve been doing it since I as 19 and it has helped guide my career path. When I was in L.A., I was invited to play with John Fogarty one night. John’s a great act, and he’s had some big hits. It’s always great to work with a legend like that because people see that and then you get a few more calls.”

Being on stage, he said, allows him the ability to express himself in a different way. As a self-described shy, quiet person, he takes on a whole new persona when performing.

“People who know me come to my shows and say, ‘Where has that been your whole life?’” Hague said. “It’s not something people see me doing unless I’m on stage.”

Since releasing “The Time is Now,” Hague has been working on new material. He doesn’t have set plans to release a new album, but is thinking about doing an acoustic tour throughout the mid-west and east coast.

For the time being, he’s focused on the Narrows gig. There, he’ll have a limited edition poster for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to a Southern New England food bank.

“It’s going to be good to be back there,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing everybody.”

The Narrows Center for the Arts is located at 16 Anawan Street in Fall River. Tickets can be purchased online at www.narrowscenter.org or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the box office. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m. This show is presented by our publisher, JKB Booking. Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jkbbooking.

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