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Stryper front man to perform holiday concert in Plymouth

14 Nov
Michael Sweet: The Voice of Stryper

Michael Sweet: The Voice of Stryper

Michael Sweet, front man of the multi-platinum, Christian rock band Stryper, is performing a rare, Christmas concert at the Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, Mass., on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, at 8 p.m. The concert will feature Stryper classics, songs from his solo career, and popular Christmas carols to get you ready for the holiday season. Tickets are on-sale now by clicking HERE.

With a career and repertoire spanning over three decades, Sweet has fronted one of the most trailblazing groups of the MTV generation, written a stable of Billboard charting singles, filled arenas all the world over, said goodbye at the peak of it all, took stock in a thriving solo career, got Stryper back together for yet another record breaking run and even took a stint co-leading one of the most legendary classic rock acts ever, Boston, from 2007 to 2011.

Musically speaking, Sweet is coming off yet another creative high in the Stryper camp thanks to its 2013’s return to form record No More Hell To Pay. Besides making an instantaneous Top 40 debut on the Billboard 200, it landed at #2 on the Top Christian Albums charts, #3 on Top Hard Rock Albums and #6 on Top Rock Albums. It’s certainly a testament to the band’s perseverance, whetting the public’s appetite all the more for Sweet’s I’m Not Your Suicide, which may technically be the follow-up to 2007’s individual offering Touched, but is actually the singer/songwriter’s first full-length original album since 2000’s Truth.

For this special intimate show at The Spire, Sweet will take you on a journey throughout his musical career, performing songs and sharing stories in an unforgettable evening of stellar musicianship.

The Spire is located at 25 ½ Court Street in Plymouth. The venue features superior acoustics, custom state of the art lighting and sound systems, and original period architectural details, offering patrons an exceptional performing arts experience.

Advance tickets are available through brownpapertickets.com or through the venue’s website, spirecenter.org.

JKB launches new publication; Win a pair of concert tickets for life!

7 Nov

JKB Entertainment Group, the publisher of Limelight Magazine, is launching a new online publication that will be based out of Los Angeles.

Press Pass Magazine will be your all access pass to pop culture and the entertainment world, covering everything from movies and television to video games, animation and more. It will feature interviews, spotlights, coverage of events, photo essays, and videos using state-of-the-art technology. Its content will be noticeably different from other entertainment publications and blogs.

“We’ve been hungry to do something new and exciting for quite some time,” said JKB co-owner Jay Kenney. “Over the past two years, we’ve attended several conventions across the country and made a few trips to Los Angeles in order to lay the groundwork for this publication. It’s exciting that we’re finally at the point of turning this idea into a reality.”

“As much as we love the music scene, we thought it was time to branch out,” added Katie Botelho, who also co-owns JKB. “We enjoy everything that has to do with entertainment and thought we should share our experiences with everyone else who enjoys it as well.”

Kenney said it would have been very easy to expand Limelight Magazine’s coverage to other areas but he said it didn’t feel right to change its focus.

“Limelight will always be about music and we don’t want to dilute that and turn it into something it’s not,” he said. “Press Pass will focus on aspects of the entertainment world other than music.”

The publication will be run by Limelight Magazine staff writer and videographer Leah Astore, along with Botelho and Kenney. Other staff members include: Jim Sass (videographer), Kristen Pierson (photographer), Dominic Mendez (videographer, blogger), and Gorette Sousa (graphic designer).

“Leah is one of the most talented people I know and she’s someone I truly believe in,” said Kenney. “I’m confident she’ll turn Press Pass into a success.”

“We’ve picked the perfect person to do the job,” said Botelho. “She’s talented in so many ways and just as passionate as we are about this project, I don’t think we could have found anyone better!”

“I was beyond excited when Jay and Katie came to me with this opportunity because it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Astore. “I am incredibly eager to get started and make some amazing content!”

Since it’s difficult to get advertisers for start-up publications, a rewards-based crowd funding campaign has been set up through Indiegogo where contributors will receive incentives for participating. Click HERE to visit the Indiegogo campaign.

One of the biggest incentives is a pair of tickets FOR LIFE to every show booked by JKB Entertainment Group. For each dollar contributed by a person, he or she will receive an equal number of chances matching their donation. For instance, if $10 is contributed, the person gets 10 chances. If $100 is contributed, the person gets 100 chances. On top of that, if the person is not interested in attending a specific show, he or she can transfer the tickets to someone else or even gift them. The drawing will be held on the day after the Indiegogo campaign ends.

Some of the past artists booked by the JKB Entertainment Group include Jon Anderson (formerly of YES), Crystal Bowersox, Jim Breuer, Dave Davies (of The Kinks), Howie Day, Jonathan Edwards, King’s X, Ed Kowalczyk (formerly of Live), Carl Palmer (of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Asia), Tom Rush, Rusted Root, Michael Schenker, Stryper, UFO, Uriah Heep, John Waite, The Winery Dogs, Zebra, and The Zombies.

Cheryl Wheeler to perform at The Spire in Plymouth

23 Oct
Cheryl Wheeler

Cheryl Wheeler

As part of our publisher’s singer-songwriter series in Plymouth, Mass., Cheryl Wheeler, a folk icon who must be seen to be appreciated, will perform at The Spire Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, November 22, 2014, at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

Wheeler is known for her gifted songwriting, beautiful voice, and entertaining stage presence.

Even if you are not already familiar with Wheeler, you’ve probably already heard her music. Mixing keen insight with humor and pathos, her songs have been covered by artists like Peter, Paul and Mary, Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Loggins, Garth Brooks, Bette Midler, and more.

From other people’s comments about her, you learn that she is a natural storyteller with a fantastic sense of humor. But until you see her in person, you never really believe what you’ve been told about her. Interestingly enough, almost half of the songs she performs during her shows have never been recorded!

Her first public performance was at a Hootenanny when she was 12. She started writing her own songs when she was 17. Her funny stories between songs reveal her talent for diversity. Each time she tells a story, it will be a little bit different, so even if you’ve heard it before, you still find yourself laughing.

The Spire is located at 25 ½ Court Street in Plymouth. The venue features superior acoustics, custom state of the art lighting and sound systems and original period architectural details, offering patrons an exceptional performing arts experience.

Advance tickets are available through brownpapertickets.com or through the venue’s website, spirecenter.org. Tickets will be also available at The Spire on the day of show.

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Crystal Bowersox to perform with Caroline Glaser (of ‘The Voice) in Plymouth

15 Oct
Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox

PLYMOUTH – Season nine “American Idol” runner-up Crystal Bowersox will make her debut appearance at the Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, Mass., on November 12, 2014, at 8 p.m. Caroline Glaser, a fan favorite on season 4 of NBC’s “The Voice,” will open the show. Don’t miss your chance to experience two incredibly talented singer-songwriters with amazing voices in an intimate venue. Tickets can be purchased HERE. Enter GLASER as the “password or discount code” to get $5 off per ticket.

Since wowing audience members and judges with original songs and covers of The Beatles, Sheryl Crow, and many others during the “American Idol” competition, Bowersox has become a stand out singer/songwriter whose work spans many genres, from blues and country to folk and rock. She has released two records, the most recent being the country/soul accented “All That for This” in 2013, which opened to widespread critical acclaim and boasted a guest duet with Jakob Dylan. She is currently recording a new E.P. for release in early 2015.

Meanwhile, Glaser was your typical first year college student, performing isolated open mic nights at her local coffee shops and making videos on her YouTube page, when she auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice.” The judges were overwhelmed with affection, and the world watching was smitten. Adam Levine from Maroon 5 described Caroline’s voice as “ethereal, magic and wonderful.” Usher renamed himself “Gusher.”

Ultimately, Glaser didn’t win the highly-rated vocal competition, but she made a real connection with an instant fanbase begging for more. She will be the first to admit she is only a handful of steps into a long uphill road ahead, but is embracing this exciting opportunity to further develop as an “indie-folk” artist. The singer-songwriter is ever so grateful for the fans who encourage her along the way, and ecstatic to start playing and releasing music for them.

The Spire is located at 25 ½ Court Street in Plymouth. The venue features superior acoustics, custom state of the art lighting and sound systems and original period architectural details, offering patrons an exceptional performing arts experience.

Caroline Glaser

Caroline Glaser

The Stick Men bring ‘Supercollider” tour to The Regent

14 Oct
Photo - The Stick Men

The Stick Men

By JAY KENNEY

The Stick Men is a progressive rock band formed in 2008, featuring musicians with extensive experience playing together. Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto are the rhythm section of the legendary progressive rock band King Crimson and Markus Reuter is a composer/guitarist who designs and plays his own unique touch style guitar. The Stick Men is a rock trio like no other. Playing instruments not seen or heard every day and writing captivating and challenging music, they embody the tradition of forward-looking rock music. On October 21, 2014, The Stick Men will perform their only New England date at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass., with special guest Mindset X (click on link for related story). We recently interviewed the band right before a charity show in Kingston, N.Y. where they discussed their music, touring, crowd funding, and what the future holds for the band.

Limelight Magazine (LM): The Stick Men have a gig at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass., on Oct. 21, 2014. Are you looking forward to this show?
Tony Levin: Very much looking forward to it. Boston’s where I’m from, so getting back to the area to play is always special. (I do come in for Pats games when touring schedule permits it, and that’s great, but playing is even better.)
Pat Mastelotto: Yes.
Markus Reuter: I’m looking forward to this show, and the whole tour, very much.

LM: This is your only New England date on the tour. What can your fans expect from the band at this show?
Tony Levin: We love sharing our music – Stick Men has been touring and recording for quite a few years now – so we can choose music from some past albums as well as the new one. We will also play some King Crimson pieces, a no brainer, since two of us, Pat and myself, are members of Crimson, and we all love that music. And we do our version of Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.” And we love to improvise too, so there’ll be some musical surprises, even for us.
Markus Reuter: We are about to release a “Best Of” compilation and our set list will reflect that. So we will be looking back by playing songs we haven’t played in a long time, but we’ll also play some new pieces.

LM: How does the band decide on a set list? I’ve seen you perform several King Crimson songs in the past, but now that you have a few studio albums under your belt will it lean more toward that material?
Tony Levin: Good question, and we do vary it from show to show, so we’ll only decide on that day which of the pieces we’ll do.
Markus Reuter: I guess we’ll still be playing two Crimson songs in the set. The rest has always been our material.

LM: The band’s music is often described as being complex and adventurous. How would you describe your music to a first time listener?
Tony Levin: We try to be ‘progressive’ in the real sense of the word, not simply by playing “Prog rock music”…so we look at our music as a growing thing, and don’t keep going out to do the same thing. This year we’re in writing mode, exploring ideas for next year’s album, and at some point in the show we’ll probably give some early exploratory versions of those ideas.
Pat Mastelotto: Two, two-handed guitar bass tappers going at it.
Markus Reuter: It’s essentially rock music. Very visceral and groovy.

LM: Giving the complex nature of your music, are there any songs that you perform live that end up being more difficult than you expected?
Tony Levin: When you’re playing complex music, any piece can suddenly become really hard — sometimes they’re based on different players playing intermeshed parts, or separate time signatures, and if anybody has a little glitch, well, you don’t meet up where you thought you would, and some quick adjusting needs to be done. I’d say that happens pretty regularly, and we’re always pleased when we survive it.
Pat Mastelotto: All of them :-)
Markus Reuter: Yes, some are harder than others. The devil is in the details usually. Some pieces require extreme concentration while others require physical stamina, for example.

LM: Your rhythm section just wrapped up a tour with King Crimson on Oct. 6 and you’re wasting no time at starting up the tour with The Stick Men. Did you go straight into rehearse mode after the Crimson gigs? How much time does the band generally devote to rehearsing?
Tony Levin: Our rehearsal periods vary a lot, depending on what schedules allow. This time it’s a bit nuts…the Crimson tour finished in Seattle and Stick Men have a benefit show (today, actually) here in Kingston, NY – then Pat will run home to Texas while Markus and I rehearse a few days, for the tour starting next week! Next February, I’ll go to Berlin, where Markus lives, and we’ll rehearse there for a week, getting ready for spring touring.
Pat Mastelotto: King Crimson had about seven weeks of rehearsals spread throughout 2014. Stick Men will get one day
Markus Reuter: We usually do very little rehearsing.

LM: On your last studio album, Deep, you used PledgeMusic to help fund the project. How did the idea come about to use a crowd funding source?
Tony Levin: That worked out well – we’re very appreciative of the fans who help us out to a higher degree by pre-ordering the CD and other stuff – in a band, financing the recording is an issue, and often you want to do more…like have a DVD with some video and extra bits, but the costs have to be paid before making it, and a lot of bands don’t have the backing or funds for that. So getting advance funding from the campaign allowed us to make a more extensive and better product for Deep than we would have been able to without it. I don’t see us doing that kind of sourcing for some years, because you don’t want to lean too heavily on your biggest fans – they’ve already been kind enough.
Markus Reuter: We wanted to release Deep also as a 5.1 mix on DVD plus a concert
movie, so we needed much more funds. It was wonderful to see how much support we got from our fans.

LM: Do you feel that crowd founding platforms have enabled musicians who may not normally have label support to keep the focus on the music and to stay in touch with their fans?
Pat Mastelotto: Yes. Certainly.
Markus Reuter: Yes, but it seems this is already over. The major labels are now plugging into the same pool.

LM: Can we expect any new music from The Stick Men on the horizon?
Tony Levin: This tour we’re bringing back some cool pieces from our past that we haven’t done in a while and, as said before, we’re giving some glimpses of the upcoming music from next year. To make that music really the best it can be, we’ll have many periods together rehearsing and recording until we feel it’s right. Since we’ll do that in both Berlin, Germany, and Austin, Texas (where Pat is based) it should have quite an international feel to it!
Markus Reuter: Some time in 2016. And I hope we’ll play some of the new music live before an album release.

LM: This band has been together for over five years now. Besides having one lineup change, how has this configuration of the band evolved?
Tony Levin: We’re very comfortable musically with each other — not a surprise with Pat and I having been touring together since mid-90’s in King Crimson! I think in a live show the chemistry among the players is part of the fun of the show, and hopefully it shows with us that we enjoy each other musically.
Pat Mastelotto: Actually it’s been about seven years. The configuration really hasn’t changed since Tony remains a Chapman Stick and I remain on acoustic and electronic drums and percussion. The change to Marcus was too a very similar instrument but Marcus’s style of playing is completely different. With the next recordings, we hope to re-introduce more vocals back into the songs.

LM: Along the same lines, what do you like most about playing with these guys?
Pat Mastelotto: I love the level of musicianship and commitment.
Markus Reuter: I guess it’s the fact that we’re creating “music” and that there’s actually an audience that wants to hear it.

LM: You all have such diverse resumes. Is there anyone you haven’t performed with that you would like to in the future?
Pat Mastelotto: Hendrix and Lennon but I’m not in a hurry.
Markus Reuter: I’m open to whatever happens. I do want to move further, for sure.

LM: After this tour, what’s next for everyone in the band?
Tony Levin: Right after our Mexico City show, I will go to Europe for a Peter Gabriel tour that ends in early December and I can finally catch some Pats games in chilly December. Then January we’ll be writing music separately, hook up in Berlin in February to start bouncing it around. Looking at Far East and S. American tours in March thru May, then getting that album done in the Summer. We all are part of a music camp in August, called Three of a Perfect Pair Camp, in the Catskills… so that’s about as far ahead as I can guess at.
Pat Mastelotto: About a week after this tour ends in Mexico City I’ll be going back to Europe to tour with the Slovakian guitar player David Kollar, that’s only about 10 shows – and then after our last show in Prague, I’ll go to Sweden to work with IB Expo which will include Mel Collins from King Crimson.
Markus Reuter: I will be taking three months off of touring.

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Former Live vocalist to celebrate 20th anniversary of ‘Throwing Copper’ at Narrows in Fall River, Mass.

9 Oct

ED K Cropped Photo

Ed Kowalczyk, the songwriter and former lead singer of the multi-platinum rock band Live, announces the first leg of his Throwing Copper Unplugged – 20th Anniversary Tour. The trek, which hits the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass., on Feb. 5, 2015, will have Kowalczyk appear onstage with a new unplugged production. Purchase tickets HERE.

Kowalczyk has built one of rock’s most impressive resumes. His band, Live, became one of the most successful and enduring alternative bands of the last twenty years, selling more than 20 million albums worldwide. He and Live also created an emotional, radiant collection of songs with 1994’s Throwing Copper, and the set helped make Live one of the most celebrated rock bands of the decade.

Among Live’s catalogue are some of alternative rock’s most iconic hits, including “Lightning Crashes”, “I Alone”, “Selling the Drama”, “The Dolphin’s Cry”, “Overcome” and “Heaven” – many of which have been responsible for shaping the musical landscape for alternative rock around the globe.

For his newest creative offering, the Throwing Copper Unplugged – 20th Anniversary Tour, Kowalczyk will perform a breathtaking acoustic set that celebrates the 20th anniversary of this seminal Live album, along with a few surprises.

“I’m so excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Throwing Copper in this new unplugged production,” said Kowalczyk. “Fans can expect to see and hear me like never before!”

The Narrows Center for the Arts is located at 16 Anawan Street in Fall River, Mass. Tickets can be purchased online HERE, by calling the box office at 508-324-1926, or in person at the venue.

 

New album and gig with The Stick Men on the horizon for Mindset X

15 Sep
Photo - Mindset X

Mindset X

Hailing from Manchester, N.H., Mindset X is an alternative hard rock band with a progressive twist consisting of Steve Haidaichuk (guitar and vocals), Paul Davidson (bass and vocals) and Adam Cote (drums). The band was founded over 10 years ago and has recorded four full-length albums and a few EPs. They are currently recording a new concept album, entitled Oceans, that will be released in early 2015. Over the past decade, they have opened for such national acts as Queensryche, Candlebox, Korn, Stone Temple Pilots, 3 Days Grace, and Halestorm. On October 21, 2014, they will be opening for The Stick Men (featuring Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Markus Reuter) at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass. We recently caught up with the band who were busy recording their new album and rehearsing for their gig with The Stick Men.

Limelight Magazine (LM): Mindset X is opening for The Stick Men at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass., on Oct. 21, 2014. How did that gig come about? Is the band looking forward to it?
Steve Haidaichuk: The indie label that we are on, Transit Music Group, really put this all together. We were just really on the sidelines relaying information back and forth (laughs). We actually were working on a show with John Wesley [of Porcupine Tree] that ended up falling through due to scheduling conflicts and it happened that this show just magically came together right afterwards…It’s an understatement to say we are excited. I mean, the talent in Stick Men is unbelievable. I can tell you that we are all working diligently on our chops.

LM: You’re going to be releasing a new single from your forthcoming album entitled Oceans on the same day. What’s the single called? Were you always planning to release a single in October or did you decide to do so after the band was asked to be the support act for The Stick Men?
Steve Haidaichuk: The single is called “You & Me”. We actually planned on releasing the album in October but decided that it was pointless to rush it out. We want it to be perfect and we really don’t have anyone breathing down our back so we pushed the album release to early 2015. It just made sense as singles are usually released a few months ahead of albums anyway. It was just good luck that The Stick Men show happened to pan out for October.

LM: Will you be playing the single at the Regent? Will there be any other new songs from Oceans performed that night?
Adam Cote: Yes, we will be playing the single along with mostly new material and a modified version of one of our fan favorites.

LM: Speaking of Oceans, it’s going to be a conceptual album. Can you tell me more about it? What’s the underlying concept?
Paul Davidson: The concept is simple. It’s about one’s life. The trials and tribulations one goes through to discover oneself, to find himself in the universe, and not alone.

LM: How much of the album has already been recorded? When did you expect it to be released?
Steve Haidaichuk: Oceans is pretty far along tracking wise. I just finished up all my electric guitars a few weeks ago and have a few acoustic parts to do and then it’s on to the vocal tracks. Adam and Paul have completed everything they needed to lay down. Our goal is an early 2015 release with a tour starting up in the spring.

LM: Could you walk us through the band’s songwriting process?
Adam Cote: Steve is the main writer, but we all have input into song structure, riffs, lyrics etc.
Steve Haidaichuk: Oceans was definitely a band effort, writing wise. Like all good stories, it started out on a cocktail napkin.

LM: You’re publicist told us that John Wesley of Porcupine Tree is making an appearance on the CD. He’s an amazing guitarist. How did you end up getting him to appear on the CD?
Steve Haidaichuk: He is quite a talented guitarist and all around great guy. His new album is fantastic. Early on, our goal was to set up a show with John in October. We discussed having him play a solo on the new album. The show, unfortunately, fell through due to scheduling conflicts but he did perform a really cool solo on one of the tunes. We’ve discussed shows together in the future and I am sure that eventually it will happen.

LM: You’re recording the new album with Grammy-winning engineer Jay Frigoletto whose credits include Alice in Chains and most recently Kix. How did you end up working with him? What’s the experience been like so far?
Steve Haidaichuk: We met Jay through mutual friends and have worked with him in the past, mastering wise. During the writing of Oceans, we asked him if he would be interested in recording it and, thankfully, he said yes. It’s a wonderful laid back studio with a great vibe. The chemistry has been fantastic and we are always bouncing ideas off each other.

LM: Over the past 10 years, you’ve recorded four full length albums and a few EPs. Is there anything different you’re doing this time than past recordings?
Adam Cote: There are definitely differences on the new recording. We are taking our time and doing it right and being open to direction from our top shelf engineer/producer and using everything we have learned over the years to make something special.

LM: Lastly, why should people come see Mindset X perform live on Oct. 21st?
Paul Davidson: They should come to the show not only for the experience, but to discover something real – something solid – something pure. The music by Mindset X!
Steve Haidaichuk: We do what we do for the love of creating and performing. The Stick Men show will be no different. It will be amazing to perform with such a talented line up. It will be a special evening indeed.

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