The Cassette Chronicles – Maria McKee’s self-titled debut

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

MARIA MCKEE – MARIA MCKEE (1989)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the cover art to Maria McKee’s self-titled debut album is being undervalued.

The art is a simple portrait photo of the singer but the composition kind of makes it seem like it is a bit of an old-time photo. It’s visually striking and I know that when I first saw it, I was captivated by the picture alone. I actually had no earthly idea who Maria McKee was when I came across the cassette in the racks of the record shop I found myself perusing for some new music.

I had gone out to dinner with my family at one of the Ponderosa steakhouses. Right next door was a record shop so after dinner I went over and did some looking around. I ended up picking up two albums that night. The first was an album by the metal band Hallows Eve called Monument. Let’s just say there wasn’t anything all that memorable about that album other than the fact I bought it the same day as the Maria McKee album.

I was working my way through the racks of cassettes and I came across this album. I pulled it out because I didn’t recognize the name. And like a bolt of lightning, I saw the cover art. Again, I was totally captivated. I put it back on the rack as I continued shopping but I kept coming back to it because of the hauntingly beautiful nature of the cover art.

Despite not knowing what kind of music she played, I had to make the purchase. And then I got to hear her sing…

McKee’s solo debut came after the end of her band Lone Justice. They were what has been described at various junctures as cowpunk, Americana, country-rock and even alt-country if I’m not mistaken. The band released two albums but despite a stellar live reputation, the sales didn’t follow for whatever reason. I went back and got those albums and personally think they are spectacular but that’s just me being years too late once more.

As captivating as the cover art is, it didn’t prepare me in the least for what I was in for as I discovered McKee’s voice. She can sing like very few people I’ve ever heard in my life. She can rip out your throat with a ballsy rock style, soar to the angels with a powerful ethereal style for a ballad and pretty much anything in between those two points. Add in the fact that she’s an amazing lyricist and you have the initial idea of just how amazing I think she is.

The first side of the album opens with the jaunty uptempo number “I’ve Forgotten What It Was In You (That Put The Need In Me)”. Okay, brevity in choice of song titles is probably not one of her strong points but the song is fantastic.

Honestly, let’s just skip to the point. Each of the ten songs on the cassette is amazing. It is a rare thing for me to become so besotted with a performer from the very first time I hear them. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one other performer who did that for me and that was Beth Hart. And anyone who knows me knows how much I adore her. You can definitely include Maria McKee in that group too.

“To Miss Someone” is a cracker of tune where McKee’s ability to break your heart first comes into play. The material on the album ranges from that rocking upbeat sound to the balladry which stands out without being cloying. And then there are the pieces that seem like something out a stage musical or at least just a set piece that evokes a kind of place and time for the listener.

“Nobody’s Child” feels like that to me. It grabs you and transports you to some other place where it is just you and the song. I’m not sure if I can quite come up with a better description than that. If you listen, I think you’ll understand.

The last song on the first side of the album is called “Panic Beach” and no matter how many times I hear it, it feels like the first time. It is by far my favorite song from McKee’s solo career and it just strikes me as a kind of nostalgic look back to the days when you went off on a summer trip that marks a turning point in your life. The lyrics to this song are strangely poetic to me and tell a story that makes me wish it was the baseline for a movie. I’d love to see the characters come alive in person that inhabit the song.

Side two kicks off with “Can’t Pull The Wool Down (Over The Little Lamb’s Eyes)”, a song that finds McKee cutting loose vocally to a more rocking soundtrack. “More Than A Heart Can Hold” and “This Property Is Condemned” strike a chord with the vocals seeming both calm and strainingly intense at the same time.

Remember how I said McKee’s vocals feel like she is soaring to the angels? The song “Breathe” is probably the best example of that statement. On this song, McKee is ethereal beauty given form and voice. If I was to tie the cover art to one song on the album, this would be the one. It is just perfect.

The album closes with a cover of Richard Thompson’s “Has He Got A Friend For Me?” On the song, McKee is enthrallingly dynamic as she plays piano and captures a longing sense of desire or maybe desperation throughout the song.

I know that the majority of the albums that I write about in this series fall on the rock or metal side of the ledger. I will always consider myself a rock and metal fan first and foremost. But I like being able to showcase, on occasion, the other aspects of my musical fandom. And for me, there’s no better way to do so than to talk/write about the greatness of Maria McKee. She is without a doubt one of my favorite musical artists and if you check out this debut album from her, I think you will agree with that testimonial.

All that…from just a photo. Yes, a thousand words is definitely not enough.

NOTES OF INTEREST: I own this album not only on cassettte, but on vinyl and CD as well. The CD edition comes with a bonus track called “Drinkin’ In My Sunday Dress”. It’s an uptempo track that finds McKee inhabiting kind of a dissolute character as the song’s narrator. It’s a killer track that I always thought was slyly comedic as well.

Among the guests on the Maria McKee album are Robbie Robertson (he co-wrote the lyrics for “Nobody’s Child”), Richard Thompson who played guitar and mandolin and bassist Tony Levin from King Crimson and Peter Gabriel.

I have never seen McKee in live performance, the one time I had the chance the show was cancelled. McKee has acted in movies, composed soundtracks for those movies and done work as a writer. She’s worked with or had her songs covered by acts like U2, Robbie Robertson, The Dixie Chicks, Bette Midler and many more.

Maria McKee’s latest album came out on March 13th, 2020, and is called La Vita Nuova.

FILMING LOCATION SPOTLIGHT – “Prince of Darkness” (1987)

On the second and fourth Friday of every month in 2020, Limelight Magazine will spotlight the filming location site(s) we visited for some of our favorite (and not so favorite) films. Today we spotlight the filming location for John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness which was release in 1987. The top photo is a screen shot taken from the movie while the photo underneath is what the location looks like today.

This filming location of the church is located at 120 Judge John Aiso St A, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

 

The Cassette Chronicles – Styx’s “Kilroy Was Here’

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

STYX – KILROY WAS HERE (1983)

The 11th album to be released by Styx made a really big impression on me back in 1983. More accurately, it was the lead single from the album that left its mark on me.

If you were a music fan at that time, you’ll probably remember just how ingrained the song “Mr. Roboto” was on the radio. Given that it made it all the way to #3 on the singles chart, you probably couldn’t get away from the song.

But that was okay with me. I was 12, and in the relative infancy of my music appreciation. I didn’t own a lot of music of my own yet so I was always listening to the radio, including American Top 40 with Casey Kasem, to hear songs…and hoping to hear the ones I really liked again and again. This would included “Mr. Roboto”. I really loved everything about the song.

But I never owned the actual album. Heck, it wasn’t until many years later that I even knew that the album was a concept album. The notion of an album telling a single story across each song wasn’t something I was aware of at that particular age and level of musical experience.

So despite this album being a big seller, it wasn’t until I bought the cassettes that make up “The Big Box of Cassettes” from which I pull the material for this series that I had the chance to listen to Kilroy Was Here in full.

Now that I have, I’m left feeling kind of underwhelmed by the experience. The storyline revolves around a future time where rock music is outlawed. Okay, it might not be the most original story but when the album was created, music was under it’s latest siege by those who hated rock music. So it was at least a timely response upon the album’s original release.

But the nine tracks varied wildly in quality for me. I still love “Mr. Roboto”, but as I listened to the song before writing this piece, I think a little of the shine has come off the track for me. It conjured up more of a warm feeling of nostalgia for when I first heard the song, rather than making me think more along the lines of “Oh wow! This is still such a great song!” I’m not hating on the song but I don’t think I feel the same kind of love for it as I did when I heard it on 92 Pro-FM out of Providence, R.I., back in the day.

As for the rest of the music, I know that I’ve heard “Don’t Let It End”, one of the band’s more signature power ballad type tracks, over the years. But I didn’t realize that it was on Kilroy Was Here. And while I’m normally loathe to appreciate this type of song these days, I have to say that it seems to have stood the test of time (for me, at least). I really enjoyed the song and thought of just how finely crafted it seemed.

I wish I could say the same for the other two tracks on the first side of the album. I listened to “Cold War” and “High Times” and just had no emotional attachment to either song at all. The former was pretty uptempo in its pacing but it didn’t get my blood pumping in the least. And for whatever reason, the latter song damn near caused me to fall back to sleep.

Side Two opened up with the strongly rocking “Heavy Metal Poisoning”. I liked the song as a whole, but I really liked the guitar solo on the track in particular. The song “Double Life” was pretty interesting as well.

However, once again I was left cold and unimpressed by songs like “Haven’t We Been Here Before” and “Just Get Through This Night”, a track that made me think about how I just wanted to get through the album.

While there are some individually great songs on the album, I can’t hide the fact that as an overall experience, I found Kilroy Was Here a bit of a disappointment. I don’t see me rushing to throw the album back in the tape deck any time soon. I kind of wonder if I’d have had a different opinion had I actually heard the album when it was originally released.

NOTES OF INTEREST: Back in August of 2019, I wrote about the band’s 1990 album Edge of the Century for this series. I’d probably listen to that one (particularly the album’s fantastic second side) more often than Kilroy Was Here.

This was the last album that was recorded by the classic Styx lineup of Dennis DeYoung, James “J.Y.” Young, Tommy Shaw and John and Chuck Panozzo.

Much like “Mr. Roboto”, the song “Don’t Let It End” enjoyed chart success as a single. It went to #6, giving the band two Top-10 hits from the album. The album itself went platinum, the last of the band’s releases to mark that achievement.

The Cassette Chronicles – TNT’s ‘Tell No Tales’

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

(Writer’s Note: Singer Tony Harnell will be teaming up with Stryper’s Michael Sweet for “Tour 1987” a run of dates in Fall 2020 that is the first time they’ve teamed since the Stryper/TNT tour of 1987. The tour will hit The Vault Music Hall & Pub in New Bedford, MA, on October 3, 2020. Purchase tickets HERE).

 TNT – TELL NO TALES (1987)

My initial introduction to TNT came through the eye-catching artwork for the band’s album Intuition in a magazine ad that I saw. I like that kind of artwork that makes you stop on a dime to drink it all in. This was back in 1989 when I still had little in the way of regular bills to pay and could just run out and grab whatever music struck my fancy.

And that’s what I did. I bought Intuition, but I also grabbed up TNT’s two previous albums which is the one I’m going to be writing about in this article plus Knights of the New Thunder. But whatever I thought going into the albums, I found myself sorely disappointed upon those initial listens. I really never connected with the band’s music for some reason. And so, the band kind of faded from my radar only popping up whenever they made news for splitting with singer Tony Harnell or the ensuing welcoming him back to the fold over the years.

The albums exited my collection and I didn’t think much about them until it turned out I bought a couple of them as part of “The Big Box of Cassettes”. This is how it came to be that I pulled Tell No Tales out of the box this week and decided to give it a listen. (A side note here: The cassette was still in its original wrapping.) Could my reservations about the release have evolved over the ensuing three decades plus? Well, surprisingly enough they did.

Say what you want, but TNT certainly wastes no time noodling around to add length to the songs. The album is just a little over 30 minutes long including three admittedly unnecessary instrumentals amongst the eleven tracks. (There’s a 12th song listed on the album’s Wikipedia page, but “Destiny” is listed as a bonus track and I’m guessing that’s only on the CD version.)

The thing I found the most interesting upon my re-evaluation of the album is hearing just how much fiery rock and roll the band laid out. It is on the more uptempo tracks where they shine the most. For all the seemingly mercurial nature of guitars Ronni Le Tekro, the man can blaze on a guitar. Morty Black and Diesel Dahl made for a killer rhythm section as well.

I think part of the reason that I didn’t get into TNT as much as I might’ve wished for back in the day is that I wasn’t crazy about Harnell’s high pitched vocals at the time. Suffice to say, I’ve evolved on that as well. I’ve heard a bit of his work in other projects and enjoyed his performances.

That enjoyment has worked its way backwards through his catalog because I found myself rocking out as he sang the songs “Everyone’s A Star” and what is arguably the band’s best known song, “10,000 Lovers (In One)”. When you add in “As Far As The Eye Can See”, it turns out that Tell No Tales actually had a killer three track opening to the album.

I mentioned the album includes three instrumentals. Thankfully they are mercifully brief because they don’t really add a thing to the release. Two of them are on Side One and when you add in the annoyingly distracting balladry of “Child’s Play”, the last half of the first side of the album goes out like a lamb.

But things immediately take a turn for the more rocking side of the ledger on Side Two with the tracks “Listen To Your Heart” and “Desperate Night”. Both songs are fast paced in nature and really spotlight my newly formed belief that they are at their best when they put the pedal to the mettle.

“Northern Lights” started off a bit slow for me, but when the pacing picked up, I enjoyed the song a lot more. The title track closes out the album and it just blazes a fiery path. While there is a ton of melody to it, the song is so fast that you’d think they were going head to head with a thrash band to see who could play faster. Still, the song is pretty invigorating and it actually left me wanting more.

It is always strange when my notions about an album or band undergo this kind of evolution of opinion. It leaves me wondering just why I didn’t connect with an album the first time around. I don’t have an answer to that question but I do know that the story of Tell No Tales now has a different kind of ending for this music lover and I’m almost certainly going to have to go back and check out the other albums I had to see if they leave me with a changed opinion as well.

NOTES OF INTEREST: I write CD reviews for another website and in 2018, I got to review the TNT release XIII. It was the first album to feature new singer Baol Bardot Bulsara. The album was a bit strange because Tony Harnell had once again departed the band but was credited with co-writing six of the songs on the disc and sang backing vocals on one song.

Among the solo projects and band projects that Tony Harnell has done over the years are bands like Westworld, Starbreaker, Morning Wood and a brief stint in Skid Row, he’s also done a number of tracks for the Sonic The Hedgehog video game series. Two of the recordings were done with Danger Danger singer Ted Poley.

The Cassette Chronicles – Frehley’s Comet’s ‘Second Sighting’

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

FREHLEY’S COMET – SECOND SIGHTING (1988)

While I do consider myself a fan of the band Kiss, I’ve never really been all that particular enamored of the various solo and/or side projects from the original members. The exception to that has been a few songs here and there from guitarist Ace Frehley.

If you can’t like a song like “Rock Soldiers”, there’s just something wrong with you. But that’s a song off the first Frehley’s Comet album and this article is taking a look at the second (and last) studio album to bear the “Frehley’s Comet” banner.

While I didn’t buy the album when it was originally released, I do have pretty clear memories of hearing “Insane” and “It’s Over Now”, the two tracks that were released as singles. Of course, it probably had something to do with seeing the accompanying videos for the songs more than radio airplay, since neither song was a hit on the charts.

But what I do remember is how much I loved “Insane”. It opens the album and it is a real ball-busting rock and roll song that grabs you right from the start. As for “It’s Over Now”, it’s a power ballad sung by guitarist/singer Tod Howarth. It hits all the right notes of sentimentality without crossing over into self-parody so I rather enjoyed it once again when I played the cassette.

Speaking of Frehley and Howarth, they broke down the lead vocals quite equally. Ace sang four songs, Howarth did the other four and they teamed up on the Side One closer “Loser In A Fight”. That was a real corker of a song, a fully engaged rock tempo to the music there.

The song “Time Ain’t Runnin’ Out” was okay but of the five songs on Side One, it was probably the one I enjoyed the least. The fast pacing of the song “Dancin’ With Danger” was pretty entertaining though. It’s a cover of a song originally done by the band Streetheart. I was looking at the writing credits and Streetheart is credited but there seems to have been some kind of re-write because both Ace Frehley and Dana Strum (the bassist for Slaughter) have co-writing credits on the song as well.

I liked the first side of the album, but I think Side Two was even better. It kicks off with the heaviest sounding song on Second Sighting, “Juvenile Delinquent”, and finds Ace not only ripping it up musically but putting in a really good vocal performance as well.

The rest of Side Two is pretty rocking as well. “New Kind of Lover” is sung by Howarth, but also showcases the band’s fiery musical chops in a brilliant light too. I loved the chorus for “Separate” a lot.

The most intriguing song to me was the album closing “The Acorn Is Spinning”. It’s an instrumental and I’m just crazy enough to think it could’ve been just as memorable as say, “Mr. Scary” from Dokken. It struck me as being just that kind of level of cool. The only thing holding it back was the annoying dialogue sprinkled throughout the song. I hated the interruptions because I just wanted to hear the music they were playing.

I’ve never seen Frehley in concert, whether when he was with Kiss or as a solo artist. I’ve only recently even had the opportunity anyway. I’ve got a music related friend named Troy who has met him a number of times and even worked on Frehley’s crew for a few shows. I’m not jealous (much) but I know that after listening to Second Sighting, if I get the opportunity to see Ace in concert, I’m not going to be quite so damn foolish as to pass up that chance again.

For me, Second Sighting was an eye, or perhaps, ear opening experience because while I’ve liked individual Ace songs before, this was my first full album listen and I thought it was smashingly great!

NOTES OF INTEREST: The album was reissued by Rock Candy Records in 2014. According to the liner notes, radio DJ and TV host Eddie Trunk served as an executive producer for Second Sighting.

Jamie Oldaker was the drummer for this album, he had previously played with Eric Clapton, Bob Seger and Peter Frampton. He would go on to become a member of The Tractors.

Bassist John Regan, who played the bass tracks on the first three songs on the Michael Monroe album Not Fakin’ It (that was featured in The Cassette Chronicles series a few weeks ago, reunited with singer/guitarist Tod Howarth in 2016 for a new band called Four By Fate. They were joined by ex-Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso and release an album called Relentless.

Sneak Peek – Nominees revealed for Limelight Music Awards ’20

It’s Primary Tuesday, March 3rd, in Massachusetts and that means our Limelight Magazine Readers’ Poll is now open for you to vote for your favorite local musicians in 16 categories. The poll will close on Monday, March 9th, at 11:45 PM. Click HERE to vote!

We’d like to thank the New England Music Awards for coming on board as the primary sponsor for this event. We’d also like to thank Music Go Round, Athena’s by Michelle M., Boston Rock Radio, East Coast Alice – The Ultimate Alice Cooper Experience, Kokopelli Realty, Rick’s Music World, Seth’s Rock Report, Shell Shock Acoustic, Soundcheck Studios, Taylespun Studio Contemporary Fine Art, Underground Recording Co., as well as Don Burton Media, Purchase Street Records, and the Vault Music Hall for sponsoring the individual awards.

[THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS POSTED 2-29-20]

We are excited to announce the nominees for this year’s Limelight Magazine Music Awards!

Unlike previous years, the nominating process has been tweaked slightly to reflect feedback from musicians and local music fans. So, instead of the ballot being decided entirely by fans, this year the nominating process was decided by music industry professionals and the general public. For two weeks in early February, we solicited nominations from local industry professionals including John Shea of Almost Famous on 95.9 WATD, Cat Wilson of The Cheap Seats, Katie Botelho of Limelight Magazine, and Adam N. Signore of Mark Skin Radio. Then, we solicited nominations from the general public for one week from February 16 to 22. The top nominees in 16 categories made the ballot.

A special, all-ages awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 31, 2020, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Vault Music Hall, located at 791 Purchase Street in New Bedford, MA, where the winners will be revealed. Advance tickets can be purchased online by clicking HERE.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund. While we no longer hear about it on the news, recovery donations are still needed to help wildlife in the regions impacted by the devastating fires.

To keep up with all of our promotions for the event, we encourage you to “like” our Facebook fan page by clicking HERE if you haven’t already done so.

Public voting starts Primary Tuesday, March 3rd at noon, and will close Monday, March 9th, at 11:45 PM. Check back here on Tuesday at noon for a link to the poll.

After voting ends, seven artists will be randomly selected from all the nominees and asked to perform at the awards show. If an artist is unavailable, we will draw again until we have seven performers. Please note that performing at the ceremony does not mean that artist has won an award.

If you have any questions, many of them will likely be answered HERE. Please take the time to read this before contacting us with any questions. If you need to reach us, e-mail the preferred means of communication. Contact us at limelightmusicawards@gmail.com.

Here are this year’s nominees:

Album/EP of the Year (Group)  (Sponsored by Purchase Street Records)

  • Bad Marriage – Bad Marriage
  • The Blue Ribbons – Thoughts and Prayers
  • The DayBreakers – Worn Out Dream
  • First Bourne – Pick Up The Torch
  • Red Reveal – Red Reveal
  • Renegade Cartel – Dear World
  • Special Guests – Alumninaughty
  • The Varsity Club – Cobblestones

Album/EP of the Year(Solo Artist)  (Sponsored by Underground Recording Co.)

  • Katie Dobbins – There is Light
  • Carissa Johnson – A Hundred Restless Thoughts
  • Brandon Manter – Off My Mind
  • Amanda McCarthy – Road Trip
  • Grace Morrison – Reasons
  • Monica Rizzio – Sunshine is Free
  • Brian Sances – All My Might
  • Jennifer Truesdale – Trough the Circle

 Band of the Year (Sponsored by Music Go Round)

  • Bad Marriage
  • Crooked Coast
  • The DayBreakers
  • The Devils Twins
  • First Bourne
  • Lily Black
  • Exit 18
  • Moment of Clarity

Country Artist of the Year  (Sponsored by Vault Music Hall)

  • Back Rhodes
  • Houston Bernard Band
  • Blame the Whiskey
  • Annie Brobst
  • Darren Bissette Band
  • April Cushman
  • Martin and Kelly
  • Carly Tefft

 Female Vocalist of the Year (Sponsored by Athena’s by Michelle M)

  • Giuliana Amaral (of Legacy)
  • Gianna Botticelli (a.k.a. Ghost Grl)
  • Kala Farnham
  • Bethany Lawson (of Plastic Angels)
  • Shonna Lee (of Payback)
  • Sarah Levecque
  • Julie Rhodes
  • Amalia Ververis (of Melic Moon)

Frontperson of the Year  (Sponsored by East Coast Alice – The Ultimate Alice Cooper Experience)

  • Nicole Marie Coogan (The Devil’s Twins)
  • Ben Cote (The Ben Cote Band)
  • Alexa Economou (blindspot)
  • Sean FitzGerald (The NB Rude Boys)
  • Carly Kraft (Coral Moons)
  • Jon Paquin (Bad Marriage)
  • James Rohr (The Blue Ribbons)
  • Jackson Wetherbee (The Elovaters)

 Hard Rock/Metal Act of the Year  (Sponsored by Boston Rock Radio)

  • Afterimage
  • Devil in the Mist
  • Heavy AmericA  
  • One Time Mountain
  • Purging Sin
  • Red Sky Mary
  • SiXteenX20
  • Verscythe

 Live Artist of the Year  (Sponsored by Rick’s Music World)

  • The Ben Cote Band
  • Bird Mancini
  • Ashley Jordan
  • Lady Lupine
  • Sons Lunaris
  • Jay Psaros
  • Soul Box
  • We Own Land

 Male Vocalist of the Year  (Sponsored by Soundcheck Studios)

  • Sam Luke Chase
  • Nate Cozzolino
  • Shaun England
  • Chris Fitz
  • Joe Merrick
  • Sam Robbins
  • Michael Spaulding
  • Sam Vlasich (of Red Sky Mary)

 New Artist of the Year  (Sponsored by Music Go Round)

  • Amplifier Heads
  • Blacktop Strut
  • Coral Moons
  • Left of Love
  • Major Moment
  • Melic Moon
  • Red Reveal
  • Abigail Vail

Singer/Songwriter of the Year (Sponsored by Taylespun Studio Contemporary Fine Art)

  • Cara Brindisi
  • Katie Dobbins
  • Kathleen Healy
  • Mary McAvoy
  • Brian Sances
  • Hayley Sabella
  • Ilene Springer
  • Matt Zajac

 Song of the Year (Sponsored by Shell Shock Acoustic)

  • Beautiful Tuesday – “Manteca”
  • Coral Moons – “Fall In Love”
  • Crooked Coast – “Summer”
  • Mark Erelli – “Her Town Now”
  • Lockette – “In the Dark”
  • Amanda McCarthy – “Tiki Bar”
  • Parts Per Million – “No More Days”
  • Magen Tracy & the Missed Connections – “Dirty Little Secret”

Tribute Band of the Year  (Sponsored by Music Go Round)

  • Abraxas – A Tribute to Santana
  • The American Who – A Tribute to The Who
  • Heartbreaker – A Tribute to Led Zeppelin
  • Judas Rising – A Tribute to Judas Priest
  • Live Bullet – A Tribute to Bob Seger
  • The Sickness – A Tribute to Disturbed
  • We Are Hydrogen – A Tribute to Phish
  • The Young Americans – A Tribute to David Bowie

 Video of the Year (Group)  (Sponsored by Seth’s Rock Report)

  • Bad Marriage – “Gateway Drug”
  • blindspot – “Upside Down”
  • Damnation – “Fighting For”
  • Grenon – “Goodbye”
  • Groundlift – “Outta My Head”
  • Major Moment – “May Leave Scars”
  • Special Guests – “Spring Break”
  • The Wolff Sisters – “Drive”

Video of the Year (Solo Artist)  (Sponsored by Don Burton Media)

  • Lisa Bastoni – “Nearby”
  • Kate Eppers – “The Wishing Well”
  • Will Evans – “Family Tree”
  • Kala Farnham – “David”
  • Jamie Hart – “Get Closer”
  • Josh Knowles – “Same”
  • Daniel Miller (featuring Ward Hayden) – “Your Man”
  • Prateek Poddar – “The Gang’s All Gone”

Young Performer of the Year  (Sponsored by Kokopelli Realty)

  • American Ink
  • Sam Chetkin
  • Color Killer
  • Grenon
  • Off Kilter
  • The Nolan Leite Experience
  • Morrissey Blvd
  • Roll Over White

FILMING LOCATION SPOTLIGHT – “THE BLOB” (1958)

On the second and fourth Friday of every month in 2020, Limelight Magazine will spotlight the filming location site(s) we visited for some of our favorite (and not so favorite) films. Today we spotlight the filming location for the 1958 movie The Blob. The top photo is a screen shot taken from the movie while the photo underneath is what the location looks like today.

This filming locations is The Colonial Theater, located at 227 Bridge Street in Phoenixville, PA.

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