A brief look at what goes into booking a show

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

jkblogoentgroupKatie Botelho Bielatowicz is the co-founder of JKB Management and Booking where she works hand and hand with her business partner to book local artists (bands, comedians and even psychics) at local venues throughout New England. Bielatowicz also co-owns Limelight Magazine where she works together with her business partner to promote and support local bands, films, and various entertainment related companies through their online and sometimes print articles.

To coincide with the sixth anniversary of JKB, Bielatowicz recently sat down with staff writer Julia Cirignano to talk about her business. She talked about the pros and cons that come with booking a concert. She also talked about some of her favorite moments so far and her goals for the company’s future.

Bielatowicz, who moved to Dartmouth, Mass., when she was in elementary school, attended college at UMass Dartmouth to pursue a degree in marketing. She uses many of the marketing skills she gained at school in her current position as co-owner of JKB.

“I went to school for marketing, so it definitely fits in with what I’m doing now,” she said. “The whole business is pretty much marketing and promotions.”

Bielatowicz discussed the different stages of booking a concert.

“Usually a booking agent will contact us or we’ll contact them if there’s an artist we’re interested in,” she said. “We will then put an offer together and find a venue to rent that’s suitable for that artist. If the agent accepts our offer, then it’s our responsibility from there on out. It’s basically our show and we provide everything that the artist will need for that show.”

Contrary to what one might think, Bielatowicz and her business partner seldom ever get to see the acts they book because they are too busy making things run smoothly at the venue.

“I think there’s a misconception of what goes on when booking a show,” said Bielatowicz. “We don’t just show up when doors open and call it a night. It’s an all day event that includes load in, setting up hospitality, running errands for the artist, selling merchandise if it’s needed and load out. Most of the time it’s a 12 hour day of running around, but luckily we work with some great venues that make it easier for us.”

When booking a show, Bielatowicz and her business partner split up the work to highlight each of their strengths. They are sure to keep up good communication so they can split up the responsibilities fairly.

“We split things up accordingly,” she said. “At our weekly meetings, we’ll decide who’s going to do what for the week and for a particular show.”

Bielatowicz has been faced with many challenges while booking shows such as picky artists and tricky personalities. She talked about the number one biggest challenge that she is faced with when booking a show.

“The biggest challenge is trying to figure out what show to book,” she said. “It’s hard picking something that will appeal to a vast majority of people. Also, getting shows period can be a challenge since we don’t have our own venue [and there is a lot of competition in the marketplace.”

Bielatowicz has learned a lot and grown as a business woman since booking her first show with Uriah Heep in 2011 at Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, N.H. Since then, Bielatowicz has booked, planned, and hosted many shows within different musical genres and even some comedians. One of Bielatowicz’s favorite shows that she has ever hosted wasn’t even a musician, she was a translator of the spirit world — a so-called psychic medium.

“My favorite show so far has been Kim Russo,” she said. “I know it has nothing to do with music but it was something different and I liked that about it.”

Bielatowicz talked about the joys of being self-employed and having so much freedom within her job.

“My favorite part will have to be that it’s not a typical 9 to 5 job,” she said. “We make our own hours as we go and don’t have to worry about answering to higher management. It makes working less stressful and life more enjoyable.”

Bielatowicz truly believes in the mission behind JKB and hopes to see the business grow in the future.

“I’m hoping that JKB will continue to grow and we’ll be able to book bigger shows that will really get our name out there,” she said.

JKB has been very successful so far and hopefully the attention it has gained will grow. JKB will continue to expand their geographical and genre based limitations. In the future, Bielatowicz said, “I would really like to book an illusionist, no one in particular, I just think it would make for a great show!”

Upcoming shows by JKB include Candlebox Acoustic on March 25, Vanilla Fudge with Paul Bielatowicz on April 5, Y&T on May 2, Stryper’s Michael Sweet with Louis St. August & Gene D’Itria (of MASS) on June 2, and Black ‘N Blue with Sinners Inc. on July 20. All shows are at the Narrows Center for the Arts, located at 16 Anawan Street in Fall River, Mass.

Official statement about Limelight Magazine Music Awards

cropped-limelight-anniversary-logo-website.jpg

While January is normally the time of year Limelight Magazine begins accepting nominations for its annual Music Awards, we have decided we will NOT hold an awards ceremony in 2017. Each year this event is a major undertaking and takes a considerable amount of time to plan. After organizing eight awards ceremonies, we would like to use this year to self-evaluate this event while taking into account the feedback we have received from local musicians and our readers over the past few years.

Last October, Limelight Magazine celebrated its 10th anniversary. We consider this an amazing achievement as many publications that cover music, movies, and pop culture have either folded or scaled back their content. In response to this void, we have actually increased our coverage of the local and national music scene throughout 2016 (click HERE to see what we covered). We will maintain this coverage throughout 2017 and continue to bring national touring acts to New England with six acts – Candlebox (3/25), Tom Rush (4/1), Vanilla Fudge (4/5), Y&T (5/2), Michael Sweet (6/2), & Black ‘N Blue (7/20) already booked and selling well at either the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, MA, or Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, MA. Please continue to follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the most up-to-date information about our interviews, coverage of events, and shows we’ve booked.

In the meantime, we’d like to congratulate all the past nominees and winners at our Limelight Magazine Music Awards. A complete list of all the winners for the past eight years appears below.

 

8th Limelight Magazine Music Awards

@ Spire Center for Performing Arts, Plymouth, MA

Saturday, April 16, 2016

 

Unsung Hero Award

Shanna Jackman

Band of the Year

Flight of Fire

Live Artist of the Year

The Shana Stack Band

Album of the Year (Group)

21st Century Fugitives – Losing Time

Album of the Year (Solo Artist)

Carissa Johnson – For Now

Male Vocalist of the Year

Rob Pagnano

Female Vocalist of the Year

Amy Marie

Tribute Band of the Year

Heartbreaker – A Tribute to Led Zeppelin

Metal/Hardcore Act of the Year

Death wish

Debut Album of the Year

Matt York – Boston, Texas

 Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Bad Marriage

Young Performer of the Year

Sarah Deanna

Singer/Songwriter of the Year

Michael Spaulding

Country Artist of the Year

Timmy Brown and Black Diamond

Video of the Year (Group)

Red Evans – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

Video of the Year (Solo)

Matthew Neves – “Today Is The Day”

Song of the Year

The Aldous Collins Band – “Bernadette”

 

7th Limelight Magazine Music Awards

@ Spire Center for Performing Arts, Plymouth, MA

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Legend Award

New England

 Unsung Hero Award

Robin Lane

Band of the Year

The House on Cliff

Live Artist of the Year

Marianne Toilet and The Runs

Album of the Year (Group)
Dan Lawson Band – Soldiers of Fortune (tie)

The Quins – A Tale of Love and Evil (tie)

Album of the Year (Solo)

Susan Cattaneo – Haunted Heart

Male Vocalist of the Year

Walter Barlow

Female Vocalist of the Year

Jenna Lotti

Tribute Band of the Year

Beatles for Sale – Tribute to The Beatles

Metal/Hardcore Act of the Year

Along Came the Flood

Breakthrough Artist of the Year

The Dust Ruffles

 Young Performer of the Year

Emily Hodges

Singer-Songwriter of the Year

Amy Fairchild

Country Artist of the Year

Shana Stack Band

 Video of the Year (Group)

Singlecast – “Running to You”

Video of the Year (Solo)

Boston Catalano – “Stronger” (tie)

Joe Merrick – “Kiss Me Like It’s New Year’s Eve” (tie)

Song of the Year

The October Accord – “Better Off Without You”

6th Limelight Magazine Music Awards

@ South Shore Music, Quincy, MA

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Legend Award

Extreme

 Unsung Hero Award

Ayla Brown

 Service Award

Jessica Botelho

Band of the Year

Grace Morrison and the RSO

Live Artist of the Year

Bigtalkahh

Album of the Year (Group)

Beyond Blonde – Purple Rose

Album of the Year (Solo)

Jamie Lynn Hart – Live At Tupelo

 Male Vocalist of the Year

Joe Merrick

 Female Vocalist of the Year

Brianna Grace

 Tribute Band of the Year

Forever Young (Neil Young)

Metal/Hardcore Act of the Year

Hellspeak

Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Closer Than We Appear

Young Performer of the Year

21st Century Fugitives

Singer/Songwriter of the Year

Krista Baroni

Country Artist of the Year

Britt Hill

Video of the Year (Group)

The Devil’s Twins – “Love and War”

Video of the Year (Solo)

Jamie Lynn Hart – “Down”

Song of the Year

Kiley Evans & Joe Merrick – “We’d Be Lying”

           

5th Limelight Magazine Music Awards

@ Rock Junction, Coventry, RI

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Legend Award

BOSTON

Unsung Hero Award

Lisa Guyer

 DJ Most Supportive of the Local Music Scene

Lisa Azizian & John Shea

 Band of the Year

Lisa Markovich & Beyond Blonde

Live Artist of the Year

Awesome Express

 Album of the Year (Group)

Closer Than We Appear – Evaluating Expressions

 Album of the Year (Solo)

Sarah Swain – Every Little Bird

 Male Vocalist of the Year

Jesse Liam

Female Vocalist of the Year

Jessica Prouty

 Tribute Band of the Year

The Great Escape: Tribute to Journey

Metal/Harcore Act of the Year

Bigtalkahh

Breakthrough Artist of the Year

popALERT

 Singer/Songwriter of the Year

Amanda McCarthy

 Country Artist of the Year

Ashley Jordan

Video of the Year

Krista Angelucci – “C R E E P” (tie)

Birch Hill Dam – “Fathom’s Below” (tie)

Song of the Year

“Wicked” by Sara Leketa

 

4th Limelight Magazine Music Awards

@ Firehouse 13, Providence, RI

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Legend Award

The Fools

DJ Most Supportive of the Local Music Scene

Cat Wilson

Band of the Year

Beautiful Tuesday (tie)

Jessica Prouty Band (tie)

Live Artist of the Year

Beautiful Tuesday

Album/EP of the Year (Group)

Lisa Markovich & Beyond Blonde – Showing My Roots

Album/EP of the Year (Solo)

Ray Cooke – Good Life

Male Vocalist of the Year

Louis St. August

Female Vocalist of the Year

Jamie Lynn Hart

Tribute Band of the Year

Aerochix – Tribute to Aerosmith

Metal/Hardcore Act of the Year

I For An Eye

New Artist of the Year

The Vinyl Grooves

Singer/Songwriter of the Year

Jamie Lynn Hart

Song of the Year

Kiley Evans – “Johnny Depp”

3rd Limelight Magazine Music Awards

@ Club Hell, Providence, RI

March 12, 2011

Legend Award

MAS

Band of the Year

Varsity Girls

Live Artist of the Year

York

Album/EP of the Year

Shryne – Here and Now

Male Vocalist of the Year

Craig DeMelo

Female Vocalist of the Year

Elle Gallo

Tribute Band of the Year

Ornament – A Tribute to Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Metal/Hardcore Act of the Year

Structure Fails

New Artist of the Year

The Alarming Sound

Song of the Year

Jessica Prouty Band – “Escape”

2nd Limelight Magazine Music Awards

@ Club Hell, Providence, RI

January 31, 2010

 

DJ Most Supportive of the Local Music Scene

Jim Stearns

Band of the Year

Shryne

Live Artist of the Year (Major)

Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles

Live Artist of the Year (Indie)

Route .44 (tie)

The Candace Brooks band (tie)

SexCoffee (tie)

Album of the Year (Group Major)

Joe Perry – Have Guitar Will Travel

Album of the Year (Group Indie)

The Candace Brooks Band – The Chase

Album of the Year (Solo)

Terry Kitchen – Summer to Snowflakes

Male Vocalist of the Year

Jon Brennan

Female Vocalist of the Year

Sarah Kollett

Tribute Band of the Year

Bon Jersey – A Tribute to Bon Jovi

1st Limelight Magazine Music Awards

@ Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, MA

January 25, 2009

 

Band of the Year

The Candace Brooks Band

Live Artist of the Year (Major)

MASS

Live Artist of the Year (Indie)

Shryne

Album of the Year (Group Major)

MASS – Crack of Dawn

Album of the Year (Group Indie)

Hello Mahalo – Dawning Days

Album of the Year (Solo)

Charlie Farren – Old & Young

Male Vocalist of the Year

Justin Joyce

Female Vocalist of the Year

Candace Brooks

Tribute Band of the Year

The Great Escape: Tribute to Journey

Guitarist of the Year

Joe Grananta (tie)

Jack Lynx (tie)

Bassist of the Year

Lou Spagnola

Drummer of the Year

Todd Salpietro

Keyboardist of the Year

Steve Baker

Metal singer Leather Leone recording new solo album with her ‘boys from Brazil’

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO & JAY KENNEY

Leather Leone promises big things in 2017. (PHOTO BY JIM SCHUMACHER, SUBMITTED BY LEATHER LEONE)
Leather Leone promises big things in 2017. (PHOTO BY JIM SCHUMACHER, SUBMITTED BY LEATHER LEONE)

When legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio died on May 16, 2010, it sent shock waves throughout the hard rock and metal community. As sad as his death was for so many people, it motivated vocalist Leather Leone to return to the heavy metal music scene after being away from it for nearly two decades. Since then, she has released a studio album with The Sledge/Leather Project, reunited with the band she originally fronted, Chastain, for two stellar recordings (Surrender To No One and We Bleed Metal), and is currently in the process of recording her first solo album since 1989 with a stellar band in Brazil. 2017 promises to be the year of Leather!

“The loss of Ronnie Dio changed me as much as when I had spent time with him,” said Leone in an exclusive interview with Limelight Magazine. “It took my breath away, as it did for many. I had to say and do something…the only way I knew was through song. He had always told me I had a gift. I simply gave it back to him. I think of him always when I write and record. He has always been my vocal reason. I thank him for any note that I sing.”

Leone said that her 20 year hiatus from music wasn’t planned but it just happened.

“After Chastain, the offers were comprising and uninteresting,” she admitted. “I would and will not try to be something I am not…I had other paths that called to me.”

Leather Leone is working on her first solo album since "Shock Waves" in 1989.
Leather Leone is working on her first solo album since “Shock Waves” in 1989.

While Leone’s path took her on a road away from the music industry, she is now back stronger than ever with a new solo album in the works with a lineup of musicians that includes Daemon Ross (guitar), Braulio Drummond (drums), Thiago Velasquez (bass) and Vinnie Tex (guitar).

“I call them my boys from Brazil,” Leone said. “They are a well-kept secret that I have the privilege of working with. They have done their share of working with much bigger names than me. I had met Daemon Ross on my first jaunt to Brazil in 2014. We had stayed in touch hoping it would evolve in some way. Vinnie, Braulio and Thiago I met for the first time in September. For me it was magic. We fit together very well.”

Although many years have passed, Leone feels like she’s the same rocker she has always been with the opportunity to become even better than ever.

“I can’t tell you how empowering and life changing this new project is for me,” Leone said. “The band that my promoter/manager Rodrigo Scelza had found for me is a wall of inspiration. I am basically writing with Vinnie Tex via email. I have gone through his and Daemon Ross’s ideas and chose what I think will work with my lyrical ideas…then Vinnie and I start doing demos back and forth. It is working very well. I have found a sense of sameness with them.”

Leone and her “boys from Brazil” are recording this new album in South America due to the unique opportunity she has working with these musicians.

“The guys are all situated there,” she said. “It is easier for me to go to them and it is important for me to be there with them. The energy I get from South America is indescribable.”

The new album doesn’t have a title yet but Leone did mention that it will be released sometime in 2017 “Dio willing,” she said, in commemoration of Ronnie James Dio.

While Leone is the same hard rocker she has always been, she said the music industry around her has drastically changed over the years.

“I find social media crazy,” she said. “Anyone can make music. All music can be downloaded and found for free. There are so many bands, it’s hard to find your place. That is what I’ve noticed, but I am still blessed to be able to make music so I have no complaints.”

"Mystery of Ilusion" is the debut studio album by Chastain which featured Leather Leone on vocals.
“Mystery of Illusion”(1985)  is the debut studio album by Chastain which featured Leather Leone on vocals.

Leone recorded her first album ever in 1985 with the band Chastain called Mystery of Illusion. They released music for five years before Leone departed the band in 1991. Over the past several years, Leone returned to Chastain and recorded two studio albums, Surrender To No One (2013) and We Bleed Metal (2015). [Check out the music videos for “Evil Awaits Us” and “I Am Sin” from Surrender To No One by clicking on the song title.]

“Working with Chastain is like riding a bike,” Leone explained. “You always remember and it comes back to you. Our relationship hasn’t changed. It was very cool to be back in the studio with him (David T. Chastain). At this time I see no plans for another record but weirder situations have come to be.”

Although Leone worked with Chastain in the studio again, they hadn’t shared a stage in over 25 years until they performed together on October 8, 2016, at Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“The live show with Chastain was cool,” Leone said. “I had always known it would happen eventually. It made me realize how thankful I was to have come from there and how lucky I was to move forward with my boys.”

Leone hopes to play some shows in the states again, possibly even with her “boys from Brazil.”

“My world with this band is wide open,” she said. “I am starting again with a fireball of talent beside me. There is interest and possibility. I hope to play in the states again.”

As Leone cements her return to the music scene, she is now accompanied by many more female rockers than before. When Leone first started making music, she was playing with the boys and being compared to male metal singers such as Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford. Although Leone is proud to have been a pioneer female vocalist and rocker, she has also struggled with this label.

“I have always said I have a hard time with the female label,” Leone explained. “I understand looking back that we were few but still that label is so boring. I feel blessed, of course, to be spoken in the same conversations as the big guns but why is gender an issue?”

Leone is thankful for everyone who has supported her throughout her career.

“Thank you to everyone who has stuck by me with love and belief,” she said. “My new band will blow your mind as they do mine every day.”

Keep up with Leone and get band updates at leatherleone.com.

Leather Leone (PHOTO BY JIM SCHUMACHER, SUBMITTED BY LEATHER LEONE)
Leather Leone (PHOTO BY JIM SCHUMACHER, SUBMITTED BY LEATHER LEONE)

Limelight Magazine’s top 10 most read stories of 2016

We’d like to take a moment and recap the content Limelight Magazine covered in 2016 and post our top 10 most read stories. We renewed our coverage of the local music scene in New England and did feature stories on Jimmy Bez, Liz Bills (of Analog Heart), blindspot, Erinn Brown, Nikki Coogan (of The Devil’s Twins), Flight of Fire, Girls, Guns and Glory, Ashley Jordan, Jenna Lotti, Martin and Kelly, Dan Masterson, MB Padfield and Matt York. We interviewed national acts, including Paul Bielatowicz, MASS, Motion Device, Joan Osborne, Trevor Rabin, and Robert Reed. We featured a number of businesses and non-profits, including Cable Car Cinema and Café, Coolidge Corner Theatre’s After Midnight Program, Dark Delicacies, Fright Rags, Hudson Horror Show, Mouradian Guitar Company, Purchase Street Records, Narrows Center for the Arts, The Time Capsule, and TJ’s Music All Star Band Program. We interviewed director Justin Mayoh’s about his film “Tales of Rocky Point Park” and author J. Blake Fichera about his book “Scored to Death.” We did a number of themed stories, including musicians (Erin Ollis, Amy Marie, Amanda McCarthy) and a fitness trainer (Nina McGoff) sharing their stories about health and fitness, record store owners (Burlington Records, Cheapo Records, In Your Year Records, Joe’s Albums, Music Connection, Nuggets Records, Round Again Records, Skele-tone Records, Spun Records and Sunset Records) discussing the resurgence of vinyl, musicians (Sarah Barrios, Emil Belisle, Paul Horton, John MacFee, Hailey Magee, Brian KcKenzie, Jennifer Mitchell, Moment of Clarity, Christopher Ruiz, Allison Sigrist) sharing their most memorable gigs, musicians (Emil Belisle, Nikki Coogan, April Cushman, Mike LaRoche, Ken Macy, Stan Matthews, Ryan Stark, Arline Urquhart, Mark Vinciguerra) sharing what their tattoos mean. We also interviewed JKB Entertainment Group/Limelight Magazine co-owner Katie Botelho-Bielatowicz about nail art designs and paid tribute to Bruce Coburn of “Rockline” by interviewing Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull), Rik Emmett (of Triumph) Shaun Hague (of Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton) and a number of our loyal readers. As you can see, we were very busy in 2016. Thanks for another great year!

As to our top 10 most read stories of 2016, here’s the list.

  1. Purchase Street Records: Vintage record store to open in downtown New Bedford
  2. Mouradian Guitar Company: Have guitar?…Mouradian Guitar Company will fix it
  3. Local musicians  (Erin Ollis, Amy Marie, Amanda McCarthy) and fitness trainer (Nina McGoff) share their inspirational stories about health and fitness
  4. Narrows Center for the Arts celebrates 15 years of art and music in Fall River
  5. MB Padfield’s Bedazzled Road to Recovery
  6. Erinn Brown: Hard work pays off
  7. Trevor Rabin ‘talks’ about his newly formed ‘union’ with Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman
  8. Jenna Lotti: The good girls with ‘Bad Habits
  9. Robert Reed finds his ‘Sanctuary’ in paying homage to Mike Oldfield
  10. Motion Device ‘eternalizes” heavy metal music

Local musicians look back on 2016 and make resolutions for 2017

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

To coincide with the end of 2016 and the start of a fresh, new year, Limelight Magazine spoke with ten local musicians about what they were most grateful for in 2016 and their New Year’s resolutions for 2017 both within their personal lives and their music careers. We’d like to thank each of them for participating in our short survey. We’d also like to wish our readers a very happy, healthy, safe, and prosperous 2017!

What were you most grateful for in 2016?

Sarah Barrios

Sarah Barrios (PHOTO BY DAWN KINGSTON PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY SARAH BARRIOS)
Sarah Barrios (PHOTO BY DAWN KINGSTON PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY SARAH BARRIOS)

“I think I’m feeling most grateful for my friends, family, and the endless support from those who follow my career. 2016 has been a year of real self-reflecting for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself as an artist, who I want to be, what kinds of music I want to make, what topics to write about and I think that’s given me a new perspective of my career and how I want to move forward. I started making consistent YouTube videos twice a week and it’s really helped me connect even more so with the lovely people who help support my music. Without them, I truly would not be where I am today. I can’t imagine doing anything else, so the fact that I have the opportunity to pursue my dreams is something that I am very grateful for.

On a more personal note, I have always been someone who enjoys to be alone, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you need your space, but for the past few years, I just couldn’t be bothered to really put myself out there…until now. I have made and strengthened such incredible friendships this past year and I can’t even begin to describe what it feels like to be surrounded by truly kind, talented and inspiring people. As for my family, they are my rock and my home and I have learned that no matter how annoying your brothers may get or how frustrating your parents can be, your family will always be there to support you at any stage of your life and I am very lucky to have the fun and loving family that I do.”

Liz Bills (of Analog Heart)

Liz Bills (center) with Analog Heart (PHOTO BY SHIVOHN FLEMING PHOTOGARPHY, SUBMITTED BY LIZ BILLS)
Liz Bills (center) with Analog Heart (PHOTO BY SHIVOHN FLEMING PHOTOGARPHY, SUBMITTED BY LIZ BILLS)

“I have so many things to be grateful for! Here are a few. I am grateful for my loving and supportive boyfriend. The health of my family and friends. My own physical and mental health. My wonderful band Analog Heart who have stuck with me through thick and thin. The freedom to express myself and to shoot for the stars. My amazing students who teach me more and more about myself and give me purpose and balance in my life. The love that surrounds me.”

Shaun Hague (of Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton)

Shaun Hague
Shaun Hague (PHOTO BY ERIC SCHMIDT, SUBMITTED BY SHAUN HAGUE)

“I am most grateful for two things in 2016. My beautiful family which grew even bigger this year as we welcomed our second daughter into the world. Everyone is healthy, happy and doing well. I am also grateful for the amount of professional booking and touring work that landed on my plate this year from lots of hard work, with even more coming in 2017 and beyond!”

Ashley Jordan

Ashley Jordan (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY ASHLEY JORDAN)
Ashley Jordan (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY ASHLEY JORDAN)

“I am most grateful for my family. They are wonderful, loving and supportive and I can’t imagine my crazy life without them!! It will be nice to spend some extra time with my family over the holiday season!!”

Jenna Lotti

Jenna Lotti (PHOTO BY KIERA SLYE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BYJENNA LOTTI)
Jenna Lotti (PHOTO BY KIERA SLYE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BYJENNA LOTTI)

“I’m grateful to be a part of the Boston music community.”

Dan Masterson

Dan Masterson and his band after winning The Last Band Standing Competition. From left, Jamie Howell, Alec Gaston, Dan Masterson, & Matthew Silva. (PHOTO BY PATRICK CREAN, SUBMITTED BY HAILEY MAGEE)
Dan Masterson and his band after winning The Last Band Standing Competition. From left, Jamie Howell, Alec Gaston, Dan Masterson, & Matthew Silva. (PHOTO BY PATRICK CREAN, SUBMITTED BY HAILEY MAGEE)

“I’m most grateful for getting out my bed-bug ridden apartment and moving into a new place in Brighton without going completely broke or insane. I never take a good night’s sleep for granted. I’m also grateful for discovering EBASS (Emerging Boston Area Singer Songwriters) which has been an incredible community and source of support as a performer and I’m thankful to the New England Music Awards and all my friends and fans who came out and propelled us to a win at this year’s Last Band Standing in New England Competition.”

Erin Ollis (of Thirty 6 Red)

Erin Ollis ( (PHOTO BY SYDNEY ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY ERIN OLLIS)
Erin Ollis ( (PHOTO BY SYDNEY ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY ERIN OLLIS)

“2016 has been one of the best years thus far. I’ve been very grateful to be part of a wonderful band, Thirty 6 Red, who I can also call a second family. We’ve performed at so many wonderful events this past year and we’ve been so fortunate to have the support of family, friends and fans. We ended this year by performing at Gillette Stadium on Christmas Eve before the Patriots took the field…We were also lucky enough to choose a fan to join us for the entire day and invite them to watch the Patriots game afterwards with us.”

Louis St. August (of MASS)

Louis St. August (of MASS) (PHOTO BY MICAH GUMMEL FOR NEW ENGLAND CONCERT REVIEWS, SUBMITTED BY LOUIS ST. AUGUST)
Louis St. August (of MASS) (PHOTO BY MICAH GUMMEL FOR NEW ENGLAND CONCERT REVIEWS, SUBMITTED BY LOUIS ST. AUGUST)

“I didn’t have to give this one too much thought because I am so grateful for many things in 2016. Mostly for my family who have always been supportive in all that I do and understand that there may be times when our family plans may need to be altered. I’m very grateful for their love and understanding. Secondly, I’m very grateful that most, if not all, of my family and friends have stayed relatively healthy and happy in 2016. I’m also very grateful for our amazing fans that continue to support me and MASS music over the many years. I’ve been blessed to still have the passion and desire to create and perform the music that still burns in my heart and soul.”

Matt York

Matt York (PHOTO BY MEG MAKEIJ, SUBMITTED BY MATT YORK)
Matt York (PHOTO BY MEG MAKEIJ, SUBMITTED BY MATT YORK)

“I’m most grateful for my wife because honestly, that’s never not the right answer. However, in this case it’s actually true. I’ve had a pretty wild year musically and got to travel to some cool spots, experience some cool things and none of that would have been possible without her support. We have two young daughters and trying to coordinate the schedules of two people who both work full-time along with all the things that come along with parenting could be challenging but we’ve made it work.”

What are your resolutions for 2017?

Sarah Barrios

“I don’t think I’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution but like they say, ‘there’s a first time for everything.’ One of my resolutions for this coming year is to take more risks. I tend to let my fears, many being ones that have been created purely from my own imagination, control my life and the decisions I make. I’ve let these fears rule over me because I was more comfortable not taking risks and complaining about it, than taking the risk and seeing where the journey took me. While that wasn’t a huge deal when I was younger, I’m now pursuing a career that requires you to really step outside the box and out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s because I’ve reflected over it or maybe it’s because I’m getting older but I’ve grown tired of feeling caged in by walls that I’ve put up all on my own. I want to step outside of my comfort zone and create without fear. To make content that is unapologetically honest, to travel more, make new friends, strengthen my musical abilities, make videos that are different from my current content. I want this year to be the year that I get out of my own way and start to live less for my fears and more for my dreams.”

Liz Bills (of Analog Heart)

“I don’t like to do New Year’s resolutions but if I had to have one it would be to continue to always learn and grow and expand. To strive for balance and happiness and to have the wisdom to stay calm and patient in times when I am sad, angry, sick or in pain.”

Shaun Hague (of Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton)

“My New Year’s resolution is to get things done and not leave them for another day. I do that too often whether it’s work related or even a house chore. I have had two ballerina prints sitting in my office for my oldest daughter’s room that should have been in there months ago. Lazy dad! Well not really lazy, I just have so much going on family/work wise and I’m not prioritizing my time well enough this year.”

Ashley Jordan

“My New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to officially release my newest album He’s Crazy and to get it out there in a new and unique way. I also want to do some music videos for my songs on my new album.”

Jenna Lotti

“I don’t really have a specific resolution but I have a goal of making 2017 my best year yet, music wise. I’ve been working on new music that is very different from anything I’ve put out yet and I’m very excited for people to hear it! I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can in 2017.”

Dan Masterson

“My first and most important resolution this year is to do anything and everything possible to defend and support my LGBTQ friends, friends of color, and female/non-binary friends — and to not be silent when I see any kind of intimidation directed toward folks simply for who they are or how they look. I feel strongly that this is a resolution that I must commit to without exception.”

Erin Ollis (of Thirty 6 Red)

“I’m sure 2017 will be jammed packed with more music and exciting memories. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to take more risks. I want to expand my music repertoire and create more original music to showcase to the public.”

Louis St. August (of MASS)

“My resolution is simply to try and be the very best human being possibly and to spread the word of hope and love through my daily actions and of course through song.”

Matt York

“For 2017, one of things I really want to do is work more to support local artists. I think with the way the landscape has changed in recent years, it’s harder for musicians to find an audience, sell merchandise and so on. So, if I can help that, even in a tiny way, by seeing more shows, buying more CDs and letting people know about acts that really impress me, I’d like think that could help a little bit.”

Limelight Magazine’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

It’s that time of year where Limelight Magazine lists our top 10 albums of the year. We had a hard time creating this list because there was so much great music released in 2016. We cannot recall such a year where so many musicians were at the top of their game. Since tough choices had to be made, this is the list we decided on. Because we wanted to acknowledge some of the other artists who didn’t make the top 10, we created an honorable mention list which follows.

  1. David Bowie – Blackstar

david-bowie-blackstar When I first heard David Bowie’s Blackstar on January 8, 2016, I immediately loved everything about this album. I played it at least a dozen times before finding out that Bowie had died two days later. He hid his illness from almost everyone and, following its release, longtime producer Tony Visconti said this was Bowie’s “parting gift” to his fans. As his intended swan song, this album is classic Bowie incorporating a number of different genres, including avant garde, pop, jazz, electronic, and alternative rock, into on one cohesive album. The album is artistic and dark yet extremely relevant. We’re proud to name this our favorite album of 2016. It’s a must have whether you are a fan of Bowie or not. (Standout Tracks: “Blackstar” & “Lazarus”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #1.

  1. Megadeth – Dystopia

megadeth-dystopiaIf anyone told us that Megadeth would release one of the best albums of their career in 2016, we probably wouldn’t have believed it. But, with Lamb of God drummer Chris Alder and Angra guitarist Kiko Loureiro in the fold, they’ve done just that. Dystopia contains 11 captivating songs that show the band can harken back to their classic thrash metal sound of the 80s and early 90s while still continuing to evolve. There is not a track on here that isn’t good and the band has hit a home run. After two mediocre studio albums with Thirteen and Super Collider, this is the album Megadeth needed to make! (Standout Tracks: “Fatal Illusion” & “Post American World”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #3.

  1. Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake

testament-brotherhood-of-the-snakeIf there is one thing that sets Testament apart from most of their peers is this band consistently creates pure thrash metal without ever being a disappointment. Very few bands in this genre continue to get better with each new studio album but Testament does. Brotherhood of the Snake is everything you’d expect from this band and more. It contains 10 aggressive songs that once again show Testament at the top of their game. This is a must have for any thrash metal or Testament fan. (Standout tracks:  “The Pale King” & “Neptune’s Spear”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #20.

  1. Metallica – Hardwired…To Self Destruct

metallica-hardwired-to-self-destructOn their first studio album in eight years, Metallica return in a big way. While I was a fan of their last studio album Death Magnetic, I’d say this is their best collection of songs since the “black album” with some tracks being just as good as what Metallica recorded before that. This album is rooted in thrash metal but with catchy melodies. Although the second disc is slightly riskier, the songs still work, especially the standout track of the album “Spit Out the Bone.” Can’t wait to hear these songs performed live in 2017! (Standout tracks:  “Spit Out the Bone” & “Moth Into Flame”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #1

  1. Steve Wilson –

steve-wilson-4-%c2%bdWhile not a full-length album, this EP serves as an interim release between Wilson’s fourth solo album Hand. Cannot. Erase. and his upcoming fifth full-length studio album that will be released in 2017. Clocking in at 36 minutes, is another Wilson album that does not disappoint. The album flows together nicely considering the songs are “leftover” tracks from his last album and the band really gels. Every Wilson album has made our top 10 so we’re really excited about next year’s release. (Standout Tracks: “Vermillioncore” & “My Book of Regrets”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #114.

  1. Kansas – The Prelude Implicit

kansas-the-prelude-implicitWhen we heard Kansas were recording a new album, we were a little hesitant because vocalist Steve Walsh was no longer in the band. However, since the two albums they released in the early 80s without him were good, we were very open to The Prelude Implicit. What we didn’t expect is for it to be this solid, especially since they hadn’t released new music in 16 years.  In fact, it’s not only one of their freshest sounding albums since the 70s, it’s also one of their best.  Kudos to original members Phil Ehart and Rich Williams for keeping the band going and to the new members for plugging in the holes and raising the bar high for quality musicianship and songwriting. (Standout Tracks: “”Rhythm In The Spirit” & “The Voyage of Eight Eighteen”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #41.

  1. Metal Church – XI

metal-church-xiWith Mike Howe back on vocals for the first time since 1993’s Hanging In The Balance, Metal Church are completely reinvigorated. XI features 11 tracks that harken back to the old school Metal Church sound while still being fresh. The musicianship is stellar – Vanderhooof shreds like “no tomorrow” and Howe delivers vocals that will “blow your mind,” especially if you get the chance to hear him perform with the band live. This is one album that every metal fan should enjoy. (Standout Tracks: “Killing Your Time” & “Needle and the Suture”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #57.

  1. Robert Reed – Sanctuary II

robert-reed-sanctuary-iiWhile not a household name in the United States, Robert Reed is one of the most talented musicians in the business today. On the sequel to his 2014 release Sanctuary, Reed once again pays homage to the great Mike Oldfield. This album features two long instrumental compositions, with each song being a progressive rock classic that would make Oldfield proud. With the exception of Simon Phillips on drums, Reed plays every instrument on Sanctuary II and he does so impeccably. We can’t wait to see what Reed does next!

  1. Michael Sweet – One Sided War

michael-sweet-one-sided-warNo stranger to our yearly Top 10 list, Stryper’s Michael Sweet continues his creative resurgence with One Sided War. The songs on this album are filled with melodies and great riffs which is desperately lacking in today’s commercial music scene. Although Sweet could have played all the guitar parts on this album himself, he asked two amazing shredders, Ethan Brosh and Joel Hoekstra, to join him on various tracks and their contributions really stand out, making One Sided War his most intense solo album to date. (Standout Tracks: “Bizarre” & “Golden Age”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #77.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t miss Michael Sweet at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, MA, on June 2, 2017. Purchase tickets HERE.

  1. [TIE] Sully Erna – Hometown Life

sully-erna-hometown-lifeOn his second studio album, the talented Sully Erna has another winner. While completely different than Godsmack and even his first solo album Avalon, Hometown Life features lots of diversity, including blues, country, jazz, rock, and R&B. The 10 songs on this album show Erna’s softer side and are deep in emotion. As Erna said on an episode of One On One With Mitch Lafon, “If I was constantly handcuffed to Godsmack, I think my spirit would just die in music.” Limelight Magazine is glad his solo career has enabled him to explore other genres and music styles. (Standout Tracks: “Hometown Life” & “Father of Time”). Billboard Top 200 Peak Position: #105.

  1. [TIE] Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are

nada-surf-you-know-who-you-are

On their eighth studio album and first since the stellar Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy (2012), Nada Surf only get better with age. Now a four-piece band since the addition of lead guitarist Doug Gillard, Nada Surf continue to write compelling music and catchy songs. From the opening track “Cold To See Clear” to the last song “Victory’s Yours,” there is no filler on this album. If you are a Nada Surf fan, purchase this album. If you never heard of them or given them a chance before, give it a listen and you shouldn’t be disappointed. (Standout Tracks: “Cold To See Clear” & “Rushing”).

HONORABLE MENTIONS

We’d also like to acknowledge the following artists for creating some stellar albums in 2016.

Jeff Beck – Loud Hailer

jeff-beck-loud-hailer

Fates Warning – Theories of Flight

fates-warning-theories-of-flight

Haken – Affinity

haken-affinity

Hammerfall – Built To Last

hammerfall-built-to-last

Redemption – The Art of Loss

redemption-the-art-of-loss

Santana – IV

santana-iv

Lacey Sturm – Life Screams

lacey-sturm-life-screams

Tiles – Pretending 2 Run

tiles-pretending-2-run

Rob Zombie The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser

rob-zombie-the-electric-warlock-acid-witch-satanic-orgy-celebration-dispenser

Limelight Magazine’s Top 10 Movies of 2016

Although we were hoping to screen 100 films in a theater or drive-in this year, we ended the year with 71. Of that total, 49 were first run films while the rest were retro films that were screened from original or restored 35-mm prints. In reflecting back on the first run movies, it didn’t quite reach the level of 2015, but there were still some solid films in the mix. Below is our top 10 films of 2016. Rather than go into detail about each one, we’re only going to list them so you can discover these movies for yourself. (Disclaimer: This list is based on films I’ve seen as of Dec. 31, 2016. It could be adjusted in the future as I view other films from 2016 in early 2017).

  1. Midnight Special [screened @ Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA]

1-midnight-special

2. The Wave [screened @ The Cable Car, Providence, RI]

Poster finalized

3. Don’t Breathe [screened @ AMC, Dartmouth, MA]

3-dont-breathe

4. The Witch [screened @ AMC, Dartmouth, MA]

4-the-witch

5. Green Room [screened @ AMC, Dartmouth, MA]

5-green-room

6. Hell or High Water [screened @ East Providence 10, East Providence, RI]

6-hell-or-high-water

7. Arrival [screened @ AMC, Dartmouth, MA]

7-arrival

8. Noctural Animals [screened @ AMC, Dartmouth, MA]

8-noctural-animals

9. The Conjuring 2 [screened @ AMC, Dartmouth, MA]

9-conjuring-2

10. The Girl On The Train [screened Regal Cinemas, Swansea, MA]

10-the-girl-on-the-train

 

 

Music and entertainment coverage since October 2006!