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Did you know that our diverse river valley contains pockets of unique bands that are continually introducing new and original music to audiences all about our towns? Some of these independent artists are even taking their show on the road, and most have at least one CD under the belt.
I’ve compiled this list of local musicians (including, of course, my own band) who perform original tunes as well as a smattering of well-known “cover” songs arranged so stylistically they are hardly recognizable. Fall and winter, especially, are ideal times to get out and appreciate these outstanding artists as they share their musical talents in the generous clubs, restaurants, coffee and specialty shops that support them—and I provide you with a list of those venues to make it easy to find them.
Location: Milanville, PA
Members: Dan Brinkerhoff (fiddle/ukulele/vocals/songwriter); Joanne Wasserman-Brinkerhoff (rhythm guitar/vocals/songwriter); Sammy Alexander (bass/guitar/harmonica/drums/recording engineer); Thomas Deerheart (drums/ percussion)
Age Range: 60+
Original Style: A dynamic acoustic blend of various fiddle/contra dance and old-time Cajun and Irish traditions with a quirky twist
Cover Songs: “Harvest Moon,” Neil Young; “Helpless/Knocking on Heaven’s Door (Medley),” Neil Young/Bob Dylan; “You Ain’t Going Nowhere,” Bob Dylan
Up to: Recording a CD of original music. Performing in parades, walk-a-thons, fundraisers, etc. in their “POISON LOVEmobile.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 570/851-7017
* named for the Cajun tune “Poison Love”
Alex and Reid
Location: Susquehanna County, PA/Binghamton, NY
Members: Alex Creamer (lead vocals/guitar); Reid Miner (vocals/Cajun percussion/guitar)
Age Range: 20 and 17 respectively
Original Style: Folk/blues- inspired alternative rock with roots in the ‘60s and ‘70s and an emphasis on strong, impactful lyrics complemented by enjoyable melodies
Cover Songs: “Don`t Think Twice,” Bob Dylan; “When the Levee Breaks,” Led Zeppelin (originally written by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie in 1929); “Gold Dust Woman,” Fleetwood Mac; “Old No. 7,” The Devil Makes Three
Up to: Currently on an international tour across the United States and into Canada promoting their debut album “Shaking the Shelter”—24 shows in over 32 cities—couch-surfing and sleeping out of their car with a stop in Boston to record a second LP.
Contact: www.alexcreamer.com, email@example.com
Location: Callicoon, NY
Members: Ramona Jan (guitar/percussion/vocals/songwriter); Andre Turan (guitar/ lead vocals/songwriter)
Age Range: 50+, 60+
Original Style: Adult-alternative acoustic rock with gritty stories, rich harmonies and soulful lead vocals; emphasis on meaningful lyrics and songs that paint pictures
Cover Songs: “Get it On (Bang a Gong),” T. Rex; “Nothing Else Matters,” Metallica; “I Want You to Want Me,” Cheap Trick.
Up to: Currently on The House Tour creating a series of original music videos filmed in their home with the support of dollar-a-month patrons. (www.patreon.com/janturan). Also recording a third album tentatively titled “Die like a Do.”
Social: www.youtube.com/janturanband; www.facebook.com/janturanband
The Barn Cats
Location: Damascus, PA
Members: Jim Verdi (drums/producer); Tom Rausch (bass/vocals); Jan London (guitar); John Rocklin (guitar/vocals)
Age Range: 50+
Original Style: Danceable, original blues based funk and rock ‘n roll with New Orleans flavored soul—as The Barn Cats like to say, “This ain’t no mouse music.”
Cover Songs: “Fire on the Bayo,” The Meters; “New Speedway Boogie,” The Grateful Dead; “Down by the River,” Neal Young
Up to: Putting the finishing touches on a CD and continually introducing new, original music into their repertoire.
Social: www.thembarncats.com; www.facebook.com/thembarncats
Contact: Website or Facebook
Gabby Borges Band
Location: Hawley, PA
Members: Gabby Borges (rhythm guitar/vocals/songwriting); Jason Merrill (lead guitar); John Kresse (bass); Isaac Decker (drums)
Age Range: 20s and 30s
Original Style: Indie rock with funk/jam layers topped with deeper lyrics
Cover Songs: “You Know I’m No Good,” Amy Winehouse; “Maggie’s Farm,” Bob Dylan; “I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor
Up to: Building a fan base and planning a tour.
Location: Upper Delaware River Valley (North Branch, Damascus, Narrowsburg)
Members: Chip Forelli (bass/vocals/songwriter); Tim Gannon (guitars/ keyboards/vocals/songwriter); Marc Switko (drums/vocals/songwriter).
Age Range: 38 - 60
Original Style: Psychedelic, country, progressive folk, punk rock
Cover Songs: “Tiger by the Tail,” Harlan Howard (performed by Buck Owens); “To Be Young,” Ryan Adams; “Sunny Afternoon,” The Kinks
Up to: Released the single “Further Down in Time” recorded at the Outlier Inn w/Josh Druckman and Greg Castro; end-of-summer gigging the east end of Long Island and looking to get back into the studio in the fall for more recording.
Social: https://mountainwave.bandcamp. com
Location: Damascus, PA/Manhattan
Members: Graham Norwood (lead guitar/harmony vocals); David Christian (drums); Jeremy Chatzky (bass); Boo Reiners (lead guitar); Dan Iead (pedal steel); Jonathan Gregg (pedal steel); Scott Metzger (lead guitar); Matthew Lindsey (bass/harmony vocals); Taylor Floreth (drums); and Lee Godleski (bass)
Age Range: 30s to early 60s
Original Style: Western Kentucky electrified country, barroom honky-tonk played with lots of energy to get people moving
Cover Songs: “Ain’t Living Long Like This,” Rodney Crowell, Waylon Jennings; “Mohair Sam,” Charlie Rich; “Guitars Cadillacs,” Dwight Yoakam
Up to: Recent CD release: “Baby You Win,” plus writing, recording and planning a tour.
JP Williams Blues Band
Location: Scranton, PA
Members: JP Williams (vocals/guitar); Eddie ‘the Harp’ Czarkowski (vocals/harmonica); Jack Roberts (vocals/drums); Gregory Preate (vocals/bass)
Age Range: 50-65
Original Style: Blues with a mix of original, traditional and delta blues
Cover Songs: “Hoochie Coochie Man” Muddy Waters; “Walkin’ Blues,” Son House; “Willin,’” Lowell George & Little Feat
Up to: Recording a fourth CD and playing festivals.
The Arnold House, 839 Shandelee Rd., Livingston Manor, 845/439-5070
Bashakill Winery, 1131 S Rd., Wurtsboro, 845/888-5858
Cabernet Franks, 38 Main St., Parksville, 845/292-1230
Callicoon Brewing Company, 16 Upper Main St., Callicoon, 845/887-5500
Catskill Brewery, 672 Old Rte. 17, Livingston Manor, 845/439-1232
The Emerald Ballroom, 40 Main St., Narrowsburg, 845/252-3333
Dancing Cat Saloon, 2037 NY-17B, Bethel, 845/583-3141
DeFillippos Bakery, 506 Broadway, Monticello, 845/791-4103
The Downtown Barn, 14 Darbee Ln., Liberty, 845/747-9665
Frisson Sports Bar & Pub, 400 Broadway, Monticello, 845/791-1103
Pickled Owl, 218 Main St., Hurleyville, 845/693-5322
Rock Valley Schoolhouse, 9598 Rock Valley Rd., Long Eddy, 845/887-6569
Roscoe Brewery, 145 Rockland Rd., Roscoe, 607/290-5002
The Western Hotel, 22 Upper Main St., Callicoon, 845/887-9871
Zac’s Wilderness Lounge, 211 Mail Rd., Barryville, NY 12719, 845/456-0195
Arlo’s Country Store, 10340 PA-171, Union Dale, 570/727-2970
Basin and Main, 564 Main St., Honesdale, 570/352-3057
Black and Brass Coffee House, 520 Main St., Honesdale, 570/251-7713
The Bluestone Bar & Grill, 5 Oregon Tpk., Honesdale, 570/253-0338
Bongo Road House, 4026, 2136 Lake Ariel Hwy, Lake Ariel, 570/698-5056
Buddy’s BBQ & Grill, 1311 PA 507, Greentown, 570/857-4050
Café Sevda, 323 N Washington Ave., Scranton, 570/851-2017
The Cooperage Project, 1030 Main St., Honesdale, 570/253-2020
Duffy`s Coffee House, 1543, 306 S State St., Clarks Summit, 570/586-1380
Grey Towers National Historic Site, 151 Grey Towers, Milford, 570/296-9630
Irving Cliff Brewery, 2 Chapel St., Honesdale, 570/647-0644
The KCPepper Bar & Grille, 182 Ski Run Rd., Honesdale, 570/253-0770
Ledges Hotel, 120 Falls Ave, Hawley, PA 18428, 570/226-1337
Old School Farm, 303 Upper Woods Rd., Honesdale, 570/253-1393
Marilake Winery, 209 Main St., Childs, PA 1840, 570/536-6575
Raven Haus Tavern, 356 Tisdel Rd., Lake Ariel, 570/937-9370
Ritz Company Playhouse, 512 Keystone St., Hawley, 570/226-9752
Velvet Maple, 968 Main St., Honesdale, 646/266-0205