poppa_and_gary_j_posada_shotPoppa John Bug (left, with Gary Wright) and Xenia Sky (below) are among the locally based luminaries performing on the debut project by The Downtown All Stars of Red Bank. The release of the CD will be celebrated tonight with a special fundraiser mega-show, upstairs at The Downtown. (Poppa John photo by John Posada)

Preservation Hall had its Jazz Band; The Stone Pony its house band Asbury Jukes. Joey Dee and the Starliters taught ’em how to do “The Peppermint Twist” at that namesake Lounge — and beginning tonight, The Downtown on West Front Street marks its own milestone, with the debut event featuring The Downtown All Stars of Red Bank.

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As defined by Larry Sherman, Downtown All Stars is not so much a gigging band as it is “a community organization formed of local musicians and supporters who are working together to raise money for local charities…using the power of music.”

For their maiden-voyage event, Sherman and his fellow members of the All Stars’ Board of Directors will be presenting a CD Launch Party celebrating the release of Bright Lights on Broad Street, a compilation of original songs written and recorded by eighteen locally connected bands and solo artists.

Available for sale online as of today, the disc spotlights tracks by several tracks familiar to music lovers in and around the greater Red Bank green — including Latin rockers Xol Azul Band, Shrewsbury songstress Xenia Sky, guitar ace Gil Velazquez, and jam session veteran Poppa John Bug — in addition to Dan Apy & Riley Schiro, The Barbour King Band, Mike DeMarco, Herbi Freeman, Mike Kuhl, Frankie Ligo, Linda Silverberg McGowan, Moroccan Sheepherders, Pepperwine, Terri Porcelli & the Lords of Darrenland, Jayson Solino, Mitch Stevens, VyntEdge, and Woodfish.


According to Sherman, many of the aforementioned will be performing at the event, which is scheduled to get underway at 7 pm — and from which the net profits from the show (and subsequent sales of the album over the next year) will be donated to Little Kids Rock, a national organization that purchases musical instruments for children who can’t afford them. A $10 cover charge includes a copy of the CD.

Also featured will be an auction (with bidding starting at $300) of an original painting by a Red Bank favorite, artist David Banegas. For more info, check the event’s Facebook page.