For a performer whose torchy, bluesy vocalizings are normally a study in confidence and timing, Eryn Shewell lost complete control of the situation during a crucial moment of a December, 2016 gig at Asbury Park’s storied Wonder Bar. That’s when her guitarist, Matt O’Ree, halted her cover of the Christmas pop classic “Santa Baby” (on the line “forgot to mention one little thing… a ring”) and proposed to her before a cheering crowd, right there on the stage of the circuit landmark where the two had met some 10 years prior.
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Brooklyn-based Phish tribute band Uncle Ebenezer migrates into Red Bank for a Friday night jam at Jamian’s.
Mixed in among one of the busiest bar and restaurant scenes in Monmouth County, Jamian’s Food and Drink has long been a nightlife standardbearer in downtown Red Bank.
In addition to weekly gigs by Shore legends Bobby Bandiera and Pat Guadagno, plus reggae masters Random Test and one of the area’s most enduring open-mics, Jamian LaViola’s watering hole adds to its musical menu this Friday with a special catch-of-the-day: Phish tribute band Uncle Ebenezer.
Sunny and cool temperatures are forecast for Sunday’s festival, held in Red Bank’s White Street parking lot. This year’s version will highlight the roster of Heineken-owned beers. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
It’s being touted as the fifth annual edition — and if you don’t happen to have any memory of the previous four (possibly due to eat, drink and general merriment), it could be because what was once the “Red Bank International Flavour Festival” has returned, rebranded and bigger than ever, as the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest.
One of the more popular and successful seasonal attractions to pitch its tent in Red Bank within recent years, the family-friendly happening from promoter RUE Events commandeers the White Street municipal parking lot this Sunday for an afternoon-and-evening that mixes many of the best-liked attributes of the old-time Red Bank Food Festivals and the latter-day Oysterfests.
By JOHN T. WARD
To be honest, Christina Di Iorio says, she got to the point where she didn’t want to reopen Dive, the Sea Bright restaurant and bar that she and then-fiancé Steven Graniero saw nearly wiped out by Hurricane Sandy.
Their insurance company hadn’t lived up to its obligations, she said. A vendor was suing them, and they weren’t able to get any traction with the government or private lenders to restart the Ocean Avenue business. And then there’s the hard reality of two bodies of water – the Atlantic Ocean and the Shrewsbury River – just yards away, all too ready to combine forces to once again smash the town as they did on October 29, 2012.
And yet there Di Iorio was on Tuesday, putting the final touches on a completely revamped Dive for a low-key opening at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
“I agree with you: I think we’re nuts,” she told redbankgreen. “But our clients, our families, our fan base – they all embraced us. I’m doing it for them.”
The food-and-drink festival, spotlighting Red Bank restaurants, runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $5.
Here’s Sunday’s lineup of musical acts. Start times are from the bands’ sites:
It’s panning out to be a busy spring for Red Bank Flavour.
The promotional partnership of borough-based bistros, bars, boites, bakeries, breakfast nooks, banquet halls and better take-out vendors heralded the turn of the season with the return of the Dine Downtown campaign in March. Then in April, the culinary alliance presented a special Broadway in Red Bank showcase that reinforced the notion of the town as dinner-and-show destination.
On Sunday, the Flavour pack joins with Red Bank RiverCenter and a host of local and corporate sponsors for an event with a broader, even global, reach: the first annual Red Bank International Flavour Festival.
Cancer, as they say, never sleeps and if you’re among the many thousands of people who’ve spent sleepless nights out of concern for a loved one who’s battling cancer, the American Cancer Society has a constructive, even celebratory, way to “walk the walk” even in those darkest-before-the-dawn hours.
On Friday evening, May 20, the first of two local events in the ACS Relay for Life campaign commences on the outdoor track at Red Bank Regional High School, when close to 600 fundraising volunteers will gather into teams to run, walk and “celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.” The up-all-night benefit takes place under the lights between the hours of 5 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday and there’s still time to register, sponsor or participate in the event, by taking it right here.
A renaissance guy in Red Bank: Harry Connick Jr. makes his first-ever two night stand at the Count Basie this week and the man from NOLA might stand a bit of sightseeing while in town.
By TOM CHESEK
They walk among us, sometimes shopping in the broad daylight of Broad Street, spelunking the nooks and crannies of the Antique Center, sampling the fare at everything from the most sophisticated sit-downs to way-cool WaWa.
We’re talking celebrities, baby many of them in town for a whistle-stop tour gig at the Count Basie Theatre. While the pimped-out tour buses come and go outside the Monmouth Street landmark with regularity, however, every so often a headline act plants it here in the greater Red Bank Green for something more than a one night stand. So it is this Wednesday and Thursday, as the Count’s crib plays host to a still-young veteran who’s long worn the mantle of Renaissance Guy: Harry Connick Jr.
When the jazz pianist, pop stylist, songwriter, composer, Broadway leading man, screen actor and Krewe founder visits the Basie-birthing borough for a pair of concert events on April 20 and 21, he’ll be bringing along his big band (with perhaps a separate trailer just to tote that résumé) in a full-on recreation of his most recent studio set, the collection of jazz and pop interpretations known as Your Songs. Having ably prosecuted his long-playing career through a deft mix of fanbase-friendly favorites and a pretty delightful flair for the unexpected, we’re hoping that New Orleans-rooted Connick (who, we should point out, maintains a place in the city with his family) gets to feeling a little exploratory during his hours in Red Bank and we’re here to toss out a few suggestions to play that stay to the fullest.
Jamian LaViola has seen the future, and it does not only happen at night.
He’s overhauling the look, name and business strategy of Echo, the nightspot he owns on Monmouth Street that he now thinks may have veered a little too close to becoming “some stereotype of super-high-end nightlife.”
So now, he’s in the process of giving the former old-men’s bar a new look complete with roll-up garage doors for open-air dining in nice weather a new, lunchtime menu, and a new moniker, Jamian’s Food & Drink.
One stalwart of the past will remain, though: the weekly gig by reggae masters Random Test.
Get the bass-heavy reverb, if not the echo, only at Red Bank oRBit…
In May, 2007, a two-mile-wide tornado tore through the town of Greensburg, Kansas, destroying 95 percent of its homes and businesses. In the aftermath, citizens decided to resurrect their town, but with a modern twist: everything’s being done “green.” Public buildings are being constructed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. Cars are being replaced with alternative fuel or hybrid ones. Farms are replanting organic.
Red Bank retailer Hobbymasters which plans to install the largest solar energy array in Red Bank and whose owner, Arlene Placer, is an avid tornado chaster is helping out the Greensburg Greentown effort. The store has set up a page on its website through which visitors can donate solar science projects, hydroponics, fuel cell vehicle models and related materials to students at Greensburg High School, where there’s a new Green Club.
“At the end of August, we will be shipping all of the products to Greensburg,” says Arlene’s son, Alan Placer. “In addition, we will be providing the Greensburg school system with our wholesale pricing on future purchases for their science department.”
Customers can buy items for the schools and have them shipped free; for those who simply wish to donate a dollar to the Greenburg rebuilding effort, there’s that option as well on the Hobbymasters site.
Here’s a rundown of some Done Good events happening closer to home in coming weeks: