They’ve proven themselves to be hardy perennials on the year-round local music scene, but for fans of the Wag, there’s no denying that the season of outdoor concerts and sun-kissed festivals is the natural habitat for the Middletown-based band that can often be found free-ranging it in settings from the Fair Haven Municipal Dock and Little Silver Gazebo to the sidewalks and storefronts of downtown Red Bank and the great lawn at Lincroft’s Brookdale Community College.
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There’s a chance to imagine yourself as part of the biggest franchise in film fantasy history. Some power pop on the dock. A heat-blast of Latin-flavored jazz in the park. A little beach-music soul on the sands. And one of the world’s most beloved plays on yonder grassy knoll.
It’s all going on beneath the setting sun and stars of the Greater Red Bank Green — and all fabulously free of charge in the evenings to come.
“It doesn’t take long to figure out that I love brilliant color once you have viewed a few of my paintings,” says Edy Ottesen. “But, I can slip off the wagon sometimes and go all greys and monochromatic.”
A Brooklyn-bred painter who divides her time between Red Bank and Boca Raton, Florida, Ottesen is one of several locally connected creative women who now and then assemble to display their wares in a group-show setting — and beginning with an opening reception this Wednesday evening, the “gang of four” will join forces for an eighth consecutive year with “Now and Then,” the latest in a series of art installations at Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel. Read More
Some music is simply born of, and belongs to, the most dimly lit grottoes and claustrophobic corners of the nocturnal club-crawler’s world — not so The Wag, the Middletown-based band that emerges into sunlight each year around this time; taking to the season of open-air concert events (including the Clearwater Festival, the Red Bank Street Life series, and of course the annual Monmouth County SPCA Dog Walk) like ducks take to water.
Appropriately enough, The Wag will be partying with the waterfowl, plus other local fans and fauna, when they help inaugurate a new season of Fair Haven Dock Concert events this Thursday, July 6.
If it’s the start of June, it must be time for the return of Red Bank StreetLife, the summertime Saturday series of live entertainment that commandeers the sidewalks, storefronts and bumpouts of the borough’s business district beginning — and, for the first time in its 17-year history — on the third Thursday of June and July.
About 100 Little Silver residents, joined by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, celebrated the completion of restoration work on the three barns at the Parker Homestead Sunday.
The structures, the oldest of which is believed to have been built in the 1790s, and the Parker farm site on which they sit are “as important as Jamestown” in the history of America, Mayor Bob Neff told the crowd.
The restoration, funded with a $250,000 Monmouth County Open Spaces grant, was completed after a dispute with a contractor was resolved and a second contractor, Drill Construction, came on board in January, said Keith Wells, a trustee for the nonprofit Parker Homestead 1665 Inc., the nonprofit that oversaw the project. Two carpenters, Joe Rubel and Mike Cerniglia, were credited for work.
Click the “read more” for additional photos. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Two popular Red Bank-area bands — the Wag, seen above, and Woodfish — take the open-air stage at Riverside Gardens Park Saturday evening for the “Concert for the Kids,” in support of the Red Bank Parks and Recreation youth sports programs.
There’s no charge for the 5:30 p.m. event, but a donation of $10 is suggested to help ensure that any child who wants to play sports or attend a camp is able to do so, said department director Charlie Hoffman. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Riverside Gardens is the scene on the evening of Saturday, September 17, when Red Bank Parks and Recreation and co-sponsor Riverview Medical Center host a first annual Concert for the Kids in support of youth sports programs. Two popular area-based bands — The Wag (pictured; 5:30 p.m.) and Woodfish (7:30 p.m.) will help “ensure that any child who wants to play sports or attend our camps is able to do so, even if their family is facing a financial hardship,” in the words of Parks and Rec’s Charlie Hoffman. There’s no admission charge to attend the event, but a suggested donation of $10 is welcome.
Regular readers of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn feature can vouch that things often move at a brisk clip in the business district of a town that the New York Times recently touted for its “urban vibe.”
But one thing that’s remained a model of consistency amid the churn is the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale, the 62nd annual edition of which returns Friday and runs through Sunday.
Back for its 22nd annual edition — the third since finding a “new leash on life” as a springtime event — the Monmouth County SPCA Dog Walk and Pet Fair commandeers the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College for a colorful five-hour festival Saturday.
A benefit for the programs and services of the MCSPCA, the “Paws for a Cause” walk is just the centerpiece of a slate of activities for adults, kids and canines, bolstered by some 100 vendor booths, adoption and microchip clinics, a 50/50 raffle, food trucks, face painting, “pupparazzi” photos, “cutest tricks” contest and even a “Canine PUPtials” wedding chapel.
Press release from The Monmouth County SPCA
The event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and presented in partnership with Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, is the organization’s largest and most successful fundraiser event, attracting over 2,000 people and their pets each year. Proceeds directly help us to provide care and find “forever homes” for the thousands of homeless animals that pass through the MCSPCA’s shelter every year.
Press release from Red Bank RiverCenter
In an annual call for talent, Red Bank RiverCenter is seeking experienced street performers — musicians, magicians, and other entertainers — to entertain downtown Red Bank this summer.
Entertainers will be selected through open auditions and presented through RiverCenter’s popular StreetLife program, now in its 16th year. Interested artists are invited to take part in auditions beginning 6 pm on Thursday, March 10, at the Count Basie Rehearsal Studio (99 Monmouth Street, 2nd Floor) in Red Bank.
The works of legendary folk musician and activist Pete Seeger (left) and Clearwater Festival founder Bob Killian (right) are celebrated during the 40th anniversary edition of the annual free music and environmental education event, coming to Brookdale Community College for the first time on Saturday, September 12. Killian returns to Monmouth County for the occasion, as well as a September 13 event honoring Seeger’s legacy, at the Unitarian Meetinghouse in Lincroft. (Photo by Mike Berry)
From press materials furnished by New Jersey Friends of Clearwater
It began back in the mid-1970s, as a free festival of music, food and environmental awareness; hosted at the Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook and sponsored by the organization then called Monmouth County Friends of Clearwater. Inspired by the work of the iconic folk singer and pioneer activist Pete Seeger and his Hudson River excursions with the sloop Clearwater — and founded by Bob Killian, a Shore-based singer and songwriter best known for his hyperlocal anthem “I Like The Jersey Shore” — the all-volunteer Clearwater Festival has soldiered on through the years in several locations, most recently at Long Branch’s Pier Village.
On Saturday, September 14, the re-branded New Jersey Friends of Clearwater presents the milestone 40th annual edition of the summertime event; a one-day happening that unfolds at a brand new host venue: the Larrison Hall Commons area at Lincroft’s Brookdale Community College. Dedicated to the pioneering efforts of Seeger (who passed away last year at age 94) and Killian (whose return to Monmouth County for the occasion is a highlight of this year’s festival), Clearwater 2015 is an eight-hour burst of activity (11 am – 7 pm) that promises three stages’ worth of live music, kids’ activities, arts and crafts vendors, environmentally themed informational displays, and plenty of free parking on the sprawling BCC campus.
The Wag is among the musical acts taking to the sidewalks and storefronts of Red Bank’s business district as the annual Street Life series returns on Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
It represents a shuffle mix that ranges from Americana to ethnic, from Sweet Adeline harmonies to a friendly bit of harmonic dissonance. And when the homegrown phenomenon known as Red Bank StreetLife returns to the borough’s sidewalks and storefronts for a new season of summer evenings starting Saturday, it will also represent a literal shuffle, as self-guided musicphiles stroll or roll at their pleasure in search of locally sourced, Jersey-fresh sights and sounds.
Middletown band the Wag takes the air, and canine aerialists Tyronne and Abbydoodle take a curtain call, as the Monmouth SPCA’s Dog Walk and Pet Fair returns to the Brookdale campus for its 21st edition.
It’s one of the most eagerly anticipated early-autumn events on the greater Red Bank Green — repositioned, for the second year, as a middle-of-spring event. Returning for its 21st edition on Saturday, the annual Monmouth County SPCA Dog Walk and Pet Fair commandeers the campus of Brookdale Community College for a colorful five-hour festival (10 am – 3 pm).
Co-sponsored by Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, the fundraising walk is simply the centerpiece of a slate of activities for adults, kids and canines, highlighted by vendor booths, adoption and microchip clinics, 50/50 drawing, food, face painting, doggie agility ring, “pupparazzi” photos, “cutest tricks” contest and even a “Canine PUPtials” wedding chapel. There’s live entertainment as well — including the return of a faithful favorite act, and what promises to be the final Dog Walk appearance by one of the most crowdpleasing acts on the pet-fair circuit.
Strut Your Mutt. Paint a pumpkin. Climb a wall. See a show — maybe even scare a crow.
When the family-friendly Fall festival known as Thompson Park Day returns to the Monmouth County Parks System’s home turf in Lincroft this Sunday, October 19, it will come with all the tried-and-true trappings of the annual recreational panorama — the wagon rides and the kids’ races, the animal shows and pottery demos, the puppet shows and sideshow entertainers, the skiing and canoeing, the food and craft vendors, and the Pie Eating Competition.
It also packs some extra surprises that are native to this event beneath the mellow October sun — the Diaper Derby and the Dash for Cash, the Make Your Own Scarecrow Contest and of course the 11th annual Strut Your Mutt Contest, in which dogs take center stage for the most popular Halloween costume contest on four legs.
It’s the most bittersweet of all summerfun events: the annual Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, that eight-day extravaganza of sights, sounds and delicious smells that transforms River Road into a festival of lights each August — while at the same time sounding a keynote for the season of back-to-school supplies and summer-love goodbyes.
The oldest (and, many agree, greatest) of all Shore area carnivals puts down stakes for the 55th consecutive year beginning this Friday, August 22, and continuing nightly (with the exception of Sunday, August 24) through Saturday, August 30. Expect all the old favorites to return once more to the fairgrounds surrounding the borough’s firehouse — from the kiddie-ride corridor, midway and “big kid” rides (Zipper, Wipeout, Rainbow), to the fire truck tours, Super 50/50 and “Out Back” snack bar grille. The famous fresh seafood kitchen and dining room — an attraction for which folks start lining up right about now — completes the picture, with funds raised dedicated to the operations of the borough’s century-old volunteer fire department. And, as always, all vendors, volunteers and food prep personnel are hometown neighbors.
Tim McLoone and the Shirleys kick off an August series of free outdoor concerts in Little Silver this Sunday. Local power popsters the Wag, below, close out a concert series on the Fair Haven dock on August 23. (Photo below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Even as back-to-school merch hits the stores — and several of the area’s summer concert series prepare to fold their temporary stages — at least two towns on the greater Green are refusing to call it quits. In fact, beginning this weekend, they’re just heating up.
In Fair Haven, Saturday evening marks the first in a new slate of August concerts presented by the borough on the municipal dock at the north end of Fair Haven Road. The pier — repaired and renovated in the wake of Superstorm Sandy — will be the setting for a trio of 7 pm events that commence with an appearance by the Lads.
In Little Silver, the borough hosts a new August series with a new outdoor venue: the “Butch” Ryser Memorial Patio, located behind the municipal building overlooking Borough Field. A three-week schedule kicks off Sunday with a big show by a prominent local resident — renaissance guy Tim McLoone — and his big ten-piece band the Shirleys.
Little Silver artist Mike Ciccotello at work creating a mural at Red Bank’s Salon Concrete, where his paintings will be on display with a show opening Saturday night. Diana Krall, below, returns to the Count Basie on her Glad Rag Doll tour, part of the Jazz at the Basie series. (Click to enlarge)
Friday, October 4:
RED BANK: Fans who recall Natalie Merchant from her gold- and platinum-plated tenure as frontwoman of the rock band 10,000 Maniacs might be pleasantly surprised by the silvery hair she’s sported on her current tour — as well as by her fronting an ever-changing array of symphony orchestras from town to town. When the singer takes to the Count Basie boards at 8 pm, she’ll be joined by the New Jersey Chamber Symphony for a concert that draws from her recent hit release, ‘Leave Your Sleep’ — a lushly arranged set of literary inspirations and expansive musical visions. Take it here for tickets.
NAVESINK: The bumper crop of Broadway shows in 1938 included not only ‘On Borrowed Time‘ — currently onstage in a splendidly designed, handsomely realized production at Two River Theatre —but another folksy fantasy of life, love and devotion in a small town. Traditionally staged without props or scenery, Thornton Wilder’s classic ‘Our Town’ lends an avant-garde edge to its cross-section slice of sentimental Americana. Beginning tonight, the community troupe Stone Church Players presents the first of six performances at All Saints’ Memorial Church (the historic “Old Stone Church” at the crossroads of Navesink and Monmouth Aves). Michael McClellan directs a cast of 17 players in the show that continues weekends through October 13; take it here to reserve.
Dozens of dogs and their human pals turned out on a pleasant summer evening Tuesday for the first edition of Red Bank’s Dog Days, and redbankgreen was there to catch the wags, smiles and occasional slobbers. We’ve got lots more photos after the “read more.”
The canine meet-and-greet, held on a closed-to-traffic stretch of Monmouth Street, is scheduled to repeat on the last Tuesday night of August, September and October. (Click to enlarge)
A weekend of belly-busters and bargains awaits visitors to Red Bank’s International Flavour Festival on Sunday, above, and the Townwide Yard Sale on Saturday, below. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)
By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO
Friday, April 26:
LINCROFT: Score some points at the Hoops for Hope basketball tournament to support the Community YMCAs Strong Kids Campaign and Dreams for Kids at Brookdale Community College. The night consists of a series of basketball matches between the Dreams for Kids All-star team, featuring current and former NFL players, and community teams including the Red Bank Police Department, Red Bank Charter School, Red Bank Catholic Girls Varsity Basketball Team and the Monmouth University Womens Basketball Team. Other activities include a VIP reception with the NFL athletes, NFL store, student performers, gift and silent auctions, a 50/50 raffle and community organization booths. Tickets prices vary and family packs are available; purchase them online or at the door. Hoops for Hope runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Robert Collins Arena. Newman Springs Road.
RED BANK: The Electric Baby continues its run at Two River Theater. The drama follows three pairs a middle-aged couple, a hopelessly devoted lover and the apple of her eye, and a Romanian mother and Nigerian father caring for their child who discover the ways in which their lives are connected. The play, by Stefanie Zadravec, runs through May 5. Tickets are $24-$42 and the show begins at 8 p.m. 21 Bridge Avenue.
RED BANK: Sing your heart out at Rock N Roll Karaoke, a weekly happening hosted by the band from NYC’s Arlene’s Grocery. Attempt to master the vocals and music of classic rock favorites at The Downtown. The event begins at 10 p.m. 10 West Front Street.
Is veganism “like being a nun at an orgy”? “Vegucated,” a documentary screening in Lincroft Sunday, explores that question and others. The Wag, below, is at the Red Bank Public Library Saturday. (Click to enlarge)
Friday, January 25
RED BANK: Aaron Lewis, formerly of Staind, is on tour solo for the first time and will stop at Count Basie for a set of new tunes and old favorites. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.50, $39.50, or $55. 99 Monmouth Street.
Think global, act local: Middletown-based band The Wag is among the Shore area acts taking the main stage at the 36th annual Clearwater Festival, scheduled for August 20. (Photo courtesy of Larry Russo)
By TOM CHESEK
“We’re not just putting on a big party each year,” says Ben Forest. “Although of course it is a party with a purpose.”
Forest, vice president of the Red Bank-based nonprofit NJ Friends of Clearwater and a man with an irresistibly evergreen, treehug-friendly name is referring to one of the Shore’s most successful marriages of music and message: the annual Clearwater Festival, the 36th edition of which returns Saturday, August 20.
Red Bankers know Forest as a long-serving member of the borough’s board of ed; as an active voice (with wife Amy Goldsmith) for West Side residents and as a Mac computer specialist who keeps the often inscrutable machinery of local businesses, schools and media living to fight another day. For nearly a quarter century, hes been a volunteer and an officer of the local chapter of Clearwater the organization established in the 1970s as a vehicle for carrying the mission of Pete Seegers original enviro-awareness group to the shores of the Raritan Bay and the local Atlantic coast.
Naturally, Forest’s exalted position as Clearwater’s Committee Liaison for Environmental Policy an office through which he’s been able to bend the ear of governors, members of Congress and the head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t prevented him from pulling down duty as a flipper of burgers, collector of trash and de facto roadie during past presentations of the Clearwater Fest. With this year’s free event fast approaching, the predicament unlike some of the region’s waterways couldn’t be more clear: Clearwater needs volunteers.
The Andreach-Chrepta Jazz Duo returns as opening act for LunchMusic, the plein-air performance series running every Wednesday in June. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
In the week when a newly redux version of Riverfest takes back Marine Park in a three-day blast of cooking, crooning, cruising, crafting and kiddie rides, the Shore’s favorite beach-free destination town sounds an even earlier keynote to the season of outdoor tunes as early as lunchtime Wednesday.
A welcome way-station on the Everest-like hump of the warm weather working week, the free concert events known as LunchMusic return to Riverside Gardens Park this afternoon with a pair of familiar faces Red Bank’s Andreach-Chrepta Jazz Duo; the selfsame cats who inaugurated Red Bank Rivercenter‘s every-Wednesday-in-June series last year (redbankgreen, of course, was on the scene). The sax-guitar twosome will be playing for music lovers and any office workers, childcare givers, moms, dads and just anyone who needs a break between noon and 2pm, with several local eateries also getting into the act by offering some packed-to-go specials designed for noshing by the Navesink.
New for June 2011 are free lunchtime fitness classes at Riverside Gardens, with John Nies of Red Banks Power Center conducting a free East West CHI-Camp session from 12 to 1pm, and Dancing Foot Yoga offering an Introduction to Yoga class from 1 to 2pm (it’s bring your own mat and towel).
LunchMusic resumes on June 8 with Pam McCoy & Familiar Faces, and continues on June 15 with Red Bank’s unofficial musical mayor Chuck Lambert joining Susan Haugenes in A Cool Blues Duo. The Tor Miller Band takes the stand on June 22, and the series concludes on June 29 with Howell teens Alina and Justin Zimmerman, a/k/a Sibling Rivalry who, despite the name, play very nicely together.
That’ll do for lunchtime; if you’re hungry for more music on Saturday nights, RiverCenter is laying out an impressive spread that begins this weekend with details on the flipside of the paperless page.