RED BANK: MIDSUMMER NIGHTS AT TEMPLE BAR

The Temple Bar at the Dublin House is a lively spot for music lovers on a warm Sunday evening. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly reported that Dead Bank was scheduled to play at the Dublin House on Saturday, August 5. They’ll be at Jamian’s Food and Drink that night.]

By SUSAN ERICSON

It’s twilight on a warm summer evening when PieHole strolls over to the Dublin House in Red Bank, taking in the sight of customers finishing their meals in the courtyard out front.

But we’re not here for dinner. Making our way through the side alley from Monmouth Street to the rear of the restaurant, we hear the deep, raspy strain of rock music and the low chatter of customers surrounding the bar named for a famous street in Dublin, Ireland: Temple Bar.

Read More »

RED BANK: DEAD BANK, GRATEFUL AT GIG 200

Dead Bank guitarist Jim Willis, left, and bassist Nash Aliaga at Jamian’s, where the band was conceived six years ago. A photo of the late Jerry Garcia has a place of honor on the stage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE, July 7: Forecast of rain postpones tonight’s Dead Bank show at the Dublin House. The band’s 200th gig will instead be tomorrow night (Friday) at the Dub, weather permitting.]

By JOHN T. WARD

The band’s name, echoing a moniker for Red Bank at its economic low of the 1980s, doesn’t exactly thrill local chamber-of-commerce types, Dead Bank guitarist Jim Willis acknowledges.

“We’ve gotten a lot of crap from the town about it,” Willis said last week. “They’ll never let us play any of their festivals because of it. But I just wanted to see another connotation for ‘Dead Bank,’ a positive one.”

The Grateful Dead cover band is an inarguably local phenomenon, and this week, weather permitting, Dead Bank’s “perpetual tour of of Monmouth Street” brings it to the backyard of the Dublin House Pub for its 200th show.

Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? GOOD KARMA LOVE BOWL

Good KarmaThe Love Bowl with coconut sauce and tempeh at Red Bank’s Good Karma Cafe. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumI have eaten the face off a pig.

Rubbed with herbs and lemon zest, rolled up tightly around the pig’s tongue and cooked sous-vide, it was a delicious combination of porky flavors and textures.

I mention this by way of disclaimer: I am not, probably, the target demographic for a vegan joint like Red Bank’s beloved Good Karma Café.

Read More »

WEEKEND: ARTY CHAIRS, ST. PAT, FLYING ELVI

IraGlass(StuartMullenberg)Above: Public radio powerhouse Ira Glass brings his broadcast mojo to the stage of the Count Basie while, below, Elvis is back in the building, in the person (or persons) of Scot Bruce and Mike Albert. 

Friday, January 17:

ScotBruceMikeAlbertRED BANK: “Red Bank’s a beautiful town,” the professional Elvis Presley tribute artist Scot Bruce told us a few years back. “The King is alive and well around there.”

Never more so than January, when Scot teams up with fellow Presley-digitator Mike Albert for an Elvis Birthday Bash that comes to the Count Basie Theatre in its ninth annual edition at 8 pm. It’s a Kingly keynote to a weekend of sights, song, story and socializing that follows the tried-and-true template of “Elvi” events past. Bruce opens the show with a hip-shaking evocation of the early-days Elvis;, the stylistic savant who “changed the course of mighty rivers” way more than Superman ever did. He’s followed on the bill by Albert’s spot-on channeling of 1970s Elvis —— he of the rhinestoned jumpsuits, championship belts, oversized shades and jet-black helmet of lacquered hair. Take it here for tickets ($20 – $40) — and flip the record over for more TCB action this weekend.

Read More »

WEEKEND: FRESH AIR, DEAD AIR, PLEIN AIR

deadonMulti-instrumentalist maestro Marc Muller (above right) leads his Dead On Live ensemble back to the Basie Friday night. Keyboard wiz Matt Wade (below) plays a concert for the Boys and Girls Club Saturday in Fair Haven. (Muller photo by Brian Stratton)

Friday, November 1:

matt-wade-1RED BANK: While the greater Red Bank green doesn’t lack for savvy channelers of the Grateful Dead (see our own Jim Willis and his Dead Bank brethren, appearing Saturday at the Walt St. Pub), there exists an even deeper dimension of obsession, and it’s the bailiwick of Marc Muller —— master multi-instrumentalist, sought-after session ace, adjunct professor at Monmouth University, and scoutmaster of the Count Basie Theatre‘s Rock the Basie band-camp program.

A flexibly floating lineup composed of Muller and a rotating roster of talented friends, the entity known as Dead On Live is “deadicated” to the comprehensive transcription (—and note-for-note reproduction) —of the Grateful Dead’s body of officially released recordings. And on Friday, Muller returns to the Basie boards for a Halloween Double Drumming Dance Party that combines psychedelic 60s’ classics (“St. Stephen,” “The Other One,” “Alligator”) with the epic trilogy from Blues for Allah and dual-drummer hits and set standards (“Shakedown Street,” “Touch of Gray,” “The Music Never Stopped”). Take it here for tickets ($19.50 – $45) — and here for our archived feature on Muller and his Dead On Live project.

Read More »

ON THE GREEEN: A FAB, JAZZY WEEKEND

Susan Haugenes and Chuck Lambert perform with his full band in a free concert in Little Silver Sunday evening. Dead Bank is at the Walt Street Pub Friday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Friday, August 2:

RED BANK: Fixx presents a lineup of live bands starting at 8 p.m. with Diego Allessandro & Lot 25 playing a few songs from their next album. Also on the bill: the Trouble, Frances Jones & the Saviors, Exit 117, Oblivion and headliner Negative Traction. No cover; 26 West Front Street.

MIDDLETOWN: In honor of the 36th anniversary of “the King’s” passing, the Middletown Arts Center presents two nights of free, hip-shaking Elvis Presley tribute performances. Bring blankets, chairs and snacks. Night one of the weekend concert, “Memories of Elvis,” begins at 8 p.m. 36 Church Street; parking is free.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: AMPING IT UP FOR THE TROOPS

dead-bank-greenDead Bank brings its Grateful Dead salute to the K of C this Saturday as part of a matinee musicfest in support of the Wounded Warrior Project.

Asbury Park might get the ink as the city “Where Music Lives,” but the bars, parks and sidewalks of the greater Red Bank Green can surely boast their share of bands, balladeers and bluesfolk.

This Saturday afternoon, a shufflemix of top local talent convenes in Fair Haven for a fundraiser showcase that could only be called Tunes for Our Troops.

A benefit for the nonprofit Wounded Warrior Project and its rehabilitative and transitional programs for severely injured service members, the four-hour fest takes place at the Fair Haven hall of the Knights of Columbus – Red Bank Council 3187. Kicking off at 2pm, it’s an event for which active service members will be admitted free of charge.

Read More »

ANOTHER ‘DEAD ON’ ARRIVAL IN RED BANK

brianstrattonberkleeMulti-instrumentalist, session ace and educator Marc Muller (right) leads the latest edition of the DEAD ON LIVE project back to the Count Basie Friday night. (Photo by Brian Stratton)

Call it a lifestyle choice, a fad or a fashion. Reject it as something immoral and unnatural. But someone close to you — your niece or nephew, your letter carrier, the church elder, that soulmate you thought you knew so well — is a Deadhead, or something very much like it.

Unlike the Grateful Dead themselves — who just kind of improvised their way into one of the most enviable careers ever constructed of happy/sad accidents — the fans, whether musicians themselves or laymen, are a detail-intensive bunch for sure. Contrary to the get-a-bath stereotype, they’re the folks who make the trains run on time; the entrepreneurs and visionaries, the doctors and district managers, and almost certainly the IT techs who make sense of that often inscrutable machinery we’re all plugged into these days.

Here on and around the greater Red Bank green, we’ve got access to any number of Grateful Dead tributes and tributaries working the regional circuit — from projects like the borough-based Dead Bank and Mark Diomede’s venerable Juggling Suns, to Splintered Sunlight and Dark Star Orchestra, the well-traveled ensemble that dedicates each of its gigs to a specific recreation of a particular set from the Dead’s historical soundboard canon.

But if there exists an even more elevated plane of obsession, it’s the exclusive purview of Marc Muller — master multi-instrumentalist, sought-after session ace, adjunct professor at Monmouth University and the man whose Rock the Basie band-camp program has become a firmly rooted feature of the Count Basie Theatre schedule.

On Black Friday — a night when everyone from Santa to the Grinch is expected to be present and accounted for on the streets, stages and station stops of Red Bank — the 10-year veteran of Shania Twain‘s band returns to the Basie boards (in the company of special guest Nicole Atkins) with the latest edition of a project about which he says, “I don’t know if ANYONE has done this to the extent that I have.”

Read More »

ANOTHER RED BANK TAKES IT ON THE CHIN

hot-topic rightWe’ve long been aware that there are other Red Banks in America. There’s one in Indiana, another in South Carolina, and even another in New Jersey, in Gloucester County.

But now, it’s come to our attention that our very own Red Bank, Monmouth County, New Jersey, isn’t alone among its name-sharers to struggle with a reputation as “Dead Bank.”

Turns out the City of Red Bank, Tennessee, a “small community surrounded by Chattanooga” whose population total of 12,000 mirrors our own, also gets the business for not having enough business.

Read More »