MIDDLETOWN: FREE THE WEEKLINGS

Famed musicmakers Glen Burtnik and Bob Burger (aka Lefty and Zeek) Beatle-boot their band The Weeklings, for a free Tuesday night concert outside the Middletown Arts Center. 

Let no man question the Beatle bona fides of Glen Burtnik — not when the Jersey music legend, hit songwriter, former member of Styx (and occasional fronter of the current version of ELO) boasts a resume highlighted by scores of performances as Paul McCartney, in the Broadway production of Beatlemania.

It’s a credential that could conceivably be hard to match — even by Bob Burger, the veteran singer-songwriter-guitarist and attorney who’s logged countless sets in the watering holes of the Jersey Shore, and collaborated with Burtnik on songs for Styx and others. But then, who else among us could top this little career highlight for pure Fab Four thrills?

All of which serves to confirm that Burtnik and Burger mean Beatle-booted business when it comes to delivering an authoritative sonic salute to the MopTops, as they did a few seasons back at the Middletown Arts Center. But when Glen and Bob return to the north lawn outside the MAC this Tuesday evening, August 8, they’ll be respectively answering to the names of Lefty and Zeek — the double-sided hitmakers of the band known as The Weeklings.

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LINCROFT: CLEARWATER FLOWS AGAIN

Dawg Whistle Paul Whistler Vini LopezShore music legends Paul Whistler and Vini Lopez team up as Dawg Whistle, while fellow famed musicmakers Glen Burtnik and Bob Burger (below) suit up for the Weeklings, when the 41st annual Clearwater Festival returns to the Brookdale campus this weekend.

Burtnik BurgerIt’s all about the message, when you get right down to it, one of care and respect and vision for this coastal place where we make our home. But when the Clearwater Festival returns to Lincroft for a frankly amazing 41st annual edition this weekend, attendees might be forgiven for thinking that it’s equally about the music — an attraction that’s drawn the participation of some pretty awesome figures over the years.

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RED BANK: FOOD & MUSIC FEST SPRINGS BACK

   RBIFF 042714 80Sunny 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)

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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.

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RED BANK: JUKES COME HOME TO COUNT BASIE

SouthsideBasieNewYrsSouthside Johnny reignite a New Year’s Eve tradition this Thursday night.

“I’d wish you a merry Christmas,”  Southside Johnny Lyon told Count Basie Theatre crowd during one of the many Hope Concert fundraisers that he’s participated in over the years. “But it would be out of character.”

Maybe Christmas and Southside Johnny are an uneasy mix. This, after all, is the guy who’s been introduced by no less a Santa surrogate than Bruce Springsteen as the Grinch incarnate onstage. But you can hardly call him a holiday humbug in light of the traditional Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes New Year’s Eve party that returns to Red Bank following a one-year hiatus.

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RED BANK: FOR THE LOVE OF BOB (AND BAND)

Big Pink PatMusic from BIG PINK (Arne Wendt, Bob Burger, Sal Boyd, Glen Burtnik) is on the bill, as Pat Guadagno (right) saddles up his Tired Horse for the 17th annual Dylan’s birthday celebration concert BOBFEST, Thursday night at the Count Basie. 

They’ll be bringing the Bob – as they have each year since 1999, when Jersey Shore “saloon singer” supreme Pat Guadagno first offered an impromptu birthday toast to his musical hero Bob Dylan, during a set at the old Downtown Café.

When the benefit tribute concert known as Bobfest takes the stage of the Count Basie Theatre for its 17th annual edition Thursday, it’ll also be bringing the Band – the legendary combo that collaborated with Dylan on some of the master’s most epochal recordings and tours, and whose own spun-off career climaxed with the milestone Last Waltz concert and film in the late 1970s. More to the point, they’ll be bringing Big Pink, the Band tribute project that unites globetrotting Jersey rock ambassador Glen Burtnik with frequent collaborators Bob Burger, Arne Wendt and Sal Boyd for a set that conjures the best time-tested tunes from Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm and company.

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RED BANK: FLAVOUR FEST BACK IN FAVOUR

RBIFF 042714 32 The Weeklings, featuring Glen Burtnik and Bob Burger, below, are among the musical acts adding savour to the Sunday’s Red Bank International Flavour Festival on White Street. (Click to enlarge)

weeklingsIt’s positioned as a family-friendly, fresh-air celebration of international food, music, wine and beer — and it’s undeniably one of the more popular and successful seasonal attractions to pitch its tent in Red Bank within recent years.

Back for a fourth annual world tour in the White Street municipal parking lot, the Red Bank International Flavour Festival returns this Sunday for an afternoon/ evening session that mixes many of the best-liked attributes of the old-time Red Bank Food Festivals and the latter-day Oysterfests.

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RED BANK: BURTNIK’S PIG-LIT ANTACID TRIP

BurtnikSummerA colorful Glen Burtnik, illuminated by Pig Light Show, brings the fifth edition of the Summer of Love Concert to the Basie this Saturday. (Photo by John Cavanaugh)

“Here’s to all you crazy children of the ’60’s who have turned or who are about to turn 60!” says the advance for the Summer of Love concert, the fifth anniversary celebration of which takes to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank this Saturday. “Let’s drop some ANTACID and go!”

Starring the new Hardest Working Man in Shore Business, Glen Burtnik, Summer of Love V offers up “a tribute to the music of the Woodstock Generation, performed note for note and absolutely live” by a precision unit of veteran Shorecat musicians.

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MIDDLETOWN: BURGER, BURTNIK, BEATLES

BurgerBurtnikJimmyLeahyBob Burger and Glen Burtnik (left and center in photo, with Jimmy Leahy) bring a pedigreed and pro-ey tribute to The Beatles out on the lawn at Middletown Arts Center, this Tuesday evening.

No one will ever question the Beatle bonafides of Jersey music legend Glen Burtnik — not when the veteran solo artist, hit songwriter, and former member of Styx boasts a resume highlighted by scores of performances as Paul McCartney in the Broadway production of Beatlemania. It’s a pedigree that the New Brunswick-bred Asbury Park resident has put to dazzling good use, during his many retro-rocking revues at the Count Basie, and occasional Beatlefest sets with his Liverpool project.

What, then, could Bob Burger possibly do to top Burtnik at his Fab Four game? After all, it’s not as if the singer-songwriter-guitarist-attorney was ever called upon to…oh. That. All of which serves to prove that Burger and Burtnik — frequent songwriting partners (for Styx and others) and jam-session buds — mean Beatle-booted business when it comes to delivering a sonic salute that’s backed with authority and real affinity. They’ll be doing just that, and for free, when they take it to the north lawn outside the Middletown Arts Center this Tuesday evening, August 12, for a concert event that kicks off at 7 pm.

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RED BANK: TASTY LICKS, AT FLAVOUR FEST

BurtnikRiblerBeatle Bones and Smokin’ Stones: Glen Burtnik’s Beatles Tribute and Marc Ribler’s Rolling Stones Tribute (above) join the conceptual coverband Mashwork Orange (below) among the musical headliners adding savour to the International Flavour Festival, Sunday on White Street.

Mashwork_OrangeCombining many of the best-liked attributes of the old Red Bank Food Festivals and the latter-day Oysterfests, the Red Bank International Flavour Festival returns for a third annual world tour in the White Street municipal parking lot this Sunday, April 27. A fundraiser for borough-based entities Red Bank RiverCenter, Monmouth Day Care Center, and Parker Family Health Center, the happening from promoter RUE Events teams the culinary kung fu of some 25 Red Bank restaurants and food purveyors (take it here for a rundown) with a strolling smorgasbord of vendors that include beer and wine for purchase. Adding sonic spice to the affair is the enhanced musical menu of headline-worthy acts on two stages; a shuffle-mix that spans showband salsa (Ray Rodriguez and Swing Sabroso), Scottish marches (Atlantic Watch Pipes and Drums), Shore partyband perennials (Kirk and the Jirks, The Nerds), and the gotta-see-it-to-believe-it conceptual coverband Kubrickery of Mashwork Orange. The Beatles and The Stones are duly represented as well — as channeled by music-biz masters and sought after songwriter/ session cats Glen Burtnik (Beatlemania, Styx), Bob Burger and Marc Ribler.

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WEEKEND: RIGHT HERE IN RIVER CITY

MusicManGroup_718x370The cast of THE MUSIC MAN brings the Broadway evergreen to ‘Two River City’ for five concert-style performances this weekend. Below, Jersey music Jedi master Glen Burtnik leads an all-Shore team of guests to the Basie stage on Saturday, for a SUMMER OF LOVE salute to the sounds of the original Woodstock festival. (Above photo courtesy NJPAC)

Friday, March 14:

glenburtnik-4-kurdzukjpg-907ec69606a7eef9RED BANK: “Seventy Six Trombones.” “Marian the Librarian.” “Til There Was You.” “Ya Got Trouble” (right here in River City). If you’ve seen but one golden-age Broadway classic performed by a class of drama-club kids, a community of earnest amateurs or a summer-stock touring troupe, it was probably The Music Man, the 1957 Tony winner in which traveling con man Professor Harold Hill brings an outlandish scheme — and, in the process, a healthy dose of life, love, laughter and music — to the stodgy folk of a circa-1912 Iowa small town. What you probably haven’t seen is a Music Man brought to you by an African American cast and director — and this weekend, Two River Theater Company offers up five chances to catch a talent-packed production that’s being presented in cahoots with Newark’s NJ Performing Arts Center.

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RED ‘N GREEN AND FESTIVE ALL OVER

xmasconcertsSanta Basie: Returning to the stage for Christmas are (clockwise from top left) Tim McLoone and Holiday Express; Nancy Scharff; Glen Burtnik, and Mark Shapiro with the Monmouth Civic Chorus.

It’s official: with a ceremonial flip of the switch last Friday night — and a weathery weekend of holiday-themed activities immediately following — Red Bank once again took the local lead in calling another Season of Lights to luminous life.

With December bringing up the calendar caboose, the borough merely picks up steam, offering up a full complement of Christmas and Chanukah events and activities from now right on up to the doorstep of New Year’s Eve.

Continuing every Saturday through December 18 are the outdoor jinglebell jukebox known as Holiday Harmonies and the clip-clop-and-shop of the Red Bank Horse and Carriage Rides. The Galleria offers Pictures with Santa photo ops each weekend through December 19, and the annual Gingerbread Walk promotion continues at participating borough businesses through December 26.

You can find out more about these ongoing offerings from Red Bank RiverCenter — and continue reading to unwrap our roundup package of holiday concerts, lighting ceremonies, fundraisers, stage shows and other events, in and around the greater Red Bank green.

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IN oRBit: A VISIT FROM ST. (BURT)NIK

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With the calendar ticking off the days til the 25th, today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit brings you an exclusive interview with a character who, once each year, journeys here from some frozen far-north outpost to set up shop with some crafty helpers — on a mission to bring toys, clothes and essentials to our neediest neighbors.

If you guessed our “get” was Saint Nick, well, that’s close enough for rock and roll, we suppose. It’s actually the saintly Glen Burtnik (right), who returns to the Count Basie Theatre this Saturday night for the nineteenth edition of his long-running Xmas Xtravaganza, an annual Good Samaritan groovefest that’s helped even more people than it’s managed to crowd onto the stage.

A veteran of both Styx and Beatlemania, the hitmaking singer and songwriter (he’s just returned from the Russian front on a tour with the latest edition of Electric Light Orchestra) is also famous for his little black book of big scary friends — an unspecified set of which will be showing up in Red Bank for this weekend’s concert. We’ve got the goods from Glen right here — along with a reminder about a special day of care and feeding at Jack’s Music — in Red Bank oRBit!