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bobby_bandiera_and_jon_bon_jovi_at_hope_concert_8_2015Bobby Bandiera, joined here by longtime tourmate Jon Bon Jovi at a past Hope Concert, brings the ninth edition of his all-star benefit show back to the Basie Friday.

donegoodlogoIt’s just about the last of the big holiday-themed entertainment events to take the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank each December — a frankly awesome rock and roll extravaganza that plants a glittering star atop the tree at an eleventh hour when various Scrooges, Nutcrackers and vocal choirs have scurried off to their last-minute shopping excursions.

Ask Bobby Bandiera and he’ll probably tell you that a dose of charitable spirit is more important than ever in the final countdown to Christmas and Hanukkah — and that the day-to-day survival of our neediest neighbors doesn’t take a holiday break when the rest of the community settles into its family traditions.

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bandieraThe Hardest Working Musician in Shore Business, Bobby Bandiera writes his musical “Autobiography” in a special concert at the Count Basie on Saturday.

As commanding officer of the Jersey Shore Rock ‘N Soul Revue — and as a saloon singer supreme performing over the decades in the clubs, concert halls, tiki decks, taverns and dimly lit corners of coastal New Jersey — Bobby Bandiera has pretty much paid tribute to them all: the Beatles and the Stones; the Sun rockabillies and Motown soulmen; the AM radio one-hit-wonders and the FM rotation heavies.

So in a long, strange trip that’s taken him from smoke-choked pool halls and piano bars to the sold-out arenas of his road gig with Bon Jovi, there’s really only one career that still cries out for a proper salute: his own.

On Saturday night, Bandiera returns to Red Bank to address that glaring omission, with an “Autobiography” concert that assembles a rocking Rolodex of talented friends on the stage of one of the man’s favorite places to play, the Count Basie Theatre.

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Tim Kirk Love BobClockwise from top left: Jinglebell fundraiser concerts featuring Tim McLoone’s Holiday Express (December 18), Brian Kirk and the Jirks (December 20), Darlene Love (December 21) and Bobby Bandiera (December 22) provide the driving soundtrack to the holiday homestretch in the nights ahead.

The countdown to Christmas 2015 represents anything but a wind-down at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, where a fast-moving flurry of high-profile benefit concerts promises to keep the place buzzing like Santa’s workshop-slash-fulfillment center during the holiday homestretch.

From the most big-hearted of local music mainstays, to the vintage hitmakers whose records landed on many a Boomer-era wish list — and on into the next generation of Shore scene stalwarts — the Basie boards will resound with a Wall of seasonal Sound, every note of it dedicated to a great cause and an all-’round generosity of spirit.

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You remember New Year’s, don’t you? Once an occasion that combined the classy sophistication of beer-pong with the naughty thrill of sleep deprivation, it’s the one stop on the calendar that can cost even more than it promises. But if the thought of spending one more post-midnight moment watching Dick Clark give his wife a jellyfish kiss leaves you colder than  a Times Square curbside, may we humbly nominate one of our own for the ceremonial title of MISTER New Year’s Eve.

With a decade of December 31 concerts at the Count Basie Theatre to his credit, Southside Johnny Lyon is no latecomer to this game, having seen it all — from the Y2K buggery of 1999 to the “Y go on” of 2008 — as he and the Asbury Jukes deposited local audiences safely and swingingly on the other side of New Year’s time and time again. While Southside and his marvelous organization tune up for their eleventh annual Red Bank ring-in, we here at Red Bank oRBit raise our glass this day to the man, the band, and the plan that’s made this tradition one of the many fine things about living where we do.

Then stop in at our checkpoint tomorrow as we run down a bevy of countdown options, any and all of them a grand alternative to yet another 40-hour Twilight Zone marathon. Be kind to your bartenders, your bridge tenders, your servers of chicken tenders, and we’ll “see you next year,” right here in Red Bank oRBit!



It’s a signifier of summer on the Jersey Shore — the annual Fourth of July concert by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at the Stone Pony, a tradition as crucial to local life as, well, the New Year’s Jukes shows at the Count Basie.


In today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit , we talk to Southside Johnny Lyon for a preview of what audiences can expect  at this year’s show, which kicks off a season of  larger-scale entertainments at the Pony’s SummerStage this Thursday.

We also get on the phone with Jukes guitarist Bobby Bandiera, who, as the Hardest Working Man in Shore Business, just got off the road with Bon Jovi and will do the Jukes thing following a special concert tonight at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal, even as he prepares his next Rock ‘N Soul Revue extravaganza in Red Bank.

It’s all there in oRBit, the local entertainment website that gets the interview, grabs the story, and gets there first!