RED BANK: OYSTERFEST IS A PEARL OF A PARTY

rb oysterfest 092715 10The Guinness Oyster Festival returns Sunday for a “shuck and awe” day of food, beverage and entertainment that includes Tinton Falls pop singer Taylor Tote and band, below. (Top photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

taylor_tote_band_-_social_media_low_res_dsc_7778c-2As open-air diversions go in Red Bank, it’s the undisputed pearl of the season. And making its seventh annual stand, the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival returns to the White Street municipal parking lot Sunday for an event that, as the name suggests, pairs the fabled allure of the briny bivalve and dozens of other culinary seductions with the “Irish aphrodisiac” known as —Guinness.

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SANDY HOOK CONCERTS RETURN TO THE BEACH

The NerdsPlaid-shirted partystarters the Nerd hit the beach this Wednesday evening for the first in a new season of free outdoor concerts on Sandy Hook, seen below from Highlands.

sandy hook concession 090114Sounding the keynote to the season of free outdoor concerts in and around the Greater Red Bank Green — and showing them all how it’s done — the long-running Sandy Hook Beach Concert Series returns to the peninsula for another slate of events at Beach Area E this week.

Presented by the Sandy Hook Foundation, the 6 p.m. concerts are all-ages, multi-generational celebrations that come equipped with sandy seating, natural A/C and complimentary sunsets. It all begins anew this Wednesday, June 15, with a rare exposure to sunlight by those most pocket-protected of party-starting pop-rock-funk powerhouses, the Nerds.

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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)

RBIFF 042714 75

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: THE WORLD’S OUR OYSTER SUNDAY

oysterfest 2012 1The Guinness Oyster Festival returns to the White Street lot in Red Bank Sunday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

rb oysterfest 3 092312Consider the oyster: a fabled food-of-love aphrodisiac to many, and a must-to-avoid mollusk to others. A naturally nurturing jewel-box to hunters of precious pearls, and mere hapless-prey packaging to the otter, The Walrus and The Carpenter.

But whether you shuck ’em or shun ’em, there’s no doubting that the briny bivalve has a certain star-quality luster as the centerpiece of some increasingly popular post-Labor Day events — particularly when paired with the “Irish aphrodisiac” known as —Guinness. And here on the banks of the Navesink, the coming of autumn signals the oyster’s turn to shine as the featured attraction of the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival, the sixth annual edition of which returns to the White Street municipal parking lot Sunday. Read More »

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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KIRK PLAYS SANTA, WITH HITMAKER HELPERS

LurieKirkKimballBandleader Brian Kirk (center) brings his Jirks back to the Basie stage on December 23, in a Santa for Lunch Break benefit that boasts the chart-topping voices of Elliot Lurie from Looking Glass (left), and Bobby Kimball from Toto (right).

By TOM CHESEK

Over the course of some two decades working favorite watering holes up and down the Jersey Shore — and building a solid following as a go-to group for weddings and corporate events — Brian Kirk & the Jirks have kept the party percolating by specializing in one thing: that attention compelling, wildly eclectic genre known as Other People’s Hit Songs.

This coming Monday, when the guys best known for their long tenure at Sea Bright’s much-missed Donovan’s Reef leave the bars behind for the grand proscenium of the Count Basie Theatre, they’ll be calling in reinforcements on the hitmen front — The Nerds, whose entertaining shtick and awesome chops have broken them out into the big world beyond Jersey. They’ll also welcome a couple of guys from out of town — the sort of men whose names and faces might not be known to all, but whose professional lives are all about The Hits. Who own The Hits.

The occasion is Santa for Lunch Break, a benefit for the borough-based nonprofit Lunch Break of Red Bank, and a sequel to last December’s sold-out Santa for Sea Bright event that raised crucial funds for the seagrass-roots organization Sea Bright Rising. Billed as a “variety show format” with “energetic music, bad jokes, and a little bit of ‘Bruce’ for a great cause,” the 8 pm concert follows in the spirit of Dunesday, the summertime series of beach-bash benefits that the enterprising Kirk maintained even after Superstorm Sandy dispatched Donovan’s to Davy Jones’ Locker — and that drew many thousands of faithful (including an enthusiastic Mr. Springsteen) to its open-air funraisers for neighbor families and community causes.

For the December 23 show in Red Bank, Kirk and his crew will share the stage with a couple of classic voices who are sure to strike a chord with anyone who never left home without a transistor radio or Walkman. Bobby Kimball is the vocalist whose time in Toto resulted in such Top Five hits as “Hold The Line,” “Africa,” and the Grammy winning “Rosanna” — while Jersey guy Elliot Lurie is none other than the singer and songwriter behind Looking Glass, and one of the most recognizable lite-rock bar anthems in all of human history, the 1972 Number One smash “Brandy.”

The Party Committee at redbankgreen spoke to busy bandleader (and owner of Red Bank-based Key Telecom Inc.) Brian Kirk as he made continued preparations for Santa’s wild ride.

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