Monthly Archives: April 2016

Scott Marshall Sounds Out Against Heroin

When you encounter Scott Marshall, it quickly becomes clear how passionate he is about his craft. The singer-songwriter has worked hard to become a local mainstay, and is well-known across the Valley for his work with his two bands, Marshall’s Highway and The Hillbilly Souls. A veteran of the Lehigh Valley music scene, Scott added to his many accolades this March, going home with nine Lehigh Valley Music Awards for 2016.

Through it all, Scott has remained humble, grateful, and willing at a moment’s notice to give back to his community. Tonight, Marshall’s Highway will take the stage at Bethlehem’s Musikfest Café to present “Sounding Out Against Heroin,” a benefit concert featuring special guests to raise awareness of the addiction problems plaguing our society. Doors open for dinner at 6 p.m., with showtime at 7:30.

Scott sat down to answer some questions from Lehigh Valley Underground, and his answers were what you would expect: genuine, down-to-earth, and with his community always in mind.

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Click the image above for tickets and more information on tonight’s show.

Tell us about some of the work you’ve done in the past with ArtsQuest.
It’s kind of a funny, fairytale story. My work with ArtsQuest began at Musikfest a few years back, writing and playing my songs wherever I could find work. I had been playing and paying dues for years throughout the Valley and beyond, and I was always a big fan and patron of Musikfest for all the obvious reasons, but I had never played there. After putting a band together around a new batch of material I had written and recorded, we were seeing positive results from audiences. So, we submitted to perform at the festival. We heard back, and they told us they were adding a new stage to the festival called The Main Street Stage. They asked us if we wanted to perform a two-hour block. We were very excited and honored, so of course, we said yes. Like we still do, we all began promoting the show very hard to all of our friends and fans.

On the second night of the festival, we began receiving messages from friends and fans telling us that the stage was in a great location, just down from one of my favorite stages behind The Sun Inn. However, they told us that it was very small. Of course, I had plans to go visit the festival prior to our performance, so I checked out this brand-new stage myself. Sure enough, it was small. Regardless, I was just as excited as I was the day they asked us to play, because there were hundreds of people throughout the streets, and a great little three-piece Americana band doing their thing, with two hanging floodlights for lights. I still had every intention of taking my six-piece band there and doing what we do. We wanted to make this show a memorable one, because this was a great opportunity for a local, original singer-songwriter. So, in my mind it was still like Madison Square Garden. *laughs*

On the night of the show, we had a great turnout. Halfway through the performance, several hundred people were gathered in front of that stage. The response was overwhelming. A lot of them had never heard us, but had no choice to stop and listen because the street was blocked both ways. It was very humbling and satisfying, if you know what I mean.

We received tons of messages from folks in the following days and months. The following year, ArtsQuest offered us one of the largest stages. Since then, we’ve played various stages and events for them. Whenever they feel what I have to offer might be suitable for something, they reach out. *laughs*

I’m truly grateful for that first opportunity they gave me, and for the opportunities they continue to give. It’s a relationship that’s working for both of us and, most importantly, the fans. The fans are everything in this business, at every level, and ArtsQuest has played a significant role in cultivating and growing me as a local artist. That’s something I’m just as thankful for as the fans are.

How did Sounding Out Against Heroin come to fruition?
It’s a very sad story, but one that has motivated me to continue Sounding Out as I’ve been. Last year, a lifelong friend and former bandmate, David (Dave) Arey, lost his 18-year-old son, Shane David Arey, to addiction and an overdose. After the funeral, he, his ex-wife, and I discussed putting a benefit concert together to help them and another family bury their children and raise awareness. We recruited other folks to help us organize and, with the help of many other wonderful folks, we did just that. It was very successful on many levels.

I made a promise to both of them to continue to be a voice on the matter at all of my shows. The response I get time and time again is overwhelming. People tell me their stories and thank me for talking about it so openly. Awareness has been my mission from day one. I want to get and keep people talking, and use all the opportunities that are given to me as a singer, songwriter and entertainer. I don’t care where I’m at or who I’m performing for, because this crisis knows no class or race boundaries.

At the beginning of this year, ArtsQuest and I discussed my own night headlining the one and only Musikfest Café. When we agreed on the date, I was reminded of last year’s awareness event, and I knew what I wanted to do with this amazing opportunity. I had not heard any talk about putting on another event like last year’s, so I decided to reach out to my former bandmate once again with my intentions. He was very happy. My heart confirmed it was the right decision, when more than a month later in February, we lost more local kids to this terrible drug.

We’re using this show to continue paying it forward, like we always try to do with the different charities we support. We’re making this an awareness concert event. Guest performers are joining me and the band, and guest speakers from various organizations throughout the Valley who try to help those suffering with addiction problems are will be our guests. We’ve invited some of the families who have lost loved ones to addiction.

What does this cause mean to you?
After answering the last question, I hope you know just how much this cause means to me. Over the years, I’ve lost other friends to addiction, and could certainly tell you quite a few stories. From time to time, I’ve shared some pretty personal experiences on social media. It’s something I’ve seen and dealt with first-hand on the front lines, from the street, to the stage, and everywhere in between.

In the last few years, it’s gotten even more personal for me. I’ve done my fair share of research, and see lots of variables at work. Enough is enough, and that’s it. Again, awareness in its various forms is and will continue to be my contribution and battle cry, my song.

Tell us about some of the special guests appearing that night.
I decided to invite other local musicians to join us and play a few songs with my band. I want to show my fans and the music community in general that we all care about this cause. My lifelong friend and singer-songwriter David Perkin also knows what it’s like to lose friends over addiction. Our friends Tony and Joel from The Bombs will be sitting in with my brothers and bandmates from a successful band I was in during the 90’s called Sweet Tequila. Dave, who lost his son last year, was our guitar player. A guitar-pickin’ bluesman and Bethlehem Police Officer, Don Hoffman, will join us, and The Godfather himself, Mr. John Cannavo, will be playing his heart out as well.

What can people expect that night from Marshall’s Highway?
I really tried to put together a 3-hour show that definitely caters to the cause, shares a message and embraces all of the emotions and musical genres I’ve become known for. People will hear rock, country, blues, a little bluegrass, Motown, Gospel and who knows what else?

I get really excited when I’m able to go out with the full nine- or ten-piece version of The Highway. I’m so blessed to have such an amazing group of talented musicians I’m able to call brothers and bandmates. We really hope to give them an experience, with each song an opportunity to once again get to know me and the guys through our music.

Any additional comments?
Thank you for this opportunity to share with all of your readers and music fans, and for all that you do to support and promote our music scene and all of us artists. I thank God for the gifts and talents he’s given me, and for all of the opportunities to use them to serve everyone this way. Thank all of you, who continue to embrace and support my contributions to such a thriving music scene full of so many fantastic artists and musicians.

PHOTOS: September Silence and Julius at The Originals Music Series

It was a busy night at Chicago Restaurant’s Club Gravity for The Originals Music Series, presented by The Fyre & Ice Show. The evening featured the live debut of hard rockers September Silence, whose onstage chemistry made it sound as though they’ve been together for much longer.

The evening was headlined by Julius, whose band opened its set with a short rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain” in memory of the late performer, who passed away Thursday morning in Minneapolis at the age of 57.

The rest of Julius’ set was packed with the punch and showmanship local music fans have come to expect from the artist.

Enjoy photos from this great night of rock, courtesy of Lehigh Valley Underground.

QSLehighValley: Apr. 21, 2016

Bryan Tuk is the founder of Allentown JazzFest, and the CEO and Executive Director of Performing Arts Live!, Inc. Bryan joins us today on QSLehighValley, sponsored by The Valley Ledger, to talk about all things JazzFest — including this year’s performers, new elements added to the mix, and how you can support the cause.

Track listing:
REVEL 9 – All I’ve Become (Opening theme)
JingerKroa – Echo
Duke Maroon – King Shit
Alex Radus – Someday
Avi Wisnia – Sky Blue Sky
Rofo Audio – Tell Me Something
D.S. Bradford – Elemental Evolution
Julius – Sitting on a Ledge

Chili With a Side of Great Tunes at Saturday’s Spring on the Southside

Could Saturday be the Valley’s most ridiculously awesome day of music in recent memory?

We’ve told you about the great shows coming up this Saturday, which include most of our Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week. Now, fill your afternoon (and your stomach) with one more event during the day.

Spring on the Southside, an all-ages event featuring music, art, food, and fun, takes place this Saturday, April 23 in South Bethlehem. Three local artists will perform on the South Bethlehem Greenway’s Godfrey Daniels stage beginning at 11 a.m., including Dave Fry (11 a.m.), Not For Coltrane, featuring bassist Shawn Cay and drummer Dave Deubler of the Acoustic Bite Trio (12 p.m.); and Jack Murray and the Midnight Creeps (1 p.m.). Music will be followed immediately by the annual chili pepper eating contest at 2 p.m.

The event is also famous locally for its SouthSide’s Best Chili Cook-off, which will feature more than 15 varieties of chili, ranging from mild, spicy, and five-alarm chili to vegetarian versions. Chili tastings will take place from 12-2 p.m., and participants are encouraged to get their Chili Tasting Passports in advance at artsquest.org.

For more information on the entire event, visit SouthSideArtsDistrict.com.

Like Stories? There’s a ‘Slam’ for That Tonight!

If you’re looking for a different side of the Valley’s arts scene, or just enjoy a pint and a good story, head to McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub in Bethlehem tonight for the Lehigh Valley Story Slam.

The Story Slam, operating upstairs at McCarthy’s since May 2015, invites storytellers of all ages and backgrounds to tell tales that revolve around a particular theme. Tonight’s stories will revolve around “Heroes,” and participants are encouraged to talk about their personal heroes, times when they felt heroic, their own encounters with superheroes, and more.

You don’t have to tell a story to attend – if you prefer, just sit back and listen to your fellow attendees do their thing. Either way, get ready to laugh, cry, and feel a positive, communal energy in the room.

For tickets and more information, visit the official webpage for tonight’s event.

Bryan Tuk Complex Comes to Allentown Brew Works this Thursday

Like jazz? Free Thursday after work? We have just the thing…

The Bryan Tuk Complex, who were super-stoked to hear perform at Allentown JazzFest, will be performing as part of Allentown Brew Works’ HighGravityJazz Series this Thursday night from 6:30-8 p.m. The band will be joined by DCI World Champion snare drummer, Rob Robinson.

The show’s official Facebook event describes the evening as “controlled, yet funky, chaos” as Tuk’s high-energy ensemble takes the stage just eight days before JazzFest kicks off with a headlining show from Al Chez & the Brothers of Funk. The evening will be emceed by WDIY radio personality, John Dodds.

Tickets are available for $20 at the door and at this link. Not to mention, the show lets out early enough in the evening for you to drive across Allentown and catch most of another one of our Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week, which makes Thursday night another evening full of great live music in our fair Lehigh Valley.


Check out an all-new QSLehighValley tomorrow when we’ll be joined by Bryan Tuk. Bryan will talk to us about Allentown JazzFest, Performing Arts Live!, Inc. and more on SoundCloud, iTunes, and right here on Lehigh Valley Underground.

JingerKroa Wants You to Win a Signed Poster

Perhaps you saw this video on Facebook yesterday, with the guys from JingerKroa holding up a signed poster (the one depicted above) and telling you about your chance to win. If not, here it is again…

Let’s get specific, though, and tell you exactly how to win this poster!

  1. Take a photo — a selfie, if you must — of yourself holding your tickets to the band’s May 7 show, opening for Buckcherry and Black Stone Cherry at Stroudsburg’s Sherman Theater.
  2. Post said photo on our Facebook page, tagging JingerKroa.
  3. Do this by Friday, April 29.
  4. Cross your fingers and hope you win!

We’ll be picking a winner the last weekend of April, and the winner will be notified by Monday, May 2. As the guys from JingerKroa mentioned, there might be a little “surprise” included.

The Quinn Spinn: Apr. 18, 2016

The Quinn Spinn provides more great independent music from all over the world — and all across genres! This episode hops all over the music sphere and keeps you on your toes.

Track listing:
REVEL 9 – All I’ve Become (Opening theme)
Spinn – Addicted
John Scargall – That Wind’s Always Gonna Blow
Audra McLaughlin – Tennessee Cowboy
If It Fails – Carry You Away
The Blisscats – Dead Ringer
Splash – Cherry Lips and Velvet Skin
Ronnie Makkalucci – Rodeo
GC – Déjà vu
Rawboss ft. Artwork and Sariah Mansoer – Color
Taite – Flight
Mindshift – Horizon
Go Evolution – See the World

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week: Apr. 18-24

So much great music in the Valley this week. Man… are we sure LAUNCH can’t wait until next weekend?

It’s another big week for the live scene in eastern PA, including a Super Saturday of shows both in the Valley and a little ways away (hello, LAUNCH Music Conference). Learn more as we present the…

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!

Thurs., Apr. 21 | 7 p.m.
The Originals Music Series
Venue: Chicago Restaurant, 1179 Airport Road, Allentown
Admission: FREE
Description: Julius returns this week alongside September Silence to the weekly showcase, presented by The Fyre & Ice Show.

Sat., Apr. 23 | 6 p.m.
Scott Marshall & Marshall’s Highway: Sounding Out Against Heroin
Venue: ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem
Admission: $20 advance, $25 day of show
Description: Nine-time 2016 LVMA winner Scott Marshall returns to the Musikfest Café with his band to raise heroin awareness.

Sat., Apr. 23 | 8 p.m.
Autoerotica Unplugged w/ Dissension Rising & Rofo Audio
Venue: The Riegelsville Tavern, 1274 Easton Rd., Riegelsville
Admission: FREE
Description: Hard rockers Autoerotica play a rare acoustic set, supported by Ireland’s Dissension Rising and rising local rockers, Rofo Audio.

Sat., Apr. 23 | 10 p.m.
Roi & the Secret People w/ Nameless Victims
Venue: Pearly Baker’s Alehouse, 11 Center Sq., Easton
Admission: FREE
Description: You can come from one of the evening’s earlier shows and keep the rock going with a set from the Easton mainstay, fronted by the charismatic Mike Roi.

Sunday Thought Series: Revisiting Central PA

The year was 1994. The venue was The Crowbar in State College, PA. It was an opening gig for The Badlees, one of the biggest bands in central PA. The club was packed with rowdy college kids.

We hit the stage and, to my surprise, the people there really seemed to like us! It was the beginning of a great relationship with the central PA music scene. The band was called Earth to Bob, and I was their drummer.

After that night, we played countless shows up and down the east coast, feeling most at home in places like The Firehouse or The Silo in Reading, Shakey’s in Hershey, The Courtyard in New Cumberland and many, many more. We recorded our second CD, “Toll Roads and Detours,” at the legendary Green Room in Harrisburg. It was a truly joyful time in my life. Touring around in our converted baby blue short bus, hearing our songs on the radio, hanging with great people and meeting cool new friends was a great ride.

There were many other outstanding bands that were a part of that scene, too, like The Jellybricks, Rob Reilly and 78 West, who made that scene come alive in the mid-90s.

A lot has changed since then. Some of us went on to become lawyers, teachers, and construction workers. Most of us have families with kids now. Through it all, we’ve never lost our love of music.

I’m really happy to be playing again with my band, Go Evolution. As far as the other guys in Earth to Bob, Jeff Bishop has been recording a lot with Rob Reilly as part of their duo, Bishop/Reilly. Todd Johnston is also at work in a new studio, and we are patiently awaiting new material. Matt Thomas continues to record and play live in several bands.

I’m looking forward to being a part – even if it’s a small part – of the Pennsylvania music scene once again. Judging from some of the music I hear on The Quinn Spinn, PA still has some really great talent.

Coming from New Jersey, I’m feeling the itch for a road trip pretty soon!

Matt Phillips is the singer and guitarist for alternative rock band, Go Evolution. Listen and learn more at GoEvolution.com.

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