On Stage: Want to go seriously retro? Check out Blackmore’s Night

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Blackmore’s NightFeatured, Blackmore’s Night,

Many bands play music from the past – from 20, 30, 40, 50 or even 60 years ago. Blackmore’s Night plays music that has its roots in music from several centuries ago.

On July 19, Blackmore’s Night will make a return visit to the area for a show at the Keswick Theater (291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com).

Blackmore’s Night is a traditional folk-rock band formed in 1997 by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night. To date they have released ten studio albums. Their latest, “To the Moon and Back: 20 Years And Beyond All Our Yesterdays” — was released in August 2017.

“We just got back from playing the Connecticut Renaissance Faire,” said Night, during a recent phone Wednesday from the husband-and-wife’s home in Long Island, New York.

“We love going to the them. It’s a perfect escape from today’s world. We also usually play the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire every year.

The current line-up features Ritchie Blackmore – electric/acoustic guitars, mandola, hurdy gurdy, nickelharpe; Candice Night – vocals, chanter, cornamuse, shawms, rauschpfeife; Bard David of Larchmont- keyboards; Earl Grey of Chimay- Bass and rhythm guitar ; The Scarlett Fiddler; Lady Lynn – harmony vocals, shawm, flute, recorder; Troubadour of Aberdeen on drums

Night and Blackmore are physically living in the 21st century. Musically and spiritually, they bridge the 16th century and the 21st century – the Renaissance era and the high-tech world of today.

Their albums feature electric guitar, keyboards, bass guitar and drums. The list of featured instruments also includes hurdy gurdy, renaissance woodwinds, bombards, gemshorn, nyckelharpa, renaissance drum, pennywhistle and mandolin.

“We’re celebrating our 20th anniversary and the new album is a 20-year compilation,” said Night. “We let fans choose the songs they wanted to have on the album. And, we have about eight remixes on the second CD.”

When not on the road, Night and Blackmore live a rustic-style life away from the craziness of the music industry.

“Some people like to work on cars or watch TV – that’s their release,” said Night. “We like to get back to a simpler time. It’s nice to shut things down — to unplug from all that stuff and go back to a place where light was provided by a fire. And, there is something special about a maiden in a window of a knight on a horse. With our music, we try to bring people to that escape.”

For Night and Blackmore, the love of a time from long ago is not a passing fancy – or something taken lightly.

“When I first met Ritchie, he lived in this dark Tudor house,” said Night. “When I first moved in, all his Renaissance music became a soundtrack for nature. Even today, Ritchie doesn’t have a computer – no e-mail or anything like that.

“We have a dungeon that is a studio. It’s very dark and lit by electric candles. There are Medieval torture chambers on the wall. The room has a lot of atmosphere.”

Blackmore has been one of Britain’s top rock guitarists since the late 1960s. He was a founding member of Deep Purple and played with that band from 1968-1975 and 1984-1993. He fronted his own band Rainbow from 1975-1984 and 1994-1997.

Night also makes records on her own. She recently released a new album called “Starlight Starbright,” an album of lovely lullabies.

“We have two children,” said Night. “Autumn is seven and Rory is five years old. Our daily lives are like a Broadway musical. We sing all day long. We keep music in the family.”

Video link for Blackmore’s Night — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egRzQd_RsxE.

The show at the Keswick, which has The Wizard’s Consort as opening act, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 and $55.

Oldermost

There will be another interesting show on July 19 when Oldermost have a “CD Release Show” at Johnny Brenda’s (1201 North Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com) to celebrate the issuance on AntiFragile Records of the band’s fourth album – “How Could You Ever Be The Same?”

Oldermost is a veteran Philadelphia band that has been steadily building its reputation steadily. The band’s line-up includes lead-singer Bradford Bucknum, guitarist Mike Sobel, drummer Stephen Robbins and bassist Dan Wolgemuth.

“We started working on the new album almost three years ago,” said Bucknum, during a phone interview last week from his home in Philadelphia.

“We finished it at the end of 2017, got the masters back in January 2018 and now we’re putting it out in July. We’ve played some shows lately in Philly and New York – and we had a really great show in Collingswood, New Jersey. I’ve also done some solo shows in Virginia. The solo version is kind of a new thing.”

Oldermost is based in Philadelphia but its members are scattered around eastern Pennsylvania.

“I’m from Virginia originally but I’ve lived in Philly for the last 10 years,” said Bucknum. “Our guitarist is from Northeast Philly. Our bass player is from Lancaster and our drummer is from the Lititz/Ephratra area.”

Bucknum and his mates’ main focus is on the band and its new album.

“The band is a collaborative effort of all the members,” said Bucknum. “Songwriting is done in the round with three of us. It was an awesome challenge to take big rock-and-roll songs and make them acoustic.

“The bones of the songs were put together somewhat quickly. The writing took six months. Then came the recording, the refining and the fine-tuning of the lyrics.

“We worked at our home portable studio. We did four days at a cabin in upstate New York using our portable studio. We also have a big warehouse in Kensington that we use to record in. Different environments bring different sounds.

“We always wanted to do big rock-and-roll pop songs – sonic and brave in a conventional form. I wanted it to be 100 per cent rock-and-roll and 100 per cent us.

“Let’s not fool ourselves. It’s rock-and-roll and rock-and-roll is not finished as an art form.”

Video link for Oldermost – https://youtu.be/0HDdOwxeQuc.

The show at Johnny Brenda’s, which has Carroll as the opening act, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12.

Other upcoming shows at Johnny Brenda’s are The Magic Numbers on July 20, Purling Hiss on July 21, and Reigning Sound on July 22.

This weekend, it’s time once again for the Ladybug Festival (Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, https://theladybugfestival.com) – a fee two-day festival held on Market Street in downtown Wilmington.

The seventh annual all-female festival will feature 63 musical acts on 17 stages on July 20 and 21. A new attraction this year will be a comedy portion — the “No Bro Comedy Show” featuring 11 female comedians performing at The Queen.

Headline acts on Friday will be Nalani & Sarina on the Main Stage (Market Street between Third and Fourth streets) and Phoebe Legere at Loma Coffee (239 North Market Street).

Nalani & Sarina

Nalani & Sarina have been building a huge fan base in the Mid-Atlantic region for the last five years. The duo has performed at a variety of venues around the area — including Kennett Flash, the Eagleview Concert Series in Exton, World Café Live at the Queen, and the Ladybug Festival. The highly-talented twins, who are in their early 20s, have already established themselves as top-flight vocalists, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists.

They have self-released several well-crafted albums and singles. Now, they are ready to take it to another level – with a sparkling new album called “The Circle.”

“We’ve been in and out of the studio,” said Nalani Bolton, during a phone interview last week from her home in central New Jersey. “It took about two years to complete the album. We just kept writing songs – songs that kept changing. We record with our engineer Julian Herzfeld and Greg Thomas at Julian’s studio in Wayne and also at Carriage House Studio in Stamford, Connecticut.

Sarina Bolton said, “We’ve been recording a lot. We’ve taken a pretty relaxed approach — doing it piece-by-piece…song-by-song. There were no deadlines and that made it a lot less stressful.

“With the songwriting, we had a new approach this time. The songs on our last album were based on personal experiences. This time, it’s other people’s stories — more of a world-wide approach. It’s observational writing geared to people our age.

“It’s a combination of first person and third person. We’re writing about people our age – observing other people’s stories. It’s like a story about kids’ lives from their early to late 20s – love, first relationships, work.

“The songs are about what life is like for people our age. But, people of all ages can relate to these songs. We’ve had older people tell us that they can identify with these songs.”

Nalani said, “We think the sound and the material has matured. Our early stuff was all about relationships. Now, we are more worldly. We look at the world the way it is today – especially for people our age.”

The twins hit the nail on the head with the first single from the album — “Young and Inexperienced.”

Nalani & Sarina were featured in the New York Post about their new single, “Young & Inexperienced”.  They appeared in the Business section of the paper in an interview with MarketWatch about their single with the headline “‘Loan’ Them Your Ears: Troubadours of Youth Woe$”.

MarketWatch featured Nalani & Sarina in an article entitled “Millennial sisters who never went to college write anthem on the evils of student debt.” The article focused on their latest single, “Young & Inexperienced” — offering insight in writing the song. The Hunterdon Democrat did an article on Nalani & Sarina featuring the pair on the front two pages of the paper. With the write-up entitled, “Sisters Pen Song About Struggles of Today’s Youth.”

More impressively, Billboard featured Nalani & Sarina and their new single, “Young & Inexperienced” on its website in a praiseworthy write-up written by Thom Duffy.  He highlights their songwriting and titles the article as “Nalani & Sarina’s ‘Young and Inexperienced’ is an anthem for the student-debt generation.”

“Our new single was featured in Billboard,” said Nalani. “It was really awesome to see the single up there. We’ve also had some stuff on SiriusXM.”

“Young & Inexperienced” got spun on Debatable on SiriusXM’s The Volume. Last week, Nalani & Sarina were the featured guests on SiriusXM’s The Spectrum for “Kick Out the Jams,” with legendary rock critic Dave Marsh asking them about their new record, their songwriting inspiration, and even aired some of their new tunes.

“We started our own label – Telepathy Records/Kobalt — and signed a distribution deal with AWAL. They’re a good company for independents because they let you keep your rights and you keep control. AWAL is part of Kobalt, which is a label servicing company that handles publishing, licensing and a ton of services.

“We recorded two versions of the single,” said Sarina. “We did it months ago at our producer’s studio in Wayne. Initially, we had tons of ideas and rolled with it because we liked the song. Then, after internalizing it and playing it live, we changed our attitude. We decided to cut it live with our band. We wanted to capture the feeling of how we do it when we play the song love onstage.

“We recorded the second version at Shore Fire Studio in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Everything is cut live except for a fee overdubs. We did five or six takes and decided which one we liked the best. The version we eventually released had a collaborative vibe with the band – Jim Hines on drums, Oscar Rodriguez on guitar, and Chris Kussner on bass. Nalani and I we both played guitar. It was the first guitar solo I ever recorded. We really liked it. The second version is the keeper.”

Nalani said, “With the single’s topic, it wasn’t our intention to capitalize on a situation that’s going on. We just wrote it from what we were observing. The world has changed completely with college and jobs. People look at our generation as young and inexperienced. A lot of people in our hometown are recent college grads who are having trouble finding jobs.”

The sisters graduated from high school with honors but never looked to continuing their education on in college.

“We graduated early from Hunterdon Central High a few years ago and we’ve been doing music ever since,” said Nalani.

With roots based in rhythm-and-blues, soul, rock and especially funk, the sisters create vocal harmonies that only twins can make.

“We’re identical twins,” said Nalani. “We both started playing classical piano when were six and then studied operatic vocals when we were in sixth grade.

“Classical music and opera provided good basics for us. Our mom was a folkie, so we listened to a lot of folk music when we were young — great songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. And, we’ve listened to a lot of classic rock.

“We always have the funk. It’s impossible for us to keep the funk out. We’ve always had funk in our blood. We play shows with just the two of us, it always sounds more singer-songwriter. When we do shows with our band, it gets funkier.

“We’ve been finding ways to combine all our styles. With this record, we’ve meshed the styles. The last song we wrote was ‘The Circle’ and ten we knew it was time to stop. The album had a cohesive theme – beginning, middle. We’ve started writing songs for the n4ext album but first we plan on working this album to its full potential.”

Video link for Nalani & Sarina – https://youtu.be/77tnYL-htDc.

Phoebe Legere

Phoebe Legere is a talented singer, songwriter, instrumentalist — a multi-talented artist who is like no other.

The descriptive word “unique” is often misused – frequently as an unsubstantiated hyperbole. When used to describe Legere, it is “spot on” – and still a little inadequate.

Legere, who has released close to 20 albums, plays seven instruments including one she invented to help physically challenged children play music — the Sneakers of Samothrace.

Phoebe Legere is a Juilliard-trained composer in addition to being an internationally recognized visual artist. She offers small collectible paintings after each performance. Each original art work has a CD embedded within it.

Her most recent album “Heart of Love” is a hymn to life on the American Highway – and a Top 20 Americana album.

“The musical genre is folk/Americana,” said Legere, during a phone interviewWednesday from a roadside stop in upstate Pennsylvania.

“I play guitar, Native American flute, piano and accordion. It was released on February 14, 2017 and immediately went Top 20 on the roots charts. It’s all originals – except for my cover of ‘Jambalaya.’”

Soon, Legere will treat her fans to a new album – or two.

“I have a new album coming out soon,” said Legere. “I’m going to release it single by single online. And, I’ll have physical cipies of the album for sale at my shows.

“I’m also working on a new album called ‘Squeeze Me.’ It’s an all-accordion album. I’ll be selling that albums at my shows also. The first single from ‘Squeeze Me’ will be out in about three weeks.

Legere’s music is a blend of Americana, Cajun, New Orleans jazz, country, folk and blues. She is an award-winning accordion player, virtuoso piano player, a rural folk blues guitar stylist, and an award-winning songwriter.

A standard-bearer of the Acadian-Cajun renaissance, Legere is descended from one of the original Acadian families in North America.

Her album “Acadian Moon,” which was released in 2015, received strong radio play in Canada. “Heart of Love” is faring even better – on both sides of the Canadian-American border.

“A DJ friend of mine gave me a list of every Americana station in America – and a list of college stations,” said Legere, who hasperformed at prestigious venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and at the Congrés Mondial Acadien.

“I sent out 400 envelopes with the CD along with self-made heart-shaped chocolate lollipops. That resulted in me reaching the Top 20.”

In reality, the deejays were suckers for the music – after being lured in by the lollipops.

Legere, whose debut album “Trust Me” was released by Epic Records in 1986, has a long and diverse artistic resume.

She has appeared on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, ABC, NBC, PBS and Charlie Rose. She also received the prestigious Acker Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2014.

In 2015, she appeared in HBO’s documentary “It’s Me Hilary.”

While still in her teens, Legere was signed Epic Records as a songwriter. She opened for David Bowie on his National Tour in 1991 and led a number of influential New York bands, including Monad, 4 Nurses of the Apocalypse and her nine-piece swing-punk outfit Swingalicious.

After the radio success of her 1989 album “Marilyn Monroe” (Island Records), and her appearance in numerous underground films, Legere shifted her focus to avant-garde classical music and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her work with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.

Legere, who has had six of her original plays with music produced in New York City, did not enter the world of entertainment unprepared.

She graduated from Vassar College, studied composition at the Juilliard School. She also studied piano at the New England Conservatory, and film scoring, orchestration and jazz arranging at the NYU Graduate School of Music Composition.

Legere studied composition with John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, Morton Subotnick, Wayne Oquin and Dinu Gezzo. She also studied jazz arranging with Ira Newborn and Rick Shemaria.

According to Legere, the death of the record business is a much-needed correction.

“Life in the music business is never easy,” said Legere, who has been embraced by the Outlaw Americana community and music lovers around the world. “It’s so competitive.

“At one point, record companies felt artists didn’t have to be musicians. Female artists got signed because they were pretty. They didn’t need good musicians. They could just use machines.

“They didn’t have to deal with intelligent people. Intelligent people are like lightning rods. They’re really doctors. They’ve been doctors for thousands of years.

“I was signed by Epic Records when I was 16 so I really know about the abuse and sexual harassment – and unethical practices. Now, big record companies are falling apart.”

According to Legere, “Right now musicians have a golden opportunity. For the first time, we can shape our own careers. Musicians are no longer the slaves of music corporations.

“We are free to invent the music we hear in our hearts today, and invent new ways to deliver it to the listeners of tomorrow.”

Legere was too talented – and too smart – to be sucked into the world of being just another pop princess.

“I got involved in very avant-garde music more than 15 years ago,” said Legere, a versatile artist who created a 15-person, rideable giant Eagle sculpture that runs on alternative energy (learn more about The Shamancycle at Shamancyle.com).

“I did an epic poem with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra – singing the poem and improvising the music.”

In another of her many projects, Legere is the executive director of her own nonprofit organization — The Foundation for New American Art.

The Foundation for New American Art is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that fosters art and music education programs geared to underserved communities.

The goal is to educate, nurture and strengthen the artistic and musical spirit of the children of low-income communities, as well as provide support for after-school programs.

She visits schools, military bases, libraries with encouraging workshops — most notably her “Songwriting from The Heart.” Proceeds from Legere’s lectures and public performances will go to The Foundation for New American Art.

“I am dedicated to nurturing the visionary artists of the future,” said Legere. “Art and Music are not extra-curricular. Art and Music are integral to the harmonious development of the human heart and soul.”

Legere has brought the project to Pennsylvania this week.

“I’m spending the last week in July teaching at Foundation for New America Art’s Camp Superstar at Ruhe Farm in Emmaus,” said Legere.

“We’re bringing arts and music to the children. We’ll be so focused on the arts, music, dance, theater – and nutrition.

Video link for Phoebe Legere – https://youtu.be/Eq7VPpA1pTM.

Video link for the Ladybug Festival — https://youtu.be/Oi8U64Przh8.

Some of the other acts slated to play on July 20’s Ladybug Festival, which runs from 5:30-10 p.m., are Kategory 5, Junkanoo. Isabella Rose, Outcalls, Rad & Kell, and Jessica Graae.

On July 20, two bands that have been around for a long time will be performing at venues in Philadelphia.  Poster Children is an old band – a group that came together in 1987. faUSt is a really old band – a group with a history that dates back to 1971.

faUSt

faUSt, which is headlining a show at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, http://undergroundarts.org), was formed in 1971 in Wümme, Germany.

faUSt is an experimental rock band which came out of the Hamburg music scene in the late 1960s. The members first met in 1969 and formed a sextet featuring Arnulf Meifert, Gunther Wüsthoff, Rudolf Sosna, Hans-Joachim Irmler, Jean-Hervé Péron, and Werner ‘Zappi’ Diermaier.

Three of the members — Péron, Sosna and Wüsthoff — had previously played in Nukleus, while Meifert, Irmler and Diermaier were with Campylognatus Citelli. Meifert, the original drummer, left after the first album.

Now, faUSt’s album total is in the teens.

“Fresh Air” is the 13th studio album by faUSt. Released on May 5, 2017, it is a combination of live and studio recordings captured during a 28-day tour of the United States in March and April 2016.

“‘Fresh Air’ was recorded in L.A. in 2016,” said Péron, during a phone interview last week from New York. “We had the privilege of having great guest artists join us. As always, the nucleus was me and Werner.”

faUSt, which is closing in on its 50th anniversary, just embarked on the current North American tour – and it is a tour like no other.

“This time when we tour, we’ll have a different line-up in each city,” said Péron. “This is caused by the fact that Zappi has a bad back.’

Featuring founding member Péron, faUSt’s North American tour began on July 11 in Chicago. There will be line-up changes and guest additions at various points of the tour – founding member and drummer Diermaier will join the ensemble in Brooklyn on July 22 to the end of the tour. Also featured with the band is guitarist Amaury Cambuzat.

The faUSt line-up for shows in the Northeast – including Philadelphia – will be Jean-Hervé Péron aka art-Errorist (vocals, strings, wind and tools), Amaury Cambuzat (guitar, vocals), and Tim Barnes (drums and sounds).

According to Péron, “In Chicago, we will share the stage with Bobby Conn (guitar, vocals), Monica Boubou (vocals, violin) and Josh Johannpeter (drums). In Brooklyn, we will meet up with Braden Diotte (bass and sounds) and Zappi, yeah! That’s “ze big man wiz ze big nose!” on drums, vocals, tools and metal.

On the West Coast, faUSt will fuse with the German/Spanish/Croatian all female dada-punk trio Ernsthafte Angelegenheiten. Each day, each gig a new adventure, like vagabonds on tour… Rund ist schön (round is nice)!!!.”

Such a strange approach should not be a surprise for anyone familiar with faUSt.

“Considering we’re an experimental band and that I’ve also collaborated often with Tom and Amaury, this way of doing things should not be a problem,” said Péron. “We make a set list as we please. Our audience is used to that and will support us.

“We have learned that we should have a certain respect for the audience so, every once in a while, we’ll play an old fan favorite. It’s usually a 75-minute set. There are a few pieces from ‘Fresh Air’ that are dear to my heart that we will play – that we will interpret.

“We are dead serious — but we aren’t too serious. For the most part, we just let it happen. We believe in Fluxus. We believe in Dada. If you come to hear faUSt, be ready for anything at ant time. Expect the unexpected.”

Video link for faUSt – https://youtu.be/kFZroUDglTg.

The show at Underground Arts, which has Zs, ONO as openers, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35.

Other upcoming shows at Underground Arts are Beautychickee on July 21, and the So Cool Family Tour on July 22.

Poster Children

Poster Children was formed at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1987 by Rick Valentin (guitar, vocals) and Rose Marshack (bass, vocals). Jim Valentin joined on guitar in 1991 and Matt Friscia on drums joined in 2001. The band has released 12 studio albums on various independent and major labels and one feature-length film, “Zero Stars.”

The band is like a throwback to the hippie era in many ways. Known for their strong DIY ethic, the band members continue to drive their own tour bus, create their own artwork and T-shirt designs, and operate their own record label. Poster Children were also pioneers in several forms of electronic technology relating to performance art, including enhanced CDs, webcasts, and blogs.

Poster Children released their 12th album – “Grand Bargain!” — in May 2018.

Poster Children is currently on tour in support of the new album. The tour will touch down in Philly on July 20 at Kung Fu Necktie (1248 North Front Street, Philadelphia, 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com),

“We’re touring the East Coast right now and we’ll tour Texas and the West Coast in August,” said Valentin, during a phone interview Monday afternoon. “Right now, we’re at a gas station in the highest point east of the Mississippi somewhere off I-80 in Pennsylvania. We’re on our way to Brooklyn.”

The tour will mark the first time Poster Children are playing the songs from “Grand Bargain!” live.

“We recorded ‘Grand Bargain’ at Electrical Audio in Chicago with Steve Albini,” said Valentin. “We’ve recorded a lot with Steve over the years.

“We spent six days there in July 2016 and six days in July 2017. We did it in July because we’re on vacation in the summer. We have time off and that means we have time to practice. We do most of the writing in winter and spring.

“Most of the tine in the old days, we’d have long rehearsals and songs would come out of it. Now, we’re older and we work on riffs separately. Then, we’d come together with the drummer with bits and pieces and turn them into songs.

“We’ll do rehearsals mostly in fall and spring. As it got closer to recording, we’d rehearse more prior to going into the studio. Rose and I live in Bloomington, Illinois and Jim and Matt live in the Chicago area. So, we look at Chicago as our home base.”

Rick Valentin and Rose Marshack have been partners for a long time.

“Rick and I met at the University of Illinois in Champaign and that’s where the band started in 1987,” said Marshack. “Rick and I had been playing together in a different band for a few years prior.”

Poster Children released its debut album “Flower Power” in 1989. Releasing an album around every two years, the band put out its 10th album “No More Songs About Sleep and Fire” in 2004. More than a decade later, they released “Grand Bargain!”

“We made a lot of records the first 15 years,” said Marshack. “Then, we took a break for 15 years. We played some shows during that time span but didn’t make a record. We’d play a few shows every few years but, when you have small kids, it’s hard to do the touring. And, we all have day jobs.

“Two years ago, we decided we wanted to re-issue ‘Daisychain Reaction’ for its 25th anniversary. When we played live, we didn’t want to play just old songs. So, we got together and played and started to write new songs

Video link for Poster Children – https://youtu.be/KkYWrc7258E.

The show at Kung Fu Necktie, which has the Improbables and Kell as openers, will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Other upcoming acts at Kung Fu Necktie are Crazy Bull on July 21, Noisem on July 22, Thelma and the Sleaze on July 23, Bongripper on July 24 and Levee Drivers on July 25.

Dropout Kings

On July 20, there will also be an area show by a very new band – Dropout Kings, an Arizona band featuring Adam Ramey, vocals; Eddie Wellz, vocals; Chucky Guzman, guitar; Staig Flynn, guitar; Rob Sebastian, bass; and Trevor Norgren, drums.

The Dropout Kings will make their area debut with a show as openers for OTEP at Reverb (1402 North Ninth Street, Reading, 610-743-3069, www.reverbconcerts.com).

“We’ve been together for two years and we’ve released three singles so far,” said Ramey, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from a Canadian tour stop in Ottawa, Ontario.

“We put out the first single ‘Never Mind’ in April and then the second ‘Scratch and Claw’ on June 1. Our new single ‘Going Rogue’ was released on July 6. Our debut album ‘AudioDope’ will come out on August 10 on Napalm Records.”

Dropout Kings has its roots in another band from the Phoenix area.

“Most of the guys were in a band called the Bad Chapter,” said Ramey. “I started this new project with a rapper named Eddie Wellz. I wanted to do something like rap and rock mixed together. At first, me and Eddie did Linkin Park covers and it worked well.

“I got some of the guys from the Bad Chapter and formed Dropout Kings. We’re the only band this us like we are in Phoenix. The bands in Phoenix do mostly hardcore – really heavy.

“This is the first time we’ve played the East Coast. Most of our shows have been in Arizona and California. This is actually our first real tour. We’ll finish the tour before the album comes out so we’ll probably be back on the road again when the album drops.

“We recorded the album at 37 Studio in Detroit with producer Nick Sampson in October and November. Rick was a friend of ours and he understood what we wanted to do. We had about five songs ready when we went to Detroit and wrote another five in the studio.

“Writing is pretty much a whole band thing. We have the same six guys since when we started and it’s a full collaboration. We’re always writing stuff. I listen to beats a lot and then turn them into songs.”

This tour will just be an introductory sampler for Dropout Kings fans.

“Since were opening for OTEP, we only have a 30-minute set,” said Ramey. “We’re playing seven songs – all from the album. Even if people have heard of us, they haven’t heard these songs.”

Video link for Dropout Kings – https://youtu.be/56tQOGEj_Ng.

The show at Reverb, which has OTEP as the headliner, will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17.

Other upcoming shows at Reverb are Rivers of Nihil on July 19, Sponge on July 21, and the Magic Mike Tour on July 25.

Marah

Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) will present “An Evening with Marah” on July 20, “Chicago 9 — A Tribute to Chicago” on July 21 and “The 2nd Annual Ben Arnold Summer Residency – Week 3” with Cliff Hillis on July 24.

The Steel City Coffee House (203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610-933-4043, www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com) will host Todd Cardin on July 20, and The Odyssey, Double Suede and Linsey Fitting on July 21.

The Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) will have Spyro Gyra on July 19, Dead Prez on July 21, “A Night of Philly Music” on July 21, and Shelby Lynne on July 22

The Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) will host Ray Wylie Hubbard on July 19 and 20, Walter Trout on July 21, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver on July 22, James Hunter Six on July 22 and Tartan Terrors on July 25.

The Grand Opera House (818 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-652-5577, www.thegrandwilmington.org) will present Miranda Sings Live  on July 21.

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