On Stage: Cover bands bring shows to area

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times


This is the first weekend of live music in July and suburban venues have loaded schedules.

The Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) has a July schedule which includes Live at the Fillmore on July 5, AM Radio on July 6, and Top of the World – A Carpenters Tribute on July 7.
“LIVE AT THE FILLMORE: The Definitive Tribute To The Original Allman Brothers Band” is the band/project of leader/founder/guitarist/vocalist Lew Maresca.
LATF has played Chester County many times with shows at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center.

 “I think we were the first rock band to play there back in 2017,” said Maresca, during a phone interview from his home in Wynnewood.
The band’s members have changed some over the years – which is not a surprise to Maresca.
“As time goes by, familiarity breeds contempt,” said Maresca. “There is a lot of ego and narcissism among musicians – a lot of personality conflicts.
“I don’t run LATF as a democracy. It’s more like a monarchy and I’m the king. It’s my band and I maintain very high standards. Anyone who has heard the band play in the last year says that this is the best lineup ever.
“I brought Joe Mass in as the Dickey Betts guitarist and he’s taking it to microscopic levels of exactness. The band also has Don McCormick and Anthony Zinni on drums, Jeff Quattro on Hammond B3, piano, and vocals and Mike Graziola on bass.
Musically and sonically, LATF creates the experience of hearing one of the greatest live bands of all time as they sounded in 1969-1971. Particularly featured are their monumental shows at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East Auditorium in New York City in March and June of 1971.
LIVE AT THE FILLMORE has become the most popular and best-known tribute to the original Allman Brothers Band. Great attention is paid to recreating the music with an unparalleled degree of authenticity. The band has been chosen as featured performer on the Time Life Southern Rock Cruise. It received rave reviews for their Spring 2017 performance on national TV as part of AXS TV’s “World’s Greatest Tribute Bands.”
“Live at the Fillmore has been around for more than a decade,” said Maresca. “We started back in 2009 because we knew how many Allman Brothers fans there were.
“I saw the Allman Brothers in their original state many, many times including the Fillmore in March 1971 and the very last show they did at the Fillmore on Saturday night June 26, 1971. That was the one the Allman Brothers called ‘The Show.’
“I put a band together in 1971 called Skydog. I was in high school at the time. Skydog was the very first Allman Brothers tribute band. I went to Penn State and played all through college.”
Years went by and Maresca relocated to Philadelphia where he established a career in audio production and custom messaging.
“I’ve been in Philly since I graduated from Penn State,” said Maresca, who originally is from Nutley, New Jersey. “I wanted to put together another Allman Brother attribute band. I was looking for the best guys I could find who could play the music.”
With LIVE AT THE FILLMORE, fans get Allman Brothers music and nothing else.
“We’re a tribute band at the highest level,” said Maresca. “The hallmark of this band is its authenticity. We’re here to imitate not to innovate. Our physical appearance has never been important. It’s all about the music. When we play, we sound like the original Allman Brothers.”
Video link for “LIVE AT THE FILLMORE: The Definitive Tribute To The Original Allman Brothers Band” – https://youtu.be/vn0nr2WoWmc.
The show at Sellersville on July 5 will start at 8 p.m.
Ticket prices start at $29.50.
AM Radio Tribute Band, which is the brainchild of Su Teears and Kevin Burk is exactly what its name implies.
“We play songs mostly from the ’60’s, some from the ’70’s, some older stuff like the Ronettes,” said Teears, during a phone interview from her home in King of Prussia. “We also do some stuff from the ’50’s like Bill Haley & the Comets and Elvis.”
AM Radio also has another format – the AM Radio Acoustic Trio.
On August 29, AM Radio Acoustic Trio share the bill with Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits) at a pair of shows at the Sellersville Theater.
AM Radio Acoustic Trio will open the show with 1960’s acoustic music, complimented by intricate 3-part vocal harmonies. This is a bit different from the band’s norm.
Burk, who is a native of King of Prussia and an Upper Merion High grad, said, “We’re normally a six-piece band and sometimes for bigger shows we’re a seven-piece with an added guitar. There are also times when we add a horn section and play as a 10-piece.”
AM Radio Tribute Band got its start exactly six years ago.
“Kevin and I were on a road trip to upstate New York,” said Teears. “As we travelled north, we listened to the radio until we lost our favorite station.”
Losing reception of AM radio stations is a common thing.
AM broadcasting is a radio broadcasting technology which employs amplitude modulation (AM) transmissions – unlike FM which uses frequency modulation.
AM radio, which is also known as medium wave, covers frequencies from 525-1704 kHz (kilohertz). In the United States, there are clear channel stations which can operate at 50,000 watts 24 hours a day, regional stations which have restrictions on their broadcasting power and local daytime stations with low wattage allowance and limited range.
If you’re driving in Pennsylvania or New York, you can hear powerful clear channel stations from all over the eastern part of the country – stations such as WSM in Nashville, WABC in New York, WCKY in Cincinnati, WGN in Chicago, WSB in Atlanta, WBZ in Boston and WOWO in Fort Wayne.
Listening to regional stations is more difficult. These stations are limited in power and often have directional broadcasting. So, if you exceed your favorite station’s range as you travel, the station fades out and is often replaced by a different regional station.
“When we lost the station we were listening to, we found a station playing all the hits we grew up with,” said Teears. “We toyed with the idea of playing these songs. We started playing them while trying to do things a little left of center.”
Soon, Teears and Burk were assembling a band – a band that became AM Tribute Radio.
The lineup of AM Tribute Radio’s full band features drummer Jimmy Cavanaugh from Norristown, guitarist Danny Eyer (Absecon, N.J.), Bill Sharrow (Collingdale/Spring Mount) vocalist/guitarist Joe Triglia (Lansdale), keyboardist Steve Sauer (Lancaster), Teears (Northeast Philadelphia) and Burk.
“Our first gig was December 2014 at the Bridgeport Ribhouse and we’ve had a stable lineup since then,” said Burk. “Our repertoire now is well over 500 tunes. There is so much to pick from.”
Teears said, “This is the music we grew up with. We’re purists. We try to keep it as close as possible to the original.”
Video link for AM Radio Tribute Band — https://youtu.be/an3eLlSQmIw.
The show at Sellersville Theater on July 6 will start at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $25.
Other shows this month at the Sellersville venue are Gary Hoey on July 11, Ryan Coleman on July 12, Forever Tina on July 13, The Ruta Beggars and Serene Green on July 14, Patty Griffin on July 15, West Chester’s Fred Mascherino on July 17, Anvil on July 18, Jim Messina on July 19, Martin Barre on July 20, Toronzo Cannon on July 21, Steve Earle on July 23, Tartan Terrors on July 24, King’s X on July 25 and 26, Cimarron 615 on July 27, Rhett Miller on July 28, Sugarray Rayford on July 30 and Ladysmith Black Mambazo on July 31.
The American Music Theatre (2425 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, www.AMTshows.com)
plays its part in a weekend of area shows by Top of the World – A Carpenters Tribute. The band plays in Lancaster on July 5 and has a concert in Sellersville on July 7.
Back in the day, “serious rock music fans” wrote off Abba and The Carpenters as lightweights.
Many of those fans – along with most fans of popular music – now agree that both bands were great pop bands.
Both acts wrote well-crafted songs and performed them at a very high level. Two fine examples are “Waterloo” and “Goodbye to Love.”
Top Of The World – A Carpenters Tribute is one of the world’s best tribute band to The Carpenters.
Fronted by singer Debbie Taylor, her Karen Carpenter vocal resemblance is absolutely astonishing. She is backed by a seven-piece band consisting of top-notch, professional industry musicians who have had amazing careers in their own right.
The band members are all multi-instrumentalists and at times use three keyboards to recreate the incredibly complex arrangements created by Richard Carpenter. The attention to detail paired with saxophone, trumpet, flute and many more instruments complete every song to perfection!
This Carpenters Tribute Band brings the most authentic versions of the Carpenters music to the stage. Fans will definitely be singing along as the band performs hits such as “Close To You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days And Mondays,” “Please Mr. Postman” and “Yesterday Once More.”
Taylor captures the warm tones and contralto range that made Karen’s voice so unique. Fans will be in a great mood when Taylor and her band take them on a nostalgic journey through the Carpenters’ greatest hits while sharing some of the backstories behind the music.
Video link for Top Of The World – A Carpenters Tribute — https://youtu.be/1-no7UXkEog.
The show at AMT on July 5 will start at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $29, $39 and $49.
(Top Of The World – A Carpenters Tribute will also headline a show at the Sellersville Theater on July 7.)
Other shows in July at the American Music Theater are Amos Lee on July 11, Eaglemania on July 12, Terry Fator on July 13, Asia on July 14, The Docksiders on July 19, Tommy James & the Shondells on July 20, Frankie Valli on July 21, and NEEDTOBREATHE on July 25.
ptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center (226 North High Street, West Chester, www.uptownwestchester.org) will host the Bell Bottom Blues on July 5 – one of six tribute shows this month at the theater in downtown West Chester.
The Bell Bottom Blues is a professional tribute to one of the greatest guitar players and rock icons of our time, Eric Clapton. It is a show band in the true sense of the word which performs in theaters, casinos, outdoor concerts and other top venues throughout the country.
The band has recreated Clapton’s incredible stage presence and awe-inspiring performances from The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and an incredible solo career that spanned decades.
Playing all of Clapton’s hits as well as some deep cuts, Al Caprara has recreated Clapton’s guitar stylings and more importantly his voice, making the audience truly feel that they are at a live Clapton Concert.
Video link for The Bell Bottom Blues —https://youtu.be/K5_I34p_Hmc.
The show on July 5 will start at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $40.
Other July shows at the venue are The Discoteks (Disco/Motown) on July 13, Chrissie Crow (The Pretenders and Sheryl Crow) on July 20, Frontiers Journey (Journey) on July 26, Nimrod (Green Day) on July 27, and Kanin Wren’s Taylor Swift Experience on July 28.
Longwood Gardens (1001 Longwood Drive, Kennett Square, longwoodgardens.org) will present Michael Feinstein in Because of You: My Tribute to Tony Bennett, featuring the Carnegie Hall Ensemble on July 7 and “An Evening With Shawn Colvin & KT Tunstall — Together Onstage!” on July 10.
The Candlelight Theatre (2208 Millers Road, Arden, Delaware, 302- 475-2313, www.candlelighttheatredelaware.org) will start its run of the hit musical “The Fantastiks” on July 13. The venue’s Candlelight Comedy Club presentation “Married, Single and a Baby” will be held on July 18.
Jamey’s House of Music (32 South Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne, 215-477-9985, www.jameyshouseofmusic.com) will host Drivetime on July 5.
Soaring high for more than 10 years, is HMMA-nominated and international recording artist, Drivetime — a band which has become known for its original jazz sound.
Featuring Bernie Capodici (Congas/Percussion/Producer), Jimmy Dell’Orefice (Keys), Gene Terramani (Guitar), Nick Terramani (Bass), JJ Zeller (Drums), Drivetime has continued to push their eccentric sound of urban organic jazz.
Drivetime’s music has been in rotation on the internet and terrestrial radio since their debut single “Getin’ Witit 2009” featuring Bob Baldwin.
The band has done collaborations with jazz artists including Phyllis Chapel, Justin Guarini, and many others.
The show at Jamey’s House of Music will start at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. It will also be available as a pay-per-view at $15.
On July 6, live entertainment will be provided by Carroll, Smucker and Lloyd.
The line-up features Bruce T Carroll, Lancaster-based Jessica Smucker and Heather Aubrey Lloyd.
The show at Jamey’s House of Music will start at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. It will also be available as a pay-per-view at $15.
very Sunday, Jamey’s presents “SUNDAY BLUES BRUNCH & JAM” featuring the Philly Blues Kings. On the second Sunday of each month, the featured act is the Girke-Davis Project which features club owner Jamey Reilly, Roger Girke, Glenn Bickel, Fred Berman and Colgan-Davis.
Phantom Power (121 West Frederick Street, Millersville, www.phantompower.net)
Nail Bite on July 6, Modern Day Pharaohs on July 12, Brown Sugar on July 13, Yacht Lobsters on July 18, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack on July 20, and Fourth Annual Phantom Deadfest on July 27.
The Colonial Theater (227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, thecolonialtheatre.com/events) will host Tab Benoit & Anders Osborne with Special Guest Mike Zito on July 19.
Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) is hosting Thunderbird Divine, Silver Sonic, and Impolite Society on July 12, Yesterday’s Gone on July 13, Captain Dawg on July 20, and Clapton America on July 27.
Elkton Music Hall (107 North Street, Elkton, Maryland, www.elktonmusichall.com) will present The Grateful Allman Band Experience: Watkins Glen on July 6.
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