Tag Archives: The Inn At Cape May

@ Cape May, NJ 3/22-23/13

The 6th Annual Singer-Songwriter Cape May (music conference) provided a number of personal highlights:
I saw both Tracy Grammer on Friday and Ellis Paul on Saturday as they delivered keynote speeches along with taking questions, plus perform 2 songs. Ellis had read from a book, presumably a ledger, reciting important facts about his career in numbers. Tracy recognized my name instantly and we chatted a bit about her 2012 album “Little Blue Egg”, and also about my discovering Dave Carter’s music through Chris Smither. Ellis was kind to give me his 2010 CD.
On Saturday and for part of Friday I took in Kat Falcey & Tunes2ya.com‘s 2 music showcases at Aleathea’s Restaurant, the majority of the performers being her clients. Michael Notarangelo & Sam Haines opened the Friday showcase.
@ The Boiler Room inside Congress Hall:
This was easily my favorite among the venues I visited during the conference and collection of showcases. This venue is somewhat darkly lit, with light beams of different colors creatively texturizing the stage.  On Friday night I saw three bands, one of which I had known of, and two others who were new and yet very accessible and friendly to boot. Carmen Yates leads a NYC band called Racing Rain on acoustic, Christina Kim on keyboard, Ali Cook on stand-up bass, and Thor Jonsson playing loops for the most part instead of drums.  The band’s style is somewhat low-key and imaginative, open to loose interpretation, leaving the words at the forefront. Carmen had been on crutches for a while, so he was on acoustic instead of electric guitar. Carmen and I found each other a few times over the weekend. He’s written over a thousand songs, has had his music used in the Oliver Stone-directed “Savages” and has led Racing Rain for about a year. Upon receiving a CD of theirs, I recognized a prior drummer for them named Timur Yusef, who is now in Changing Modes.
Madison Cano, from NYC, led a five-piece band of acoustic, two electric
guitars, Yamaha keyboard and drummer. Madison with roots in Southern California, performs with a style that is all driven by her magnetism and personal stage presence, including what sounds like a three-octave voice. Dressing modestly in black, her energy kept your eyes riveted on her, while their keyboardist flailed away.”Radio Waves” and “Float”, with a carefully-styled pop sound, were the songs I recalled most.
Jeff Campbell, checking in from San Francisco, was up next. You’ve read my review of his live performance in this post. Jeff had the full band in tow, including fellow San Franciscan songwriter Megan Slankard on guitar and backing vox for a few songs. Jeff’s songs are ripe to break further into radio, TV, other media, and the music truly moved the audience. There were a number of ladies who danced during the set in the area directly in front of the stage. Megan occasionally broke from performing to watch. DSCF3706DSCF3707DSCF3708
@ Congress Hall:
During the 2 days while occasionally dropping in to network, I reconnected with these songwriters: Jill Cagney, Allison Tartalia, Avi Wisnia (who seemed to be everywhere during the Conferencce), Jared Costa, Marci Geller, and Kev and Peg of Lotus Hill, who are now on a duo project. I also got to meet Annika Vitolo for the first time. Her 2010 composition  “Streets Of Brooklyn” which got a fair amount of attention in our shared home borough back in 2010. Turns out we attended the same high school just years apart!
I briefly watched performances on The Brown Room’s piano of both Avi and the mysterious Noelle Picara , the latter easily the best-dressed of those I saw this weekend. I’ve always appreciated a good mystery.
Upon meeting Kaydi Johnson at The Brown Room on Saturday, my memory flashed back some 10 years to my days in NYC when I had first become a fan. She gave me 2 of her CDs. Later I saw her participate in an impromptu songwriter jam at The Pilot House, performing “American Grocery Store”. The Pilot House is a fine family-oriented bar/restaurant, with a tiny stage, just right for acoustic acts. I chatted briefly with a few locals there while I was there.
Kevin McWha Steele was in a nearby room to me at The Inn At Cape May. Kevin’s a big fan of Radio Crystal Blue,and it was great to hang with him during the weekend. Talking with him, we seem to have the same sort of emotional and mental makeup. On Friday he privately performed a couple of songs on cigar-box guitar, then we walked over to Congress Hall to take in more of the scene. He says the buildings reminds him of The Colonnade in Bath, UK. On Saturday, he had performed at Marq’s Pub at Marquis de Lafayette. Later we reconnected over beers at The Pilot House. He introduced me to songwriter-producer Spencer Chakedis, whose history including producing acts for his Balloon Heaven studio (I recall The Moldy Peaches being one). Spencer composed the score for the indie film King Corn. He has of those names I’ve seen in the liner notes of several CDs but never met in person. The three of us agreed to do a interview and performance in my room late Sunday morning. Audio is still being worked on as of this typing.
Kevin and I ended up following Kaydi as she drove us to an after-party. This was the great untold story of the entire weekend. Here we were, about a dozen of us, in 3 cars with a dozen folks, all figuring via GPS how to get to a rather vague address about a mile from where most of the venues where. We all did eventually find the spot, a building marked Exit Zero, a local book publishing house and source of outstanding local art. Along with a lengthy jam, there were some alcohol and brownies served (no, NOT that kind). Somehow we got back to our respective dwellings.
I took in more of the Cape May scene at dark, passing through Washington Mall, admiring the church Our Lady Star Of The Sea, and a few more music venues. I wondered how busy these places might have been if it were beach season.
PS: Doing my rounds traveling between venues I spotted a meteor that was heading east. It appeared like a blue/green ball of light, and it flamed out after about 20 seconds. It was the first time I had witnessed such an event. Watching CNN in my room the next morning, the reports from Virginia to Maine all saw the same light I did. Talking with a friend after I returned, she suggests that a passing comet lit up the sky so that such meteors or fireballs are more visible to us. OK then.
View from my room:

Radio Crystal Blue 3/10/13 news

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the DAILY (auto-generated online newspaper with selected keywords and
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NEXT SHOW will be published on or about March 13 and will be available
for about 1 year. I usually publish on Wednesdays or as soon as
possible thereafter. You will hear music in several segments of top
indie/DIY/underground songwriters and bands.

RCB Novus Ordo is a separate podcast with 10 songs, one each
from a brand new recording. I spin the music and give you some backstory of
Reminding you that I’m MC’ing a showcase for Tunes2ya (www.tunes2ya.com ) at the Cape May Singer-Songwriter Fesival on 3/23. The event is at Aleathea’s Restaurant inside The Inn at Cape May. I am seeking a roommate for either Thursday 3/22 or Friday night. www.sscapemay.com

I was at JR’s Bar to see several local bands plus Dizzy Bats from NY. Review of this event is at https://radiocrystalblue.net/2013/03/03/jrs-bar-32313/
VIDEO (decent considering how dark it was): http://youtu.be/kYQYEr9Zdfk
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I was also at The Legendary Dobbs last night to see Changing Modes along other bands. I am still uploading all media and haven’t yet written a review. Look for those later on Saturday (today).
This is the last live event I cover for a while until April. I do want to get to some others, but I must be careful of my health. I’ve had some issue with my stomach and wonder if there’s more going on than I know.

OK so I’m not a 3- or 4-letter radio station. I’ve done a lot of things on behalf of this show that those stations do. Awards, online votes, interviews. I just cannot afford it right now. I also wonder if it holds any meaning to do so. I refuse to let people pass my show off as just one more notch on their radio bedpost. I strive to make this freeform program thoroughly unique and accessible. You don’t have to ‘get’ me. But I would appreciate it if you did. And if you do, thank you 🙂

Have you read my other blog? Idealistic Stats provides sports from an alternative & statistical point of view. Working on the most recent edition of a long baseball essay, plus some insight into auto racing, golf, boxing, tennis & even horse racing www.idealisticstats.wordpress.com

RCB rewind:
RCB Novus Ordo: I had seen The Dan Sheehan Conspiracy, sans drummer the prior week, and debuted their second and new album on this show. Craic The Lens puts a subtle Celtic spin on their alternative rock sound. Astro returns with a new album as well. Hank Stone tells me that the untitled bonus track from his latest is titled “Nobody Cried (Invisible Tears)”.
RCB proper: Segment 1: Bluegrass-oriented supergroup Barnstar! make a live stage appearance this week, first one since last June, and I follow suit in kicking off the latest show. Stayed in a countrified theme to start. Sean Kershaw & The New Jack Ramblers, along with Jessie Kilguss share billing tonight at Red Hook Bait and Tackle in Brooklyn. Steven Graves gets another airing from his new album. Segment 2: As SXSW’s influence creeps in, I built a segment around Jeff Campbell, one of a number of artists performing near the MusicGorilla.com banner during next week’s big festival. I introduced new music from New Sweden (yes, from Delaware) along with more new sounds from The Pinz and Trapdoor Social. Segment 3: All rock for this segment. The Shipwrecks make their debut directly into my rotation. They are an interesting surf/jam band based in Long Island, NY. Segment 4 was more standard contemporary music. Marci Geller & Allison’s Invention will be part of one of the many showcases at that Cape May Singer-Songwriter Festival I keep telling you about, on 3/22. Carolann Solebello & Catherine Miles (The YaYas), along with Karyn Oliver share billing at The Towne Crier on 3/10. Carolann along with Bev Grant host Sharon Goldman at Two Moon Art House & Cafe on 3/15. Final segment got somewhat inspiritational in lyrics. Luke Potter’s uptempo sounds also debut within the rotation. He recorded a few songs with producer/songwriter Bleu, whom I last saw on stage maybe 7 years ago. Honor Finnegan and Anna Dagmar perform as part of the New Haven Folk Consortium House Concert series tonight (3/10)


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Dan Herman emceeing showcase at 2013 Cape May Songwriters Festival

I have agreed to MC one whole showcase at the 2013 Cape May Singer Songwriter Festival. The March 23 showcase, part of a 2-night stand produced by Kat@tunes2ya, will be held at Aleathea’s Restaurant inside The Inn At Cape May, at the south end of the Jersey Shore.

The festival, now in it’s sixth year, will bring together 150 songwriters and some bands, with a decided accent on NJ-based artists. Inside Congress Hall, there are workshops and mentoring sessions scheduled, along with keynote speeches from renowned songwriters Tracy Grammer and Ellis Paul.  All of the performances will take place in 17 different establishments across this landmarked Jersey town.

It’s been several years since I’ve done any onstage MC work, but I’m already looking forward to the experience. You can expect me to spin the music of Kat@tunes2ya artists from both 3/22 and 3/23 on Radio Crystal Blue in the week of and prior to the festival.

Review of both festival days will be posted here and elsewhere!