Lenny Kaye and Megan Reilly will team up for Jersey City show

by CINDY STAGOFF
lenny kaye jersey city

CINDY STAGOFF

LENNY KAYE

Lenny Kaye — the Patti Smith Group co-founder, solo artist, record producer and writer — and Montclair’s Megan Reilly, a songwriter of gorgeous and poignant tunes, are double billed at Fox & Crow in Jersey City, Jan. 12.

“I will be playing songs from my past and future, reading from my tome (his 2021 book “Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll”) and taking requests, though I only know the first verse of any song,” Kaye joked.

Reilly will be backed by James Mastro (of The Bongos and Ian Hunter’s Rant Band) on guitar. (Mastro’s debut solo album Dawn of a New Error, which will be released on Feb. 21, features Reilly on three songs.) Though Kaye will be playing solo, he hinted that Reilly and Mastro will join him on a few songs.

Kaye drew on his encyclopedia knowledge of rock history and his personal experiences in the outstanding “Lightning Striking.” You can watch my June 24 conversation with him about the book (and other topics) at The Montclair Public Library — co-presented by NJArts.net as part of the library’s Open Book/Open Mind series — below.

Kaye has been working on a solo album with Tim Carbone of the roots/jam band Railroad Earth and Lou Rogai of Lewis & Clarke, and recently debuted a new group, P-714, which he describes as a “goth jam band.”

MEGAN REILLY

This past fall I had a transcendent night listening to Reilly’s warm, shimmering voice under the starry skies of La Serra Gardens in Totowa. Flowers and exotic plants lined the stage, creating a sense of magic and mystery.

Her performance, backed by Mastro and bassist Tony Maimone, included songs from her self-titled 2023 EP that go beyond simple stories of love and loss and reveal life’s challenging complications. Released on Montclair’s Magic Door Record Label, the EP features a stellar band including Mastro, drummer Steve Goulding (Graham Parker & the Rumour, The Mekons) and Maimone (Pere Ubu, Bob Mould).

“I’ll definitely be playing those new numbers, as well as some older ones,” Reilly said.

Kaye & Reilly will perform at Fox & Crow in Jersey City, Jan. 12 at 9 p.m. Visit foxandcrowjc.com.

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