Makin Waves Scene Report with Ropetree, Moto Records, Songwriters on the Beach and more

ESTELLE MASSRY OF COUCOU PHOTOGRAPHY

Ropetree, pictured atop Asbury Lanes, media premiere their latest video for “So Bad,” a song from the forthcoming LP, “The Saints of Asbury Park on Their Stone Pony.”

In addition to the premiere of Toms River-based hard rock band Ropetree’s new video for “So Bad,” this week’s Scene Report also includes news about The West End Weekly summer concert series in Long Branch and the second annual Pulse Memorial Benefit for Asbury Park’s Project R.E.A.L. HIV outreach, LBGT and LBGT youth center.

The Toms River-based hard rock band Ropetree will release a second single, “So Bad,” from their forthcoming sophomore LP The Saints of Asbury Park on Their Stone Pony, their sixth release since 2000. “So Bad” is a funky feel-good rocker that will get the crowd moving at the band’s release party on June 30 at The Saint in Asbury Park.

“It’s inspired by the beginning of an affair,” founding bassist Vin Ropetree said. “All the fire of a situation you know is wrong, but the urge is uncontrollable. This song is definitely more of upbeat, rhythmic dance rock versus what we’ve done in the past.”

The single is available now on YouTube (see stream below) and June 8 on Spotify and Bandcamp (ropetree.bandcamp.com/album/the-saints-of-asbury-on-their-stone-pony). “So Bad” follows the April release of the 11-song album’s first single, “Empty.” Available on CD at the release party and digitally on July 6, ”Saints” follows the 2013 release of the band’s Bacon EP. Their previous full-length was 2005’s Pathetic Beauty.

The release party also will feature fellow hard ‘n’ heavy Jersey Shore acts Lower the Veil, December Morning and Vextion, whose lead singer-guitarist, Kate Vextion, sings on “So Bad,” as well as the stirring track “Plastic Jesus.”

Ropetree said: “This album has been a long time coming. Can’t wait to share these new tunes — and a twist on an old tune — and reconnect with our fans. Plus, we get to share the stage with some incredible bands and longtime friends. We go back 10 to 15 years with some of these guys.

“The title is a play on words,” he continued. “There is the obvious homage to The Saint and Stone Pony. Taking it deeper, we have been in the scene for a long time and have been relatively the good guys, the saints, but never really get anywhere since a stone pony doesn’t go anywhere. Yet, we still get up on that concrete beast and try to ride.”

Well, on Aug. 18 at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, Ropetree will have gotten somewhere when they once again will open for Fuel on their tour for the 20th anniversary of the Sunburn album. Ropetree’s buds in New Theory will share the bill. Look for a Record of the Week here by month’s end.


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Moto recording artists James Sleeman, 18, Georgia Owen, 16, and Leah Nawy, 17, each will release EPs on June 9 at the Stone Pony. All three were recorded at Lakehouse Recording Studios, also in Asbury. Sleeman is a guitarist and songwriter from Neptune who’s been playing and writing music for about eight years. He has worked with Glen Burtnik as well as Corey Glover and Doug Wimbish of Living Colour. His debut EP is entitled The Eagle.

A Colts Neck talent, Nawy has been playing piano since she was 6. Her EP is the four-song Time After Time.

Owen is a singer-songwriter from Allentown. Her self-titled EP was released in 2017. The sophomore effort, Black Magic, features a track written with Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem. Her version of U2’s “One” was recorded and used for the movie trailer for “Just Before the Dawn,” the award-winning documentary about the legendary Upstage club, as well as the 1970 race riots in Asbury. She sang backup for Asbury great Bobby Bandiera at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

“It’s been amazing to see these artists grow so much in such a short period of time,” Lakehouse owner Jon Leidersdorff said. “Watching how well they collaborate with their peers and music industry professionals makes me extremely proud. They’re so good!”

The Moto Records releases will be available on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and Soundcloud.
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90.5 the Night has announced the lineup for its annual Songwriters on the Beach concert series on the 6th Avenue Beach in Belmar. Jason Morton & the Chesapeake Sons and Don Dilego will kick things off on July 12. The schedule also will include Dramarama and The Brixton Riot (see interview here), July 19; Glorietta and Lowlight, July 26; Danielia Cotton and Sherman Ewing, Aug. 2; Ike Reilly and Kurt Deemer, Aug. 9; The Accidentals and Tara Dente, Aug. 16; Animal Years and Leriche, Aug. 23, and the Mike Montrey Band, who’ll perform Aug. 30 with a headliner to be announced in July,
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Also happening on the beach this summer is The West End Weekly concert series brought to Long Branch’ West End Park by that seminal rock breeding ground, The Brighton Bar. The hot young act Just 6 Hours will get the summer-long party started on June 9. Garage Sale will play June 16, followed by A Little Bit Scary, June 23; Ashley Delima, June 30; LEEDS, July 7; The Whirling Dervishes, July 14; The Ribeye Brothers, July 21; The Sherri Pie Band, July 28; Billy Hector, Aug. 4, and Statues of Liberty, Aug. 11. The series of 5 to 6 p.m. shows is rain or shine, and in case of inclement weather, moves to the Brighton Bar.
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The second annual Pulse Memorial Benefit Show will raise funds for Project R.E.A.L., Asbury’s HIV outreach, LGBT and LBGT youth center. The June 10 show at Georgie’s Bar in Asbury Park will feature the talents of Des & the Swagmatics, Shady Street Show Band, Lyons, Shaune Pony Heath, and drag queens Pissi Myles, Redd Rhumm, Lady Celestina and Kinsey Spectrum. Hosted by Mr. NJ Leather 2018 Rai Guerra, the event also will include a DJ, cornhole tournament, and free HIV testing.

Bob Makin is the reporter for MyCentralJersey.com/entertainment and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at makinwaves64@yahoo.com. And like Makin Waves at .facebook.com/makinwavescolumn.

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