The Ultra Kings, a dynamic three-piece rockabilly band.
The Hot Club of Reading consists of Josh Taylor on guitar, Chris Heslop on sax, Ken Gehret playing violin, accordion, and guitar, Trey LaRue on bass, and Josiah Taylor on guitar. The group focuses on early hot jazz stylings made popular by Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, and Sidney Bechet. Each member is featured as a soloist and the music is swing based.
Diverse backgrounds in life and music could have taken Towne’s Steevie Steeves and Jon Decious in two very different directions. Instead, their love of songwriting allowed for their paths to cross. “Jon was a breath of fresh air. We were two peas in a pod. We’re really fortunate to have developed the friendship we have. We definitely have each other’s backs,” says Steeves. Their stylistic collision has resulted in Towne’s unconventional sound – demonstrated in the duo’s upcoming releases. “His punk country mixed with my pop soulness is a very interesting dynamic, and it is what it is. It’s definitely different.”
Bill Haley Jr. & the Comets, son and keeper of the flame for rockabilly and rock & roll legend Bill Haley Sr., one of the guys that started it all back in the ’50s.
Published on Aug 10, 2016
John Beacher performs live in The Sound Room at WEEU, 830 AM in Reading, PA. Set includes “Love” at 0:00, “Lost and Found” at 7:18, and “Gifts that are Given” at 12:29.
Extended Audio Session Below:
A prolific songwriter, natural performer, and “hope enthusiast,” John Beacher has built his decade-long career not only with talent, but also with a genuine spirit and a kind heart. John’s music is a homecoming for the soul, timeless and sincere, and taps into a source that runs far deeper than the songwriter himself. Rooted in rhythm and blues, yet unbound by genre, each song is a musical tapestry woven with soulful threads. Whether he’s singing songs of social justice, belting out blues or funk, or serenading you with a love ballad, there is no doubt that John is completely one with the musical process. A seasoned musician, Beacher’s ability to improvise both on guitar and with his voice make each performance an entirely unique reflection of the audience and his surroundings.
Since receiving his first guitar at age eleven, writing, singing, and playing became John’s life long passion, and by age seventeen he was performing his own compositions professionally. Throughout his twenties, John’s love for people and music led him to travel both the US and abroad, collecting stories, writing songs, and building friendships until finally settling in Boulder CO. There he spent several years honing his craft, playing in various music projects, and performing in music venues all over the Boulder/ Denver area.
In 2011 Beacher made the decision to move back to his home town of New Hope, PA, and give his music career 100% of his attention. Since then, John has become a full-time singer songwriter, a community keystone in Bucks County, and a regular name on 88.5 WXPN Philadelphia. His weekly Community Stage at Karla’s in New Hope PA has become a staple to the local music community, drawing talent from all over Bucks County and beyond for over 5 years. In that time Beacher has also released a live self-titled solo acoustic album, collaborated on multiple music video projects with his friend Louis Sparre of Tweed Video, and developed a sustainable career as what he calls a “blue collar musician”.
John has organized concerts, played countless venues, weddings, private events, and fundraisers, and has shared the stage with accomplished national acts such as Leon Russell, Rusted Root, Cheryl Wheeler, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Dean Ween Group, and Elephant Revival to name a few. In 2015 John had the honor of performing at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Live at the World Cafe in Philadelphia, and The Musikfest Cafe at Steelstacks in Bethlehem PA. In addition being a live performer, John has developed a side career composing music for Tweed Video, working on projects for clients such as The American Lung Association, NBC, Comcast, and Mural Arts Philadelphia.
Recently John has released “Rise Up”, a self produced album, engineered by John Fachett and recorded at Sweet Creek Studios in Ottsville, PA. It includes ten new songs unlike anything Beacher has previously released, featuring thirteen other accomplished musicians. Currently John Beacher is hailing from Philadelphia PA and has been developing a backup band called The Common Ground consisting of members Mike Ruhl (bass), Neil Carson (keys) and Grant Morrison (drums). With a new album, new band, and new opportunities on the horizon, Beacher has his sights set on Philadelphia and beyond, looking toward traveling and playing his way across the country, building family, and continually promoting a message of unity and hope.
From their website:
Featherburn plays accordion-powered romp-rock full of groove, grit and rhapsody. Dynamic, quirky and theatrical, the band weaves folk, punk, eastern Europe and rock into volcanic song forms with shouts of moxy, soaring vocals and stereophonic harmony. Its message is one of cosmic reverence and fun – a deep, playful wake-up call to marvel and wonder.
Peter White and Gerald Veasley perform live in The Sound Room at WEEU, 830 AM in Reading, PA. Set includes “Promenade” at 0:00, “Groovin’ ” at 5:23, and “Do I Do” – “Bueno Funk” at 12:13.
About Peter White
From his website:
Over the years, Peter White has maintained a reputation as one of the most versatile and prolific acoustic guitarists on the contemporary jazz landscape. Armed with an unparalleled combination of lyricism and energy, he combines elements of jazz, pop and classical guitar to create a sound that is singular and at the same time accessible to a broad audience.
About Gerald Veasley
From his Facebook page:
Gerald Veasley’s musical odyssey has taken him to the top of the contemporary music world as a bassist, bandleader, composer, producer, educator, and curator. His performance as a six-string bassist has been top shelf, as his extensive body of work attests. Veasley has recorded or performed with many of the world’s top artists in Jazz, R&B and Gospel: Kirk Whalum, Will Downing, Chuck Loeb, Maysa, Nnenna Freelon, Special EFX, Pieces of a Dream, McCoy Tyner, The Jaco Pastorius Big Band ,Gerald Levert, Teddy Pendergrass, Philip Bailey, the Dixie Hummingbirds, John Blake, Odean Pope and Pat Martino.
The Benjamin Vo Blues Band performs live in The Sound Room at WEEU, 830 AM in Reading, PA. Set includes ‘Things are Getting Shaky’ at 0:00, ‘Don’t go away’ at 3:15, and ‘Brown Cow’ at 10:38 .
From his Facebook page:
Born on October 20th, I guess that makes me a Libra-Scorpio cusp, huh? Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but at least I’m alive and well. Well, I’ve got the blues. And with the help of a few of my good friends, I was able to get some of it on tape. A lot of it is slow burning electric blues but I threw in a couple acoustic pieces in there as well. Hope you enjoy, thanks for listening – Benjamin
“…intense yet tasteful playing, heartfelt singing with attractive vibrato and warm vocal tone, and a directness to the songs.” – Bruce Iglauer (Alligator Records)
“The Bandcamp website is ideal for picking up an unprecedented blues rock talent from time to time. In this case, it is the thirty-year-old guitarist and singer Benjamin Vo.” – Peter Marinus (Blues Magazine)
“…powerful voice, compelling songs, and sheer brilliance on guitar.” – Sam Campbell (Gig Spots)
“The blues were solid from the young performer, and the talk around me showed every person there was paying attention.” – Tory Gates (Broadway World Music)
“Favoring the deeper and darker blues, Benjamin’s band offers heavy swinging beats, smoky piano accompaniment, powerful vocals, and haunting lead guitar lines. From slow burning electric blues, to high energy slide guitar ditties, to mighty delta numbers, you are guaranteed a dynamic show.” – Rich Ruoff (Lancaster Roots and Blues)
“I’m not sure whether or not Lititz is a blues rock hub. I do know that Benjamin Vo certainly makes it seem that way single-handedly with his impressive “Country Sugar E.P.” While mixing in traditional blues tropes (Lyrics referring to cows and the Devil, 12 bar blues arrangements, etc), Vo goes a long way with just himself and a drummer.” – Kevin Stairiker (Fly Magazine)
Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Female Rockabilly Artist, and named the “Best Up-And-Coming Band” by Hudson Valley Magazine, Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones are New York’s premier roots rock n’ roll, rockabilly, rhythm & blues outfit. The Ark-Tones recently released their 2nd full length album, “Love You to Life”, on August 11th, and they will be hitting the road, spreading the gospel of American music wherever they go for the majority of 2018. Describing their sound, Hope explained to Rockabilly Online “I would say we are a new take on an old sound. It’s been described as ‘pan-americana’ which means we use many areas of early rock and roots music as a creative launchpad. Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess, because while we appreciate old music, we don’t want to write songs that have already been written.”
They’ve built a great network of venues in the US by touring heavily, and like many American bands, they have gained supportive fans and excellent press overseas as well. They will be touring Europe for the first time in the coming year, spending the month of April 2018 in Belgium and Holland. Hope was featured on the cover of UK Rock n’ Roll magazine in March 2015, and New York’s Ulster Magazine in March 2016. The band has shared the stage with many larger acts including Tiger Army, Gary US Bonds, Dale Watson, Big Sandy, Wayne Hancock, and America, and has performed at at a variety of festivals including Viva Las Vegas, Ink n Iron, and The Nashville Boogie.
Born from a hybrid of Lara’s former rockabilly band The Champtones, and upright bassist Matt’s international psychobilly act, The Arkhams, The Ark-Tones hit the ground running in 2012 and haven’t slowed down since. Lara and Matt also perform as a duo (The Gold Hope Duo), and can even be found as the country/western entertainers at the one of longest running family resorts in New York, the Rocking Horse Ranch, performing under the name Lara and the Hope’Alongs. In 2017, Lara Hope won the Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Female Rockabilly Artist, accepting the award at The Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas, surrounded by musical heroes. The band is also known for their visually arresting videos – “Whiskey Pick” (from their debut album) and “I’m the One” (re-recorded for the new album) were official selections in the 2014 and 2016 Woodstock Film Festival.