Johnny Brenda's Presents
Pete Donnelly & the Wise Easy, Ross Bellenoit (Record Release)
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:15 PM
This event is 21 and over
Most people know Marc Silver as a bluegrass musician because of his band The Stonethrowers, but perhaps it is time to open your eyes to some other sides of Marc’s influences. Marc’s new record, A Miners’ Town is dark, lurid, and electric. Its solicitous tales are gritty, prowling, and scathing adventures into betrayal, deception, lies, and false convictions. It is conceived of loud, angry, and layered guitars, peppered with acoustic ballads, haunting instrumental interludes, and even a bluegrass hymn.
With A Miners’ Town, Marc tells of semi-fictional tales inspired by the sights, sounds, and testimonials of people who have been affected by the shale mining (extraction) industries. His stories are also personal, semi-biographical, and relate to the struggles of equal rights, coming out, and religious persecution of LGBTQ by religious leaders. The messages are subtle at times, direct at others, but all come from hours of introspection, research, and personal experiences. The sounds and message may be dark, but listen for the glimmers of hope too.
Pete Donnelly & the Wise Easy
Pete Donnelly is a Southern New Jersey/Philadelphia based musician. His latest record "Face the Bird" 2013, is a return to the exploratory side of "home" recording. The result is a wide ranging exposition of songs, unabashedly displaying some far reaching influences.
Densely hypnotic, Mod RnB, Swinging Pop; The music is moody with it's exuberance and desolation, childish romps and descriptive lyrics.
"Face the Bird" was recorded in an unused store front in Ocean City, NJ. Off season in Oct/2012. This city, a near desolate locale, offered the perfect place to retreat to and write/record. That was until Hurricane Sandy flooded the island and much of the North East. A harsh ending to a prolific month.
The current band is Fred Berman(Amos Lee), James Balga(The Excerpts, Botswanas) - Drums, Tony Reyes(TLC, Cee-Lo Green)-Bass, PD-Guitar/Vocals.
Going by the name The Wise Easy.
Pete Donnelly, who was a member of the legendary band NRBQ, is also a founding member of The Figgs, which has a world-wide fan base, a hearty discography, and has toured and recorded several times with Graham Parker.
As the ever active bass player and song writer in The Figgs, founded in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in 1987, Donnelly has spent the better part of the past 25 years touring with the band, as well as a number of other artists such as Soul Asylum, Mike Viola & The Candy Butchers and Tommy Stinson,
Living in the Philadelphia area for the past decade, when not on the road, Pete Donnelly has been performing, engineering and/or producing for a variety of artists, including G. Love, Death Vessel, Carsie Blanton, John Legend, The Capitol Years and Amos Lee.
Pete's Music is built upon sturdy pop melodies, and played with a genuine sense of care, Donnelly’s songs are testaments to his artistry.
Ross Bellenoit (Record Release)
On May 5th, 2015, Ross Bellenoit releases his 2nd full length record, entitled “The Wreckage”. Having grown into a permanent fixture on the Philadelphia music scene as a guitarist and record producer, Bellenoit expands his own songwriting landscape into a sound that is heavy, a little on edge, and, most stunningly, cinematic.
All of the songs on “The Wreckage” grapple with the theme of what Bellenoit describes as “coming to terms”. The opening title track begins with the sound of a mid-air explosion, and out of the chaos, Bellenoit appears with his acoustic guitar and begins: “I found myself flying above the debris…” All twelve songs revolve (mostly) around the dissolution of one particular relationship. Bellenoit explains in the liner notes: “…within the passion of longing, we make mistakes, and live in our nostalgia as idealism.”
While the lyrical themes are far from light, the music is dressed up in a sound that is immediate, lush and muscular. Bellenoit showcases his craft of guitar layering in the studio on tracks like “All I Can Give” and “I Lost It”, and even switches to full on “face melt” mode on the slow-burner “Pray”. The obvious single “Sayonara”, a tongue-in-cheek telling of a date gone bad, is the one light hearted moment on the record, with a synth break straight out of the The Cars songbook.
Having spent a number of years performing his songs in and around Philadelphia with a regular group of musicians, he utilized these players to their fullest on “The Wreckage”. Joe Baldacci (DRGN KING, Viv & The Revival) on drums, Todd Erk (Hoots & Hellmouth, Birdie Busch) on bass and Sonja Sofya on vocals all bring a sharpened sound to the performances cut at South Philadelphia’s Turtle Studios.
“The Wreckage” is also a milestone in that it is the 1st in a series of 3 full length records Bellenoit is reportedly releasing in 2015. The other two (one a jazz record, the other a folk record), will see the light of day later this year. One can only expect the same level of sophistication, heart and power in all three of these records. Here’s hoping that this is just the beginning of a long, productive streak from one of Philadelphia’s most inspired and beloved artists.