On Stage: Gabbard poised to rise to stardom

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Also: Live frontman goes it alone, and plays acoustic

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

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Wilmington’s Maggie Gabbard seems destined for the big time and takes her first major step with a CD release party on August 14 at the World Café Live at the Queen in Wilmington.

Maggie Gabbard is a promising new singer who appears poised to rise to national prominence over the next few years.

The versatile artist, whose music spans a number of current genres popular with young listeners, takes her first major step with a CD release party on August 14 at the World Café Live at the Queen (500 North Market Street, Wilmington, 302- 994-1400, www.queen.worldcafelive.com).

“My dad was always playing music around the house when I was young — Janis Joplin, Jumi Hendrix, the Doors,” said Gabbard, during a recent phone interview from her home in Wilmington, Delaware.

“I always loved music and by eighth grade I was taking it seriously. I was writing poetry and lyrics and taking guitar lessons.

Gabbard’s new CD shows a talented artist whose music is a blend of hip-hop, EDM and soul. It is a refreshing break from so much of the new music that is just “cookie cutter” material.

“I have my own taste in music,” said Gabbard. “I can still jam out to classic rock but my music is more R&B and hip-hop now — my own sound with different sounds added. I was never really into pop. But, as I’ve grown as a songwriter, I’ve fallen into it more.

“I recorded my first song with Ray Gagliardino at his studio in Wilmington. He suggested that I write with Ritchie Rubini. Now, Ritchie performs with me and is my producer. The first EP was done at Ritchie’s studio.”

The new disc by Gabbard is titled “Lumosity.”

“It has a lot of brand new songs,” said Gabbard. “This music is very different from the EP. The new music shows more of who I am. It’s sort of EDM and soul but it has more R&B and hip-hop.

“For the release show at the Queen, Ritchie will play with me on keyboards. I’ll also use tracks and another keyboard player. Also, Rod and Vince from RKVC will play guitar and drums on a few songs.”

Gabbard’s show at the Queen is scheduled to get underway at 8 p.m. with tickets priced at $8 and $10.

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Former Live front man Ed Kowalczyk brings his solo act to the World Café Live at the Queen, Aug. 16.

Performing live is something relatively new for Gabbard. Performing with Live is something Ed Kowalczyk had done for years.

Kowalczk, the former frontman for Live, has been a solo act for the last few years. On August 16, he also will introduce songs from a debut album with a show at the World Café Live at the Queen. Tickets for his “I Alone Acoustic” show are $25.

“I started my solo career around 2009,” said Kowalczyk during a recent phone interview from his home in Connecticut. “Now, I have two full-lengths and an EP in my discography.

“This year, I have a dual promotion with my touring. With my band, I have the ‘Throwing Copper 20th Anniversary Tour.’ In my other shows, which are either solo acoustic or duo acoustic, I focus a lot on songs from the new album.

“For the show in Delaware, it will be a duo with my guitarist Zak Loy. I met him through C.J. Erikson, who was the producer of m first solo album. For the EP and the new album, my producer was Jamie Candelora.

“I put out the EP and thought that I later would add five songs to make it an album. But, it was such a prolific period that I wrote all new songs for the album. I had gotten into a routine that was anti-creative so it was good that I was able to create a lot of new music in a short period of time.”

Kowalczyk’s latest album is “The Flood and The Mercy,” which was released by Sony/V2 in October 2013.

“My change to solo artist came with a lot of challenges — legal fallout and bad blood that I didn’t generate,” said Kowalczyk. “All that combined to be a positive in the end. I think the new album has great depth — a spiritual feel with a lot of dark energy.

“It’s sort of an anger management record. I tried to go to a really deep place within myself. It was absolutely a cathartic experience. Being able to visit these emotions from an objective point of view is a lot of fun.

“My solo shows are 50 per cent from my solo record sand 50 per cent from Live. I do about a two-hour set which is challenging — but challenging in a niece way. Laying acoustic helps me see the older songs in a new light. The vocals come up from and people reconnect with the lyrics.”

In other action this week at the Queen, the Downstairs Stage at the Queen will present Jerry Douglas on August 14, Doug Stone on August 15 and Rockabilly Rumble on August 17. The Upstairs Stage at the Queen will host The Hype! on August 15, The Revelations on August 16 and The Sermon on August 20.

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Rush tribute band kRUSH is at The Flash in Kennett Aug. 15.

The Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, www.kennettflash.org) will have New Shields (from West Chester) and Can You Canoe (from Arden, Delaware) on August 15, kRUSH (a Rush tribute band) and Medley (two female musicians who are members of the venue’s Flash Force Team) on August 16 and an Open Mic with Sam Kwietniak on August 17.

On August 14, the Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) will present Steal Your Face followed by Sturgill Simpson and Cri Jacobs on August 15.

Trigger Hippy featuring Joan Osborne, Jackie Greene and Steve Gorman will play the music hall on August 16. On August 20, the venue will host legendary funk masters George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic with Johnny Showcase as the opening act.

“Book of Mormon” opened this week and is running through September 14 at the Forrest Theatre (1114 Walnut Street, Philadelphia 866-276-2947,www.kimmelcenter.org/broadway) as part of the Kimmel Center’s “Broadway Philadelphia” series. Ticket prices ranges from $67-$277.

“Always…Patsy Cline,” which is based on the story of Patsy Cline, is running now through August 24 (Fridays and Saturdays, food service starts at 6 p.m.; Sundays, food service starts at 1 p.m.) at the Candlelight Theater (2208 Millers Road, Arden, Delaware, 302- 475-2313, www.nctstage.org).

Tickets, which include a tasty buffet dinner, are $59 for adults and $33 for children (ages 4-12).

Chaplin’s (66 North Main Street, Spring City, 610-792-4110, http://chaplinslive.com) will present Egocentric Plastic Men and Gape on August 15 and a triple bill with Ellie Perez, Dave Stango and Tre Todd on August 16.

The Sellersville Theatre (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) will present the Claire Lynch Band on August 14,

Cream Of Clapton Performed By Craig Thatcher & Friends on August 15, Barleyjuice on August 16, Moreland & Arbuckle & Cedric Burnside Project on August 17 and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars on August 20.

On August 19, Yanni will perform at the American Music Theatre (2425 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, 717-397-7700, http://www.amtshows.com) as part of his worldwide tour featuring more than 60 concerts through the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico and Panama.

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Tags: Ed Kowalczyk, Joan Osborne, Live, Maggie Gabbard, The Flash

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