On Stage: Rubblebucket gets things going

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times


Rubblebucket is a band that has no trouble getting things going.

The Brooklyn-based indie-pop band got 2017 going with the release of an impressive EP — a brand-new collection of four songs titled “If U C My Enemies.”

Rubblebucket got the EP going with a high-energy song called “Donna,” a lively track that features movement-inducing brass parts along with intense vocals by Kalmia Traver.

The EP was released on January 20 and now the sextet is out on a seven-city support tour – a tour that touches down on January 28 at Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, 215-232-2100, www.utphilly.com). The band features Alex Toth (trumpet, vocals, percussion), Jeremy Phipps (trombone), Dandy McDowell (bass), Maddie Rice (guitar), Jacob Bergson (keyboards) and Traver (lead vocals, baritone saxophone).

“We started writing the EP in summer 2015,” said Toth, during a phone interview last week from a tour stop in Rhode Island. “We’ve been working on a full-length since then – on-and-off. We recorded the EP tracks last spring and got them finished by summer.”

Rubblebucket’s fourth – and most recent – full-length album was “Survival Sounds,” which was released in 2014 on Communion Records.

“One of the main reasons it’s taken so long to make a new album is that we’re on the road a lot,” said Toth. “We toured a year-and-a-half after th release of ‘Survival Sound.’. We really do spend a lot of time on the road and it’s hard to dig into touring and writing at the same time.

“Now, we Have 10 songs that are almost finished. I do most of the writing at my home studio in my apartment in Brooklyn. I’ve been able to demo the stuff there and then go to various studios to do drums and overdubs. Kalmia does the same thing at her place in Vermont.

“I also have my own project Alex F. I’ll be taking Alex F out in February. After that, Rubblebucket will be back in the studio and not touring much. We hope to have the album out by late summer or early fall.”

Traver and Toth were bandmates and a couple for many years but that changed within the last year.

“Kal and I were together for a long time and then we broke up in March,” said Toth. “It was a lot for us to try to keep the band and the relationship going at the same time. It was consciously uncoupling. We did get matching ‘Triangular Daisies’ tattoos (title of an older Rubblebucket song). We do still want to do Rubblebucket and be creative partners. We love what we do and we care about each other.”

The two highly-creative musicians share a special bond.

“Alex and I met when we were at the University of Vermont,” said Traver, during a previous phone interview. “We played together in John Brown’s Body for two-and-a-half years. Then, we moved to Boston. After that, we moved to Brooklyn. Ever since college, we’ve been throwing ourselves into it — not looking for full-time jobs. I like to show people the importance of following your own creativity.”

Back in 2013, Traver underwent surgery to remove what doctors expected to be a benign ovarian cyst. Instead, they discovered that Traver was in the early stages of ovarian cancer. Two surgeries and nine weeks of chemotherapy treatments later, Traver and her Rubblebucket band mates were back on the road — within a week, in fact, of her final treatment.

“My cancer had an effect on Alex too,” said Traver. “The shock wave hit my people. For me, I took it as a message to smooth out my energy channels — inside and outside. I found out the need for true healing. It was terrifying and scary. That’s where it was at for us at the time. Music is always cathartic. Music in general is my number one therapy.”

Toth said, “Both of us are into meditation and healing stuff. It opened a new perspective in everything. That led to the title of the new EP, which is based on a quote from the Dalai Lama where he said that our enemies are our greatest teachers. Life presents obstacles and challenges for all of us and you can come out the other side stronger and happier.

“With Rubblebucket, we want to keep evolving – searching for freshness in the sound. It would be easier to turn around a record if it was more formulaic but that’s not us. We’ve written about 35-40 Rubblebucket songs. We write a lot and then choose the best fir the studio. Right now, we have 14 songs that we’re excited about.”

Video link for Rubblebucket – https://youtu.be/OEVpAefIrU0.

The show at Union Transfer, which has Sam Evian as the opening act, will start at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door.

Other upcoming shows at Union Transfer are Austra, Ela Minus and Moor Mother on January 27; Cloud Nothings and LVL UP on January 30; Parquet Courts and Mary Lattimore on January 31; and Greensky Bluegrass and Fruition on February 1.

Lively music that will have people up and dancing on January 28 will also be on the menu at The Block at Harrah’s Philadelphia (777 Harrahs Boulevard, Chester, 484-490-1800, https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-philly) when Elena Brokus Productions presents “Harrah’s Future Stars Showcase.”

The concert will feature live performances by the area’s hottest new stars including Nalani & Sarina, Epoch Failure, Three Fourteen, Dead Sea Squirrels, First Impression Band and Steal Revenge.

Nalani and Sarina

Nalani & Sarina are 23-year-old twin sisters from central New Jersey who have been building a huge fan base in the Mid-Atlantic region for the last four years. The duo has performed at a variety of venues around the area — including Kennett Flash, the Eagleview Concert Series in Exton, the Puck in Doylestown, the Bryn Mawr Concert Series and MilkBoy Philadelphia. Over the last few years, the twins’ Delaware performances have included shows at World Café Live at the Queen, the Ladybug Festival, the Wilmington Flower Market, Grain Craft Bar in Newark, and the Cool Springs Park Farmers Market.

The highly-talented twins have already established themselves as top-flight vocalists, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists.

“We’ve been working in the studio a lot lately,” said Sarina Bolton. “We’ve been recording a lot. We’re taking a pretty relaxed approach — doing it piece-by-piece…song-by-song. There are no deadlines and that makes it a lot less stressful. We’ve been recording at Carriage House Studio in Stamford, Connecticut and at the home studio in Wayne (PA) or our engineer Julian Herzfeld. We’ve spent a lot of time this month in Connecticut.”

Nalani said, “We have close to seven tracks done and we’re working on a few more. I guess there are 10-11 in the woodwork. We’re looking to complete them in the next few months. Most likely, there will be a single released first. After that, I don’t know.

Sarina said, “With the songwriting, we had a new approach this time. The songs on our last album were based on personal experiences. This time, it’s other people’s stories — more of a world-wide approach. It’s a combination of first person and third person. We’re writing about people our age – observing other people’s stories. It’s like a story about kids’ lives from their early to late 20s – love, first relationships, work. The songs are about what life is like for people our age. But, people of all ages can relate to these songs. We’ve had older people tell us that they can identify with these songs.”

With roots based in rhythm-and-blues, soul, rock and especially funk, the sisters create vocal harmonies that only twins can make.

“We’re identical twins,” said Nalani. “We graduated early from Hunterdon Central High a few years ago and we’ve been doing music ever since. We both started playing classical piano when were six and then studied operatic vocals when we were in sixth grade. Classical music and opera provided good basics for us. Our mom was a folkie so we listened to a lot of folk music when we were young — great songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. And, we’ve listened to a lot of classic rock.

“We always have the funk. It’s impossible for us to keep the funk out. We’ve always had funk in our blood. We play shows with just the two of us, it always sounds more singer-songwriter. When we do shows with our band, it gets more funky.”

Epoch Failure

Epoch Failure is an urban pop duo featuring singer Billy Joe Marrero (aka “Billy The Kidd”) and rapper Nick Young (aka “Nickey Knoxx”). Both have overcome major obstacles in their lives and now are paired together in a successful music act.

“We’re really excited to be playimg a show at The Block,” said Young, during a phone interview Wednesday night from his home in Bucks County. “It’s our first time to play Harrah’s. Actually, it’s our first time to play any casino. The lineup for the show is pretty great – Nalani & Sarina. Three Fourteen – we’re really excited to be playing with them.”

One of the most recent good things happening for Epoch Failure is an American Airlines in-flight Cigna ad that features the duo’s song, “Every Day Great (Dreamers)”. The spot has been airing regularly on AA flights since September. It is just one of many placements earned by Epoch Failure over the last year-and-a-half.

“We’re really happy that they’ve used our song ‘Dreamers’ on all those flights,” said Young, during a phone interview Wednesday morning from his home in Bucks County. “Things like this give us a big boost.”

Epoch Failure’s message is one of hope and ambition — an attribute gained from overcoming hard times in their respective lives.

Marrero and his family have experienced extreme poverty, which was actually highlighted in a 20/20 profile of community hardships in Camden, NJ in 2007. The response to the Marreros’ plight was so overwhelming that his family was chosen for a home renovation by “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”.

Young committed to securing a brighter future for himself and his family. When he turned 18, he enlisted in the Army as a way to get a college education and open up more options for his future. He attended West Virginia University and now, in addition to penning brilliant lyrics and rocking crowds, he serves full-time in the New Jersey Army National Guard as a photographer and broadcast journalist.

Discovered via ReverbNation by North Star Media’s John Sepetys, Epoch Failure is poised for a bright future. The duo’s five-song debut EP was mixed and co-produced by Grammy-nominated producer Billy Hume (Lil’ Jon, Ying Yang Twins, Pitbull).

Epoch Failure’s first single “Champion” has become a breakout sync track in the sports world. This past February, it was played during the post-game celebration of Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco. It’s also been featured by The NFL Network, ESPN, Fox Sports, NASCAR, WWE, NBC Sports, NY Knicks, NY Giants, Denver Broncos, the Australian Football League, and more.

The group’s follow-up single was a reinvention of Bon Jovi’s legendary anthem, “Livin’ on a Prayer.” It reached the Top 10 on Spotify’s Viral 50 USA chart, which highlights the most shared and trending tracks in the country. The song was also featured by ESPN during their NFL Sunday Countdown programming throughout the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl lead-up coverage.

Upon discovering the Epoch Failure version, Bon Jovi shared the song across all their major online platforms.

“We realized that a lot of bands gained attention by doing covers,” said Young. “But, we didn’t want to do it the traditional way. We also wanted people to find us. We’re from New Jersey and, in New Jersey, Bon Jovi is God.”

In addition, Jon Bon Jovi and cowriter Desmond Child have offered the following joint statement of praise — “The powerful new version of ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ by Epoch Failure retells the intimate story of Tommy and Gina, set in an urgent urban landscape. It captures the song’s timeless message, lifting the banner of hope and faith for a whole new generation of working class heroes. Epoch Failure is a winner!”

Epoch Failure is ready to soon release its second EP.

“Our second EP is going to be even better,” said Marrero. “It’s gonna be dope. It should be out soon. We’re just waiting for the post-production on the last two songs. With the new EP, we’ve stayed true to what we do.”

Three Fourteen is a band featuring a mashup of music — a four piece band composed of young guys with old souls who perform protracted sets of reggae and blues-influenced rock. Some songs consist of clear-cut melodies with order, while others offer a sense of flexibility with heavy, variable jams. Along with their originals, they love to play songs by their favorite artists such as The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and many other rock groups.

The band, which has been in existence for two years, has already played The Haverford Music Festival, the Ardmore Music Hall, World Cafe Live, Parx Casino, Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia, Legendary Dobbs, Brother Jimmy’s Live (New York), Kung Fu Necktie, Bourbon & Branch and The Fire.

Video link for Nalani & Sarina – https://youtu.be/brxtDnPxes4.

Video link for Epoch Failure — https://youtu.be/TFRzozU5_h4?t=39.

Video link for Three Fourteen — https://youtu.be/7KtVHwCTD6U

Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are priced at $15. On February 4, The Block will present “I Heart the 80’s featuring Taylor Dayne, Stacey Q and Weird Science.

Jerry Blavat

Another show on January 28 that will have the audience rocking out and dancing in the aisles will take place at Kimmel Center (Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, 215-731-3333, www.kimmelcenter.org) – “Jerry Blavat’s Gospel, Soul and Doo Wop Reunion.”

If you’re over the age of 40 and you grew up in the Delaware Valley, the odds are good that you know who the “Geator with the Heator” is. He’s the “Boss with the Hot Sauce” – Philadelphia’s legendary disc jockey Jerry Blavat.

Blavat has been associated with the oldies since back when he first got on the radio in the early 1960s. He has been a host of record hops, dance parties and oldies extravaganzas ever since. Blavat, who will turn 77 in July, has been a radio and television personality for as long as anyone can remember.

The lineup for Saturday’s show features Eddie Holman, The Chi-lites, The Stylistics, “A Celebration of Kenny Vance and the Planotones” featuring Ladd Vance, The Dixie Hummingbirds with Dee Dee Sharp and Mashed Potatoes, the Tokens and Johnny Gale, “A Tribute to Johnny Maestro” with the Crests featuring Tommy Mara.

“I’m blessed to be able to do what I do,” said Blavat, during a phone interview. “I started doing these shows at the Kimmel several years ago. The first show I did there had Little Anthony and the Imperials, Lloyd Price and The Chantels. It sold out immediately. When you go back 40 years, artists like these would play in theaters or at dance shows with minimal music backup. With my shows, they’re in a concert hall backed up by a 30-piece orchestra.”

With a lot of oldies shows, the acts onstage bear only a slight resemblance personnel-wise to the artists that originally made the music. Such is not the case with the acts that Blavat brings to his shows.

“I only use artists that are still intact,” said Blavat. “They have to be the original artists – and they have to still sound like the original recordings. It takes a long time to put a show together because I plan on artists that audiences in our area haven’t seen in a while. I pick the songs for the groups that can emulate the original recording — with the lead singer and the arrangement. When audiences come to the show, they can close their eyes and hear what they heard on the record.

Video link for The Stylistics — https://youtu.be/tFPTXxrZ31s.

“Jerry Blavat’s Gospel, Soul and Doo Wop Reunion” will start at 8 p.m. on January 28. Ticket prices range from $49-$95.

More dancing to rock music from previous decades will take place closer to home this weekend when Kategory5 Band performs a pair of shows at Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org).


On January 27, Kennett Flash presents “Kategory 5 plays the 70s.”. On January 28, the comfortable music room in Kennett square will present “Kategory 5 plays the 80s.” If you are a fan of 70s classic

“We play mostly music from the 70s — pop, rock, one-hit wonders, and classic rock, said Pigliacampi, during a phone interview from her home in Unionville. “We do songs by Kansas, Boston, Led Zeppelin and Abba. I think we’re the only band around that plays Abba and Led Zep in the same show. People really enjoy being taken back to that era.”

Kategory5 Band is a cover band featuring a diverse group of veteran musicians.

“All of us have played music in the area for decades,” said Pigliacampi. “We have a big fan base from our solo work. We’re all in our 40s and 50s and wanted to do the music we loved. Our goal is to play a really good mixture of nostalgia. We are all good singers so we have a lot of four-part and five-part harmonies.”

Video link for Kategory5 Band — https://youtu.be/bkt2V1ky7Ks.

Kategory5 Band’s shows this weekend will start at 8 p.m. each night with tickets priced at $15 and $22. Kennett Flash will also host “Stand Up at The Flash” with Chris Coccia, Missy Grynkiewicz, Chris Stenta and Jeremy Hall on January 26.

Cuddle Magic

On January 27, Cuddle Magic will release its new album “Ashes/Axis” on Northern Spy Records. The band’s local fans will be able to hear a preview of the new disc on January 26 when Cuddle Magic visits the area for a show at the World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com).

Cuddle Magic is Benjamin Lazar Davis, Christopher McDonald, Dave Flaherty, Alec Spiegelman, Kristin Slipp and Cole Kamen-Green — a six-piece avant-pop band based in Brooklyn with one “outsider” who calls Philadelphia home.

“We all live in Brooklyn except for our keyboard player Christopher McDonald, who still lives in Philly,” said Lazar Davis, during a phone interview Tuesday. “We’re in Philly now because we just did a radio show on WXPN last night. We’re heading to D.C. to start the tour tomorrow.”

Cuddle Magic was formed a decade ago in Boston by multi-instrumentalists Lazar Davis and McDonald, who were shortly joined by the other four. Cuddle Magic has been described as “dance-listening music” that unfolds in waves of vocal harmony, contrapuntal brass and woodwinds, dense wordplay, and overlapping rhythmic cycles.

As in-demand participants in New York’s musical community, members of Cuddle Magic have collaborated with a wide range of artists ranging from pop superstars like Beyoncé to critically lauded independent musicians like Anais Mitchell and Amanda Palmer, as well as with respected figures of the avant-garde like Fred Frith and Ran Blake.

“Ashes/Axis” is Cuddle Magic’s fifth full-length album.

“The new album is our fourth project as our own band,” said Lazar Davis. “We also did a collaboration with Phyllis Chen. That was more a classical album.”

Chen is a pianist/toy pianist/composer from New York. In 2011, she and Cuddle Magic teamed up to release an album on FYO Records called “Cuddle Magic & Phyllis Chen.”

“We released our third album ‘Info Nympho’ in 2012,” said Lazar Davis. “Since then, we’ve all been doing a lot of things on our own. And, we spent a lot of time making the new record. We’re excited to be releasing it with Northern Spy.

“At first, we had this retreat in Long Island. We stayed together at someone’s house in the middle of winter for two months. It ended up turning into a situation where we were making demos and trying to record it ourselves. We ended up taking it to Bryce Goggin, a great engineer who has worked with bands like Antony and the Johnsons, Swans and Pavement. We recorded it at Trout Recordings, which is Bryce’s studio in Brooklyn.

“We spent a lot of time in that studio. It has all this incredible gear. So, we got the best of both worlds – recording demos on our own and recording at a great studio. We probably spent about 45 days in the studio at Trout. We got really acquainted with sounds in that studio. For example, we ran drums through a vocoder to get different pitches.

“We finished the album about a year ago and then spent a year finding a home for it and figuring out a plan for its release. We were shopping it around. Northern Spy was so excited about the record we knew they would be the best for us. The album has a bunch of different co-writes.”

“Ashes/Axis” features songs written by McDonald, Lazar Davis and Spiegelman — all of whom take turns as lead vocalist. In addition, Slipp, whose voice is prominent from the very start of the album, takes the lead on “Slow Rider,” “The First Hippie on the Moon, Pt. II” and “Voicemail.”

The album also features several co-writes — “The First Hippie on the Moon, Pt. II” was co-written by Lazar Davis and his brother Tim Davis; “The First Hippie on the Moon, Pt. I” was co-written by McDonald and Davis; “Voicemail” was co-written by Lazar Davis and Spiegelman; “Spinning” and “Round And Round” were co-written by Lazar Davis and Sarah K. Pedinotti of Lip Talk.

Three of the songs on the album were co-written by Lazar Davis and longtime collaborator Bridget Kearney of Lake Street Dive. Those tracks, “Slow Rider,” “Trojan Horse,” and “Getaway,” are all pop songs hung over the frame of Bawa music from Northwestern Ghana. Parts of these songs were conceived just for the gyil, a type of wooden xylophone.

“Bridget and I went to Ghana together,” said Lazar Davis. “I studied the Ghanian xylophone known as gyil and wrote some songs based on that. I also went to Burkina Faso and Mali and explored music there.

“’Ashes/Axis’ is a lot more minimal than our previous albums. We came into the studio with a lot of knowledge of the songs from making them before. And, we put Kristen’s vocals through an amp and captured a really great vocal performance. Now, we’re playing a little more than half of the songs on the new album in our current set. We have some old songs – including one song from our second record – and some new ones.”

The show also features PHOX, a quintet from Baraboo, Wisconsin that is out on its “Goodbye (For Now) Tour.”

After buzz-generating performances at SXSW and summer music festivals in 2014, PHOX released its debut album followed by extensive touring that spanned the globe and lasted well over a year. The band ended 2015 with a much-needed break.

In the months that followed it started to become clear to the band members that the time on the road has distracted from other creative pursuits. As they settled back into normal life, a conversation within the band started to slowly gain momentum. The band member all had numerous creative goals outside of the band so they decided to take a step back from PHOX to give everybody the opportunity to work outside of the band. In October 2016, the band announced an indefinite hiatus that will be preceded by a short run of dates.

Video link for Cuddle Magic — https://youtu.be/cc0LQ8bL3Q8.

Video link for PHOX — https://youtu.be/tcnQ9-qWSfc?list=PL_k7hRwXEcaPIjRFcSKqDTLh6LUkQcFz8.

The attractive twin-bill at the World Café Live on January 26 will start at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $17.

Other upcoming shows at the World Café Live are Bronze Radio Return and Air Traffic Controller on January 27; The Infamous Stringdusters: The Laws of Gravity Tour and The Brothers Comatose on January 28; Tiffany Jones Quintet and V. Shayne Frederick on January 29; Bill Laurance of Snarky Puppy and Darla on January 31; and Birds of Chicago and Levon Henry on February 1.

If you’re a fan of Paul Simon, you should check out the show at the Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) on January 27.

If you’re a fan of Simon’s classic album “Graceland,” then there is no place else you should be on Friday night other than the Ardmore Music Hall.

Ryan Tennis is a Philly musician — a singer/songwriter/guitarist who in last two years has mounted successful tours through Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Colombia, and Argentina.  He will spend February 2017 doing a massive tour in Colombia from Bogota to Barranquilla and from Cali to Cartagena.

But, before Tennis heads to the diverse country that had both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, the veteran musician will present a very special show at the venue in Ardmore – “An All-Star Tribute to the 30th Anniversary of Graceland, featuring Bakithi Kumalo.

“Graceland” is the classic album released by Paul Simon in 1986 – an album that featured Simon’s appropriation of South African township music. Kumalo, who was born in Johannesburg’s Soweto Township, is a bassist, composer and vocalist. He has worked with artists such as Harry Belafonte, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper and Gloria Estefan and was the bass player on five of the 11 tracks on “Graceland.”

“I’ve been making music for eight years,” said Tennis, during a phone interview last week. “I’ve recorded three albums and two EPs. I’ve been chipping away and making music for a while with my band Ryan Tennis and the Clubhouse Band. I also perform as a solo artist with one percussionist. I’ve done six tours of Europe, four in Colombia and two in Argentina. Lately. ‘Graceland has been the main thing I’m working on.

“When I started to play, ‘Graceland’ influenced me a lot. I was raised with ‘Graceland.’ A few years back, I started to dive back into South African music. Mahlathini influenced me a lot.”

Mahlathini is Simon Nkabinde, a South African mbaqanga singer who passed away in 1999. Known as the “Lion of Soweto,” he was the leader and writer for Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, an internationally-acclaimed mbaqanga group backed by the Makonga Tsohle Band. Mahlathini was a charismatic entertainer who performed in tribal garb and sang with a unique basso profundo voice.

“It’s joyous music and it was at the time of apartheid,” said Tennis. “I definitely incorporated it into our music. It really affected me a lot. I even based one of my songs on a Mahlathini groove.”

The band that Tennis assembled for the ‘Graceland’ tribute includes David Bravo (Harry Belafonte, Bo Diddly) — Keyboards; Zach Djanikian (Amos Lee) — Sax, Vocals; Tom Spiker (Groove Alla Turka, Calvin Weston) – Guitar; Jaron Olevsky (Amos Lee) – Accordion; Joseph Keim – Drums; Shawn Hennessey — Percussion, Vocals; Aaron Parnell Brown – Vocals; Kumalo (Paul Simon) — Bass, Vocals; and Tennis — Vocals, Guitar.

“Some of us played together in the summer and did a show in the Lehigh Valley where we did a few songs from ‘Graceland’ and ended with a South African song,” said Tennis. “We thought it would be nice to put a ‘Graceland’ show together for winter and Ardmore Music Hall seemed like the best spot to do it. We put the band together and they’re all Philly people who grew up with the album. We’re basically going to do the whole ‘Graceland’ album along with a few other Paul Simon songs that fit. This is a pilot to see how it goes.”

The show will open with a program of Simon & Garfunkel songs performed by various artists from the Philadelphia Folksong Society’s Music Co-op, including No Good Sister, The End of America, Griz, A Fistful of Sugar, Bethlehem and Sad Patrick.

Video link for Ryan Tennis – https://youtu.be/w9v5RInhdCs.

Video link for Bakithi Kumalo — https://youtu.be/qshldMtI_Uw.

The show at Ardmore will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 day of show and $25 reserved.

Other shows over the next week at the Ardmore Music Hall are Splintered Sunlight (Grateful Dead tribute) and Atlas Road Crew on January 28;

Funky Brunch & Market with Local Vendors, Local Music, Beer, & Brunch” along with music by The Whiskeyhickon Boys and Ladybird on January 29 (11 a.m.-4 p.m.); and Bill Jolly’s Hard Drive All-Stars on January 29 (6 p.m.).

Throughout the years, there have been many rock and folk musicians who continued to perform as they got older and, at the same time, watched their sons also embark on careers in music – musicians such as Woody and Arlo Guthrie, Bob and Ziggy Marley, Tim and Jeff Buckley, Frank and Dweezil Zappa, John and Sean Lennon.

The list goes on and on. A relatively recent addition to the list is Charlie Cooper, the father, and Curtis Cooper, the son. This week, they both have shows in the area. On January 26, Curtis Cooper and his band will play at Johnny Brenda’s (1201 North Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-739-9684,

www.johnnybrendas.com). On January 27, Charlie Cooper and his long-time group The HumblemanBand will perform at the Mermaid Inn (7673 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-247-9797, www.themermaidinn.net).

“The HumblemanBand was formed in1999,” said guitarist/songwriter/vocalist Charlie Cooper, during a phone interview Wednesday morning from his office on Philadelphia. “I was in a band with our drummer Buck Buchanan. Three of us were living near each other in South Philly and we gradually picked up people.

“The third guy was bassist Bruce Koch, who just died a year ago from a massive heart attack. That was a real loss – as a friend and as a bandmate. We weren’t sure we were going to pick up the pieces. We were using hired hands to fill in. We just recently added a permanent bass player – Boz Heinly, who lives in Plymouth Meeting.

“Now, there are five of us in the band and four of us live on the same block of Johnson Street in Germantown. We get along really well musically and as friends. We have a lot of respect for each other.”

The band’s current lineup includes Wain Ballard on guitar, Kim Empson on vocals and percussion, Heinly on bass, Buchanan on drums and Cooper on vocals and guitar.

“We put out an album a few years ago called ‘Least Bad of Humbleman 1984-2009’,” said Cooper. “That album was a 25-year compilation starting with our days in 1984 as a punk band called The Proles. We released our most recent album ‘Late Bloom’ in fall 2015. It was self-produced – mostly D.I.Y.in my basement using CakeWalk. We went into the studio for the rhythm section and then put on overdubs and the rest.

“We’re actually due to do some recording. We hope to put out an EP later this year. We went out to Standing Rock (Indian Reservation) on Thanksgiving and a brand new song about the American Indian in the 21st century came out of that. We have another new song called ‘Tattoo Removal Man.’ As a band, we try to play good-time music — and be smart.”

Curtis Cooper recently released an impressive debut full-length album titled “Laughing In Line.” One of the area’s bright prospects in the acoustic singer-songwriter genre, Cooper writes and sings about issues such as depression, substance abuse, handling violent tendencies, love, and heartbreak. His sidemen are Scott Stitzer on drums and Jack Zaferes on Bass.

Video link for the Humblemanband — https://youtu.be/uDk9751ZLd0.

Video link for Curtis Cooper — https://youtu.be/v7Yq9CMCL1k.

The HumblemanBand show at the Mermaid Inn will start at 9 p.m. on January 27. Curtis Cooper’s show at Johnny Brenda’s, which also features Clique and Mumblr, will start at 9 p.m. with tickets priced at $10.

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