On Stage: Katie Henry headlines at Jamey’s House of Music

By Denny DyroffEntertainment Editor, The Times 

Katie Henry

Katie Henry, who will headline a show on September 24 at Jamey’s House of Music (32 South Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne, 215-477-9985, www.jameyshouseofmusic.com), is one of the bright new prospects in America’s flourishing blues scene. Her band features Antar Goodwin on bass, Jem Seidel on drums and Eric Santana on guitar.

She is a talented and versatile blues guitar player. Ironically, neither blues nor guitar were her starting points.

“I grew up playing piano,” said Henry, during a phone interview Wednesday morning prior to a rehearsal with her bass player in Philly’s Mount Airy section. “I also played clarinet in middle school.”

Henry’s musical journey began when she was six and started taking piano lessons. She quickly became the “house” piano player for all night family singalongs and very soon began crafting her own songs in the back of her school notebooks. Heavily involved in school band, her passion for music continued to grow in college, where she also picked up the guitar.

“I loved being in bands,” said Henry, who grew up and attended high school in Vernon, New Jersey. “I also loved playing for family and other gatherings. It was the best way to bond with other people.

“I went to Manhattan College in the Bronx. I graduated in 2014 with a degree in education. I was a teacher for three years in Riverdale in the Bronx.

“I joined a jazz band in college playing piano and also went to open mics. It was just a way for me to continue playing.

“One night, I was at an open mic at the Bitter End and met Antar. We had similar interests o we started a blues band. I was playing piano at the time. He put a guitar in my hand, and I stared playing chords. He opened the door and I stepped through. That was five years ago.

“My first guitar was a Strat and then I got an SG. Now, the Atele Guitar is my favorite.”

Henry’s musical world had expanded.

“When I started playing guitar, I was listening with new ears,” said Henry. “I had listened to the Allman Brothers Band. Now, I was tuning in to Dickie Betts. I like simple melody lines – like the playing of Robbie Robertson. I consider myself a melodic guitarist. Some of my biggest influences have been Freddie King and Susan Tedeschi.

“Antar and I started the band four years ago. We’ve played wit a lot of different drummers. Jem, our current drummer, is really good. He’s young and really talented.”

Henry’s debut album, “High Road,” debuted at Number 12 on the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Contemporary Blues Albums chart in January 2019 and has continued to receive consistent airplay on radio stations throughout the country.  “I made ‘High Road’ in 2018 at Showplace Studio in Rockaway, New Jersey with a great engineer — Ben Elliott.

“He recently passed away and his studio closed. I was lucky to record there before it closed down. It had a lot of great gear including a lot of analog recording equipment. I was there for two sessions – about a week total – and did a lot of recording analog.

“We just cut a new album in May 2021 at Degraw Sound in Brooklyn. Ben Rice produced the album and played guitar on it. We’re getting ready to release it in January.”

Video link for Katie Henry — https://youtu.be/SNWdJfZRlZ4.

The show on September 24 at Jamey’s will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door.

Another show this weekend at Jamey’s is Michael London on September 25.

Area blues fans will be in for a double treat when 118 North (118 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne, www.118northwayne.com) presenst a twinbill featuring JD Simo and GA-20.

JD Simo

Simo is known for his sizzling shows – concerts that blow the roofs off venues and leave audiences physically and emotionally drained.

Prior to the pandemic, Simo built up his reputation locally – and his fanbase – with several intense shows at the Sellersville Theater.

Like all musicians, he is happy to be back on the concert trail after the pandemic forced a hiatus for live shows.  But he wasn’t hit as hard as other musicians during the layoff.

“I’ve been doing a lot actually,” said Simo, during a recent phone interview from his home in Nashville, Tennessee.

“We were pretty fortunate. We finished a really long tour last February. So, we were getting ready to take some time off anyway. I got home at the beginning of March.

“In a way, it was also terrifying. Playing live shows account for 90 per cent of my income. I do 150 shows or more a year. In 2016, I did 260 shows. The COVID shutdown was my longest break since I was a teenager and I’m in my 30s now.”

And then, the pandemic hit.

“Like everyone, I was unprepared in how to deal with this new normal, so I turned to the thing that always helps me – music. I just started playing, opening up my socials and jamming and from that, ‘Mind Control’ was born.”

“Mind Control,” which is being released in November, is Simo’s most original and rawest effort to date. During lockdown in 2020 along with playing live weekly on his socials, he began cutting tracks in his makeshift studio joined by longtime collaborator Adam Abrashoff on drums and the addition of his good friend, bassist-producer-engineer Adam Bednarik.

“After a few weeks, I couldn’t handle the layoff,” said Simo. “I got tested every Monday and then I’d get together with my buddies every Wednesday and Thursday. We’d just get together sand play. That went on for the length of the pandemic.

“I also did Livestreams. Every week, I’d play a song I had recorded with my guys. That led to different placements. It actually became one of the busiest portions of my life.”

Simo grew up in Chicago’s North Side and began playing guitar before he even started elementary school. In 2006, he moved to Nashville, where he established himself as the lead guitarist in the Don Kelley Band. This led to Simo’s employment as an in-demand session musician.

In 2010, he joined bassist Frank Swart and drummer Adam Abrashoff to form the rock band SIMO. The band spent much of 2011 on tour and released its debut album in November 2011. SIMO’s third and final album was “Rise and Shine” in 2017.

“The old band – it had run its course with that particular lineup,” said Simo, during a phone interview. “A year ago, I had my first solo tour opening for Tommy Emmanuel here in America. I had never done that before. It was a very liberating experience. I’d walk onstage and do whatever I wanted to do.”

“It’s pretty much always been a trio. I have always preferred the trio format. When Buddy Guy was touring in the 60s, it was always a trio. When Magic Sam toured, it was always a trio. Playing in a trio is pretty wide open. It’s fun. And it makes it really easy to improvise. You can really get out there.

“Every night is different. We don’t work with a set list and typically don’t play the same songs every night. And every song is open to where it’s going to go. We have 20-30 songs in regular rotation. Some follow similar structures while the rest are really wide open and can be different every night. Every show starts with an improvisation.”

In a few weeks, Simo’s new album will drop.

“My new record is coming out on November 5,” said Simo. “It’s compiled from a year’s worth of sessions. We were just throwing stuff on a pile.

“It wasn’t until February this year that I started going back and listening. A lot were funk instrumentals and Afrobeat. There was a handful of songs influenced by ‘Hills Blues’ from Mississippi that I fused with Afrobeat.

“Somehow, everything worked out well for me. Now, I don’t feel like I have to do 200 shows a year.”

Video link for JD Simo — https://youtu.be/CGK6MN-SOCM.


The high-energy electric blues trio GA-20 features guitarist Matt Stubbs, guitarist/vocalist Pat Faherty, and drummer Tim Carman. They have drawn inspiration for their primal, original music from late 1950s/early 1960s blues, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll. They use rare and vintage gear (including at times the famed Gibson GA-20 amplifier for which the band is named), creating powerfully raw, driving music that is at once traditional and refreshingly modern.

“Pat and I have been friends for years,” said Stubbs, during a recent phone interview from his home in Providence, Rhode Island.

“He was really into jazz and was just getting deeper into blues. In late 2017, he came to one of my shows.

“I played guitar with Charlie Musselwhite and also toured with Ben Harper’s band. Then, I was looking at a year of no work because of the pandemic.”

Stubbs was looking to put a new project together to do blues gigs aside from his Psych-Rock group, The Antiguas. Faherty had spent several years studying blues guitar and joined forces with Stubbs to form a new group. Early performances by the band had a rotating group of musicians with Faherty and Stubbs the core members. They adopted the name GA-20 in early 2018.

The project was born out of their mutual love of heavy traditional Blues, R&B, and Rock & Roll of the late 50s and early 60s. Faherty and Stubbs bonded over legendary artists like Lazy Lester, J.B. Lenoir, Earl Hooker, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Junior Wells. Feeling a void in current music, the duo set out to write, record and perform a modern version of this beloved art form. Joined by drummer Tim Carman in 2019, GA-20 is a trio featuring two guitars, vocals and drums.

“Pat and I wanted to do low-key local gigs playing early Chicago blues,” said Stubbs. “We were doing gigs every Wednesday night in Boston and it kind of snowballed.”

GA-20 released its debut album “Lonely Soul” in October 2019 on Karma Chief/Colemine Records. The album debuted at Number 2 on the Billboard blues charts. “Live: Vol. 1”, released the following year, debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard blues charts and brought the band’s live sound to a wider audience.

In August 2021, the band released its new album, “GA-20 Does Hound Dog Taylor: Try It…You Might Like It!,” a 50th anniversary celebration of Hound Dog Taylor. The album came out on Colemine Records in partnership with the legendary Alligator Records.

“After we released the live EP, Bruce Iglauer (founder/president of Alligator Records) reached out to us to do a record for Alligator,” said Stubbs. “So, the label co-released it with Colemine.

“Hound Dog Tayler’s band was two guitars and drums. We’ve always been compared to Hound Dog because we have two guitars and no bass. Now, people who aren’t familiar with Hound Dog are buying our album.”

Iglauer (then a shipping clerk for Delmark Records) tried to persuade his employer to sign Taylor to a recording contract after he heard Taylor with his band, the HouseRockers in 1970 at Florence’s Lounge on Chicago’s South Side. In 1971, having had no success in getting Delmark to sign Taylor, Iglauer used a $2,500 inheritance to form Alligator Records, which recorded Taylor’s debut album, “Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers.” The album was recorded in just two nights. It was the first release for Alligator, which eventually became a major blues label.

“Hound Dog and his band played blues so differently,” said Stubbs. “They were so bombastic. And they really played as one. They played off each other with a jazz sensibility.

“We made this new album to celebrate 50 years of Hound Dog and 50 years of Alligator Records.”

Video link for GA-20 — https://youtu.be/qG-aBv2grCM.

On a Thursday near the end of each month, the Candlelight Theater (2208 Millers Road, Arden, Delaware, 302- 475-2313, www.candlelighttheatredelaware.org) switches from a theater for plays and musicals to a venue for comedy.

John Poveromo

On September 23, it’s time for Candlelight’s February edition of its “Comedy Club.”  John Poveromo will be the main act with Joann Filan as the opening act and Katrina Braxton as the emcee.

Poveromo is likely to change his set on the spot based on the crowd and whatever is on his mind.

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Toms River, Poveromo gravitated toward humor ever since he was a youngster.

“I didn’t hang out in the music scene,” said Poveromo, during a recent phone interview.

“I was much more interested in stand-up. For me, humor was a way to cope with stuff. I saw grownups coping with things with humor. I remember when I was about five and my parents were watching a video of Richard Jeni’s ‘Crazy from the Heat’ and they were laughing like crazy.

“I also really liked Robin Williams from his TV shows like ‘Mork & Mindy’ and that was another gateway to comedy for me. Then, I got into Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser and Ellen and found out they all started with stand-up. And I liked stand-ups because they told it like it was.”

Poveromo’s knack for being funny became evident during his high school days.

“I ended up getting named ‘Class Comedian’ out of 500 kids at Toms River East High School,” said Poveromo. “My sense of humor was always about cracking jokes.

“I went to college after I graduated high school at Brookdale Community College. I didn’t want to go to college, but I had to do it because if you didn’t go to college, you were a failure.

“I left school after a year and took a stand-up course in New York. That was back in 2005. My first time on stage was at Carolines On Broadway – no pressure, right?”

Carolines on Broadway is a venue for stand-up comedy located in Times Square in New York City on Broadway between 49th and 50th Street. It is one of the most established, famous, and recognized stand-up comedy clubs in the United States.

“I was taking a risk,” said Poveromo. “I wasn’t going up with ‘five minutes of comedy that worked’ attitude. I thought – you just go on with whatever when you get onstage.

“In the beginning, I’d go up with a couple ideas. I just do my own material – whatever I wanted talk about – because I’m naturally funny.”

Since childhood, Poveromo has enjoyed making strangers laugh. He has written comedy for shows on HBO and VH1, as well as his own book, “Drawings From a Nobody,” which features his comic-strip style drawings of scenes from everyday life.

Poveromo’s perfect blend of self-deprecation and optimism makes him a dynamic and unpredictable performer who is both engaging and fun to watch as he struggles to make sense of himself and the world around him.

He can be heard on Sirius XM Radio, has been featured at the Jersey City Comedy Festival and The New York Underground Comedy Festival, and has appeared on Comcast On Demand’s “Young Comedians Showcase.”

Poveromo also has written for a variety of shows, including ESPN’s Sports Nation, Current TV’s Viewpoint with John Fugelsang, Joy Behar’s Say Anything on HLN, The Independents, and CNN Newsroom, as well as Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, Hannity, and VH1’s “Best Of” series.

Poveromo hosts “Dystopia Tonight,” a livestreaming show on Twitch, multiple times per week; after it runs, it’s edited and posted on YouTube, as well as on Apple and Spotify as a podcast. The show was conceived during the pandemic, when comedians such as Poveromo were brainstorming ways to adapt and reinvent themselves.

It started as comics sitting around shooting the breeze (Tom Papa, Judy Gold), and has expanded to include actors (Megan Cavanagh, Ed Begley Jr., Ed Asner!), musicians (Art Alexakis from Everclear, Marlana Sheetz of Milo Greene), and visual artists (comic book artist John Romita Jr. and Pulitzer-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Breen), and most recently comedy legend Lewis Black.

Early this year Poveromo and some colleagues produced a live-stream comedy show on Twitch to raise money for children’s cancer charities and broke the Guinness World Record for the longest live-streamed comedy event. Two hundred and fifty comedians participated and clocked 90 hours. The prior record was 80.5 hours.

Now, Poveromo is headed to the stage at Candlelight.

Video link for John Poveromo — https://youtu.be/FrCM6Cc7ALA.

Tickets are $30 and include complimentary light fare buffet, cash bar, and free parking. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show starts at 7:40 p.m.

The Candlelight Dinner Theatre’s brand-new mainstage production – “The Best of the Candlelight Theatre” – is having its first full weekend Friday through Sunday. The show, which opened on September 18, will run through October 31.

Amigo the Devil

Amigo the Devil, who will be performing on September 25 at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, http://undergroundarts.org), is the stage name of Danny Kiranos.

If he were performing for his mother’s side of the family, which is from a very Catholic region to the west of Madrid, Spain, he probably should stick with his birth name rather than a name associated with el Diablo.

If he were performing for his father’s side of the family, which is from Athens, Greece, he could wear a PAOK jersey to bedevil his Greek kin who are devout fans of Olympiacos. PAOK, which is located in Thessaloniki, and Olympiakos are perennially the best football (soccer) teams in Greece.

When Kiranos is performing for his ever-growing legion of fans in America, the name Amigo the Devil works just fine.

Kiranos is now touring in support of his new album, “Born Against.” Song titles from the album offer an indication of what to expect – titles such as “Murder at the Bingo Hall,” “24K Casket,” “Letter From Death Row,” “Quiet as a Rat” and “Another Man’s Grave.”

“The place I’m writing from doesn’t feel like it’s dark,” said Kiranos, during a phone interview last week from a tour stop in Indianapolis.

“A lot of the songs – I don’t feel like they’re that dark. Then, people tell me how dark they think it is. I don’t really have a skewed opinion.”

Kiranos’ songwriting reflects some of his cultural influences such as Chavela Vargas, a Costa Rica-born Mexican singer, and Diamanda Galas, a Greek American avant-garde composer and performer.

“Music cultures have been a surprising influence,” said Kiranos. “Chavela Vargas is one of my favorite singers. She was one of the most aggressive dynamic vocalists. She was my mom’s favorite. And Diamanda Galas is really intense.

“I wanted those dynamics to be there in my music. Tom Waits has also always been an influence. At times, I wish I could let loose a little more. The new album showed the most.

“Writing took me a long time, but I wouldn’t say it was hard. I have to be in a place and isolate myself. The pandemic helped. I think this album was the easiest to write. It was more instinctual. It definitely was a different process. I wrote it in a stream of consciousness.”

“Born Against” dropped in Spring 2021.

“I recorded ‘Born Against’ in the summer of 2020,” said Kiranos. “I made the album at Modern Electric Studio in Dallas with Beau Bedford as the producer and Jeff Saenz as the engineer. Ninety per cent of the record was Beau and I playing together.”

Video link for Amigo the Devil – https://youtu.be/uHDzYr3hcx0.

The show at Underground Arts on September 25 will start at 9 p.m. Tickets are $22. On September 28, the Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) will host Bob Malone.

Malone is an American virologist and immunologist. His work has focused on mRNA technology, pharmaceuticals, and drug repurposing research. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was criticized for promoting misinformation.

Oops – wrong Bob Malone.

Next Tuesday, the venue will present a concert by Bob Malone, a distinguished instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, live performer, and elite session musician for more than two decades. Malone, who has played keyboards for John Fogerty for the last decade, is now showing off his talents as a solo artist on his latest album, “Good People,” which was released on May 21.

Malone tours solo at times and with his band other times.

“I’m touring with my band now,” said Malone, during a phone interview from a hotel in Detroit. “There are seven of us – piano, bass, drums, guitar and three Malonettes.”

Malone’s four touring bands are made up of all-star players from around the globe and include A-list session players in Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, and Rome. Artists his bands have toured and recorded with include The Neville Brothers, Journey, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Joe Cocker, Jerry Douglas, Gino Vannelli, Joe Sample, and Claudio Baglioni. Add to this the gospel powered Malonettes background singers and it adds up to a high energy, eclectic hybrid of rock, blues, melodic piano pop, and New Orleans R&B, with a light dusting of jazz chops all around.

Malone’s bi-coastal ensemble features Rich Zukor – Drums; Ritt Henn – Bass; Anthony Babino – Guitar; Celeste Butler – Vocals; Trysette Loosemore – Vocals; Beth Falcone – Vocals; and LaDonna Burns – Vocals.

“I live in L.A. – Studio City – but this band is mainly based in New York City,” said Malone. “We’ve just played a couple shows so far. Many of these musicians played on ‘Good People.’

“My new album is my 10th album overall. I didn’t want to put it out in 2020. Now, I really want to get the songs out there, so I put the album out this spring. Even now, I just started my solo tour dates.

“We cut some of the album in New York City, some of it in New Orleans and the rest of it in L.A. Most of it was done in 2018 and 2019. Then in 2020 on the day everything locked down, we were in the studio in L.A. – Speakeasy Sound – recording the last track. The other studios we used were East Side Sound in New York and Esplanade Studios in New Orleans.”

According to Malone, it was a project to explore “the loss, burnout, alienation, existential dread and fleeting moments of hopefulness I happened to be going through – in spite of the carefully curated self I presented to the world on social media. Nothing new, of course, but in 2020 those feelings suddenly became more universal than they’d ever been in my lifetime.”
“Good People” grabs onto Malone’s “keyboard wizardry” on the piano and serves up a variety of bluesy rock — ranging from contemplative ballads to all-out sweeping jams, all carried along by smoky vocals and Malone’s unmatched ability to wrest every drop of emotion out of the keys possible.

Malone and keyboards have a romance that has lasted for decades.

“I stared classical piano lessons when I was about a year old,” said Malone. “About a year in, I got obsessed. I couldn’t stop playing. I was playing in a band when I was 15 and I’ve been playing for a living since I was 18.

“The Beatles were one of the first things I heard that got me into rock. Aldo, I discovered that if I played Billy Joel, girls would crowd around. If I played Beethoven, no-one would crowd around.

“I really wanted to write songs. That form of communication appealed to me greatly. I wanted to be a songwriter. My early influences were Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Randy Newman. I also listened to a lot of New Orleans piano and jazz piano players.

“I wrote my first song when I was 15 or 16. I didn’t start to seriously play original songs until I was in college. The first time I did a whole show of my own tunes was in 1986 at The Channel – a rock club in Boston which no longer exists.

“I was in Boston going to school at Berklee studying piano, arranging and performing. After college, I stuck around Boston for a few years. Then I went to L.A. and put together a band.

“My best friend from New York was working at The Record Plant in L.A. so he would let me come in at night and do some recording when the studio wasn’t being used. I got a publishing deal. I got some record deals that didn’t work and the started on and indie career doing 200 shows a year.”

The pandemic altered that course – but just for a while. Now, Malone is back on the road and heading to Sellersville next week.

Video link for Bob Malone — https://youtu.be/GQUYRVsM2m8.

The show at Sellersville on September 28 will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $

Other upcoming shows at Sellersville are Southern Accents on September 23, Tom Paxton on September 24, Hollywood Nights on September 25, Dana Fuchs on September 26, and Big Brother & The Holding Company on September 27.
The upcoming week’s schedule at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center (226 North High Street, West Chester, uptownwestchester.org) includes Dueling Pianos on September 23 and Kashmnir on September 24.

The Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) is presenting Sarah Jarosz on September 24, David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket on September 25 and Melvin Seals and JGB on September 29 and October 1.

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