On Stage: Marc Broussard returns to World Cafe Live

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Marc Broussard

Last year, Marc Broussard was scheduled to headline a show at the World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com) on April 1.

It turned out to be an example of “April Fools.” There was no concert on April 1, 2020. The COVID-19 shutdown took care of that.

Now, Broussard is set to return to the venue in University City on November 4. The venue has taken COVID precautions, and all systems are go.

Just as it would have been 17 months ago, Broussard’s show is a tour following the release of his latest album, “A Lullaby Collection SOS III.” The album features his interpretation of a series of classics including “What a Wonderful World,” “Moon River” and “Sweet Baby James” plus two original compositions – “Gavin’s Song” and “Bedtime.”

Broussard’s first “SOS” album was “S.O.S.: Save Our Soul.” Released in 2007, it featured covers of songs by R&B greats such as Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Sam Cooke, Bill Withers and Bobby Womack. The second in the series was “S.O.S. 2: Save Our Soul: Soul on a Mission,” which was released in September 2016.

Broussard’s commitment to making the world a better place is a mantra that he has been bound to since the beginning of his career. It has always been about tying music to a mission, one reason that his latest studio album, “A Lullaby Collection SOS III,” and book, “I Love You For You,” were created to educate and inspire younger audiences.

For Broussard, who has released more than a dozen albums, entering the book world was a new experience.

“I have a friend I’ve done some work with named Kurt Zendzian,” said Broussard, during a phone interview Wednesday morning from his home in Caren Cru, Louisiana. “His wife Rebekah Phillips is an illustrator — and my illustrator.

“I wanted to do something for kids – especially the children’s hospital in Baton Rouge. So, I wrote the book and Rebekah did the illustrations.”

A portion of the proceeds from sales of both the album and the book will be donated to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Broussard’s charitable efforts extend well over a decade, beginning with his self-released album “Bootleg to Benefit the Victims of Hurricane Katrina” in 2005 and his efforts to organize the Momentary Setback Fund to provide financial assistance to those displaced by both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. He’s also taken part in a USO tour to entertain troops in the Middle East. More recently, he established his SOS Foundation as a conduit to help raise money for other worthy causes, such as the United Way and Habitat for Humanity.

According to Broussard, “A lot of it has to do with the people who raised me. My parents are wonderful, human beings who encouraged us to do everything we can for people that need the help. That’s a value system that’s been with me since birth.”

Deciding which songs to use on a lullaby album was a challenge.

“It’s always difficult picking songs,” said Broussard. “The songs I gravitate to are frequently B-sides. But with this one, it was better to do hits. It was a months-long process picking songs for this album.

“When I listened to Andy Williams’ version of ‘Moon River,’ it was like Christmas Day. It was a beautiful discovery.

“We made the album at Dockside Studio which is on the Vermilion River in Maurice, Louisiana. I’ve done my last few albums there. It’s a good old-fashioned studio.

“We recorded the album live as much as possible – one take and then fix the parts that need fixing. That’s how I always like to record.”

Broussard is an artist with the gift of tapping into the vibe of classic R&B, rock and soul. He released his debut album, “Momentary Setback,” independently at age 20. His music career began a long time before that with his father Ted Broussard’s band — The Boogie Kings.

“When I was five-and-a-half, I saw the movie ‘Back to the Future’ and fell in love with the song ‘Johnny B. Goode.’ I couldn’t stop singing it,” said Broussard.

“My dad would book a vacation in February and do a show in Destin, Florida. He brought me up on stage and I sang the song — and it went great.

“After that, when the venue allowed or at festivals, my dad would let me come along. I was a roadie and I’d join him onstage. After the show, I’d sign autographs for the little girls who were waiting.

“It wasn’t until I was 20 that I started doing music professionally. Prior to that, I didn’t understand that you could do it professionally – do it as your main job. The musicians I knew before were weekend warriors who had day jobs. My dad worked in civil service for 30 years.”

Now, Broussard has been making music professionally for almost 20 years.

“A Lullaby Collection SOS III” and a show with musicians rocking out with a blend of soul, rock and Bayou music does not seem like an ideal combination.

“There are no lullabies in our live show,” said Broussard. “We’re trying to blow the roof off the stage.”

Video link for Marc Broussard – https://youtu.be/Gkd_VGhjCQw.

The show at the World Café live on November 4 will start at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $27.

Other upcoming shows at the World Café Live are Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express on November 5, Minka on November 6,

Reckless Daughter: The Celebration of Joni Mitchell on November 7, and Nate Smith + Kinfolk on November 10.


On November 5, Kung Fu Necktie (1248 North Front Street, Philadelphia, 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com) will host CLOAK’s “March of the Adversary Tour,” which features Demiser as the opener. The Philly stop will also have Spiter as an opening act.

It would be safe to say that the Atlanta-based headliners, who are touring in support of their most recent album “The Burning Dawn,” operate under a “CLOAK of darkness.” Their record label Season of Mist bills CLOAK – Scott Taysom, Vocals & Guitar; Max Brigham, Guitar; Sean Bruneau, Drums; Billy Robinson, Bass — as “Blackened Death Rock.”

“We keep evolving,” said Taysom, during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon from a tour stop in Pittsburgh. “We’ve become darker and heavier – and a better live band.”

CLOAK blend the sounds of black metal, rock-and-roll, and homegrown Southern sludge to create their own unique and menacing sound.

“We started in 2013,” said Taysom. “Me and Sean started jamming in early 2013. I had played in punk bands and Sean in hardcore bands. It wasn’t a unified thing at first. It was a puzzle.

“It took time to put it together right. We were together for about three years before we started recording.

“Our first album was ‘To Venomous Depths’ in 2017. Prior to the album, we did a two-song EP that was just called ‘CLOAK.’ It was black metal with elements of rock-and-roll and death metal. We try to make each album different.”

Decibel Magazine placed “To Venomous Depths” at #20 among their “Top 40 Albums of 2017.” CLOAK’s sophomore album, “The Burning Dawn,” was released in 2019.

“Our second album was a bit more streamlined – more stripped down with less long songs,” said Taysom. “Then, the pandemic started right after the album came out.

“During the pandemic, we wrote another album. The new music is faster and heavier. It’s the sound I’ve been chasing for a while. It’s evolved. We already did what we wanted to do with the first two albums.

“I do most of the writing, but it’s split. Everyone contributes. I usually start it and it usually starts with guitar. I demo everything I come up with. Sometimes it’s riffs and other times it’s full songs. The lyrics always come at the end. Thew instrumental usually leads me to where the lyrics should go.

“We’re basically in the middle of making the new album. We’re recording it at The Green House, a studio in Marietta, Georgia. We’re using Jerry Jones, the same producer we used before. After this tour, we’ll go back and work on it. We’ll spend a month-and-a-half on it when e get home.”

CLOAK fans will get a preview of the new material at this weekend’s show – a small glimpse of what is to come.

“We’re going one new song in our live set,” said Taysom. “The rest is half-and-half – ‘To Venomous Depths’ and ‘The Burning Dawn.”

Video link for CLOAK – https://youtu.be/rpq05qINVTc.

The show at Kung Fu Necktie on November 5 will start at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $12.

Arlen Roth

Hopefully for Arlen Roth, the old saying “The third time is a charm” will hold true this weekend when he headlines a show at Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) on November 6.

Roth played the venue in Kennett Square in April 2019.

He was scheduled to return for a concert in April 2020, but the pandemic shutdown erased that booking.

This summer, Roth was slated to play a show as part of the Flash’s “Rooftop Series.” Inclement weather wiped out that show and it was rescheduled for this November.

Roth, who will turn 70 next year, is an American guitarist, teacher, and author. From 1982-1992, he was a columnist for Guitar Player magazine and those ten years of columns became a book, “Hot Guitar.”

He grew up in New York in a family that was immersed in the arts. His father Al Ross, who lived to be 100, was a cartoonist for The New Yorker Magazine and many other publications over a 75-year career. Roth had three brothers, all of whom became cartoonists.

Al Ross was also a great painter and fine artist, and he was the one who encouraged Arlen to become a guitarist when he saw Arlen playing along with the Flamenco records he would play in the Bronx apartment.

“Guitar was always a sound that was around in my house,” said Roth. “We lived in an apartment in Brooklyn and my father listened to a lot of flamenco music. That was an influence on me.

“I got a violin when I was young. My brother had a guitar with two strings, and I’d just noodle around with it. I was studying violin in school and my dad said – forget violin, go with guitar.

“So, I went down and studied guitar with a Bohemian woman in the Village. In 1964, I bought my first guitar at Ben’s Music on 48th Street. It was an Ideal four-pickup Japanese guitar with a Stewart amplifier. The guitar had a lot of chrome and lots of pickups.”

Music was there but Roth’s family was mainly into drawing and art.

“I used to do cartoons,” said Roth. “I’d make up my own cartoon books. My father was a single panel cartoonist. I liked that and also liked comic books.

“I did cartoons for a long time and then I got into photography. I’m the only one in the family with ear so I also got into music.”

Roth attended the High School of Music and Art in New York City from 1966-1969 as an art student. He then studied at the Philadelphia College of Art from 1969-1971.

“I studied film and photography at the Philadelphia College of Art,” said Roth. “I had a band – Steel – who lived with me. We were playing everywhere. In 1970, we went to the town of Woodstock to get heard.”

In 1970, Steel put on the first Woodstock Reunion concert to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the festival in Bethel, New York, where Roth lived every summer since he was born.

“We put on the first anniversary show,” said Roth. “Steel was the only band and played four hours every day.”

Roth’s reputation started to grow and soon his talents were in demand.

He began to record and tour with acts such as Happy and Artie Traum, Eric Andersen, Paul Butterfield, Art Garfunkel, Janis Ian, John Prine, Helen Schneider, Pete Seeger, Phoebe Snow, Dusty Springfield, and Loudon Wainwright III. He toured with the Bee Gees, Simon and Garfunkel and Duane Eddy.

From then on, his CV continued to grow and become more impressive.

In 1976, he appeared in the Bob Dylan film “Renaldo and Clara” performing with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Patti Smith and Phil Ochs. He is featured performing on his 1953 Telecaster with Patti Smith in the 2019 Bob Dylan/Martin Scorsese film “Rolling Thunder.” Roth’s version of “Scarborough Fair” is featured on the soundtrack of the film, “Lost in Translation.”

Roth’s first book, “Slide Guitar,” was published by Oak Publications when he was 21. He has since published numerous well-known books such as “How to Play Blues Guitar,” “Nashville Guitar,” “Arlen Roth’s Complete Electric Guitar,” “Arlen Roth’s Complete Acoustic Guitar,” “Rock Guitar for Future Stars,” “Heavy Metal Guitar,” “Hot Guitar” and “Masters of the Telecaster.”

He released a “Slide Guitar Summit” album in 2015 featuring duets with guitarists Sonny Landreth, David Lindley, Greg Martin, Lee Roy Parnell, Jack Pearson, Rick Vito, Jimmy Vivino, and Johnny Winter. This is said to be Johnny Winter’s final recording.

Roth is a Telecaster enthusiast who wrote the book, “Masters of the Telecaster,” detailing the techniques of many famous Telecaster guitarists.

He has performed and recorded with Rory Block, Cindy Cashdollar, Ry Cooder, John Entwistle, Danny Gatton, Vince Gill, Levon Helm, Albert Lee, David Lindley, Don McLean, Steve Morse, Phil Ochs, John Sebastian, James Taylor, Kate Taylor, Livingston Taylor, Rick Wakeman, Joe Louis Walker, and Steve Wariner.

Roth has released 16 solo albums starting with “Guitarist,” which came out on Rounder Records in 1978 and won the Montreaux Critics Award for “Best Instrumental Album of the Year” in 1978. His most recent LP is “TELEMASTERS,” which was released on Aquinnah Records in 2019.

He was voted in the Top 50 Acoustic Guitarists of All-Time by Gibson.com, and in the Top 100 Most Influential Guitarists of All-Time by Vintage Guitar Magazine. From 2007-2012, Roth was also the creator of more than one thousand online lessons and blogs for Gibson Guitars.

Roth’s next album will feature duets with another rock/folk legend who got his start in the Village in the 1960s – John Sebastian, former frontman/multi-instrumentalist of The Lovin’ Spoonful.

“It’s a duet album with John and me playing all Spoonful songs,” said Roth. “I always loved the Spoonful with John and guitarist Zal Yanovsky – and The Byrds with Clarence White.”

Video link for Arlen Roth — https://youtu.be/MY9_cKckm48.

The show at Kennett Flash on November 6 will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30.

Another show at Kennett Flash this weekend will feature Sean Rowe with special guest Katie Dill on November 5.

Lisa Christ Superstar

The first incarnation of the music act Lisa Christ Superstar happened in Philadelphia more than two decades ago.

The band, which was fronted by Philadelphia native Lisa Flynn, ceased to exist but Flynn and her husband/musical partner Eric Perfect continued with various projects.

Around two years ago, Flynn and Perfect, the band’s drummer, brought Lisa Christ Superstar back to life along with original bassist Brian Bloemker.

The result is a brand-new Lisa Christ Superstar album – “Soundtrack To The Floating World.” The album comes out on streaming services this Friday and the trio is celebrating with a “Record Release Party” on November 6 at The Fire (412 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, thefirephilly.com).

“We had the album ready to go in 2019 and then I had to deal with breast surgery and COVID shutting everything down,” said Flynn, during a phone interview Wednesday night from her home in Philadelphia.

Flynn works as a nurse at Fox Chase Cancer Center. In a case of dark irony, she ended up hospitalized with breast cancer.

“I was diagnosed right before the pandemic,” said Flynn. “That was in November 2019. I had my surgery – bilateral mastectomy – on January 17, 2020.

“I was so lucky that it happened right before COVID. My first day back at work was March 17 – the same day the hospital had its first COVID patient.

“I’m cancer-free now. Fortunately, I got my prognosis because it was caught early with a mammogram. Ladies take note – get your mammograms done.”

Obviously, Flynn’s music career was placed on hold for a while.

“For me, cancer and going back to work shut me down,” said Flynn. “I didn’t have the strength. At one point, I thought I’d bever be able to play again.

“But I never stopped working on my music. Music is important because it’s an outlet from all the stress. Music is the universal healer.”

Flynn got stronger and Lisa Christ Superstar moved forward with its new music.

Produced by Grammy winner, Joe “The Butcher” Nicolo (James Taylor, Jazzy Jeff, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel), “Soundtrack To The Floating World” explores themes of grief, liberation, strength, forgiveness and fate with Flynn’s blistering guitar work and Perfect’s booming, driving percussion.

“We started practicing again and then recorded the album with producer Joe Nicolo at his studio in Audubon,” said Flynn. “We had put it off for a while because of the pandemic.

“We went in the studio back in March. We had two full-day sessions and did 12 songs. Then, we went back for another day to put the final touches on.”

Over the last two decades, Flynn and Perfect had another band – The Workhorse III. That group released three albums — “The Workhorse III” in 2015, “Fortune Favors The Bold” in 2015 and “Closer to Relevance” in 2016.”

This year, Lisa Christ Superstar has released two singles from the upcoming album.

“The first was ‘I’m Going Under,’” said Flynn. “Our dog, who was 16, passed away the night before Thanksgiving last year. The song was already written so I changed all the lyrics and dedicated it to the love of pets and what people go through when they lose a pet. It’s a living tribute to pets.

“The other single is a song called, ‘Silencer.’ The video for that song came out today.”

The next step forward for Lisa Christ Superstar is a live show at The Fire.

“We did one show in October,” said Flynn. “It was an outside show at The Rivet in Pottstown. The show at The Fire will be out first indoor gig. Our live show this weekend will include songs from our past three The Workhorse III records and five new songs.”

Video link for Lisa Christ Superstar – https://youtu.be/xJ2WfdPdHn0.

The show at the Fire on November 6, which will start at 7 p.m., also features Pagan Babies, Loafss, The Heels and Get Yourself Killed.

On November 6 and 7, the Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) will host a  pair of shows featuring 10,000 Maniacs.

10,000 Maniacs

In September 2017, 10,000 Maniacs celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the release of their critically acclaimed, break-out album, “In My Tribe” – an album that Rolling Stone Magazine included in its “100 Best Albums of The Eighties.”

The band endeared itself to area fans when, as part of the celebration, it was the headline attraction at the annual Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square.

2021 marks the 40-year anniversary of the inception of 10,000 Maniacs. Founded in 1981 in Jamestown, NY, 10,000 Maniacs has maintained a stable line-up and still features four of the original six members — Steven Gustafson, Dennis Drew, John Lombardo and Jerry Augustyniack.

Founding lead singer, Natalie Merchant, left in 1993 to pursue a solo career and was replaced by back-up singer, Mary Ramsey, who proved to be a natural fit for the band vocally and added another dimension to the group with her prowess on viola.  The other founding member, Robert Buck, passed away in 2000 and was replaced by his long-time guitar tech, Jeff Erickson.

Now back on the road after 15 months off due to the pandemic, 10,000 Maniacs is back to doing what they love the most, which is sharing the stage together bringing their music to their fans, both old and new.

“We didn’t play any live shows and we didn’t do any livestream shows during the shutdown,” said Ramsey, during a recent phone interview while in Ridgeway, Canada. “I did do a few livestream shows with a local jazz group – Mary Ramsey and Friends.

“Instead of livestream shows, we decided to just keep working on our music. Now, we’re working on new material at our studio in Jamestown, New York. We get together very carefully when recording.

“We’re still recording for the next few months and hopefully will have something for our fans. We will release an album sometime next year. It’s fun to do that recording process.

“It’s a different model these days with releasing singles online. We have a lot of different ideas. We have about 10 demos done of new songs. We might play one of them in Ardmore.”

The band is from the Buffalo area and has a strong following in the Delaware Valley.

“We’re still based in western New York – in Jamestown,” said Ramsey. “I grew up in Fredonia, New York and then moved to Buffalo in 1985. John lives here in Buffalo too. We’re all still in this part of the state.

“My joining 10,000 Maniacs as their singer just sort of happened.

“John and I have had a folk-rock duo for 25 years called John and Mary. We opened for 10,000 Maniacs on tours in 1990 and 1993. We still do shows as John and Mary.

“We did the tour when Natalie (original lead singer Natalie Merchant) departed the band. The group asked John and me to write songs with them. The first CD we made with them was ‘Love Among the Ruins’ in 1997.

“Replacing Natalie was challenging. But any kind of transition is challenging. The band wanted to keep going – and to keep its signature sound.

“With Natalie’s vocals, I just sing them and respect them. I just try to sing from my soul and hopefully sing in tune and do a good version of it.

“With the band, I sing, write and play violin and viola. There are songs in there that I’ve written. The support from then audience was the affirmation to keep doing what we were doing.”

In June 2016, 10,000 Maniacs released “Playing Favorites” on Omnivore Recordings. The live recording was the follow-up to the band’s highly acclaimed 2015 release “Twice Told Tales,” which is a full-length collection of traditional British Isles folk songs.

“When we play a show, we do a variety of things – hits, songs from other albums and some new songs too,” said Ramsey. “We do have some ‘must play’ songs like ‘Rainy Day,’ ‘More Than This,’ ‘Like the Weather’ and ‘These Are Days.’”

Video link for 10,000 Maniacs — https://youtu.be/exJmvyBWm68.

The shows at the Ardmore Music Hall will start at 8 p.m. each night.

Tickets are $35.

Another upcoming show at Ardmore Music Hall is Yonder Mountain String Band on November 5.

If you’re prone to believing stereotypes, then you probably envision an older black male if someone referred to a veteran blues artist and think that a young, white female blues veteran would be a fish out of water.

And you’d be very wrong – especially if you consider Samantha Fish.

Samantha Fish, who is headlining a show on November 7 at Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, 215-232-2100, www.utphilly.com), is a veteran musician. She’s also a talented singer and an adept songwriter. But, more than anything, she’s a guitarist with roots in rock, blues and Americana.

Fish is touring in support of her latest album, “Faster,” which is an ironic title considering nothing went faster in the 20 months of pandemic shutdown.

“It’s a pandemic album,” said Fish, during a recent phone interview from her home in Louisiana.

“I started working on it during the pandemic. I told myself – go inside yourself and be creative.”

“Faster,” which was produced by Martin Kierszenbaum (Lady Gaga, Sting), was released on September 10 on Rounder Records.

“Martin reached out in 2020,” said Fish, a native of Kansas City, Missouri. “We had a Kansas City connection.

“I came to Kansas City in October. We met and meshed really well. We just forged a friendship and started talking. I realized he was the guy I wanted to produce the album. He’s done pop but he’s from Michigan and the rock scene there.

“We cut the album in L.A. We went to Village Recorder to make it. We started in December and spent a couple weeks in the studio.”

The Village Recorder is famous for landmark recordings by Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Stones, Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Smashing Pumpkins, Chili Peppers and many other projects.

“It’s a pretty incredible studio,” said Fish. “I was in awe when we first went there. We were in the studio where Dr. Dre recorded ‘The Chronic.’ I thought t myself – I’m here and I’ve got to make the most of this moment.

“I had a bunch of songs ready to go. I had an abundance of material. I cut 14 songs. Twelve of them are on ‘Faster’ and the other two are on a special edition of the album.

“Martin had a different approach to production. He played all the keyboards, and I did all the guitar work. The album has a heartbeat. It’s very human. I recorded most of the songs live – meat and potatoes.

“Martin put a lot of time into the record before we stepped in the studio. Then, we both put a lot of time into pre-production. It was very calm.

“I’m always into exploring. Every record I make is different from the last. You’ve got to be open to change to grow. You have to listen to your heart.”

Fish has music in her DNA.

“My dad played, and my mom sang in church,” said Fish. “My dad’s friends all played music. They’d come over to our house and play. It was a social thing. My uncles played metal with heavy guitar. My dad’s friends played country-and-western and blues.

“I started with drums and did that for a couple years. I’m glad I did because it gave me the rhythmic foundation. When I picked up guitar – that’s when I started singing. Not long after, I started writing songs.

“Song writing is something you have to work on if you want to learn how to write good songs. I still play songs today that I wrote when I was 20. My songs are rock, country and soul – all bluesy even though I’ve never written a standard blues song.”

Musical diversity has always been crucial for Fish – listening and playing.

“I listened to a lot of soul music — people like Otis Redding and Ray Charles,” said Fish. “I was also influenced by blues acts — especially North Mississippi blues — people like R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough.”

The last time Fish played the area, it was with a six-piece band. This time is more streamlined.

“On this tour, it’s a four-piece band,” said Fish. “The bass player is from New Orleans. The drummer is from Nashville. The keyboard player is from New Jersey. I always try to go out with a new show – a show with some new stuff and some old stuff.”

Video link for Samantha Fish — https://youtu.be/lAe4Yg0gx-I.

The show at Union Transfer on November 7, which has River Kittens as the opening act, will start at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $25.

Other upcoming shows at Union Transfer are Crumb on November 5, The Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret on November 6, Delta Rae

November 9 and Mayer Hawthorne on November 10.

Midweek will be anything but boring for metal music fans with shows by DED on November 9 and Gemini Syndrome on November 10.

DED, which headlines a show on Tuesday at Franklin Music Hall (421 North Seventh Street, Philadelphia, franklin.musichallphiladelphia.org), features Joe Cotela on vocals, Adam Adamcik on guitar, Kyle Koelsch on bass and Matt Reinhard on drums.

“The band is based in Arizona but I’m living in upstate New York,” said Cotela, during a recent phone interview from New York City.

“We were all in different bands in the Tempe area.”

DED is made up of members from Greeley Estates and Man Made Machine.

Shortly after Man Made Machine performed their final show, Cotela and Reinhard formed a new ensemble named DED along with guitarist David Ludlow and bassist Kyle Koelsch, both members of Greeley Estates.

“Me and Matt just got together one day and decided to write some heavy songs,” said Cotela. “We started playing some shows and everything shot off faster than expected.

“In July 2017, we released our first album, ‘Mis•an•thrope,’ on Suretone Records. “We spent a couple months in Calabasas, California working with producer John Feldman.”

With DED, Cotela experienced his true calling.

“Music has always been my escape from the world,” said Cotela. “Ever since I was a teenage, I was going to rock shows,” said Cotela. “They’re like my church – a place to go to celebrate with like-minded people.”

DED’s sophomore album, “School of Thought,” was just released on October 15 on Suretone Records.

“We recorded it with producer Kevin Churko, who has worked with bands like Ozzy Osbourne and Five Finger Death Punch. “We started at the end of 2019 at The Hideout Studio in Las Vegas.

“We released a single right before the pandemic hit. The first single was ‘A Mannequin Idol.’ We also released two other singles during the pandemic – ‘Eyes Sewn Shut’ and ‘Parasite.’ The album was supposed to come out then, but it got pushed back to this year.

“With my lyrics, I try to make people think. I’m generally a positive person. I dealt with bad anxiety and found a way to overcome. Our new single, ‘Killing Beautiful Things,’ is about an inner struggle.’

According to Cotela, “The song is about the survival of compassion and love in the modern world. And how you navigate the path of life to not succumb to the evils of humanity. The song shines a light on our struggle to exist with a conscious mind and good intentions against an overwhelming current of negativity and strife.

“I don’t enjoy when I get pulled into the darkness of my mind, yet I cannot deny it strengthens me against becoming this person I don’t want to be. I do feel we all need to remind ourselves of the sacred place we come from to preserve our identity and remain on our path to our true destiny, as there are many false ones on detours along the way.”

DED just released a powerful video for “Killing Beautiful Things.” The video was shot with director Marc Klasfeld in the woods of upstate New York while the world was in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The song is about stepping back,” said Cotela. “It’s cognitive therapy.”

Video link for DED — https://youtu.be/vPPfVshD5bQ.

The show at Franklin Music Hall on November 9, which also features In This Moment and Black Veil Brides, will start at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $39.50.

Other upcoming shows at Franklin Music Hall are Midland on November 5 and Saint Jhn on November 6.

On November 10, Reverb (1402 North Ninth Street, Reading, 610-743-3069, www.reverbconcerts.com) will host a free show by the veteran West Coast hard rock band Gemini Syndrome.

Gemini Syndrome, which is now based in Los Vegas, features vocalist/guitarist Aaron Nordstrom, drummer Brian Steele Medina, bassist Alessandro Paveri, and guitarist Miguel “Meegs” Rascón.

The band just released third album, “3rd Degree – The Raising,” via Another Century Records.

“We were done recording the album at the end of 2019 – in October,” said Nordstrom, during a phone interview Tuesday evening from a tour stop in Lakeland, Ohio.

“We were writing for the album for about two years. It’s a communal process. Then, we recorded the entire record in four or five weeks. We tracked all the vocals in seven days.”

“We mixed and mastered it in February. We were set to do photos in March and then L.A. shut down

Gemini Syndrome’s debut album, “Lux,” came out in 2013. The follow up album was “Memento Mori” in 2016.

“For that album, we went to The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas to make the album,” said Nordstrom. “We did the whole record in seven weeks. We were doing six days a week — 12-14 hours a day.

“The new album was recorded with producer Matt Good in Mesa, Arizona. He came highly recommended. We love his work. Our first two albums were produced by Kane and Kevin Churko. They’re great but we wanted a fresh perspective in the studio.”

Nordstrom made good use of his pandemic-induced down time.

“I did some soul searching and got my head straight,” said Nordstrom. “I got a puppy. And I lived life like a normal being – for a minute.”

Now, the album is out, and the band is back on the road with its “2021 Initiation Tour.”.

“The album came out on October 15 and we’re now finishing the first week of a 28-concert tour,” said Nordstrom. “We’ve been waiting for a long time to get on the road. We also went out in July and August with no problem.”

Gemini Syndrome’s new album shows the group’s evolution as a band and Nordstrom’s evolution as a front man.

“People say the new album is heavier,” said Nordstrom. “I think the delivery on my part is more honest. I’m singing more.”

Vocalists in heavy band often go through a metamorphosis on vocals from flat-out screaming to a mixture of screaming and singing.

“My mom is a singer and so was I when I was young,” said Nordstrom. “I didn’t learn how to scream until I was in college. Now with our music, I just find it more enjoyable with more singing.”

The band also evolved with its lineup. There was one pair of guitarists from 2010-2016 and a different pair from 2016-2017. They were replaced by Nicholas Paul Arnold and Rascón. Now, only Rascón remains.

“In the future, I’ll play guitar for a few songs,” said Nordstrom. “Also, I’ll be doing a little bit of keyboards live. I think it sounds better with one guitar. A four on stage looks more symmetrical.”

Gemini Syndrome has entered its second decade.

“We had our first gig back in 2010,” said Nordstrom. “Brian and I lived in L.A. since 2000. We were in similar circles with mutual friends but never met until 2009. I’m from Chicago and had moved back there for a few years. Then, I happened to be in L.A. when they were looking to form a band.

“I had played in OTEP for a couple years. After I left that band, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then, this opportunity came up. I joined with them and then went back to Chicago and wrote 14 songs in six weeks. Those songs were used on our six-song EP. In 2012, we went in the studio in L.A. and recorded ‘Lux.’”

Both album titles on the first two LPs are in Latin. “Lux” is the Latin word for “light.”

Nordstrom said, “The phrase ‘Memento Mori’ means ‘Remember, we die,’ or more accurately, ‘Remember, you must die,’” said Nordstrom. “It’s a reminder to all of us about our mortality.”

Nordstrom also cited another Latin phrase – “Carpe Diem,” which means “seize the day.”

“Carpe Diem – that’s what this music is about,” said Nordstrom. “Appreciate the moment.”

Video link for Gemini Syndrome — https://youtu.be/_naop2VCKCM.

The show at Reverb on November 10 will start at 6 p.m. Tickets are free.

Other upcoming shows at Reverb are Penntera on November 5 and Born of Osiris on November 9.

Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center (226 North High Street, West Chester, uptownwestchester.org) will present “Cherry Cherry – Neil Diamond Tribute” on November 5.

Jamey’s House of Music (32 South Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne, 215-477-9985, www.jameyshouseofmusic.com) will host Annie Sumi on November 5 and Slim and the Perkolators on November 6.

The Living Room (35 East Ardmore Avenue, Ardmore, https://thelivingroomat35east.com) will present Ian Flanigan on November 6 and John Waite on November 7.

Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) will present Graham Parker on November 4, the Kingston Trio on November 5, Steep Canyon Rangers on November 6, The Airplane Family on November 8, and Walter Trout on November 9.

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