This past Sunday evening saw a ROCK ON RADIO first. My first ever live remote broadcast from Tim McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park, NJ! I was asked by the greatly talented LAURA CRISCI to be the preshow
at her CD release party for her first ever full-length album "All Is Well." The show was also broadcast live via the internet on www.njdiscover.com.
My guest on this special occasion was Elizabeth, NJ rocker PAT "THE SOUL CAT" TONER. This veteran musician has been playing and contributing to the Jersey shore music scene and beyond ever since he was
seven years old. Playing his first gig for his elementary school chums, he was "bit by the bug" and performing became an integral part of his life.
Over the years, "The Soulcat" has performed with many Jersey shore area greats, several of which stopped by our on-stage table set-up to chat with us. The first was a former drummer for Bruce Springsteen,
VINI "MAD DOG" LOPEZ. Vini's drumming can be found on Springsteen's first two albums as well as numerous other artists that he's encountered over the years. Lopez is currently touring with Steel Mill (Retro)
but took time to lay down the drum track to "Sweet Troublemaker" on Toner's soon-to-be-released CD, "Rain And Cats And Dogs." Also featured on this track is the late John Luraschi on bass. Piano was done
by the album's producer John Mulrenan (of Acorn Digital Studios) and, on the harmonica, there was long-time friend Lou Felipe.
We were later joined by Felipe, who lamented about his old friend and my guest, based on their past experiences in JoBonanno and The Godsons of Soul. Felipe commented on how their paths crossed twenty-five
years ago, life on the road as they toured the eastern United States, and Toner's new CD. Later, Felipe joined Crisci on stage as her percussionist for the evening.
Next, CHRIS ASCH, who drove up from Florida just for the event, joined us at the table. Chris and Toner provided musical and background vocal tracks on "All Is Well." Asch played an original composition
then departed to a great round of applause.
Then, Laura Crisci, the star of the show, popped in for a quick chat. Stating only that she's known Toner for "longer than that," she discussed his vocal work on "All Is Well." Crisci would later exchange
the favor by doing background vocals on Toner's song "Am I In Love." Later on in the evening Toner accompanied her on stage during the live performance in what for me was one of many of the evening's highlights.
His strong soulful backing vocals on "It's My Faith" were outstanding.
"The Soul Cat" is also a tireless supporter of the late Harry Chapin's "World Hunger Year" as well as the "Imagine There's No Hunger" project. He went as far as to tell us on air that he will "donate
the first one thousand dollars of CD sales from "Rain And Cats And Dogs" to this cause." He then presented me with a bracelet that he purchased which aides with fundraising.
Toner's album is scheduled for release in January 2010. This CD features multiple Jersey Shore area artists, great music, and a purpose: to help feed the hungry.
Pat "The Soul Cat" Toner can be found at www.myspace.com/patthesoulcat. Check out this great musician, humanitarian and all around great
After ROCK ON RADIO wrapped up, the packed house at McLoone's got a real treat, Laura Crisci rocked the house! I was extremely impressed with her first show/return to New Jersey after spending time in
Nashville, TN. Laura's stage presence and on-the-mark vocals were outstanding.
The cast of background players that she assembled and calls the "Whoever Shows Up Band" were nothing short of spectacular. Along side of Crisci there were notables Gary Oleyar, Phil Florio, Vini Lopez
and PK Lavengood, just to name a few.
It was a veritable "who's who" of the Jersey Shore! I wish her incredible success with her new CD.
This coming Sunday on ROCK ON RADIO, my guest is East Windsor, NJ singer/songwriter KIM YARSON (www.kimyarson.com). Her recently released CD, "Satisfied,"
is a combination of rockin' pop/country tunes that are descriptive and well written.
ROCK ON RADIO is now on www.starfmradio.net out of North Carolina every Monday thru Thursday 7pm EST.
Turn on Sundays at 10pm EST to www.wifi1460am.com to hear us live and ROCK ON!