Jersey Jams Fund

The Second Annual "All You Need Is Love" Fest

It's been more than two years since the tragedy of Sept. 11 and those from many professions still are looking for ways to help the victims affected directly by it. Musicians in New Jersey have not stopped stepping up to the plate and raising money doing what they are best at.

To continue these traditions, the Jersey Jams, Jersey Cares Fund will hold its Second Annual "All You Need is Love" Fest, paying tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Beatles's U.S. invasion, at three north Jersey venues in February. The event last year paid tribute to the Beatles' music while raising money for families who lost loved ones due to the attacks on September 11.

The fund originated with Bob Makin, a New Jersey journalist, who can be seen at many local shows putting great effort into raising money for it. It began with a CD, "Jersey Jams, Jersey Cares: A Charitable Tribute to the New Jersey Families of September 11," and continued with a large number of shows leading up to this one. Artists who have taken part include John Eddie, Glenn Burtnik and Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

Some top local bands from the northern part of the state to the Jersey shore have lent their hearts, time and effort to the cause.

This year's line up includes a show on Feb. 6 at the Broadway Central Café (South Amboy, NJ) featuring the Marbles, Kiss the Planet Blue, Bongo Jones and others.

On Feb. 7, Spiraling, Clever Hans, Dibs, Tommy Strazza, Akasa and others will play the Court Tavern in New Brunswick. [ Publisher's Note: the February 7th show will be hosted by Chorus and Verse's own Josh Davidson. ]

Lastly, on Feb. 8, Mr. Ray & The Children's Beatles Singalong, Mary Ann Farley, Kathy Phillips, Mr. Neutron and Primitive Soul, will appear at Maxwell's in Hoboken. A section of each show features the night's musicians jamming on Beatles selections.

If past shows are reflective of the future, concertgoers can expect to see some up-and-coming bands giving some of their best performances. Artists that consistently pump spirit into area clubs will be out playing for a good cause. And, if Makin has his way, these events will continue for years to come.

Chorus and Verse spoke with Clever Hans about the cause, the latest news on the band and what it means to play a September 11 benefit.

How did you get involved with Jersey Jams, Jersey Cares?

As one of the most involved people in the local music scene, it's hard not to cross paths with Bob Makin. He's helped us out on so many occasions, and when he proposed us playing a Jersey Jams, Jersey Cares show, we jumped at the opportunity.

What significance does September 11 play in your lives to this day?

It's hard to tell what kind of impact such an event will make on your life. The further we move from the event, the harder it is for us, as Americans, to truly understand the global significance of the Trade Center disaster.

We were attacked in the same fashion as Pearl Harbor, except that civilians were the casualties, which makes it all the more difficult. America is the focus of so much hate, and we just need to find the happy medium between feeling untouchable and being paranoid.

You guys have played the Court Tavern on many occasions. Has it become one of the more popular places to play for your band members?

We are a New Brunswick band. Any musician in this town knows there's only one place that makes you feel like you're a rock band. Give us a stage, some dim lights, booze for our fans and decent sound system and we're in heaven. The Court is all of that plus you get Mark, April and Sluggo slinging the booze. What more could you ask for?

Are you guys big Beatles fans? If so, how does their music relate to an event like this?

Dave and James are the Beatles fans in the band. Songwriting will always be their focus, and who better to model yourself after than the Beatles. John and Paul are Clever Hans' role models.

Can you fill me in on the latest news with your band?

Michael Brauer (Coldplay, Bob Dylan, Sugar Ray) is currently mixing our forthcoming EP and will be shopped by our management, Little Forest Entertainment. Also, we are currently seeking a new bass player, as Mr. Frank Mount has decided to venture professionally outside of the rock realm. Most likely, he'll be bassing your face off at the Jersey Jams show, however.

What can fans expect at the Court Tavern show?

Beer, rock, antics, and excited Beatles fans.

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Josh Davidson

Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.