Rockland-Bergen Music Festival

Rockland-Bergen Music Festival

Tappan, NY

June 23, 2018

Review and Photos by Mark Ashe – markashephotography.com

 

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Joe D’Urso’s fifth Annual Rockland-Bergen Music Festival made another star studded return to picturesque Tappan, New York on Saturday afternoon.  It was a cool overcast day at the daylong fest with showers in the forecast, but the rain stayed away, which probably kept some people away as well.  Joe D’Urso, the founder of the festival and lead singer/songwriter of his band Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan put together a festival with sixteen acts performing on two stages.

Headlining the show were Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.  Veterans playing from past years were Jeffery Gaines, Joe Grushecky, Steve Forbert and Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan.  On the “Glow-Seeger Stage” were full band performances and solo acoustic performances and on the “Mr. Lou/Stefan’s Turning Point Stage” were acoustic and slimmed down versions of bands.  This being D’Urso’s fifth festival, he and his staff had the festival running like a fined tuned engine.  When one act was finished on one stage, the next act started right up on the second stage.  Sets were generally forty-five minutes, so the audience was treated to tons of “best of” from the bands.

Full gallery of photos here.

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes took the stage last and this is the reason that the fans came to the music festival.  In the past few years you really didn’t know what kind of a show you’d get with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.  But at Saturday’s show we were treated to the “A” show.  Johnny and the band gave their all and the crowd were treated to a great show.  Not too shabby for the 69 year-old Southside Johnny to put on a 90 minute set. 

There was a set list on the stage, but after the second song Johnny just kept asking the crowd what song they wanted to hear and he pretty much obliged.  The sixteen song set included; Forever, Take It Inside, Trapped Again, Don’t Waste My Time, Love on the Wrong Side of Town, Broke Down Piece of Man, Without Love Happy/All Right Now, Walk Away Renée, Talk to Me, Sweeter Than Honey, Long Distance, On the Beach, The Fever, I Don’t Want to Go Home and for the encore We’re Having a Party (with Joe D’Urso and Joe Grushecky.)  Southside Johnny is the only original member of the band, but that didn’t slow down this band one bit consisting of Southside Johnny/vocals and harmonica, Jeff Kazee/keyboards, John Conte/bass, Glenn Alexander/guitar, Tom Seguso/drums, John Isley/tenor and baritone sax, Chris Anderson/trumpet and Neal Pawley/trombone.

Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan’s set was like an old homecoming where everybody knew every word to every song.  D’Urso grew up in the same town as the festival and there were plenty friends and family on hand to lend support to Stone Caravan, even though none was needed as D’Uros and the band played a passionate set.  Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan opened with Let It Go dedicated to Stone Caravan’s former bassist Mr. Lou DeMartino, who passed away after the second Bergen Rockland festival.  Next up was the Willie Nile penned anthem One Guitar.  Usually, a set ender or even and encore song, but having One Guitar up front really got the crowd jumping.  Another crowd pleaser in the set was Tom Petty’s Runnin’ Down A Dream.

From the video channel of glenn1075

Steve Forbert, Jeffrey Gaines, Bruce Off Broadway and the local version of School of Rock each had a set.  On the smaller “Mr. Lou/Stefan’s Turning Point Stage” most of the performances were acoustic.  Performers include Joe Grushecky, Dave Frye, Compton Maddux, Anneliese McCarthy, Tim O’Donohue & TMU Band, Loretta Hagen, Meghan Cary, Anthony D’Amato, Killer Joe & the Thieves and Bobby DiBlasio Band.

From the video channel of glenn1075

Joe Grushecky performed a true acoustic set with guitar and harmonica, as did Steve Forbert.  Forbert had at least a half dozen harmonica’s with him, almost one per song.  Among the songs that Forbert performed were Going Down To Laurel and Romeo’s Tune, his big hit from 1980.

In addition to the music, several charities were on hand including Why Hunger, Light of Day Foundation and The Dan Sullivan Foundation.  The Rockland-Bergen Music Festival mission is to bring great music to the beautiful areas of Rockland and Bergen counties area while raising awareness and consciousness of many organizations that are doing great work in various fields of health and humanity and have them be discovered and supported by music fans.

Joe D’Urso’s fifth Annual Rockland-Bergen Music Festival was a wonderful laid-back festival showcasing amazing musical acts.  The crowd was enthusiastic and it would be great for the festival to keep building on past years, making the festival better every year.

 

 

Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.

To submit an article an article or review, or to just say hello hit us at lmnandr@gmail.com