On Stage: Sticky Fingers brings the swagger

Emerging acts in Delaware Valley spotlight this week

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times 

sticky fingers

Sticky Fingers

There used to be just two main meanings for “sticky fingers.” There was the literal translation and there was the slang meaning. Someone with sticky fingers was prone to stealing on a regular basis — especially shoplifting.

In 1971, another meaning for the phrase entered the vernacular. That was the year that the Rolling Stones released “Sticky Fingers,” an album that contained timeless Stones classics such as “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Sister Morphine” and “Dead Flowers.”

Now, the music world has provided another meaning. Sticky Fingers is a band from Newtown, Australia — a southwest suburb of Sydney. It is a five-piece band that has the level of swagger the name deserves.

Sticky Fingers — Dylan Frost, vocals, guitar; Paddy (“Fingers”) Cornwall, bass, vocals; Seamus (“Hollywood”) Coyle, lead guitar; Freddy Crabs, keyboards; Beaker Best, drums, percussion — is now in the middle of a North American tour that visits the area on May 5 for a show at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, http://undergroundarts.org).

“We’ve been a band for a decade but we held off on touring the states for quite awhile,” said Cornwall, during a phone interview Wednesday evening from a tour stop in Brooklyn. “This is our second tour of America. Our first tour was great.”

The band has released two top 40 albums — “Caress Your Soul” and “Land of Pleasure.”

“Caress Your Soul” reached number 39 and “Land of Pleasure” peaked at number 3 on the Australian Albums Chart.

“We released ‘Caress Your Soul’ in 2013,” said Cornwall. “Before that, we put out three EPs. We had no need to rush. We’ve always been an independent band. We’re very proud of building this whole thing D.I.Y. Our fans are legitimate fans of our music.

“Then, we put out ‘Land of Pleasure’ in 2015 and toured. We sold out our first show in New York, added a second show and sold that one out too. We also had sold-out shows in L.A. and Austin. People were digging it all around. Now, we’re doing it even bigger.”

The band traces its history back a decade to a chance meeting between Cornwall and Frost.

“I was walking down King Street in Newtown and Dylan was busking outside a pub,” said Cornwall. “He had just moved here from New Zealand. I kept running into him and we soon became friends. And, we thought about putting together as band.

“Beaks was playing football (rugby) at the time and was thinking about playing professionally. We talked him out of it and convinced him to get a drum set. Beaks’ mom had a garage and we’d practice there.

“Seamus is an old childhood friend. Freddy was one of the top keyboard players in the area and was in a lot of bands. We called him slut because he would play with anybody. Then, we took him. We were all friends before being a band.”

Sticky Fingers’ music kicks butt unmercifully but manages to evade categorization. It is a mixture of influences — rock, reggae, psych and degenerate undertones.

“We don’t consider ourselves to be a reggae band or a punk band or a rock band –to hell with genres. We’re a band in 2016 so we don’t have to stay with a label. We’re a music band. We play music for ourselves. We don’t think about what kind of band we are. We just play the music we like.

“We do have a reputation for wild live shows. You get something very different from the production on the record. We don’t try to replicate the sound on the record. Our music live is more powerful — in a combustible sense.

“On this tour, we’re doing songs from both albums, our latest single ‘Outcast At Last,’ and three songs of the new record. The new record will be our third album and it will come out in the autumn.”

Video link for Sticky Fingers — https://youtu.be/AQ-pnbOxhcY.

The show at Underground Arts, which has Bootleg Rascal as the opening act, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Other upcoming shows at Underground Arts are LOCAL H featuring a 20th anniversary performance of  “As Good As Dead” in its entirety on May 6, Jared & The Mill with Rosu Lup and Post War Dream on May 7 and Insane Clown Posse with Young Wicked , and The Pumpkin King.


Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls

The Wilmington Flower Market, which is held in early May every year, is an event that always offers a line-up of free music concerts with acts to please a wide variety of tastes. The 2016 edition of the popular event is no different — especially with Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls as the closing act on May 7.

This year, the 96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market returns to Rockford Park (Park Drive, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-995-5699, www.wilmingtonflowermarket.org) will be held from May 5-7.

On May 6, the music roster features Nalani & Sarina, Jocelyn Alice and A Great Big World. The line-up for May 7 features Jungle John, Kevin McCove, Nadjah Nicole and Karmin. On May 8, the festival will present Cher’s Playground, The Quixore Project, Sofi Tyler, Tangina Stone, High Dive Heart and Rzeznik.

Nalani & Sarina (twin sisters Nalani and Sarina Bolton from Flemington, N.J.) are talented vocalists, songwriters, multi-instrumentalists who know how to rock, write insightful melodic songs — and how to get their funk on.

They will make back-to-back Delaware performances this week when they also headline a free concert at the The Inspire Lot Series (Seventh Street between Orange and Tatnall streets, Wilmington, Delaware, http://www.creativedistrictwilm.com/Events/The-Inspire-Lot-Series) on May 6.

The Inspire Lot Series will be held on First Friday Art Loop nights in May, June, August, September and October from 5:30-8:30 p.m. with live music, assorted food trucks, hands-on art activities and a number of other family attractions. 

enemy planes

Enemy Planes

Enemy Planes, which is headlining a show at Dawson Street Pub (100 Dawson Street, Philadelphia, 215- 482-5677, http://www.dawsonstreetpub.com) on May 6, is a rock band from Minneapolis comprised of former members of Solid Gold, GAYNGS, and Pictures of Then — a band that just released its debut album “Beta Lowdown” in March on Rock the Cause Records.

The band includes Casey Call, lead vocals, keyboards; Joe Gamble, guitar; David LeDuc, bass; Kristine Stresman, keyboards, vocals, percussion; Shön Troth, lap steel guitar; Joe Call, drums; and Jessica Anderson, drums.

“This band is a product of other bands in the Twin Cities — making music in a direction that didn’t fit any of the other bands,” said Joe Gamble, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from a tour stop in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Casey Call, Joe Call, David LeDuc and I were members of Pictures of Then and that carried over into this project. About three years ago, we were ready to go into the studio with seven songs featuring the traditional sounds of Pictures of Then.

“We kept coming up with new ideas — more atmospheric experience than pop hooks. The new stuff didn’t fit with the old stuff. Our producer said — make a decision. So, we addressed the songs as a new project. The last recording session of Pictures of Then ended up being the first session for Enemy Planes.

“We did the initial batch in Minneapolis. Then, we went to Lexington, Kentucky to finish up with producer Duane Lundy at Shangri-La Studios. Between those two sessions, ‘Beta Lowdown’ was born.”

Enemy Planes have their roots in the pop music of their previous bands but their heads in an entirely different place — more like Brian Eno than David Byrne.

“’Beta Lowdown’ has a darkness to it — an atmospheric identity that leans on texture more than hooks,” said Gamble. “It’s a listening experience.”

It took awhile for the album to reach the light of day.

“We wrapped up recording about a year-and-a-half ago but we didn’t want to rush it out,” said Gamble. “The album just came out a few weeks ago.

“When we were putting plans together for the album, we just went back in the studio and continued writing. We toured and got legs under the band. And, we kept on writing more. We’re sitting on about eight tunes that are finished. We want to drop our second album within a year.

“We’ve been playing the songs from ‘Beta Lowdown’ for a long time. When you take things on the road, you learn more about the songs. But, these songs haven’t changed much since we recorded them because when we wrote them, it was like putting together pieces of a puzzle. The structures of the songs stayed solid.”

“We’re a six-piece band but right now we’re a five-piece because our lap steel player Shön Troth is having treatments for cancer. Even though he’s not here, he is still with us every night.”

Video link for Enemy Planes — https://youtu.be/pOcHOKKPDkY.

The show at Dawson Street Pub (100 Dawson Street, Philadelphia, 215- 482-5677, http://www.dawsonstreetpub.com) , which also features DeSoto Rust, will start at 9 p.m.

On May 7, Reverb  (1402 North Ninth Street, Reading, 610-743-3069, www.reverbconcerts.com) will present an all-ages concert that is almost a mini-festival — an eight-act concert featuring Otep, Through Fire, Doll Skin, Suicide Puppets, Polytheist, Unholy Dispute, 11:34 and September Mourning.

through fireThrough Fire is a new band from Omaha and, at the same time, a group featuring a line-up that hard rock fans have known and loved for years.

The band heading to Reading this weekend has been together since 2015 and features Justin McCain, lead guitar and founder of the band; Grant Joshua Kendrick, vocals; Jesse Saint, bass, backing vocals; and Patrick Mussack, drums.

The quartet is touring in support of its new single “Stronger,” which has already made an impact at radio. The band will be releasing its debut album later this year via Sumerian Records.

“The single is available on iTunes and is Number 29 in the country right now,” said McCain, during a phone interview Tuesday from a tour stop in Pittsburgh. “We’re going to make an announcement about the full-length very soon.

“The album is all done. We recorded it in Omaha. We did it at home and took our time with it. We’ve recorded on L.A. and other places and it was cool. But, it was better to be at home and Arc Studio is a really good studio.”

Prior to Through Fire, McCain was in Emphatic, a band he founded in 2004 in Omaha. The band released three albums. Its final incarnation included Kendrick, Saint, Mussack and McCain.

“We did a new record and it wasn’t Emphatic anymore,” said McCain. “It was time to change the name. Some of us played in Emphatic. Through Fire was a new band. I’m not putting Emphatic down.  It just was time to move on with new music.

“I was the primary songwriter for Emphatic and it’s the same now with Through Fire. So, it’s going to sound similar in some ways. I love writing. It’s never forced. I constantly write.

“Now, we’re going to be touring for awhile. We came out of the gates in January. We did a big tour with Adelitas Way and came home for a month. Then, then we jumped on this tour –which has been getting great turnouts. We’re going to stay on the road for as long time.”

Video link for Through Fire — https://youtu.be/GlpP5PO6wbk. 

DollSkin_1500x1500 (1)Doll Skin, an all-girl hard rock band from Phoenix, is touring behind an impressive debut album titled “In Your Face (Again)” on EMP Music Group.

The Arizona-based quartet definitely rocks hard — and definitely is all girls. Drummer Meghan Herring is the eldest and she is just 19. The lineup also includes bassist Nicole Rich (18), guitarist Alex Snowden (17) and vocalist Sydney Dolezal (16).

The band’s music draws from a variety of influences — rock, punk, hard rock, pop, alt-rock and metal. The four musicians may be young but they play like polished veterans. They also have benefited from the production work and guidance of Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson.

“All four of us have been studying at the School of Rock in Scottsdale,” said Dolezal, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from as tour stop in Rochester, New York. “Megan got the four of us together to compete in a local battle of the bands called Rock Revolution, at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale.

“That was where we first met Dave Ellefson. His son Ronan went to that school. The night before the contest, he asked his dad to be a guest judge and he agreed. I was never a huge fan of Megadeth — but my parents were. After I saw them play live in Phoenix, I got more appreciation for their music.

“I had different influences. Before I hit eighth grade, I was into pop — One Direction, Justin Bieber. In eighth grade, my tastes changed and I began listening to bands like Suicide Silence, Lamb of God, Dead Sara, Bikini Kill and Pierce the Veil. My parents were O.K. with it. They liked that I liked real music.

With regard to Doll Skin, Ellefson developed appreciation for the band’s music right from the start and got on board as the group’s producer and manager.

“We put out our first EP ‘In Your Face’ last October,” said Dolezal. “We recorded it in the fall. It didn’t take long. We didn’t have to fix anything. We recorded it in Mesa with Dave producing. We just released our first album ‘In Your Face (Again)’ which has the six tracks from the EP and three new songs. We re-mastered the original six to match the three new songs. Our new single off the album is ‘Furious Fixation’ but we haven’t done a video for it yet.”

Video link for Doll Skin — https://youtu.be/zapRHAJGYuA.

The intense, multi-act concert at Reverb will get underway at 5 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages show are $15 in advance and $17 day of show. 

stitched up heart

Stitched Up Heart

When the 2016 HardDrive Live Tour hits the Chameleon Club (223 North Water Street, Lancaster, 717-299-9684, http://www.chameleonclub.net) on May 7, Sick Puppies will be the headline act but it’s very likely Stitched Up Heart will steal the show.

Lead singer Alecia Demner, who goes by the single name Mixi, put the band together in Los Angeles in 2010. The group has gone through a number of line-up changes since then and now includes Mixi (vocals), Dorian (guitar), Decker (drums), Merritt (guitar) and Randy (bass).

Mixi chose the hard rock/metal band’s name based on her state of mind a few years back.

“I started the band in 2010 based off a heartbreak,” said Mixi, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from a tour stop in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “I pulled myself out of a rut and decided to start a band. The name of the band — Stitched Up Heart — is about getting things back together after they go wrong — about picking yourself back up again.

“Everybody in the band kind of knew each other already. We did a bunch of shows in L.A. and began building a good fan base. We’ve has some band members come and go but right now we have a pretty solid core group. Our drummer has been here four years and the others three. Only one of the guitarists is new.”

So far, the band has put out its self-released EP “Skeleton Key” and soon will drop its debut album “Never Alone” on Another Century Records.

“We recorded the album in L.A. with producer Mitch Marlow,” said Mixi. “He’s a badass. We had really good chemistry. He knew exactly what to pull out of us. We were working on it all of last year.

“At first, we wrote 30 songs in a period of three months. Me and Merritt would go in and work with the producer. We’d have a plan — and then it would change in the studio. We’d start with a power ballad and it would turn into something really heavy. We’d usually spend three days on a song from start to finish.

“I write about what I’m going through in my life. My lyrics used to be in a dark place. Now, they’re more positive. They’re about bringing hope into your life and just enjoying the time that you have here.”

 Video link for Stitched Up Heart — https://youtu.be/acZbW-CmUTA.

The show at the Chameleon, which also features Sick Puppies, Red Sun Rising, Hudson and Smashing Satellites, will start at 7 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages show are $15 in advance and $17 day of show.

Other upcoming shows at the Chameleon are Texas Hippie Coalition and Sons of Texas (May 5), DMX (May 6), Avatar (May 9) Insane Clown Posse (May 10) and The Meadow Men and Mitchel Evans & The Mangrove (May 11).



On May, Kung Fu Necktie (1248 North Front Street, Philadelphia, 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com) will host the Canadian band Solids — a pop-rock duo featuring guitarist Xavier Germain-Poitras and drummer Louis Guillemette.

“Me and Louis have been around since 2009,” said Germain-Poitras, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from his home in Montreal. “Our first EP ‘Generic Dogs’ was in 2010.  We practiced for a couple months before making the EP. Prior to that, we played together in a band called The Expectorated Sequence.

“We both came from the hardcore/metal scene. But, I had melodic riffs that didn’t fit The Expectorated Sequence. Louis and I thought about forming a power trio. Then, I found a pedal that split my guitar signal to guitar and bass speakers. So, we stayed a duo.

“We released a 7-inch and, after that, put out our ‘Blame Confusion’ album in 2014. Actually, the album was self-released in late 2013. Then, Fat Possum Records reached out to us for worldwide distribution and we signed with them.”

Blame Confusion” was lauded for its revved-up take on alt-rock from the early ’90s. Its poppy melodies set against a dense, relentless soundscape pointed to the duo’s formative years in the hardcore scene.

Their forthcoming EP “Else” was released by Topshelf/Dine Alone Records on April 15.

The EP serves as a melancholic deconstruction of the ’90s slacker ethos explored on their first LP. It also demonstrates Solids’ transition into a wider and more experimental sound.

“After the album came out, we toured like crazy for two years straight so I was hard to come up with new songs,” said Germain-Poitras. “We’ve been craving to play new songs. We wanted new stuff as soon as possible. So, it was a no-brainer to record three or four songs. An LP would have taken another year and we didn’t want to wait that long.

“Also, there is more freedom with an EP. With an LP, there is a whole lot more pressure to get the right pacing. The EP was an exercise to see where we would go. The songs are all different. Some are Solids-esque and others are more experimental.”

Another experimental activity with Solids is the addition of another musician for the tour — guitarist Guillaume Chiasson from the Quebec band Ponctuation.

“For the EP, I recorded with two guitars so it made sense to add a guitarist for the live shows,” said Germain-Poitras. “I played with Guillaume Chiasson when I was 20 years old. Our guitar playing styles complement each other pretty well.”

Video link for Solids — https://youtu.be/hTQNI7IUyX4.

The show at Kung Fu Necktie, which starts at 8 p.m., also features Stove and Clique. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

Other shows over the next week at KFN are Collar, Gestalt, R.C. Christian, and AIEE on May 6, Music Band and Bleu Velvet on May 8, Klaus Johann Grobe, Throbbing Chakra and Tygaton on May 9, James, Godspeed, Nakuu, and SCMG on May 10 and Daniel Eyes & the Vibes and The Mysteries on May 11.ryan beaver 

If Ryan Beaver’s new album “Rx” were mixed with all the vocals on the left channel and all the instrumentalization on the right channel, it could trick the brain of anyone listening with headphones on.

The signal from the right channel would inform the brain that it was listening to an album by a rock band. The signal from the left channel would inform the brain that it was listening to an album by a country singer.

Beaver, who is performing on May 7 at MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 215- 925-6455, www.milkboyphilly.com), released his first album “Under the Nein” in 2008 and followed with “Constant” in 2011.

“’Constant’ did really well,” said Beaver, during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon from his home in Nashville. “I listen to it today and all I hear is growth. When I made ‘Rx,’ it really clicked on all cylinders — the balance of it all.”

“Rx” was produced by Beaver’s longtime friends Jeremy Spillman and Ryan Tyndell.

“We started recording in fall 2104,” said Beaver. “We took our time and did four sings a session. I had enough time to digest it and think about each song. We finished it in January 2015.

“My goal was to get out of my comfort zone. It’s not really country and it’s not really rock. There are elements of blues, rock, country and folk. I tried to make sure the country element is there in my writing and that it keeps going forward.”

Beaver is a Texas boy who grew in the small town of Emory and then later relocated to Austin. Now, he is living in Nashville,

“I moved here because I woke up one day and felt compelled to make Nashville my home,” said Beaver. “I was getting too complacent. I needed to try something new. Musically, it’s been great. Most of my favorite writers and singers are here.

“I grew up in Emory. My mom played piano and my dad had a really great record collection. In a small town, there’s not a lot to do. So, you have to be creative how you spend your time. I listened to records by artist such as George Strait, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and the Eagles.

“Music is totally magical for me. I started writing songs and playing them live in 2001 and I’ve been doing it ever since. I keep writing songs and playing songs. And, my music continues to grow.”

Video link for Ryan Beaver — https://youtu.be/fPB_WaCzzaQ.

The show at MilkBoy Philadelphia, which also features Like Crazy, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

Other upcoming shows at MilkBoy Philadelphia are Base camp, Elderbrook and Blue Healer on May 5, Atley Moon and The Say Somethings, The Art of Walking and Ken Shiles on May 6 and Rococode on May 9. 

The Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) will present Breckerville –The Music of The Brecker Brothers along with Steps Ahead on May 6 and Seagreen and Kitty Rotten on May 7.

The Steel City Coffee House (203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610-933-4043, www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com) will present Kyle Swartzwelder along with Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards CD Release on May 5, Robbie Fulks with Todd Fausnacht on May 6 and Everything Turned To Color and King Radio with Colin McGetrick on May 7.

On May 11, Point Entertainment will present Joan Osborne at the Colonial Theatre (Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610- 917-1228, www.thecolonialtheatre.com).

Chaplin’s (66 North Main Street, Spring City, 610-792-4110, http://chaplinslive.com) will present Chaplin’s Bluegrass Jam on May 5, Time Gap, The Odyssey, and Zack Van Sant on May 6 and Future Stars featuring Richard’s Guitar Studio on May 7.

The Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) will present The New Stew featuring Corey Glover (Living Colour), Roosevelt Collier & more: Re-imagining Bill Withers- Live from Carnegie Hall” with special guest Mutlu on May 6, A Tribute to Prince, featuring Johnny Showcase performing “Purple Rain” in its entirety, plus special guests Four Lads Insane performing the music of David Bowie on May 7, and Buckethead on May 8.

Valley Forge Casino (1160 First Avenue, King Of Prussia, 610-354-8118, www.vfcasino.com) will present Buckcherry on May 8.

Burlap & Bean Coffeehouse (204 South Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, 484-427-4547, www.burlapandbean.com) will present Ethan Pierce, Matt Duke, and Tim Goodwin on May 6, and Kuf Knotz and Luke O’Brien on May 7.

The Keswick Theater (291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com) presents Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on May 7, and Comedy Bang on May 8.

The Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) will host NRBQ vs. Los Straitjackets on May 5, the Gibson Brothers on May 6, the Strawbs on May 7, Moreland & Arbuckle and the Chris O’Leary Band on May 8 and Kathy Mattea on May 11.

The Grand Opera House (818 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-652-5577, www.thegrandwilmington.org) will host comedian Lewis Black on May 6.

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