On Stage: Dee Jay Silver enjoys crossing formats

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Dee Jay Silver

Dee Jay Silver and Jason Aldean go together like ribs and BBQ sauce or Jack Daniels and Coke.

On August 25, 2017, Silver was in the area performing on the Camden Waterfront as part of Aldean’s “They Don’t Know Tour.”

This year, Silver returns to the BB&T Pavilion (1 Harbour Boulevard, Camden, New Jersey, 856-225-0163, www.livenation.com) performing as part of Aldean’s “High Noon Neon Tour” — on August 25.

Aldean is one of America’s top country acts with a string of hit singles and albums, including his 2010 album “My Kinda Party” which is certified quadruple-platinum.

Silver is a country act. And, he is a DJ spinning music to get people on their feet dancing.

RCA Nashville recording artist Dee Jay Silver has been a top touring DJ/remixer/producer for the past 16 years, having played in premier venues in virtually every major market in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

The groundbreaking open-format DJ/performer has thrilled millions with his unique ability to blend all types of music from hip hop and rock to house and country for crowds of all sizes as well as on mash-ups and remixes.

Silver has been traveling the world playing every kind of event and venue from the largest nightclubs, high-profile celebrity parties and exclusive private events to massive sporting events, award shows, major music festivals and arena tours and all that’s in between.

“I live in Nashville and I’m home this week,” said Silver, during a phone interview last week from his home in Music City.

“But, I am on the road a lot. And, I tour with Jason a lot. I also play Las Vegas as a solo act. My sets are a lot different there. You can get away with anything in Vegas.”

The “High Noon Neon Tour” marks Silver’s ninth tour as the country superstar’s resident DJ.

Silver’s new single “Shine,” a dance music track featuring vocals from Joey Hyde, marks his first new taste of original music this year. The song follows his previous original songs — the electronic music single “Made To Do” (2017) and country hit “Just Got Paid” (2016), the latter of which has been played over one million times on Spotify.

The open-format performer is known for his unique ability to blend all types of music from hip-hop and rock to house and country, and that eclectic style shines through in both his live shows and original music.

“I play a whole lot of songs and I play them fast,” said Silver. “If it’s not a song you like, just wait a minute or two and I will be playing a song you like.”

Silver began DJing while attending college in Arkansas and later moved to Springfield, Missouri. While working as a doorman for a club in Springfield, his interest peaked, and he began opening up the dance floor until the headlining DJ would come on.

According to Silver, “One gig turned into the next. Back in the day, you didn’t have computers, YouTube, or schools to learn how to DJ. If you were going to DJ, you had to learn from another DJ.

“Growing up in Texas, country music was all I ever heard. I was very versed in country music, so I’ve always mixed it in. I’m so happy to see that ‘Country Remix’ is actually a genre now.”

Silver’s exposure to music started when he was just a kid.

“I sang in churches when I was young,” said Silver. “And, my dad played guitar on the porch. Then, go to college and the world changes. I was still into country, but I also gravitated to big house music.

“When I was in college, I got into N.W.A. and gangster rap. Older house music became my favorite. DJing is exciting. It draws you in. I’ve been doing it for 20 years. Every day, I can’t wait until I do my next show.

“It’s about being creative and relating to your crowd. No matter what song it is, people will dance if it’s presented right. If they’re familiar with a song, that’s what makes them more comfortable to have a better time.”

Silver successfully was able to build his career with one foot in dance and one foot in country.

“Wherever I played, I was the guy known for mixing in country,” said Silver. “Club owners would say – I know you’re going to play some country so, when you do, get in and get out.

“Soon, the club owners realized that the fans loved it, Now, they’re hiring me to play country 12 days at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“Country music is something that people can relate to. Hip-hop is different. I don’t have a Bugatti in my driveway – very few people do. Hip-hop – no-one is living like that.

“But, everybody knows ‘Wagon Wheel’ and ‘Any Ol’ Barstool’ (country hits by Darius Rucker and Jason Aldean). It’s just good laid-back music that people want to sit back and listen to with a beer.”

In 2013, Silver signed a recording contract with RCA Nashville, becoming the first DJ to be signed to a major Nashville label. His 2013 EP, “Country Club,” features creative and rhythmic country mash-ups of some of the format’s most popular and beloved artists, including Alabama, Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Jake Owen, and Love and Theft.

In April of 2014, Silver launched a nationally syndicated weekly radio show called “The Country Club with Dee Jay Silver” via the Sun Broadcast Group. Each week, the show features up-tempo mixes and mash-ups of hits from country’s biggest stars and newcomers, with an infusion of unique rhythms as well as tracks from other genres.

“I just love house music and all its energy,” said Silver. “I look for new songs every day. But, old music is just as important. In this digital age, no-one listens to just one style of music anymore.”

Two new activities have been added to Silver’s hectic schedule – fatherhood and his own kids’ clothing line called Nice Nice Babies (https://nicenicebabies.com/).

“My son Wake Silver Perdue will be two on September 1,” said Silver. “So, I wanted a clothing line of cool shirts for my kid – and for other kids.”

Video link for Dee Jay Silver – https://youtu.be/wJdN7y98J-c

Jason Aldean’s “High Noon Neon Tour” featuring Dee Jay Silver will start at 7:30 on August 25 at the BB&T Pavilion. Tickets prices range from $239-$115.

Joanne Shaw Taylor

Music fans who love the blues also have something to whet their appetite this Saturday night.

On August 25, Joanne Shaw Taylor will headline a show at the Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com).

Taylor has established herself as one of the U.K.’s top stars of the blues-rock world. She grew up in Wednesbury in the Black Country, England, and was inspired in her early teens to play the blues after hearing Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix.

In June, Taylor signed her first major label contract with Sony Music on the recently re-launched Silvertone imprint. The global deal will be for three albums starting in early 2019, plus her two most recent albums, “Wild” (2016) and “The Dirty Truth” (2014), will also be moving over to Sony. Upon their initial release, these last two albums received limited distribution in the USA.

“I’m in the studio now here in Detroit,” said Taylor, during a phone interview last week. “I’m in the middle of making an album. Al Sutton is producing it at his studio.”

Sutton has produced a slew of highly-acclaimed albums at his Rustbelt Studios in Royal Oak, Michigan. His impressive list of production credits includes Bob Seger, Sheryl Crow, Hank Williams Jr, Uncle Kracker, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pop Evil, Loretta Lynn, Sponge, Romantics, and Shannon Curfman.

“I’ve been wanting to work with him for years,” said Taylor. “I’ve been living in Detroit for 10 years and I’ve always wanted to work with him.”

The Motor City is a long way from where Taylor was born and raised.

“I grew up near Birmingham,” said Taylor, during a recent phone interview. “My dad played guitar and was a big music fan. He was also a big blues fan and listened to artists like Big Bill Broonzy and Bukka White.

“I started playing guitar when I was a teenager. I was listening to acts like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins and ZZ Top. I also listened to Cream, Free, Led Zeppelin – anything that was loud. I didn’t get into British blues acts like John Mayall or Alexis Korner until later.

“I was attracted to American music. It’s funny because Joe Bonamassa, who is a friend of mine, was in New York listening to British guys and I was in Britain listening to American guys. I did a blues cruise with Joe Bonamassa a few years ago.

“I always wanted to play guitar. I had played classical guitar at school. I knew I could play guitar but classical wasn’t for me. It was too structured. When I listened to Albert Collins, there were no rules. I listened to the blues guys and imitated them. I loved it so much.”

The girl with the big voice from the Black Country has toured extensively around the world, released critically acclaimed albums and gained a global fan base as well as having the honor of playing alongside some of her musical idols.

Taylor’s debut album “White Sugar,” which was released in 2009, opened the door. Subsequent albums “Diamonds in the Dirt” (2010), “Almost Always Never” (2012), “Songs from the Road” (2013) and “The Dirty Truth” (2014) enabled Taylor to build a world-wide fan base.

“The Dirty Truth” was a return to her original sound that mixes rock riffs with blues influences. The album was released in the U.K. in September 2014 on Taylor’s own independent boutique label, Axehouse Records.

“I have 20 years of playing guitar,” said Taylor. “I started when I was 13. My first guitar was a Mexican Sunburst Strat. Now, I have five studio albums and one live album.

“It’s been two-and-a-half years since I recorded my cast album. I’ve been writing a lot for my next album. At the moment, we’ve recorded 15 songs – and we’re just getting started. I wanted to do it sounding more stripped-down. It’s a mix of classic rock and blues.”

According to Taylor, “Recording at Grand Victor was incredibly inspiring. It is quite the legendary studio. Dolly Parton cut ‘Jolene’ and ‘I Will Always Love’ you here. And Chet Atkins worked here. Basically, if there was a hit record out of Nashville, it was made here. I am very proud of this album, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”

Video link for Joanne Taylor Shaw — https://youtu.be/SR0_pFOnN5g

The show at the Sellersville Theater, which has Simo as the opening act, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $39.50.

Other upcoming shows this week at the Sellersville Theater are King’s X on August 26, Matisyahu on August 27 and The Earls Of Leicester Presented By Jerry Douglas on August 29.

If you’re looking to rock out on a hot summer night, this Sunday will be a good time to do it.

On August 26, Godsmack will be sharing the bill with Shinedown at an outdoor venue in Camden while Incite will be rattling the walls at a small club in Philadelphia.

The show at the BB&T Pavilion (1 Harbour Boulevard, Camden, New Jersey, 856-225-0163, www.livenation.com) on Sunday will feature two veteran hard rock bands that are each touring in support of a new album.

Shinedown’s “Attention Attention” album was released on May 4 via Atlantic Records while Godsmack’s “When Legends Rise” dropped on April 27 on the BMG label.


The new album comes 20 years after the release of Godsmack’s debut album and 20 million album sales later – and Godsmack is still kicking ass big time.

Godsmack — Sully Erna (vocals, guitar), Tony Rombola (guitar), Robbie Merrill (bass), and Shannon Larkin (drums) — continues to make music that hits hard – sonically and musically. The multiplatinum four-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated Boston band looks back and forward at the same time.

“With the songwriting on the new album, there was a conscious effort to have a theme of rebirth – of re-inventing ourselves,” said Larkin, during a phone I interview this week from a tour stop in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

“Even though it is our seventh album, we had a lot of firsts – first ballad, first time for Sully to play piano, first time to have outside co-writers. At the same time, you don’t want to change so much that you alienate your fanbase that’s used to hard-edged riffs. We’ve always been a riff-oriented band.”

According to Erna, the band’s songwriter, “You’ve got to burn it down to build it up. ‘When Legends Rise’ is a metaphor. Life can get challenging at times. It can knock you onto the ground. However, if you reach inside of yourself, find that inner strength, and rise up again, you’ll flourish.

“Over the past few years, I went through a really tough time, but I learned this firsthand. Coming out on the other side, we’re going to do this bigger and better than we ever have. We’re ready to work.

“I wanted to stretch my wings out even further to use all the experiences I’ve had with writing different types of music over the years and applying that to find a way to introduce a newer, fresher, more mature sound, but still maintaining the power of Godsmack.”

Godsmack was formed by Erna in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1995. He and bassist Robbie Merrill are the two surviving original members. Rombola joined in 1996 and Larkin came on board in 2002. The band’s line-up has been stable for almost two full decades.

“There is a good reason for the band’s longevity,” said Larkin. “We’ve had the luxury of having a year off every fourth year – a four-year cycle.

“We have one year that we spend writing and recording. Then, we tour two years after the album is released. Finally, we separate from each other as a band for the fourth year. We all take time off and have different projects. Tony and I have a blues band called the Apocalypse Blues Revue.”

Larkin, who is a native of Martinsburg, West Virginia, has his own band history prior to joining Godsmack. His previous bands were Amen, Candlebox, Ugly Kid Joe, and Wrathchild America.

“When I was in Wrathchild, I met Sully in North Carolina and we hit it off,” said Larkin. “I went to California and played with Ugly Kid Joe. After a while, fame no longer attracted me. I was married, 32 and my wife got pregnant. So, I stopped playing in bands.

“Then, Sully called and said they were getting rid of Tommy (original drummer Tommy Stewart). He wanted me to join the band and said the only thing was that I had to get along with Tony and Robbie. We hit it off right away and, 19 years later, here we are now.”
Larkin also talked about the band’s evolution,

“If you’re in your fifties playing hard rock, you’re old,” said Larkin, who turned 51 in April. “We’re not pretending to be 20-year-olds playing in a piss-and-vinegar band.

“We’ve been able to change and adapt. There’s nothing we’re more proud of than our longevity. More than 20 years and we’re still going strong.”

Video link for Godsmack – https://youtu.be/6AY19BPipyo.

The show at the BB&T Pavilion, which also features Shinedown and Red Sun Rising, will start at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from $18.75-$99.50.


Incite is a metal band from Phoenix, Arizona that formed in 2004 and has made powerful music ever since. The band’s current roster features Richie Cavalera (vocals), “Dru Tang” Rome (guitar), Christopher EL (bass guitar) and Lennon Lopez (drums).

The band is awaiting the release of its new album and is currently on a major tour across North America. The tour brings Incite to Philly on August 26 for a show at Kung Fu Necktie (1248 North Front Street, Philadelphia, 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com).

“Right now, we’re driving through Michigan – avoiding cops,” said Cavalera, during a phone interview Thursday afternoon. “It’s a nice drive. We’re heading to Lansing, Michigan.”

Cavalera and his bandmates are psyched about the tour — and the impending album release.

According to Cavalera, “We’re fired up to be hitting every corner of North America on what will be our most extensive headline tour yet. Bringing the metal with us will be Aethere and Lody Kong, so come rage with us. You might even hear a new song or two. Keep it heavy and get ready to ‘Burn & Shred!’

“The new album is a wrap. It’s all about keeping it brutal for all the metalheads. We’ve got an album full of ragers. It’s definitely heavy as shit with some new surprises in the guitar shredding department, and our special guest vocalists — which you’ll hear about soon — killed it. We’re pumped to release this album to the world.”

The new LP is scheduled to drop next month.

“The album will be out on September 7,” said Cavalera. “We just released the first single from it – ‘Ruthless Ways.’ It will give everybody an idea of what to expect – grooving on that metal – all energy.

“I don’t know if it’s the most intense album we’ve made. To me, it’s the most rounded from beginning to end. It has its own vibe. It grooves off the heavy metal vibe we have – especially with the guitar solos.

“We went balls-to-the-wall and let Dru shred it on every tune. He has a classical background having studied violin. So, with his guitar work, it’s not just shredding aimlessly. It’s different. It gives the fans a chance to rock.

“It’s going to be something different for metal. You can really feel the bass – and the drums are ridiculous. This just comes from playing over 100 shows a year.”

The album’s producer also played a big role in the album’s sound.

“Steve Ebbetts was our producer,” said Cavalera. “We did it at the Omen Room Studio, which is Steve’s studio in Westminster, California. We did our previous album with Steve. He’s like the fifth member of the band.

“We wrote the album last year and got into pre-production in January. Then, we went out there and spent March and April recording it. It was the longest time we ever spent making an album.”

Video link for Incite – https://youtu.be/x4uyRKYEC2I.

The show at Kung Fu Necktie, which has Aethere as the opener, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12

Other upcoming shows at Kung Fu Necktie are Here Lies Man on August 25, Ramona on August 27, Black Tusk and Whores on August 28 and Dopethrone on August 29.

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