Saturday, October 31, 2015


The Hooters to perform at the Keswick Theatre for two sold-out Shows
By Rob Nagy
In the summer of 1980, an unknown Celtic folk rock group called “The Hooters” played their debut gig at Maddie’s Place in Levittown, Pennsylvania.  No one at that time, not even the band, could have imagined the massive success that would descend upon the Philly based quintet.

Offering a unique blend of guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, mandolin, saxophone and their signature hooter (a/k/a melodica), the Hooters became known as one of rock’s hardest working bands. Playing high schools, colleges and clubs throughout the tri-State area, the band’s unique signature sound rapidly earned them a significant following, critical praise and the support of regional FM radio.

Thirty-five years later, The Hooters (consisting of Eric Bazilian (vocals, guitar and mandolin), Rob Hyman (vocals, keyboards and melodica), David Uosikkinen (drums), John Lilley (guitar), Fran Smith, Jr. (vocals and bass) and Tommy Williams (guitar)) are still thriving as the darlings of Philly and beyond.

“It’s not a big deal to me, but it is to everyone else,” says Eric Bazilian from his home in St. David’s, Pennsylvania. “To me, it’s just what we’ve been doing all along.  We’re just a band. We’re not a pop band. We’re a rock band doing some unexpected Christian tunes and musical influences. The fact that we use mandolins, accordions and saxophones makes it interesting. I think the fact that we have a Celtic folk influence makes it interesting and that our lyrics attempt to speak to the human condition. We’ve been really lucky that we still like each other. We get along, and the music has proven to be worthy of that legacy. It’s still fun to play.”

With several well-received independent singles under their belt, The Hooters released their highly successful debut independent album “Amore” in 1983.  That record, featuring their cult classic “All You Zombies,” caused the record labels to take notice.

Signing a major deal with Columbia Records allowed The Hooters to attain international prominence with the release of their platinum debut album, “Nervous Night,” in 1985.  On the strength of the records singles “And We Danced,” “South Ferry Road,” “Day By Day” and “All You Zombies” and “Where Do The Children Go,” The Hooters earned heavy rotation on global radio and gained significant video exposure on MTV.

The band maintained commercial success with follow-up album releases “One Way Home” (1987), “Zig Zag” (1989) and “Out of Body” (1993), which was their last charting studio album.

Success in the recording studio and on tour earned the The Hooters a roster spot at the historic “Live Aid” (1985), “Amnesty International” (1986) and “Berlin Wall” (1990) concerts.

“I look back on them as significant, because there probably will never be an event like that again - with a cause behind it and with that kind of focus on the music,” recalls Bazilian. “There are festival concerts now, but none of them will have the power that “The Wall,” “Amnesty” and “Live Aid” had. In some ways “Live Aid” was a pinnacle of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. It was a fulfillment of the Woodstock legacy. It was amazing!”

Following a 1995 concert tour, the band took an unexpected extended break.  They did not perform again until Pierre Robert's (WMMR) 20th Anniversary show at the Spectrum in 2001. The successful reception they received at this one show led the Hooters back on the road, igniting a rebirth with their Philly fans, as well as those in Germany, Sweden and Norway, where they continue to be a significant concert draw.

Fourteen years after their last studio album, The Hooters released “Time Stand Still” in 2008, a collection of newly penned songs plus a remake of Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer.” Subsequent album releases, “Both Sides Live” (2009) and “Five By Five” (2010) and the soundtrack song "If I Should Fall Behind" from the movie "Backwards" (2012), have helped fuel enthusiasm from fans old and new.

“When we wrote the “Time Stand Still” album, we didn’t know we had it in us, and then, all of a sudden, it was there,” recalls Bazilian. “That seems to be the way it goes. In some ways it’s my favorite Hooters record. It’s only gotten better since then.”

With numerous bands from the 80’s taking to the road in record numbers, The Hooters have chosen to move forward on their own terms.

“Nothing would make me happier than to take this band as it exists now on the road throughout the U.S. and show people what we can do,” says Bazilian. “People are blown away when they see us, because we’re really better now than we’ve ever been.”

“We don’t have the audience to support a U.S. tour,” adds Bazilian. “People have approached us to do 80’s package tours, but that’s not what we are.  We’re not an 80’s band. We’re a band that happened to enjoy its domestic career spike in the 80’s.  Our only goal has been to make good, timeless music. It just happens that we did it at a very opportune time. The 80’s were a golden age in a lot of ways.”

With no immediate plans to release a new album, The Hooters are returning to Philadelphia in early November, playing two sold out shows at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA.  Tickets were gobbled up within the first hour they went on sale.

“Everyone in the band is driven to be great,” says Bazilian. “To give it all on stage every night and to keep making it better. It’s a calling. It’s just something we have to do, individually and collectively.”

“When I’m on stage, something happens,” adds Bazilian.  “I get inhabited, and it makes me feel like I’m part of the universe. It’s bigger than me and it’s bigger than the band. We all become larger than life, not only everyone in the band - everyone in the audience. It’s really this huge communal gathering that happens. It’s like we’re playing for the first time. We’re still proving it every night “

Forever grateful to the hometown fans for the decades of support that has enveloped them, Bazilian and his fellow Hooters don’t take anything for granted.

“I would like our fans to know that we love them and that we are eternally grateful to them for keeping us alive,” says Bazilian. “For keeping our legacy more than a legacy - a living, breathing thing.”

The Hooters will perform two sold out shows at the Keswick Theatre, located at 291 North Keswick Ave., Glenside, PA 19038, November 6 and 7, 2015 at 8:00 P.M.
To stay up to date with The Hooters visit

Sunday, October 11, 2015


 Rising Star Brett Dennen Rocking a Colonial Theater (Phoenixville, PA) crowd on Thursday 10/8/15. Photos by Rob Nagy

Sunday, October 4, 2015


The brilliance of Trevor Gordon Hall wowing a packed Steel City Coffee House. Photos by Rob Nagy

Saturday, October 3, 2015


 Get your tickets for Trevor Gordon Hall at Steel City Coffee House (Phoenixville, PA) TONIGHT!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Multi-faceted Folk Pop Artist Brett Dennen
comes to the Colonial

By Rob Nagy

One of music’s unique and gifted vocalists and songwriters, Northern California’s Brett Dennen emerged from obscurity with the release of his 2004 self-titled debut album.

More than a decade later, critically acclaimed Dennen is riding the wave of success as a folk pop artist and beyond.

Dennen’s imprint was first realized when he created an original musical curriculum for The Mosaic Project, a San Francisco based non-profit group.  The Mosaic Project serves elementary students through adults in the workplace by teaching them how to reach over the things that divide us in order to build inclusive communities where we celebrate our diversity.

Dennen is prominently featured contributing ten songs on the Mosaic Project’s album release “Children’s Songs for Peace and a Better World” (2003).  The record won the Children’s Music Web 2004 Award and a Parent's Choice 2004 Approved Award.

With three album releases to his credit (“Brett Dennen” (2004), “So Much More” (2006)
And “Hope for the Hopeless” (2008)), Rolling Stone magazine praised Dennen as an “Artist to Watch” in 2008.  Entertainment Weekly heralded him as one of its eight "Guys on the Rise."

“When I first started making music, I didn’t consider myself an artist with something I wanted to say,” recalls Dennen., from his Fairfax, California home. “It was more like, ‘I really like songs.’ But now, as I get into it more and more, the challenge is discovering I’m an artist. I have to really dig deep. I didn’t think about trying to be different. I was just trying to be the best that I could. I wasn’t trying to be different than everybody else.  It just came out that way.”

A concert tour with John Mayer in 2008, an appearance on the David Letterman Show in 2009 and a performance at the Newport Folk Festival that same year, helped introduce Dennen to a massive audience.

Dennen has gone on to enjoy TV and film success. His songs “Ain’t Gonna Lose You,” “She Mine,” “Darlin’ Do Not Fear,” “Wild Child,” “Sweet Persuasion,” “When We Were Young” and “Hard Times Come Again No More” have been prominently featured in both.

“The passion that you’re hearing in my voice - I would just call that honesty,” says Dennen.  “I don’t write songs that I don’t believe. I want each song to reflect from the heart that I mean it or I don’t want to say it. Songwriting and making music is the way of figuring out who I am. I just try to write music that makes people feel hopeful. I can’t think of any other thing that I want to do.  I continue to feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

Dennen’s thirst to maximize his creativity has recently found him delving into the world of wine making with the release of his “Charismatic Feel” sparkling rose wine. His original artwork adorns the label.

“It came out this year,” says Dennen,. “We’ve been working on it for a few years. I had always dreamed of having a wine label, I drank wine but I never made wine. I never really thought it was going to be.”

“A few friends of mine that used to be in the music industry started a company where they get artists to produce a wine and they print labels for them and they approached me,” adds Dennen.  “I thought, ‘Yeah, I think that would be great.’ So through the process of tasting wine, blending wine, meeting producers, wine makers and all that stuff that goes into making wine, we have a label and we just released a small batch of sparkling rose at the beginning of this summer. So, we’re going to see how it goes.”

“The wine is good,” says Dennen. “My fans seem to like it. It’s a little expensive. I’d like to produce something that’s more in the $15.00 range. There are a lot of companies that are starting to do this with movie stars and musicians. I think it’s a really nice wine. It has an elegance that I think a sparkling wine needs to have.”

With plans to release his next album, his first since “Smoke and Mirrors” in 2013, Dennen is hitting the concert trail for a brief U.S. tour.

“I am going out on just a quick tour then, right after that, I’m going straight into the studio,” says Dennen. “I’m doing this just as a way to get back in a groove of making music all the time. I have taken the summer off to write music for the next album before I go record it. This will give me a chance to play a few new songs here and there on tour to get back in the mode of making music.”

Brett Dennen performs at the Colonial Theater, located at 227 Bridge Street in Phoenixville, PA Thursday October 8, 2015 at 8:00 P.M. Tickets are available at the Colonial Theatre Box Office by calling 610-917-1228 or on-line at All ages are welcome at the Colonial.
To stay up to date with Brett Dennen, visit