An Insider’s Look at 50 Spots

Yesterday afternoon, downtown Allentown came to life with the sound of music. From noon to 4:00 PM you could stroll the streets of downtown and see performers of all types from solo acoustic artists to bands and, even a DJ. There was literally something for everyone. If the goal was to bring attention to center city, the Arts Walk and the musical community, you would have to call the “first take” on 50 Spots a success.

As with any endeavor of this size and magnitude, there are growing pains and lessons learned. This event was no exception but, don’t take that as a negative. Gaining the cooperation of the city, the merchants in the area and all of the participants involved is no easy task. Simply finding 50 strategically placed locations for the event was a huge undertaking. Then came the task of finding enough musicians, spread across as many genres as possible, who were willing to donate their time and energy to help make it a success. The lions share of the credit for organizing this event goes to Brandon Wunder of the Alternative Gallery.

As a participant myself, I did not have the opportunity to see every performance or visit every spot on the walking path. I did, however, take in quite a few performances and take advantage of the opportunity to talk to some of the other musicians and a few observers. The feedback I got was largely positive and that bodes well for the future of the event. And, yes, the event certainly does have a future.

Let’s start with the spots. There were a few that were slightly off the path and received very little foot traffic. It seemed the bulk of the traffic was concentrated on Hamilton St between 6th and 8th and in Pocket Park. If you were there, you had a prime location for the most part, although there were some drawbacks there as well. For example, the DJ on the corner of 7th and Hamilton pretty much overpowered the two solo acoustic artists (who were unplugged) directly across the street. One of them played 2 songs and called it a day. By contrast, on the adjacent corner in front of the PPL Center where there was electricity, you were able to stop and listen to the performers there without the sound of the DJ drowning them out. Separating the “unplugged” artists from those that are plugged in would certainly enhance the experience for both the musicians and the observers. Lesson learned.

The performers. There were many outstanding performances throughout the day. To go into individual performances would not be fair to those I did not get a chance to see but, I can safely say that there quite a few extremely talented musicians on display. There were some empty spots left to fill, some last-minute drop outs and maybe a few who didn’t stick around for the entire length that was asked of them. Some others picked up the slack and filled a second spot later in the day. All-in-all, the lineup was high quality and the performers put their best foot forward. As the event gains traction, I’m sure that more people will be willing to share their talents in the future. Overall, I think the concept is great and it is something that the city and musical community need to continue to grow. Here’s looking forward to the next edition of 50 spots.

#50spots #alternativegallery #livemusic #artswalk #citycenter #Allentown #VoV #voicesofthevalley #supportlocal

50 SPOTS – Celebrating a city and it’s music

At noon tomorrow, music will fill the air in downtown Allentown. Organized by the Alternative Gallery and sanctioned by the city, 50 Spots will take place from noon to 4pm. Many local musicians will be participating at locations centered around the 7th and Hamilton Streets area and designated by a blue note on the sidewalk. From the Arts Walk to Pocket Park and the many businesses that are hosting this event there will be music to fit everyone’s taste.

For more information on the event, including a complete list of locations, visit the event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/391471504844900/ . You will also find an easy walking guide that will lead you on the best path to see all of the performers throughout the day. Come visit Allentown and help celebrate the arts, specifically live music, on this day and enjoy what is sure to be an amazing afternoon.

#livemusic #localmusic #alternativegallery #Allentownpa #artswalk #pocketpark #50spots #VoV #voicesofthevalley

Weekly “HOT SPOTS” 8/22-25

Get your weekend started early with the Stray Seeds tonight at the Funhouse at 10:30pm. There’s music EVERY night at the Funhouse so, check their schedule for this weekends lineup and don’t forget their open mic every Monday at 10:30pm

Friday’s “can’t miss” show of the week is the Midnight Studios Showcase at One Center Square featuring six local artists. Among them are Emily Noel, Leah Fuls and Jackie Verna. Doors open at 6:30pm. Smooth Retsina Glow will be at the Weaversville Inn starting at 6, the Classic Soul Band is at the Hill-to-Hill Grille at 8, Mosey Beat is at Jack’s Tavern (NJ) at 9:30 and Francie Moon is at Porter’s Pub at 10. Cheek2Cheek has a show at the Naceville Hotel – Check with the venue for start time.

Saturday kicks off at 6:30 with Werner Sommer at Luigi’s (NJ). At 7pm you’ll find Kyle Yankowy at The Beef Baron or Cheek2Cheek at the Riegelsville Inn. Still Kickin will rock the Hill-to-Hill Grille, Smooth Retsina Glow is at the Leather Corner Post and Chris Colaiaco is at Colonial Pizza, all starting at 8pm. Acoustic Kitty Project will be at Two Rivers Brewing starting at 8:30 and the late night entertainment has Mosey Beat at Porter’s Pub (10pm) or Pentley Holmes at Pearly Baker’s Ale House (10:30pm).

On Sunday, the Alternative Gallery will host “50 Spots” in downtown Allentown. Centered around the Arts walk and 7th and Hamilton Sts, “50 Spots” is a showcase of the areas local music scene with 50 different performances at select locations marked a blue music note painted on the sidewalk. Visit as many spots as you can to hear some of the great local artists performing throughout the day from noon to 4pm. Meanwhile, the Castaway Band will be performing at Weyerbacher Brewery starting at 12:30.

Come out this weekend, pick your “spot” and support live music and the venues that make it happen. We’ll see you around the Valley.

#livemusic #localmusic #supportlocal #VoV #voicesofthevalley

Weekly “HOT SPOTS” 8/15-18

You can get your weekend started right now. First up is Jordan White at the Bethlehem Farmers Market at 11:30am. At 5pm you can swing by Perkiomen Valley Brewery for Ian Althouse or stop by Cave Brewing Company at 5:30 and do your own thing at their all original open mic night hosted by Nick Lindsay. Two Rivers Brewing Company has another edition of the Bastard Sons Presents hosted by Mike Roi. Tonight’s guests are Werner Sommer and Micah Martin and the fun begins at 8pm. Finish off the night with Jack Pierone at Pearly Bakers Ale House starting at 9:30.

Here’s what’s on tap for the rest of the weekend. Friday gets started with the Out to Lunch Concert Series at Molly’s Irish Grille featuring Chelsea Lyn Meyer at noon. Deal will be at HiJinx Brewery at 6:30, at 7:00 you’ll find Kayla Avitabile at the 19th Grille at Woodstone and Bill Ihling at Faraco’s Pizza. Colonial Pizza has the Ralph Pagano Trio at 8:00, Wig Party is at Pearly Bakers at 10:00 and Bear Sloth is back at the Funhouse with Scruft at 10:30.

Saturday features music all day at Pappy’s Orchard with Yingling-Porter on Tap at 2:00 followed by Ralph Pagano at 6:00. Also starting at 6:00 are Kayla Avitabile at HiJinx Brewing and Brian Kibler at Revel Social. Jordan White gets started at 7:00 at The Beef Baron, Billy Bauer will be at Colonial Pizza at 8:00 and Pearly Bakers has Gemini Reign at 10:00.

You can spend a nice, relaxing Sunday afternoon at Cave Brewing Company where you can enjoy their monthly Songwriters Showcase starting at 1:00pm. This months’ featured artists are Emily Noel and Jeni Englund.

As always, we encourage you to get out and support live, local music. If you are a solo artist, a band or a venue and you would like your events listed with the Weekly “HOT SPOTS” just let us know what you have by Wednesday evening. Simply use the “contact us” form on the web page or email us at lvvoicesofthevalley@gmail.com. Let’s keep the live music community growing and the venues full.

#livemusic #localmusic #supportlocal #VoV #voicesofthevalley

Weekly “HOT SPOTS” 8/8-8/11

Musikfest rolls in to it’s final weekend and there’s still plenty on tap if you are planning on stopping by. Shane Reimer, Julia Sommer, James Supra, Dave Fry, Pentley Holmes, Ophelia and Cubbage are just a few of the local favorites you still have a chance to see. For the full weekend lineup, visit http://www.musikfest.org

If you are not planning on “festing” this weekend but, still want to hear live music, here’s a few places you can visit around the Valley. The Funhouse has kept the late night vibe going all week long and tonight is no exception. At 10pm you can take in The Mega Yeah, Dinosourcerer and Timmy’s Creep Show. Looking for dinner and music ? Stop by the Springtown Inn at 6pm for Carter Lansing.

Friday – Start your day at Molly’s Irish Grille with Jay-T for the Out to Lunch Concert Series at noon. At 6pm, Pentley Holmes will be at Architects Golf Club. Smooth Retsina Glow is at HiJinx Brewery at 6:30, Schubert and Binder will be at Colonial Pizza (8pm), Two Rivers Brewing has the Chris Cummings Trio on tap at 8:30 and the Funhouse is your late-night hot spot at 10pm featuring the Groove Merchants with Jonny Hayes & Loveseat.

SaturdayPentley Holmes is at Lost Tavern, Bethlehem at 4pm, Doyle and the Dudes will rock Hardball Cider at 6pm, Brian Kibler is at the Beef Baron at 7pm, and the late-night action is at Porter’s Pub with the Moondogs and the Funhouse with Goat Wizard, both at 10pm.

SundayDoyle and the Dudes invade Fossil’s Last Stand at 4pm and Ruby Dear closes out the weekend at the Funhouse at 10pm.

#live music #localmusic #supportlocal #VoV #voicesofthevalley

Changes to Out to Lunch – August Edition

The August edition of Out to Lunch will go on as planned on the Southside of Bethlehem. We have decided to move back inside, however, and the remainder of the month will be held at Molly’s Irish Grille and Sports Pub at 4th and New Sts. If you did not get a chance to experience the great food, friendly service and welcoming atmosphere at Molly’s in July, now is your chance. Come out and have lunch with us at Molly’s, every Friday in August. Music starts at noon.

Out to Lunch – On the Move

The Out to Lunch Concert Series steps outside for the month of August. Stop by one of our many restaurants, grab your lunch to go and come join us on the Greenway on Bethlehem’s Southside. We get started today at noon featuring singer/songwriter, classic rock artist Joe Argese. We’ll be here for your listening pleasure every Friday in August featuring a different artist every week. Enjoy the beautiful weather, the many great food choices and the sounds of live, local music. Presented by the Southside Arts District and Voices of the Valley, here’s your complete lineup in order of appearance: Joe Argese, Jay-T Rocks, Chelsea Lyn Meyer, Plum and Not For Coltrane.

#livemusic #localmusic #southsideartsdistrict #VoV #voicesofthevalley #outtolunch