South Orange will be burnishing its self-anointed title as “Live Music Capital of North Jersey” this weekend with the brand new “Under Cover Music Fest” — featuring cover bands on Sloan Street from noon to 3-9 p.m. Saturday, June 2.
“The initial idea was to have a festival where ‘everybody knows every song,'” said organizer Mark Murphy of Mark Murphy Music. “So it is a lineup of amazing cover/tribute bands including: Led Zeppelin, Coldplay, Bob Marley, Ella Fitzgerald, George Harrison, U2 and the Allman Brothers.”
For this free event, Sloan Street, right by the South Orange train station, will be closed. On Friday, June 1, Bob Zuckerman of the South Orange Village Center Alliance, announced that the event was on for tomorrow — despite some questions a less-than-cooperative weather forecast.
Working with the South Orange Village Center Alliance, Murphy collaborated with Matt Glass, Pete Travers, Bob Zuckerman, Melissa Hodge and the SOVCA board in organizing the festival. “It has been a 100% team effort,” said Murphy. “South Orange and Maplewood already have so many great outdoor music festivals, so we are really happy to be adding this festival into the mix for local concert fans.”
“The music is going to be incredible,” Murphy added, “and primarily made up of local talent.”
Case in point: Ricky Persuad is a local musician who is currently on a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. “His Bob Marley set is not to be missed,” raved Murphy. “Also Thana Alexa is a world renowned Jazz Vocalist and is based in NYC. She along with her incredible band are going to do a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Again not to be missed!”
In addition, “there will be an wonderful kids area sponsored by Work and Play in South Orange. So parents please bring the kids. They will have a blast.”
Finally, “the great folks at the South Mountain Tavern will have delicious food outside.”
3:00 PM: Coldplay/Led Zeppelin
Covered by Mark Murphy’s Music Student Bands
Led Zeppelin was one of the most successful and influential British rock bands of the 1970s. Combining Robert Plant’s wailing vocals and sensual stage presence, Jimmy Page’s guitar virtuosity and songwriting prowess, John Paul Jones’ thick, consistent bottom end, and John Bonham’s resounding percussion, Led Zeppelin formed the pinnacle of 1970s hard rock. Best known for their power ballad Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin was a profoundly important bridge between the blues based rock of the 1960s and the heavy metal and modern rock of the last two decades of the 20th century. It is hard to imagine connecting the dots from the Rolling Stones to U2, or from the Beatles to Iron Maiden, without the link that was Led Zeppelin. The members of Led Zeppelin epitomized the concept of the rock star in the 1970s and continue to do so today. Rolling Stone magazine described them as “the heaviest band of all time”, “the biggest band of the Seventies”, and “unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history”. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
4:00 PM: Bob Marley
Covered by Ricky Persaud Jr.
Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer-songwriter who became an international musical and cultural icon, blending mostly reggae, ska, and rocksteady in his compositions. Hit’s include One Love, Three Little Bird, Redemption Song, No Woman No Cry, Is This Love and so much more. Bob Marley passed away from cancer on May 11, 2981. In 2001 he was bestowed The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor given by the Recording Academy to “performers who during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.”
Ricky Persaud, Jr is a Reggae Rock recording artist, singer songwriter, multi instrumentalist, composer and actor. Ricky play guitar, piano and is a powerful vocalist. He is a commanding performer who fronts the band Ricky Persaud, Jr. & Crossroads. They are not to be missed! Ricky currently attends Berklee College Of Music on a full four year scholarship.
5:00 PM: Ella Fitzerald
Covered by Thana Alexa
Dubbed “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman.
6:00 PM: George Harrison
Covered by Mark Murphy
George Harrison was an English guitarist, singer-songwriter and producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Often referred to as “the quiet Beatle”, Harrison embraced Indian culture and helped broaden the scope of popular music through his incorporation of Indian instrumentation and Hindu-aligned spirituality in the Beatles’ work.
Although the majority of the band’s songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, most Beatles albums from 1965 onwards contained at least two Harrison compositions. His songs for the group included “Taxman”, “Within You Without You”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”, the last of which became the Beatles’ second-most covered song. Harrison released several best-selling singles and albums as a solo performer. In 1988, he co-founded the platinum-selling supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 11 in their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. He is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee – as a member of the Beatles in 1988, and posthumously for his solo career in 2004.
7:00 PM: U2
Covered by Charlie Pollock
U2 is an Irish rock band from Dublin formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). With 22 Grammy Awards, 14 studio albums and more than 170 million record sales worldwide, U2 is arguably one of the world’s best-selling music artists in history. In 2005, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Charlie Pollock and Friends is a side project of: Actor/singer Charlie Pollock and Guitarist/ Producer/Songwriter Jason Laughlin and a combination of their friends who are not currently touring the world, holed up in a studio making Grammy worthy tracks or that can get a night oﬀ from their Broadway show!!!
For the Under Cover festival the band will feature: Charlie Pollock – Vocals, Jason Laughlin – Guitars, Jeﬀ McErlain – Guitars, Becky Gulsvig – Vocals, Malcolm Gold – Bass Guitar, Campbell Charshee – Keyboards & Gary Seligson – Drums. This is going to be a high energy set that will have you singing all of your favorite U2 classics on Sloan Street!
8:00 PM: Allman Brothers
Covered by the Dave Pressel Band
The Allman Brothers Band was an American rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida, United States, in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman (slide guitar and lead guitar) and Gregg Allman (vocals, keyboards, songwriting), as well as Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriting), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums), and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drums). The band incorporated elements of Southern rock, blues, jazz, and country music, and their live shows featured jam band-style improvisation and instrumentals.
Their 1971 live release, At Fillmore East, represented an artistic and commercial breakthrough. The album features extended renderings of their songs “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Whipping Post”, and is often considered among the best live albums ever made. Group leader Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident later that year, and the band dedicated Eat a Peach (1972) in his memory, a dual studio/live album that cemented the band’s popularity. Following the motorcycle death of bassist Berry Oakley later that year, the group recruited keyboardist Chuck Leavell and bassist Lamar Williams for 1973’s Brothers and Sisters, which, combined with the hit single “Ramblin’ Man”, placed the group at the forefront of 1970s rock music.
The Dave Pressel Band is fronted by keyboardist Dave Pressel. Dave is a longtime Maplewood resident who has played with multiple artists from Blood Sweat & Tears, The Blues Brothers, Gil Parris, Bernie Williams, and Tower of Power. Joining him at the Under Cover festival will be some incredible musicians from the local area: Cardon Raquet (guitar and vocals), John Rango (guitar), Mike Manuele (bass) & Matt Hauser (drums). This is going to be a powerful closing act to the festival. Not to be missed!
For information on directions and parking options visit here.