The end…or is it?

April 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

So here we are, friends: the end of the semester. It’s been a long and fun journey over the past couple months but who says it has to end just because summer’s here? Personally, these warmer months are the best for finding your new favorite band that you don’t know is out there yet.

I’ll be spending a lot of my time this summer up in New York City so the “beyond” (in Sounds of South Jersey and Beyond…duh) is about to get a little more beyond-er. I will for sure fill the beautiful eyes that grace these virtual pages in on the awesome listening to be had in both the Philadelphia and NYC areas, so get ready!

In the meantime, you can look over some of the work I’ve done throughout the course of this blog.

Getting to know Josiah Leming

An inside look to how local shows are booked

A review of performances by Samantha Rise and Alexandra Day


That’s all for now my music loving guys and gals. I’ll be in touch.


Get some insight into Josiah Leming’s love affair with music

April 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

Josiah Leming loves what he does. If it wasn’t evident from his energy and passion on stage, it only takes talking with him for a moment to tell that music is his life.

Josiah Leming at World Cafe Live. Photo by Allie Volpe.

To give a little perspective on his love affair with the musical world, the Tennessee native began playing piano at the ripe old age of eight. After deciding that playing others’ tunes wasn’t for him, at thirteen Leming started to write his own songs.

“I had these ideas in my head,” said Leming. “I just wanted to start playing my own music.”

And played his own music he did.

After his then girlfriend gave an ultimatum of her or music, Leming chose the latter, dropped out of high school and left to pursue his dream.

“I had no GED, no college, no anything. I just left.”

Then a little show called American Idol changed everything. His story was featured during the auditions round and although he never made it past Hollywood week, his talent and passion caught the eye of Warner Brothers Records.

“It’s the reason I’m here right now and traveling all over the world,” Leming said of the reality show.

After being signed by Warner Brothers, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed musician released his debut album, Come On Kid in 2010. But his time at the label was short-lived.

Josiah Leming at World Cafe Live. Photo by Allie Volpe.

“I was a jackass. But it’s okay. I didn’t work hard enough.  I love music but I didn’t work hard enough. So things went south and then my guys at the label got fired and then I got dropped.”

Flash forward a couple of years, Leming has a new record, Another Life, a nationwide tour and a growing fan base.

“We’ve sold out the first five shows, it’s amazing,” he said.

And the audience would absolutely agree. Every female in the crowd (including myself) got giddy when Leming took the stage at World Café Live this Sunday.

Because let’s be real: what girl can turn down a piano player with boyish good looks and an outlook that’s brighter than the sun? That’s right—no one.

But I digress.

Leming put on a show that left the viewer knowing who exactly he is: a talented songwriter with an undying passion for what he does.

Josiah Leming at World Cafe Live. Photo by Allie Volpe.

Throughout the short set, Leming lost his piano stool twice, but all was well. He kept playing and was so in the zone that if a bomb dropped on that very stage, he would’ve kept playing.

With a stripped down performance of just vocals and piano or guitar, Leming’s true talent and vulnerability was out for the whole world to see.

Check out a bit of his set below.

Get pumped for Josiah Leming at World Cafe Live this Sunday.

April 19, 2012 § 2 Comments

Tennessee native Josiah Leming is coming to World Cafe Live this Sunday as a part of his Another Life Tour (which starts today!) supporting his latest album, Another Life. To help get you excited about the show, Josiah checked in with me to talk about the album and why you should be there to jam with me on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of Josiah Leming.

Sounds of South Jersey and Beyond: So your spring tour starts today in Boston. How excited are you?

Josiah Leming: I couldn’t be more excited for the tour. Connecting with people, sharing music with people is all I wanna do.

SOSJ: What are your expectations for this tour?

JL: I don’t put expectations on a tour. I know myself and I’ve learned through error how to get what I want out of the whole thing. The people that come out should have the expectations and I’m the one who meets them.

SOSJ: You just released your latest album Another Life back in December. How have fans been reacting?

JL: Yes! Another Life is my first post label album, so I really had a chance to just get in the studio and create. Without the noise and distractions and business stuff. It was a really necessary thing for me and I think the fans can feel that in the songs. They’ve been passing it around wonderfully!

SOSJ: I remember seeing you on American Idol a few years ago. You’ve had kind of a rags to riches type story since then. How did you overcome such obstacles (like living in your car to getting dropped from a major record label) to have such a successful career?

JL: Victory goes to the relentless. You gotta stay in it and have a tough chin. The more you love something, the easier that is. So in short, you gotta love it.

SOSJ: What are you most proud of with this record?

JL: I can’t say there’s one thing I’m most proud of. I found a way to make a record that I needed to make and I wrote all the songs from experience and truth and that’s my expectation of myself. I’m very proud of the finished product.

SOSJ: Through your bouts of touring, where have you enjoyed performing the most? 

JL: The small places baby! The Northwest and the Midwest where people get so excited to see live music, those are the places that stand out.

SOSJ: Any exciting tour stories?

JL: Haha too many. Every night. Come out and see ( :

SOSJ: For any readers who haven’t heard of you and your music, I want to hear your most convincing argument as to why they should come to your show this Sunday. 

JL: Music is my life. It beats my heart, fills my lungs. And there will be girls. And alcohol. And party animals, like a petting zoo. Clowns maybe even.

You heard him, clowns. Try and turn that down. Before you try, take a listen to “One Last Song,” a tune off of Another Life.


Indie-folk band The Heat Run preps for new EP

April 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Heat Run is a Philly band that utilizes instruments that I swoon over: standup bass, trombone, harmonica, acoustic guitar (as well as drums, electric guitar, and bass), so it was only natural that I head out to Fergie’s Pub to see this for myself. Catch a snippet of a new song, “Rise” off of their upcoming EP, The Blue Sea EP, as well as some deets on the EP, due out May 11th.



Local music discovery: Dr. Dog

April 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Here’s a Philadelphia band that’s grown to great success after releasing their first album in 2002. Fast forward and Dr. Dog, who’s been on tour not once, but twice with Southern rockers My Morning Jacket, released their sixth album, Be The Void, this February. Catch them when they come to the Susquehanna Bank Center on July 21 with Wilco and the Avett Brothers. In the meantime, educate yourselves with the down-south sounding rock from Dr. Dog.


Coming up this week: 4/2 – 4/8

April 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

With Spring in full swing, it’s time to break out the cutoffs and head out to a show. Check these out.

Roadkill Messiahs, Michael Doyle and American Schoolyard take on The Grape Room this Thursday (4/5). Tickets are seven dollars at the door–which opens at 7pm with music to start at 8pm. This one’s 21+.

Boris Garcia, Moonalice and MiZ play The Blockley on 4/06. Tickets are $10-$12. Doors are at 9pm for those over 21.

Legendary Dobbs plays host to The Musical Chairs, Spiff Wiegand and Cameron DeWhitt on 4/06. Tickets are ten dollars at the door. Show starts at 9:30pm. 21+

Stevie Jackson, Still Life, FursaxaEnumclaw and Helena Espvall get psychedelic at The First Unitarian Church Side Chapel on 4/07. Tickets are $15 and doors open at 6:30pm. All ages!


Never heard of these guys? Don’t worry! Check out some tunes below.



Chuck Hollimon turns college radio program into a local music booking group

March 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

Chuck Hollimon of Ampd Up Bookings. Photo by Allie Volpe

We all go to shows, watch bands and enjoy ourselves, but do we ever think about what went on behind the scenes to make the show actually happen? Booking teams are as much of a part of the music scene as the bands themselves. Without them, we’d have no show to go to, after all.

To be honest, I did not know much about what went on to make a show…well, a show. Chuck Hollimon of Ampd Up Bookings helped shed some light on the world of South Jersey band promotions. Listen below as he shares how Ampd Up came to be and how he gets lineups together.

Though Ampd Up Bookings has only been around for a little while, Hollimon has decided to call it quits this coming July due to poor ticket sales and lack of promotions.