One of the most unique bands in bluegrass will headline the next concert on the Weehawken Waterfront. The HillBenders, a five-piece Bluegrass band originally from Springfield, Mo., are known for their high-octane shows, tight harmonies, and stunning instrumental prowess. While they play classic Bluegrass, the HillBenders appreciate diverse musical styles which influence their original music. The band especially has a love of Rock and Roll.
So it’s not a great surprise that the group has become well known for its fantastic interpretation of the The Who’s Tommy.
Almost five decades after its original release, this legendary work has now been fully realized as a full-length bluegrass tribute. Conceived and produced by SXSW co-founder and longtime musician/producer Louis Jay Meyers, this “bluegrass opry” brings a new perspective to Tommy while paying absolute respect to its creators.
Originally composed by The Who’s guitarist, Pete Townshend, as a rock opera that tells the story about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy, and his journey through life, the original album has sold 20 million copies and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic, and significant value.” Rolling Stone magazine ranked Tommy number 96 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Meyers had been looking for the right band to pull off this high wire bluegrass approach for many years and The HillBenders fit the bill. With a perfect mix of virtuoso musicianship and rock star vocals, The HillBenders bring Pete Townshend’s original vision to life in a new and exciting way.
Listeners as far away as England have given standing ovations to the HillBenders after they hear the combination of banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass, and guitar bring the same energy and vision to Tommy as The Who did with a full rock band and orchestra.
This concert will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. at Lincoln Harbor Park, located just north of the Chart House restaurant directly on the west bank of the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey. The venue is reachable by Light Rail to the Lincoln Harbor stop and also by NJ Transit bus 158 from Port Authority and towns to the north. Free parking is available at the Weehawken Recreational Park and also in the parking deck behind 1000 Harbor Boulevard. Please use 1600 Harbor Boulevard for GPS directions.
The Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center, Inc. (HRPAC), a New Jersey Not-For-Profit, presents this summer long series of open air concerts free of charge to the general public. Concerts are family friendly. Limited seating is available; however, audience members are asked to bring a lawn chair or blanket, if possible, and encouraged to picnic on the lawn. A rain date, if needed, will be scheduled for the following night. For more information including the full summer concert schedule, directions, updates, and rain date info, please check the HRPAC website…www.hrpac.org… or call the concert info line at (201) 716-4540.
Comedy film starring Nathan Lane, based on local author’s novel, avail for home viewing
A comedy movie starring Broadway legend (and Jersey City native) Nathan Lane – adapted from a humorous novel by Hoboken resident (and former Weehawken resident) Caren Lissner – is now available for home viewing on the internet and cable, and for sale as a DVD.
The feature film, “Carrie Pilby,” stars Bel Powley as 19-year-old genius who graduates from Harvard three years early. She’s single in New York City and trying to make sense of life’s hypocrisies, all while meeting an unusual cast of characters and dealing with a past inappropriate relationship with a college professor (Colin O’Donoghue).
It also stars Gabriel Byrne (“The Usual Suspects”, “Miller’s Crossing”), Vanessa Bayer (“Saturday Night Live”), William Moseley, Jason Ritter, and Desmin Borges.
It was directed by Susan Johnson (who is currently directing the film adaptation of Jenny Han’s best-selling novel “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”).
The film premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival as a special presentation film, then opened in area theaters in March. Amazon and iTunes are offering it for rental or purchase. (The book is also available via Amazon.) Those who want to see it on cable can check their alphabetical list of on-demand movies. The film earned positive reviews from the Village Voice, the Guardian, and RogerEbert.com.
Bus company launches service from Union City to D.C.
After tasting success on popular commuter routes, OurBus, Inc., was determined to change the way New Jersey residents travel intercity with the expansion of OurBus Prime to Northern New Jersey.
In response to customer requests, OurBus Prime launched a service from Union City to Washington June 30. The service is now weekdays and weekends.
Passengers can board OurBus Prime to Washington, DC at the 31st and Bergenline bus stop in Union City.
“This service will make it possible for Northern New Jersey residents to catch a long distance bus, without having to go into Manhattan, and then back out, saving about an hour,” announced OurBus Tramsportation Planner Axel Hellman. “No one wants to spend that much time going through the Lincoln Tunnel when they don’t have to.”
“Union City is becoming a central transportation hub for the Northern New Jersey and New York City area,” says OurBus founder Narinder Singh. “With its proximity to New York and high density it’s a natural fit.”
Singh comments, “We’ve had a lot of requests from people in the area to start trips to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and beyond. I see a lot of potential there.” Additionally, Singh commented, “OurBus hopes to add additional stops from Union City to meet demand.”