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NJ’s Mama D & The Vexations Charm Madison Crowd with Gem of Performance


Mama D & The Vexations

Mama D & The Vexations came out to entertain the Madison, NJ, faithful Friday night as part of the Madison Downtown Summer Concert Series in front of the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts (METS) after the inclement weather last week caused the postponement of its show.

And the wait was surely worth it, as the band “rocked the house” with its renditions of danceable pop music, cool country tunes, classic rock songs, and memorable Motown greats. 

Fronted by lead singer Donna Ward, a music teacher from Chatham and known by her stage name, Mama D, the band performed Millennium pop hits such as CeeLo Green’s Forget You, Elle King’s Ex’s and Oh’s, Jessie J’s Price Tag and John Mayer’s Waiting On the World to Change. 

Additionally, Mama D & The Vexations belted out catchy country music and classic rock tracks by Maren Morris and Tom Petty’s American Girl, respectively, as well as Motown timeless songs like Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay and Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine. 

Mama D & The Vexation, from Morristown NJ, dropped the curtain on the show with Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, a song that received a rebirth on HBO’s megahit TV show The Sopranos

For more information on the group, and to follow/like them on social media, go to, and Instagram, respectively. 

— Jerry Del Priore 


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October Rose’s Country Music Blossoms at Ginty Field Gazebo in Morris Township

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October Rose Performs at Ginty Field Gazebo in Morris Township, NJ.

The duo of Leanne Weiss and Derek Allan, known collectively as October Rose, on Tuesday performed at Ginty Field Gazebo in Morris Township, NJ, to a socially-distanced, appreciative crowd, playing original country tunes mixed in with popular cover songs.

October Rose opened up with an original song, All In, a hard-driving, country rock-charged track featuring Wiess’s powerful yet smooth, made-for-country music voice. 

With Weiss being a true Jersey girl, October Rose–also fronted by Pittsburg native Allan’s impressive musical stylings–played a mashup of the Garden State’s Bon Jovi’s You Give Good Love a Bad Name and Brooklyn-born Pat Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot

For me, it was the best of both worlds, as I currently live in Chatham, NJ, and was born in the greatest borough in the world, Brooklyn. How You Doing?

But I digress.

The band followed it up with Carrie Underwood’s Before He Cheats, and then brought it back to its own musical creations with Closer and a Different Kind of High, a heartfelt tribute track to the people facing the ongoing opioid addiction epidemic that’s presently plaguing the nation.

October Rose encourages fans to donate to Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization wholeheartedly committed to battling the unforgiving disease that rips apart so many lives in its wake.

Next was Heartbreak Song, another musically edgy and lyrically meaningful tune that has garnered October Rose a measure of country radio music play and critical praise. 

Other originals performed were crowd favorites Kinder and Bonfire, peppered in between with covers of Billy Ray Cyrus’ Achy Breaky Heart and Heart’s How Do I Get You Alone. Plus, Chris Stapleton’s Tennessee Whiskey and Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party

For more information on the duo, follow October Rose on for tour dates and to purchase cool songs and merchandise. Plus, listen its music on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, and YouTube

Watch the video of October Rose’s mashup of You Give Good Love a Bad Name and Pat Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot. 

— Jerry Del Priore




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London Calling: A Beatles Tribute Band Shines at Morris Plains’ Roberts Garden

IMG_0314As part of the Morris Plains Recreation Summer Concert Series, London Calling: A Beatles Tribute Band took to the stage on Sunday at Roberts Garden and played a number of the Fab Four’s greatest tunes, much to the delight of the socially-distanced crowd.

No Ringo, no Paul? So what.

From a Hard Day’s Night to Can’t Buy Me Love, the New Jersey quartet kept the crowd entertained and rocking all evening long.

Formed in 2015, London Calling: A Beatles Tribute Band has been playing the Liverpool, England, group’s most popular tunes, with its own Garden State style, of course, all over New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as other areas.

If you closed you eyes, you could almost imagine that the floppy-hair four were right there jamming in New Jersey before you.


A small group of friends took in the rocking show at Roberts Garden.

Additional memorable Beatles’ cover songs included I Feel Fine, In My Life, Can’t Buy Me Love, Help, Come Together, She’s Got a Ticket to Ride, We Can Work it Out, and Penny Lane, among other awesome tracks.

London Calling: A Beatles Beatles Tribute Band will play next on Thursday, July 16th at 7:00 pm. to 9:00 p.m. outside at the historic Dey Mansion, located at 199 Totowa Road in Wayne, NJ.

Follow London Calling: A Beatles Tribute Band on Facebook.

Watch the band perform Penny Lane in the video below.

— Jerry Del Priore (Photos and video by Jerry Del Priore)


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Morris Township Brings Six Live Musical Acts to 2020 Summer Concert Series

Morris Township is presenting the 2020 summer outdoor concert series that will feature six live performances at Ginty Field Gazebo at 50 Woodland Ave, starting on Tuesday, July 14th and running through Tuesday, August 18th.

Up first on July 14th at 7:00 p.m. is October Rose, an acclaimed country music duo with a soulful sound that performs its own original songs.

October Rose is the type of musical act that could, and should, be playing on the radio right now.

Please watch October Rose’s All In in the video below.

Next is The Voodudes, a New Jersey-based band that blends Gulf Coast, Zydeco, Rock, Blues, Country & Honky-Tonk music into a style of its own, on July 21 at 7:00 p.m.

Like The Voodudes on Facebook.

Heart of Gold Band, which will hit the stage on July 28th at 7:00 p.m., specializes in the best of classic rock music.

Listen to Heart of Gold by clicking the link.

On Tuesday, August 4th, Country Comfort will bring its smooth country stylings to Morris Township. 

Listen to Country Comfort’s social-distance version of Lady A’s hit tune Champagne Nights. 

Linda Ipanema, also known as the “Queen of Dixieland, will swing her way into Morris Township on August 11th at 7:00 p.m. 

Listen to Ipanema’s version of the Birds’ House of the Rising Sun

On August 18th at 6:30 p.m., The Hanover Wind Symphony will play the final performance at Ginty Field Gazebo. 

Note: Please observe all social-distancing, face-covering guidelines, as well as bring your own hand sanitizer.  

— Jerry Del Priore 

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Mama D and The Vexations to Play In Madison’s Concert Series Friday

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Mama D & The Vexations.

This Friday, July, 10th, at 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Mama D & The Vexations will be performing at the Madison Downtown Concert Series held outside on the front lawn of the Museum of Early Trades and Grafts at 9 Main Street.

Mama D & The Vexations is a high-energy four-person cover band from Morristown with a soulful edge. The group’s powerful renditions of hits from the 60s through today will surely keep the vibe pumping and the crowd moving all night long. 

Whether it’s a contemporary love song or a cool, upbeat tune from Jersey rockers such as Fountains of Wayne and Bon Jovi, there’s a little bit of something for everyone to dance to and rock the evening away. 

Every Friday will feature a different artist, and social distancing and face coverings will be required in order to attend the free concert series. It’s encouraged to bring a blanket/chair for maximum relaxation. 

For more information, go to Plus, you can like Mama D & The Vexations’ Facebook page to follow its appearance schedule. 




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NJ’s The Kootz Socially-Distance Rock Morris Plains

It was a wonderful Sunday evening, as The Kootz played its own rendition of classic pop tunes in front of an appreciative, socially-distanced crowd as part of Morris Plains Recreation 2020 Summer Concert Series at Roberts Garden at Glenbrook, off Rt. 202 (Speedwell Av.), in Morris Plains, N.J. 

The Kootz performed for two hours, playing classic hits from the Beatles, Donald Fagan, Nancy Sinatra, to the Traveling Wilburys, Tom Petty, The Pretenders, and The Motels. 

While rocking out, the band told entertaining stories about how they deceived their parents so they could attend Woodstock. But the highlight of the band was its talented drummer/singer, Rhonda Grindell, who delighted the crowd with her pleasant voice and stellar musical stylings. 

The Kootz will be performing on Tuesday at the Gazebo at Ginty Field; Woodland Avenue, Morris Township, N.J. Call: 973-326-7371 if you need more information. 

Follow The Kootz on Facebook and ReverbNation

Up next in the Summer Concert Series is London Calling, playing Beatles Covers. 

Watch The Kootz perform The Pretenders’ Back on the Chain Gang in the video below.  


— Jerry Del Priore 






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Morris Plains Recreation to Feature 4 Summer Concerts at Roberts Garden in July

Providing New Jerseyans with some sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, Morris Plains Recreation announced its Summer Concert Series at Roberts Garden at Glenbrook, off Rt. 202 (Speedwell Av.), in Morris Plains. 

On Sunday, July 5th, from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Garden State’s The Kootz will take center stage to perform its own rendition of classic pop tunes (rain date is July 6th).  

London Calling

London Calling rocking face coverings during a performance. Photo: Facebook.

Up next, on Sunday, July 12th, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. the concert series will feature London Calling: a Beatles Tribute Band. It’s a must-see for fans of the fab four from Liverpool, England (rain date on July 13th). 

Millie’s Closet, a New Jersey-based band specializing in classic rock covers, as well as today’s and yesterday’s coolest tunes, will be hitting the stage on Sunday, July 19th, from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m (rain date July 20th). 

On Sunday, 26th, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Bootleg Version will be making its debut at the summer concert series (rain date on the 27th). 

Social distancing of six-feet or more and face coverings will be enforced; please bring hand sanitizer as an extra precaution if you so desire. If you have any other questions, please call 973-538-3455 for more information. 

— Jerry Del Priore 




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Three Chatham, Madison, Summit, NJ Mexican Food Joints for Your Quarantine Appetites

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic has been lingering on, but that doesn’t have to keep New Jerseyans from going out and grabbing some grub from a few of their favorite spots. 

Hey, did anyone say, Mexican? 

At these three Mexican delights–Tito’s Burritos & Wings Summit, Mexican Spice, FolkLore Artisanal Tacoyou can either order for delivery, or drive up and take out.

Either way, your mouth will feel like its celebrating Cinco de Mayo.  

Tito’s Burritos & Wings Summit356 Springfield Ave, Summit, NJ 07901, Phone: 908.277.3710


Tito’s Burritos Loaded Tacos!! (Photo: Facebook)

Usually packed with high school and college students, and outfitted with a California vibe, Tito’s is a great spot for quick, quality burrito and tacos, among other options such as the loaded nachos, quesadillas, and its vast gluten-free menu. 

On a sun-kissed day and benches around the corner, why not grab a taco, burrito, wings or chicken strips and munch to your heart’s delight? Or, take home to share with family and friends. It’s your call. 

I tend to favor anything with grilled chicken. Therefore, The Bird Is the Word (a grilled chicken burrito, with Tito’s cheeses, rice, black beans, sour cream, pico, and fresh guac)   and The Tito Chickito (a grilled chicken taco, with Tito’s cheeses, lettuce, and pico) are good ways to satisfy my tastebuds, as well as yours. 

Cutting carbs? Well, the burritos can be made into healthier bowl options. 

There are also four other Tito’s Burritos spots: Morristown, Ridgewood, South Orange, and Booton.

Mexican Spice — 7 Cross St. Madison — 973.822.0504

Mex Spice

Mexican Spice Tacos, with a side order of a churro!!

Mexican Spice, with a food truck stationed at 7 Cross St, in Madison, is another eatery offering good, quick bites. 

Mexican Spice serves up all the Mexican staples: tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas, all of which are from decent to very good. 

I enjoy the Mexican Bowl, with chicken tinga, rice, beans, cilantro, onions, crema, salsa, and chips. But you can’t wrong with the tacos: either chicken tinga, pork carnita, or beef picadillo.

FolkLore 3

With a vast menu of delicious offerings, you can enjoy anything from tacos and quesadillas to burritos and nachos.

But it’s FokeLore Artisanal Taco’s devotion to quality ingredients, with added helpings of love and passion for crafting food, that separates it from the mundane Mexican establishments that crowd the New Jersey food landscape. 

With a vast menu of delicious offerings, you can enjoy anything from tacos and quesadillas to burritos and nachos.

But it’s FokeLore Artisanal Taco’s devotion to quality ingredients, with an added heaping helping of love, that separates it from the mundane Mexican establishments that crowd the New Jersey food landscape. 

The Tacos Cochinita Pibil — Mayan-style pulled pork, slow-cooked with citrus axitote (a spice made from the red seed of the annatto tree) and various Mexican herbs. I had a small bite of it and it was pretty darn good. 

But I summoned up a decent sized Burrito Bowl (sans burrito) with chicken, rice, black beans, cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, and a side of sour cream thrown into the mouth-watering mix.

Each level of the bowl you order comes with a choice of meat. For instance, I had two other types of meat from which to pick; either Pollo Asado or Carne Molida.

For a dollar more ($12.50), you get to select from six basic meat or chicken options. For another dollar ($13.50), you get five other choices, and for $14.50, you have four upper echelon meat or fish selections. 

Call (973) 377-5700 or visit to order.

— Jerry Del Priore 



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NJ’s Madison Dog Park Makes Dog Days Fun

Madison Dog Park

Look at me doing what I love, as the dogs wait so nicely for a treat. Maya is the brindle American Staffordshire Terrier doggie on the left.

Many dog owners in and around Madison, N.J.,  may not know that there’s a simple yet wonderful off-leash, fenced-in dog park — Madison Dog Park — located right in town, nestled in the back of Memorial Park, right off of Rosedale Avenue.

Madison Dog Park is easy to miss when you drive by Memorial Park, but it’s there, I assure you. 

While the ascetics aren’t much, Madison Dog Park does features some nice amenities: new dog waste containers with bags, a cool water fountain with several levels and sides, and a built-in water bowl.

Additionally, for the dog owners, there’s plenty of shade from trees so you won’t overheat during those blazing, humid days, and benches to sit and relax while your pooch frolics with other wonderful, cute pups.

water Fountain

Drink up, doggies!!

The one drawback is that it may be empty at times because of a lack of visual and digital visibility. But Madison Dog Park is still pretty new, so hopefully, that will change as the word gets out to Morris County dog owners at large. And you can always join Facebook groups for dog owners looking for pup playdates. 

Just make sure you follow the simple rules at Madison Dog Park, the ones most dog parks have: make sure your dog isn’t overly aggressive, pick up after them, no choke collars while playing, and make sure Fido is having as much fun as possible. 

Maya, Maggie, and I will see you soon at Madison Dog Park.  Woof! 

— Jerry Del Priore 





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After Releasing 2 Tracks, Songstress Elizabeth Sage Set to Unleash Lastest Tune Want to be Free in June


Elizabeth Sage, an avid roller balder and talented artist, pictured here having fun in the sun.

Singer/songwriter Elizabeth Sage hasn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic prevent her from doing what she loves: create and release great music to the masses.

In fact, in a span of two and a half months, the Brooklyn-based bombshell will have released three tracks, with the third one, Want to be Free, due out on Thursday, June 11th, which, she noted, you can pre-save on Spotify:

Want to be Free captures the internal struggle when we let fear of failure paralyze us,” Sage explained.  “Forget being stuck in quarantine. The worst is when you’re stuck in your mind. I wrote this song to set me free by reminding myself that just because I feel something negative will happen, doesn’t make it real. All decisions have some sort of consequence and you just have to accept that. Doing nothing is still a decision; it’s you saying no to all the things you could be saying yes to.”

Sage released One More Time in mid-May and In My Space in March, both of which Mike Davidson of Plaid Dog Recording produced. Rich Pilkington produced Want to be Free

One More Time” captures infatuation,” while “In My Space is about wanting to get to know someone more intimately,” Sage elaborated. “Everyone has that desire, even if they aren’t touchy, huggy people. I wanted to capture that feeling.”

Sage used her background as a licensed mental health counselor to help her envoke feelings and emotions throughout each danceable, popish tune, which she mentioned she penned last summer.

One more time

One More Time by Elizabeth Sage.

But Sage didn’t claim a favorite tune. “I’m extremely proud of all three songs,” she said, with a gleeful yet playful smile. 

As gifted as Sage is, she didn’t bring the tracks to fruition without a measure of help from friends, family, and her fans, who helped fund her venture through her Indiegogo campaign. 

“I’m so grateful to those who believed in me enough to financially support that EP,” Sage said in all honesty.  

The In My Space video displays a recent trend: it features everyone filming themselves dancing and lip-synching while in quartine mode.

To listen to Sage’s music, watch her videos, and view her website, visit the following links:, Facebook, Youtube, TwitterInstagramBandcamp, and Spotify 

— Jerry Del Priore