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The Nerds, Brian Kirk & the Jirks Round Out Summit’s Village Green 2020 Summer Concert Series

Brian Kirk & the Jirks

Brian Kirk & the Jirks (photo: Facebook).

As the summer heads into August, the music at the Investor Bank 2020 Hot Summer Nights Concert Series at the Village Green in Summit, NJ, is reaching a fever pitch.

The next two musical acts are a testament to the quality of musical acts playing at the Village Green (356 Broad Street) in Downtown Summit. 

First, on Tuesday, August 11th, at 7:00 p.m., Brian Kirk & the Jirks, a nine-piece interactive, high energy band, will be hitting the stage, bringing their cool brand of music to the Summit area. Brian Kirk and the Jirks play a variety of tunes from Led Zeppelin to Taylor Swift and everyone in between. 

With two decades behind their musically rocking experience, Brian Kirk and the Jirks played everywhere from New Jersey, New York CityPennsylvania, and Long Island. But the band has traveled around the world.  

If that isn’t good enough, on Tuesday, August 18th 7:00 p.m., New Jersey’s beloved group The Nerds will bring their hip dorkiness to Summit, playing a blend of Soul, Classic Rock, and TV themes. 

Yes, even I have always wanted to see The Nerds perform live, and now I will get my chance. 

Performing everywhere and anywhere, The Nerds, first known as AKA, has entertained thousands of crowds since 1985.

Additionally, they have been on The View about four times, The Carson Daly Show, and The Arsenio Hall Show, among others. 

For more information on the 2020 Hot Summer Nights Concert Series at the Village Green, visit

To follow the bands on social media, go to for Brian Kirk & the Jirks, and on Facebook and Twitter for The Nerds. 

Note: Social distancing of six feet or more and face coverings will be enforced. Please help keep everyone around you safe and as healthy as possible. Plus, bring your own chairs and blankets for comfort. 

— Jerry Del Priore 



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Annabella’s Pizza II Makes a Brilliant Case for Jersey Goodness


Now, that’s a pizza!

I usually have a steadfast rule of not purchasing pizza right as a place is closing, you know? You don’t always get its best pizza, as it’s usually the leftovers, sitting there for some time. 

But I couldn’t resist a hankering for some cheesy goodness from a pizza joint I had not eaten at before, Annabella’s II, located at 401 Speedwell Avenue. Morris Plains, NJ. So I order three offerings: sausage, white, and square. 

Hey, I was hungry, but I digress. 

Completely outfitted for pandemic protection, Annabella’s Pizza II crafted the sausage slice with the meat baked right into it, just the way I like it. While the pizza did droop a bit, the fact that the sausage abounded, the extra weight caused the pizza to flop. But, overall, it was a tasty slice. 

Next, the white slice was equal to the task, made with quality mozzarella and creamy ricotta, with the crispy crust complementing the pizza. 

Last but not least was the Sicilian-Style (square) delight, which checked off all the boxes for flavorsome pizza. Delicious cheese, just the right amount of doe, and the same savory sauce used on the other varieties reminded me of a Brooklyn square. 

I will have to visit Anabella’s II during a busier time when the pizza is pipping, hot-out-of-the-oven, mouth-watering ready to enjoy. Plus, to sample its other Italian specialties. 

Please visit Anabella’s other location at 329 Smith Road in Parsippany. For more information, check out and on Facebook

— Jerry Del Priore 



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NJ’s Madison Downtown Concert Series Rocks On

Tomorrow evening at 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Madison Downtown Development Commission and Museum of Early Trade & Crafts (METC) Concert Series, The Zaire Band will be performing in front of METC’s building on 9 Main Street in Madison, NJ. 

The Zaire Band is known for playing its own rendition of cool country music classics and today’s best from the popular music genre. 

Jumping the Gun

Jumping the Gun in Madison, NJ. 

Next, on Friday, August 7th, Jumping The Gun will be hitting the stage to play classic rock tunes from the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, NJ’s Bruce Springsteen and more. 

For a sweet change of pace, on Friday, August 21st, Orquesta Los Nueve Del Sabor, comprised of salsa music artists from the NY/NJ area, will be bringing its high-energy, Latin  rhythms to the region for a night of classic salsa, merengue and Cumbia (a Colombian folk dance and dance music) hits. 

On Friday, August 28th, House of Hamill, a Celtic group from Philadelphia, will be brandishing their fiddles and violins for an evening of foot-stomping, joyful music.   

Check out this amazing rendition of Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child of Mine

The final performance in the concert series features Madison-based rock n’ roll band What’s What.

What’s What jams out to up-beat rock music from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, playing the likes of Val Halen, Tom Petty, Cheap Tricks, and others. 

Last Friday, Mama D & the Vexations rocked the crowd with its own brand of eclectic music. 

Note: You must wear face coverings and practice social-distancing of six-feet or more. Also, it’s strongly advised that you bring hand sanitizer for adding protection.  

— Jerry Del Priore 

Photos and video: Facebook and YouTube.



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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

IMG_0320 Oct.

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

Mama D Vex

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