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There’s No Better Talent Than Right Here in New Jersey

Big Joe Henry with Bob Burger (far left) Bobby Bandiera and Jimmy Leahy
Big Joe Henry with Bob Burger (far left) Bobby Bandiera and Jimmy Leahy

I end every radio show by saying that “there’s no better talent than right here in the Great Garden State”, Thursday night in Long Branch proved that statement once again.

Bob Burger, a very talented musician who has played with Paul McCartney, Bruce and Jon and others plays once a month at the intimate Celtic Cottage. Thursday night Bob had a few musical friends join him, Bobby Bandiera who plays and tours with Bon Jovi and whose resume’ reads like a Who’s Who of Rock and Roll, Jim Leahy a talent guitarist and Joe D’Angelo drummer and vocalist extraordinaire. The music was awesome, very good! It made me think how lucky we are to live in a state where we have such great access to some outstanding local musical talent.

I lived briefly in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and traveled to 48 states, let me tell you there is no other major city outside of New York that can claim the talent that we have here in New Jersey. People who visit always asks me why there is such a concentration of musicians here and I tell them that my theory is that Bruce and Jon Bon Jovi were the two biggest reasons that the local music scene looms so large. They were both struggling musicians with an awful lot of talent, then they made it big and after becoming music icons they still called New Jersey home and remain on the local music scene popping up at all kinds of local venues. This I believe impacted other local talent to make their own success a reality, “if Bruce and Jon can do it, so can I” attitude.

There is a certain energy and vibe you get when you can go up and down the shore or head to New Brunswick, Red Bank or up to Hoboken, out to Trenton and across the state every night of the week and experience outstanding music. It is something that I never take for granted. If it’s been a while since you’ve gone out and listened to local New Jersey music, treat yourself and give a listen, you’ll be glad you did. I sure am.

You can check out Bob Burger here, he has a new CD out called The Day After, it’s very good.

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