Harper’s Fellow, joined by local artists Emily Grove, Joe Miller and Mike Kuhl kicked off the holiday week by rocking out in Asbury Park. Last year, Harper’s Fellow played a holiday show at the Dauphine Grill. Even though that has closed, they made it a tradition by moving over to The Saint just a few blocks away.
It was the first show Harper’s Fellow had played in a few months and that’s likely why they weren’t holding back on stage. This four piece band jumped on stage full force with music from their debut album, as well as some songs that we will find on the next.
Courtney Metzler Castellano, Harper’s Fellow’s front woman, is known around the Asbury music scene for her unique vocals and some serious skill when it comes guitar and writing. Last night she walked on stage looking stylish, wearing fellow local musician, Frank Lombardi’s hat. She was certainly ready to rock.
They played old favorites off of their first album, Thanks For Tonight, like “Cadillac”, “Bow And Arrow” and “Three Paint Brushes”, in addition to some we can look forward to on future albums. They also covered “Washed By The Water” by NEEDTOBREATHE, a rock band from South Carolina. The band also announced that we can expect to find their first album on vinyl at some point in the future.
Last year they lost their original guitar player, but their replacement, Matt Fisher, fits in quite nicely. He doesn’t just fit in musically either; personality wise he fits in with the rest of the Harper’s Fellow crew. As a whole, the band flows together very well.
“She’s a bird, she’s a plane, she’s driving everyone insane.” That is straight out of one of the original songs Emily Grove performed last night and it is also a perfect way to describe the presence brings on stage. At times she changed the set list she had planned due to requests from the audience.
She wowed the small group of people who managed to make it out of the house on this cold Monday night with a song she knew just about everyone could relate to; “I Hate Mondays”. She also played “Lock Me Out” and several other songs, some about being stuck in relationships you don’t want to be in, another about substance abuse and a cover of The Cranberries. She explained even though she is a happy person, sad songs are her favorite to write and perform.
Even though Grove has had a great year when it comes to the music world, she is awfully excited about this year being over, this became clear when she tried to get the audience to chant “Next Thursday, next Thursday.”
Local folk musician, Joe Miller, was the second artist to take the stage that night. Miller introduced us to a couple of new songs from his soon-to-be completed new album, but that doesn’t mean he forgot any of his older tunes that have grown popular in the Asbury music scene.
Just about half way through his set he invited The Saint’s own Scott Stamper to join him on stage, not to help him out on the next part of his set, but to present two Asbury Music Awards to local artist, Frank Lombardi. Lombardi was set to perform at the Award show last Thursday, but became sick and wasn’t able to make it. He won Best Male Acoustic Act and Album Release of the Year for his album, Whiskey and the Mourning After.
Local country artist, Mike Kuhl started the night off right with songs about his Irish heritage even though, it’s clear he is just a good ol’ boy from Jersey. His song “Tall, Dark and Handsome” got the crowd feeling like they were kicking off a weekend right even though it was only Monday.