2008 (Mar. - May)
(most recent post appears at the top of the list)

May 20:  Bus stops
Vic Martinson, founder and current co-owner of the Bus Stop Music Cafe in Pitman, N.J., took over the hosting duties from Dom for the weekly Open Mic Night starting with this Tuesday's installment.

Dom began hosting the Tuesday-night program at Vic's request in September 2006, and was supposed to do it for about 15 weeks until the end of that calendar year. Dom's tenure wound up lasting 20 months, during which time the open mic grew from a barely two-hour event into three-plus hours of myriad performances in what became the biggest weekly all-ages open mic anywhere in South Jersey.

Also between then and now, the Bus Stop started doing weekend music again (after stopping altogether during the fall of 2006) and was redesigned both as a physical store and a business concept. What once was primarily a record store is now a combination retailer and full-service eatery with more customer accomodations. Vic's assuming of the open mic duties coincided with the store obtaining the proper legal clearance to sell prepared beverages, so the Bus Stop was selling coffee and tea for the first time during this open mic.

Apr. 16:  Local benefit is first for VF in SJ
Dom was honored to be part of a benefit show for The Valerie Fund at Fuel House Coffee / Bain's Deli in Vineland, N.J.

Matt Hayden organized the Wednesday night event, which was remarkable not only for its success but because this was The Valerie Fund's first formal fundraising event in South Jersey. The Valerie Fund provides ongoing treatment for children and teens afflicted with cancer and blood disorders. One of its care facilities is in Voorhees, N.J.

By the way, Matt is still in high school, so it's even more amazing that he put together this benefit, which included a brief address by a representative of The Valerie Fund.

Mar. 14-15:  Late-added openers successful
A couple of show opportunities sprung up within a week of the gig dates, and each offered the chance to see Dom in a supporting role.

Friday, March 14: Coffee Works in Voorhees, N.J., started a monthly series for 2008 featuring regional musicians who have impressive performing and radio resumes. These artists are outside of Coffee Works' regular rotation of premium weekend entertainment and are always performers who play their original work at the Coffee Works show. A late addition to the calendar for the March installment was John Faye, the lead singer of Ike, one of the elite independent bands on the East Coast.

Ike is a driving rock quartet, and John banged out nearly 20 of the group's songs using only his acoustic guitar, but maintaining the full-band rhythmic quality of the tunes. Dom, one of the regulars at Camden County's largest coffee house, was grateful to play the opening hour before John took the stage. The combination of John's regional popularity and the Coffee Works series gaining a foothold with customers meant that a packed house enjoyed the three hours of music.

Saturday, March 15: Casa Bonita Productions recently took over organizational duties at Rolling Stone Grill and Bar in Paulsboro, N.J. Needing to fill two shows per week very quickly, CBP founder Jim Santora asked Dom to join one of these new "original rock" nights. Local music aficionados might remember Jim as a BlogTalkRadio host and former band leader in addition to his role with his booking/promotional agency.

Berlin-based hard rock band
Shedsession jumped in to headline the quickly scheduled show. Some bar regulars indicated this night was the best attended of the bar's original nights, which have been taking place on Tuesdays and Saturdays for about a month.

Dom wishes both Coffee Works and Rolling Stone all the best with their new entertainment plans!

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