A rocking party to celebrate a special album

Many of you took the time to comment about my Friday review of Castle Creek’s new recording “The Only Life,” so I thought you might like to share the vibe of the duo’s Sunday night CD release party at Syracuse’s cool room Upstairs at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

I had my iPhone 6 warmed up and ready.

The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is one of Syracuse's most popular restaurants, bars and live music joints.

The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is one of Syracuse’s most popular restaurants, bars and live music joints.

You can see the lights on for this tickets-only 6 p.m. Sunday party in the special upstairs room above the main floor of the bar, restaurant and music room.

Go to the end of the premises and walk up.

Go to the end of the bricks proper, and walk up.

There’s a separate entrance through the green door for Upstairs at the Dinosaur.

A warm room ready for food, drink and music.

A warm room ready for food, drink and music.

Once up the stairs, you’re hit with the sight of a large room with brick walls, a big bar, wood tables with family style seating along one wall, and a big stage at the far end. It’s a comfortable place.

A view to North Franklin Street in Syracuse, N.Y.

A view to North Franklin Street in Syracuse, N.Y.

Remember those windows you saw looking to the top of the first photo above? Here’s what you can see looking out from them.

Yes, that's the Castle Creek album cover on a cake.

Yes, that’s the Castle Creek album cover on a cake.

My dear wife Karen ordered a Labatt’s Blue and I decided upon a Cabarnet Savignon, and then we grabbed our dinner of barbecued chicken, mac ‘n cheese, cole slaw and corn bread, which was included in the ticket price of $20 per person. For dessert was cake. I hated to see them slice up the decoration.

Liz Nowak, Kim Monroe's mom.

Liz Nowak, Kim Monroe’s mom.

Elizabeth Joerger, Chris Eves' mom.

Elizabeth Joerger, Chris Eves’ mom.

Karen and I were invited guests, on the media list. I made sure to thank both Liz Nowak and Elizabeth Joerger for that. They are the mothers of the stars of the night, and I know them both. Liz, Kim Monroe’s mom, also is chair of the Syracuse Area Music Awards. Elizabeth, Chris Eve’s mom, taught my daughter when she was in elementary school.

Castle Creek, from left to rightL John Jones on bass, Chris Eves on guitar and vocals, Susan Royal on drums, Kim Monroe on vocals and guitar, and Shane Kelson on keyboard.

Castle Creek, from left to rightL John Jones on bass, Chris Eves on guitar and vocals, Susan Royal on drums, Kim Monroe on vocals and guitar, and Shane Kelson on keyboard.

And then Castle Creek was ready to rip. Monroe and Eve’s vocals and guitars were ripe, rich and ready to rock the room. And the addition of three top Syracuse-are musicians — John Jones on bass, Susan Royal on drums and Shane Kelson on keyboard — added to the tasty textures.

“New Normal,” from the album, grabbed my attention live as the song that I think should grab the attention of the right people when they play the main stage of the NAMM Convention Jan. 2 in Anaheim and lift these two mid-20s Central New Yorkers compiling an in increasingly impressive collection of original music to nationwide stature.

Chris Eves and Kim Monroe get set for a "New Normal."

Chris Eves and Kim Monroe get set for a “New Normal.”

As much as I hate to think it’s so, looks can play a part in the music business. And Monroe and Eves both are as attractive as they are talented in performing, songwriting and producing their music.

The crowd eats up Monroe and Eves' work.

The crowd eats up Monroe and Eves’ work.

After delivering the songs from “The Only Life,” some pleasingly electric and others more comfortably acoustic, the band made their family, friends and fans extremely happy with a cover mashup of the Beatles’ “Come Together” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” Smart young folks, too.

Here’s a short video of Castle Creek I shot on my iPhone 6. Enjoy the show.

Bye-bye, Upstairs.

Bye-bye, Upstairs.

On Saturday, they were playing in Houston. Sunday, they were glad to be back home. “It was colder in Houston,” Monroe said when she stopped to chat to with Karen and I before the set. “I had to wear my puffy jacket I thought was just for the plane the whole time there.”

After the great night at Upstairs at the Dinosaur, Eves and Monroe are headed for a short tour of legendary clubs throughout New York and New England. Next up, the holidays, and NAMM in California. Then, who knows?

Fish of Gold

Have you ever seen a young band that you thought right away had the talent to be something very special, and if so, who were they, and why? What’s your favorite local band listening club where you live, and why? What’s the last local band you’ve seen out play live, and what was the favorite song they did that night?

39 thoughts on “A rocking party to celebrate a special album

  1. Mark,
    Thanks for the great blog on Castle Cree’s CD release party … a real treat for those of us who for one reason or another, could not be there! I am a big fan of Castle Creek and of Kim’s mom, Liz! Have not had the pleasure of meeting Chris’s mom but I have a feeling that we would also get along just fine! Great job … always enjoy your blog!


  2. Yes, Dinosaur for the Launch Party. And Castle Creek will play? Speaking of launch, I joined in your festivities and added to the crazy-nuts story about detectives and possibly aliens and pentagrams and such. Hope I followed the rules correctly. (or not, right? I’ve tried to sell myself as a rule-breaker ๐Ÿ˜‰ )


  3. The venue sounds great Mark (I like to eat first and then stay seated and listen to music – changing buildings to hear the music is a downer). And the band is excellent. Sounds like a really amazing evening. The pics are very well done – your iphone takes good pictures.My old laptop with XL doesn’t even see your video let alone read it – sorry. It is so cool that you know the band members parents and get to chat with the musicians. What a wonderful night out. (And, being Canadian, kudos to Karen for drinking a Canuk favorite)


    • That is a plus for Upstairs at the Dinosaur. Eat at the tables, the stage is in the same room up front with a pure sight line. Sorry your laptop doesn’t read the WordPress video format I use. Ack. And Labatt’s Blue Light has long been my dear wife’s beer of choice, Paul. You two will get along.


  4. What a cool story! This makes me long for live music again. Somewhere between kiddos advancing from diapers to football pads, we stopped going to venues like the one you described. You’ve inspired me to take a look at our own local scene…though, we’d probably need to trek to KC, MO to find anything. We met a Houston musician at a Royal’s baseball game and now I’m wishing I had his card.
    Hope you don’t mind a stranger rambling over on your site. I’ve been meaning to make it over here for a while. Have a great day!


    • I’ve noticed your place, so welcome, Michelle, for sure. I love first-time stops and always hope it’s the start of a friendship. I’ll be by your store, stranger. ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you remember the Houston musician’s name from the baseball game encounter? With search engines these days, locating him would be a snap, and it’s a good bet there’s music online somewhere. Yes, kiddos put a stop on live music. Hopefully you’ll get back out there to feed the need.


      • You’re gonna laugh at me, but I’ve spent the last twenty minutes trying find him. All I remembered was that his name was George and he’s based in Texas. Finally, I found an old text message with a YouTube video to my best friend who also met him. Long story short, his name is George Devore and he was a hoot to watch the game with ๐Ÿ™‚


      • I liked his old band’s name, Fat Bertha! And his head shot on his own site is pretty hip. The 2010 YouTube clip at the Austin club is a solid song, and he’s a good performer. He should take the golf cap off, though, I think. Thanks, Michelle. Now I have George DeVore on my radar.


      • Oh the golf cap! He was wearing a nasty old Royals cap at the game! I chuckled when I saw it in every photo thereafter. He’s actually a very handsome man, but his hat hides it!
        You want to strike up a conversation with him? Ask about the KC Royals. He was even more die-hard than I was. So fun talking with you this morning, Mark. Now I have music on the brain!


  5. what a wonderful night to celebrate a big event in these wonderful talents’ lives. you have captured the mood perfectly with your words and your pictures. ps – i am starving, reading the description of the food at that wonderfully named place.


    • My limited manner of posting the video limits the time. I must email it from my iPhone 6 to get it to my iPad. And I don’t have an editing suite for video. I figure this is better than none. And I do not wish to switch to a YouTube method from the iPhone. Thanks, Hariod, for your comment. The band has its own YouTube channel with several videos from the new album. You can find it and enoy smoothly editied, entire songs.

      Liked by 1 person

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