Bottle Hill Day this year will feature 15 bands on three stages, organizers have announced.
Local bands made up of Madison moms and dads (Kings Road, The Project) Madison High School students (The Dairy Farmers) and a local music teacher (Sunnyside Jazz) are among the acts slated to perform at the annual community festival.
Bottle Hill Day draws thousands of people to Madison's downtown and is the biggest community event of the year.
It's scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.
Bottle Hill Day is organized by the Downtown Development Commission and music acts are coordinated by the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance. A borough news release described some of the bands scheduled to play:
The Swampgrass Jug-Band returns to Bottle Hill Day with its arsenal of weird and wacky instruments including jugs, kazoos, washboard, and paper bag. The band has entertained the New York metro area for over 40 years and performs original songs in the styles of blues, American Roots, and classic jug band music. The five-man ensemble includes Jeff Tyler, Dave Rubin, Jim Vasconcellos, Jared Grubow, and Donald Bowen.
Madison music teacher Kathleen Wallace leads Sunnyside Jazz, a local band that offers their own jazzy twist on tunes from the American Songbook. Sunnyside Jazz adapts familiar songs from Broadway musicals and popular composers including Duke Ellington and Irving Berlin. The band, which includes Peter Woolley on piano, Ken Rachlin on guitar, Matt Ellison on bass, and Richard Bradshaw on drums guarantees, “This music will make you want to get up and dance, or at least, tap your toe!”
Rock band The Project formed when four Central Avenue School dads discovered their shared taste in classic rock. Lead vocalist Chris Bias, guitarist Mike Preston, drummer Marc Cozzolino and bassist Mike Shugrue quickly took their garage jam sessions to the stage, entertaining audiences throughout New Jersey. They will be joined on Bottle Hill Day by special guest Val Schuszler on guitar.
Jeff Webb, a solo guitarist and singer from Madison, is a regular at open mic nights in the local area. His acoustic covers of popular hits from The Beatles, Johnny Cash, and Jimmy Buffet are certain crowd pleasers, and Jeff adds variety to his musical repertoire with obscure favorites of his own.
Ginny Johnston & Mosaic will be performing folk rock interpretations of familiar songs, as well as original pieces composed by lead singer, Ginny Johnston. The group, including guitarist and banjo player Donald Bowen, percussionist Dan De Rienzo, and bassist Bob Funesti, brings their diverse musical background together in a contemporary fusion of folk and rock sounds.
Kings Road, a band made up of Madison and Chatham parents, regularly plays classic and alternative rock songs at local venues. A seasoned Bottle Hill Day performer, Kings Road will be entertaining audiences of all ages with their versions of songs from the Counting Crows, Sheryl Crow, the Decemberists, and more. Band members include Johanna Habib (keyboards), Diane Kirsch (vocals), Bill Meyer (bass), Michael O’Keeffe (guitar), Doug Owen (guitar), and Chris Wolfe (drums).
The Unplugged will perform their acoustic versions of classic, alternative, and grunge rock songs. The band features Chris Bias on vocals, Val Schuszler on guitar, Nelson Aguiar on bass, and Dave Hartkern on percussion. Expect to hear favorite hits from bands including Bad Company, Foo Fighters, and Pearl Jam.
Madison alumni Neil Mastrobuono and John Lepre will perform at Bottle Hill Day as a part of rock band The Houserockers. The two musicians first played together as students at Madison High School and continued performing after graduating, entertaining local fans with their takes on rock songs from the 1960s through today.
Current Madison High School students make up The Dairy Farmers, a local band that plays a mix of alternative and classic rock. Musicians Doug Witte on lead vocals and 3rd guitar, Ben Hansen on lead guitar, Tyler Simeone on bass guitar, Matt Hansen on 2nd guitar, and Brian Culligan on drums, have experience performing at distinguished venues such as Gramercy Theatre and Crossroads. Their repertoire includes music by artists Radiohead and Modest Mouse.
Exhibits by local vendors and community groups, a food court, the 22nd Annual Car Show, rock climbing and a beer garden are among the other draws planned for Bottle Hill Day this year.