Jamming a packed house Media 51 creates forum for Rich Cox, others

To celebrate the release of Media 51’s original live recordings of pop/folk/club rock music from area bands, the Whiskey Bar will host a two-day concert on Feb. 6 and 7. The Rich Cox Band leads the way for a lineup that includes Hoboken’s Double Down, Play On Red, Fallen From Grace, Liquifyed, Puma Strut, and Jones.Cox, a 28-year-old Philadelphia native, has been playing in bands since high school and recently formed his latest eponymous project as a way to come back to his roots as a singer/songwriter.

With influences including Elvis Costello, Marvin Gaye, Hall and Oats, and U2, Cox has shared stages with Bon Jovi, Patti Labelle and Boys II Men.

The live recordings, titled JamPacked (Media 51), are Cox’s way to reintroduce himself to a new audience.

“Our live shows are high energy. We’ve played Hoboken like eight times and we appreciate the music scene in the New York area,” Cox said. “The Philly scene is pretty much dead. There’s not a lot of decent venues for live music and fans are not supportive.”

After teaming with Ozone Recordings in South Jersey, Cox held auditions and welcomed George Hazelrigg (piano), Tobias Ralph (drummer) Scott Rednor (guitar) and Geoff Hazelrigg (bass) into the band. The songwriting process is mainly 95 percent done by Cox, he said, but he enjoys collaborating with others on the songs. After the Whiskey Bar gig, he plans to continue touring and performing until he hits the studio this spring with the band to finish the final details for an upcoming album.

“Our fan base right now is mostly women, but our new album will certainly turn some heads and get us credibility,” Cox said.

As frontman of early ’90s metal band Sick Vicki, Rich Cox recorded in world-class studios and toured the globe. Though the “Grunge explosion” blew him off the road and out of the studio, Cox never let the dust settle on his love for singing and writing tunes, which he’s been doing since he was 14. Currently in development, Cox has been in the studio recording demos and rehearsing his new band.

Cox’s collaboration with Media 51 was made possible by 51’s co-founder and Whiskey Bar booker Scott Rush, who also performs with the band Milo Z.

Media 51 was started in June of 2001 by Grammy award-winning record producer John Seymour (Santana, U2, Dave Matthews Band) and Rush. The idea was simple: create a full-service media company that could support the tri-state area’s rich and diverse original music scene. Since the company’s inception, it has operated as a licensed booking agency, booking shows for local artists at some of the region’s premiere music venues. Last summer, Media 51 started TREEFORT Records and released a live compilation titled Live & Loud. The record shined the spotlight on some of the area’s hottest hard rock acts including Madjul (Asbury Park) and Waking (Weehawken). The album was met with rave reviews, so the label decided to continue on that path, and in October of 2003 they recorded another compilation titled JamPacked. It features a diverse lineup of bands that include Cox, Jones, Double Down, Puma Strut, Fallen From Grace, Sage, Liquifyed, Play On Red, and three classic performances by the MMMM… band recorded back in 2001.

JamPacked will be released at the Whiskey Bar on Feb. 6 and 7 and will feature performances by all but Sage & MMMM… The album is a double CD set and contains 22 songs and over two hours of live music.

“We will also be releasing a DVD that contains nine performances, interviews, and bonus footage from all of the bands,” Seymour said.

The DVD was directed, shot and edited by Hoboken resident Bill Hamilton. “As the company continues to grow, plans are in place for the creation of an artist management division, and a multi-media division capable of handling audio, video, or web based project,” Seymour added.

For information on the concerts visit www.whiskey-bar.com or call (201) 963-3400.


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