Labor Day weekend arrived with a stellar performance by jam rocker’s Twiddle at the Stanhope House in Stanhope, NJ. Despite technical difficulties that abridged the outdoor performance, the band delivered their signature improvisation, positive vibes and several notable covers. This included an impromptu acoustic set to finish out the night inside the Stanhope House after the power for the PA mysteriously went out.
The Stanhope House is located in Northwest New Jersey, and is over 200 years old. It has hosted the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Son Seals, etc, and was a known hang out for Babe Ruth. The storied history of this establishment started in the 1700s, when the Stanhope House was a rooming house. Over time, this venue became haunted based on fires, fights and other legendary stories. In the 1970’s, the venue transformed into the modern bar and live music venue that we know today, including an indoor stage that is popular with local musicians. During the summer months, the bar utilizes their parking lot to erect a larger stage for bigger crowds.
The Joe Cirotti Trio began the festivities for the evening. Hailing from Hackettstown, NJ, this marked the first time that both bands played together. The trio specializes in bluegrass music. The band members include Joe Cirotti (acoustic guitar), Peter Lister (upright bass), and Mike Alexander (mandolyn).
Twiddle took the stage shortly after, and unfurled a set full of deliciously funky jams, electric lights and a surprising cover. The jam of the night was “Being Hod Hoddle” > “Country Roads” > “Hook” > “Invisible Ink.” The crowd was certainly loving John Denver’s “Country Roads” sandwiched between Twiddle’s originals. Joe Cirotti returned to the stage with an electric guitar and sat in during “Mamunes the Faun,” adding more dimension to this tune. The set closed out on a high note with “Jamflow Man.”
After a short break, the band picked up right where they left off with “Enter,” however power issues with the PA interrupted this song. The crew fixed the issues, and the band continued with “Orlando’s.” The PA eventually went out again during "Orlando's", but the band was not ready to give up just yet. Guitarist Mihali Savoilidis started an impromptu vocal “Row Row Row Your Boat” that the crowd quickly joined in on. The PA appeared to be working again, and drummer Brook Jordan took a drum solo, which segued into Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The band was halfway through this song when the PA finally gave out for the evening. The crew worked diligently to restore power, but were unsuccessful. The crowd was then instructed to head inside for an acoustic set with Savoilidis and bassist Zdenek Gubb. Was this the handiwork of the ghosts that allegedly haunt the Stanhope House?
The inside bar at the Stanhope House was soon packed with fans who were were thirsty for more tasty jams, despite any potential paranormal activity. Savoilidis and Gubb opened the acoustic set with “Ghostbusters,” by Ray Parker Jr, paying homage to these legendary ghosts that allegedly haunt this historic building. Next up was “Rocky Racoon” by the Beatles, another noteworthy cover that was supposed to be played on the outdoor stage. Citizen Cope's “Son’s Gonna Rise” followed, along with “What I Got” by Sublime. Nearly everyone in the crowd was singing along joyously at this point, forgetting the inconvenience of being packed into a tiny, ostensibly haunted club. This incredible acoustic set appropriately wrapped up with “When It Rains It Pours,” and smiles were seen across the crowd.
Twiddle executed great jams and a friendly vibe at the Stanhope House. Despite technical difficulties and the metaphysical mischief potential, the band made lemonade out of lemons with a tight acoustic set inside the bar after the PA lost power for the evening. Thankfully, this is merely the beginning of their exciting fall tour. They are performing at the 4848 Festival in Snowshoe, WV tonight, and will pick up again on September 30th in State College, PA. Tickets are still available for many dates on their not to be missed fall tour. Visit Twiddle’s website for more details.
Blunderbuss, Being Hod Hoddle > Country Roads1 > Hook > Invisible Ink, White Light > Barbeque, BCBC, Mamunes the Faun, Jamflow Man
Enter, Orlando’s, Row Row Row Your Boat2, Drums > Smells Like Teen Spirit34
Ghostbusters5, Rocky Racoon6, Son’s Gonna Rise7, What I Got8, When It Rains It Pours
1. John Denver Cover
2. Sung by crowd during power loss
3. Nirvana Cover
4. Sound abruptly stopped working, fans were directed to go inside for an acoustic set with Mihali
5. Ray Parker Jr. Cover
6. Beatles Cover
7. Citizen Cope Cover
8. Sublime Cover