Author Archives: Evan Toth

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Well, nothing lasts forever. Here is the final episode of Garden State Sound. After two years, and 88 episodes, the time has come to bring our travels through New Jersey music to an end. For now, at least.

My new shift at WFDU, 89.1 FM (6am-9am) will take up most of my radio time, and I don’t know that I’ll have the extra gusto to produce this weekly program. It feels like the right time to shut it down.

We go out with a rollicking trip through some of my favorite music and guests from the last two years: Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Uncle Floyd, Donald Fagen, The Rascals, Soul Attack, D.L. Byron, Bob Crewe, Val Emmich, Titus Andronicus, Spin Doctors, Nathalie Pires, and others.

To The Vinyl District, WFDU, all guests of the show, and to our supporters we say: Thank You. I hope you’ll follow me on this lifelong journey of music. Thank you for listening!

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

There is a little bit of everything on this most recent episode of Garden State Sound. Tune in for the usual gang of Garden Staters, and—as always—a few surprises!

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

This week, we continue—and conclude—our tribute and memorial for Rudy Van Gelder with some fine, clean sides—all vinyl. Included in this episode are: Milt Jackson, Ron Carter, Bob James, Wayne Shorter, Grover Washington, Jr., Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Smith, Paul Desmond, Modern Jazz Quartet, and more!

While this may mark the end of our two-part series, there is no doubt that RVG’s influence will always be heard in any thorough examination of music from the Garden State.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

People abuse hyperbole in this business of media: he/she was a legend, this was groundbreaking, that was the first of its kind. Usually, it’s a bit much, but in this case, Rudy Van Gelder has earned his kudos. Mr. Van Gelder passed away last week at the age of 91. During his time on Earth, Mr. Van Gelder ran two studios (in Hackensack and in Englewood Cliffs) and recorded the majority of the greatest jazz albums ever (no hyperbole).

While not a producer, he was a skilled and thoughtful engineer whose job it was to figure out how to get the sound that the musician and producer wanted to hear on tape. He pioneered the use of tape and brought in the Neumann microphone—both of which have since become gold standards of recording.

There’s much to say about Mr. Van Gelder’s impact on jazz music, recording, and otherwise, but in this case we’ll let the music do the talking. I pulled some of my favorite Van Gelder recordings and cleaned the grooves just for this show. Listen and enjoy.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

No one has as many fingerprints on as many classic jazz recordings as Rudy Van Gelder who died last week at the age of 91. Not a producer or arranger, but a fantastically talented engineer who recorded some of the greatest jazz albums of all time in his studios in both Hackensack and Englewood Cliffs.

Mr. Van Gelder also served as a mastering engineer for albums not recorded in his studio and made mobile recordings of some of the greatest live jazz performances ever captured on tape (Mr. Van Gelder also heralded the use of tape in recording before much of the sound community embraced it). He was a hero of jazz music, but also a titan of the New Jersey music scene. With his talents, Mr. Van Gelder could have set up shop anywhere, but he chose to stay in New Jersey for his entire career.

This week, we revisit a broadcast commemorating his 90th birthday. Next week, you’ll hear a brand new show memorializing his recordings and further discussing his life.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Here we offer you another hot summer dive into the NJ bag of goodies. This week we explore some original music from Alyssa Sequoia, a new track from Val Emmich’s newest release Whatever’s Chasing You, some local reggae from Hoboken HiFi, and a very well-done tribute to Les Paul and Mary Ford.

Also, Lesley Gore gets “Paranoid” and Dizzy Gillespie bops and blows his horn with “Stuff” Smith. We also delve into some local rock and roll from Wormburner and Schizo Fun Addict. Good gracious, folks, there’s a little something here for everyone. Join us and let’s listen to what New Jersey sounds like.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

This week, a relaxing funky, jazzy show before we bust open the rock and roll and discuss Sugarfest which happened on 8/12-13 in Jersey City. Also, The Roches, George Benson, Frank Sinatra, Antonio Carlos Jobim, a great Sarah Vaughan track from the Frasier soundtrack (of all things), Tal Farlow, Stuyvesant, The Brixton Riot, and a few more odds and ends.

I also come through on my promise to purchase—and play for you—a few tracks from a sealed copy of D.L. Byron’s 1980 power-pop masterpiece, This Day and Age. Click the link and let’s get busy.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

The Best of Garden State Sound with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

I don’t attend church much anymore, but listening to records at Michael Fremer’s home is—for me—about as close as it gets. That’s really not hyperbole: if you believe that music is one of the highest representations of holiness on Earth, then listening to pure analog on a major hi-fi system is nothing short of a moving, religious experience. Again, Michael has graciously allowed me to cull through his library, pull out some Jersey-based albums, hear them on his system, and make digital copies of those recordings for you to hear.

For Mr. Fremer—Senior Contributing Editor of Stereophile magazine and Editor of Analog Planet—vinyl is not just a recent fad. He’s loved and championed records for decades and has a true passion in discovering the ones which sound the best and make the little hairs on your arms stand up. Hear him tell you all about it this week. We’ll also talk Sinatra, Bill Evans, Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Les Paul, The Isley Brothers, George Clinton, and more.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

This week, we get back to basics. A mix of old and new Jersey classics, many of which are captured on vinyl. On this episode of Garden State Sound: Val Emmich, Melody Gardot, Danielia Cotton, David Grisman, Yo La Tengo, and many more.

Tune in to hear the best that New Jersey has to offer!

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

This week, we continue dusting off the compact disc collection and discovering what New Jersey gems have been hiding on the old A/V shelves. In doing so, we listen to the Hoppin’ Haole Brothers (featuring Uncle Floyd on piano, of course), Sewell’s somewhat forgotten The Parcels, the wonderful accordion slinger John Foti, the greatest cover band in New Jersey—if not America—The Nerds, Duncan Sheik, The Joe Deninzon Jazz Trio, the McCartneyesque Elephant Goes West, and, of course, Val Emmich.

A French copy of Albert Francis’ and Antonio Carlos’ 1967 gem and a Japanese pressing of Springsteen’s “Born to Run” also make an appearance, as does a brand new song by Avi Wisnia. So, tune in for a little of the old—and a bit of the new—as heard on a rapidly disappearing medium that holds its own bit of mystique and magic.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Perhaps its heresy to write this at The Vinyl District, but I have a secret to share with you. Come closer, I don’t want anyone hearing this. This is strictly between you, and me. The truth is: I’ve been buying CDs again.

I know, I know. Shhhh. Stop reacting like that, people are going to see you!

I love collecting records and I’m in it for the long haul, but during the ’90s, I was also a diehard CD collector. When streaming began to take hold, I traded in my CDs while the going was good. But, I do miss them a little.

The strengths and weaknesses of each format might make for a separate column, but the fact is that I do have many NJ recordings available only on CD, so I thought it was a good time to raid the dusty CD collection.

Hear Jersey favorites like Frank Sinatra, Donald Fagen, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, and Debbie Harry, but also be prepared for some new names: Paul Brubaker, Bob Cannon, Blendre, Freddie Hendrix, The Prime Time Sublime Community Orchestra, and Alfa.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

P.M. Dawn always presented themselves as cosmic and interplanetary, but they did most of their work right here in Jersey City. I didn’t have cable through much of the ’90s, but I recall watching some show on network television that aired that week’s most played music videos, the replays were on Saturday morning.

I’d watch the usual offerings and then P.M. Dawn would come on and I wouldn’t know what to think. This was hip hop? R&B? What did I know? I was 13. Anyway, what I did know was that this was not the usual video, or musical, fodder.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

A Special Fourth of July Garden State Sound with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Live music is major business here in New Jersey. From the Meadowlands to the Stone Pony, the Garden State has always harbored vibrant and exciting places to witness live music. A New Jersey summer is, however, a magical time to witness a live event, preferably outdoors.

Perhaps you’ve watched Bruce Springsteen sing “Who’ll Stop the Rain” during a torrential downpour in Giants Stadium and glanced at the mass of humanity in front of you and been aware that just outside the stadium, the New York City skyline hovers and the Meadowlands’ estuaries reach out to infinite waterways which connect NJ to the rest of the world. Or, maybe that’s just me.

It’s important to think about these things though; to appreciate your local regionalism but also to be aware of the bustling world happening just around the bend. This week, we explore some outstanding musical moments which took place in the great Garden State and prepare for a fun weekend sure to offer more of the same. Be safe.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

The Best of Garden State Sound with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

A musician’s vehicle often says a lot about their dedication to the craft. Francie Moon’s well-worn mini-van displays the many miles this young lady has logged in search of a stage and an audience. The vintage bicycle hanging on the back of the van communicates that she likes to explore, and the red bandana hanging off of the lift gate, exclaims that she’s a bit of a free spirit.

Francie is one of those NJ musicians who always seems to be out there, doing a gig somewhere, getting some people together, and making some sounds.

And then there are the sounds that Francie makes: her voice surprises; explodes out of her small frame and fills the room. And her guitar chops: meaty, riffy, and chewy. When coupled with her unique vocals, she grabs you by the lapels and dares you to do something else while she’s performing. Come on in, meet Francie Moon. There is a lot to learn about her. You’ll be charmed.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Last week, I enjoyed the unique experience of shopping for records at the Archive of Contemporary Music which, twice a year holds a sale to relinquish their library overflow. While I was a little woozy from heat exhaustion, especially after sitting in three hours of NYC gridlock and skipping dinner, some wonderful purchases were made.

On this episode, we delve into those with Jersey connections: Sarah Vaughan, Titus Andronicus, The Rascals, Johnny Smith, and Ron Carter. Bruce, Dionne, Tony Bennett, and even The Band come by to say, “hello!”

Finally, we end this week’s episode with an homage to Marlton, NJ’s own, Christina Grimmie.

Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text