Posts Tagged ‘Jergel’s Rhythm Grille’

ShapiroChris Shapiro
April 2014

Balcony view of Donnie Iris and The Cruisers at Jergel's.   Photo by Sharon Allen Clark.

Balcony view of Donnie Iris and The Cruisers at Jergel’s. Photo by Sharon Allen Clark.

People stand shoulder to shoulder. They hang over a second floor balcony. They crowd the center dance floor pressing the stage. These men and women stand in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties and even seventies.   They range from business suits with the tie loosen around the neck to blue jeans. Together they call themselves Donnie Iris fans.

Their focus is the core of energy emitted from five members on the stage. At the center is Donnie to his right on is Paul Goll on bass and Marty Lee Hoenes on lead guitar. To his left on keyboards is Marc Avsec and behind him with a pulsating beat on drums is Mark Tirabassi. Together these men are Donnie Iris and the Cruisers.

Most of the fans here tonight have never played on a stage nor can they play a musical instrument for matter. But it doesn’t hinder their love and appreciate for the music.

The band and the fans share something that can only be witnessed in the moment of a live concert. The music serves as the bond between them. No video gear, camera or sound recording can capture the essence of this moment. It’s like trying to capture life in a bottle. Even writing about it is nothing in comparison to feeling it.

Music is the human soul communicating in ways words can’t express. It inspires comforts and heals. Two souls can be connecting through music without a single word ever being spoken. The only requirement to understanding music is to be human. (more…)



Lead singer of Poison, Bret Michaels.
Photo used through Creative Commons. Author MATT – Attribution Weatherman90 at en.wikipedia

Bret Michaels, front man of Poison and native of the greater Pittsburgh area, will be performing at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille in Warrendale, PA on November 18th.  With Poison, Michaels has sold over 30 million records worldwide and enjoyed top-ten status with the hit singles, “Talk Dirty to Me,” “Nothin’ but a Good Time,” “Unskinny Bop,” “Something to Believe In” and the chart topping, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”

Michaels took time a few days before the show to answer several questions from Retropulse Music.

Special Thanks to Jergel’s Rhythm Grille.

Question 1: How has being from the greater Pittsburgh area influenced your musical style?

Michaels: Well, Pittsburgh obviously was a blue collar town when I was growing up, and those kinds of towns lend themselves to the birth of the best raw rock and roll. I’m a story-telling song writer and that’s the kind of thing that comes from a town like mine.  John Mellencamp, Bon Jovi, and I all come from those humble roots and it shines through in the music. It has meaning and substance. Even when I’m singing something as tongue and cheek as Unskinny Bop, there was a story behind it and an inspiration about what was happening around me at the time. I believe that comes from the folk rock influence of story and song writing that emerges from hard working people in a town like Pittsburgh. (more…)