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The new `Stone Jug Concert Series` begins Friday, June 14, at The Ontario House (The Jug), 358 Main St., Youngstown. (Graphic courtesy of Barry Entertainment)
The new "Stone Jug Concert Series" begins Friday, June 14, at The Ontario House (The Jug), 358 Main St., Youngstown. (Graphic courtesy of Barry Entertainment)

New Youngstown concert series bringing national acts to intimate setting

by jmaloni
Fri, May 31st 2024 11:00 am

Chris Barron of Spin Doctors, A Flock of Seagulls, Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root to headline shows at Ontario House

Preview by Joshua Maloni

GM/Managing Editor

The Village of Youngstown is entering the summer concert scene with a new series curated by musician Ray Barry of Barry Entertainment, and Chris Harden of the Ontario House (aka The Jug).

Chris Barron, lead singer of Spin Doctors, will headline the first show, on Friday, June 14. Special guest Tonemah will open. Then, on Sunday, June 30, A Flock of Seagulls will bring a herd of hits to The Jug. Finally, Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root will team with longtime collaborator Dirk Miller for a concert on Friday, Aug. 16. Phriendly Phoes will open.

Barry has been a concert promoter for 20 years, starting first as a booker for his own band, and then collaborating with Buffalo music venues Nietzsche’s, The Tralf, Central Park Grill and RiverWorks. For the past dozen years, he has staged “Super Jam” in Wilson.

“I always liked the idea of just bringing musicians together, putting on shows,” Barry said.

Following five years of booking national acts for the former Youngstown Village Music Fest, Barry said he pivoted to this new format because, “I like the idea of having a big show in an intimate setting.

“You're able to see a big band that you might really like, in a place like The Jug, where you'll never see that band in a place like that. I really love that idea, and I think it's just such a cool experience for the concertgoer to go see a band like A Flock of Seagulls at The Jug. It just seems like it would never happen. I just love that concept, in general, just being kind of the up-close-and-personal, intimate setting.

“Being able to see bands that you really like – like the singer for Spin Doctors that's coming in. I mean, I'm a Spin Doctors fan. Chris Barron is doing his own solo stuff now. So, for me, even as a promoter, that excites me. I'm like, I would love to go see that; so, I know other people would, too.”

Barry explained, “You’ve got to look at the musician themselves – like the attitude of that musician; sort of like how they might react in this situation. And I think guys like Michael and Chris thrive on audience participation, and they want to see people engaged. And when you're in an intimate setting like that, it gives you this energy that you can't get anywhere else.”

Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root and Dirk Miller (Photo by Cara Freidham)


Glabicki said, “I would be just as happy playing small rooms as I would be playing stadiums.

“Sometimes I feel a little happier in the smaller venues, just because you can really get like an intimate sense of the connections being made.”

He added, “Duo shows are pretty magical. I play kick drum and acoustic guitar and sing. Dirk Miller plays electric guitar mostly. He uses a lot of effects and kind of paints these wider pictures with his guitar. But rhythmically, because I start it off on drum kit, I can kind of play grooves with my right strumming hand on the guitar, and my right foot on the kick drum. I can get these grooves that you really couldn't get with a drummer and a guitarist playing separately. There's like super-fine, delicate, subtle things I can do that are very effective in people watching the show.

“I'm also able to like slow down the tempos, kind of swirl things a little bit in ways that you just really couldn't do unless you were like completely psychic with your drummer. … And then we're able to approach the vocals differently. The dynamics of bringing it down to a pin drop, and then being very explosive with the guitars and the vocals and the drum.

“It's pretty magical and, as far as being synced up with an audience, the duo has the ability to do that, I think, a little bit more intensely.”

Chris Barron of Spin Doctors (Photo courtesy of Doug Deutsch Publicity Services)


Barron said, “My show is funny. I tell a lot of stories. But it's poetic, and I think it's pretty engaging. I think people, generally when they do come out, they're surprised that I'm a pretty accomplished guitar player. I show up with like a killer vintage guitar – for your guitar fans. And I play kind of a funny, hybrid-style of guitar that's a little bit ragtime and mixing these kind of finger-picking techniques. I’m known for being a virtuoso singer. So, you know, I show up, I sing my @ss off, and I've got a lot of different kinds of songs. I think people are generally surprised by the kind of evening that it ends up being.

“I'm funny, but I'm not like ridiculous. I’ve got a lot of stories, and my act is pretty cool. If you like solo acoustic singer/songwriting performance, I think I'm one of the guys out there who's really good at it.”

Barry said, “Sometimes – as weird as this might sound – when you're playing in a place that's thousands of people that come to see you … the band is almost disconnected from the audience because it's so big that it becomes a little bit surreal. And you're kind of disconnected with the audience in a weird way. Whereas, if you're at a smaller venue, a more intimate setting with hundreds of people rather than thousands, you are right there with everybody. You can feel everything. You can feel the energy. …

“Speaking as an artist, I love that. I love to be in the smaller settings, especially when we can fill them in. If you've got a 600-capacity venue, like The Jug outdoors, and we can fill it in with 500, 600 people, it's going to be a blast for everybody.

The new “Stone Jug Concert Series” begins Friday, June 14. Tickets are available at The Ontario House (The Jug), 358 Main St., Youngstown; and online here.


See also >> Q&A: Spin Doctors frontman Chris Barron to perform in Youngstown

See also >> Q&A: Michael Glabicki working on new music ahead of Youngstown concert

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