By Matt Mattei - mmattei@timesleader.com

Wilkes-Barre soul-rockers Half Dollar to play Stroudsburg’s Sherman Theater

Print This Page
Half Dollar lead guitarist Brendan Brisk rehearses in Wilkes-Barre on March 22. Brisk said band members are able to blend their influences effortlessly into a unique sound.
Tony Callaio | For Weekender
Half Dollar drummer Eric Drevitch said the band’s goal is to return from an opening slot in support of Badfish with new fans.
Tony Callaio | For Weekender
From left, Jordan Ramirez, Brendan Brisk, Eric Drevitch and Alex Grilli of Half Dollar will open for Sublime tribute Badfish on April 21 at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg.
Tony Callaio | For Weekender

Recommended


    When Wilkes-Barre rock quartet Half Dollar performs live, local music fans get their money’s worth.

    Show-goers in Stroudsburg will have that opportunity when Half Dollar opens for the nationally-recognized Sublime tribute act Badfish on April 21 at the Sherman Theater. Bethlehem jamgrass outfit The Stray Seeds will also share the bill.

    Formed nearly three years ago, the quartet of Jordan Ramirez, Brendan Brisk, Alex Grilli and Eric Drevitch began generating buzz in the Wilkes-Barre region when they moved away from covering songs in favor of playing their own music.

    “When we started playing at the (River Street) Jazz Cafe, people started really getting into our original sound,” lead guitarist Brisk said. “There, our original music was welcome, and we would open up for another band and catch the crowd off guard.”

    Surprising the crowd in a positive way is something Half Dollar is hoping to do April 21, Brisk said.

    The four-piece feels fans of Badfish will identify with the music of Half Dollar, he noted.

    “If I was to describe our sound, I like to think of it as soul-rock,” Brisk said. “We have rock ‘n’ roll elements to our music, but, at the same time, we try to keep it soulful and funky.”

    Half Dollar’s first original album, which was self-titled, debuted in December.

    Drummer Drevitch said the musical range on the record is the result of band members’ various influences coming together.

    “Influence-wise, Jordan comes from a laid back, solo-acoustic type of music; Brisk comes from the vein of funk, blues and jazz; and Alex and I come from the same classic rock and ’90s alternative background,” Drevitch said.

    In “Creme,” Drevitch said, Brisk’s creative style can be heard, while “Build” and “Dirty Blonde” showcase Ramirez’s artistic tones.

    “‘Red Hand’ is definitely the hardest song on the album, and Alex and I wrote that,” Drevitch said.

    Drevitch said the writing process for the album entailed one member bringing a chord progression to the group and the other musicians catering to the structure with their own preferences and abilities.

    “I think the greatest thing about Half Dollar is that each of us are completely different musicians, but we work together instead of clashing,” Brisk said. “Usually, if you get four musicians together and put them in a blender, they argue over direction, but with us it’s effortless.”

    Drevitch said the band also has chemistry in the live setting.

    “With the CD, we wanted something to put in people’s hands, and the feedback has been awesome,” Drevitch said. “But it’s Half Dollar’s live performances that are the engine driving everything.”

    With a fan base established and expanding in their home region, Brisk said the band is grateful to reach a notable stage out of town.

    “I would say this is a big show for us considering the Sherman has had a lot of great artists play there before,” Brisk said. “We rarely get to venture out of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area.”

    Drevitch said Half Dollar will perform songs that will be softer than those in Sublime’s catalogue and some that will be harder, and that one, “Pusher” is in the vein of Sublime “with a Half Dollar spin on it.”

    “We’d love to see some familiar faces in the crowd, but our goal is to leave there with new fans,” Drevitch said. “It seems like a perfect match-up.”

    Half Dollar lead guitarist Brendan Brisk rehearses in Wilkes-Barre on March 22. Brisk said band members are able to blend their influences effortlessly into a unique sound.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_Half-Dollar-Band-2-1.jpgHalf Dollar lead guitarist Brendan Brisk rehearses in Wilkes-Barre on March 22. Brisk said band members are able to blend their influences effortlessly into a unique sound. Tony Callaio | For Weekender

    Half Dollar drummer Eric Drevitch said the band’s goal is to return from an opening slot in support of Badfish with new fans.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_Half-Dollar-Band-3-1.jpgHalf Dollar drummer Eric Drevitch said the band’s goal is to return from an opening slot in support of Badfish with new fans. Tony Callaio | For Weekender

    From left, Jordan Ramirez, Brendan Brisk, Eric Drevitch and Alex Grilli of Half Dollar will open for Sublime tribute Badfish on April 21 at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_Half-Dollar-Band-1-1.jpgFrom left, Jordan Ramirez, Brendan Brisk, Eric Drevitch and Alex Grilli of Half Dollar will open for Sublime tribute Badfish on April 21 at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg. Tony Callaio | For Weekender
    Half Dollar to open for Badfish

    By Matt Mattei

    mmattei@timesleader.com

    IF YOU GO

    What: Badfish with opening acts Half Dollar and The Stray Seeds

    Where: Sherman Theater, 524 Main St., Stroudsburg

    When: 8 p.m. April 21

    Ticket information: Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show and are available at the Sherman Theater box office, by phone at 570-420-2808 and online at ticketmaster.com. Members of Half Dollar were given a limited number of $15 tickets to sell in the Wilkes-Barre area. To inquire about availability, message the band on its Facebook page, bit.ly/2nXioOG.

    Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.

    Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.

    IF YOU GO

    What: Badfish with opening acts Half Dollar and The Stray Seeds

    Where: Sherman Theater, 524 Main St., Stroudsburg

    When: 8 p.m. April 21

    Ticket information: Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show and are available at the Sherman Theater box office, by phone at 570-420-2808 and online at ticketmaster.com. Members of Half Dollar were given a limited number of $15 tickets to sell in the Wilkes-Barre area. To inquire about availability, message the band on its Facebook page, bit.ly/2nXioOG.