Nikki Sue & The Bad News and AJ Philips at Lucky 7 Tavern
Ain’t much better than pickin’ and grinnin’. That’s what my old man tells me. And really, who’s gonna argue with him. Some folks believe he’s a professional wrestler, like Mean Gene Okurland or something. Anyhow why argue? It’s probably true. Just ask AJ Philips or Nikki Sue & The Bad News, there was plenty of pickin’ and grinnin’ going around on March 22nd when they played at Lucky 7 Tavern.
Nikki Sue & The Bad News are no strangers to Jersey City. This four piece country rock ensemble have played at Lucky 7’s before and are starting to make the circuit in town. Based in Jersey City, they’ve been recording a new LP, but made time to come out for some whiskey and guitar. Nikki (Sue) Ilchert (vox, guitar) Ben Hutcheon (guitar) Mike Petzinger (bass) Ian Moran (drums) make up the Bad News. Frankly, I have to say though, they all seem like nice cats, affable fellows. Maybe calling them the Bad News is a bit off, but I suppose that “Nikki Sue & the Bunch of Relaxed and Cool Dudes” is a bit long on the billing.
AJ Philips plugged in shortly after. AJ Philips is a project of The Press’s Alex Picca (vocals, guitar) along with Jonathan Walsh (bass) and Mike Myers (Drums). No relation to the Haddonfield Hacker: Michael Myers is assumed. AJ Philips brings a new voice to the northeast country rock movement. I mean nothing is out of place here, there are still songs about whiskey and women and … soccer moms. Solid guitar, smart lyrics and a winning rhythm section, you can’t help but stomp your feet. These fellas are so brand new they played all their songs and when the crowd demanded “one more song”, AJ himself cast out a little solo number.
After wards I got a few minutes to chill out with both bands and we got to talking, talking turned to drinking, and Nikki Sue shared her first shot of gutrot bourbon with AJ and myself. There was a first for everyone that night. A first show in JC, a first whiskey shot… OK well maybe not a first for me, but I can’t be selfish and hog all the spotlight, I’m sure I’ll figure out a first something in time.