Hoboken is having another music rebirth, so it should be no surprise to those fans that know him that Gerry Rosenthal is a new face making a huge impact on the scene.
Who is Gerry and where can you see him?
If you follow local music at all, you’ve likely seen him and just not known his name. He’s played with his original band Big Wake at Maxwell’s, at Finnegan’s Sunday Open Mic night, at The Last Waltz tribute in Northern Soul or at his monthly gig at McSwiggan’s. But Rosenthal’s fan base extends beyond Hoboken. Perhaps you’ve seen him perform in any of the other bands he plays in, like his wedding band, The Jersey Joint, or his Beatles cover band Hey Bulldog. Purists may think a Beatles song shouldn’t be changed, but he doesn’t mind mixing it up a bit. Die-hard Beatle fans have told him, “You don’t do it like the record, but I still really, really like it.”
Rosenthal sees the music scene in Hoboken as “vibrant” and full of possibility. He credits names like Dave Entwistle at Maxwell’s and Jamie DeJesus from Northern Soul for maintaining a great foundation and really building up the contemporary scene, particularly in a town where live music was thought to be a memory. “There are so many great people with a really strong sense of community,” says Gerry.
Some might say that Gerry was a child prodigy. His father, who is also a musician, taught him to play the piano and guitar when he was 7-years old. Now he is a guitarist, bassist, keyboard player, singer and songwriter.
Of course Gerry would shy away from words like prodigy—he’s far too humble for that. He won’t even admit to talent, which he has in spades. What he will tell you is the story of his training (considerable and impressive), and a couple of forays into acting (he did a film called Liberty Heights by Barry Levinson) and his enthusiasm for music and art in general. He can list every single band he’s played with since college, and can tell you about some great nights playing in New Brunswick.
What he won’t tell you is how talented he is, which is why we’re here making it known.
So do yourself a favor and see Gerry Rosenthal right now—right here in Hoboken, while you still can. Heck, he’s probably playing somewhere tonight…