Joestock: The First Annual Rockland-Bergen Music Festival

Bassist Johnny Pisano at the first annual Rockland-Bergen Music Festival
When you're Jersey Shore musician, Stone Caravan frontman Joe D'Urso, you don't just throw a party on your fiftieth birthday.  You throw a music festival.

Birthday Boy Joe D'Urso
And when you're Joe--a longtime promoter of charitable causes--you make the day really count, collecting proceeds for Light of Day and WHYHunger and other worthy charities.   You outfit the German Masonic Park in Tappan, New York with two stages, offer free admission to anybody born in 1964, and invite your friends to come out and play.

Because your friends just happen to be legends of the New York/Jersey Shore/national music scene, word spreads among music fans, and enthusiastic concertgoers spread out blankets and lawn chairs under a perfect blue sky

The result? A perfect summer celebration of music and the folks who love it.

with Diane Lynn Gotaski Pastrick
photo of Kiley Armstrong by Mitchell Bilus
The festivities kick off with a set by talented newcomer Bobby Mahoney:

The day's musical riches include acoustic sets by Marshall Crenshaw, whose voice is still as honeyed as it was in the '80s, Anthony D'Amato, whom NPR has called "a modern folk gem," and the ever-entertaining songsmith John Eddie.

Plugged-in standouts included Jesse Malin, whose new album is mere days away from completion, and who as usual tears the place up:

And Willie Nile who closes out the day in hard-rocking, big hearted style.

At the end of the day, Willie's bassist Johnny Pisano--known to fans as Jumping Johnny Pi--defies gravity in ways his fans have come to look forward to:

photo by Diane Lynn Gotaski Pastrick

and in a way none of us quite expected:


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