BASKING RIDGE, NJ-Sunday marks the last concert of the summer at the Ross Farm in Basking Ridge, following a successful spring in the unique venue's third year of hosting live music. JD Eicher returns to the Ross Farm following a big year personally and professionally. He and his wife welcomed a baby daughter in the fall, and JD also delivered a soundtrack of his original songs to accompany best-selling author Nicholas Sparks’ latest book, Two by Two. Pairing a soundtrack to a novel was a unique concept, and Eicher was invited to accompany Sparks on his book tour, singing to the crowds while they waited for Sparks to sign their novels.
“The music that I’m writing and releasing is really mirroring who I am and where I am at that time in my life. It’s easy to perform songs when they’re very true,” said Eicher in his online bio. The Youngstown, OH-born and bred musician added, “I’m really glad that my career has taken the longer, ‘scenic’ route, because the music I’m writing now has a certain truth to it that I’m not sure I would have found otherwise.”
Eicher’s Rust Belt upbringing seeps into, or serves as, the foundation of his songwriting. “I think it definitely affects the music,” he affirms, “even in the way I approach touring and my overall work ethic with songwriting and recording. There’s a world-wariness that comes out of this area that gets into the songs. I think there’s a realism that comes out of this part of the country, too, and I think that gets in there as well.” It’s no wonder that Pittsburgh, PA, not far from his Ohio hometown of Youngstown, has embraced the performer and his music as their own, too.
With his band, The Goodnights, Eicher’s soaring and graceful pop-rock songcraft garnered favorable comparisons to Coldplay, Keane, The Script, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. Alternative Addiction named the group one of the top 10 unsigned bands. Virgin Atlantic airlines used one of the band’s songs in the teaser for the airline’s movie, Departure Date. Live, JD Eicher and the Goodnights shared the stage with such diverse and respected artists as the Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Train, Maroon 5, Bryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Sister Hazel, and Matt Nathanson, among many others.
Eicher will be accompanied by bandmates drummer Dylan Kollat and bass player Jim Merhaut. Opening this show is Mike Mains. According to the Detroit-based musician’s bio, he loves rock and roll and the creative craft of large hooks and lyrical sensibility. “His earnest honesty is evident in his music, his shows, and his life. Mains approaches his musical passion with lunch pail in hand, hammering out meaningful, well-crafted songs like a skilled tradesman,” the document reads.
Performing over 300 shows the last three years, Mains has built a committed fan base. His shows have proven to be high energy, interactive and exciting. Mains is recording his third full-length LP this year, and it is expected to be an expansion of his already-established foundation: exciting rock and roll.
The Ross Farm Music Series is hosted by the Friends of the Boudinot-Southard-Ross Estate, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, at the historic estate located at 135 N. Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge. A suggested donation of $20 for adults and $10 for students for each concert can either be submitted via PayPal when RSVPs are entered or at the door for the concerts. As these shows are expected to be staged outside weather permitting, guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs although some seating will be available if needed.
Sponsorships from local businesses for the first time this year have helped support the Ross Farm Music Series. The FoBSR invites fans of its live music to consider patronizing the sponsors’ businesses or services and thanking them for their support! 2017 Music Series sponsors are: Atelier Salon, Back to Nature Home & Garden, Bobi Commer – Coldwell Banker, The Café @ Liberty Cycle, Concert Audio, Couch Braunsdorf Insurance, Country Mile Gardens, Crawford Academics, Minuteman Restaurant, Mockingbird Café, Safety & Aquatic Solutions, TAPinto Basking Ridge, TrueLeaf Kitchens, and Tull’s Foreign Auto Body.