By Jay LoBosco
This is becoming a thing. On Wednesday, May 24th, the town of Matawan –in conjunction with the JSJBF– held their second annual “Blues & Cruise” night. And just like last year, the event was epic.
“When a town or organization asks us to provide music for an event like this, it’s difficult to choose which bands to send because we have so many who are worthy,” said Tom Baldino, President of the JSJBF. “But the thing the town loved most about the bands we’d sent last year (Seba and the Incinerators) was that they were both upbeat and fun. We wanted to keep that going, which is why we asked Fish Eyed Blues, and Ms. G and da Guyz.”
Mission accomplished. Between the classic cars, vendors, food, drink and live music, it was a hell of a party. There was literal dancing in the street in response to the bands and their amazing energy. Fish Eyed Blues hit the ground running, and Ms. G. & da Guyz kept the party going through the end of the evening.
“It was another great night,” Matawan Councilman Brian Livesey said. “Last year was our inaugural event, and it exceeded expectations. There were so many participants that it had gotten to a point where we had to turn cars away and the restaurants on our Main Street were overwhelmed. This year we were able to prepare accordingly.”
Indeed, they did. The Matawan Economic Business Development Commission –who hosted the event– added snacks and food trucks, giving attendees several more dining options. Moreover, besides the street being filled with some awesome classic cars, there were vendors offering everything from cigars, to jewelry, to gourmet butter, to designer coffee, to pop culture socks. It was a perfect family-oriented night for any and all who attended.
“The purpose of the Blues & Cruise night is twofold,” added Councilwoman and commission chair Deana Gunn. “The mission statement of the Economic Development Commission is to help generate business on our main street, and to entice potential businesses to come to Matawan. The Blues and Cruise night certainly accomplishes that. Also, we were able to raise money for this year’s charities, Bayshore EMS and Habitat for Humanity. Both are very worthy causes.”
As for the synergy between Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation and the town of Matawan, this appears to have become yet another example of the positive impact the JSJBF can have on a community. There are a lot of towns on the Jersey Shore, but the JSJBF is ready to answer the call for live music whenever we’re needed.