Category Archives: recap

David Bowie Engagement Recap

I remember the night I learned it all was happening.

I was riding an Uber from Hoboken back into the city. I had just played a solo acoustic show at Northern Soul. It was the day we learned of Prince’s passing. I was sharing the Uber with Jaime de Jesus, mastermind of ALEO Productions and also the man who not only booked me for the night but also ran the soundboard.

He said, “Hey man, I’m putting together a tribute for David Bowie. It’s going to be on the waterfront. We’ll have the Manhattan skyline in the background. The sun will be going down. It’s going to be extraordinary. You should be part of it.”

How couldn’t I?

“Oh… And instead of doing the thing where I have a core backing band and then swap out the singers, I’m going to open it up. I want to feature everyone… the full breadth of this music community.”

It was then that I knew this man had to be insane. Not only is he trying to put together a tribute to a brilliant and musically-challenging artist, but he’s also trying to organize the entire music community? Just thinking about getting a rehearsal scheduled made my head spin, let alone how we were going to orchestrate the changes during the performance. Each drummer will have to use the same exact setup… there’s no time to make adjustments when we would be constantly swapping!

But wow, did it happen. The community pulled together and more than 35 musicians paid tribute to the music of David Bowie in front of the most beautiful skyline there is. It was an amazing display of community, artistry, and camaraderie. I felt proud to be part of something so special.

Here is the final song of the evening, “Young Americans,” where the role of backing vocals was assigned to EVERYONE. So here we are. Everyone involved in the performance on stage at once. Enjoying the moment.

If the embed doesn’t appear above, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH53Bl85Ikg

And here are some more pics from the night, courtesy of Capacity Images.

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Finnegan’s and Maxwell’s Recap

I’ve enjoyed a few great shows in Hoboken with the Toll Collectors this month. The first was at Finnegan’s on July 16. I actually got to open up the night with an acoustic set. Here I am with Ty Tuschen on electric guitar and Jack Breslin on bass.


Our second show was at Maxwell’s on 7/22 opening for Jane Lee Hooker.

Here was the setlist.


And here’s a video of our cover of “Long as I Can See the Light,” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. If you can’t see the embed below, here is the link.

Pianos Recap – 06/14/16

On Tuesday, June 14th Ty, Ardith, and I played the Pianos Upstairs Lounge. We had a nice turnout and a great time playing for everyone. It’s such a joy to play music with such talented and down-to-earth musicians. Thank you for joining me, Ty and Ardith!

Here we are, getting our music on.
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Here’s the setlist.
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And here’s a live video of us playing my original song, Howlin’. If the embed doesn’t show below, you can watch it on YouTube here.

Toll Collectors at Finnegan’s Recap 05-06-16

On May 6th, I took a seat behind the drums as part of Christina Alessi & the Toll Collectors to play three sets at Finnegan’s Pub in Hoboken. We had a lot of fun mixing up covers and originals for over three hours of music.

Here was the setlist.

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We also covered a new Beyoncé song, “Daddy Lessons.” Check out the video below or on YouTube here.

Hope to be back here with the Toll Collectors again soon. This was a fun one!

Northern Soul Recap 04-21-16 (RIP Prince)

Just a few hours after we learned of Prince’s passing, Northern Soul’s Thursday night of music began. Surrounded by videos of Prince performances on screen and the feeling that music has the power to connect us in mysterious ways, I took the stage with Ty Tuschen joining me on electric guitar. It was a special night to be playing music and one that I won’t forget anytime soon.

At the end of my set, we paid tribute to the purple one with two songs. “Nothing Compares 2U,” which Prince wrote but Sinéad O’Connor made popular. And for “Kiss,” we were joined by Jaime De Jesus, who had the perfect falsetto to take the lead vocal up into the stratosphere. To close the night, Jaime, Ty, James Calio, and I did a collaborative rendition of “Purple Rain.”

Here was the setlist.

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And here’s a little clip of “Nothing Compares 2U” that Jonathan captured. (If you can’t see the embed below, visit this link: https://www.instagram.com/p/BEfP5rgAbRl/)

Josh & Ty pay tribute to the purple one #prince #livemusic #hoboken

A video posted by Jonathan Andrew (@jonathan.w.andrew) on

I also debuted a brand new original song called “Howlin’.” Special thanks to Lola for capturing this one! (If you can’t see the embed, here’s the link: https://youtu.be/h1Zu8z-IuK0)

And a few photos…

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What a fantastic night of music. Thanks to everyone who came out to experience it with me!

Guitar Pull Recap – 03/12/16

What a great night of music at Espresso Joe’s! Lazlo’s Guitar Pulls are always unique. This time, he brought together Jason Kundrath, Paul Rosevear, and me. We played our songs in round robin style, trading stories and memories as we went.

There was a spirit of camaraderie and even a spontaneous collaboration! Paul Rosevear joined me during my song “Walking On” to add some electric guitar. Lola captured it on video… check it out! http://youtu.be/33yxO80_pYY

Jason snapped a cool-looking photo.

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My sister and I, post gig.

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And finally, here was the setlist.

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Pianos Recap

What a fantastic night at Pianos!

On Tuesday, December 29th I was joined by Ardith Collins on cello for a nice little acoustic performance in the upstairs lounge.

Here are Ardith and the sound guy doing a little pre-show phone check.

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Here is the setlist. We were able to pack a bunch of tunes in the set, including a folk tune (Who’s Gonna Shoe?), an 80s classic (Melt With You), a 90s one-hit wonder (Your Woman), a modern day cover (Loveland), and a bunch of my original songs. Oh… and… ummm… Britney Spears. There was some of that, too. I also experimented using looping pedals. One for the voice. One for the guitar. Worked out quite well and allowed me to add some additional layering.

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Here is a post-gig photo of Ardith and I.

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And finally, here’s a video of us performing “Loveland,” by Milky Chance. If you can’t see the embedded video below, you can watch it on YouTube right here: https://youtu.be/aXiP5vtfhuw

Watch Three New Toll Collectors Videos

Captured during a live performance at Finnegan’s in Hoboken, NJ on Saturday, October 17th, here are three original songs by Christina Alessi & the Toll Collectors. Enjoy!

“Leave the Light On” https://youtu.be/NjqzH7R8gnA

“My Little Sin” https://youtu.be/HkhaWwjIhV0

“Rescue Me” https://youtu.be/Z-dNwKGeV3Q