ROAD TRIP MIX is a collection of the music of our drives and times.  Driving Jersey is dedicated to recording and highlighting Jersey singer/songwriters and bands for the project and site. We will regularly update this page with new music, new additions to the mix we’re listening to and creating on the road.  We encourage suggestions for future artists.

The old man sighs
As he falls in his chair
She secretly cries
It's insecurities and fears

The kids moved away
Their own flowers to grow
Find a space of their own
In this garden of roads

I moved back and tried
To find a straight head
As I aimlessly drive
These Jersey streets all again

This used to be my woods
In the trees I would hide
A house stands where they stood
With aluminum sides

I thought things would change so fast
I'm growing up at last
Cause I see things stay the same 
    In the end...

What matters most
We keep them so close
Family and Friends
Family and Friends
Family and Friends

by S.Amantus

S. Amantus contributed this recording of WHAT MATTERS MOST to Driving Jersey, to be the first song on our mix.  It was originally used in our “Seaside Heights” episode.

WHAT MATTERS MOST: Rehearsal, Recording...Reveal

The episode version of the song was recorded in an old beach house on Long Beach Island, that we held up in for a week, all working together to create the episode.

We were beach kids.  We grew up at the Shore. And the song was inspired by a life of loving, leaving and returning to Jersey and the sandy back roads of our youth.



by luke d’arcangelo

We traveled once more into the Pines to meet up with Luke D'Arcangelo.  The guy lived in a hole in the ground, with a thatched roof over head and bamboo curtains around.  He shared his quarters with a family of corn snakes and mice.  And he played guitar.  His CHI OF E is the second track on Driving Jersey’s ROAD TRIP MIX and for that we were grateful.  Oh, we were also grateful that he reminded us to turn left at the painted tree to find our way out of the woods after nightfall. 

toothless smiles

decaying piles

every smell clinging to my lips

exhaust forcing my chest to compress

last breaths and none to catch

and the subways run like veins

the blood-rust stains

the tiled walls

of 42nd st. station

new york times

crossing crime scene lines

i'm sleeping in the thick

korean tourists on holiday

ask me if i can take their pictures

but i'm blinded by the signs

i can't see straight

and no matter how hard i try

i keep missing that train

at 42nd st station

nothing lasts forever

but this train is going no-where

and the detours we must follow

but that next train it wont take you there

cause we're going no-where

beauty sharing misery

vileness sharing piety

i guess it's what we choose to see

did you see it go bye girl

you better wake up

cause that trains been rollin' on

while you've been looking for love

stuck in the blood

of 42nd st station

This is Mash McLain playing for Driving Jersey on the front porch. Mash is a Jersey singer/songwriter from Asbury Park. We first caught her act at Chubby's in Red Bank. That night, half-way through her first song an amp caught on fire...smoke pouring from it. Half-way through her second song, a second amp did the same. There was clearly something very special about Mash McLain. When she packed up her guitar to leave the smoke filled bar, the crowd followed her down the street. Not one to disappoint her following, Mash ducked into the local Elks Lodge and completed her set. We were impressed, and now, fortunate to get her to play for us.

Ladies, Gentlemen, Elks and Amps...Mash McLain, live at Fort Hancock on the DRIVING JERSEY:ROAD TRIP MIX.

42nd STREET STATION is a reflective song of a Jersey singer/songwriter’s time in the great metropolis.  It will be available on Mash’s forthcoming album, to be released in the autumn of 2010.

When it comes to music, Jersey is a bit of a web one can find themselves happily entangled in. We met ROAD TRIP MIX contributor Luke D'Arcangelo through his brother Driving Jersey subject Jake D'Arcangelo. Both men suggested their father, their pop, Lee D'Arcangelo. He's the patriarch of a musical family that includes two sons, one daughter (Sunday) and a clan of friends who used to gather to his front yard grove for mythical musical sessions. Lee played through out a night for us, but we centered on MAKES NO DIFFERENCE because it had the sweet sorrow sound that compliments Lee's temperament, talent and tales.

Here he is, Lee D'Arcangelo on the DRIVING JERSEY: ROAD TRIP MIX.

And it makes no diff'rence how far I go

I can't get over you and the flame still grows

It makes no diff'rence, night or day

Your shadow never seems to fade away

And the sun don't shine anymore

And the rain falls down on my door

And it makes no diff’rence who I meet

It’s just another empty face on a dead-end street

It makes no diff’rence what I do

The scar’s still open and the blood runs through

And the sun don't shine anymore

And the rain falls down on my door

Since you've gone, it's a losing battle

Stampeding cattle, they rattle the walls

And the sun don't shine anymore

Well, I love you so much, it's all I can do

Just to keep myself from telling you

That I never felt so alone before

And the rain falls down on my door


Driving Jersey Director Steve Rogers produced this short about an inaugural open mic night in his hometown of Red Bank. Friend and fellow artist Dave Stanley along with poet Jay B organized the event. Below some text description of the evening by Rogers.

Dave Stanley talked excitedly, buzzing around the crowd like his words were the wings of a hummingbird.  Though faces were lit only by backdoor, parking lot light,  Stanley, in his trademark floppy cap, was glowing brightly from the success of the evening.  He made happy, bold declarations and predictions.  "We're going to do this again," he said.  "This is necessary," he said.  He must’ve smoked three cigarettes in three minutes, but barely inhaled and discarded them quickly to dash back inside to connect with another writer-artist-singer.  Here, there and then gone again in a flurry of the ecstasy of satisfaction. 

He had successfully performed in the first open mic night at Zebu in Red Bank and from the excited energy it was clear that it would not be the only.  Though, the two writers organized the event in under a week, the night of words was both a success in terms of those reading and those attending.  “I was a little worried about turnout,” Stanley said, “but between Facebook and flyers and word of mouth, the night turned out to be full of very inspiring artists and people willing to be inspired.” 

We first met Dave in October of 2010.  It was the day of the night he was leaving Jersey for his three month spoken word tour.   You could tell he had a lot on his mind, not bags and packing, plans and maps, but people, friends and family.  He was missing them already and talked about them in between takes of his poem, I DON’T WRITE LOVE POEMS.  At the last minute Dave asked if he could do one more for a friend.  PEOPLE LIKE US, is a requiem for a friend who recently died of an overdose.

Following a three month journey around the United States, we hooked back up with Jersey poet Dave Stanley to hear about his travels and to film him reading one of his new poems. This is it, PART OF SOMETHING. Dave said the poem is born out of his desire to connect more deeply to other people and things. Citing his adoption, and his journey in and out of a life of transient, often drug-fueled friendships, as impetuous to tracing his roots, Stanley said PART OF SOMETHING is a realization poem that speaks to where he finds himself today, creating a web of artists and friends, "a pack," some as far away as across the country, but as close as the words and ideas and stages that they share, when they share. "There's poetry in every interaction," he said, "you just have to keep your eyes, ears and hearts open."

More from Dave Stanley and fellow poet friends.

Quincy Mumford is a Jersey kid, who picked up a guitar when he was in third grade and hasn't put it down since and although he’s only 19, his sound, his performance, his mojo has something of a seasoned quality about it, a rock confidence that suggests a past in his presence and a significant future ahead. Along with his band The Reason Why, Mumford plays all over his home county of Monmouth, including a monthly gig at Jamian's in Red Bank. They also have dates all over the U.S.  And Mumford recently shared the stage with another local guy, Bruce Springsteen at the Light of Day benefit show at the Paramount in Asbury Park. We caught up with Mumford at home on a day in between his many show dates. 

For more info and show dates and times visit Quincy’s site at:

A year ago Cara Salimando, of Little Silver, was a senior in High School.  She was hanging out with her friends in parks and parking lots.  Today she is working on a blossoming singing career, traveling to Paris to shoot a music video and touring the country with big name Indie singing stars.  Her first and highly anticipated album will be released shortly.  She is preparing to play at the famed (SXSW) South by Southwest festival and she is already talking about finding sponsors for her tour.  Not bad for a singer, essentially in her freshman year.  And despite all of her success and promise and pace, Salimando still finds time to spend it with friends and family at home.  “It’s important to me,” she said, “to be down-to-earth, to stay grounded.  I most appreciate artists who are able to do that.”  When we caught up with her, Salimando was home, preparing for a benefit show in Freehold for the St. Jude’s Children's Hospital. 

To follow Cara and to find show dates and times visit her on the web at:

Special thanks to McKay Imaging and Bob and Liz McKay for welcoming us into their beautiful studio to shoot this performance.

In between two brownstone buildings,

brick walls covered all in ivy leaves...

I was waiting in the doorway, 

counting people on the city streets,

whispering your name.

whispering your name...

And this is where you stood,

this is where we stayed, 

this is the very same place, 

very same place I 

found myself.

And this is where we lived,

this is where you'd lie,

this is the very same place,

very same place we

fell asleep on piano keys...

Oh, oh,

I left my heart in, I left my heart in 

a place that I know well...

this building on Commonwealth.

Nights grew long and we'd grow tired of basement walls,

we'd take to Boston's streets.

Days wore on for hours, endless,

we'd grow restless in the August heat...

follow you,

follow me.

And this is where you stood,

this is where we stayed, 

this is the very same place, 

very same place I 

found myself.

And this is where we lived,

this is where you'd lie,

this is the very same place,

very same place we

fell asleep on piano keys...

Oh, oh,

I left my heart in, I left my heart in 

a place that I know well...

this building on Commonwealth.

I really felt it when we were walking on Boylston, and

I kept you close to me all the way down Newbury, and

when we would go back home,

I'd just want you alone.

I held the elevator, just to be with you longer.

And this is where we stood,

this is where we stayed, 

this is the very same place, 

very same place we 

found ourselves.

And this is where we lived,

this is where we'd lie,

this is the very same place,

very same place we

fell asleep on piano keys...

Oh, oh,

I left my heart in, I left my heart in,

I left my heart in, I left my heart in,

I left my heart in, I left my heart in

a place that I know well...

this building on Commonwealth.

People always like to talk about the good old terms of music, the constant refrain  is “I like his older stuff more” or “music isn’t what it was 10, 15, 20 years ago.”  There’s a perpetual longing in human nature to go back even as we inevitably move forward.  The only time machine is time itself, which replaces us with them, the next generation, playing their “older stuff” now, while it’s new.  Our Road Trip Mix has over the last couple of months, had that inevitable shift to what or who’s next...two exceptional performers under 25...proof that there is no need to lament over the past and that the future of Jersey music is as blazingly bright as its past. 

Enter Michael Dante Summonte...a natural progression in this order, but also a great shift in terms of his sound.  Summonte is a perfect mixture of old and new.  Although we like to think of old as being more timeless, of reaching into the rich soil of American music and appreciating the roots as much as the leaves.  Summonte does this with correct measure.  His work has been compared to Dylan and the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkle, all influences he claims as instructive sounds to his music, but he does it so well that it is pure Summonte.  We met up with and filmed him on a cold late winter’s day when the sun was the warm campfire and spotlight to his soulful, hoboistic performance.  Enjoy Michael Dante Summonte’s rendition of his new, older sound...Digging Myself a Hole.

May we pause in life’s pleasures

And count its many tears

While we all sup sorrow with the poor

There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears

Oh hard times, come again no more

It’s the song, the sigh of the weary

Hard times, hard times come again no more

Many days you have lingered around my cabin door

Oh hard times, come again no more.

We seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay

While frail forms faint at the door

Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say

Oh hard times, come again no more

It’s the song, the sigh of the weary

Hard times, hard times come again no more

Many days you have lingered around my cabin door

Oh hard times, come again no more.

HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE was written over 150 years ago by Stephen Foster and as Driving Jersey contributor Jon Francis notes, "it could've been written could've been written two thousand years ago."  Its lament has been shared over the centuries by the downtrodden...and all who hear its intention surely wish that hard times would indeed come again no more, but there is also something hopeful in it...listen for's the empowerment even unto the sad and lowly that there is some hopeful power still present within that can turn away tragedy and despair simply by saying is what keeps us going.

HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE, in Foster's words, is "a sigh...a wail...a dirge” beckoning the haves to consider the have-nots and these this time of year it is a holiday carol that should be on the mind, if not on the lips of all.   Enjoy Driving Jersey Producer Ryan Bott’s performance of Hard Times, shot in Central Jersey on an unusually warm December day.  The conditions and the song caused us to consider the power of the possibilities of the future.  Warmer, better days ahead?

When it comes to rock and roll, to Jersey’s place in the myth and magic of rock music, perhaps no other town in the state matters as much as Asbury Park.  The very words are synonymous with the Garden State’s rock laureate, Bruce Springsteen.  Before you ever even visit the town, it’s a famous greetings on a postcard rock album that introduces you to it. 

As a kid, because of that Springsteen album cover, I imagined the whole place as a giant rainbow seaside rock fantasy and there are those who say it was or is or is becoming that again.  Sure, Asbury Park, like any town that hits hard times, still has a mile to go before the fantasy comes close to reality.  There are still those on the other side who suffer and yearn in AP in NJ, but that’s also a part of it, the other side of rock music...with majesty on the A and struggle on the B-side.  And that’s also a part of Asbury Park’s place in the lore of Jersey rock music, there’s a grit beside the glory, a darkness on the edge of town.  What home of rock music wouldn’t still need to connect to and uplift the meek, the under-privileged and the undiscovered.  In that spirit, we went to Asbury Park, two weeks before the lords of rock invaded the shoreline along Ocean Avenue for the Bamboozle Festival and we took in the view of what actually made the town, the boardwalk, the Pony, famous, not a-list rockers, but up-and-comers, bands competing, playing, rocking on the Stone Pony stage as a warm-up to their chance to play alongside the pop-stars.  We took in the sights and we interviewed three bands from Jersey, Class 6, Something about January and A Balance Between.  

Enjoy Asbury Park, May 6th and appreciate the earnest, brash and brave spirit of rock music in Jersey...still young, still alive...still greeting all comers to its sunset colored shoreline.

For the record: There was a Springsteen sighting that night.  He was spotted at the other end of the boardwalk, at the Convention Hall, getting his motorcycle.  Of course he was.  When it comes to myth, Asbury Park never seems to disappoint.  By the time we got down there he was gone...on the wind...or up Kingsley Avenue.

While we were exploring the importance of live theater to our small towns and communities around Jersey, in support of our Surflight Theater segment, we ran into Louis Baglio and his cast of performers at the Showplace Ice Cream Parlor in Beach Haven.  This is not your typical soft serve joint, instead, along with your banana split you get a show-stopping, full company performance.  Enjoy what they served up for us, 42nd Street and their Flavors Song, and the next time you find yourself at the south end of Long Beach Island, stop in to Showplace and tell them Driving Jersey sent ya.

Grandfather, when will you understand,

Growing up in affluence, it played a big hand...

In making me believe I had some choices about the future

But without ideals, there's no time to plot,

About how you're going to go about getting all the things you haven't got...

For you, there was only one way...and that's not a lot of choices.

The Generations all divide, all of them thinking they're on the right side...

While the real culprits for those splinterings don't ever need to run and hide...

Cuz they live high on top of plains...from skyscraper-towers, they reign...

And mandate the shackles and chains that keep us here, all stuck on the ground.

We stand around, blaming each other for what, just a few people at the top of 'The Cream of the Crop' have shutdown for the rest of us...stolen from the best of us, and then we blame the Welfare moms...

But In-fighting, that's not something new...whether with a loved one, or a fellow taxpayer too,

An old stock trick from the trickbook to trick me and you,

For when things don't Trickle Down.

And while petty thieves are framed for Grand Larcenist's schemes, and the system they gamed...

It's really no surprise to anyone with opened eyes to see how Education has waned...

And when we will complain, having not thought twice or even thrice just the same, about really...

...How much clout can a pauper tout, when all they really think about, is how they can't ever get out of their inherited shame?

The Vampire-Squids are feeding once again,

Through the help of their Treasury Brethren.

Who covered their asses, stealing from the Lower Classes,

And then they have the nerve to act as if they've saved us.

(Repeat 2nd Verse)

(Repeat 1st Chorus)

In February of 2012 we began an exploration into the meaning of the idea of the American Dream and how it is reflected in the American reality.  We’ve driven all over the state asking people about the dream, the collective one and the personal ones.  Along the way we ran into Driving Jersey contributor Michael Dante Summonte and he offered his vision of what was and what is.   Check out Grandfather, Grandfather and stay tuned for Driving Jersey: American Dream.