On June 1, I stopped in at Breakers Kitchen & Tap in Waretown, NJ, because I found out that The Radio Alive aka Vince Basile was performing. My future wife and I heard a small portion of his performance at the Mellow Mushroom in Toms River a few months ago and I was curious to hear more. Something told me that this man was not your ordinary acoustic cover artist. Covering many genres of music, I guess you could say that The Radio Alive kept changing the dial for the stations. While more than a capable guitarist, it was his voice that really impressed me. He handled the smoothness of Billy Joel's voice and was then able to switch over to the raspiness of Chris Stapleton's growl. While "Piano Man" may have seemed to be an odd choice for a guitar player, he adjusted the lyrics to fit his scenario.
While Basile took one of his breaks, he explained to me how he used to perform originals when he was tied to a record label back in the day. Michael Bolton was one of the signed acts that assisted in giving him a push. We talked about the old Studio One (Newark, NJ) and China White, a band that I used to manage and one he remembered. I think our conversation inspired him to return to the mic and perform a medley that included songs by Poison, Skid Row, Whitesnake and Bon Jovi.
The entire bar was singing along to the medley that included "Cruise," "Wagon Wheel" and "Chicken Fried." Songs like "Drops Of Jupiter" and "3AM" were mixed in with crowd favorites like "Friends In Low Places" and "Sweet Caroline." His summer schedule is jam-packed throughout NJ, performing at local spots that include Tuckers in Beach Haven (June 8), the Mainland in Manahawkin (June 15), MJs in Bayville (June 26) and the Black Whale in Beach Haven (July 4). You can see his full schedule by visiting his facebook page at facebook.com/theradioalive . He will be returning to Breakers Kitchen & Tap, located at 537 Route 9 in Waretown, on June 29. The trip would be well worth the music, a cold one and their chicken wings.