Do you ever wonder what your friends and neighbors listen to?
When we put the Listening Room on pause during COVID, we asked people from throughout The Exchange's community -- artists, musicians, board members and other volunteers, and our Listening Room soundman -- to let us know what they listen to, in any and all genres, and we have their playlists here to share with you.
Click on any of the links to enjoy great music; scroll down to read more about the people who shared their playlists with you.
Listening Room performer -- a woman driven to entertain her audience with a voice reminiscent of the velvet of Etta James and the gravel of Janis Joplin.
Listening Room performer -- On November 10th, 2019, BC received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Blues Musician's Guild of the Lehigh Valley.
Exchange board member and the marketing director for the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau -- Shane’s musical tastes are fairly diverse and most often rooted in feelings of adventure, life on the open road, the unexplored wilderness, living life, and seizing the moment..
Destination Blues musician -- "I’m not sure whether or not Lititz is a Blues-Rock hub. I do know that Benjamin Vo certainly makes it seem that way single-handedly with his impressive 'Country Sugar E.P.' While mixing in traditional Blues tropes (lyrics referring to cows and the Devil, 12-bar Blues arrangements, etc), Vo goes a long way with just himself and a drummer." - Kevin Stairiker, Fly Magazine.
Exchange Gallery -- An artist whose passion for the outdoors mingles with his interest in the strange and unusual, Justin produces art that can be as weird as it is beautiful, primarily in pencil and watercolor. Justin now lives in Vermont, although he still calls Pennsylvania home. Find Justin's work on the Web at fineartamerica.com/profiles/justin-deprisco/shop and facebook.com/justindepriscoart.
Listening Room performer -- Having first picked up the saxophone at the age of nine, Collier embarked on her road to recognition at Berklee College in Boston, earning dual degrees in Performance and Music Production & Engineering. These days, Collier spends much of her time on the road, performing at some of the most prestigious music festivals in the world. The seven-time Blues Music Award nominee won the award in 2019 and 2020 for Instrumental--Horn. Find Vanessa on the Web at vanessacollier.com and facebook.com/music.vanessacollier.
Rowan Leigh Shaffer
Exchange Gallery -- Rowan Leigh Shaffer graduated from Bloomsburg University, where they majored in Fine Art with concentrations in Fiber and Printmaking. Rowan’s artwork has hung at The Gallery at the Greenly Center in Bloomsburg and at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport, among other regional venues. Find Rowan's work at facebook.com/renyirart and facebook.com/redtreepress.
Exchange Gallery -- Born and raised in Ashland, Pa., Chet received a B.S. in Art Education from Penn State and an M.A. in Studio Art from the Hartford Art School. He has spent over four decades as an artist, art educator, and art advocate, and has over two dozen solo exhibitions. Find Chet on the Web at chetdavisart.com and facebook.com/CJDavis-Fine-Art.
Exchange Gallery -- Jon has shown artwork at the Gallery and also shown his film "I Was Always Supposed To Be Here", an experimental documentary featuring Black women's stories and observations as they navigate Austin, Texas. You can watch it and other films at vimeo.com/user51739963.
One of the Moose Exchange's founding board members and, since 2006, the Executive Director of the Columbia-Montour Visitor Bureau (itourcolumbiamontour.com).
“The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.” -- William Shakespeare
Nick Andrew Staver
Listening Room performer and American Roots/Blues Musician -- "A lot of the music on here is what I have been listening to over the summer. Some new, some old, a mix of genres. That's the norm for the music playing in the house." Visit Nick's Web site at NickAndrewStaver.com and find him also at Facebook.com/NickAndrewStaver.
Listening Room performer -- Tom Graham, a musician and singer-songwriter based in Scranton, Pa., has continuously traveled the country for the past two decades, singing his songs and playing his music for crowds of all shapes and sizes -- 2,469 shows and counting (as of early November 2020) in music halls and festivals and pubs and clubs. He has released five independent records; find him on the Web at tomgrahammusic.com.
Exchange Gallery artist
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." -- William Wordsworth
Exchange Gallery artist -- A 2008 studio-art graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Brock calls his playlist "An Exchange -- Songs to make arts."
Listening Room performer -- Now retired after a career as an elementary-school teacher, Tom has played alongside any number of our region's well-known musicians, from Nate Myers to John Sweeney, as well as with his wife, Jina.
Exchange Gallery artist -- Chad received his BFA in studio art from Kutztown U. and his MFA in printmaking from U. Penn. Now a professor of Printmaking and 2-Dimensional Design at Bloomsburg U. and with a studio at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport, Chad founded the Art Cart in 2015 and has served on the Exchange board and the Gallery committee. Find him on the Web at instagram.com/studiopaperplus.
Destination Blues founder -- One of the people who founded the Billtown Blues Festival in 1990, Bonnie has stayed involved ever since. She has also managed many regional Blues artists including Greg Piccolo, Saffire the Uppity Blues Women, Ann Rabson, Bob Margolin, and Gabe Stillman. Find out more about Billtown Blues at BilltownBlues.org.
Billtown Blues volunteers
For more than thirty years, a group of dedicated volunteers has put together the annual Billtown Blues Festival in Hughesville, U.S.A. They also host events in Williamsport and have a close relationship with the Uptown Music Collective. This playlist, made up of music by artists who have played the Festivals, comes from the volunteers' suggestions. Find out more at billtownblues.org.
Destination Blues and Backstage Pass performer -- A professional drummer and percussionist from Danville, Pa., he has established -- by age 18 -- a career as a working musician in Central Pennsylvania, from playing in pit orchestras to performing for crowds of over 1,000 in rock concerts. A 2019 high school graduate and an Uptown Music Collective alumnus, Tate now attends Temple University as a Jazz Performance major. Find him on the Web at berkeytate.wixsite.com/tateberkey.
Destination Blues and Listening Room performer -- . A well-known figure on the central Pennsylvania music scene for two decades, Nate has performed in duos, trios, and with his band, the Aces, singing and blowing a mean Blues harp. Nate's music draws from a wide variety of styles and genres of American music, including Blues, Funk, Hip Hop, Rockabilly, and Country. Visit Nate on the Web at NateMyers.com.
Exchange Gallery artist -- A native of Ashland, Pennsylvania, Bob spent his career as an English teacher and took up painting full-time after retiring. Bob says "I've been making art for over fifteen years, and learning more about being human for a lot longer. Life is good." You can follow Bob's art at facebook.com/ubbaa22.
Listening Room performer -- An enthusiastic collaborator, Stacia Abernatha is a singer-songwriter from Williamsport, Pa. She sings an eclectic array of styles and genres, with her passion in Americana/Roots, psychedelic indie Rock, and Blues music. Find her on the Web at facebook.com/staciasings.
Exchange Gallery artist -- Steve says "I tried to pick some songs that I’m listening to now, some that hold certain significance to me, and just some of my favorites. Definitely felt like I could have put a lot more on. ’ll probably end up making another list." Steve has also displayed his work at ArtFest in Bloomsburg and looks forward t the next of these August events on the Square.
Listening Room performer -- Born in Statesboro, Georgia, Brooks moved to Boston at the height of that city’s burgeoning singer-songwriter scene and cut his teeth supporting artists including Shawn Colvin, Chris Smither, Rory Block, Leo Kottke, Odetta, Billy Bragg, and Taj Mahal. WUMB-FM in Boston named him as one of their Top 100 Artists of All Time. Find Brooks on the Web at BrooksWilliams.com and facebook.com/BrooksWilliamsOfficial.
Listening Room and Festival performer -- Bret's career as a singer/songwriter/producer began as a studio engineer in the late 1980s; in that job, he met the people who with him became The Badlees, with Bret playing the role of principle songwriter/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist. Bret has toured and shared the stage with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Bob Seger, The Allman Brothers, Edwin McCain, Live, The Gin Blossoms, and countless others. Find him on-line at bretalexanderonline.com and facebook.com/Bret-Alexander-199532256755530.
Exchange Gallery Artist -- A native of Greenville, Pa., now living in Bloomsburg, Tara offers as her favorite quote "Why do you try so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?"
Listening Room and Festival performer -- Ed Randazzo is a much-celebrated, award-winning singer-songwriter from Northeastern Pennsylvania. Ed has shared the stage with Spencer Bohren, Gabriel Gordon, Blues Music Award nominee Alexis P. Suter, and Grammy Award winner Mike Farris, along with a vast list of local greats including MiZ, Dustin Douglas, Clarence Spady, Phyllis Hopkins, and Teddy Young -- and of course Bret Alexander. Find Ed on the Web at EdRandazzomusic.com and facebook.com/edrandazzomusic.
Listening Room and Festival performer -- John has played solo and with many collaborators all across central Pennsylvania for many years; his beard and his ponytail have made him as recognizable as his voice and harmonica and guitar playing. John volunteered with The Exchange through all of the Destination Blues Music Festivals, and he has played for "Backstage Pass to the Blues" at schools in four counties.
Oren B. Helbok
The Exchange's executive director -- Oren grew up in New York City listening to Folk, Bluegrass, and Classical on the radio and on the LPs his parents bought, and those genres form the foundation of his tastes to this day. An avid photographer of steam railroading, Oren posts his work at WhereSteamLives.net and facebook.com/wheresteamlives.