News Column

N.J. Talent Comes Together

August 21, 2013


Post-Superstorm Sandy, it's everyone to their post.

Builders rebuild. Politicians declaim. And musicians? They make music: preferably of the star-studded, fund-raising sort.

"Restore the Shore," written by Trenton singer-songwriter Lisa Bouchelle, was created to raise money for the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, presided over by Mary Pat Christie.

"I wanted to write something that had kind of an anthem feel to it," says Bouchelle, a guitarist and bassist who has opened for Blues Traveler, Meat Loaf, Ted Nugent and others.

To sweeten the pot, Bouchelle got some of her friends to play and sing along. And has she got friends.

How's this for a lineup: bassist Garry Tallent from Springsteen's band, Shore rocker Bobby Bandiera (Bon Jovi) on guitar, John Popper (Blues Traveler) on harp, Jerry Gaskill (King's X) on drums, Lorenza Ponce (Sheryl Crow, Bon Jovi) on violin, Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds, Steve Forbert, Fiona, Glen Burtnik (Styx), Winston Roye (Soul Asylum), John Easdale (Dramarama), Jay Siegel (The Tokens), Hal Selzer (Gary U.S. Bonds), and others on vocals, and many additional players. "They're all my colleagues, my homeys," she says.

There are several North Jersey connections: Easdale is originally from Wayne; producer Michael Barbiero is from Old Tappan, some of the vocals were recorded at the Gearbox Recording Studio in Paramus.

Then again, where wasn't the song recorded? It's a fringe- benefit of 21st century technology: musicians don't have to be in the same studio to record music together. Or even in the same state.

"Restore the Shore" was recorded in, among other places, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Edison and New York. Tallent sent his tracks from Nashville. John Popper popped his over from Seattle.

"It's tricky when you're working with that many people, who have demanding schedules," Bouchelle says.

It all came together in a hectic two months, and was available for download just at the start of the summer: June 21. The results, Bouchelle says, were worth it.

"It has all these amazing talents on it," she says. "Everybody was mixed so it sounded like they were standing in one room. They weren't, but you got that feel. It gave me chills when I heard how it all sounded together."

The song is available through iTunes, or at

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