HUNGERTHON 2014 HITS HOME
with Joe D'Urso and Jen Chapin in Ringwood
A SoundPress.net Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

A Hungerthon concert to benefit WhyHunger kicked off Thanksgiving week on a high note with a show at Live @ Drew's in Ringwood, New Jersey on November 23, 2014. The concert featured long-time WhyHunger activists Joe D'Urso & Stone Caravan and Jen Chapin.

Hungerthon 2014 Hits Home with Joe D'Urso and Jen Chapin in Ringwood
Joe D'Urso and Stone Caravan rocked for WhyHunger in Ringwood.

Hungerthon is a unique annual fund raiser for WhyHunger an organization that has become a leader in building movements to end hunger & poverty. WhyHunger connects people to nutritious, affordable food by supporting grassroots solutions that include community empowerment, food pantries, gardens and self-reliance. It not just about giving food to the hungry but giving people the means to sustain themselves in the future.

Musician Harry Chapin and radio host Bill Ayers kicked off the first Hungerthon in 1975 on WNEW FM in New York City. Over the years Hungerthon has grown. Today it is heard on major NY stations as well as Sirius XM Satellite Radio. In addition many other artists, outlets and supporters including SoundPress.net continue to raise awareness and money for WhyHunger.

Live @ Drew's is a house concert series based out of Ringwood, New Jersey that has been hosting shows for over a decade. Before events fans are encouraged to bring food and socialize. On this occasion canned goods were collected for the Center for Food Action and select patrons got to take part in a special beverage-tasting event courtesy of Gabe Sasso - a local wine columnist.

Hungerthon 2014 Hits Home with Joe D'Urso and Jen Chapin in Ringwood
Stone Caravan rolled into Ringwood to help fight hunger in America.

Jen Chapin is the daughter of the late Harry Chapin. Jen is an urban-folk-soul musician. She has been carrying on her father's work for over 20 years holding a number of roles at WhyHunger. Chapin armed with an acoustic engaged the audience with her stories that were filled with insightful imagery. One song was about her brother who ironically is a New York City cab driver.

Jen pens personal and poignant tunes. The third song of her set "Let It Show" was written when she was pregnant with one of her two sons. It was filled with Chapin's observations of the challenges facing the world that the child was coming into yet the refrain included the wonderful advice to "find your joy and let it show."

"Insatiable" was an innovative boy meets girl tale that also was a commentary on the state of this country. Chapin mentioned New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen before covering "American Skin (41 Shots)" with all the sensitivity that the words warrant. Prior to closing her astute acoustic show Chapin spoke briefly about the hunger movement including the importance of having access to quality food. Jen a sensitive songstress and strong advocate for WhyHunger is truly following in her father's footsteps.

Hungerthon Hits Home in Ringwood, NJ with Joe D'Urso and Jen Chapin
Jen Chapin hit the Live At Drew's stage for the first time in 2014.

Joe D'Urso & Stone Caravan are an Americana/Jersey Shore rock and roll band. They opened with a winsome "Welcome Home" flowing into the lively yet wise "Let It Go" with the crowd at Drew's helping with the hook. "One Guitar" by Willie Nile was an up-beat foot stamping tune. "Rock and Roll Call" one of our personal favorites was a catchy history lesson about The Boss, The King, The Chairman of the Board and The Muse. It also included a fast funk tutorial, too.

Joe D'Urso is a personable front man and rhythm guitarist backed by the lively Lou DeMartino on bass who brings a lot of expressions to his playing and presentation. Greg Lykins on guitar and drummer Sam LaMonica on stage appear to be the more serious of the quartet but all four are seasoned artists who personify American attitudes and music. "The Other Side of Midnight" ran the range from reflective to rousing with a rapping part about old school soul.

"Bruce Springsteen has been an amazing friend to WhyHunger," shared Joe who mentioned that it was The Boss's check book that helped the organization keep their doors open when times were lean. "Bruce is the patron saint of Light of Day (a foundation to fund research for Parkinson's Disease) and WhyHunger." In honor of Springsteen Joe presented the powerful poetry of "The River" with Stone Caravan putting their own spin on it in context of the original. During "Tell Me Why" Lou acted out some of the lyrics to the song.

Hungerthon Hits Home in Ringwood, NJ with Joe D'Urso and Jen Chapin

"Come Down With Me Tonight (Asbury Park)" from the band's most recent record Sway captured the spirit along with the musical style of the city. D'Urso explained that the title track of the album was inspired by people like Harry Chapin and Pete Seeger who stood up for what they believe in. This tune had a more serious tone to it. Their version of Tom Petty's "Runnin Down a Dream" rocked as did the feisty and fun "Noisy Guitars" that segued into the closer "Twist and Shout". Joe D'Urso & Stone Caravan with Jen Chapin presented an excellent night of music for a good cause.

SoundPress.net has also been a proud supporter of WhyHunger for years. SoundPress' own Rockin' Rich Lynch has produced a Hungerthon radio show/podcast for 2014 featuring nine musicians listing Don Felder of the Eagles to international superstar Zucchero with another one in the works. Please check out the broadcast and other related links below.

Related Links: For more information on HUNGERTHON 2014 and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- WhyHunger | Joe D'Urso | Jen Chapin | Live At Drew's | GabesView.com | Center For Food Action N.J.

(Originally Published on November 27, 2014)

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