Toney Rocks out with new album, concert

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Dover’s Tony Robinson, aka Toney Rocks, celebrates the release his new album “No Road Too Far” with a concert at the Patchwork Playhouse tonight at 8. Local musicians Joey Fulkerson and Dave Brenton will open the show. (Submitted photo)

Released this week, the new album by Toney Rocks marks a departure for the Dover resident.

“I went decidedly away from the blues thing. There is still some blues in it but I didn’t want to stay in that world,” said Tony Robinson, who performs under the name of Toney Rocks.

“That world can be pretty trapping.w There isn’t much room to expand.”

Mr. Robinson’s new record, called “No Road Too Long,” mixes rock and Americana with blues, putting him front and center in the singer/songwriter arena.

“I tell people it’s sort of a combination between (blues artist) Keb Mo and Jackson Browne. It’s got a rootsy rock feel. I don’t hear anything else that’s particularly like it,” Mr. Robinson said. “I never want to be stuck in just one genre.”

His previous two albums, “Born to Live Free” and “Toney Rocks” leaned toward what he called the “progressive blues-rock” category.

Best Bets logo CLEAR copy“That genre makes me write a certain way. I wanted to be more lyrically conscious of who I’m talking to and how I’m talking to them.”

The new album covers topics such as social tensions in the world, unbreakable love and his baby son.

To celebrate the release of “No Road Too Long,” Mr. Robinson will perform with his five-piece band at 8 tonight at Kent County Theatre Guild’s Patchwork Playhouse in Dover.

Well-known local musicians Joey Fulkerson, who performs on the album, and Dave Breton of Snarky Dave and The Prickly Bluesman will open the show, performing some of their acoustic originals in a songwriters in the round format.

Beginning his music career as a classically trained drummer, playing in a wide range of groups from jazz and Latin and rock to blues, he later began playing the guitar and piano.

The new record, which he produced at Dover’s Digital Street Studio, has him playing mainly the acoustic guitar.

“It’s more acoustic than anything I’ve done,” said the Delaware State University alum.

“Many of the songs on the album, I’m only playing acoustic. Only two of the 10 songs have electric guitar on them. That comes from the last two years out on tour as a solo artist playing acoustic guitar and piano.”

In 2015, Mr. Robinson estimates he was out on the road about half the year, traveling all over the country.

A week after he plays tonight’s Dover show, he will embark on a two-week tour of the Pacific Northwest, playing all over Washington with a stop in Oregon.

Mr. Robinson said, aside from the Dover area and his native Virginia, Washington and Colorado have been his two most successful areas to play.

He plans to move to Las Vegas to continue his career after he has completed his summer touring schedule, which will include a few dates at the Loockerman Way Farmers’ Market in downtown Dover.

Mr. Robinson said the new album’s title “No Road Too Long” has a double meaning.

“I have a family now and it plays on that. I’m never too far away from them. No matter where I am, I never lose home,” he explained.

“Some people get out on the road and they forget why they are there and who is home waiting for them.

“There’s also the aspect of being a professional and being hungry. No road is too long to get to the fans. I’ll go anywhere where people who have never heard my music want to hear it.”

Tickets for tonight’s show are $20 and can be purchased at the door. The 100-seat Patchwork Playhouse is at 140 E. Roosevelt Ave. in Dover.

He will have copies of the new CD available for sale at the show but it also can be purchased or downloaded by going to iTunes or cdbaby.com/m/cd/toneyrocks.

Peace Train at Schwartz

As we told you last week, Sharon Katz and the Peace Train will perform at the Schwartz Center for the Arts tonight as part of Divided and United, a collaborative presentation between Dover High School and the Schwartz Center.

The evening will feature poetry, songs and dances by students from Dover High’s Academy of the Arts.

Ms. Katz, from South Africa, was front and center in the battle to take down apartheid in her home country. She put together a 500-voice multicultural chorus of children who performed shows in South Africa and took 150 of them on a cross-country excursion just after the release of Nelson Mandela.

A documentary about her efforts “When Voices Meet,” was shown Thursday at Dover High School.

Tickets for the 7:30 show are $20 for adults and $17 for students and seniors. To purchase them, call 678-5152, visit schwartzcenter.com or stop by the box office at 226 S. State St., Dover.

All proceeds will be shared between the Schwartz Center and the Arts Academy at Dover High School.

‘Mary Poppins’ at CR

As we also told you last week, the Caesar Rodney High School Stage Crew & Thespians and Music Department will stage Disney’s “Mary Poppins” today and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Caesar Rodney High School.

It premiered at the Camden school Thursday night.

Tickets for the show are $10 for adults and $6 for students/seniors and can be purchased at the door.

Driven Women in Dover

Delaware Friends of Folk present the final event in the winter concert series at the Old State House on The Green in Dover today with Driven Women, a group of old-time musicians from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited.

Their music comes from fiddle and banjo traditions of the Appalachian Mountains, largely from West Virginia and Kentucky. They preserve and revive the various sounds of old time music including high energy square dance tunes, fiddle blues and rags, soothing waltzes, and the melancholy of dark mountain hollows.

Fiddler Sue Shumaker began playing old time music in the Philadelphia area in 1983. Banjo player Diane Jones began making musical sojourns to North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia in 1980. Guitarist Annie Williams, who also plays fiddle, started playing in her home state of West Virginia in 1973. They met by chance on the Eastern Shore in 2009 and have been playing ever since

This concert is presented by Delaware Friends of Folk and is supported by a grant from the Kent County Fund for the Arts with support by the First State Heritage Park.

‘The Show Queen’ opens

Second Street Players Children’s Theater will present “The Snow Queen” by Ruth Cantrell today through Sunday. Friday and Saturday curtain is 7 p.m. and Sunday curtain is at 1.

Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $10 for ages 18 and older and $5 for anyone 17 and younger. Tonight, all tickets are pay what you can. Performances will be held at the Riverfront Theater, 2 S. Walnut St., Milford.

In the play, the cold-hearted Snow Queen kidnaps children in search of her lost son. When she abducts Kai, his younger sister Gerda vows to bring him home.

Traveling north, Gerda encounters Conjure Woman and Aurora Borealis who guide her, and those who accompany her: Cawtrina Crow, Prince Erik and Randolph, a reindeer. The Snow Queen sends her henchmen, Frostbite, Blue Norther and the Snow Drifts, to stop the young girl.

When Gerda reaches the Snow Queen’s palace and finds Kai cold-hearted, can her love and devotion warm his heart, and together can they find a way to transform the cold Snow Queen into the loving mother she once was?

Guy Crawford and Tabitha and Heath Yarnall will direct.

For more information, visit secondstreetplayers.com.

‘Shout!’ auditions

Staying on the stage, the Kent County Theatre Guild will hold auditions for the ’60s-inspired “Shout! The Mod Musical” Sunday at 2 p.m. and Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Directors Nancy Muller and Eddie Cohee are looking for five women to be in the show. Those wanting to sing a ’60s or ’70s song should know that an accompanist will be available and the sheet music will be required.

Auditions will take place at The Patchwork Playhouse, which will play host to the show May 20-22.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is the sci-fi fantasy sequel “10 Cloverfield Lane,” the action-comedy “The Brothers Grimsby,” the romantic comedy “The Perfect Match” and the religious drama “The Young Messiah.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is the Oscar-nominated “The Big Short,” Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in the comedy “Sisters” and the animated “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”.

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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