Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Music Mondays

Ella McDonald, singer/songwriter

For fans of singer-songwriter Ella McDonald and Rock & Roll cover performers The Abandon Ship Band, last Monday evening meant more than a break in the hot, sticky weather. It meant that the long-awaited Music Mondays performances of both artists would arrive.

Hearts dropped, however, when a technical glitch forced the Bellevue Library to CANCEL the July 20th performances that afternoon. What could have ended up a heart-breaking evening of silent mourning was saved by Montclair chutzpah and hospitality when The Abandon Ship Band, made up of all four members of Montclair’s Horowitz-Stern family, refused to let the music die. A few signs encouraged Music Mondays fans to take a short walk from the Bellevue Library to the Abandon Ship Band’s backyard, and voilà! The newest musical venue in Montclair was born.

By 6:30 PM, just thirty minutes after the usual start to the Music Mondays series at the Bellevue branch of the Montclair Public Library, 16-year old Ella McDonald was sharing her songs with an appreciative audience of friends, fans, family, and music-lovers.

Ella McDonald, a student at Montclair High School, played guitar and sang both original songs and covers for 45 minutes. Her folksy style was appreciated by the audience, which ranged from preschoolers to senior citizens. Her last few songs included duets with fellow singer Tal Ben-Ari, a Renaissance at Rand student, who sang along to originals and a cover of “Boom, Clap.”

The Abandon Ship Band covered a wide variety of Rock & Roll.

The Abandon Ship Band (ASB) took the (asphalt) stage and turned up the volume on the evening. With covers of songs by Elvis Costello, The Velvet Underground, The Clash, and The White Stripes, and more, the ASB kept the audience guessing and singing along through the set. A highlight of the evening was “Should I Stay or Should I Go” sung by 8-year old Tyrone Stern.

All who attended were very happy to have helped make the “cancelled” evening of Music Mondays a huge success. Catch the remaining dates at the usual venue, the Bellevue Branch of the Montclair Public Library every Monday at 6 PM.

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