Rock Review: In Good Hands With Scott Elk

first_imgStory and Photos by Chris SpiewakMusic today is not all about a fancy website, or the perfect recording you made in your basement, or a spiffy photo shoot. It’s still about hard work, hundreds of hours of rehearsal and face-to-face meetings with club owners who “might” hire you. It’s still “survival of the fittest,” so bring your ability, a smile and a positive attitude. One local musician who is doing just that is Ocean Township’s Scott Elk. Working hard and smart, he has built a large fan base with talent and a positive approach.Growing up in Marlboro, Elk was born into a music family. His father sang and played guitar for the band The Spare Parts in New York back in the 1980s, and introduced Scott to the piano at age 5. After graduating high school, Scott’s father gave him an acoustic guitar. With his knowledge of the keyboard firmly engrained, Elk sought to tackle the fretboard during his college years. Upon graduating, and beginning his day job as a pharmaceutical company representative, Elk decided it was time to present his music talents to the people.Starting out as a solo performer at places like The Dockside in Sea Bright and Sawa Pier Village in Long Branch, Elk began to slowly make a name for himself. He partnered with Abe Kassin for many years, performing at Taste in Red Bank and The Eventide Grille in Sea Bright. He struck up a friendship with longtime local music supporter Debbie Noce of Social Butterfly Event Planning, and quickly found himself appearing at popular spots like The Wine Loft, The Ocean Place Resort & Spa, and the Tiki Bar at The Channel Club. Noce has an eye for talent, and had no qualms about booking Elk into the trendy venues. In fact, one of Elk’s claims to fame was a result of an appearance one night at The Wine Loft in Pier Village. It was a dark and chilly Friday night in January of 2014, and Elk dragged his equipment through the damp, cold air. Damp, cold air is not good for the vocal cords, and Elk sensed that he was not at his best that night. Sometimes tea and honey will help your voice, and sometimes 100 percent pure adrenalin will get you going, too.You see, Scott Elk was – and is – a big Goo Goo Dolls fan. On this fateful night, someone special would walk through the doors of The Wine Loft; this certain person was John Rezeznik, lead singer for The Goo Goo Dolls. Rezeznik was in town for a Light of Day Foundation performance, and was staying at the nearby Ocean Place Hotel. Elk recognized him, introduced himself, and the two sat and chatted after Elk’s first set. Fast forward two weeks to The House of Blues in Atlantic City, where The Goo Goo Dolls were getting ready for their show. Ticketholder Elk made his way in early for the sound check, and Rezeznik recognized him and had him come onstage to sing “Black Balloon,” one of the band’s biggest hits. A YouTube video shows Elk “killing it” that night; surely the band was impressed as well.With the taste of success on his palate, Elk decided that if one or two musicians are good, then three or more can only be better. These days, he is part of the EMW trio, featuring himself and local young guns Kyle Ward of Rumson on lead guitar and Aaron Manzo of Colts Neck on bass. Putting down the guitar for his other project, the band Guilty Pleasure, Elk lets his vocals shine during renditions of Pearl Jam, Duran Duran, Train, Bon Jovi and U2. Assisting Elk in Guilty Pleasure is lead guitarist Lou Borella, bassist Michael O’Hara, keyboardist Ernie Wiggins and drummer/vocalist Adam Marshall. The boys are busy almost every weekend during the summer, so it is not hard to catch either group at a club near you.Heeding his parents teaching to “be good to others,” Elk also volunteers his time to charitable causes. He was a big part of Restore The Shore events after Super Storm Sandy, and has been the master of ceremonies at two different fundraisers for John Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen in Red Bank.Visit for the latest news and events; catch a show soon, and let Scott prove to you that rock and roll is in good hands for years to come at the Jersey shore.Chris Spiewak is currently the bassist for Rock/Blues cover band VyntEdge.last_img

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