Around Town: Double the fireworks this holiday and Music on the Menu


I’m not upset Wilkes-Barre’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July Fireworks Display was delayed due to rain on Wednesday.

Nope, not one bit.

While I’m not the biggest fan of those banging gunpowder-induced explosives, I enjoy watching them.

Now, thanks to Wednesday’s delay, I’ll see them again tonight.

See, since Kirby Park’s show didn’t happen Wednesday, I got to spend time at a party, where the partygoers offered their array. And, I still get to see Wilkes-Barre’s display tonight. It’s a win-win.

Friends John and Barb Sobeck hosted a beautiful day and evening at their home in Back Mountain on Wednesday, with a barbecue-style dinner prepared by their nephew, Steve Sobeck, the chef from Fox Hill Country Club.

We had brisket, lamb, ribs and so much more. All perfectly prepared by Steve, who gets nothing but pure satisfaction from preparing the fabulous food each year.

Son John Jr. made specialty pizza on a brick oven.

Another nephew, Dave Evans, performed as part of the Gone Crazy duo. They played cover-music favorites that livened up the party during the rainstorm.

But, probably the highlight of the affair was hearing great-niece Josey Sobeck, 13, take the stage singing Elle King’s “Ex’s & Oh’s.”

If I wasn’t sitting a few feet away, I would have thought King herself was on stage. No joke — this soon-to-be eighth-grader can sing.

The crowd stopped the party banter during this special rendition. And what a better way to ring in the Fourth of July than to hear and see a young person perform so beautifully?

It made the holiday extra special, and I’m still moved by the powerful early-evening performance at her aunt and uncle’s house.

Watch out for this young woman; I’m certain we’ll see her on a larger stage someday.

Another magical music night of the week was Tuesday.

It was another Music on the Menu Live! night at Breakers inside Mohegan Sun Pocono in Plains Township.

The star of the show was a familiar name: Aaron Fink, of Breaking Benjamin fame. The multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter was on stage performing songs from his newest solo album “Wolves & Butterflies” accompanied by The Fury, comprised of Dustin Douglas, John Novak and Josh Karis.

The crowd was loving it, because of the passion and intensity of the musicians. You could tell everyone there was committed to this show.

What I thought might be a quieter night because of it being a holiday, turned out to be something great.

I was joined by friends Wendy Cominsky and Kathy Bozinski — two major fans of local, live music.

In fact, being there with Kathy reminded me of when I first started making the rounds to hear live music.

I used to tag along with her to Nightcaps in Edwardsville to hear bands like M80 in the mid-2000s. She showed me who was who, taught me about the local music scene and encouraged me to be committed to that kind of music.

I thank her for introducing me to that world that we often don’t get enough of today.

I also thank the indomitable Alan K. Stout, a longtime music writer for this publication, for continuing his quest to keep Music on the Menu.

And for keeping it local.

Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.

Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.