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David Uosikkinen thrilled his In the Pocket has been added to inaugural HoagieNation Festival

Published On: May 8, 2017
|Author: Andy Vineberg
|Publication: Bucks County Courier Times

You can’t have a Philly-themed rock and pop music festival without David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket.

Well, you can, but it wouldn’t seem right, especially with everything Hooters drummer Uosikkinen and his ever-growing band of talented musicians have done over the last seven years to bring attention to what he’s called “the essential songs of Philadelphia.”

So when Live Nation and favorite Philly sons Daryl Hall and John Oates announced in March that they’d be staging the inaugural HoagieNation Festival on Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing on May 27, calling it “a celebration of everything Philly,” the inclusion of In the Pocket seemed like a no-brainer.

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In the Pocket delivers crowd-pleasing night of Philly music history at World Cafe Live

Published On: January 26, 2017
|Author: Andy Vineberg
|Publication: Bucks County Courier Times

In the Pocket delivers crowd-pleasing night of Philly music history at World Cafe Live

By Andy Vineberg, staff writer

You know all those music awards shows that feature an all-star jam at the end of the night? David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket project is like that for an entire concert — only all of the musicians have Philadelphia connections.

Uosikkinen, long-time Hooters drummer and Bristol Township native who is celebrating 50 years in music in 2017, brought In the Pocket to World Café Live Wednesday night, and his ever-evolving lineup of area musicians delivered a dynamic, crowd-pleasing set of songs near and dear to Philadelphia.

The project has recorded and released 15 “essential songs of Philadelphia,” each accompanied by a behind-the-scenes making-of video from South Jersey producer Steve Acito. All are worth listening to and watching, but it is onstage where these songs really come to life.     

Wednesday’s show started with an emotional tribute to recently deceased Soul Survivor (and ITP regular) Richie Ingui. Before the music began, the video for the making of In the Pocket’s 2016 rendition of the O’Jays’ “Back Stabbers,” which featured brothers Richie and Charlie Ingui of the Soul Survivors on lead vocals, was shown on the large screen behind the stage. (That song also paid tribute to legendary area guitarist TJ Tindall, who played on the original “Back Stabbers.” Tindall was an In the Pocket regular who died a week before the band recorded the song).

Following the video, the entire ensemble — more than 20 musicians in all — took the stage, fronted by Charlie Ingui for a (pardon the pun) soul-stirring performance of “Expressway to Your Heart.” An emotional Ingui, who was clearly moved by the enthusiasm of the crowd, sung with the intensity and passion of a man a third his age, and the other musicians fed off his energy.

It was a true show-stopper … and it was only the first song of the night.

From there, the concert was one giant party, nearly two and a half hours of great songs and great performances. Most of the songs had direct ties to Philadelphia, but others were just all-time classics that the musicians clearly had a blast performing (such as Kenn Kweder fronting “Like a Rolling Stone,” Richard Bush fronting “Suffragette City” and Jeffrey Gaines fronting “(What’s so Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” — all among the night’s many highlights).

More than 30 years after the heyday of Philly new wave favorites The A’s, Bush remains one of the most dynamic rock ‘n’ roll frontmen in the city’s history, splendidly working the crowd on the Dead Milkmen’s “Punk Rock Girl” (alongside Tommy Conwell), as well as David Bowie’s “Suffragette City” and the A’s own “A Woman’s Got the Power.” (You can catch Bush’s band the Peace Creeps when they open for the Plimsouls Re-Souled Friday at Boot & Saddle).

Other highlights included Ben Arnold fronting Robert Hazard’s “Change Reaction” (introducing the song with, “there’s been a lot of change lately, and a lot of reaction”), Beru Revue guitarist Greg Davis singing his band’s “It’s Good to be the King,” Kweder’s boozy version of the late Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” and a double dose of Todd Rundgren classics — Gaines fronting Nazz’s “Open Your Eyes” and Cliff Hillis’ note-perfect “I Saw the Light.”  

While the night was largely about celebrating the past with musicians who have been on the scene for decades, there were a few nods to the present, most notably in the presence of big-haired, big-throated 18-year-old throwback Joey Ditullio, a South Jersey native who was awarded the opening slot after the Ingui tribute and delivered a raucous version of Cinderella’s “Shelter Me,” as well as a cool performance of the Stories’ 1973 hit “Brother Louie,” featuring bassist Kenny Aaronson, who played on the original.

The night also featured a song from the current lineup of still-active 1980s South Jersey-based power pop band Smash Palace — original member Stephen Butler on vocals and guitar, Cliff Hillis on rhythm guitar, Fran Smith Jr. on bass, Wally Smith on keyboards and Uosikkinen on drums.

The celebration of the city’s musical history was not limited to rock and R&B — the setlist included an infectious version of the Trammps’ dance classic “Disco Inferno,” fronted by Graham Alexander, who showed his versatility by following that up with Little Richard’s “Lucille.”   

Tommy Conwell dominated the end of the show with a blistering five-song set, including his own, seemingly impromptu tribute to Richie Ingui with his “If We Never Meet Again,” before most of the ensemble returned to the stage for an encore of the Hooters’ “Beat Up Guitar” and its appropriate refrain, “The town that rocked the nation, Philadelphia, Pa.”

The night was not without a few extremely minor technical hiccups, but this did nothing to detract from the flow of the show and, if anything, added to the loose, unscripted feel of the evening. With 20-some musicians coming on and off the stage throughout the night and lineup changes before nearly every song, it’s amazing the whole thing ran as smoothly as it did — a testament to the musicians’ professionalism and passion for the project.

(My favorite “unscripted” moment of the night was Conwell having to good-naturedly ask Uosikkinen to “slow it down, Dave” at the start of his “Everything They Say Is True.”)   

Overall, it was a great night of music and Philly pride — Uosikkinen deserves serious praise for starting this project in 2010 and repeatedly bringing all these musicians together (and for being the only one who never left the stage — at one point even playing through a mid-song repair to his drums.)

In the Pocket’s next show is April 15 at the Ardmore Music Hall.

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David Uosikkinen brings the latest installment to the World Café Live

Published On: January 20, 2017
|Author: Denny Dyroff
|Publication: Chester County Times

When David Uosikkinen brings the latest installment of the live performance side of his “In The Pocket” project to the World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com) on January 25, there will be an empty place on stage.

Richie Ingui, one of the core members of the group, passed away suddenly last week of a possible heart attack at age 70.

Charlie and Richie Ingui, who both performed with In The Pocket, were the main players in the Soul Survivors, a Philly-area vocal group that had a huge hit with the song “Expressway to your Heart.” The song was credited for setting the foundation for Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s Sound of Philadelphia. “Expressway” reached Number 4 on the Billboard pop chart and became established as a TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) classic.

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Philly musicians find their groove with Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket

Published On: October 11, 2016
|Author: Dan Geringer
|Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer

Six years and 15 songs ago, Uosikkinen and his girlfriend, publicist Dallyn Pavey, conceived the In the Pocket side project to revitalize memorable Philly rock songs with veteran Philly musicians, record them while BlueWire Media producer/director Steve Acito shot documentary video for online viewing, then perform them live in local clubs.

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Philadelphia Music Legends Return To Ardmore Music Hall

Published On: April 11, 2016
|Author: Molly Daly
|Publication: KYW NewsRadio

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Local music fans are in for a treat Saturday night when ‘In the Pocket,’ a review featuring some the area’s most celebrated musicians, pays tribute to the Soul Survivors, who perform the vocals on a new cover of a Philly Soul classic.

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In the Pocket revisits The O’Jays’ “Back Stabbers”

Published On: March 22, 2016
|Author: Fern Brodkin
|Publication: The Ticket

David Uosikkinen of The Hooters and his Philly all-star band, In The Pocket, returns to the stage at the Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave, Ardmore, on Saturday, April 16 to celebrate the release of their latest sound-of-Philadelphia tribute song, “Back Stabbers.”

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“In The Pocket” goes “Walkin'” with a Tommy Conwell classic!

Published On: August 12, 2015
|Author: Ray Koob
|Publication: WMGK

Just before I split for vacation, we announced that David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket had been added to the bill of MGK’s Big Gig on 9/5 at Susquehanna Bank Center! Here’s the group’s (lucky) 13th single, Walkin’ On The Water, originally recorded by Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers! Tommy lays down the smokin’ licks with vocals provided by Dave Hause of The Loved Ones!

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The Hippest Thing in Philly

Published On: March 23, 2015
|Author: Cretin
|Publication: RARA'S FARM

Uosikkinen’s brainchild was to assemble a group of Philadelphia music legends, lock them in a studio and have them collaborate on re-imagining a hit song from the city’s rich musical past. EAch musician is given the musical freedom to put their own distinctive spin on each recording. Every few months, they release a new offering, and follow that up with a live show or two. Over the past few years, I’ve become a big fan and have enjoyed the musical ear candy, including their cuts at “Open My Eyes” (Todd Rundgren/Nazz), “Beat Up Guitar” (Hooters), “Change Reaction” (Robert Hazard) and “Disco Inferno” (The Trammps).

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David Uosikkinen Talks 35 Years of Drumming

Published On: March 18, 2015
|Publication: Modern Drummer

Hi, everybody! David Uosikkinen here. I’m probably best known for my work with the Hooters, the band I’ve been playing music with for thirty-five years. It’s been a great ride and I’m grateful to have been on it.

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PUNK ROCK GIRL: IN THE POCKET

Published On: March 12, 2015
|Author: Ray Koob
|Publication: WMGK

David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket are set to debut their take on The Dead Milkmen’s Philly classic, “Punk Rock Girl” at their gig at the Ardmore Music Hall on March 28th!

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