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LOCAL MUSIC: In the Pocket remake of ‘Frankford El’ expands scope of song

Published On: April 25, 2018
|Author: Brian Bingaman
|Publication: Ticket to Entertaunment

Hooters drummer David Uosikkinen has added quite a curiosity to his living, growing “In the Pocket” playlist of quintessential Philadelphia songs.

Having previously re-recorded the song “I Ain’t Searchin’” by Philly band The American Dream, with his rotating In the Pocket band of all-stars, he returns to The American Dream’s Todd Rundgren-produced 1970 album with a re-imagined version of the raucous, “Louie Louie”-like sing-along “(Can’t Get to Heaven on the) Frankford El.”

Helping Uosikkinen bring it back from obscurity with the new version were The American Dream’s Don Van Winkle on lead vocals (Van Winkle did not sing the lead on the original), Cyndi Lauper’s bassist William Wittman, guitarist Greg Davis of Beru Revue, Wally Smith of Smash Palace on keyboards; and Charlie Ingui of The Soul Survivors, Steve Butler of Smash Palace and singer/songwriters Skip Denenberg and Cliff Hillis on background vocals.

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Hooters Drummer’s Rock Revue Covers ‘Frankford El’

Published On: April 22, 2018
|Author: Molly Daly
|Publication: KYW NewsRadio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In the Pocket, a rock and roll revue led by the drummer for the Hooters, is celebrating the release of its latest “essential song of Philadelphia” with a concert next Saturday night.

“Can’t Get to Heaven on the Frankford El” is neither deep nor beautiful, but it’s a fun, rowdy singalong, recorded around 1970 by Philly-based band The American Dream. David Uosikinnen says this new version features the American Dream’s Don Van Winkle, and a chorus of kids from the School of Rock, who shared the studio with grown-up professionals.

“It was an incredible experience. You could see it in their eyes,” Uosikinnen said. “They were all really excited, and they were a little bit put on the spot because we didn’t give them anything to rehearse. All of them were great.”

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Hooters Drummer David Uosikkinen talks In the Pocket Project

Published On: April 21, 2018
|Author: Debbi Calton
|Publication: WMGK

Robert Hazard. Todd Rundgren. The A’s. The American Dream. The Hooters. Hall and Oates. These are just some of the many artists whose songs are saluted in David Uosikkinen’s IN THE POCKET ongoing project. Heading into its 9th year, ITP showcases Philadelphia’s rich musical history by recreating songs that span genres and eras from the city’s heritage. You’ve gotta love his enthusiasm for the music and his drive and determination to bring it back into perspective.

Listen to our interview then catch In the Pocket LIVE at Ardmore Music Hall on 4/28 and also at Hoagie Nation Festival 2018 5/26.

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In The Pocket: Taking The “Frankford El” To Ardmore!

Published On: April 6, 2018
|Author: Ray Koob
|Publication: WMGK

The American Dream’s “Frankford El” is as Philly as it gets, and directs interested ears to the earliest days of our city’s Rock scene, mine and David Uosikkinen’s included. His band, In The Pocket is at it again with their 18th recording of Philly faves!

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Vineberg: Wedding bells ringing for the couple at the heart of In the Pocket

Published On: October 9, 2017
|Author: Andy Vineberg
|Publication: Bucks County Courier Times

I’ve called Hooters drummer David Uosikkinen a lot in recent years, usually for all the wrong reasons. Because the gregarious Bristol Township native has played or shared ties with so many area musicians, he’s too often been my go-to interview when I’ve needed local reaction for in memoriam stories.

But when I reached out to him this week, it had nothing to with the death of Tom Petty, even though I knew Uosikkinen was friends with Heartbreakers drummer Steve Ferrone.

No, the reason for this call was entirely happy: the wedding of two people who have done as much as anybody to promote the Philadelphia music community over the last seven years.

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SOTD: ESCALATOR OF LIFE

Published On: September 29, 2017
|Author: Cretin
|Publication: Raras Farm

I lived on the outskirts of Philadelphia for a good portion of my life. The best things about the city are not their cool neighborhood bars, not their cheese steaks nor soft pretzels – nope it was their vibrant and passionate local rock music scene.

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On The Beat with David Uosikkinen of the Hooters and In the Pocket: Bands, Albums, and Longevity

Published On: September 26, 2017
|Author: David Uosikkinen
|Publication: Modern Drummer
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Cold cuts and Hall & Oates made inaugural Hoagie Nation a hit

Published On: May 28, 2017
|Author: Dan DeLuca
|Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer

…The trio of younger artists kept the soul burner in summer in their sets. It was up to the old heads in In The Pocket, the ad-hoc group of Philly music scene vets led by Hooters drummer David Uosikkinen.

The moving moment came when Charlie Ingui of the Soul Survivors, whose brother Richie died in January, tore through “Expressway To Your Heart.” But the entire set was a blast, with Tommy Conwell bashing out “I’m Not Your Man” in a “Lou Reed Was Right” T-shirt and social protest heard in Ben Arnold’s take on Pennsbury High School grad Jesse Colin Young’s “Get Together.” Jeffrey Gaines led the crew through the Nick Lowe-penned Elvis Costello version of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.”

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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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