The Kelly Center-February 9th, 2024

The Simple Folks and Heroes 30th Anniversary Reunion

This story really started in 1985. In January I landed a regular gig at the Rusty Nail in Ardmore.
A band of underage Havertown HS people (The B Band) were hosting the Wednesday open mic.
These two guys were in it:

  • HHS Stage Band
  • The guitar player and I started playing together a lot and in 1986 we started a band with the bass player and their original drummer. We made some appearances at 23East that year and even recorded a few of my songs live at Strata Studios in Folsom.

After that came a full-length album recorded at Four Star Studios (Middletown) in 1988.
Chris and Jim both played on that. By now we were all performing in various places with different acts.
“What Do You Really Do?” opened some doors for me so I went about my business.

  • What Do You Really Do
  • In 1991 Chris and I recorded “Don’t Curse the Machine” at Second Street in Philadelphia. At that time, Chris played all the bass and guitar parts. We were going through some rhythm section incarnations at that point, but we wound up reconnecting with Jim and did some showcase stuff as a trio.

Pretty shortly thereafter came the Simple Folks idea. We even did a night at 23East as just a trio and recorded through the board to start to figure this live album idea out. Jim had started working with this drummer named Erik and recruited him to complete the band.

  • Simple Folks and Heroes
  • I believe we only rehearsed twice with Erik and we did the recording. That evening we also recorded a set of my lighter stuff but that wound up not being released until 2017.

    Simple Folks Stage

    We are pretty excited about this and we will certainly be having fun rekindling some old memories. Please support live music and the arts! That is WHY I support the Kelly Center. There are so many talented and passionate people out there creating music, fine art, pop art and comedy. The folks at Kelly are devoted to providing all with a venue to do their thing! See below for more information on Chris McCord, Jim Stager and Erik Johnson.

Musician Bios, links and other places to see these guys play:

  • Chris McCordChris McCord has been a performer, session player, and music educator for over thirty years in the Philadelphia area. Most recently he composed the soundtrack for local independent film, “My First Shot.” He toured and recorded back in the 80s and 90s with Dennis Selfridge. He is thrilled to be a part of this event and to be able to catch up after many years with some dear friends!

    During the week, you can find Chris sharing his love of music with the little ones as a music facilitator in preschools and elementary schools in the area.

    Chris currently performs to appreciative crowds in and around Philly with Side Hustle @sidehustlegroove, The McChords @themcchords (with his wife, Cindy), and Beg, Borrow, and Steel @begborrowandsteel.

    Chris and his wife own and operate CMC Productions (PA.), a musical services company, offering live music, music lessons for kids and adults, and performance based classes, groups, and seasonal camps for children. On the web at - CMC Productions (PA.)
  • Jim StagerJim Stager has been active as a musician and educator for over 35 years. Graduating from Temple University he studied and performed with Lee Konitz, Mel Lewis, Red Rodney and Jimmy Knepper. In the late 80’s – early 90’s Jim was the house bassist at Resorts International Casino backing up the 5th Dimension, Cab Calloway, Maureen McGovern, Suzanne Sommers, and many others. In 1993 Jim’s career expanded in a new direction when he co-founded the pop-rock group Huffamoose. Huffamoose went on to record several major label releases, toured the U.S. playing the main stage at Woodstock 94 and appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

    Since 2000 Jim has been performing with his group The Fractals, recording for TV and film, ( his bass playing can be heard on the Cartoon Network’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force ) playing gypsy jazz with the Hot Club of Philadelphia, and as an educator bringing the music of Brazil to students around the Delaware Valley with the group Minas
  • Erik Johnson
    Erik Johnson is a drummer/composer/multi-instrumentalist from Philadelphia, PA. As a member of the vital Philly music scene, he works as a studio drummer for many emerging artists in many styles. He has performed on hundreds of recordings over the past 20 years and continues to enjoy performing in both live and studio settings as a drummer, vocalist, bassist, guitarist, keyboardist and arranger/producer. Erik is a member of The Fractals, a band based in Philadelphia. They have recently enjoyed airplay of their new single, “Miss Kensington,” and have developed a devoted following of fans who relish the fine songwriting and virtuosity that the band offers. The Fractals include three of the four members of the former Interscope Records band "Huffamoose."

    Erik has performed or recorded with countless artists in myriad styles. His credits include: The Fractals, Ben Schachter's Trio of Many, George Garzone, Tim Hagans, Jack Walrath, Gary Bartz, John Swana, Jef Lee Johnson, Ralph Bowen, Larry McKenna, Jim Ridl, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Kurt Elling, Gerald Veasley, Schooly D, Huffamoose, Jim Boggia, Susan Werner, Karan Casey, Mutlu, The Brakes, 4 Way Street, Ben Arnold, Zach Djanikian, Lelia Broussard, Liz Longley, Matt Parrish, Tyrone Brown, Dave Posmontier, Tony Marino, Chico Huff, Amber DeLaurentis, Scott and Brian Bricklin, and countless others. His drumming has recently been heard on the Fox Network, Speed Network and ESPN. Erik has written and/or performed music for films such as "Here Comes Huffamoose," Abel Ferrara's "RX Mas," "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" (with The Fractals) and others