BUCKS COUNTY >> The Danny DeGennaro Foundation is unearthing its namesake’s Bucks County roots and enlisting help from former band mates, tour managers and aficionados of the local music scene to retell the late singer/guitarist’s musical life - with the occasional live performance - as part of the “Danny’s Creative House” video series.
Hosted by Bucks County native and singer/songwriter Lisa Bouchelle, the roughly 20-minute episodes are being filmed at the 12,000-square-foot Victor Studios Soundplex in Pennsauken, N.J. The program debuts Feb. 21 – DeGennaro’s 66th birthday – on the Danny DeGennaro Foundation’s YouTube channel. New episodes will be released every Sunday.
“It’s meant to be her talking to them in her living room,” Ed Mero of the Danny DeGennaro Foundation said of the relaxed format.
Bouchelle was an easy choice as host given her ongoing support of the Foundation. She has performed with the Foundation’s music scholarship award winners throughout the years and has become a regular at the organization’s fundraising shows.
The first six episodes of “Danny’s Creative House” feature DeGennaro’s former bandmates, including Bucks native Ronnie Garrison of The Excaliburs, as well as Steve Shive of the Grateful Dead spinoff band Kingfish, which DeGennaro performed in from 1979 until his death in 2011. Look for Perkasie native Stephen Amoroso, who managed DeGennaro during his Kingfish days, to reminisce about working with the musician known to many as “Rio.” Amoroso is booking guitar virtuoso Steve Kimock - who toured extensively with the Grateful Dead - and is lining up joint dates with the Danny DeGennaro Foundation.
While guests highlight DeGennaro’s musical past, the setting for the video series bridges the future for the nonprofit organization created to keep his memory alive. Foundation partner John Austin Mulhern, president of DDF JAM Publishing LLC and Danny DeGennaro Foundation Record Label, collaborated with George Koch, owner of the Victor Studios Soundplex, to see how the Foundation could partner with what has been envisioned as an up-and-coming musical hub.
“The two philosophies are almost synergistic,” Koch said. “It’s almost like a marriage made in heaven and we met at the altar.”
Koch envisions the Soundplex as a private music club for musicians, providing recording studio time, rehearsal space, a live event venue, as well as mentoring. He knew “almost instantly” that partnering with the Foundation would further that mission.
“A lot of these musicians try to do things on their own and they fail,” Koch said. “I wanted to create an environment where we can get veterans like John (Mulhern) and others to help these young musicians out.”
In turn, the Foundation’s scholarship award winners and musicians signed to the record label receive studio time and rehearsal, performance space.
“It’s not just a multiplex,” Koch said. “It’s tied to a foundation that has its roots in mentoring and music.”
How fitting that the roots of Danny DeGennaro are given new life at a place where the Foundation that bears his name will carry on his musical legacy.
About the Foundation
The Danny DeGennaro Foundation was established in 2014 to continue the legacy of Levittown native Danny DeGennaro. The Foundation strives to assist artists and musicians through mentoring opportunities, as well as live performances, video shoots, and the ability to record music. Since 2015, the Foundation has awarded annual music scholarships to Bucks County Community College students. In 2017, the Foundation expanded to offer arts scholarships to BCCC student artists. In 2020 the Foundation established DDF JAM Publishing LLC and Danny DeGennaro Foundation Record Label to record, release and promote its scholarship award winners and musicians signed to the record label.