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Rhythm and Brews at ShawneeCraft highlights diversity, evolution of Poconos music

Sol Katana (center) plays on stage at ShawneeCraft Brewery accompanied by (from left) "Sideshow Skip" Detrick on congas, Tom Pfendt on guitar, Brian Smith on drums and Ian Detrick on bass.

Crisp air, craft beer, the distant thud of a keg toss, and local music: fall is in the air at Shawnee.

ShawneeCraft Brewery at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort continues to host live music through October, with a full line up that starts with open mic nights on Thursdays, and its popular “Rhythm and Brews” series Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Featuring local rising stars, ShawneeCraft rocks out rain or shine – in the Beer Garden or inside the Taproom.

On Saturday, Shawnee hosted Oktoberfest with local voice Sol Katana and his band, who brought down the house with a three-hour set featuring songs in both English and Spanish.

Recognizable covers such as Mr. Brightside (The Killers), and Feel Good Inc. (Gorrillaz) were interwoven with Salsa staples such as Yo No Se Mañana (Luis Enrique) and even Soca music anthem Turn Me On (Kevin Lyttle), crafting a multicultural tapestry of sound.

Sol Katana wasn’t all tribute, however. The crowd was cheering for original songs like Playing Hooky.

Sol Katana, who led the group with vocals and rhythm guitar, was joined by Brian Smith on Drums, Skip Detrick on Hand Percussion, Ian Detrick on Bass, and newcomer Tom Pfendt on Lead Guitar.

To listen to Sol Katana’s recent EP, Bongo Jetpack, go to Learn more by heading to the Sol Katana Facebook page.

Following the performance, the brewery hosted a stein-holding contest with attendees dressed in their best lederhosen.

To listen to Sol Katana’s recent EP, Bongo Jetpack, go to Learn more by heading to the Sol Katana Facebook page.

Closing out the weekend with more music

New Jersey-based band Lake of Orchards rounded out Saturday evening with their set. No strangers to the ShawneeCraft small stage, Lake of Orchards paid homage to the greats by playing pristine classic rock covers. Learn more by checking them out on Facebook.

On Sunday, Rhythm and Brews continued with country rocker Nikki Briar headlining, according to the Shawnee calendar.

The New Jersey native is swiftly making a name for herself in the country music scene nationwide, playing as many as 200 shows a year according to her website.

A proud Army wife, Briar is also known to devote her time to philanthropic causes such as “Rock Those Jersey Blues Away,” a Hurricane Sandy benefit concert series which has raised over $10,000 to date.

Learn more about the artist by heading to

Pro rock veteran Mark Hannig closed out the evening. Hannig schooled the crowd with decades of experience, playing a variety of classic rock standards from his wide repertoire.

The long Indigenous Peoples’ Day weekend continued Monday with Howie Baker. Baker plays a variety of acoustic guitar covers, including love songs, blues, folk, satire and more.

Read on for a list of upcoming shows in October’s Rhythm and Brews series.

Chris Zelenka

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday.

Info: Zelenka, based in both the Poconos and Flemington, NJ, is known for playing classic, alternative and modern rock songs with an original twist.

Juggernaut String Band

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Info: Local power folk heavyweights Juggernaut String Band runs on “a high octane blend of swamp rock, bluegrass, Cajun, Irish and Mardis Gras music.” Say no more fam.

The Flex

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Info: The Flex is a trio of local musicians featuring crowd favorite Andrew Tirado.

Achilles Heart

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Info: Father and son duo Austin and Mike take the stage as Achilles Heart playing original music, pop rock and country covers.

Roy Ramos

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Info: Local favorite Roy Ramos brings an eclectic repertoire to the small stage at Shawnee. From Spanish tunes to the golden oldies, Ramos probably knows your favorite song.

Kings of Queen Street

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20.

Info: Specializing in acoustic covers, the trio brings a “perfect harmonic blend” to their shows in the Poconos.

Earth Song

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.

Info: Lead by local force Renard Cohen, Earth Song brings groovy vibes to every set.

Lonesome Found

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.

Info: Blending bluegrass and rock, Poconos-based Lonesome Found brings their Americana sensibilities to the ShawneeCraft stage.

Ashley Marquez

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22.

Info: Ashley Marquez delivers ethereal, clean vocals and acoustic simplicity that will have you singing along.

Bobby Ventura

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22.

Info: Brooklyn’s own Bobby Ventura is no stranger to the Pocono music scene, having played with several local bands (such as CuriousDog) as well as solo. His nostalgic sound is sure to set the mood.

Sick Whiskey

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27.

Info: Pocono natives and psychedelic blues duo Robbie Grier and Cody James bring originals and classic covers to the small stage.

Jimmy Brown

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

Info: “Downtown” Jimmy Brown brings an appealing solo act to Shawnee. The Senior Music Editor of Guitar World Magazine is as close as you can get to a one-man-band.

Nikki Briar

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

Info: Nikki Briar returns to ShawneeCraft to bring down the house at the official ShawneeCraft Broomstick Relay Race afterparty.

Tommy Helmer

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29.

Info: Tommy Helmer is bringing his own brand of sound to ShawneeCraft with his solo electric acoustic act.

Susan Polcer

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29.

Info: Susan Polcer closes out the month with her Rhythm and Brews performance. Classically trained, Polcer busts out unexpected songs on the piano.

Be sure to check out for the latest in what’s happening at the Inn and Brewery, as well as any updates or additions to the Rhythm and Brews calendar.

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