KISS — Interviews, concert reviews and commentaries

by Alan K. Stout


Alan K. Stout (professional bio)

click to enlargeAlan K. Stout is a rock music journalist based out of Northeastern Pennsylvania who has written extensively for the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader and The Weekender, a popular arts and entertainment paper also published in Wilkes-Barre. He was voted Northeastern Pennsylvania's "Favorite Newspaper Columnist" in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009. In 1998, he was awarded a "Keystone Press Award for Excellence in Journalism" for his music coverage.

Stout began covering music for The Times Leader in 1992 and his weekly column, "Music On The Menu," appeared in The Times Leader from 1994-2005. In 2000, he was named music editor at The Times Leader. In 2005, "Music On The Menu" moved to The Weekender, where he served as editor until 2007 and where the column appeared until 2011.

Stout's focus in the Northeast Pennsylvania region has often been on the local music scene, which has produced national recording artists such as The Badlees (1995) and Breaking Benjamin (2002). He was among the first writers to profile these bands and continues to write about local talent in the NEPA region. In 2004, Stout launched his own weekly radio show, "Music On The Menu Live" on 102.3-FM, The Mountain. The program, as his column did for nearly 18 years, continues to showcase local talent. He is also the host of the monthly "Weekender/Mountaingrown Original Music Series," a live radio broadcast which allows local musicians to showcase their songs to a wide audience.

Stout is also known for his concert coverage and reviews. He frequently reviewed shows at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, The F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre and the Montage Mountain Amphitheatre in Scranton. He also sometimes covers major concert tours that visit Philadelphia and has reviewed shows by the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Plant/Page, Sting, Eric Clapton, The Who, Dave Matthews Band and Billy Joel. In addition to appearing in the Wilkes-Barre newspapers, Stout's reviews have also appeared on the national entertainment newspaper wires, in papers from coast-to-coast, and - if favorable - on the websites of the artists he covers.

Stout's interviews include conversations with Billy Joel, Steven Tyler, David Bowie, Eddie Van Halen, and Don Henley. Many of these interviews have also appeared on national newspaper wires and have appeared in various newspapers across the United States.

In 1999, Stout worked with the band Mötley Crüe when the group released digitally re-mastered versions of its entire CD catalog. Titled "Crucial Crue," the series featured all new liner-notes for each album, written by Stout with the band. He is credited on each album.

Also in 1999, Stout helped found "Concert For Karen/Concert For A Cause," an annual charity event held in NEPA that united the region's entire musical and media community. The annual event, held each April, featured dozens of regional bands, plus full sponsorship from the local print, television and radio media. A rock auction featured autographed items from John Mellencamp, KISS, Mötley Crüe, Dave Matthews, Elton John and Bob Weir. Since 2002, the event also included a limited edition companion CD for which Stout often contributed a track. His recordings for the "Concert For A Cause" albums included covers of The Beatles' "Blackbird," Bruce Springsteen's "Happy," John Lennon's "Watching The Wheels," KISS' "Sure Know Something," John Mellencamp's "What If I Came Knocking," Elvis Presley's "His Latest Flame" and U2's "Walk On." In 2008, the "Concert For A Cause 6" CD spent five weeks at No. 1 on the NEPA album chart. In 2009, "Concert For a Cause 7" also spent several weeks at No. 1 and in 2011, "Concert For A Cause 9: The Final Show," also hit No. 1. As of 2011, the concert and the CDs had raised more than $204,000 for regional charites.

In 2003, one of Stout's original songs, "Summer Days," received critical acclaim from others in the NEPA media and the Billboard Magazine Songwriting Panel. Featuring members of The Badlees, as do all of his recordings, it hit the Top-5 on the NEPA singles chart and also appeared on the "Concert For A Cause II" album.

Stout's stories have appeared in the Boston Globe, San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Daily News, San Diego Tribune, Dallas Morning News and Miami Herald. He continues to serve as a music correspondent for The Weekender and The Times Leader, he writes music blogs for the 102.3-FM, The Mountain website, and through his radio show, he continues to provide insight into the musical climate of Northeastern Pennsylvania.