• Lynda Cohen

Local musicians find hope in 'Atlantic City'



Singing “Atlantic City” may seem a logical choice for performers in the resort.

But Ken Shiles and CiBon — two-thirds of the Atlantic City-based Originaire — hadn’t gotten around to it, they say.

“It’s a great song,” Shiles said. “People have always told us to cover it.”

Then, earlier this month, the city shutdown courtesy of the coronavirus.

After everything went dark, Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics suddenly had a deeper meaning.


Now there's trouble busting in from outta state

And the D.A. can't get no relief

Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade

And the gambling commissions hanging on by the skin of its teeth


The Golden Nugget was dark. Lights were off at the Borgata. There were two jitneys, both with drivers wearing masks.

“It was eerie,” Shiles said. “We kind of wanted to document what that looked like,” said CiBon.

They went to various places in the city, including standing in the middle of Pacific Avenue in front of the entrance to The Quarter at Tropicana.

There was no one.

“Usually you can’t cross the street without a car coming by,” CiBon noted.

But the video shows them standing on the double yellow line, with nothing but darkness around them.

A friend’s drone capture the deserted Boardwalk.


Well I got a job and tried to put my money away But I got debts that no honest man can pay So I drew what I had from the Central Trust

And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus

The two hope that their video will give some hope.

Since its posting Friday, thousands have viewed it across various platforms, and many have thanked Originaire.

“We’ve been getting messages left and right about how it’s helped people,” Shiles said.

“The goal was, we’re all going through this tough time together where it’s kind of hard to even share music, but we feel like this is what we were put on earth to do,” CiBon said. “I truly believe music is healing. We need this now more than ever.”

Originaire went on Facebook Live at 5:30 p.m. Saturday to share some more of their music, in what they want to be an at least weekly event that can bring people together. (Scroll down to view.)


Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold

But with you forever I'll stay

We're going out where the sand's turning to gold

So put on your stockings, baby, 'cause the night's getting cold


“There’s all this feeling of uncertainty,” Shiles said. “There’s never been a time where everyone in the world is feeling the exact same thing.”

While Atlantic City is fitting for the area, the two noted that you could put any big city name in there and it’s relatable.

There’s been a coming together in the fact that people have had to be apart to deal with the outbreak, they noted.

“We just want to see everybody stick together,” CiBon said. “Hopefully, we can come out stronger.”


Well now everything dies baby that's a fact

But maybe everything that dies someday comes back

Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty

And meet me tonight in Atlantic City


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