Nice And Steady Pace: An Interview With Tim Korenich

Tim KorenichIn a couple of days, singer/songwriter Tim Korenich will pack up his vehicle with his music gear and head back onto the road solo.  He revealed during our phone conversation that he will be performing to audiences at not only bars, but a variety of house shows that will also feature other singer/songwriters.  When the performance are over, he will be choosing to sleep on people’s couches and floors instead of forking over money to stay in a hotel.  While being out on tour, he will engage and interact with some of the most incredible people that want to help.  For example, Korenich talked about one person in particular during his last tour.  The booker at the place where Korenich performed in Muncie, Indiana offered him to come stay at his place for the night.  It was pretty common for the booker to allow artists and bands to crash at his place, so they wouldn’t have to worry about sleeping arrangements.  When Korenich arrived to the housing of the booker, he saw what is common used as the band room.

“He opened the door to a big room with bunk beds, pull out couch, a couple of little practice amps.  He said the door is open, front door is unlocked-help yourself,” Korenich recalls.

Accounts like this is just one of many that like Korenich get to experience-and there is no better feeling than that.  This past September, he released his first EP Change Of Pace.

Growing up in one of the suburbs of Pittsburgh, North Hills, Korenich played in bands throughout his time in high school.  When he attended Ohio University, he continued performing with several bands.  Although the groups he played in never really took, the aspiration of being a full-time musician became clearer.  Especially after reading Our Band Could Be Your Life.

“Hearing about Black Flag touring constantly and just scrapping by, but doing it because they loved it.  That kind of stuff really stuck with me, and really made me want to go on tour whenever I was a freshman in high school,” Korenich exclaims.

In his senior year at Ohio, Korenich was fortunate enough to be part of a group of students in the School of Media Arts & Studies that were making short films.  A troupe of 24 students took part in producing/directed the short movie Monhegan Light that took place at Monhegan Island, Maine.  Based on the short story written by author Richard Russo, Monhegan Light tells the story of Hollywood cinematographer Martin.  Out of nowhere, Martin receives a painting that is a panting of his now deceased wife.  He soon discovers who the artist is behind the painting, which leads him to go to Monhegan Island.  While being at the island, Martin will discover the truth, along with finding out details about his wife that he never imagined could be true.  Filmed on location at Monhegan Island for 8 days in early spring of 2013, the 25-minute film is visually beautiful, and the acting is extraordinary.  With the money raised from a successful campaign on Indiegogo, Korenich composed all the music with the movie. In return to getting the opportunity to record what would become the EP Change Of Pace, Korenich cooked all the meals for the crew and actors on set.

“I made some pretty decent meals from time to time,” Korenich said.  “The last night we were there, I got to cook fresh lobster right out of the ocean.”

Each song of the EP Change Of Pace is crafted to indie movie soundtrack perfection with some compelling storytelling.  Soft harmonies, along with Korenich’s deep vocals accompany the pleasing instrumentals are spellbinding.  Korenich nails the tone of each moment that comes along not only in Monhegan Light, but in our everday life.  The 6 songs complement each other with such ease and fluidity.  According to Korenich, the EP title was representative of what was going on during that time in his life.  He was starting to be a solo artist when his previous band The Beauregards decided to cease writing songs.  Another big leap Korenich has taken recently is moving from his hometown to Toledo.  The relocating has proved to be successful as he now getting to work with musicians like Zach Shipps from Electric Six.

As he now goes on his own path of being a full-time musician, the future is bright for Korenich.  Plans to release later this spring the debut LP of Korenich’s What a Weird Thing on vinyl.  A more expansive tour is being worked on, which could possibly have stops ranging to the West Coast.  When he was a freshman in high school, Korenich picked up the book Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991.  The book explored influential bands like Black Flag, The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr. to start paving the way for other alternative/indie rock bands to succeed.  Without having little to no mainstream success, the artists featured in Michael Azerrad’s book found ways to continue making a living as full-time musicians through constant touring and records released on small, regional independent record labels.

It’s good to see that Korenich paid close attention to what was written.

Tim Korenich will be performing at Blind Bob’s Sunday night, along with Jacob Combs and Brandon Hawk.

To listen to Change Of Pace, and the new single “Darlin'” click on Korenich’s Bandcamp site:

Nothing Better Than The Real Thing; An Interview With Jeff Massey Of The Steepwater Band

The Steepwater BandIf you find yourself scrolling through the never-ending barrage of videos that will undoubtedly suck you into the vortex that is YouTube, Jeff Massey has a recommendation for you. He states that you need to search for a group from Japan titled The Takers. Once you come across the results of your search on the band, you will notice there’s a few live performance from what appears to be a dive bar that they performed at. What you will be witnessing as you watch the videos is that The Takers are actually a pretty stellar tribute band for the Chicago based group The Steepwater Band, whom which Massey himself is the lead vocalist/guitarist for.

It all started a few years ago when Massey received a message on Facebook from a member of the band. The member asked if it would be alright if they played homage to Massey’s band. They were even going to allow Massey to name the group. Coming from their 2011 releaseClava, Massey got the Japanese group’s name from the song “Remember The Taker.” After giving his blessings to let the band proceed as a tribute band, Massey soon started getting videos from what would be The Takers.

“They have the same guitars, same guitar tones, and they are nailing all the guitar solos,” Massey says. “I saw the videos, and said ‘Holy shit-the guy is playing all of my guitar licks note for note. I was pretty flattered.”

Besides having a tribute band in honor of them, The Steepwater Band are starting to see their music getting even more exposure. Just freshly signing with Sun Pedal Recordings (Warner Bros. Music Group) in October of last year, the band recently released their first album under the label-Diamond Days: The Best of The Steepwater Band 2006-2014. Releasing for all intents and purposes a “best of” album may seem a little unorthodox for many bands, especially when the band has been around for some time.

However, it’s also a brilliant strategy. The ever-devoted fans of The Steepwater Band were able to choose what would mostly be on the album back in October when the decision was made to release the first album under Sun Pedal. On the other side, the album is a great introduction to most that aren’t really familiar with the band. Diamond Days features remastered songs, along with a new version of “Hard As Stone” and the brand new track “Silver Lining.”

Growing up in the Chicago region, Massey fell in line with a lot of us childhood friends and began playing the guitar. Inspired by not only his siblings playing their extensive record collection that contained the essential classic rock bands that were beloved at the time (Led Zeppelin, most notably). Sometime when he was between the ages of 17-19, Massey became enamored of the blues. The soulful sound that it brought started to really sway him.

As he got older, Massey began going to blues clubs regularly and jam nights around the Chicago area. When Massey, along with bandmates bassist Tod Bowers and Joe Winters met, they formed a blues ensemble titled The Big Skinny Blues Band. The band lasted for about a year, as the keyboardist/singer left the group. The remaining trio decided that they had some good material, and wanted to continue playing. With the idea to tour heavily, the men created The Steepwater Band.

Since the formation of The Steepwater Band in 1998, Massey, Bowers, and Winters have not only have continued writing music focusing on their devotion to the sultry workings of delta blues, but they also have expanded their sound with an assortment of psychedelia, jazz, and classic rock to be included. The band also has released several albums, with their first EP released in 1998.

As the members of the band go, there have a few additions and subtractions along way. With the staples of Massey, Bowers, and Winters being intact throughout the changes, Eric Saylors joined in 2012 after sitting in during some shows with Steepwater and his previous band, Healing Sixes. With Saylors being added into the band, the group has now broaden their music to new levels.

“The trio thing was cool, but ran its course,” Massey says. “It’s great to have another member, especially live. Eric can sing harmonies, play rhythm and lead. He plays lap steel guitar also, which brings it to another level.”

The Steepwater Band have been known for being road warriors, with roughly averaging about 140 shows per year. They have toured and shared the stage with acts such as Gov’t Mule, Buddy Guy, Wilco, Taj Mahal, Marc Ford, ZZ Top, T-Model Ford, North Mississippi All Stars, Leon Russell, Drive-By Truckers, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Cheap Trick, Bad Company and Heart. Over the past couple of years, The Steepwater Band have taken their music over to Europe, where they have performed in rock festivals.

Before they headed out for their first leg of tour dates in 2015, which will include a round of dates possibly in Europe later in the year, the members of The Steepwater Band have been hard at work with producer Jim Wirt (Incubus, Fiona Apple), recording at Crushstone Studios in Cleveland. Slating two weeks to get in some recording in, the group have been feverishly laying down new tracks for an upcoming full-length. The band’s ahead of schedule, as they were about to go into mixing. With Wirt producing, Massey mentions that they is going to be a lot of “ear candy,” with extra vocal harmonies, piano and organ fragments. The collaboration between The Steepwater Band and Wirt has been nothing short of amazing.

“He’s one of the guys that is just a genius. He has perfect ears,” Massey proclaims. “There were a couple of songs that he helped with us with the arrangements, and made them for the better.”

After recording is wrapped up, Massey plans to do a few solo gigs around his current residence, in the upper Indiana area. The other members plan to rest and relax till the band hits the road.

As far as that group, The Takers-they have their hands full with trying to accomplish one key element to add to the band, Massey said.

“Now that we have Eric, they put something on Facebook about how they are looking for their Japanese Eric now.”

Maybe a stop in Japan should be on the horizon for The Steepwater Band.

Sophia Eris and Lizzo: Hometown Love Courtesy Of Twin Cities

AbsyntheIt’s about noon in Chicago, and Sophia Eris is just now starting to slowly wake up.  Eris, along with her friend and rapper Lizzo, have the day off today on their short tour between days opening for Sleater-Kinney.  When we start to talk on the phone, you can still hear the drowsiness that is lingering Eris’ soft voice.  Today’s agenda includes getting the oil changed, and checking the tires to their tour van, as they prepare to head towards Dayton.  They have a show in Fairborn, then will be hitting some other towns.  No matter how many times they visit, and this goes for many who visit,  Chicago is a place that always finds them getting into something.  That is other than doing car repairs.  “Every time I come, I see a different side of it,” explained Eris when talking about the Windy City.  While Eris gave me the impression that the night before in Chicago was nothing exciting, Lizzo, (real name is Melissa Jefferson), tells a different story.

“Chicago wasn’t really low-key at all.  It was a high key (chuckles).  It was cool,” Lizzo says in a laid back tone.  “We made up a song last night, and I wanted Sophia to hear it.”

To many, it will be hard to believe that the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota is slowly accumulating some of the best new musical talent in the States.  Yes, we all know that Prince is from there.  However, that’s not the only thing that you should know about this city.  The music scene is thriving with some incredible talent-ranging from indie rock to some of the best rappers to date.  Two of those musicians were introduced to me while I was visiting the city back in this past summer.  A friend was telling me that there was a rapper in town that is starting to make some noise not only within the city limits, but nationally as well.  The musician was also involved in some groups that could easily rise within the ranks of stardom.  I couldn’t help but be intrigued, and asked who they were talking about.  They mentioned that it was Lizzo and Eris.  And I am not alone.  The duos are also two of the five members of the group Grrrl Party.  Recently, the duo passed through the Dayton area as their side project Absynthe.  The music that the duo creates offer dazzling hooks, along with dizzying rhythms.  While they seductively lure you in with their sultry pop/R&B influenced vocals, they will be quick to inform you that they are powerful, smart, and confident.  The goal is simple-to help empower women, and embrace themselves for they are as beautiful as they can be.

With her hometown being here in Dayton, this will be the first time ever that Eris will be performing in the area.  While attending school in Wayne, she played soccer, along with other sports.  Eris was fortunate enough to some earn scholarship money, and she began attending Urbana to major business.  It wasn’t she wanted at the end of the day, though.  Her aspirations to get involved in music business was what she cared most about.  Still-she appeased her family and continued marching forward.  “Go major in business.  Take what was given to you,” Eris explained.  She pushed through her freshman year, trying to find some enjoyment and happiness in the school.  However, it wasn’t where she thought she should be.  Eris yearned to be in music business.  When she arrived home the summer after her freshman year in Urbana, and mentioned her displeasure-her family finally gave their blessing for Eris to move on.  Once she arrived in Minneapolis, Eris began studying and graduated at Institute of Production and Recording.

Eris talked about writing when she was younger, mostly poetry.  She did a little rap verse in one of friends’ songs while living in Dayton.  When she was young, Eris mentions to me about how she would stand in front of the family’s television set while watching Star Search.  “I would bow and say ‘thank you, thank you’ to everyone,” she adds.  Eris admits to me during our conversation that she really didn’t think about performing in music till she arrived in Minneapolis.  “I just knew that I wanted to be involved in music somehow, and I thought it be on the business side,” Eris says.  “I wanted to help someone change the world.  I wanted to be that person to find that artist that did so.  I ended up doing it as well (performing).”

Born in Detroit in the late 80’s, Lizzo was fascinated with writing and astrology.  Having one of her first words being ‘star’, Lizzo wanted to go to space, and experience the solar system firsthand.  She would read books and encyclopedias that all involved astrology, and the inner workings of the solar system.  While the phase of wanting to get into astronomy tapered off as she got older, she always continued to write. As far as singing went, Lizzo grew up in the church; singing songs from musicians like Fred Hammond, and groups like The Clark Sisters, The Winans.  Lizzo was also introduced legendary artists like Stevie Wonder and Elton John. Citing “they weren’t vibing at the time”, Lizzo explained that her dad saw that a change of scenery from Detroit would be good.  At age 10, Lizzo and her family packed up everything and moved to Houston, Texas.

Lizzo’s time in Houston was the precursor that began her music career.  After skipping class in 5th grade to see Destiny’s Child perform at the local Wal-Mart (obviously they hit it big), Lizzo began to learn how to play the flute, and feverishly started to write more.  She would obsessively listen to freestyle on the radio, which showcased Southern trademark of chopped and screwed rap tracks of the underground, to R&B.  At nineteen, Lizzo joined a rock band and moved back to Detroit.  Shortly after planting her feet in Detroit, she was asked by a friend if she wanted to move up Minneapolis.  At the time, the friend was in a band and was moving back to Minneapolis. Without hesitation-she said yes.

When Eris and Lizzo met at the Red Stage Music Festival, located in Minneapolis, the bond was instantaneous.    “We hung out with friends, drank some, walked up the streets to this karaoke bar together, sang Beyoncé together at the bar,” Eris gleefully says.  “We’ve been great friends since.”  During that first night of Eris and Lizzo meeting, they got together with another friend and wrote would be become of their breakout hits, “Push It’.  A low-fi recording was uploaded online, and it caught the interest from one of the premiere radio stations in town, Minnesota Public Radio’s 89.3 The Current.  When the ladies were asked for a cleaner version of the song, the musical careers of Eris and Lizzo soon took off.

This past year, the duo have begun seeing all of their hard work start to pay off.  With the one in a lifetime opportunity of recording a song with Prince under their belt, some of their highlights include recently performing on David Letterman’s late night talk show, and now doing some dates with the reunited Sleater-Kinney.  “I just remember getting the call from my manager about it.  We previously requested hopefully being able to open for the show in Minneapolis.  Two months later, boom!  I freaked out of the car,” Lizzo said.

Eris still knows that her potential, along with Lizzo and the others from Grrrl Party, has just been getting touched.  However, the ladies still are taking the time to enjoy themselves.  “It’s kinda like a running a race, and you have your head down the whole time.  You finally get to the finish line, and look up and realize you’re there already,” Eris discloses.  “It’s just work.  You gotta look up every once and in a while.  Next time we look up, it’s going to be sick.”

“I appreciate it as it comes,” Lizzo adds.  “My focus is on my trajectory as a person, and an artist.  How’s my music sounding?  How’s my shows?  Are people feeling it?  I’m a not falling off?  Based on those terms, things are going good.”

Couldn’t agree more.

Renaissance Man; An Interview with Singer/Songwriter Jason Trout

Jason TroutSinger/songwriter Jason Trout, who spent most of his early days growing up in the city of Marion, Indiana, has been a pretty free  spirit throughout most of his life.  Without any proper training or push towards it, Trout was around eight or nine when he started  writing music.  Late last year, Trout released his solo debut LP Out Of My Mind And Into Yours.  The album is a lo-fi indie/folksy album  that was recorded in his home using a Tascam 4 track.  The new album, which follows his debut EP Off The Field Issues, marks a  new direction for Trout.  A path that didn’t come easy.

Creating and playing music at one point was put onto the side temporary when Trout started attending Ball State University in 1995  to study law.  “I went into college thinking, ‘Okay, I’ll be a lawyer.  Be will be a 4.0 student’,” Trout mentions.  “That’s what my mom  and dad wanted.”  His progression into law was short-lived, because for Trout-law was never the direction he was supposed to go.    Trout switched majors, going to theater.  “I didn’t think I was a good enough vocalist or guitarist to major into those,” Trout added.    The musical side of Trout, his desire to create something special, was growing larger and stronger.  He couldn’t accept the fact that    the direction of life is headed toward a future that wasn’t thrilled about.

Between the age of nineteen and twenty, Trout finally accepted that playing music full time was inevitable.  He packed his  belongings and moved to Austin, Texas.  “I’ll be honest with you-Austin is the only place that ever felt that I belong.  Without  question,” Trout said.  In spite of moving to Austin, the city wasn’t Trout’s first choice.  The goal was to originally move to Los  Angeles.  With the guidance of his college theater group, along with his love of director Richard Linklater’s work, Trout almost immediately felt at home within the city.  He quickly started to develop a following with his music, and soon started to see his hard work paying off.  Large record labels started courting Trout-flying him back and forth from city to city, riding in limos.  A year of writing and performing included, along with the dream slowly starting to become reality-things were looking good.  The payoff was coming.

However, the toll on Trout started to mount.  What was slowly a dream developing into reality quickly evaporated.  There was an unraveling infrastructure inside one of the labels that were interested in Trout.  He also was led astray from someone, giving false hope.  Around that same time span, the relationship that he is in suddenly ended.  The emotional toll began to weigh down on Trout.  “I wasn’t able to think straight or move correctly.  My body was affected.  I didn’t know what was going on,” Trout explained.  With his world crumbling all around him, Trout went to get away and visit his folks, whom at the time lived in Knoxville.  While we was there, he was diagnosed with having a nervous breakdown.

Even though he wanted desperately to get back to Austin, there was something that pulling him to stay in Knoxville.  The decision to stay turned out to be beneficial.  As the healing began, Trout spent a great deal of his time there being with his mother.  They would spend every single together, catching up.  Trout mentions that his mother was a key component to getting healthy again.  Little did they both know, the time together would be meaningful than they could imagine.  Trout’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, and passed two months later.

Trout’s time in Knoxville also got back to doing what he loved-playing music.  He led the formation of his band The God Star Social.  They band began playing some gigs at local clubs like The Pilot Light, Axis, and Java.  After the release of their first EP A Queer Sultry Summer in 2002, the band released their 2003 debut LP Decidedly Lo-FI/Revolution And Static Sky.  The album garnered national and internationally acclaim, with critics singing the praise of the band, the record, and most of all-Trout’s vision.  Trout spent the next 5 years touring the U.S. as The God Star Social, both solo and with a rotating cast of musicians. He released the last God Star Social record in 2008.  During that period of time, Trout met his now ex-wife during a show in Columbus.  When they were married, they lived in Austin briefly before moving back to Ohio.

Jason Trout2Although we has had to overcome some obstacles from the past couple of years, ranging from divorce and family tragedy, Trout  explained that he views this time in his life as a renaissance of sorts.  With the release of Out Of My Head And Into Yours, it marks  the first time is releasing music under his own name.  He has found peace within himself, which is remarkable considering at one  point-he didn’t write a single song for years.  Now, he is currently planning and prepping on new records with The Touchy Feelys,  his indie vocal duo with Andrea Dawn Courts, and City Deer, his punk folk band with drummer Lucas Longanbach and bassist Chris  Lute. Trout is also working on a cover album on his favorite artist, Daniel Johnston.  “I never been a big cover guy,” Trout says.    “These songs feel like my own, so it’s real easy to do it.”

As he sits in his home in Athens, Ohio, longer is that struggle to be happy for Trout.  One main reason is what came out of his now  finished marriage-his wonderful  daughter.  Trout beams over the phone when we talks about his deeply introspective daughter.  “We  talk about what she could be  when grows up.  I ask her what she wants to be, an actress or a doctor.  She says, ‘When I grow up, I just wanna be me.’,” Trout says.

That’s exactly what the older Trout is doing.

To get a copy of the new album, click on Trout’s website:

No Troubles In ‘Paradise'; An Interview With Smug Brothers

SMUG BROTHERSThe four members of Dayton’s own Smug Brothers are hanging around Kyle Melton’s kitchen on a cold February afternoon.  Inside  one of the small rooms that have been designated as the office, the Beatles come blaring out of the computer stereo speakers.  Deep,  raw cuts, along with some of their usual hits flooded over the entire house.  The group is awaiting local photographer Jay  Woessner as he will be updating the bands press photos today.  In only a few weeks away the Smug Brothers will be releasing their  latest album Woodpecker Paradise, and the band has their hands full.  After photos are taken, the band plans to practice some of  the new material. Woodpecker Paradise reunites Smug Brothers with longtime producer, and former member, Darryl Robbins.

As I took off my coat, and placed it in the living room, Melton asks if I would be interested in having a beer.  “We have high brow  beer, and non-high brow to choose from.  Feel free to pick whatever,” he says to me.  I choose the non-fancy beer, which is  Genesee-one of bassist Larry Evans’ favorite selections.  Having known that Evans enjoys Genesse, I also have drunk the beer before and became a fan of it also.  I make mention to bassist Larry Evans that he is partially to blame for my appreciation of the  beverage.

“Really?” says Evans with a shocked look.  I explained to him that I took a case over to a get together over the past summer.  I received a mix reaction from the party goers when I arrived-ranging from some that were enthused to know that I knew what the beer was, to outright ribbing because of how cheap you can get it.

“Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” Evans, ever so kindly says to me with compassion written all his bearded face.

The conversation between everyone jumped around from topic to topic.  Baker begins talking about a recently purchasing an amp that now has been blown out.  Even though Baker claims it’s pretty old, Melton makes mention that he may know some people that could possibly repair to amp.  The discussion then shifts to how the popular 80’s television show Cheers opener has a longer version to it online, and it’s actually good.  Baker’s girlfriend declares that she wants to make a trip over to Ghostlight Coffee, and would like to know where it’s located.

Within a half hour or so at being at Melton’s house, Woessner comes to do the photo shoot.  The first location was inside the small kitchen.  Woessner flips and fluffs the curtains some to block some of the light reflected in.  After the photos were shot in the kitchen, everyone is directed outside.  The band stands in front of an old, decaying structure that closely resembles a barn.  After the shooting of the new pics was finished, we moved downstairs to where the band practices.

As you walk a little farther into the basement area, you stumble upon the recording equipment placed on a table, with a cushioned couch placed beyond it.  Stacks of cassettes are laying around behind the boards.  The few demo cassettes that sit on the table are just the tip of what Melton has.  He has archived most of the demos of  his early bands, including a jam band he was part of  in 1994-1996 titled Critical Mass.  “I have hundreds of tapes of every live show we did (laughter),” says Melton.  This space is also where most of the Smug Brothers are recorded.  In the beginning stages of recording, Melton and Thrasher will lay down the basic tracks with demos on a four-track cassette machine, then pull from the best songs.  With Woodpecker, Smug Brothers went to the studio to lay down the tracks with the whole band together for the first time as the new lineup.  While the end result is a more polished album, the band’s mid-fi sound that their fans have come to love stays the same.  Smug Brothers follow the Bob Pollard blueprint of quick songs but tight in structure.  Much like Pollard, the finished product is also a perfect blend of catchy guitar riffs and vocals, and Thrasher’s fantastic work on drums.

The members of the band take their spots within the second area of the basement.  Stone walls encase the practice vicinity, and colored LED lights hang loosely on the beams above us.  The space isn’t made for tall people like myself and Evans, as we had crouch down some while walking around.  Luckily for Evans, though, he has a spot where he can stand somewhat normally.  After mic checks from Melton and Evans are situated, the group begins to torch through songs of Woodpecker Paradise.

Going into the tenth year of existence, it’s amazing to see how Smug Brothers have blossomed into what they are today.  The duo of Melton and Robbins were in the rock group Montgomery Greene at the time when they begin what would be Smug Brothers.  The plan was to be a recording band, and nothing more.  The duo released their first album under the Smug Brothers moniker Buzzmounter in 2005.  A couple of years later, Robbins and Melton went back to work on some new material.  They enlisted a local musician to do some of the drums for the new music who had runs with legendary local bands Swearing At Motorists and Guided By Voices.  Robbins and Melton loved the drummer’s style, and were eager to include him into the project.  That drummer turned out to be Thrasher.  With Thrasher getting involved, Smug Brothers started to take off.

Since then, the group has gone through various lineup changes, with departing members going to other projects and ventures.  Jason Short, who played with Melton in Montgomery Greene, played two songs on Fortune Rumors.  When the decision was made to start playing live, Marc Betts (also from Montgomery Greene) and Baker joined Smug Brothers in 2009.  In 2011, Betts left the band. The group had a small sabbatical for a short time, back in 2012.  Smug Brothers had recorded On The Way To The Punchline with Robbins, but the members got tied up in other things.  Melton and Thrasher were heavily involved in setting up another Dayton Music Fest.  Baker was playing in a couple of other bands around the area.  The band’s bassist Shaine Sullivan became heavily involved with the purchasing of what is now Canal Public House.  When Melton and Thrasher wanted to get the band rolling again, Sullivan bowed out.  Evans hopped onboard shortly after, and the rest is history.

The week of the album release party  I join Thrasher and Melton for drinks at one of our favorite meeting spots.  It’s always a pleasure to sit with two of the pioneers that will be engraved in the history books of the Dayton scene.  Much like the day of the photo shoot, our conversations bounce around with ease.  Melton and Thrasher talk about how with the latest lineup, they feel that it’s fresh.  “I feel like we are just at the tip at whatever this band is going to be able to do,” Melton says.  “The four of us are at a pretty good page.”

With everyone being excited with the release of Woodpecker Paradise, Smug Brothers have already been setting their sights on getting some new music rolling.  Melton and Thrasher have already laid down some tracks, while Baker and Evans are beginning to get their parts put together.  Smug Brothers would love to quickly release as much material as they can.  “I just want this songs out,” Melton says enthusiastically.  “We can sit here and work on them, pick the best ones…do a thousand different things.  At the end of the day, why?  Let’s go with our gut.  What sounds good?  Is that right?  Great.  If its not, say no.  Redo it.”

“We are still making up for lost time, too,” Thrasher added.  “And we love to make songs.  So it all feeds together.”

Like most of the times we get together, our conversation bounces around.  Melton mentions that he would love to take the trip around the United States and see the open land sometime.

“Got to do it at least once, man,” Melton says.

“Probably better when you’re younger (laughter),” Thrasher quips.

“True, but you see I would have perspective, be able to appreciate it more,” Melton responds back.

Sound Check: An Interview with Tim Anderl and Frank Steele of Sound Check Chat

Frank-and-Tim2TestIt’s a relatively low-key night at South Park Tavern when I join Tim Anderl and Frank Steele.  The patrons are all scattered around the establishment, as the televisions above the bar are showing one of the few college football games left in the season.  The three of  us dive into a nice little collection of pizza and wings, and partake in some of the draft beers that are available to choose from. Being  in the journalism field since 1996, focusing primary on the music side, Anderl’s bio comprises thousands of hours invested and  countless interviews conducted with artists that are listed in every category and genre that could be ever thought of.  Bands that tour  around the United States to perform in local bar/venues, along with the ones that are seeing success that expands beyond their  wildest dreams-Anderl has the privilege and fortune of being part of the music scene for some time now. With his current roles of  web editor/writer for Ghettoblaster Magazine, New Noise Magazine, along with his local work at Dayton City Paper-Anderl has  become widely known for his celebrated work in the music business.  The next step towards bolstering his name started in March of  last year, when Steele and himself begun a bi-monthly podcast that is titled Sound Check Chat.

With the aspiration of writing for publications like Rolling Stone and Spin growing up, Anderl took the proper steps to fulfill that desire by earning his degree in journalism at Ohio University.  Even with landing great opportunities like interning for Alternative Press magazine during his college days, the hope to release work in the popular music periodicals never truly materialized.  “I was dating someone that I wanted to marry who was still in college,” Anderl explained.  “I went and got a day job and waited for her to graduate.  By that time, we had family in the area, and I had settled into the job.”

Coming to terms with not writing for large publications was difficult, but Anderl went to work on finding different outlets to release his writing.  He created his own website magazine formats for a period of time, including one that is still  Opportunities to do some freelance work for other publications, such as Strength Skateboarding, Substream Music Press and blogs DoneWaiting, Delusions of Adequacy came along the way soon after.  Podcasting was something that had never crossed Anderl’s mind.  He mentions that he has listened to an assortment of shows, mainly on NPR, but when he reflected on venturing into the medium-he decided against it.  “I really didn’t have the time to do it myself,” Anderl says.

As luck would have it, Steele was already setting up possible ideas and formats that would eventually become a podcast. With a background specializing in web, television, movie, production and design, Steele has been creating video media content around the Dayton area.  Success has come to Steele, and with good reason.  With his work in production, he has been awarded with having winning music videos with artists who have appeared on MTV, VH1, and CMT.  He bounced around some concepts for the podcast, and settled on having the show concentrate on music.  Steele pitched the idea to Anderl, and he quickly hopped onboard.  The two friends had previously done some work, with a video production that was shot in Rumbleseat Wine when Jonathan Kingham (singer/songwriter that also was a touring member of Toad The Wet Sprocket) came to town in 2012.

Sound Check Chat’s nucleus is pretty straightforward-the show is centered on Anderl speaking with musicians from all over the United States and beyond. Roughly closing on the 30 minute marker (some longer than others) with each interview segment, Sound Check Chat is an insightful look for music lovers. “Tim is one the phone for a lot of the interviews anyway.  I said to him let’s record the conversation, and make a podcast of that,” Steele explained.  “It would be an extra product that you can offer.”  With the tight editing courtesy of Steele, you don’t get much in the way of prolonged silences, questionable motives, and delayed responses. Anderl’s remarkable interviewing with his extensive research on each guest captures moments that you would normally wouldn’t get with most podcasts being aired, which is what gives the show such a pleasure to listen to.

With sixteen episodes already released, Sound Check Chat is still continuing to grow month by month.  The duo already has sponsorship for the show, which for beginning podcast obtaining such a feat is worth being noticed.   Some highlights of shows that have been released already include JT Woodruff from Hawthorne Heights, Chris Simpson of Mineral, and Violent J from Insane Clown Posse, it’s clear that Anderl and Steele will be providing listeners a wide array of musical talent to hear from.

Steele and Anderl reference that the whole development and growth of the show has taken a little bit of time, and possible will be slowly built.  However, the duo have made the decision to keep it way. They aren’t about going out and chasing numbers.  They want to have a show that is true to them.  “We have been letting it happen organically,” Anderl says.  “It would be disingenuous for us do to any other way…people seemed to be enjoying it, and that’s good enough for me.”

To listen to the show, go to the website  You can also subscribe to the show in iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

Hold On: DCDC Set To Premiere Latest Production “HeartShakes”

See more at rooted in the African-American experience, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company has become one of the largest  companies of its kind between places like Chicago and New York City.  With national and international acclaim gained  over the years, the company has assembled a wide-range of choreographers to highlight their artistic vision to the stage.  The works  that have played out on the local theaters provided audience’s with some of the most breathtaking, stunning performances since    being founded in 1968. HeartShakes, the next production the DCDC will be unveiling this Saturday night at Victoria Theatre, will be  added to the incredible list of shows.

The creator-choreographer of HeartShakes, Kiesha Lalama, is putting the final touches on her work with the stage production of  Into The Woods down in Miami.  With the original composer Stephen Sondheim giving his blessing, the role of the witch will be  played by extraordinary actor Tituss Burgess.  The casting of Burgess has caused this version of Into The Woods to be labeled as  “ground breaking and historical” due in part of Burgess being an African-American gay man.  Publications like Out magazine, and the Huffington Post, along with the Inquisitr have all released features on Burgess’ involvement, and the impact that it’s creating.  “Tituss Burgess is a genius.  He is one of the smartest actors that I have worked with…ever,” Lalama gleefully says.  “Every choice he makes as the witch is just perfect.  His voice is magic.”

For over twenty years now, Lalama has been choreographing events like Into the Woods.  Starting with high school musicals and teaching at the dance studio she trained at around her hometown, Lalama continued all the way through college at Point Park University.  However, a recurring knee injury that required a few surgeries would halt Lalama from continuing to perform.  With the end of her performing dance career, Lalama pressed on with her teaching at the college.  As her students would go on to graduate and met with artistic directors of dance companies, they would mention that Lalama was needed to be brought in.  “My students launched my national career,” Lalama says.

It took five years for Lalama to be choreograph a piece for DCDC.  When the opportunity finally came, she released Shed to critical praise with not only the community, but within the company.  The act, inspired from a deep desire to spread the message and importance of self-love, challenges the spirit to find courage, let go, and be free.  Lalama’s passion and dedication to her dancers, and the crew made it hard for the first show being the only one.  Lalama was going to come back with a brand new set.  Little did she know, the story would come to her quickly.

HeartShakes began to materialize when the opening performance of Shed was over.  As Lalama began to drive back home to Pittsburgh, she started to think of how she was going to set up her next dance.  She inserted the copy of the band Alabama Shakes’ Boys and Girls into her car stereo, in hopes to release her mind for the long drive home.  That 2012 album debut launched the bluesy-rock group and created a rabid following around the world.

As each song played, and she started piecing together the narrative that was unfolding in her mind.  The gritty, Southern soul songs that came out, Brittany Howard’s wailing, yet fierce voice, began interweaving with one another.  Playing Boys and Girls in her car was meant to be a release.  To distract her from forging forward.  In the end, the album spoke with Lalama in ways that she couldn’t imagine.  Lalama mentions that she emotionally connected with Howard in each lyric sung.  “I’m all soul.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I will tell you what I am thinking.  I feel like everything that Brittany said resonated,” Lalama says with a passionate tone.  “Her lyrics, her passion, her power.  In everything that my dancing is-it just fits.  I just fits.”

HeartShakes will be taking spectators into the lives of five different relationships of various lovers, who throughout the span of one evening in a quaint but moody nightclub, will witness them intersecting with one another.  With each song from Boys and Girls, the music features various stages of love.  “I wanted to make sure that I built something that the audience would walk away feeling something, relating to this characters and certainty being entertained,” Lalama explains.

Watching a dancer perform a contemporary piece is awe-inspiring.  The fluid movement of their body.  The athleticism that is required to achieve a level of flexibility that most only dream of.  Contemporary dance numbers demand you to be held captive throughout, only because you don’t know what to expect each time.  There is a beauty, and most importantly an appreciation, to the form that shouldn’t be overlooked.  DCDC has embedded themselves within the heart of it all, and  continue to attract people young and old with each show.

When it’s all said and done, HeartShakes will allow to have Lalama to imprint her mark in the city for years to come.  With  DCDC owning the rights, there has been talk on possibly taking the show on a tour.  It’s even been brought up that it would be a dream come true to have the Alabama Shakes perform live during the show.  For now, the show will go on at the Victoria Theatre.  The excitement that comes out when talking to Lalama is uncontrollable.  “I really believe in this,” she says.  “The dancers give me everything they have.  It’s so draining, because they go through this roaring arrange of emotions.  It demands so much of them…there is no other company like DCDC.  These guys are so versatile, and so committed-I’m honored to be associated with such a great group of people.”

See HeartShakes world premiere at The Victoria Theatre at 138 North Main Street, Dayton Ohio on January 31 at 7:30pm or Sun Feb 1 at 3pm.   Tickets are $25 to $45 each and are available at Ticket Center Stage at 937-228-3630 or 888-228-3830

Drenched In Pop; An Interview With Chris Slusarenko And John Moen Of Eyelids

EyeLids_10063_finalThe rain is coming down with ferocity in Portland, Oregon, according to Eyelids members Chris Slusarenko and John Moen during our phone conversation. The two dear friends and bandmates have been resigned to spending the rest of their afternoon indoors. To make the time go by, the duo have each found things to do.

“John is going to help me with my lyrics (laughter),” Slusarenko mentions. “I said to John, ‘Can I show you this and tell me if it’s dumb or not’.”

Moen quickly and light-heartedly added, “After we are done with that, I am going to tell you exactly what we are going to do, I’m going to brush his hair out while looking out a lonely window (laughter).”

It’s truly difficult to find another band that features members who have been an integral part of such influential music. Moen got out of high school in 1986, started touring around, releasing some albums with Dharma Bums. Now, he is currently the full-time drummer of Decemberists.

Slusarenko’s career has spanned from only doing cassettes and stickers with his band Deaf Midget for five years, and starting the group Sprinkler that was signed to Sub Pop after less than a year. Other highlights included a stint with Guided By Voices as the bassist. His other project besides Eyelids includes Quasi’s Sam Coomes that also involves Eyelids drummer Paulie Pulvirenti.

Slusarenko and Moen explain that they have just wrapped up what will be the final album with Boston Spaceships, Let It Beard. With the lead singer being the fearless leader Robert Pollard, Slusarenko and Moen’s Boston Spaceships released five LPs and three EPs.

While the duo was playing the album for some friends before the release, Slusarenko found three rough demos that featured just himself and Moen. Once the demos ended, Moen was thrilled on what he was hearing, and shouted out that they needed to get the ball rolling again. For the two musicians, it was the perfect opportunity to have an opportunity to have a band that they were able to write songs, which both were passionate about.

Slusarenko and Moen, along with Let It Beard’s producer Drews, went into the studio for two days to expand on the demos. Inside Drews practice studio, the trio began to exchanging ideas with one another, and landed on thirteen songs that made up the skeleton for what became854. With the additions of bassist Jim Talstra, and drummer Pulvirenti to the group, some of the songs were re-recorded to have their parts included into the album.

“It was a really weird to go about it, but also allowed us to a chance to figure out what the hell we were about,” Slusarenko says.

854 captures the essence of catchy, pretty pop-drenched songs that are filled with melancholy and buoyancy.   Loud guitar riffs and fuzz dancing on top of one another, with whimsical vocals throughout each song. Slusarenko mentions ’80s bands like the L.A. Paisley Underground darlings, Rain Parade and Dream Syndicate, with New Zealand’s own Straitjacket Fits being overwhelming inspiration for what they envisioned to have their music sound like for their newly formed group.

With the momentum of releasing 854, Eyelids just went into the studio in November to record an EP with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, which is hopeful to be released in the beginning of 2015. However, with everyone’s unpredictable schedules (including the Decemberists soon to be releasing their latest album), the members of Eyelids have no qualms on what the future is going to hold for them.

“I have a little apprehension about how everything will play out,” Moen says. “So we will keep taking a little at a time, and see what we can get away with when we can get away with it (laughter).”

“As long as we can stand each other, and we like what we are doing-it’s not that hard for the five of us to want to be around each other,” Slusarenko says. “It’s kinda of like, ‘Alright, I’m with these guys. Cool!’ History makes it a little easier.”

(Visit Eyelids here:

New Beginnings; An Interview with Tele Novella

TeleNovellaFall2014The Austin-based band Tele Novella are the middle of their Midwest/East Coast tour, spanning from Oklahoma to New York and ending back home in Texas. On their stop in Dayton, Ohio, guitarist Natalie Gordon and bassist Jason Chronis are sitting behind their band’s merchandise table. The fold-out table is located between two doors in the back front section of the establishment that they just got done playing their set at, Blind Bob’s Bar. The band was in town as part of their Midwest/East Coast tour in support of this past June’s release of their EP, Cosmic Dial Tone.

Growing up in the heart of Sacramento, where the artistic vibe was mainly artistic DIY’ers in the music scene. One day as Gordon was flipping through the catalogs of vinyl at a local record store, she met drummer Lauren Hess. The two started to strike up a conversation about music, and it immediately took off. Gordon discovered during the meeting that Hess had recently purchased a drum kit, but she hasn’t played them yet. With Gordon already having experience playing guitar since high school, the twosome got together to jam, forming their band Agent Ribbons in 2006.

Agent Ribbon started touring up and down California, and also added another member to the group-violinist/cellist Naomi Cherie early 2009. The band’s dreamy, yet eerie guitar play from Gordon going along with the simplistic drumming started getting them noticed quickly. Fans couldn’t help but not stay away from the duo’s haunting mix of garage rock with pop melodies that were heavily influenced with The Velvet Underground and The Shaggs. The increased exposure help launch them into bigger shows and tours. They traveled on the West Coast, and even played some shows in Europe. Gordon and Hess would pay for Cherie’s plane ticket in order for her to play in the West Coast shows.

With the costs of tickets starting to add up, and the inability to move to California, Gordon and Hess made the decision to move out to Austin where Cherie lived in 2010.

Before the move Austin was in the plans for Gordon with her bandmate, Chronis and Simon were deeply involved with the local group Voxtrot. The band, led by Ramesh Srivastava, started rolling in the early 2000s when he was between studying in Scotland. Voxtrot’s European influence streaming in their indie pop-heavy melodies and charming lyrics. With the comparisons to The Smiths, Belle and Sebastian, Voxtrot began to garner critical acclaim not only in town, but with national publications, and online sites.

After releasing their first EP in 2005, Raised By Wolves, Voxtrot toured vigorously all around the US and Europe, and released a couple of EPs and singles. In 2007, the release of the first LP Voxtrot would become the band’s first and only. Fans complained that the album didn’t live up to expectations. Others believed that the quality and sound of the album veered away from what the band was originally doing. Voxtrot overall wasn’t well received. Less than a year later, when the album failed, the band broke apart.

With Gordon and Hess packing up and moving to Austin, the move from Sacramento at the time seemed like it was the best option for the band, Gordon mentioned. However, a series of events proved to be disastrous for Agent Ribbons. Cherie decided to leave the group as soon as the duo arrived in town. The momentum that Agent Ribbons built with touring in California, which resulted in getting bigger shows and more exposure, was abruptly halted. “We had such a strong following in California, Oregon, and Washington. We could tour up and down the coast all year. We came here-people didn’t care, we couldn’t play the right shows, we started playing too much,” Gordon says.

At the end of October in 2012, Gordon and Hess, along with their tour maager, were leaving Memphis during their bands tour in support of the album Let Them Talk. Agent Ribbons were headed toward Dallas when a car ran a red light and collided with the band’s vehicle. While everyone escaped with non-life threatening injuries, the band’s van was totaled and Hess broke her wrist. The tour was already challenging due to issues with payouts of shows, and the accident was the final blow in what became a hostile relationship. Gordon and Hess no longer were seeing Agent Ribbons being what it once was. Everything that was once promising now became more a burden. After the accident, Agent Ribbons broke up. “It was slow, rough, downward spiral,” Gordon explained. “It felt that the band should have ended before we moved to Austin.”

With Agent Ribbons dissolving, Gordon needed to regroup and quickly was needing to quickly assemble a band for a booked showcase at South by Southwest Festival for the upcoming year. Gordon tried explaining to Agent Ribbons’ label of the unfortunate circumstances, with herself and Hess going separate ways. However, the label wouldn’t allow her to cancel. Gordon had to scramble to set up a band, so she enlisted Chronis, Simon, and singer Cari Palazzolo. The trio were already involved together with the local group Belaire, and volunteered to help Gordon out. Chronis has already been discussing working with Gordon on a project, titled Tele Novella.

The newly formed band Tele Novella was well-received, and the foursome continued to move forward. Tele Novella went to the studio to record their first EP Cosmic Dial Tone, which was released this past summer. The EP features Gordon’s alluring vocals that transcended when she was Agent Ribbons along with Chronis and Simon’s English rock inspiration with their work in Voxtrot. The blend of the two results in a breezy, psychedelic pop sound that is hypotonic and catchy. Since the release of Cosmic Dial Tone, another lineup has occurred. Palazzolo moved to Portland, which signaled the ending of Belaire, and the La Puerta’s inclusion into the group. Tele Novella released the single version of ‘Trouble in Paradise’ on vinyl with American Laundromat Records right on the tail of the Wes Anderson tribute compilation, to which they contributed a contagious version of ‘Stephanie Says’ by the Velvet Underground. The band is currently in the process of setting up to record the band’s first LP, which will be recorded in Austin.

Chronis locks his hands behind his jet black hair, and leans back into his chair. Gordon, wearing one of vintage dresses as she normally does, throws on a jacket and begins to rummage through some missed texts, emails on her phone. Moments later, you see Gordon engaging with two young girls who have approached the table, while Chronis looks on engaged into the conversation as well. As more attendees of the night’s festivities began to gather around the merch table to talk to Gordon and Chronis, keyboardist Sarah La Puerta strikes up her own conversation with someone, while drummer Matt Simon breaks down his drums.

For Gordon, the future with Tele Novella is bright and signifies new beginnings. “I feel so much more challenged, and I feel like it’s so much more interesting as a process for me. And I’m really on the beginning of it.”

Buffalo Soldiers: An Interview with Zachary Gabbard of Buffalo Killers

Buffalo KillersThe Cincinnati-based rockers Buffalo Killers have been busy since the beginning of this year.

First, they helped kick off this year’s Dayton Music Festival 10th year anniversary with a special show featuring a church choir in the  Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Dayton back in April.  They followed that with a coast to coast summer tour, which was in  support of the release of Heavy Reverie, which was released in May.  During their time on the road, the made their annual stop in  Austin, Texas and performed at South by Southwest “This past year was probably the wildest one,” bassist and vocalist Zachary  Gabbard says during our phone conversation.  “A lot more people, taking every band from everywhere, bunch of people think that  they are rock stars, and throw them into one city.   It was nuts.”

Whatever they will admit or not-Zachary, along with his brother and guitarist/vocalist Andy, and drummer Joseph Sealy-they are  fast approaching their own unique rock star status through their growing library of hook heavy, homegrown rock.  The music encompasses the rawness of blues and psychedelic basics.  Buffalo Killers play loud and unrestrained, free with a beauty and ease.  The trio recently added lap steel/guitarist Sven Kahn’s into the band this year.  The guys of the band knew Kahn’s for some time, with him filling in from time to time during shows, and playing in some during the recordings of their album, 3.

Music was always around when Zachary and Andy Gabbard were growing up in their home.  Along with hearing the classic records spin from Neil Young, Grateful Dead, and CSNY-their father would play some strung the guitar with friends, and co-workers after work.  When Zachary decided that he wanted to pick up playing on his own, he was given a bass because his father said that “guitar players are a dime a dozen.”  Andy started to play guitar at a young age as well, playing with a small Fender with a small neck.  Along with being taught by their father, Andy particularly would play along AC/DC records.

The Gabbard brothers formed their garage rock band Thee Shams in 1999, along with Sebaali, Max Bender, and Keith Fox.  Thee Shams released four albums on four record labels, and toured extensively.  The toll of the touring and recording took a toll on the band, and the band broke up in 2005.  “It became where we were obviously the three guys (Zachary, Andy, and Sebaali) that were committed to this project,” Gabbard explained.  “Us three were ready to go-that’s all we wanted to do.  So when it started to slow down, we just say let’s start over.”

The newly formed trio of Buffalo Killers quickly picked up where their previous band left off.  They started to gain followers everywhere they went, and even caught the eye of the folks over at Alive Records.  The record label received the five-song demo that Zachary sent out to several other labels.  It took less than a week for Alive to call the band to sign them.  The first album under the label helped Buffalo Killers obtain the opportunity to go play a string of shows with The Black Crowes in 2007.  When they returned from touring with The Black Crowes, the band went to work on their second album, Let It Ride, with Black Keys guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach serving as producer.  With their time being under the Alive Records name, Buffalo Killers would go on to release three more albums: 3 (2011), Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. (2012), and the 2013 Record Store Day only release of Ohio Grass.

This past year, Buffalo Killers made the move over to Sun Pedal Records, and subdivision of Warner Bros.   The goal to move on from Alive wasn’t part of the plan because the band were happy being with them.  The people from Sun Pedal started showing up at the shows more.  Conversations began to become more and more frequent, to which the decision was made to make the move.  “Alive was super good to us,” Gabbard says.  “It just worked out.  They were into doing the record, and making it come out fast.  With them having distribution through Warner Bros., we all knew that the records could get out there more.  Alive were supportive, and helped us get the deal done with Sun Pedal.  It was good for everyone.”

While working on the direction and vision of producer Jim Wirt (Fiona Apple, Incubus),Heavy Reverie and their second release this year Fireball of Sulk have given Buffalo Killers a more cleaner sound while maintain their hard rocking ways and reducing the overdubs being used.  While both Gabbard brothers would rely on each other with the vocals, and self-produce most of the albums, working with Wirt also helped the band get out of their comfort zone.  “We were open to anything,” Gabbard says.  “Jim captured it well.”  The making of Fireball of Sulk was documented with a camera crew and photographers to release in relation with the record.  The filming included learning the songs to recording them, which allows their fans and others to take a peek into the process of making the album.

When it’s all said and done, 2014 will be remembered to being some kind of year for Buffalo Killers.  Under the Sun Pedal name, they have been getting more exposure, including being in a segment on Last Call with Carson Daly this summer when they on the West Coast.  “Ah man, that was a big deal for us,” Gabbard gleefully mentions.  “My kids think it’s the biggest thing in the world.”

The band also have a new place to practice, Zachary’s home in the country outside of Dayton and Cincinnati.  “We can get as loud as we want out there,” Gabbard says.

Something that bearded fellas of Buffalo Killers have no problem doing.


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