Bands, clubs, artists, and businesses that you may not have heard of yet…but that we think are going to make a name for themselves really soon ~ and you get to hear about them here, right before they make it really big!
Ray Hendricks Revival
By Michael J. Shivick
Different? You want different? Ray Hendricks Revival’s unique journey, from a man and his guitar to a five piece wall of sound, is absolutely different. When five musicians have talent and chemistry, a live performance transcends into living art.
As we sat down in the booth and snapped on the recorder, it felt less like a formal interview and more like hanging out with people I have known since grade school. When asked what they were all about, RHR responded, “Fun. We’re about having a good f-in’ time…we want everybody to just get down and enjoy our sh*t.”
Enjoy their sh*t I did, moving my feet to some of the funkiest tracks ever to stimulate my auditory cortex. These guys are playing all originals here, folks! Skeptical? “We want to expose ourselves to our people…We’re not here to turn atheists into believers,“ says RHR, taking a lesson from the lyrics of one Kanye West.
Who, then, are RHR people exactly? The band defined them as “…people who seek to get their asses kicked at a live show…that’s what’s cool; we have a very proactive fan-base.” And those of us who have seen the guys at local spots like Tammany Hall can vouch for that ~ the crowd (atheists and believers alike!) can’t get enough RHR.
Let us not forget how much of an impact artistic inspiration has on the identity of RHR. It has been an intense two years for these gentlemen out of Athol, MA. The year that Ray Hendricks, proper, spent in Boston became the basis for the current groove machine. Yet, to live in Beantown as a musician often involves having very little money. All of the frustration that stems from delaying self-gratification for the long term manifests itself in the form of emotion, which is the framework of RHR’s music and stage presence. In many bands, each member simply fills the role of whatever instrument he or she plays. RHR bucks that trend by appearing as a single, fluid entity whose main objective is to ensure that every audience member is clamoring for just one more sweet note.
The Brickyard in Fitchburg will certainly be bursting at the seams during the RHR CD-release party on August 5, 2006. Your ten bucks earns you the right to treat your ears to some RHR and gorge yourself upon a feast of fried chicken and fixin’s. If the mosquitoes have you itching to break out of your routine, Ray Hendricks Revival is your certain remedy for lethargy.
By Andrew Jones
While you’d imagine someone with the warm, calming folk style that Joe Hogan has to be living in a place a little sunnier, but still with skeletons in the closet (i.e. Southern California), Worcester’s got him. And because of the heart-felt, melancholic poetry weaving through the “2 and 4” guitar clicks on his new CD, Smoky Joe, I’m sure coffeehouse-frequenting Worcestorians hope it stays that way.
Born and raised in Vestal, a small town in upstate NY (notably the only state that HAS an “upstate”), Joe rerouted to Worcester to go to school. And since that time three years ago, he has been building quite a sound, and quite a following. Along with Matty Jaskot and Dina Kim on piano and violin, respectively, he has become a regular performer at such local venues as The Lucky Dog, Irish Times, and, of course, The Java Hut. In fact, he just recently won Pulse Magazine’s Worcester Music Award for Best Coffeehouse Singer/Songwriter.
But enough with the resume, let’s talk music. Joe has said that he originally started playing guitar because of every college student’s prime choice of dorm room wall decor, Dave Matthews Band. But since then, his main guitar influences have lain in such classic blues and folk legends as Keb’ Mo and Bob Dylan, just to name a few. Jeff Buckley seems to take the title of biggest vocal influence for Joe, most likely because of his dynamics, and high amount of comfort and preference to playing with the notes in falsetto, but easily sliding right back down to normal.
Joe has now fused his influences into a no-gimmick, completely pure folk project. Not that most folk musicians are known for their flashy production and light shows, but while most of the songs on Smoky Joe have a very soothing, serene, cuddle-up-around-the-campfire feel one would expect from a folk singer, his lyrical subject matter really brings it back down to the nitty gritty about true emotional confusion and lack of direction. It’s not just I’m happy/you’re happy/let’s plant a tree together bubble gum crap that shouldn’t be suitable for anyone over six. I suppose it’s a bit ironic since that’s usually the type of music people listen to when they want to escape those feelings. But, either way, it’s just another testament to why the true poetry set to these toe-tap metronome melodies on Smoky Joe are all simply Joe Hogan, and no one else.
For a listing of Joe’s upcoming shows and info on his new album, Smoky Joe, visit www.joehoganlive.com.
The Crafty Scientist
By Cherie Ronayne
Meet Dayna Mankowski, creative genius behind the Crafty Scientist Experimental Design Lab ~ a unique (mostly on-line) crafts business that sells a variety of way cool items inspired by true scientific experiments and a genuine need for useful items at www.craftyscientist.com/. With something for everyone (including your pets!), you’ll find a variety of stuff from trendy, colorful pillows to yummy smelling beaker candles.
A self-professed insomniac, Dayna puts her night-time awake hours to good use and now considers herself a full-time nocturnal crafter. During the day, she poses as a mild mannered, part-time pharmacist and part-time biomedical researcher ~ hence the true science behind the craft “experiments” like “Failed Experiment Earrings,” born from an actual lab test called Western Blotting. Her pets (Isaac and kitty Sheba) are a constant source of inspiration for her animal products, with Sheba providing “…the invaluable ‘beta testing’ for all Crafty Scientist cat toys and mats. If Sheba (aka Inspector 12) doesn’t approve it, it isn’t good enough for your cat!!” Crafty Scientist is also happy to accommodate custom orders, so don’t miss an opportunity to have Dayna craft something completely unique out of idea or image that’s been rolling around in your head for a while.
Check out Dayna’s super-cool, smart and useful stuff on-line or visit her at Artbeat Street Festival, Davis Square, Somerville (July 14, 15, 16), the Lowell Folk Festival (July 29-30th), and Worcester’s own STart on the Street (Sept 17th). And even more exciting, Dayna and two fellow crafters from Artisan Women of Worcester (AWW) ~ one of the three craft businesses in which Dayna is involved ~ are flying to LA to film a DIY network show entitled ‘Uncommon Threads.” Watch for it on the DIY network (M, W, F at 10:30 am.) ~ the Crafty Scientist is taking off and that way you’ll be able to say, “I knew them when…”
The Crafty Scientist also has a philanthropic mission, so you can spend your money guilt-free. This calendar year, 10% of all sales (except cat toys and mats) will go to the Couture Fund for the Children, and 100% of all proceeds from cat and dog toys and treats will go to local animal rescue/shelter organizations. $2.00 of each Cat Mat will go to Cause for Paws.
Dayna considers herself lucky to have day jobs that help support her beloved crafting business. Her motto is: “If I don’t need it/want it/love it, I don’t make it.”
No Comments »
No comments yet.
Leave a comment