A Benefit for Sandy Hook School Support Fund
Downtown Rocks For Newtown
1 Union Place
Hartford, CT, 06103
Doors 3:00PM / Show 3:00PM (event ends at 1:00 am)
This event is 21 and over
DOWNTOWN ROCKS FOR NEWTOWN
Max Creek, Bronze Radio Return, The Alternate Routes, The Brew, The Kenny Mehler Band, The McLovins, Caravan of Thieves, Fear Nuttin' Band, Columbia Fields (acoustic), Joey Batts and Them, Forward Motion, Little Ugly, Cosmic Dust Bunnies, Frank Viele and The Manhattan Project, The Savage Brothers, Echo & Drake, 1974, Gone By Daylight, Train Wreck Confidential, Brian Jarvis Trio, The Zoo, Side Street Collective, Project 7, Klokwize, John Mayck and The Homesteaders, Branded, Skyline Drive, Sean Rivers, Al Diaz, Jamie's Junk Show, Bloomer, Jimmy Hat, Bus Drivers, Luli & The Innocents, Sparkplug, Addison Station, The Kelvins, Rythmic Circus, Trucks, Beach Avenue, Candy Rock, Ladyhips, You Scream I Scream, Hello Radio, Becky Kessler, Adam Up, Jared McCloud, Steve Dunn, Seth Adam, Rack Em, Aj Jansen, Brian Verderosa, Blacktop Forest, and many many more!!
In those rare instances that a band reaches its fourth decade, it’s usually because of super-stardom. It’s easy enough to keep things together when each member has a jet and techs on retainer and the world tour rolls around every few years. But that’s not how Max Creek has done it. In 40+ years Max Creek has been small, big, regionally-huge, medium, and any other size one can think of; they’ve never graced the cover of Rolling Stone, but you’d be hard pressed to find a music fan in the Northeast that hadn’t heard of them.
Well then, how did they do it?
If you knew Max Creek you’d answer simply, "they just did." Creek lacks pretense; there is no hip style or genre-title that can define them. From the beginning they’ve mixed anything they liked-rock, country, reggae, soul, calypso-in with their own excellent songs and it’s all just come out sounding like Creek. As such they’ve never been the hot item in the flavor-of-the-year club yet they’ve also never gone out of style. Moreover, Creek exudes confidence but lacks ego; each member is an incredible musician but that’s never been what it was about.
But that is all things Creek is not, and what Creek is is far more important. The band is certainly joyous, and their stage is full of smiles and laughter, both during and between songs. All one has to do is glance into the crowd to see that the feeling is contagious. Creek is also much more engaging than the average five-guys-with-instruments, sculpting lengthy shows on-the-fly from their 200+ song catalog with rockers, ballads, deep jams and crowd sing-alongs all tucked into their perfect places. And Creek is, most definitely, a family. 40-odd years in, the audience is a multi-generational stew; it’s not uncommon to witness old-school Creek Freeks getting down with their teenage (or older!) kids.
Creek itself is multigenerational. Though the "front line" of guitarist Scott Murawski, keyboardist Mark Mercier and bassist John Rider has remained intact since the mid-70s, the back line recently shifted. Long time drummers Greg Vasso and Scott Allshouse both moved on from group, opening the door for the drums and percussion team of Bill Carbone and Jamemurrell Stanley, neither of whom were alive when the band was founded.
2012-13 marks the 30th anniversary of Creek’s 2 LP set Drink the Stars. Recorded live over several shows in 1982 and released in 1983, the ten original tracks on Drink the Stars, penned and sung by Murawski, Mercier, and Rider, showcase the band’s then freshly gelled songwriting style as well as the nimble, melodic and focused approach to improvisation that endeared Max Creek to thrill seeking listeners long before the word "jamband" crossed a human’s lips.
The 30th Anniversary Digital Rerelease of Drink the Stars marks the first time Max Creek’s music has been available as a download, and the album is now available at Itunes, Amazon.mp3, eMusic, Spotify, and most other digital retailers.
Bronze Radio Return
Formed in 2008, Bronze Radio Return’s line-up took a few years to solidify, though most of the band’s members were orbiting each other for years at the Hartt School, one of the country’s best schools of music, located in Hartford, Connecticut. For debut Old Time Speaker, the band relocated to Nashville for a two-week period, to, as lead vocalist Chris Henderson puts it, “A place we’d never been with a producer we’d never met, and played a bunch of songs we’d never played before.” For such an inauspicious set of circumstances, the band managed a solid and well-received debut, and forged a lasting bond with producer Chad Copelin. Old Time Speaker established the band’s relentless touring schedule, including an invitation to represent the Connecticut music scene by performing for President Obama at an event in Bridgeport, CT in 2010. Fan favorites “Digital Love” and “Lo-Fi” have been picked up for advertising and television licensing and the album landed on CMJ’s Top 200 Album Chart.
SHAKE! SHAKE! SHAKE!, the band’s 2011 sophomore album, is comprised of lush harmonies steeped in soulful vocals, and guitars that alternate between the blues age and the most interesting innovations of the modern. The release debuted at #4 on the Billboard Northeast Regional Heatseekers Chart and is a forward-thinking retrospective of the sounds we all love, curated and created by Henderson, Rob Griffith (drums/vocals), Bob Tanen (bass/vocals), Matt Warner (keys, vocals), Craig Struble (harmonica/guitar), and Patrick Fetkowitz (guitar). The title track, “SHAKE! SHAKE! SHAKE!” builds from subtle handclaps and foot-stomps, and as crackling guitar lines spread out, Henderson illuminates the performer’s perspective. “There’s always this moment near the beginning of a set where everybody is standing around. It just takes one outgoing dude, or a tipsy couple, and they just start moving. You can see two or three more people going, and then as the set progresses, more and more people start to move.”
The band has also received nearly 50 tv/film syncs including on HBO, ESPN, MTV, American Idol, and a worldwide Nissan Leaf commercial to name a few.
The Alternate Routes
The Alternate Routes' name suits them well. They're a band that's never really fit in — in a good way. Without a definitive genre to reference or an established scene to rally behind them, they've been something of a rogue wave in an ocean of bands. They built a fan base the old fashioned way, by driving around the country in a big, white Ford Econoline van, winning crowds over one-person-at-a-time with solid, catchy songs and an explosive live show. Since their genesis in 2004, co-founders Tim Warren (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Eric Donnelly (lead guitar) have taken their group through the dizzying heights and frustrating lows of the modern music industry, and have learned some valuable lessons along the way.
The McLovins specialize in the creation of dynamic and improvised sound, influenced by the members' disparate and eclectic musical influences. The band currently includes Jason Ott, Jake Huffman, Justin Berger and Atticus Kelly.
The McLovins embrace simultaneous and intricate improvisation with a more versatile front line in which all members are singing in four-part harmony, writing lyrics & music, as well as expounding on one another's musical ideas. Set list segues and fiery improvisations are a staple of the band's performances, keeping our audience always guessing what's coming next and wanting more! In the short time this line up has been together, they have been invited to perform at an impressive number of well-established and new music festivals. These guys are constantly writing and practicing music, building their own foundation for a long term career, of bringing their music performing for their growing number of 11,500+ fans.
The first of the three albums, "A Garden in the Snow," represents the band in its purest form. The self-produced, impressionistic, indie-rock album explores the possibilities of song craft without restrictions.
"Light From Below," the heaviest component of the project, expresses The Brew's unconditional commitment to live music and improvisational rock. The starkly up-tempo rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Going to California" illustrates the band's ability to respect a legendary song while making it their own.
Last, though certainly not least, The Brew's "Hard Enough to Break" displays the band's obsession with the golden age of radio. Concise and sprawling arrangements pay tribute to the pop form, but still with The Brew's attention to honest music.
Together, these 3 albums create the Triptych experience. Enter this gallery of a decade of influence and inspiration created by The Brew. Available now on The Brew's official website www.thebrew.biz
The Kenny Mehler Band
Kenny Mehler is a singer/songwriter from Hartford, Connecticut who toured relentlessly (to the tune of 300 days a year) in support of his debut album NOW AND THEN while building a devoted following on college campuses from the East Coast to the Rocky Mountains. By blending the smooth yet catchy sounds of some of contemporary rock's most successful acts, The Kenny Mehler Band has come up with a musical recipe that is sure to offer something to any lover of youthful melody and well-crafted songs. After releasing their debut album, "Now and Then" on Universal Records, KMB started a grass roots internet marketing campaign to get the album into as many hands and heard by as many ears as possible. Kenny is grateful that so many people have taken the time to get to know him and his music.
Kenny Mehler is a PROVEN College hit! A home run for students across the country! - (CMJ)
Echo & Drake
"#1 CT Album of 2011: "Sundrenched Elsewhere" (self-released) — This Wethersfield band's debut is a collection of stunningly well-written, and beautifully produced, songs colored by the spacious atmospherics of Brit-pop, but with a personality all their own."
~Eric Danton, The Hartford Courant
"Indie-pop outfit Echo and Drake recruited some major names to turn Sundrenched Elsewhere into a breakout album. It paid off in spades. Recorded with the microphone wizards at Telefunken Studios, and mixed by Joseph Donovan (who won a Juno Award — the Canadian equivalent of the Grammies), Sundrenched Elsewhere is loaded with epic reverb and killer falsettos. But the 2010 Band Slam champs' most fetching characteristic is the dynamic between Alex DiCicco's hyperactive drum beats (they're sprinkled liberally with tambourine) and the band's massive, spacious guitar gestures. It's like firing amachine gun into the sky. Beautiful singing, cool drum fills, jangling guitar — the band creates music that draws upon the '80s without being enslaved by them. There's urgency, there's rocking out, there's relaxed beauty, there are danceable grooves. If you like rock music, you can find something you'll dig in their songs." ~ Dan Barry, The Hartford Advocate
"I'm calling it, friends — it's going to be big… Echo & Drake is one of those rare bands… a speck of gold in a sea of brass… For an hour, Sundrenched Elsewhere made me feel like the girl I once was—guileless, green, and discovering fantastic new music around every corner."
~Gabrielle Bruney, The Wesleyan Argus
"Local, indie or major label, this is easily one of the best albums of 2011. Clearly a band to look out for…"
~Rob Farrish, Wesleyan University Radio, WESU 88.1 FM
"Indie-pop outfit Echo and Drake recruited some major names to turn Sundrenched Elsewhere into a breakout album. It paid off in spades. Recorded with the microphone wizards at Telefunken Studios, and mixed by Joseph Donovan (who won a Juno Award — the Canadian equivalent of the Grammies), Sundrenched Elsewhere is loaded with epic reverb and killer falsettos."
~Dan Barry, The Hartford Advocate
"The album has echoes of all the indie rock staples, from The National to, occasionally, Fleet Foxes… Echo & Drake could go places."
~Andrew Wagner, The Yale Herald
"Grounded in brit-pop tradition but dipped in an array of styles (post punk, indie electronic, folk), the record is layered in swirling, reverb-drenched guitars; soaring, wistful vocals; and the occasional groovy rhythm. It's the kind of album that can make you dance one minute, and cry the next."
~Scott Gargan, CTNews.com
"Beautiful singing, cool drum fills, jangling guitar — the band creates music that draws upon the '80s without being enslaved by them. There's urgency, there's rocking out, there's relaxed beauty, there are danceable grooves. If you like rock music, you can find something you'll dig in their songs." ~Dan Barry, The Hartford Advocate
"Although this Connecticut band has yet to strike a major label deal, the sound of their independent debut is quite polished... strong arrangements, soaring melodies and intelligent lyrics are sure to appeal to fans of Keane, Morrissey, early U2, Coldplay, Crowded House and Tommy Keene. Clearly a band to look out for." ~Rob Farrish, WESU 88.1FM
Frank Viele & The Manhattan Project
Frank Viele and the Manhattan Project – a 6-piece group of seasoned underground musicians from across the Metropolitan area that are set to explode right out of the NYC club scene. On stage, all six members unleash an energy unsurpassed by any other emerging band out there and explode into one powerful combustion of gyrating rock and funk music that have drawn diverse comparisons from The Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R. and Maroon 5 to Tower of Power and Chicago. This emerging band's tour schedule is packed to the gills with shows at colleges, TV
appearances, and major music venues along the east coast. FV&TMP are driving full speed ahead to promote their debut full-length album Neon
Lights, set to release in July 2010.
This summer, FV&TMP is pumped to release their debut full-length album Neon Lights. Spanning funk, rock, pop and a bit of blues and swing,
the 9 tracks feature the band's signature combo of driving horns, funky bass lines, syncopated rhythms, Viele's gruff vocals, and impressive sax and guitar solos that are the icing on the cake. The songs are all upbeat and cover topics from love ("Somebody Else", "Try", "It Don't Seem Far"), flirtation ("Anticipation", "Turn Around"), temptation ("Portland Rain"), comforting a friend ("Neon Lights", "Cards, Right, Tonight"), and self-realization ("Right in
Front of Me"). Each song is complex and intricately arranged, and like each member, has something fresh to offer each time the band
More About Frank Viele & The Manhattan Project
Frank Viele and the Manhattan Project – a 6-piece group of seasoned
underground musicians from across the Metropolitan area that are set
to explode right out of the NYC club scene. On stage, all six members
unleash an energy unsurpassed by any other emerging band out there and
explode into one powerful combustion of gyrating rock and funk music
that have drawn diverse comparisons from The Dave Matthews Band,
O.A.R. and Maroon 5 to Tower of Power and Chicago. This emerging
band's tour schedule is packed to the gills with shows at colleges, TV
appearances, and major music venues along the east coast. FV&TMP are
driving full speed ahead to promote their debut full-length album Neon
Lights, set to release in July 2010.
Growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut, Frank Viele began his music
career at the age of 3 by mimicking TV jingles on his grandmother's
piano. Touring as an acoustic singer songwriter with his unique
rhythmic style of songwriting, he eventually attracting a group of
exceptionally gifted like minded individuals…The Manhattan Project.
The other five members consist of Mario Capodiferro, New York based
drummer known for his unique combination of rock and hip-hop infused
percussion, Rob Liptrot, Tobias endorsed bassist/background vocalist
who electrifies the stage as both one third of The Manhattan Project's
superb rhythm section and a rare and formidable force as a lead
bassist. Eddie Arjun Peters, lead guitarist and founder of the NYC
based experimental jam trio Arjun, now adds the perfect hit of spirit
and fire to The Manhattan Project. Then there is The Manhattan
Project horns consisting of Pasquale T. Iannelli (Saxophone) and
Andrew Mericle (Trumpet) known for their playing with Long Island
based rock band Stealing Jane and other noteworthy artists including
As Tall as Lions and The Deer Hunter. Each musician comes from
formidable performance histories, including sharing stages with George
Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic, Average White Band, Tower of
Power, The Wailers, One Republic, Hanson, Spin Doctors, Ryan Cabrera,
among many others.
Over the last two years, the band has performed in famous venues
including Sullivan Hall, The Bitter End, and Crash Mansion in NYC,
Grape Street in Philadelphia, Toads Place, and the Fairfield Theatre
(opening for The Wailers). The band as a group has shared the stage
with top artists such as Gavin DeGraw, Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers,
Keller Williams, the Rustic Overtones, Ingrid Michaelson, Nine Days
and Marc Broussard to name a few.
This summer, FV&TMP is pumped to release their debut full-length album
Neon Lights. Spanning funk, rock, pop and a bit of blues and swing,
the 9 tracks feature the band's signature combo of driving horns,
funky bass lines, syncopated rhythms, Viele's gruff vocals, and
impressive sax and guitar solos that are the icing on the cake. The
songs are all upbeat and cover topics from love ("Somebody Else",
"Try", "It Don't Seem Far"), flirtation ("Anticipation", "Turn
Around"), temptation ("Portland Rain"), comforting a friend ("Neon
Lights", "Cards, Right, Tonight"), and self-realization ("Right in
Front of Me"). Each song is complex and intricately arranged, and
like each member, has something fresh to offer each time the band
In under two years, FV&TMP has already achieved enviable strides as an
independent band. Scoring endorsements from Breedlove guitars and
Gibson/Tobias bass guitars, landing two nights at The Fairfield
Theatre opening for Bob Marley's band The Wailers, and 2 TV appearance
on the CBS "Better Connecticut" show in Hartford, CT. 2010 is looking
even better for the band, and with performances throughout the
Northeast region, including the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Spring Weekend and the Plymouth State University Earth Day Festival,
there's no stopping Frank Viele & The Manhattan Project from taking
its sound nationwide.
Joey Batts and Them
After almost a decade of being in the New England hip hop scene, both with highly respected groups, and as a successful solo artist, Hartford’s own adopted son returns to the stage with a full lineup to get the crowds going, and to let you know that he’s your best friend. Joey Batts isn’t just a talented wordsmith and MC, he’s also one of the most interactive and funniest stage presences around. In a scene where bragging about how big your watch or car wheels are is the norm, who else can get a crowd going while rapping about fighting crime as a superhero, being your wingman, or life in the 860?
Joey Batts and Them are a five-piece alternative hip-hop band, starting in 2011. In 2012, the band reached the current lineup, comprised of Joey on vocals, Tony Volpe and Dan Pilver on guitar, Dave Chapman on bass, and Mike “Beatwiz” Spellman on drums and percussion. With funky grooves, and plenty of hooks, Joey Batts and Them can turn any show or event into an outright party. And with shows all over New England, the Northeast, and beyond, be sure to check them out, and you can be the best of friends!
Fear Nuttin Band
Some bands have coined themselves as revolutionary, but Fear Nuttin Band is evolutionary. With their musical roots fusing the intensity of metal, the rhythm of Jamaican dance hall and the social consciousness of hip hop, this band is defining a genre.
The Fear Nuttin Band sound is as diverse as the cultures the band members represent. The hot West Indian sun incubated the talents of frontmen Roosta (vocals), Prowla (vocals) and Jay Chung (guitar), while instrumentalists Matt Penza (drums), Chris Regan (guitar), Brian Daigle (bass) represent New England's finest. The union of these six individuals was in the stars: with Chris, Jay, Penza and Brian lending their musical talents to heavy bands all over the Pioneer Valley, the four always found themselves in and out of bands together. It was the same day that Matt, Chris and Brian found themselves without a frontman that Roosta and Prowla called up and asked them to jam. These final Fear Nuttin Band members have been together since.
Much can be said about their home of Springfield, Massachusetts, and its reputation for breeding original artists and ideas. Put on the map for growing groundbreaking entertainers from the powerful reggae dynasty that is the Morgan Heritage, to the mixed melodies of one of the country's biggest new rock acts Staind, the metal onslaught of Shadows Fall, and All That Remains, Springfield has become a musical hotbed. Fear Nuttin Band took the area by storm with their infamous live shows, and became hometown heroes when they were awarded wins in the Valley Advocate Grand Band Slam four years in a row, taking home the honors for best new band, best new reggae/ska band, and best party band.
Most recently, Fear Nuttin Band triumphantly competed in the nationwide Bodog Music Battle of the Bands, making them Boston's champions and landing them a recording contract with Bodog Music. Fans watched as Fear Nuttin Band trekked the nation on the Bodog Battle reality TV series, winning the hearts and respect of their competitors and fans, and becoming a favorite among esteemed judges Johnny Rotten, Bif Naked and Billy Duffy. Fear Nuttin Band victoriously returned for the explosive Bodog Battle finale as the Alternative Press Magazine's popular vote-back winner. Kevin Lyman, founder of the Warped Tour, told the band once, "All you need is one man to believe in this band and the rest is history." Bodog Music's founder Calvin Ayre is that man. Calvin was so excited about the public's response to Fear Nuttin Band that even though they had been previously voted out of the competition, he made them a part of the Bodog Music roster alongside the Bodog Battle winners.
With their musical credo "Unify the Music, Unify the People," the band has embarked on a musical mission. They have developed a worldwide following due in part to their unique sound, but also because of their diehard work ethic. Live, Fear Nuttin Band are an unforgettable force that draws audiences into the stage swagger of two of today's most charismatic frontmen, Roosta and Prowla. Because of the band's unique charisma and energy, they've played over 500 sold-out shows and toured the nation with the likes of Toots and the Maytals, Blink 182, Buju Banton, Green Day, Morgan Heritage, Fishbone, and graced several stages on the Vans Warped Tour. All this, plus the band has released several independent EPs, and developed their own merchandise line.
In 2007 Fear Nuttin Band linked up with famed producer Terry Date (The Deftones, Pantera, White Zombie, Korn) to take the reins on their Bodog Music debut record titled Yardcore. The album captures their infectious, energetic live performance while highlighting the vocalists' phonetic banter and melodic verses. A mix of reggae, dance hall, and hard, heavy rock, the album is a progressive body of work. Peppered with political statements, the singers bare their souls through every track and speak of their personal values and beliefs. Yardcore is a crossbreed, a non-conformist body of work put together purely to give the listener something to think about. What it's not is "Rockstaffari" bullshit — it's an angsty, ballsy blend of hardcore instrumentals and vocals that scat and swoon with Jamaican nobility. Chris Regan and Jay Chung provide the wailing guitars and pocket riddem harmonies while Brian Daigle's bass acts as the pulse of the rhythm section and Matt Penza's drumming pyrotechnics pop and burst throughout the disc.
Fear Nuttin Band's Yardcore is a real offering of love driven with intensity, and it might be the first album in history to cause a mosh pit that ends in hugs and high fives. Yardcore is set to be released in March 2008 on the Bodog Music label with simultaneous releases in America, Canada, Europe and the U.K.
KLOKWIZE is a standout. A veteran of the northeast independent hip hop scene, Klok has gained wide popularity for setting trends instead of following them. With his unparalleled stage presence and universal appeal, Klok has been rapidly rising in the national music scene far past his humble Connecticut upbringings.
Featured on the famous Nancy & Buck morning show on WZMX HOT 93.7 at the tender age of 14, Klok built a buzz before most artists had stepped in their first studio. His one-of-a-kind live show has blessed stages with stars such as Fat Joe, Tyga, & Doug E Fresh.
The rapper/singer (born Patrick James) twists the raw lyricism of east coast hip hop with the melodic sounds of his live band into what The Hartford Courant calls "universal, organic music."
Gone By Daylight
Born from pop-punk roots and a Rock n' Roll spirit, Gone By Daylight incorporates a magnetic voice and pop-rock song writing, brimming with hooks and rock riffs. Influences include (but not limited to) Third Eye Blind, Guns n' Roses, Blink 182, Tom Petty, and of course, The Beatles.
The band is comprised of born front man and song writer, Eric Paquette (Lead Singer, Guitar); master-thinker and fret shedder, Jeff Lynch (Lead Guitar, Vocals); rhythm-locked to perfection with his drummer brother and two revolvers tattooed across his chest, Jordan King (Bass, Vocals); and the no-bio-can-ever-do-him-or-his-stage-presence-justice, Shaanan King (Drums). The band solidified this line up in January of 2011, and has found management with John O'Leary of JWorks Management. Shortly after, the group inked a Production deal with Universal Publishing and EMI Recording artists, Kurtis John and Michael Nadeau. The team has been on an all-out writing and recording spree, completing upwards of 30+ songs between the producer's Los Angeles and Connecticut studios.
GBD members have been playing their North East music circuit together for years and have shared the stage with My Chemical Romance, Brett Michaels, Ed Kowalczyk of Live, Lifehouse, Misfits, Starting Line and The Academy Is. Currently, the band performs consistent shows between New York City and Boston.
The band will be appearing in an upcoming Axe Body Spray commercial filmed in NYC's legendary Bowery Ballroom and aired in Latin America and Spanish speaking counties, thanks to House Casting and Imperial Woodpecker film company.
GBD has aired on TV: ESPN2, WWE, E News Daily, Party Down, MTV's Teen Mom and Starz Network (Starz, Comedy, HD).
Radio stations showing GBD support: Lazer 99.3 WLZX (Springfield, MA), Radio 104.1 WMRQ (Hartford, CT) and 96.5 WTIC-FM.
Members of Downtown Hartford’s restaurant and bar community are working together to present a one-day music festival on January 27th, 2013 to raise funds in support of those affected by last month’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Presented as “Downtown Rocks for Newtown” the event will feature over 50 local, regional and national acts performing across 9 stages. The host venues are The Great Hall at Union Station, Up or On the Rocks, Black Bear Saloon, Black-eyed Sally’s, Pig’s-eye Pub, The Tavern Downtown, Pour House, Rocking Horse Saloon, and The Russian Lady. A variety of genres will be included on the performance bill, which already includes Max Creek, who headlined a New Year’s Eve celebration at The Great Hall at Union Station.
The Great Hall in Union Station
- Sorry, there are currently no upcoming events.