Stolen Rhodes, The Quixote Project

Stolen Rhodes

Most bands have an amusing anecdote to tell whenever someone asks them about their name. In the case of Philadelphia quartet Stolen Rhodes, they have two.

“We had a Rhodes keyboard that was stolen from our singer earlier in his music career,” explains Kevin Cunningham, the band’s lead guitarist. And the other story? “The band may have commandeered a Rhodes at some point from an undisclosed location,” he sheepishly admits.

Take another look at that last sentence: the band sought to reacquire a Rhodes piano, a keyboard that’s been out of fashion for nearly three decades. The band’s name isn’t just a funny story – it’s a battle cry.

“The music of the past is what spoke to us the loudest,” explains Cunningham. “It is music you can feel, timeless music, songs that people react to in any generation. It's less like a yearbook of a certain point in time and more like a National Geographic magazine. It's good no matter when you hear it.”

Of course, you would expect a response like that from a band whose principal songwriters, singer/multi-instrumentalist Matt Pillion and bassist/guitarist Dan Haase, grew up a stone’s throw away from Bruce Springsteen’s adopted hometown of Asbury Park. It’s not like they really had a choice in the matter; “The classic Asbury sound was in the water,” Cunningham jokes.

The Boss’ influence proves to be more spiritual than literal, however, on Falling off the Edge, Stolen Rhodes’ debut album. If anything, the ghost of the Allman Brothers looms the largest, particularly in the mile-wide chorus of “Blue Sky” and the easy-like-Sunday-morning “Freight Train.” (Speaking of “Easy,” the band’s track “Beautiful Way” sounds like the Allmans taking a crack at that very Commodores song.) Pillion takes no vocal cues from the Southern rock gods, though; his raspy tenor is bound to draw (lazy) comparisons to Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill, but one listen to the horn-kissed “One Day Everyday” and it’s clear that Free-era Paul Rodgers is a better starting point.

At least for the moment, anyway. While they may currently take their inspiration from an earlier time, Stolen Rhodes has no interest in carving out a career as a classic rock tribute band. For them, the writing process is nonstop and constantly evolving. “It changes daily,” Cunningham says. “We are all students of music, so we are all bringing in our own personal tastes that we continue to discover to expand our sound.” One aspect of the band’s personality that seems unlikely to change, though, is their love of playing live. Indeed, for each day they spend writing new material, they spend five days practicing for that weekend’s gig, and that passion for performing can be felt throughout Falling off the Edge. With each track clocking in at a minimum of five minutes, this is a band that loves to let their songs breathe, and are not afraid to go wherever the moment takes them.

Their hard work has thus far paid off in the form of a dedicated – and diverse – live following, and also earned them the respect of veteran acts from opposite ends of the music spectrum (punk rockers Dropkick Murphys and country act Diamond Rio have both sung the band’s praises), and while Stolen Rhodes is grateful for the regional success they’ve attained, they have their eyes on a larger prize. Falling off the Edge, they hope, will serve as their calling card to the national stage

The Quixote Project

We hail from the great state of New Jersey and are a neo-roots music outfit. From Rock to Rockabilly, Bluegrass to Soul we like to pull from traditional lines to kick in the doors of modern music. Call this musical hodgepodge what you will but at the end of the day we strive to create one cohesive musical experience. With engrained stylings derived from the Pines Barrens, steel-toed foot stomping beats, and fine crafted melodies and lyrics we are a band of musicians known as The Quixote Project.

Alexis Cunningham

From the moment the audience sees her on stage, Alexis makes instant fans as she draws you in with her uniquely haunting voice and long mermaid’s tresses, then holds you mesmerized with the wit and power of her words. You find yourself singing along, even if you are hearing her for the very first time. Her songs express a natural curiousity into the human spirit of relationships, their aspirations, successes and failures - from a young woman’s perspective. Her lyrical insights and catchy hooks exemplify singer-songwriting at its very best. “I’d like to inspire others and help them realize their potential. I want to change the world, one song at a time,” says Alexis. Lucky for us, she might do just that. This chanteuse has been singing and following a variety of musical styles since she was a child. Although she received her first guitar at the age of ten, Alexis did not become motivated to teach herself to play it until she was inspired by the music of Jewel at the age of fifteen. Since then, she’s made quite an impact in her short time on the music scene. She wrote and recorded her album, Love at the End of the World, released in January 2011 by Invisible Earth Records. Most recently, she was the featured artist at the Grammy Convention in Atlantic City (October 2011) with recognition for her cutting edge use of social media, such as YouTube and Facebook, to promote her music in the digital climate of her generation. Jeff Schwachter, of Atlantic City Weekly, described her as “the extraordinary talented Alexis Cunningham” and called her performance “chilling.” In June 2011, Alexis opened for Nashville singer-songwriter, Rick Ferrell at Shawnee State University. Ferrell, who has written hit songs for Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Martina McBride, has been enormously complimentary of this young woman’s talent and potential. She has been interviewed twice for Marshall University’s “Up Late Show,” as well as “Up Close and Acoustic” with Charlie Sylvestri on Pottstown, PA radio. She played the Huntington Music Festival in August 2011, and made her radio debut in 2010 on Huntington Radio 106.3, to the delight of her growing fan-base, and continues to be one of their frequently played artists.

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Stolen Rhodes, The Quixote Project with Alexis Cunningham

Thursday, June 6 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at MilkBoy Philly