WMMR / Jaxon's Local Shots presents: BRETT FEST with: IKE, John & Brittany, Pawnshop Roses, and Awesome Bros.

Tie The Knot With All That You Got, the fourth studio album from Philly pop-rockers IKE, officially dropped the first week in January of 2010, but a sold out record release show on the day after Christmas at World Cafe Live, at which the band included a copy of the album with every ticket, quickly put TTK into the hands of 500+ people, and word-of-mouth exploded like the "dirty little bomb" lead singer John Faye describes in the album's devastating acoustic closer "Aftermath." Immediate reaction from fans and long-time followers of the band has been visceral and music biz types are taking notice. The record has already received spins on key stations in the Philadelphia region like WMMR (where Faye recently appeared on the hugely popular Preston & Steve morning show), WXPN, and WSTW. The band expects 2010 and beyond to be full of "epic adventures" as the album's title track suggests.

Sometimes it feels like chemistry...

IKE has been a consistent presence in the mid-Atlantic music scene since releasing their first album, Parallel Universe, in 2003, enjoying unheard of radio play for an unsigned band. Their debut single "Deathbed" was recently named one of the top 200 songs of the decade on Wilmington, DE top-40 station WSTW. "Into Philadelphia" from 2005's In Real Life album is still in recurrent rotation on WMMR, 4 years after it appeared on the station's CD compilation Jaxon's Local Shots Vol. 1. The song has also become an arena staple in the city, receiving play during major sporting events for the Phillies, Eagles, and Flyers. The song was played at every home game during the Phillies 2008 and 2009 World Series bids. The original incarnation of the band, which also included guitarist Cliff Hillis, drummer Dave Anthony, and bassist Joann Schmidt, also opened for numerous national acts, including a coveted gig supporting Bon Jovi at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall. By the end of 2008, however, Faye had amicably parted ways with the rest of the band for a variety of personal and creative reasons. Having survived the departure of the other original members, Faye rebuilt IKE from the ground up, first with the addition of lead guitarist Brett Talley and drummer Tommy Kristich (both of whom appeared on IKE's 2008 album Where To Begin), and then with the recruitment of Susie Steen on bass in May of 2009. "The way the band is now," Faye says, "feels more like a family to me than any other combination of musicians I've played with, which is saying something because I'm still very close with my former bandmates. Brett, Sue, and Tom have been a huge support system for me. A lot of personal and sometimes very painful experience went into writing and recording Tie The Knot, and they were all right there with me as I was going through everything. On top of that, Brett, especially, has really energized the band musically; he's one of the most creative guitarists I know. The whole band shares a real comfort level and sense of fun, which I'm really loving. And considering what's gone on in other area's of my life, I really need that."

A broken heart on such a winter's day...

Even with a history of wearing his heart on his sleeve as a songwriter, Faye has produced his most relatable and riveting work in TTK, chronicling a tumultuous year which included ending his marriage, finding the will to be vulnerable again with someone new, and confronting the declining health of his mother, who suffered a series of mini-strokes and moved into assisted living 3000 miles away in Oregon. The song "1-Way To Avalon" finds Faye grappling with the emotional subject of a parent's mortality: "It's about her attitude towards dying but it's also about my feelings of helplessness and anger about her moving away. I felt like I already lost her." Songs like "Latitude," "Hints and Arrows," and "Only Life" reveal some of Faye's most raw emotions ("you think I'm here for good.. not with that attitude," "I don't takes hints, I only take arrows," "take whatever you think of me and shove it up your heart"), but the record manages to balance the bitter with the bittersweet in songs like "Set You In Stone," "The Notion," and the aforementioned "Aftermath," a song that Faye describes as "the most emotionally honest song I've ever written."

Perhaps as significant an influence as the shake-ups in his band and personal life was Faye's musical kinship with a young Philly poet named Brittany Rotondo. The two became fast friends after meeting at an IKE show in December of '08 and began writing songs together when Faye was impressed by some poetry Rotondo had posted online. "I really loved how honest her writing was. You could tell right away she had experienced a lot for someone her age, and it turned out she had literally hundreds of poems, all hand-written, in these old folders she kept." Buried deep in these stacks of loose-leaf was a poem called "Last Act." Faye recalls, "It immediately sang itself. The phrasing of it was so musical already." Faye wrote the chords and melody for the song, ironically, on the night before Valentine's Day. "Last Act" became one of the album's key tracks, balancing Rotondo's vivid lyrics with Talley's driving guitars and Faye's multi-tracked choir-like vocals. "We viewed the song as an opportunity to really experiment with sounds and the overall vibe on record. It's a much darker kind of song than people might be used to hearing from us." notes Talley.

Feed the ghost...

It's somehow fitting that a record so haunted by Faye's personal demons would also end up being literally haunted.. well, sort of... The band had no idea what they were getting themselves into when they decided to record drums in a church-turned-recording-studio in south Philly. During a conversation in the main cutting room between drummer Kristich and co-producer Ron DiSilvestro, something unseen began tugging rapidly on DiSilvestro's pant leg. Kristich quickly noticed DiSilvestro's trepidation and looked on in disbelief. Both returned to the control room, pale as the ghost who had apparently been messing with them, and at that point the band was schooled on the long history of paranormal activity at Fifth Stone Studios (now called Philly Sound Studios); legend has it that the church is haunted by a woman named Mary E. Morton, whose gravestone, for reasons unknown, rests in the attic / steeple of the church. Once the record was mixed, the band heard strange children's voices at the very beginning of the song "Forgiven." DiSilvestro checked back over the master recording to find almost 8 seconds of these voices (along with the sound of a dog barking) isolated on a single track - from a room mic, which was one of fourteen mics set up to record the drums. The only problem is that there were no children or dogs anywhere near the cutting room when the songs were tracked. The mystery of why these sounds would turn up only on one of the mics placed in the room, with no trace on any of the other thirteen (most of which were set at a higher level than the room mic) still baffles those involved with the recording.

The voice gets louder...

John Faye is in a unique position, being one of those rare artists that not only survives personal and personnel changes but continues to grow more compelling as time marches on. A litany of accolades for IKE (the aforementioned radio play, six WSTW "Hometown Heroes" awards in '09, "Best of Style" award in Philadelphia Style Magazine), not to mention his seemingly forever-ago stint as the leader of the major label alt-rock 90's band The Caulfields, has not dampened Faye's drive to take his music to as many people as he can reach. With the help of his musical partners-in-crime, Faye has become more or less a timeless figure in the Philadelphia rock community, combining his wealth of experience with a constant sense of renewal and vitality. He makes no apologies for his ever-youthful attitude in the song "Do What You Do": "I do what I do and I don't need props from you, 'cause I do what I know is right." IKE is more than ready to do what they do and follow their muse wherever it leads. So, as the song goes, "just tie the knot with all that you got tonight."

Pawnshop Roses

Pawnshop Roses are Paul Keen, Kevin Bentley, Justin Monteleone, Mike Walsh and Zil. Their sound is comprised of well crafted songs in the singer/songwriter vein, laced with Saturday night guitars and swagger, played by guys with nothing to lose and everything to prove.

In 2004 the band released its first EP "Dead Man's Radio" taken from a line in Keen's song "Here We Go," and sold out its first few pressings rather quickly due to a solid following and grass roots marketing.

In 2005 they were selected out of hundreds of bands by legendary Philly radio station WMMR to open for Velvet Revolver and Hoobastank. WMMR (heard in PA, NJ and DE) has graciously helped the band by frequently playing their song "Fading Out" having them perform on-air and promoting their shows.

In 2006 the band won the YouTube Underground Video contest for Best Live Video for their video of "Gets so Hard".

TV appearances: As a result of winning the You Tube award, the band appeared on ABC's Good Morning America. They have also played live on the local NBC and CBS morning shows. Their song "All the Way Down" was recently featured on MTV's the Real World XX.

Live accomplishments Opened for: Velvet Revolver, Hoobastank, Robert Randolph and Molly Hatchet. This summer they played with Radio Head, Jack Johnson and slew of others at the All Points West festival.

Print interviews: Interviews with Time Magazine, Relix magazine, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

On the radio: Cuts from Let It Roll and Versions have been played on radio stations across America. Special live on-air performance on 104.5 fm Philadelphia

Record label: Signed to Earvolution Records, a small indie label that shares the same ideas and visions as the band. The first full length record on Earvolution, "Let it Roll" was produced by Pete Donnelly of the Figgs (Amos Lee/G-Love/Graham Parker) at Milkboy Recording (Gomez/Townhall) with a couple song co-arrangements by noted alt-country artist Tom Gillam. Pete Donnelly adds some vocal, guitar and bass backing on a few tracks while Jonn Savannah (Van Morrison, Joe Cocker, Squeeze) sits in for piano on "Here We Go" and "Planning Out Your Heart." The band recently recorded at the legendary Sun Recording Studios in Memphis. New EP "Versions" and the album "Let It Roll are currently available online at all major digital music stores (Itunes, Rhapsody, etc.)

Let it Roll Reviews:
"On other standouts like opening track "Here We Go", the band proves it can keep time with contemporaries like Ryan Adams and Jesse Malin." Pop Matters

"The rock 'n roll of the enthusiastic and non-cynical...Let It Roll may be the record that 'brings the biggest smile to your face' this year." Americana UK

Their latest release "Versions" also sees the return of Pete Donnelly at the producer helm for two tracks. "Second Hand Love" exemplifies the Versions theme by appearing twice, once as a retro soul throwback and the other pure Americana. Both get some outside help from members of Robert Randolph's Family Band. Lenesha Randolph lends backing vocals to the soul version and Jason Crosby adds some piano and fiddle to the Americana track. Versions also includes three songs recorded live at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee and a raucous live version of "Statesboro Blues."

• Over 225,000 YouTube video views of "Gets So Hard"
• Let It Roll hit #21 on the HomeGrown Radio charts, passing such established touring acts as moe and Umphreys McGee.
• "All The Way Down" featured on MTV's "The Real World"
Read more: http://www.myspace.com/pawnshoproses#ixzz14XRo3xIz

John & Brittany

JOHN & BRITTANY are a songwriting duo hailing from Philadelphia, PA, comprised of guitarists John Faye and Brittany Rotondo. Faye, the frontman of IKE, one of the city's best-known rock bands, met Rotondo in late December of 2008. The two struck up an immediate musical kinship, with a mutual love of the Beatles and the Ramones, and within a couple months the pair were writing songs together, one of which ("Last Act") would end up on IKE's latest release "Tie The Knot With All That You Got." Never having performed live or seriously played an instrument before, Rotondo received her first guitar in June of 2009 and by December was performing "Last Act" onstage with IKE at their sold out album release show at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

In 2010, Faye and Rotondo hit their creative stride with a string of memorable, quirky songs.. snapshots of damaged nicotine addicts, angry middle managers, and close encounters with whiskey-swilling devils. Anchored by Rotondo's simultaneously blunt and poetic lyricism and elevated by Faye's knack for creating unforgettable melodies, John & Brittany's music is a true partnership of youth and experience, order and chaos, escape and reality. In addition to their duo performances, John & Brittany have also started working with a full band, featuring Jay Miraglia on drums and Mike Vivas on bass. The group released their first single "Devil's Allure" in December of 2010 and plans to record their debut EP in early 2011.

Susan Steen

Rodger Delaney

Rodger celebrates small town South Jersey roots with emotionally charged lyrics and simple acoustic guitar.

After years as a lead guitarist, Rodger Delany put down the electric guitar and dusted off an old acoustic starting on a path to find his own voice. The journey began by performing at numerous open mics where he was mentored by many veterans and soon developed his own style. Rodger performed his first solo acoustic show at a sold-out Tin Angel in Philly in November 2010. By summer of 2011, Rodger had opened for many local bands at venues such as The World Café Live, The Legendary Dobbs and the Record Collector. His popularity continued to grow and by September 2011, Rodger showcased at the critically acclaimed Dewey Beach Music Conference.

In 2012, Rodger released his all-acoustic CD called “Moment of Truth.” Recorded at Philly Sound Studios, “Moment of Truth” includes sixteen songs performed with a single vocal and simple acoustic guitar or piano. Highlights include the title track Moment of Truth, Blind and Mischief. Late in 2012, Rodger Delany recorded "Alright to Love (Christmas Again)" for the WSTW 93.7 Hometown Heroes Holiday Album - a fundraiser benefiting the Toys for Tots foundation.



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