River City Extension
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
"The mixture of indie rock songwriting, socially conscious lyrics, and roots reggae rhythms has long been a staple in the jam band world, and State Radio delivers on all counts. A Boston-based trio led by singer and primary songwriter Chad Urmston (a former member of Vermont jamsters Dispatch), State Radio largely managed to avoid the usual post-Phish clichés, injecting a punk-influenced sound and politically charged viewpoint while staying true to the tenets of the band's chosen style.
Urmston, who disbanded Dispatch at the height of its popularity in 2002, formed State Radio later the same year. Focusing exclusively on guitar and vocals instead of the instrument switching he was previously known for, he brought in second guitarist Pete Halby, bassist Chuck Fay, and drummer Mike Greenfield to round out the lineup. After the exploratory debut EP Flag of the Shiners was released by Fenway Recordings in late 2002, State Radio went on a temporary hiatus throughout 2003 as Urmston recovered from throat surgery. Returning to active duty in 2004 as a slimmed-down trio with new drummer Brian Sayers, State Radio followed a second EP, Simmer Kane, with the release of 2006's Us Against the Crown. Another personnel change occurred before State Radio toured in support of the album, with drummer Mike Najarian replacing Sayers.
The sophomore effort Year of the Crow followed in fall 2007, bringing with it an emphasis on louder guitars and sociopolitical themes. State Radio reinforced such themes by launching service projects in each city the band visited, and Urmston briefly reconvened Dispatch for a three-night charity performance at Madison Square Garden, with funds going toward Zimbabwe relief. State Radio maintained such political awareness on 2009's Let It Go." - Stewart Mason, AllMusicGuide
River City Extension
River City Extension was born restless, curious, and conscious. It is a monster and a gentleman. Formed by singer-songwriter Joe Michelini in the fall of 2007, the band has proved to be an important addition to the development of independent folk music, and has earned the respect of everyone from seasoned punk rockers to Brit-pop legends.
After spending years building an invaluable local followin...g as a solo artist, Joe’s moniker became a symbol of hope for musicians in his hometown of Toms River, NJ; like lost souls, the members of River City Extension were drawn to each other. Taking a year and a half to carefully finalize their line-up, the band went into the studio to record their DIY EP, Nautical Sabbatical. The record was self-released on January 1st of 2009, and they had no other option than to hit the road.
Be it Joe by himself, with one member, two members, or five, River City Extension toured diligently across the North-East and the Midwest, just hoping that someone would listen to the call of their wild, insatiable need to play, write, feel, and inspire. By the winter of 2010, their dream was beginning to come true.
The band had started to record their full-length album The Unmistakable Man, with no budget, no plan, and a lot of faith. As word began to spread, they found themselves supporting bands like Cake, Robert Randolph, and The Avett Brothers, in and out of their home state. Near the end of production, the band signed a deal with XOXO Records (The Gaslight Anthem, Let Me Run), and shortly there after blasted the press with what would be the new flagship of this venerable Asbury Park punk label. The Unmistakable Man was released on May 11th, 2010 with national distribution and international promise. RCE quickly garnered the attention of important music outlets such as Paste, Spin, and NPR, as well as being validated by timeless international performers such as Glenn Tilbrook of the band Squeeze, who would later make a cameo on the vinyl release of the bands first LP.
Now, River City Extension is growing up. With one national tour under their belt, countless regional tours, and a slew of new material, the fabric of these eight east-coast pioneers has been sewn to the highways of America in a way that cannot be torn, seen, stepped on, or fully understood. It is growing, it is evolving, and it is seeking the best and the worst in all of us, in hopes that we will find a common ground on which to stand with our fellow man; in hopes of writing an anthem that we can strap across our hearts and sing together with pride and understanding. This train does not stop, and these tracks do not end. For we have promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep, and miles to go before we sleep.