Joined: Nov 06, 2002
From: Temple Terrace, FL
|Posted: 2003-12-25 12:26 pm  Permalink|
Sunday, December 28th, 2003
The Mike Tozier Band
910 Skipper Rd., Tampa • (813) 971-0666
showtime 5pm; admission $6
Imagine a twilight world of sonic make believe where Neil Diamond and Burt Bacharach share equal billing with Dick Dale and Hank Marvin, where reverb-drenched surf freakouts segue into a small jazzy combo playing a Vegas nightspot frequented by The In Crowd and where roadhouse-rockin' twangfests coexist with tranquil atmospheric meditations.
It is in this musical parallel universe that surf/lounge/rock 'n' roll combo The Vodkanauts work their magic.
Forming the core of The Vodkanauts' experience is the triumvirate of guitarist Mark Warren, bassist John DeBellis and drummer Ken Walker. Warren, also performing with noted power pop purveyors Barely Pink, formed The Vodkanauts in September of 2002 specifically to fill the support slot for a performance by surf guitar pioneer Dick Dale. The crowd response for the band’s debut was so overwhelmingly enthusiastic that the group decided to make the one-off project a continuing endeavor. After a sabbatical from live performance, Walker, CEO of a web development company with a roster of A-list clients, has returned to his passion with vim and vigor; he possesses an arresting blend of well-developed chops and enthused drive. Bassist DeBellis brings a lifetime of gigging experience, both in his native New York and in Florida, including a stint with Joey Dee & The Starlighters. Augmenting the trio are vocalists Jonathan Harrison and Jessica Conrado. Harrison, a Tampa Bay scene veteran, first burst into the public awareness with a New Wave/goth/alternative combo that, after several name changes, achieved great acclaim and public adoration as Edison Shine. In recent years, Harrison has shifted his focus to the theater, appearing in well-received productions of American Stage's Shakespeare In The Park series; recent roles include featured parts in Titus Andronicus and Satchmo. Newcomer Conrado possesses the seemingly contradictory attributes of a diva's voice and a girl next door's approachability.
With a willful mixture of the engagingly sublime and the faintly ridiculous, The Vodkanauts simultaneously pay respectful tribute to musical masters while creating a soundtrack to a 1960s America that never quite was.
Mike Tozier Band
With the time-honored tools of a searing Telecaster, soothing flattop acoustic and barking Dobro augmented by drums and electric bass, The Mike Tozier Band serves up houserockin' rhythm 'n' blues with verve and panache. Whether performing familiar classics or lesser-known gems gleaned from the masters to Tozier's own scintilating compositions, this lean 'n' mean trio gives you the good stuff in heaping doses. Let Tozier and his bandmates take you on a musical journey from jukejoints in the North to the sun-baked Delta and all points inbetween.
"When Tozier attacks his chrome-face Dobro resonator guitar and plays a blues song by Robert Johnson or Elmore James or Tampa Red, or one of his originals, and his performance is breathtaking. He uses a lot of alternate tunings and makes snappy switches between single note lines, chords and metallic slide. He makes a greasy, down-home, kinetic sound – but it’s not a reincarnation of some Delta blues cat from the ’30s. The brawny-voiced Tozier ... did not grow up in a shantytown, and he knows it, and acts accordingly. His music is authentic because he does not overdo it with bluesy affectations. And that’s a sign of maturity."
-- Weekly Planet, Best Acoustic Act 2000
Kenny Howes has performed for 3 consecutive years at the Atlantis Music Conference in Atlanta and twice at the annual International Pop Overthrow festival in Los Angeles as well as the 2001 Music Midtown Festival in Atlanta, a 3 day festival that draws over 300,000 music fans and support slots have included opening for musical legends such as Jonathan Richman, Alex Chilton, Marshall Crenshaw and Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens. The self-titled recorded debut of Kenny Howes and The Yeah! was released on Royal Fuzz in March 2002;
additionally, Howes has released four solo CDs of original material, nothing wrong with that (1995), Kenny Howes' Second Album (1996), and Back To You Today! (1998), and a best-of compilation The Right Idea (2000). Howes co-produced and performed on his solo records nearly single-handedly, overdubbing most of the instruments and all the voices himself.
Howes' releases have received unanimous critical praise (from publications such as Ink Nineteen, JAM, Popsided and Britain's Bucketful of Brains), as well as steady sales worldwide. His first CD and its lead-off 7" "Somebody" both charted in CMJ magazine while his second was a top seller for Notlame Distribution in 1996, who featured a track from that record on their World's Best Power-Pop Compilation (1996).
Kenny moved to Southern California in May 2003, is happy and healthy and a new, California-based version of KENNY HOWES & the YEAH! has been convened. Mastering has just been completed on the new KH CD "Lady Friend," with a release date pending.