On Stage (Extra): Crowded Streets a fix for your DMB needs

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

Fans of the Dave Matthews Band know that it might be a while until their favorites return to the area for a show – or a run of shows.

Fortunately for them, they can tap into the music of the DMB by visiting Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org)  on February 10 when the venue presents “Crowded Streets – A Tribute to Dave Matthews Band.”

Crowded Streets has built its reputation by recreating the DMB concert experience with an incredible attention to detail, free flowing original jams and a sonic representation that is identical to the original band.

Crowded Streets is a Virginia-based sextet that took its name from DMB’s third studio album. The six veteran musicians are dedicated to the task of reproducing the unique sonic experience of a live DMB performance.

The band has attended numerous concerts and studied all the live footage it has been able to find. Crowded Streets features the same original studio line-up of instrumentation and each musician is as versatile and creative as his DMB counterpart.

The band features Gabe Matthews (Gabe Badillo) – Lead Vocals/Acoustic Guitar; Jamie Lapihuska – Violin/Vocals; Eli Gonzalez – Saxophone/Flute & Vocals; Mike Tony Echols – Bass/Vocals; Jason Quattro – Electric Guitar; and Rick Hodes – Drums.

“We had our 10th anniversary in 2016,” said Badillo, during a phone interview last week from his home in Fairfax, Virginia.

“It started when the bass player and I were sitting around. Our prior groups had been Top 40 cover bands that played around the northern Virginia area.

“We discussed forming a tribute band and looked at different bands with longevity and decided on the Dave Matthews Band based on its discography. I really felt that the DMB had such a long-lasting fan base. That band picked up where the Grateful Dead left off.”

So, the members of Crowded Streets began studying DMB music and learning how to play all the chops.

“Every time I look around, Dave Matthews tribute bands keep popping up,” said Badillo. “They’re all over the place. We see several new ones every year.

“From a point of sheer musicianship, I think we can match up well or better than most of these band. Every person in our band matches up well with his Dave Matthews band counterpart.

“It’s not four-beat pop music. There are a lot of signature changes – difficult changes. With the complexity of the songs, it’s difficult to reproduce. We’ve been fortunate to come across a lot of great players.”

The six players from Virginia have gelled into a very cohesive unit – a unit that is more than qualified to tackle the challenge of accurately reproducing the complex music of the Dave Matthews Band.

“We have north of 65 songs – probably more,” said Badillo. “And, we’re only scratching the surface. The Dave Matthews Band has over 200 songs. We’re constantly going back to DMB albums and looking at deeper tracks.

“We take great pride in perfecting our craft. But, we actually give ourselves a lot of latitude. Very few of our improvs exactly replicate the original.

“We’re excited to be coming north to play at the Kennett Flash. This will be our first time to perform a show in the Philadelphia area.”

Video link for Crowded Streets – https://youtu.be/NF_4y3sIcbI.

The show at Kennett Flash will start at 8 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages concert are $18 and $22.

Upcoming shows at the Flash are Better Than Bacon on February 9, “Crowded Streets – A Tribute to Dave Matthews Band” on February 10 and Sin City Band with Special Guest Billy Penn Burger along with BerdDog Music Club on February 11.

In the world of entertainment, the name Ferdy Mane pops up twice.

Ferdy Mane was a German-born actor from the U.K. who died in 1996.

The Ferdy Mane is a new rock band based in Los Angeles.

On February 10, the Ferdy Mane will visit the area for a show at Connolly Pub and Grill (18 East Moreland Avenue, Hatboro, 215-672-2210, https://www.facebook.com/Connollys-Pub-148267688547276/).

The Ferdy Mane is a band but, more accurately, is an ongoing musical project by Shane O’Malley Firek.

The story of Shane O’Malley Firek, the single constant member of The Ferdy Mayne, is one of journeys – physical, spiritual, and a combination of the two.

After three previous EP releases, the Ferdy Mane is releasing its self-titled debut album on March 24 via Greater Peaks Records. The first single and music video for “Define My Name” are streaming now.

“The album was done a while ago,” said Firek, during a phone interview last week from his home in Los Angeles. “The final mixing was done a year ago. I actually started tracking it in 2015. I was living in New York and hadn’t bene doing much playing except as a solo.

“I first did a single with David Groner, Jr. at Azimuth, a studio in Bushwick. Later, I gave him a batch of demos and we did ‘Define My Name.’ That song is very different from the rest of the record and had a different band. I actually didn’t even have a band at that time.

“I got a friend to play bass and got a drummer form Craig’s List. I went in the studio and did a lot of it live. My buddy Jared Walker spent two more days in the studio with him playing lead guitar. Groner did all the mixing, engineering and some of the production.

“It takes me so long to write songs. Some of the songs on the album are from 2009. I was going through massive change when I was writing this material.”

Firek is a native of Detroit who moved first to Nashville and then to New York City. Eventually, he departed the East Coast and headed to sunny Southern California.

“It’s 7:30 a.m. here in L.A. and I’m sitting outside soaking in the sun,” said Firek. “I’ve been living in the Silver Lake area of L.A. for the last two months. I was living in New York for four years and my lady decided it was time to make a change. So, we came out here. It’s been good. I have a day job doing architectural millwork and I do my music at night.

“Los Angeles is a shimmering object at first glance. It is unreliable, similar to the unreliable dream of New York City, but I trust in the truth that you can sharpen the tools you came here with.

“I started playing in bands when I was in eighth grade. I played in a lot of punk bands. I was going to a private Methodist high school and then went to college at Eastern Michigan. My alcohol problem started when I was in college.

“Moving to Nashville and New York were major factors in my recovery. In New York, I realized I couldn’t throw moments away. I went to A.A. I’m pushing 30 so I knew I had to work hard.

“Before my sobriety, I was completely insane, in and out of jail, losing friends and putting myself in considerable debt. I quit drinking around the time I began to perform in New York, and I’ve been sober a little over three years now.

“All songwriting is informed by place, and I wrote what I felt within whatever place I may have been in. I scrape emotion from the bare bones of locations. I was decimated by each new experience and had to put myself back together again.

“When I write songs, it takes a very long time. My goal is to make the best songs I can make. There is a general vibe to my writing. When I write, I’m just writing to God.

Video link for The Ferdy Mane – https://youtu.be/jYPHQfg4YJ8.

The show at Connolly Pub and Grill will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Joyce Manor

Joyce Manor, a California-based quartet, has headed east for a tour with one of the tour stops scheduled for February 10 at the Chameleon Club (223 North Water Street, Lancaster, 717-299-9684, http://www.chameleonclub.net).

The band (Barry Johnson, Matt Ebert, Chase Knobbe, Jeff Enzor), which just released a new album “Cody” on Epitraph Records, had a rather interesting beginning.

“When it started out, I didn’t really have a band,” said Johnson, during a phone interview last week from a tour stop in Providence, Rhode Island.

“Sean Bonnette, a friend of mine who plays in the band AJJ, asked me if I wanted to open a show for him at Echo Curious in L.A. I told him I had a new band – which was a lie.

“So, I contacted Chase and we played as a duo. We had four songs and added a few. Chase had been playing with a local band at the time. That was in November 2008.

“Then, we kept it going. It was really scary. It was the first band where I was singing more instead of yelling. People liked it immediately. Not long after that, we decided to become a four-piece. We had been playing as an acoustic duo for a while but that didn’t work. We kept the same four-piece line-up from 2009-2014. Then, in 2014, we got a new drummer – Jeff Enzor.”

Joyce Manor’s album discography includes “Joyce Manor” (2011), “Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired” (2012), “Never Hungover Again” (2014) and “Cody” (2016).

“After ‘Never Hungover Again,’ I had little desire to write,” said Johnson. “Songs weren’t coming to me easily. I didn’t have a lot of motivation to get across the finish line. A guy from Epitaph said to book studio time and we did. That clicked a light on. Working on deadline makes things more focused. You really get to light that fire.

“We recorded the album in L.A. with Rob Schnapf at Kingsize Studios. We had 11 songs ready and one didn’t make the cut. Most of them were written since ‘Never Hungover Again.’ I have a giant scrapyard of song parts and ideas.”

The band took a different approach to recording with the new album.

“Our other records were all done in about 10 days each,” said Johnson. “This time, we spent two months. We did it Rob’s way. He goes song to song and lets the recording of each song take as long as necessary.”

Joyce Manor is a band from Torrance, California – a band that shows the influence of the music that has come out of nearby Orange County for years.

“I’ve been influenced by ska and punk since I was in sixth grade,” said Johnson. “I think you can still hear the influence in our bass lines. We’re all big Clash fans. We’ve also been influenced by bands such as the Zombies, the Kinks, the Beatles and Morrissey.”

Video link for Joyce Manor – https://youtu.be/Bn-SQiIw3Uw?list=PLcZMZxR9uxC_yel9SMMyWpzrCmyE06Xzy.

The show at the Chameleon, which also features AJJ and Mannequin Pussy, will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18.

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