Band of the Month

October 2010 Band of the Month

The Woodticks

Genre: Bluegrass
Location: Morgantown, WV

The Woodticks

Old-time is the core of our music, which is the name given to music of the rural south during the golden early days of radio. Tunes and songs from the early 20th century and before are alive in our hands and hearts, though they are filtered through our own style of string band. Yes, we play old-time, along with maybe an Irish or Scottish tune or two, some originals, and a few other tunes and songs that we just really like and do our own way. Plus a whole lot of singing.

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September 2010 Band of the Month

Deadbeats and Barkers

Genre: Rock/Pop/Folk Rock
Location: Huntington, WV

Deadbeats and Barkers

A funk/rock throwdown hailing from the hills of West Virginia soaked in Appalachian roots, hard hitting funk rhythms and sometimes glorious vocal harmonies.

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August 2010 Band of the Month

Prison Book Club

Genre: Rock/Southern Rock
Location: Shepherdstown, WV

Prison Book Club

Featuring members and ex-members of the Demon Beat, the Resonators, and the Fox Hunt.

“[Prison Book Club] combines to form a miasmicly coherent countrified rock band with a hard edge, well worth the money to see live…Miller and Riggleman have an established reputation within the Shepherdstown music scene as solid songwriters…the songs have depth, dealing with small town rumor mills, love, and heartbrreak, among a host of other rural-alt-youth topics.”
- Michael Theis for The Shepherdstown Chronicle

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July 2010 Band of the Month

FOX Japan

Genre: Indie/Rock
Location: Morgantown, WV

FOX Japan

FOX Japan is a band from West Virginia that makes catchy, quirky indie rock songs about television, religion and consumerism.

FOX Japan (the name has nothing to do with the TV network) has existed under various names since 1993, although its members’ average age is still only twenty-five. It’s now a long-distance band, however. Andrew, Sam, and Pete live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where they work at a hospital, a mental health clinic, and a non-profit, respectively; Charlie is a grad student in music composition at the University of California – San Diego.

The band has repeatedly toured the East Coast and Midwest, playing venues such as Lit Lounge and The Trash Bar in New York; 8×10 in Baltimore; The Fire in Philadelphia; The Red & the Black, DC9 and the Velvet Lounge in Washington DC; Bela Dubby in Cleveland; Merlin’s in Buffalo; and Cal’s in Chicago.

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June 2010 Band of the Month

The Demon Beat

Genre: Rock/Soul
Location: Shepherdstown, WV

The Demon Beat

For many people the era in which rock and roll was considered dangerous in and of itself is little more than a cultural memory. There was a time when it was the pure energy that frightened the masses, the idea that loud, raucous music was one of the surest ways to invite the devil’s influence into one’s mind and behavior. The music endured these criticisms, even embraced them, but with its eventual acceptance into mainstream society much of what made it so enticing in the first place began to crumble. In the wrong hands it isn’t as forceful, not as imaginative, not as raw. The people have forgotten the risk. The Demon Beat is here to remind them.

The tongue-in-cheek handle the band goes by is nothing if not poignant. The three West Virginia boys, well-versed in everything from the Rolling Stones to Mudhoney, Percy Sledge to MC5 and beyond, seem to be on a mission to spread their gospel to anyone who will hear it. This is the way rock was meant to be heard, too. It’s no bullshit – loud, loose, dirty, and direct. At times ethereal, at times gut-wrenching, their live performance is soaked in a visceral intensity and raw, frenetic power, each song a series of explosive moments which cultivate the overall experience. Adam Meisterhans’ well-accomplished & wild guitar style reflects the reverence he holds for his vast influences as well as a desperate recklessness and ingenuity all his own. Tucker Riggleman and Jordan Hudkins, bass and drums respectively, comprise the unstoppable spine of the band, throwing down the gauntlet of driving rhythm and tenacity for which the band has become known to their fans. The result is an intoxicating blend of classic and punk rock, with a reasonable dose of soul for good measure.

The Demon Beat aren’t here to shock or alienate anyone. They’re here to make you believe in what they believe, something long-forgotten, a kind of spirit so many of the cookie cutter indie rock bands and prima donna radio rock pussies of today can’t seem to grasp. It should hit you right in the pit of your stomach, should take risks, should be more about the music than following some kind of aesthetic. More about creating than pretending.

Above all, rock and roll should be fucking dangerous. – John R. Miller

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May 2010 Band of the Month

Heart Holds True

Genre: Hardcore
Location: Huntington, WV

Heart Holds True

Heart Holds True is a band that was talked about for a long time before it really got started. Just before the demise of Holden Caulfield, Bobby (guitar) and Dana (vocals) decided it was time to get moving on the new band. Brooke was already decided on for the bass position because of her brief stint in Bobby and Dana’s old band, and the remaining two members weren’t added until later. Bobby decided to ask Nick from The Fontaine to join at Holden Caulfield’s last show because everyone in Heart Holds True had always thought he was a good hangout, plain and simple. Finally, a few months later, a few friends filled in on drums until Brian joined for a few months, recorded a few songs for the band, and then moved on to quickly be replaced by Dwayne.

After being a band for less than a year, Heart Holds True has managed to self-release a 4 song “This Is War” EP and a split 7″ with Erie, PA’s, Smoke & Mirrors (ex-Shockwave & Brother’s Keeper). They’ve been playing shows anywhere within 5 hours of their home in Huntington, WV, and plan to keep doing that more and more.

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April 2010 Band of the Month

Davisson Brothers Band

Genre: Country
Location: Lost Creek, WV

Davisson Brothers Band

The Davisson Brothers Band has a unique style infusing a remarkable blend of country, southern rock, and bluegrass to create a distinctive sound captured in their first single, “Big City Hillbilly.” This sound, combined with the band’s talent, energy and touring on average of 250 dates a year , has gained a loyal fan base all over the Eastern United States. Brothers Chris and Donnie Davisson and cousin Sammy Davisson, along with childhood friend Aaron Regester, are building their career on a foundation started by the Davisson family long ago. Donnie’s impassioned, soulful vocals combined with older brother Chris’s mind-bending blend of bluegrass, rock and country guitar mixed with Sammy’s great harmony vocals and solid bass playing plus Aaron’s reliable groove create a wonderful result completely unlike anything you’ve ever heard.

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March 2010 Band of the Month

6’6 240

Genre: Hip Hop
Location: Morgantown, WV

6'6 240

Born son of West Virginia’s most published African American poet, Norman Jordan. 6’6 240 speaks the same song his father spoke as a youth, which was growing up in WV black, and poor. 6’6 240 also know as SIX SIX, aka “The Trailer Park Hustla” began his career in 1999 with one of West Virginia founding hip hop groups the 304 Reconz. SIX SIX started to gain popularity for his witty punchlines, and captivating stage presence. He even was gaining National attention.

Chuck D of the group Public Enemy named 6’6 240′s song “66 is Everything” to his Top 100 Songs of 2001 on his website rapstation.com.

In 2003 6’6 240 was invited to MTV’s MC Freestyle Battle, but could not attend because of a schedueling conflict. But its his mixtapes that 6’6 240 is know for, with songs like “Welcome To WV” that received heavy radio, club airplay, it was even played at West Virginia sporting events for its sense of state pride . Self-empowerment is a common theme in 6 doubles music, “I was born and raised in a trailer next to my church, for awhile I thought everybody put water in their cereal, we were poor, but i didn’t know it. Times can get tough living in Americas number one poverty stricken state (WV), but I love Dub V, I’m gonna die here!”

“The Gold N Blue”, was one of the biggest songs in West Virginia in 2006, it became the fight song for West Virginia University football team all the way to the 2007 Gator Bowl. The song spent many weeks at #1 on the local radio charts, and before each home WVU football game the song was played to over 50,000 people in video format featuring WVU football players.

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February 2010 Band of the Month

The Carpenter Ants

Genre: R&B/Blues/Country
Location: Charleston, WV

The Carpenter Ants

Even the best bands come and go but the Carpenter Ants have been around – with virtually the same line up – for more than 16 years. The Ants have defied the odds and outlasted most of their peers for a number of reasons. First and foremost, regardless of the occasion, the band never fails to have a good time. And, after more than 2,000 performances, the members still like and respect each other – and you can feel it in their music.

Having evolved into WV’s premier rythm & blues group, the band has unearthed a wealth of classic and forgotten American music. The Ants wail through classic R&B, country-swamp and gospel-soul with equal conviction. A few years back, the band caught the ear of famed singer/songwriter/producer/rock’n’roller Don Dixon. The upshot was the band’s second record, the all-gospel Picnic with the Lord. Last year Dixon anxiously signed on to produce the groups third effort, Ants in Your Pants, and steered the band to Scott Beal’s Gaff Music.

The core of the group consists of guitarist Michael Lipton, drummer Jupiter Little, bassist Ted Harrison and vocalist/saxophonist Charlie Tee. A revolving cast of auxillary Ants include singer/songwriter Larry Groce, host of the internationally syndicated radio show “Mountain Stage,” ex-NRBQ guitarist Steve Ferguson and Robert Shafer, one of the Country’s premier Telecaster slingers and two-time national flatpicking champion.

The group’s trademark sound — rich, soulful harmonies, stinging solos, and a rock-solid rythm section — captures that rare, loose-but-tight feel, and has won the band international as well as regional fans. The Ants have traveled to Moscow. The trips found the group performing at a variety of venues including the 3,500-seat Russia Concert Hall, the city’s most prestigious room, a TV show with a national audience of 100 million(!!), funky clubs and gaudy venues.

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January 2010 Band of the Month

Shayar and Krooshal Force

Genre: Reggae
Location: Beckley, WV

Shayar (Lenval Jarrett) was born in Ocho Rios, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica in 1956. He had a natural inclination towards music and his bass-playing father was one of his greatest influences. Shayar began piano lessons in primary school. At age 12, Shayar convinced his father to buy him a guitar. He soon knew music would be his career. In high school, Shayar played in a band that worked the hotel circuit along the north coast of Ocho Rios.

When Shayar was 19, the famous Jamaican producer Jack Ruby introduced him to Burning Spear. For the next several years, Shayar played guitar for Burning Spear on international tours. Over ensuing decades, he also toured with Anthony B, the Itals and other musicians.

When not on tour, Shayar focused on his own original music. In 1984, he moved to Brooklyn, NY and formed Crucial Force. In 1998, Shayar moved to the mountains of Beckley, WV – where the natural beauty is akin to that of Jamaica – and continued with a new iteration of the band, Krooshal Force. Their album, Spiritual Warrior, released in 2006, receives radio play in Europe, and is popular with fans on the band’s local circuit.

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December 2009 Band of the Month

The Gentlemen

Genre: Punk/Celtic/Folk Rock
Location: Morgantown, WV

The Gentlemen are an 8 piece Celtic Punk band from Morgantown, West Virginia who combine traditional Irish folk with American punk rock. In the 3 years they have been together they have opened for the likes of Mustard Plug, The Toasters, and The Bouncing Souls, toured up and down the East Coast with sold out shows in their own town, and in May of 2009 released their first full length album “Stick To Your Guns”. The Gentlemen demand your attention with high energy performance levels needed to draw large crowds and produce a great sound. The Gentlemen’s big sound and sing along anthems are sure to rile up, and move any crowd whether they’re in your local pub or playing a huge stadium.

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November 2009 Band of the Month

Genuine Junk Band

Genre: Roots/Jam Band
Location: Ashland, KY

Genuine Junk Band mix original soul-felt melodies with fun danceable grooves, hard hitting rhythm’s, and personal lyrics about their journey through life. Combining the angelic vocals of Mary Gillum and the ballsy playing of the testosterone junkies, they create a sound that is as beautiful and serene as it is INTENSE AND IN YOUR FACE! But in a real groovin’ kinda way!

They have released 2 eclectic albums both being distributed by 9 Lives Record Label, have toured nationally the past 3 years finding a place for their music with fans of nearly all types. The band also hosts an annual event called “Junk Jam” which gives local and regional artists the opportunity to perform in a friendly/non-competitive environment to showcase their talent for a new audience.

2009 has been a productive year for the band. GJB was voted New Groove of the Month by jambands.com in April ’09. They are releasing a new studio album produced by Eddie Ashworth(Sublime,LBDA), and are continuing to gain recognition for their live performances.

All in all, GJB is a group of genuine hardworking individuals constantly striving to make great music just hoping it resonates with listeners. So sit back, relax, enjoy the sounds and have a look around.

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October 2009 Band of the Month

Chris Cendana

Genre: Acoustic/Pop/Folk
Location: Morgantown, WV

Chris Cendana is a Filipino singer and songwriter living in beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

As a young child in South San Francisco, Calif., Chris’ musical talent started to shine. At only five years old, he started playing his own renditions of songs on the piano. Five years later, he started learning how to play percussion instruments, including the American drum set.

When he turned 13, Chris’ older brother took him under his wing by introducing him to the world of turntablism. Throughout his college years at Marshall University, Chris was known as a polished percussionist and club DJ/producer.

During Christmas vacation at the age of 20, Chris found his mother’s classical guitar stowed away in a closet. He took it back to college with him and learned to play it by ear. His friends (who were seasoned musical veterans) told Chris his natural talent with music gave him an edge over many artists. They urged him to play in public. Unfortunately, Chris didn’t see a future in this. He decided to compromise this dream and play drums at his church.

Soon Chris’ choir experience turned into a solo opportunity. After a reform in the church he attended, Chris was the only musician left and had to lead the congregation through musical liturgy. He learned to sing and discovered the joy in sharing his music with people through his ministry.

At 25, Chris’ band Play became well-known in southern West Virginia. They played many venues in the Huntington/Charleston area and learned to respect each member’s skill. After a successful 19 months, the members of Play had to go their separate ways due to new jobs, new loves, and new opportunities.

But for Chris, this was just the beginning of his musical journey.

He ventured onto YouTube, a public video sharing website, as an outlet for his music. He started by posting videos of his favorite originals and covers. It didn’t take long to starting making waves on the World Wide Web. On Feb. 29, 2008, his video “Velvet Fingertips” was featured on YouTube’s home page.

Since then, Chris’ musical career has never been the same.

He’s been featured across the globe on internationally popular websites such as Stickam, Yahoo! Live, and BlogTV. ABS-CBN featured him on Balitang America, categorizing him in the same circles as Arnel Pineda from Journey, Charice Pempengco from Little Big Star, and Christine Gambito aka HappySlip from YouTube.

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September 2009 Band of the Month

Mini Thin

Genre: Hip Hop
Location: Weirton, WV

Mini Thin is a hip hop artist hailing from “Almost Heaven” West Virginia. Born & raised in Weirton, WV Mini a.k.a. Jayson Malice burst onto the music scene with major national M.C. battle wins with the likes of Roc-A-Fella Records, BET and Def Jam. “That kid is sick!” – DMX

Mini Thin is putting out his debut album titled Hillbilly Hustle in fall of 2009. His singles Dub Vee & Stepping Stone have garnished thousands of song plays and downloads online and created a very large buzz especially throughout his home state. He is not shy when it comes to state pride and his main objective is not fame or fortune, it is to stamp West Virginia on the national hip hop map permanently! With his unique style, looks, charisma, dress, sound, voice and topics, he has been the first artist West Virginians have truly got behind. Mini’s Hillbilly Hustle album is the most anticipated hip hop album in West Virginia history. He aims to not disappoint his fans or state, with songs like Cow Tippin, Country Roads, She broke my heart so I broke her jaw, Sling Blade and Tourettes Syndrome. He plans to add WV flavor to the current styles in mainstream hip hop.

Mini Thin has performed with and shared the stage with the likes of 50 cent, G-Unit, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Freeway, Beanie Seagal, Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, D.J. Whoo Kid, Nas, DMX, Lil Kim, & Wiz Khalifa.

“Mini Thin’s “Respect Mine” freestyle is a personal favorite, with lines like: “I got a PHD Intellect smart to haunt ya / up down left right B A select start like contra” leave me wide open!” – Steve “Flash” Juon – www.rapreviews.com

Mini has also been chosen to be the first Artist on the Cover of the WV hip hop magazine Dub Vee style. He is also the #1 unsigned artist in the state of West Virginia, records confirmed by Soundclick, MySpace and Facebook.

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August 2009 Band of the Month

The Recipe

Genre: Rock/Bluegrass/Jam Band
Location: Morgantown, WV

Drawing from a wide array of musical backgrounds and influences, The Recipe has become well known as one of the most original bands on the roots-rock/jamband scene. Roaring out of Morgantown, WV in 1995 with their debut CD “Love Marble Hoe Down,” the band made their name known throughout the country as they developed a strong following due to their high-energy live shows and heavy touring schedule. In the following years they became a fixture on the national club and festival scene. The band continued to stay busy, releasing “Night of The Porch People” in 1998, followed up in 2000 with “Geode”, in 2003 with “All You Can Eat” (the first live CD.) Throughout the years, the band’s strong foundation has been maintained by Joe Prichard, carrying on The Recipe sound with amazing musicians, providing fans across the country with unforgettable live shows, and sharing the stage with artists such as Rusted Root, Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, Moe, Les Claypool, Govt. Mule, The Derek Trucks Band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Sam Bush, Donna The Buffalo, Keller Williams and countless others. In 1999, the first annual Recipe Family Cookout was held in Terra Alta, WV and has continued to this day at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park as a festival that is also part family reunion, featuring three days of music, camping, football, and a food drive for local charities.

This festival has featured such artists as Leftover Salmon, Keller Williams, John Cowan, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice resulting in unforgettable on stage collaborations. Going into 2004 with the band’s then-new website www.therecipefamily.com receiving thousands of hits a month worldwide and three of their CDs finishing in the year-end top-selling list on the respected Homegrown Music Network, the band set out to finish their long awaited fifth CD “Jubilee”, which was finally released to rave reviews in October 2006 debuting at 12 on the Homegrown Charts. It appeared that this would be the Recipe’s swansong as Joe decided in June of 2007 after 12 years of non-stop touring to pull the show off the road for an undisclosed amount of time. During his hiatus, Joe released his first Joe Prichard Band disc called “Just Play The Damn Song”. He continued, however, to keep himself close to home doing mostly local performances with the exception of reorganizing The Recipe in 2007 and 2008 to do The Recipe Family Cookout at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park near Garrettsville, OH. During the summer of 2008, Joe met singer/songwriter Shannon Jones who caught his attention at an open mic he had been hosting at Billy’s in Clarksburg, WV.

He noticed that her vocal sound was “strangely familiar.” She mentioned to him that they should try to do some work together. About a month later in August of 2008, Shannon wrote “Momentum,” which had an uncanny resemblance to all things Recipe. Soon they began doing several duet acoustic shows in WV, PA, MD, VA and OH. The appearances they made in late 2008 were starting to trigger a fan response that seemed to call for a return of The Recipe. Bringing in former fiddler Mike Mitchell, new bassist Phil Risko and percussionist Tom Kirk to join JPB members Jason Hastings (drums) and Eric Sargent (guitar), the band found itself coming full circle and now planning a new Recipe album release for 2010. Fresh off of a startling performance at the 2009 Gratefulfest, the band then returned to one of its former homes, The 13th annual Allgood Festival. With the effect of these two high profile plays causing a new wave of excitement among many new and old Recipe fans one thing is now evident: The best is still to come for The Recipe. Are you ready to get your freak on? To get a look at The Recipe of today go to therecipe.yolasite.com.

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July 2009 Band of the Month

The Fox Hunt

Genre: Country/Bluegrass/Rock
Location: Martinsburg, WV

Serving up dirt-laden tales of substance abuse, lonely highways, infidelity, damnation, and redemption, Martinsburg, WV’s the Fox Hunt play a brand of music anyone can identify with. Their strong writing and instrumentation is rounded out by a raucous live performance, making them as comfortable in a rowdy punk rock bar as they would be on your back porch.

Singer/songwriter John R. Miller portrays an image of triumph over adversity. His writing plays on the failures and anxieties that exist in the hearts of human beings. Themes of defeat, loss, and missed opportunity abound in the apathetic wonderland his songs create, but by championing the underdog and reminding us that we are all human, his songs allow us to go on feeling more self-worth, unified in our shortcomings. Miller’s characteristic doom-and-gloom writing style is countered by the band’s creative contra positive, Matt Kline. While often times bleak, Kline’s characters are optimistic and hopeful, and while he deals with such universally hard-hitting topics as alcoholism and abandonment, he often does so with forgiveness and an insightful tinge of humor. This emotional roller-coaster is bridled by the driving musicianship of Matthew Metz and Ben Townsend, whose musical influences range from string band music of the early 20th century to indie, and from D.I.Y. punk to arena rock. Utilizing the mandolin, banjo, and fiddle, the two emphasize both traditional and contemporary concepts to bring the songs to life.

Equipped with an interesting and eclectic sound, the Fox Hunt meld the bright harmonies and acoustic instruments characteristic of early country/folk with rough, smoky, rock and roll lyrics and arrangements. Their debut full length, Nowhere Bound, is now available at shows and through www.thefoxhunt.net, CD Baby, and iTunes!

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June 2009 Band of the Month

Among the Enemy

Genre: Death Metal/Hardcore
Location: Huntington, WV

Among The Enemy is a group of 5 guys who love music. All we want to do is have fun and play shows. So if you like to have fun and break down, listen to our tunes and try to come out to a show! We love you!

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May 2009 Band of the Month

Sunshine Family Band

Genre: Jam Band/Psychedelic
Location: Morgantown, WV

Sunshine Family Band is an American rock band formed in 2006 in Morgantown, West Virginia. The band is known for its unique and eclectic style, which fuses elements of folk, rock, blues, bluegrass, jazz, country, psychedelia, space music and gospel-and for live performances of long musical improvisation. The band frequently has “long jams”, in which Brian Nalls and Karl Kushner will have extended lead guitar solos that evoke various “depth moods.” Other bands utilized long improvisational jams, but “The Sunshine Family Band” take it to extremes. The Sunshine Family Band have shared the stage with National Recording Artists such as, Bobby Lee Rodgers and the Codetalkers, Bob Weir and Rat Dog, Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, John Cowan, Keller Williams, Jimmy Herring, Col. Bruce and the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Blues Traveler, New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Steve Kimock Band and countless others!!!!!The sunshine Family Band will, lift you up, touch your spirit, make you sing dance and cry, and leave you with a lasting impression and begging for more!

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April 2009 Band of the Month

Time and Distance

Genre: Pop/Rock
Location: Charleston, WV

In just six years, West Virginia-based TIME AND DISTANCE has evolved from a kid with a guitar to a professional touring band that has played hundreds of venues and shared stages with CUTE IS WHAT WE AIM FOR, RELIANT K, MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK, BOYS LIKE GIRLS, HIT THE LIGHTS, and numerous others. Their songs have been featured on MTV, Vans Warped Tour, and radio stations around the country. TIME AND DISTANCE’s debut LP, “THE WAY IT SHOULD BE” is a top seller on iTunes and Smartpunk.com, and features multi-platinum superproducer MATT SQUIRE (PANIC AT THE DISCO, BOYS LIKE GIRLS, THE USED, ALL TIME LOW). Amidst their success, rapidly expanding fanbase, and growing popularity, TIME AND DISTANCE came from humble beginnings.

In early 2002, singer / songwriter GREG McGOWAN began to write songs that would soon evolve into TIME AND DISTANCE’s “BLOOD LOSS FOR AN EXCUSE” EP. McGowan played shows for his friends at venues around Charleston and in 2003, McGowan caught the attention of I-SURRENDER RECORDS. McGowan was quickly signed to the label, and was touring the country with MIDTOWN, A STATIC LULLABY, THE MOVIELIFE, THE HONORARY TITLE, and ONELINEDRAWING.

By 2005, the band was in Washington DC with award-winning producer Matt Squire. Squire pushed the band toward new levels of creativity, and within a few days, the band had recorded eleven songs that would become TIME AND DISTANCE’s debut LP “THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.”

Soon after finishing their debut LP in 2006, TIME AND DISTANCE decided to part ways with I-SURRENDER RECORDS to focus on their do-it-yourself attitude. The band booked their own tours, and their debut LP sold out at shows around the US. Still today, “THE WAY IT SHOULD BE” is a top seller on ITUNES and leading music distribution websites around the nation. The band wrapped up 2006 by supporting RELIANT K, VALENCIA, MAE, SUGARCULT, OVER IT, THE SPILL CANVAS, and others on tour.

The band utilized the rest of 2006 and 2007 to write an arsenal of new material and focus on promotion and ALTERNATIVE PRESS Magazine declared TIME AND DISTANCE “One of the ten best unsigned bands in the US.” When the band wasn’t in the studio working on new material, they were on the road with national acts such as BOYS LIKE GIRLS, FOUR LETTER LIE, ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, and ROSES ARE RED.

2008 has continued to usher in new success for the band, as they signed endorsement deals with SJC CUSTOM DRUMS, DUNLOP, MICHAEL KELLY GUITARS, and BREATHE ATLANTIC CLOTHING. The band spent the summer of 2008 writing new songs that, in the words of Greg McGowan, “have taken on a myriad of new directions… both lyrically and sonically.” TIME AND DISTANCE recently released a new single titled “BABY BE” that received tens-of-thousands of plays on Myspace in a few short days.

TIME AND DISTANCE recently partnered with multi-platinum music executive CJ BAKKE (FALL OUT BOY, PANIC AT THE DISCO, T.I.) and FINAL CONNECTION MANAGEMENT to expand their fan base and obtain new levels of success. As one critic said, “TIME AND DISTANCE is a movement. Can their songs change the world? I’m not sure, but this band has the hooks, talent, songs, and looks to make the takeover.”

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March 2009 Band of the Month

EGreen aka The Remedy

Genre: Rap/Hip Hop/Soul
Location: Beckley, WV

A hip hop artist from West Virginia with an insight on politics, poverty, the people, and God. A person trying to make a change within the rap game from the outside, wanting to bring Hip Hop back to what the true meaning is and that’s lyricism, truth, proof, and exhilaration for the people.

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February 2009 Band of the Month

Ashes of Serenity

Genre: Metal/Hardcore
Location: Williamson, WV

Ashes of Serenity formed in southern West Virginia in December 2004. Teddy Murphy (Drums) and Roger Charles (guitar/vocals) came together to form a heart filled and adrenaline driving form of metal. Ultimately, after several lineup changes, Nick Ross (vocals), Josh Dillon (guitar), and Michael Barry (bass) have recently joined the lineup to complete the band’s unique sound. Since the formation of the band, Ashes of Serenity has been performing at every opportunity, mesmerizing crowds with their high energy stage show. These shows have included performances with Trivium, Between the Buried and Me, God Forbid, Byzantine, Forever in Terror, Emmure, The Red Chord, Full Blown Chaos, Beneath the Sky, Dead to Fall, Nights Like These, As Blood Runs Black, and Too Pure to Die, and more. Ashes of Serenity has also spent time touring the eastern United States, traveling as far as Florida, Mississippi, and Indiana. Ashes of Serenity released their first E.P., Saving Andrea, in May of 2006 which by the end of the year had already sold 500 copies while only being available at Ashes of Serenity shows. The band also recently completed recording on their second E.P. with producer Don DeBiase and Engineer Brandon Youngs, which is slated for release in the spring.

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January 2009 Band of the Month

The Greens

Genre: Rock/Alternative/Jam Band
Location: Morgantown, WV

The Greens are one of the best bands you’ve never heard of. Hopefully, that will soon change! West Virginia, which is unfortunately not often recognized as a musical “hot-spot” (if it’s recognized at all!), has been a good home to this unique and soulful group for over 5 years now. Positive things are finally happening. Even in a small college town like Morgantown lots of people are taking notice.

Yes, the word is out: The Greens ROCK!!! This experienced professional band plays well over 100 shows every year all through Appalachia and beyond. At all kinds of venues, The Greens are steadily growing a solid reputation of good music and good times. Now The Greens need you, and you need The Greens!

Though the “power trio” is blues/rock-based, a wide spectrum of other influences are present, a well-balanced mix of funk, soul, jazz, alt/country, old-time, world-beat, anything, as long as it’s real! The Greens (not just the “Blues”) always strive for timeless music that audiences will enjoy. We write original songs that people can feel and relate to. So, a crop of devoted fans is sure to pop up wherever The Greens take the stage. This band is guaranteed to consistently deliver electrifying and satisfying performances.

When The Greens turn on the energy, people just can’t help getting up and dancing and drinking and having an overall fabulous time. For these “career opportunities” we are very grateful and can only hope to continue to please crowds in the future. We look forward to hearing from you soon! Thank you kindly…

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December 2008 Band of the Month

DOCeasar

Genre: Rap/Hip Hop
Location: Huntington, WV

D.O.Ceasar is considered a forefather of West Virginia hip-hop who has released a number of independent albums and mixtapes. He has also written, produced and recorded with/and for every prominent rap artist/group in WV. The self proclaimed King Of The Appalachians, Ceasar brings intelligent wordplay and insightful concepts to the table. He is proficient in the studio as an artist, producer or engineer, and has rocked stages with a host of artists, from Wu-Tang Clan and Tribe Called Quest in their hey day, to Outkast, to more recent gigs with Lil John, 8-ball and MJG, and 112. He calls his work “thinking man’s music”. Also a member of the band Magic Bronson (vocalist), he continues to define and push the boundaries of not only WV music, but Rap as a whole. Listen and learn.

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November 2008 Band of the Month

Barrelhouse Bonni

Genre: Blues/Americana
Location: Charleston, WV

“Barrelhouse Bonni” McKeown�s stage name recalls the old upright pianos in the juke joints that once peppered southern cotton fields and lumber camps. Her left-hand rhythms lay the groove for her low, smoldering voice. She brings back some toe-tapping boogies plus slinky songs from the classic 1930s blues divas, throwing in some 1960s soul ballads and her own 21st century originals including train-riding songs �Travelin� On� and �Green Line Blues.� Bonni plays as an acoustic solo or piano-saxophone duo for parties, clubs, restaurants, senior homes and small festival stages. Featured in West Virginia�s Arts in Education directory 2005-06, she has taught blues classes and workshops for all ages. Bonni is a longtime social, environmental and political activist who is pushing for a return of the roots of blues to the African American community. With strong black leadership, the blues will reach more fans, and music artists from all backgrounds will benefit.

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October 2008 Band of the Month

Sarasota

Genre: Punk/Pop Punk/Rock
Location: Huntington, WV

We don’t have a schtick. We don’t wear eyeliner. We don’t wear matching outfits. We don’t have matching guitars/equipment. We don’t care if we sell a million records. We’re just four poor motherfuckers that love our music. Plain and simple. Cut and dry. No bullshit.

Members of Sarasota were also in: Digger (Hopeless Records), The Connie Dungs (Mutant Pop Records), Out of Nowhere (Blindspot Records), No Idea (Paranoid! Records), No Heroes Here, Beer for Blood, and Lloyd Have Mercy

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September 2008 Band of the Month

Descent to Cocytus

Genre: Death Metal/Grindcore
Location: Morgantown, WV

Descent to Cocytus is five like-minded musicians whose common goal is to play brutal extreme Death/Grind. We have played lots of shows and have no thoughts of stopping anytime soon. We are a hard working band that doesn�t care about fame or money. We just want to play our music for groups of people that understand it and appreciate it. We live off playing live and the feeling we get from crowds when they get into our music. Our mixture of technical Death Metal and chaotic Grindcore makes our live shows intense and powerful. We want to get to the point that we are playing everyday someplace new and meeting new people touring the world. This is our passion and we are willing to do anything to make it work.

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August 2008 Band of the Month

Treasure Cat

Genre: Rock
Location: Morgantown, WV

Morphed from the ashes of Karma to Burn (Will), NYC (Matt), and Creek (Roy), Treasure Cat has been performing since Halloween ’03. Although vocal-less, Treasure Cat has an undeniable blend of anthem rock, crazy stage presence, solid instumentation, and sonic riffs that hook deep enough to grab you at your core.

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July 2008 Band of the Month

Black Knots

Genre: Rock/Punk/Thrash
Location: Huntington, WV

Along the Ohio River in the heart of Appalachia lies a band that on one hand separates themselves entirely from their region and on the other represents everything that demands respect in small town America. In a time where rock is looked at as a commodity rather than an attitude-based driving force, our music community has been left cheated. When people speak of the music that summarizes the reason they fell in love with rock, often their conversations are based on memory and nostalgia. Once upon a time rock meant big, it meant caring for things you weren�t supposed to and apathy for what you should. It meant girls, drugs, late nights and fights. It meant tomorrow you might not wake up� �But that was a justifiable risk to follow the party!� In Huntington, West Virginia, a small town on the border of three states a band had done something where so many others have tried and fallen short. Reminds us why we loved rock again. The Black Knots are a band built on few but valued principles. The ridiculous and over-the-top for other bands is only the �setting of the bar� for the Black Knots. Rock should be attitude, it should be bigger than life and over the top because that is the ideals that it was built on and ideals perpetuated since its inception. Little has changed because adrenalin does not evolve, it either is or isn�t. Rock is soul, heart, love, addiction, blood, sweat, hate & want. The Black Knots are the hunger for the drug without the �flaccid disappointment� given by other bands that can�t provide it. At bare bones the Black Knots are a rock band. Their style is built on power-based songs, rooted in blues premise with enough tongue-in-cheek undertones to make you question the seriousness of the band in its entirety. That brings us to the other anchor and principle of this band, the idea that well-written songs in a party packages is a palatable drink for every rock fan. Just because a song is complicated does not mean it has to be deep and just because a song is simple does not mean it has to be stupid. At root, the Black Knots walk the line of AC/DC, Turbonegro, Danko Jones, Nashville Pussy, Devil Dogs, Zeke, George Thorogood and the New Bomb Turks. Many bands similar but different, uncompromising but the same. There will always be cookie cutter bands regurgitating popular styles and teen movie representations of suburban angst. At least in the reigning rock community there is a level of comfort in knowing that the airwaves are a little dirtier due to the Black Knots doing what so many other bands forgot was possible.

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June 2008 Band of the Month

Bud Carroll & The Southern Souls

Genre: Rock/Soul
Location: Huntington, WV

Bud Carroll has been around, and he’s been around as long as most considering the 25 year old started playing in bars at 12. Then, just as he was wanting to drop out of college, a band called American Minor offered him a sweet gig. Then they landed on a sweet major label (Jive Records) and played all over the US, Canada, and England for three years. He toured with the Black Crowes, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Allman Bros., Drive By Truckers, and even David Lee Roth. Then, as usually happens with major label deals, they were dropped, broke up, and Bud came home to Huntington, to regroup, refill, replinish, and then returned to the music scene armed with the Southern Souls, a power trio born out of the ZZ Top and Gov’t Mule tradition, but not limited too southern rock per se. More like Appalachain Soul Music. That’s what they would call it if they were here. Jimmy Lykens plays bass, and he’s from Boone County, which makes his soul pure. Steve Barker plays drums, and he’s from Boone County, but we aren’t sure if his soul is pure or not. Bud Carroll’s soul is definitely pure, and he puts it on display for all to see, nightly. Blues, Funk, Jazz, Gospel, Dirty Rock and Roll, Elvis Costello: that’s what they are into and that’s what they sound like, sometimes. Other times they sound different. You should go and see what they sound like, you just might like it…. a lot.

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May 2008 Band of the Month

The Concept

Genre: Punk/Rock
Location: Charleston, WV

Mike, Ross, and Dave make up The Concept. Three friends that share a strong passion for music. The first song we wrote was “Guitar Pick (Kool as Ice).” Since then we have worked to write better music. We had our first show in August of 2006 at The Blue Parrot in Charleston, WV. We play a high energy live show that’s full of jokes and jokes. We try to bring new music to our shows so always be on the look out for new music!

We have been playing for over a year now and we’re loving every minute of it! Our hometown spot is The Blue Parrot, which is an awesome music venue so if you’re in town go see a show there! We love playing at new venues, so if you’re a band that wants to do some show trades hit us up and we’d be more than happy to set something up. Going on road trips to out of town shows are a blast. If you know of any venues that we have not played at, let us know. We love to get shows booked at new venues.

Our first album comes out on May 30th. “The Empire Penguin Strikes Back” will be available at our shows along with t-shirts starting May 30th. Make sure you come out on May 30th and the 31st for our two CD release shows.

We have received much love from our families, friends, and fans. We want to thank all of you for supporting us and coming out to our shows! Without fans, The Concept would be nothing. Thanks to all of you for supporting us and keeping our band going! Hope to see all of you soon!

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April 2008 Band of the Month

Let the Guilty Hang

Genre: Metal/Hardcore/Thrash
Location: Huntington, WV

In Southern West Virginia, our history has blood on its hands. Many wars have been waged, from families battling for territorial rights to clashes between business and labor, resulting in near-civil war. The battles of yester-year have come full circle to see poverty take rise in the region, by way of industry deleting the union foothold, set in place by years of bloodshed and heartache. With poverty at its zenith and unemployment at an all-time high, its easy to see how hopelessness and despair can rise to the surface.

Born out of those same mountains that, for better or worse, secluded this area for years, Let the Guilty Hang arrived on the local metal scene quickly displaying songs that combine the attitude of traditional thrash metal, the intensity of the Gothenburg Sound, and the melodic aspects of modern American heavy metal. Let the Guilty Hang formed in early 2005 with a lineup consisting of a whos who of the local West Virginia music scene. Beevare, former bassist for Huntington, WV-based band Lifter, who would serve as the lead guitarist for Let the Guilty Hang, and Daniel Johnson, then-drummer for roots-rock band Guinness Clarkes Wine, began playing together with a shared passion to write music more in line with their personal tastes. After several attempts with other musicians, they vowed to seek out other musicians with similar ideologies and musical ability. The first tapped was Derek Maynard, ex-vocalist for Product of Society. Although Maynard hadnt been on stage in years, he maintained visibility in the local scene. His harsh, aggressive vocals bring a formidable presence to the band. The search for a bassist ended with the addition of Adam Angst, the singer for then-touring West Virginia punk rockers Out of Nowhere. Adam brought sensible bass playing and melodic singing, the defining characteristic of the band, to the table. After several rehearsals, the need for a second guitarist was apparent. The addition came in the form of Joe Baer. Joe, former member of local legendary hardcore band Born for Eternity (which also included Angst on drums), brought a huge black metal influence to the band. His playing rounded out the sound of the band.

After several months of pre-production, it was time to play live. One of the first shows would set the stage for the future of the band. An opportunity to perform as main support on an Ozzfest off-date with heavy metal titans As I Lay Dying, The Black Dahlia Murder, It Dies Today, and The Haunted. Within weeks, another opportunity to perform to a capacity crowd came in the form of a Chum (Century Media) reunion show with West Virginia tech-metal heroes Byzantine rounding out the roster. The band has gone on to perform several shows bringing a high-energy, fun-filled riff fest to venues all over the region.

The band currently recorded their debut album The Unspeakable at Studio 101 with Aaron Fisher producing and engineering and Byzantine front man Chris Ojeda sitting in the production chair for the first time. Using www.myspace.com, the band has been able to transcend the borders of rural Appalachia to amass a worldwide following. Upon the CDs release, the band plans to take the live show to larger markets and pursue a national recording contract. The gallows await. Let the Guilty Hang.

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March 2008 Band of the Month

Brink of Oblivion

Genre: Death Metal/Metal/Grindcore
Location: Charleston, WV

Formed in early 2007, Brink of Oblivion have managed to establish themselves as one of extreme metal’s most relentless forces in their home state of West Virginia and the surrounding region. Combining brutal dual leads, inventive vocal stylings and a thundering rhythm section, Brink of Oblivion are on their way to becoming a premier act in extreme metal. With their release of the Domination EP in late 2007, which is available for free download, their fan base has been growing exponentially. If there were a soundtrack to the apocalypse, Brink of Oblivion would be it.

[Click HERE to download "Domination EP" from Brink of Oblivion]

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February 2008 Band of the Month

Billy Matheny

Genre: Alternative/Rock/Country
Location: Morgantown, WV

Usually, singer/songwriters don�t add multi-instrumentalist musician to their resumes, or vice versa. But for Billy Matheny, that diversity catalyzed his development into a solid live and studio performer. It�s also allowed for plenty of shows in different types of venues, such as college campuses, coffee houses, bars, and larger music clubs.

Because of those aforementioned experiences, his songwriting spans the genres of rock-n-roll, garage-punk, bluesy-country, acoustic folk and bluegrass, sometimes all at once. Since breaking onto the Morgantown, WV college-music scene in 2001, Billy has played solo, as part of an acoustic/electric duo and in several bands, including a few he�s fronted. He�s also opened for national acts like Joseph Arthur, Malcolm Holcomb, Lucero and Dick Dale.

His style of songwriting draws comparisons to that of Jeff Tweedy, Scott Miller and Neil Young, to name a few. Most of the tunes are flexible enough to play out alone or with band members. Matheny consciously strives for this variety, which is evident in both his CD releases, as well as his live sets.

Released in 2003, Billy�s self-titled debut EP earned praise from several publications, including WV Graffiti magazine and The Dominion Post newspaper. Matheny solely recorded all six songs on eight different instruments, showcasing his diverse songwriting and musicianship.

A year later, he released a 7� single, �I Won�t Be Around�. He split sides with Morgantown artists, The Emergency, as part of a benefit for Habitat for Humanity, in conjunction with WWVU-FM. This particular song received constant and consistent airplay on the university radio station in the Fall of 2004.

In October 2006, Matheny teamed up with a backup band, The Frustrations, to release the CD, �Born of Frustration�. Critical acclaim on print (Athens News, Racer X magazine Charleston Gazette), as well as online (Couchesonfire.blogspot.com) soon followed. A steady stream of local and regional live shows in support of the album boosted an already loyal following.

When Billy�s not playing solo acoustic sets, he regularly can be seen with one or more of The Frustrations. As a duo, many fans liken Matheny and Haley Slagle (vocals, guitar) to performers such as Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris and Black Francis/Kim Deal. When you add Adrian Larry (bass) and Adam Jones (drums), the resulting mix evokes images of Wilco, The Replacements and Big Star.

Whether it�s the band, the duo or solo act, Billy Matheny & The Frustrations travel for mini-tours in between frequent hometown shows. Currently, Billy is working on the follow-up to �Born of Frustration�.

[Band Biography - Raj Chandran]

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January 2008 Band of the Month

Byzantine

Genre: Metal
Location: Charleston, WV

Hailing from the backwoods of West Virginia, BYZANTINE was formed in the spring of 2000 by singer and guitarist Chris �OJ� Ojeda, bassist Cid Adams and guitarist Tony Rorhbough. Following the demise of their former bands, Byzantine was just a tool to knock the dust off of their prospective instruments, write some songs and have a little fun away from their day jobs. During this time they employed a simple drum machine to practice with and write their tunes.

During the winter of 2002, BYZANTINE headed into Broadmoor Studios in Huntington, WV to record their first full-length demo with Wolfe on drums. With a very limited budget, this demo was rough around the edges but had a certain aggressiveness and attraction to it that BYZANTINE would soon harness and use to take on the metal world soon after. Their break came when the band’s webmaster gave an mp3 of the group�s music to Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler. He soon invited them to open a show in Virginia, which led to a small east coast tour and eventually to landing a record deal with Prosthetic Records. Soon after, BYZANTINE released their Prosthetic debut, The Fundamental Component, in February 2004. Coming across like a hybrid of Meshuggah, Pantera and Testament with more than a smidgen of southern groove, The Fundamental Component combined angular guitar riffing and unconventional tempos with roaring thrash rhythms and bellowing vocals which would quickly become the band�s trademark sound. During this time BYZANTINE landed high profile gigs with Lamb of God and Shadows Fall as well as playing the main stage of New England Hardcore and Metal Festival in both 2004 and 2006.

After two months of writing and rehearsing and with the amicable departure of bassist Cid Adams, BYZANTINE was ready to record their second album, �And They Shall Take Up Serpents, which received high praise both abroad and domestically. Having a knack for achieving a perfect balance of chaos and melody 2005�s �And They Shall Take Up Serpents delivered a gloriously metallic racket with boot to the groin, guitar driven metal. Juxtaposing serene soundscapes with hellacious walls of noise, BYZANTINE deliver sledgehammer rhythms and tandem leads that helped pin back some ears and made the musical world of the metal underground take notice.

With the 2007 release of Salvation, a fan-oriented DVD featuring exclusive live performance, bootlegs, behind the scenes footage, in-studio clips from the recording of Serpents, interviews, music tutorials and the uncut version of the “Jeremiad” music video as well as the performance of the never-before released �Cradle Song,� BYZANTINE managed to continue storming one more fan at a time and scooping more up along the way.

Now, with the release of Oblivion Beckons, BYZANTINE continues to push the technical boundaries of modern metal, for the first time utilizing all members� songwriting abilities and welcoming bassist Skip Cromer into the fold. All the while, BYZANTINE continues further bidding to resuscitate the forward-thinking thrash metal scene, showcasing musical prowess alongside catchy melodies, technical proficiency and unrelenting aggression.

[Band Biography from Prosthetic Records (www.prostheticrecords.com)]

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December 2007 Band of the Month

Strength of Solitude

Genre: Alternative/Rock/Progressive
Location: Nitro, WV

We are Strength Of Solitude, recent transports to the Tri State area from eastern WV. S.O.S. started out as a two piece acoustic band. After playing many shows in the Lewisburg WV, one of the founding members, Kevin Ervin knew that there was something missing from the band. I met up with a bass player from Nitro, WV named Jimmie Hatcher. Although we held on to our acoustic roots we started adding more original songs and a little bit heavier riff’s. With the loss of our original drummer Jimmie and I happened to find a very talented drummer/ guitar player from Virginia named Jeremy Clarke. S.O.S. started gigging around the area with Jeremy playing drums, Jimmie on bass, and Kevin on guitar and vocals. We started getting bigger better shows in more places in the state of Va, and WV. Playing places like the Monkey Bar, the Sound Factory, and a main stage slot at Mountain Fest in Morgantown to name a few, and are gearing up for opening for national act ADEMA in the later part of July. For the two years that Strength Of Solitude has been around they have made accomplishments in leaps and bounds and are getting a great fan base all ready for the short time they have been in the Tri-State area. Come check us out at one of our live shows and make sure you come up to us and say hi because you guys keep us going.

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November 2007 Band of the Month

Threefold Theory

Genre: Rock
Location: Huntington, WV

“which you give to the world you shall receive back by three, the threefold theory…….”

The bands very name implies its philosophy. Whether it is good or bad, a person will receive what they give by three.

With the success of the bands debut album “loveHATElive”, Threefold Theory is connecting with fans worldwide through its cathartic music. The band is currently working on it’s sophomore effort titled “Into The Fray” and preview tracks are now available on our myspace page!

While music can be an escape, it can also be a release. This is the approach that Threefold Theory employs in its songwriting, this style is evident in the bands debut release “loveHATElive” and the bands sophomore release “Into The Fray”.

Whether its the driving, hard hitting The Letting Go, the title track from the sophomore release Into The Fray, or the pop-infused anti-love song Goodbye, Miss Beautiful, Threefold Theory songs pull on the common threads that bind us all, and are themselves bound by sing-song choruses and distinct melodies.

Threefold Theory has built a national fan base through constant touring, performing approximately 200 live shows in 2005/2006, and was highlighted by headlining Board Up Miami, a professional wakeboard and music festival that was held at Miami Marine Stadium in Miami, FL, on March 10, 2007!

Threefold Theory has had the honor of supporting national acts FUEL, Seether, Crossfade, Cold, Dark New Day, Smile Empty Soul, Huck Johns and Revelation Theory. Threefold Theory has been featured in several publications and was awarded Track of the Day by Garageband Records for the songs The Letting Go, Suffocating and Tonight.

What began as a way for three friends to say something positive and meaningful has paid off in dividends. As the band continues to see success, Threefold Theory will continue to be guided by its founding principles, holding tight to the common threads that speak so loudly to its fans.

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October 2007 Band of the Month

Ten Carp Lie

Genre: Rock/Alternative
Location: Huntington, WV

Ten Carp Lie was formed in 2002 by four guys who had known each other since high school, but had always played in other bands. They combined their efforts, and consequently Ten Carp Lie was formed. Ten Carp Lie wants to thank all of their fans, friends, and family for their support over the last 5 years. They will continue to support the local music scene, so keep an eye out for them in the local Charleston/Huntington music venues. Their CD is still available for purchase online at cdbaby.com. Ten Carp Lie’s Pop/Rock grooves has an original sound that separates them from many of the other Charleston/Huntington bands.

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September 2007 Band of the Month

Premature Burial

Genre: Death Metal/Metal/Grindcore
Location: Parkersburg, WV

Premature Burial formed in late 2003 as several other bands at the time were ending their tenures. Corey, Joe, and Brandon got together to form this new project that everyone finally had the time to commit to. As the three-piece group started to play shows in 2004, the time came to record a demo. The Monuments Of War demo was recorded by producer Jesse Smith in the summer of 2004. Hitting the area with their own blend of Appalachian Metal.

Around this time, Tyler entered the fold and Corey took over main vocals in the band. Premature Burial started playing more regional shows with the likes of Dying Fetus, Misery Index, and Through The Eyes Of The Dead. During the summer of 2005 the band went into the studio again. This time they recorded the cd, Visions of Panic with Shayne Hiles.

2005 also saw a new guitarist join the band, Travis stepped in around the time Tyler stepped out. Premature Burial took the summer of 2005 to support their new cd and to play festivals with All Shall Perish and Circle of Dead Children at the Dwell In Darkness fest along with an opening spot on the 2005 Ohio Death Fest with Origin, Fleshgrind, and Gorgasm.

2006 came and the band pulled off a couple mini tours on the east coast and along came Alec to play bass guitar. Now with the band complete again in late 2006 the group headed to Buffalo, NY to record a demo with Doug White who just finished working with Psyopus and has worked with Commit Suicide and Everytime I Die. The new material was titled Fulfilling The Prophecy.

During 2007 the band had a couple spot shows with bands like Decapitated and Nile. The summer brought Premature Burial on a Canadian tour with Crimson Shadows and Nitemare.

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August 2007 Band of the Month

Jeff Ellis

Genre: Rock/Alternative/Acoustic
Location: Huntington, WV

Immediately following the release of his solo debut, �The Enemy�, in July of 2005, Huntington, WV native Jeff Ellis� Army Reserve Unit was called up to active duty to join the War on Terrorism in the Middle East. Now, nearly 18 months later, he�s back with a brand-new fifteen song album titled, �A Front Seat for the End of the World.� �On �A Front Seat�,� I wanted to capture the different voices of the men and women whose lives are daily turned upside down and inside out during a time of war, from the ones on the front lines to the ones waiting at home. While writing the songs for this record, I often found my own views changing from those I�d previously been so adamant about. I think the record reflects those changes, and I believe that many people will be able to relate.� – Jeff Ellis What began as a collection of journal entries and 4-track demos, �A Front Seat for the End of the World� has become Jeff�s most diverse work to date. With each of the fifteen tracks crossing and blending genres at will, it�s nearly impossible to label the complete package: and that�s not a bad thing. What it succeeds in doing is creating a truly unique and interesting listening experience that keeps the listener engaged for the whopping sixty-plus minutes of running time. In an era where cookie-cutter pop with little to no thought involved rules the airwaves, this return to form and a time where songs and substance mattered is a nice change. The first single to be released is the album�s title track, and it picks up where �The Enemy� left off with big, jangling guitars and a ripping solo played by one of the album�s many guests, Byzantine�s Tony Rohrbough (Prosthetic Records). Rohrbough also takes the leads on �Hollow�, a Middle-Eastern inspired anthem that questions the methods and ideals behind a religion that embraces suicide bombings, and �Short Term Memory Loss�, a tragic look at mankind�s stubbornness and inability to learn from past mistakes. Other players on the record include guitarists Bud Carroll, formerly of American Minor (Jive Records), Russ Fox of Sinks of Gandy (Tiberius Records), and Paul Calicoat. Joe Bailey and Phil James, who have both collaborated with Jeff on a number of different projects, both return to add the album�s drums and keyboards. Newcomer Mandy Hurley makes her vocal debut on the nearly six-minute ballad, �Time Slips Away�, a song about the hardships of separation that war brings. When it comes to recording studios, Jeff seems to have found a home at Broadmoor Recording with engineer Russ Fox. The working relationship between the two has blossomed over the years and is very apparent on AFSFTEOTW. Another major credit to the big sound of the record was the decision to have producer Eddie Ashworth (Sublime, Pennywise, Izzy Stradlin) mix and co-produce the album. The fantastic results speak for themselves in large amounts of good old-fashioned rock and roll. The many different layered and textured guitar tones are spot on, and never before has Jeff’s voice been so clear and present in the mix. Bailey’s drums hit with incredible force and precision, and the warm, punchy bass lines keep the record grooving throughout. For more information, streaming audio, news, and tour updates, etc., please visit www.jeffellismusic.com and www.myspace.com/jeffellismusic.

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July 2007 Band of the Month

Holden Caulfield

Genre: Hardcore/Punk/Metal
Location: Huntington, WV

Holden Caulfield, in a way, has always been more like a collective instead of just a band. Through every member, past and present, something was given to the greater good that is Holden Caulfield. Those still involved keep going forward, reworking and refining every detail of every song to their idea of perfection. It took a few changes to have a lineup that could spend a lot of time on the road and, as it turns out, there has never been a more solid group of musicians.

The success of their EP, “The Art Of Burning Bridges” and a full-length, “Can�t Stop Now”, out on Surprise Attack Records, has proven that hard work, staying dedicated to your fans, and playing music for the love of music is the only way this band knows how to exist.

“It�s been a long road,” says vocalist Dana White. “Finding a group of musicians that are both talented and fun to hang out with is a surprisingly difficult task.” Holden Caulfield�s most recent 2007 demo proves that it was worth the ride down that road. “Every chance we get to hang out, practice, write, and play shows, we take it. I think one of the reasons we�re so happy with the band as a whole is because we all have so much fun together.”

That really shines through when you hear the material that makes up Holden Caulfield�s 2007 demo, which could argueably be their best recording to date. It captures more of what the band is about in a live setting and also displays more mature song writing than ever before. The demo was engineered and co-produced by Russ Fox (Byzantine, Bleach, Hyatari) at Broadmoor Studios, who has been a part of the Holden Caulfield family since it’s inception.

At this point Holden Caulfield is trying to spend every bit of time they possibly can on the road. With a few tours under their belts and countless weekend jaunts, they have played with hundreds of bands in nearly every state on the eastern side of the country. This is very literally the beginning of a new era for Holden Caulfield. Keep an eye out for them to be playing near you soon.

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June 2007 Band of the Month

KADE

Genre: Metal/Rock
Location: Huntington, WV

Hailing from the depths of the Appalachian Midwest, KADE is a five-piece hard rock, heavy metal band who has managed to craft a unique blend of aggression and melody, that gives them a sound all their own.

With their musical roots sewn in classic heavy metal, the band wishes to expand beyond the blueprint of what heavy music has been, and reinvent the genre for a whole new generation of fans. KADE is fronted by a dark and poetic vocalist with unique guttural vocal tones; the twin guitar assault is provided by two guitarists with the talent and ingenuity of classic heavy metal, but updated and combined with a modern sensibility; and the rhythm section is anchored by the likes of two outstanding musicians who are precise and punishing.

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May 2007 Band of the Month

Into the Void

Genre: Metal/Rock
Location: Fairmont, WV

From the land of Polar Bears and Mary Lou Retton, Fairmont�s Into The Void recently stepped onto the local metal scene with their new CD �See You Pay,� a delightful romp of thrash and hardcore punk, with a little bit of classic metal thrown in. The trio has already received nods from numerous outlets, including X106.3�s Loud and Local program, and a brief mention of the music on their Myspace profile on BrA�Zine, among others. The band (Cameron Childers: bass/vocals; Cody Childers: guitar; Greg Ramsey: drums) has added four previously unreleased tracks to what you could hear on their profile (www.Myspace.com/intothevoidband) and those are the ones I�ll focus on. Manic thrash with bleak personal lyrics and, a fairly violent image (rifles and rounds) saturate their profile and their CD.

�Disorder� features a cool bass intro before breaking down into noise rock and thrash. Cameron sings �Can you see the truth, something deep inside you, controlled by your mind?� before giving way to Cody�s incessant soloing. The solos appear on pretty much each song, and I think if they had another guitarist the solos wouldn�t stick out like a sore thumb on the songs.

�It Never Changes� could be about ITV�s worldview, or something (Cameron sings �living the same way day after day, it all stays the same�), but it is not about the tempo of this song; the song breaks down into slow, heavy riffage before climaxing in a veritable orgasm of speed metal. Sorry for that.

�Be The One� has cool, quirky sounding riffs to open, before breaking down into the hardcore. Lyrics? Cody sings �Be the one, the only one/who tries the best, and kills the rest� � ok. This song features the solo noodling as a kind of ambient noise in parts (the start), and I think that�s cool. �E.G.A.� opens with trippy-spooky guitar/cymbal rides/and even cool wind noise before starting in with the metal.

While most metal acts these days forgo singing their lyrics in any intelligible manner (growlcore), Cody�s vocals are gnarly (yeah, I�m bringing that word back!) yet for the most part easily understood and recorded with little or no effects. The most surprising thing about the overall sound is that this IS a three-piece metal band. They may in the future take on an additional guitarist to round out the sound, but from what I�ve heard on the CD (nicely done at Fairmont�s Beyond Sanity Productions) they don�t really need to have one. I think it would give them something to kind of play the solos over, though. I can�t imagine who the target of the band�s seemingly threatening imagery might be, but the CD opens with �See You Pay� and closes with �Disposable Friends� so read between the lines, maybe.
[Excerpt from Into the Void review on brazine.com]

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April 2007 Band of the Month

Split Nixon

Genre: Rock/Alternative
Location: Ashland, KY

After many failed attempts at creating a band with the right chemistry and sonic landscape, living the dream of this musical brotherhood to its fruition seemed unattainablebut, but in spite of the odds, four dedicated, aspiring artists from the Tri-State area assembled the right combination, trusted one anothers vision and collectively self-produced one of the best independent rock albums available today.
Split Nixon offers no tattoos, piercings or addictions, just a strong commitment to making the best albums possible. Their debut effort has been described by TAXI, The A&R Industry Leader, as having “contagious melodies, solid playing & an overall magical quality to the performance.”
Joe Waters, President of the Recording Workshop, Chillocothe, OH, “Over my 30 years as President of one of the most reputable recording schools in the United States, I’ve never seen the equal of musicianship and talent possessed by this band A best kept secret, about to explode. Two of the tracks have been featured on GarageBand.com and met with a great response. “Momma I Tried” landed at No.17 on their charts and “In My Head” was featured as “Song of the Day”.
The latest accomplishments by the band include endorsements by the custom guitar makers, U.S. Masters & Voodoo Guitars, a very coveted sponsorship by the world famous liquor giant, Jagermeister, Everly Strings, Taye Drums, and Sabian Cymbals.
Split Nixon is currently in production with the highly anticipated release of their next album. Great songs, talented individuals, and a strong work ethic have brought Split Nixon to the top of the independent rock scene.

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March 2007 Band of the Month

Zeroking

Genre: Metal/Rock/Hardcore
Location: Huntington, WV

The Life And Times Of ZEROKING! A band’s bio is usually written in such a way as to lure the reader into saying to themselves “My god, this artist is the biggest undiscovered talent of our time!”. A calculated delusion that rarely happens! In fact, a poorly written bio just adds to the general apathy that surrounds the industry like a thin layer of latex!(Safe but uncomfortable and with no real sensation!) ZEROKING IS NOT GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE BANDS!!!!!!! We are not going to try and make you believe that our thunderous drums, pounding bass and a virtuoso guitarist spell “SUCkCESS”!!! Especially in the midst of Five Zillion other bands. In fact, individually we are just slightly above average. Why would we tell you this? It’s the truth!!! We know, we know, calm down! BREATHE! It’s going to be alright. IT’S GOING TO BE ALRIGHT! (Honesty in this business? Holy Shit!!) As a collective, we have always been more concerned with our songwriting. Songwriting, that has been honed over time and continues to improve with every passing rehearsel and performance.(Okay, so we are going to build ourselves up a little!) Without great songs though, who fuckin cares? Right? The ride began when our guitarist Shane Day and Drummer Chris Webb found themselves left to their own devices. After a gradual breakdown of their former band they decided to start their dream band. A band that would fuse modern metal with tinges of music they loved in their youth. They jammed for a full year before the addition of a former bassist (who was replaced in Oct. ’06 by J.P. Boggs) and vocalist Andy Haught. This lineup completed several songs in four months and did our first show in January of 2005. At the close of our first year togeather ZEROKING had played 50 shows in our hometown of Huntington, W.V. and the surrounding areas. Received weekly airplay on X106.3(our local Clear Channel affiliate), numerous other markets in Kentucky and Ohio and several internet radio stations. Our merchandise sells consistently. Our Myspace site has gathered nearly 5000 “Friends” (members) who stay updated online. Our local shows have seen us performing initially to a handful of people to the 300 crazy bastards we play for at every appearence! 2006 proved to be a banner year for Zeroking!!! We have continued to push ahead, adding staging and pyrotechnics to an already exciting stage show. Hitting markets outside our area that previously were out of reach, just on word of mouth. Acquiring endorsements from several companies locally and nationally. Taking over playlists on still more commercial and internet radio stations. Co-headling the Loud and Local second stage at X106.3′s “X-FEST” this past Sept. Accepting a personal invitation to play The Bear’s (Parkersburg, WV.’s modern rock station!) annual “Party Like A Rockstar” event! Being offered a booking contract from Transfusion Entertainment that promotes bands throughout the midwest. Opening for every major national act that passes through town. (Staind, Soil, Nonpoint, Three Days Grace, etc.) And most importantly, 2006 saw the release of our first E.P. “The Sweet Sale of Excess”! ZEROKING roots its sound in contradictions. Could a heavy band be rock without losing it’s intensity? Yes!!! Could we have commercial appeal without writing depressed, whiny and/or my girfriends a cunt style garbage? Fuckin A’ Cotton, F.N.A!!! Rock and metal music is suppossed to be edgy and dark. We try to write the best songs we can about the subjects that matter to rock and metal fans the most: SEX, DRUGS, STRIPPERS PORNO, POLITICS, COCAINE and THE END OF THE WORLD!!! If there is any questions about our dedication to this premise, come see a show! We love performing and genuinely like what we do! We will continue to destroy every town we go to! We will win over every crowd we get in front of. And we will drink, fuck and smoke until we run out of BOOZE, GROUPIES, and DOPE!!! Fuck em’ all, ZEROKING!

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February 2007 Band of the Month

A Place of Solace

Genre: Metal/Hardcore
Location: Huntington, WV

Wanna know why record sales are down? Carbon copy,cookie cutter pop. Wanna change? We’d like to introduce A Place of Solace out of Huntington, West Virginia. No hype. No image. No bullshit. With a sound like no one else, Tommy (Vocals, Bass & Guitar), Tim (Guitar), Jeremy AKA “Pops” (Drums) & Misty (Percussion) are known for infecting their local music scene with a revolutionary new idea —– Musical Integrity and Originality. Give a listen to their 13 song, self-produced cd. No studio tricks, no effects, no cheap overdubs. Just straight ahead raw emotion with an emphasis on solid songwriting. And those hooks deliver live. A Place of Solace show is the most intense live show you will ever witness… A frenetic, charismatic frontman leading a no holds barred assault on every sense. A Place of Solace brings the challenge and this act packs the balls to back it up. No costumes, no gimmicks, just pure expression. A Place of Solace has shared the stage with dozens of national acts. Their music has been featured in compilations and has maintained constant local radio airplay. A Place of Solace reputation as an extreme live act landed them a featured spot on the soundtrack and in the movie “Burning Annie”. In closing… Do you want to follow the trend of disposable pop saccharine? Or do you want to lead a new movement where music, not market, matters? A Place of Solace is the band that will bring about that change!

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January 2007 Band of the Month

Hydrogyn

Genre: Rock/Metal
Location: Huntington, WV

In January 2004, West Virginia guitarists Jeff Westlake and Jeff Boggs began work on a new experiment � a compelling modern heavy rock tour de force like no other on the scene � an outfit designed to destroy musical and industry barriers. Jeff Westlake on the blueprints behind HYDROGYN, �We wanted something a broad audience could love but also be something special. Something that stood out.” Fortified with cutting edge riffs, intelligent lyrics and massive hooks delivered by Julie (just �Julie�), a stunning front lady with a multi-octave range, the result is a formula set to conquer everything from Alternative Rock to Modern Hard Rock to Timeless Metal without sacrificing credibility. By the time the band�s self-produced debut hit the scene, the industry was already putting their ears to the ground, picking up on the rumble that is HYDROGYN. Best Served With Volume found the band in favor with soft drink giant Pepsi, who not only sponsored the fledgling outfit but hoisted them in front of tens of thousands strong at NASCAR (Chevy Rocking 400 May 2005). The audience response was nothing short of inspiring. It was clear, even without prior exposure to the band, onlookers fell into the hands of the fivesome�s massive, genre leaping sound and mesmerizing front lady, making the case that Jeff Boggs, Jeff Westlake, Julie, bassist Chris Sammons and drummer Josh Kitchen were onto something. The audience affect was verified when HYDROGYN began packing clubs in the Midwest and New England areas, selling out venues that seated up to 1500 people. Smaller venues had them booked for multiple nights. HYDROGYN was rapidly becoming a live band to be reckoned with.

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December 2006 Band of the Month

Shorthrow

Genre – Metal and Rock
Location – Charleston, WV

Shorthrow was formed in February 2001. The combined playing experience and music knowledge of four friends from West Virginia joined to create some of the most modern, yet old-school sounding metal in the area. Shorthrow�s two independently released CD�s have sold extremely well on the regional market and their live shows are entertaining and energetic. They pack the clubs they play on a regular basis and work hard to make the show all about the fans.

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November 2006 Band of the Month

DownState

Genre – Metal and Rock
Location – Charleston, WV

Formed in the summer of 2001, these five friends have been writing and performing since the beginning. In 2002 barely together for a year, they found themselves on the second stage at a concert that featured acts such as Hatebreed, Flaw, Clutch, SR-71, Noise Therapy and 3rd Strike. Downstate has also shared the stage with national acts such as RA, Soil, Double Drive, Five Bolt Main, Type O Negative, Slaves on Dope, Lacuna Coil and ShineDown. They are often called the hardest working band in the area, playing an average of 5-10 shows per month, across West Virginia and surrounding states. Their shows vary from playing in local bars to nationally recognized events such as Clear Channel communications X-fest. From festivals to sharing the stage with top artists, they give 110 percent to each and every performance, whether they are playing for a crowd of 100 or 5,000 people. DownState has built a strong and loyal fan base with their heart stopping brutality. The Players’ loyalty to the music, the fan, and to each other proves to be the force that keeps them rockin’. The entire band is involved with the creative writing process and their writings have touched on subjects relating from personal experiences to social issues. Also, what’s a rock band without a few songs dedicated to hot women and beer? DOWNSTATE’s debut album “FEAR” is available at select record stores as well as online via the official website.

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October 2006 Band of the Month

Fits Of The Season

Genre – Metal, Rock, and Jazz
Location – Buckhannon, WV

Fits of the Season breaks traditionally held standards of song writing by creating songs that break the ten minute barrier. The drums echo the style of the late John Bonham, while the bass, inspired by jazz works, hold the songs together. The guitar brings back the melodic solos with meaning, and the vocals speak of a variety of subjects. Fits of the Season try not to take themselves too seriously by focusing more on their music than their image. During the summer of 2006, Fits of the Season recorded their first album, PHAROS. The disc contains 10 songs totalling more than 65 minutes worth of music. The band is very proud of the effort and looks forward to supporting the record. Fits of the Season is a band you don’t want to miss!

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September 2006 Band Of The Month

Timeless Memory

Genre – Metal/Hardcore
Location – Charleston, WV

In October of 2002, Jason, Braden, Eric, and Ryan formed the original line-up of Timeless Memory. Over the next year and a half, we went through several different singers, band-names, and even music styles. It took well over 2 years as a band before we figured out what exactly we wanted to be.
When our original singer didn’t work out, Braden took over as the lead singer of the band. Once Braden began singing, we recorded our first demo with friend of the band, Jay Rexroad at Dreadnought Studios. After recording the demo, we did several shows at the Cliffhanger in South Charleston until it closed late spring of 2004. After that, we took a break from playing shows and decided to write more songs.
In November of 2004, we re-entered the studio, this time recording with Ed Fields at Underhill Studios. We weren’t happy with our performance as a band on the CD, so we decided to not release it. Soon after that, we recruited Josh Clark on vocals.
We entered the studio once again, this time with the well-known and talented Aaron Fisher at 101 Productions. We were very pleased with how the demo turned out.
Ever since, we have kept busy, doing shows and getting new material. We continue to write new and better songs, and we also continue to excel in our knowledge and theory in musical composition. In the future, we hope to make music our daily lives, and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

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August 2006 Band Of The Month

Crawdad Smoothie

Genre – Old School Rock
Location – Charleston, WV

“Classic, Southern, Old School, Kick Ass Rock” are the words that best summarize Crawdad Smoothie. With their unrivaled commitment to excellence, this group of talented and experienced musicians sets themselves apart with their unprecedented musicianship; nowhere will you find a group of more talented musicians. Going from the guitar rock of the 70s to the metal of the 80s to the grunge of the 90s to today’s rock, Crawdad Smoothie further distinguishes itself with its wide variety of music.

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July 2006 Band Of The Month

Science Of The Mind

Genre – Metal in your face
Location – Charleston, WV

We are a three piece metal band out of the charleston area. We only play original music that is described as old school metal. This music and this band will kick your ass. This band and music isn’t for whiners, weenies, weak of heart, small children or animals. We formed in 2004 and have played at the sound factory the empty glass the monkey bar and Marley’s Dog House. We are currently working in our new drummer and as of Jan 2006 we are ready to take it up a notch and play again. We are currently looking to play in Athens and branch out there to the rest of Ohio.

The band is made up of:
Larabeast – guitars/vocals
Joe Crazy – bass
Evil Ian – drums

We are regulars at the empty glass electric jam nite on the last monday of every month, come and party with us and a good head slamming time will be had by all.

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June 2006 Band Of The Month

Scenes From A Movie

Genre – Rock / Post Hardcore / Pop Punk
Location – Charleston, WV

TONY BUSH – vocals
LUKE DELPAPA – guitar/vocals
JON EWING – guitar/vocals
ADAM TRIPLETT – bass/vocals
JARED MILLER – drums

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May 2006 Band Of The Month

Cryptic Sin

Genre – Metal
Location – Charleston, WV

We are a female-fronted metal band based out of Charleston, West Virginia. We have often been described as the love child of Pantera and Evanescence – kick ass melodic metal with unearthly singing and screaming vocals. Looking for something new, something different? Want music that will kick your ass and own your soul? Then look no further than Cryptic Sin.

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April 2006 Band Of The Month

Shadow Of A Martyr

Genre – Metal/Punk
Location – Clarksburg, WV

Our sound is a mix of some of the finer elements of metal mixed with punk with melodic vocals. Some would call us metalcore, however we tend to not scream as much as you would expect a band in that genre. Check us out!!!

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