Kopecky Family Band & River City Extension
KOPECKY FAMILY BAND
Like all families, Kopecky Family Band beats with the same heart and writes in the same blood. 'The Family' began creating music together in Nashville, Tennessee in the Fall of 2007. What began as late night talks about life and dreams gradually flowed into eccentric and beautiful music that has led to numerous tours, including adventures to CMJ, SXSW and Bonnaroo, three EP releases and friendships across the country.
Leading the family are singers Gabe and Kelsey, along with Steven (lead guitar), Corey (bass), Markus (cello), and David (drums). The music is emotive, and evokes raw honesty and vulnerability, whilst capturing your attention through its unmistakable power and presence. The sounds created by the booming and orchestral-like 6-piece challenge the listener's ear while still offering sweet melodies to sing along with.
The family has a time-line with oodles of notable events including their 2008 CD release party for the Embraces EP. The party was the talk of the town with its theatrical décor, black tie dress code, and opening act of a string quartet. Excitement continued into the fall of '09 when the Kopecky Family's performance took the Next Big Nashville Music Festival by surprise.
In the spring of 2010, it was time for the family to pack into their 15-passenger van (which was lovingly called "The War Wagon") and head to Austin, TX for their showcase at SXSW as one of ASCAP's notable bands to watch. A follow up performance at Next Big Nashville in 2010 had A & R reps scurrying to put their Blackberrys away and listen. When in the studio with Partners in Crime, Russ Long and Chris Grainger (Wilco, Sixpence None the Richer), the Kopecky clan produced The Disaster EP which was released in August 2010.
The Kopeckys followed up SXSW with a mammoth CMJ 2010, where they won over NPR's own Bob Boilen and were invited to play at the official Paste Magazine showcase before becoming the darlings of 'Store-Cute' and online retailer, Fred Flare.
Straight back into the studio after CMJ, the band produced the follow up to The Disaster, the perfect compliment entitled Of Epic Proportions. The EP is comprised of digital B-Sides & rarities, featuring crowd favorite "Howlin' at the Moon", and a remix of "God & Me" that explores the band's varied and broad scope to produce amazing and diverse sounds.
Since then, the band released a limited edition split 7 vinyl with Seattle friends Ivan & Alyosha, and returned to Austin yet again for SXSW. The band played the infamous Paste Magazine showcase, Schubas Day Party, Next Big Nashville and performed for Austin's KUT during the festival. And to keep themselves really busy in 2011, the band attended Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival for the first time as performers. Notching up 3 amazing sets during the festival and amassing several new friends and fans along the way.
Back again in the studio in 2011, the band is writing and recording new tracks, so ready yourself for a new release later in the year. Anyone who encounters the Kopeckys will testify there is never a dull moment in this family of six.
RIVER CITY EXTENSION
The lyrically ambitious, stylistically adventurous Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Your Anger confronts thorny issues of personal and spiritual struggle in a manner that's both intimate and illuminating; songwriter and frontman Joe Michelini describes it as an album about resolution and forgiveness. "For the most part, these songs represent a dark period in my life when I really didn't like myself," he explains. "I was still young and still learning, and a lot of people were probably hurt by the person I was at the time. Half of this record is love songs, and half is 'I'm sorry that I fucked up' songs -- I look at them as a stepping stone, a way to put some distance between myself and that part of my life, and to remind myself that I've chosen to do better."
Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Your Anger's title paraphrases a Bible quote, Ephesians 4:26, which Michelini's mother would often cite when he was growing up. "I didn't actually know that it was from the Bible until after I picked it as the album title," he says. "I just knew it as this thing that my mom would always say, like, let the problems of the day be the problems of the day, move on, forgive people, forgive yourself, let it go."
An abiding faith in the music and an unflinching sense of honesty have been constants for River City Extension since the band's humble beginnings in Toms River. Michelini had already established a local reputation as a solo singer/songwriter when he first assembled a small acoustic combo under the River City Extension banner in late 2007. Soon, his musical vision had attracted an assortment of like-minded souls, and the act had expanded into its eight-person form. They recorded their debut album, The Unmistakable Man, with a minimum of funds, but an abundance of belief in their musical mission; then signed with Asbury Park indie label XOXO (home to fellow NJ natives the Gaslight Anthem), which released The Unmistakable Man in May 2010. The album gained momentum slowly but surely, with accolades from Paste, NPR, Spin and Alternative Press, and by 2011 River City Extension was touring hard, playing major festivals (Newport Folk Fest, Bonnaroo, Warped Tour and more) and supporting artists ranging from the Avett Brothers to The Get Up Kids.
River City Extension will hit the road for the first time in 2012 for two weeks of Southeast and Midwest shows surrounding SXSW. The band played an explosive showcase at last year's SXSW; Newport Folk Festival producer Jay Sweet stumbled upon the gig, and later told Billboard, "This band, River City Extension, is ripping the paint off the wall. These guys are playing like they're playing Madison Square Garden at midnight. These guys are closing Woodstock. Honestly! The place was about to explode.... I'll never forget it, because when River City Extension finished their set, the place physically would not let them [leave]. They tried to walk off the stage and people were not letting them walk off. It wasn't just plain clapping, they physically were not letting the band leave the stage." Sweet offered them a set at Newport on the spot.
A few years ago John Solomon walked away from music. After a long struggle with addiction and a brief stint in jail he broke up his critically acclaimed band Friends Like These and moved to a small town in Wisconsin. And supposedly that was that.
Even though Solomon left music, music never left him. After a long hiatus, he called some friends to come to Wisconsin and demo up a new album....
The Frequency (View)
121 W. Main
Madison, WI 53703