Jun 25, 2015

Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor: A prime influence on the Pittsburgh Band Hawkeyes' sound.

copied from triblive.com.............

2 Pittsburgh bands to share stage at Hartwood Acres for free concert

The Bastard Bearded Irishmen are Jimmy “Bastard” Smerecky, left, Dan Stocker, Danny Rectenwald, Ben Jaber, Mike Hall and Paul Dvorchak.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 5:24 p.m.Updated 18 hours ago
Two of Pittsburgh's more popular live bands offer quite different sounds.
While the Bastard Bearded Irishmen band incorporates traditional Irish instruments, with an edge, the Hawkeyes' music might remind you of the Rolling Stones' old “Sticky Fingers” album.
Singer-songwriter Bill Deasy described the popular local groups as “different, yet somehow complimentary.”
Both bands will perform at 7:30 June 28 at Hartwood Acres Park in Hampton. Admission is free.
Pittsburgh Magazine named the Bastard Bearded Irishmen the “best bar band” of 2014. All in their 30s, five of the band's six members first met as students at Keystone Oaks High School in Dormont. They cite The Pogues, a Celtic punk band, among their major influences.
Vocalist Danny Rectenwald of Avalon — who also plays banjo and mandolin — likened the Irishmen's sound to “Irish music on speed.”
“It's a combination of the traditional Irish instruments — mandolin, banjo and accordion — with electric guitar, bass and drums,” said Rectenwald, who has a master's degree in guitar performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
“It's definitely party music,” Rectenwald said. “We want to be the band that people can get lost to and just have a good time.”
Other members of the Bastard Bearded Irishmen are drummer Dan Stocker of Dormont; singer-guitarist-banjo player Jimmy “Bastard” Smerecky of Castle Shannon; violist Paul Dvorchak of Swissvale; singer-bassist Ben Jaber of Dormont; and accordion player Michael Hall of Finleyville, Washington County.
“Our live shows, I think, are definitely one of our strongest points,” Rectenwald said. “There's a lot of dancing.”
At Hartwood, the Bastard Bearded Irishmen expect to perform some of their newest songs, including “Whiskey Ginger” from a forthcoming third CD to follow up “Bastard Bearded Irishmen” and “Rise of the Bastard.”
“It's a song about the drink — whiskey and ginger ale — but also it could be interpreted as whiskey and a ginger, like a person, like a red-headed, fair-skinned person,” Rectenwald said.
Like the Bastard Bearded Irishmen, the Hawkeyes take pride in winning many new fans at their live shows.
“We like to call ourselves the hardest-working band in Pittsburgh,” said Jay Wiley, 35, of Ellwood City, Lawrence County, the band's lead singer and guitarist.
Wiley cited one-time Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor as a prime influence on the Hawkeyes' sound.
“We are guitar driven,” said Wiley, a self-taught guitarist.
His dad, Jeff Wiley, played bass in the touring Christian rock band Rama in the 1980s.
“I didn't pick up a guitar until I was 16,” Jay Wiley said.
A graduate of Penn State University, Wiley decided to make music full time after he tried teaching for one year at Sto Rox Middle School.
“I hated it,” he said.
Other members of the Hawkeyes are drummer Colin Bronnenkant of Etna; bassist Brian Chalmers of Hopewell, Beaver County; and guitarist Michael Grego of New Castle, Lawrence County.
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 orddeasy@tribweb.com.

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