Samantha Sullivan / Special to The Recorder
Jim Townsend sets the beat on drums; Jeff Kenniston strums his acoustic guitar, Rick Fritsch and Doug Parkinson roll in on lead guitar and bass, respectively and singer Brett Wilson’s voice falls from the club’s speakers.
The guys start one particular Friday night’s performance with “Free,” an audience favorite, setting the tone of the night for this “up and coming” Connecticut pop-rock band Article 19.
The band will be performing on at the CCSU Spring Week Concert on Friday, April 24 before headliners Streetlight Manifesto and Big D and the Kids Table.
The balance between instruments and vocals is fair, as each part can be heard clearly and levels with the others. In other words, there are no stage hogs, each member working together for every set to create the best-sounding performance they are capable of achieving.
All seasoned musicians, it isn’t difficult to tell that each of the guys have something special to bring to the table. Townsend, according to the band’s MySpace, “has been studying, recording and performing throughout Connecticut and New York for years.”
With such a combination of musicians, it’s no wonder A19 won “Best New Group” and “Best Pop/Rock Group” at the 2008 Hartford Advocate Grand Band Slam. A serious and original band, these guys wouldn’t settle for anything less.
Though they take pride in playing original music, with songs like their newest singles “Opportunity” and “Bringin’ Down the House” – a hit with its own choreography – they also cover recognizable tunes from a variety of music genres, including “Tempted” by Squeeze, “Every Little Thing She Does” by The Police and “Long Train Runnin’” by the Doobie Brothers.
The group gets around 200 hits a day on their MySpace profile, their manager, Laura Townsend Cretella explained.
One of their most popular songs, “Save Me,” has a record alone of over 27,000 plays and was also named Song of the Week by Harris Decker – a contributing writer for the online entertainment magazine Buzzine – on his blog “The Truth About Music” last October.
As you can imagine, this five-man lineup has the talent to attract large audiences and the likeability to keep their fans entertained. It’s clear that there are big things in store down the road, with two new songs – “Look At Me Now,” and “How It’s Gonna Be” – on their first EP Look At Me Now be released on April 25, as well as an appearance during the Spring Week Concert.