John Vasquez & the Bearinger Boys: Best Rock Band – Best Rock Songwriter – Best Solo Artist

    icon May 06, 2010
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A name new to the Review Music Award scene last year was John Vasquez & the Bearinger Boys, who took home the 2009 award for “Rock Rookie of the Year.” John and his associates proved the band had staying power by taking three awards this year. As an individual, John took home the “Best Solo Artist” and “Best Rock Songwriter” awards, and the band scored the “Best Rock Band” award. Perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek, on their recently released 2010 EP, John revealed the secret to their success: “I don’t vote for myself / I just stay on top.”

The opening track on the EP, Burning Bridges, is a prime example of what makes John deserving of the songwriter award. Lyrically the song perfectly captures the city of Saginaw, but it is also universal enough to connect with nearly any declining city in the U.S.:


            “Our prisons are filling up

            And our schools are falling down

            Our police force is corrupt

            They’re the worst ones around

            And the newspaper ain’t running no more

            Man, are you comfortable?”


The lyrics, which also describe guns in the street and children dying, may be dark, but the song itself seems a somehow optimistic. It’s a voice of the time, but perhaps it suggests with awareness a change can be made. 

Currently joining Vasquez in The Bearinger Boys is Wes Beechler on drums and Aaron Cianek on bass, but John says, “There have been tons of people who have sat in for a night or a couple of months…there are many who deserve credit.”

Since he started playing out in the bars two years ago, he thinks word as gotten out about himself and the band due to the amount of shows they do. “Whether solo or with the band, I am always performing and trying to spread the word.”

As far as winning awards again this year goes, he adds, “Everyone loves accomplishments. It’s good to be proud of what you’re doing, especially after all the long nights and hard work you put into something you believe in.”

The 2010 EP is just a sample for what is yet to come. The Bearinger Boys are currently in the studio working on a new album with guest appearances from a number of local musicians, which should be done by the end of the month.

The summer months will take the band on the road, playing a lot of shows out of town and out of state. “We’re travelin’ men,” John says. “As far as the future is concerned: promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion. Spreading our tunes.”

Before they take off on the road, you can catch them with Life Size Ghost at the Hamilton Street Pub on June 11th. Rumors of a summer bash are also in the works.

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