On the Upbeat with ADABOY!

Best CD Release • Best Alternative Band

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Artist Feature, Review Music Awards,   From Issue 826   By: Robert E. Martin & Matt deHeus

28th April, 2016     0

Their band name says it all when it comes to a one-word description for the rapid success this breakout group has experienced over the past year.  Armed with a broad range of musicality, collective commitment, strong songwriting sills, and a unified vision that runs on all gears, ADABOY! is living proof there is power in positive thinking and serves as the engine that drives dreamers in the direction of who they want to be.

ADABOY! charted a course for the high-ground in 2015-16, releasing an energetic, exciting, and carefully crafted debut CD release recorded by Reed Recording Company; and first gaining broad-based attention as show-openers for Reed, Donny Brown & Chris Zehnder at their Written in the Mitten showcase concert at The State Theatre last December. 

Voted Best Alternative Band and securing the Best CD Release of the Year honors at this year’s 30th Review Music Awards Ceremony, the group also displayed their wherewithal at staking their own claim to the spotlight with their live performances. 

I can’t think of many groups that would be keen to follow the blistering and show-stopping live set turned in by Larry McCray & Matt Besey at this year’s Awards Ceremony, but not only did ADABOY! rise to the occasion with their tightly wound and deftly rendered set of original material; they also gained numerous new fans in the process.  As one seasoned veteran of the regional music scene excitedly commented to me in the midst of their performance: “These guys are great! Young, original, great vocals & musicianship; if Devo and Weezer partnered up and had a baby, ADABOY! would be their offspring!”

When considering any new original rock band, there is always a point where you try to find references And because of the range of their material, depending upon the moment, others have dropped names such as The Foo Fighters, The Tragically Hip, or Sweet when describing their work. Personally, Richards himself reminds me of a young Michael Stipe from REM; but this is product largely of the diverse background of each respective band member.

Consisting of front man vocalist/guitarist Mike Richards, guitarist Josh Sampson, drummer Connor Peil, and bassist Bill Killips, as Richards explained to The Review earlier this year: “We want to be one of the best Original Bands in the area.”  Adds Sampson: “And we also want to be approachable – you know, nice people, gentlemen.”

ADABOY! is the brainchild of Richards, who doubles as the Music Director for the Vassar School System. “I’d been around the scene in cover bands for about 12 years,” he explains, “and I started writing songs in 2007. The lyrics in a way are therapy for me. Things that happen. They explain where my head is at.”

Sampson, Killips & Peli have all cut their individual chops performing primarily original music. As Peil explains, “I have never been in a cover band.” “We started as an instrumental trio,” adds Sampson, “though we moved on to other original bands after that.”

Making a transition from a 3-piece rock band to a group centered around strong lyrics and the dynamic vocal range of Richards presented a learning curve for the group. “I had to learn to lay back in a vocal-based band,” notes drummer Peil. Similar to Richards, “Peil holds a music degree from Saginaw Valley State University, with drums as his primary instrument.

“I think you inadvertently establish a sound depending upon the chemistry created through the interaction of each member,” states Sampson. “We have diverse musical interests and you can hear that in the songs.”

On ADABOY!’s self-titled debut EP each of the tracks is based around a powerful Richards vocal and arrangements by the band that work to advance the nature of each song. As a vocalist, you quickly come to the conclusion that Richards’ is laying it all out there; baring his soul, which makes you want to listen more and draws one deeper into the carefully crafted songs displayed upon each track of the disc.

If you like your bands vibrant, original and entertaining, ADABOY! is like a modern rock pep talk.

You can follow ADABOY! on facebook or find them on Bandcamp at https://Adaboy.bandcamp.com/releases.



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