Monthly Archives: February 2012

MGTSND 02-20-2012 / Best Friends

photo by alec berry

This week you’ll hear from Best Friends. This performance was recorded on Febraury 20, 2012.

Best Friends isn’t new to the Morgantown Sound stage. Back in January, the band stopped by and made an appearance. Yet, even though it’s only been a month, the band is back at it, instruments in hand and already equipped with new material to sport. But new songs are not the only addition. They also brought along a new band member, bassist and rhythm guitarist Jacob Peirce.

The rest of the band consists of:

John Casey
Jami Calandros
Jordan Pack and
Paris Leonard

Together, the band is sounding better than ever, and we’re happy to present this live session to you.  We’d like to thank Best Friends for returning to the Morgantown Sound stage for another exciting show.

This is the performance. Live from the Gluck.

You can sit back and enjoy the entire performance, or use the following time code to jump around.

Intro Jam – 1:18
What This Planet Needs is Love – 3:48
Rebel From the Starz – 6:05
Black Cloud – 9:35
Take a Break – 14:19
All Alone – 16:44
Whitney Tribute – 18:30
Bring it on Home – 23:26
Don’t Call Me Baby – 26:51
500 Miles (Bobby Bare Cover) – 30:33
Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young Cover) – 34:31

Also, check out the band’s Bandcamp page. Thanks once again to Best Friends!

Recorded and mixed by John Casey.

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MGTSND 02-13-2012 / Shawn Owen

This week you’ll hear from singer/songwriter Shawn Owen. This performance was recorded on February 13th, 2012.

Shawn Owen now calls Annapolis, Maryland home, but back in 1999 he was one of the founding members of Morgantown band Stolen Element. According to his Facebook page,  Stolen Element presented a “home brewed style of punk rock reggae music,” and the band went on to tour the east coast, playing anything from house parties to clubs. After a while, Stolen Element called it quits, but Shawn went on to make a decent career for himself in Annapolis, playing his own brand of acoustic songs.

We’d like to present some of those songs to you as well as thank Shawn for his time.

This is the performance. Live from the Gluck.

You can sit back and enjoy the entire performance, or use the following time code to jump around.

Double Vision – 1:27
Wanting for Earning – 3:54
Sure – 7:23
Walk of Shame – 10:23
Morning Light – 15:19
Make Money – 19:31
Spending Time – 23:26
Sweet Mary – 26:38
Drop In – 30:19

Also, check out Shawn’s website. Thanks once again to Shawn Owen!

Recorded and mixed by John Casey.

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Artist Feature: Benny Skyn

photo by dan hamilton

By: Emily Meadows

Leaving a Benny Skyn show, a chilling sense of country revival leaves you with the sensation that you just made a new best friend.

Appalachia has served as home for countless emotionally fueled songwriters who hold a seemingly endless storybook of erratic life experience. From crazy women, to the consequences of a little too much to drink, and nearly everything in-between, it’s not hard to see that Benny Skyn is no exception.

With his cowboy hat in place and only a guitar by his side, Skyn gave a live solo performance in the Gluck Theater on February 6, 2012 that left heads nodding, toes tapping, and was as soulful, upbeat and enjoyable as it was chillingly relatable.

“I write about social injustices, love, and life observations,” says Skyn. “I like finding humor in tragedy.”

After playing guitar for nearly 40 years, Benny Skyn has poured his heart into his pragmatic lyrics and exemplified his soul through his striking and perfectly chaotic guitar riffs. While a native to West Virginia, Skyn has explored his southern roots, previously residing in North Carolina and creating ties in Tennessee. Meshing together his Appalachian roots with his southern exposure, Skyn has shaped an indisputable mix of country, folk and rock and roll to fill the soundtrack for a countryside winding road trip.

photo by dan hamilton

“I draw influence by taking a look at the world around me, and the people in my life, both good and bad,” says Skyn.

The key to Skyn’s artistry seems to be his ability to use his eyes and ears to photograph the world around him, and then utilize his natural ability to personify images and experiences lyrically while remaining entirely relatable.

Projecting a sound that could melt the hearts of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings fans alike, Skyn has pulled influence from an influx of musical talent outside the country realm.

“Tom T. Hall has been a huge influence, lots of Elton John, the Doors, Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Maurice Ravel…the list goes on,” says Skyn.

With an apparent eager enthusiasm for a multiplicity of music, he credits those musicians who influenced him to pick up a guitar at age 8, and gave him the confidence to create his own sound.

Embracing a truly authentic and down to earth personality, it is hard to find modern day artists as humble as Skyn who are not only passionate, but also personable. As a solo artist, his main concern is not finding exposure, seeking fame, or depositing a million dollar paycheck. He simply wants to utilize music to share his story with the world, uncensored and without reservation.

photo by dan hamilton

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MGTSND 02-06-2012 / Benny Skyn

photo by dan hamilton

This week you’ll hear from singer/songwriter Benny Skyn. This performance was recorded on February 6th, 2012.

Benny Skyn sort of exemplifies that classic, roadtraveling songwriter persona. His raw, conversational lyrics deliver his down-to-earth personality while his jumping guitar licks get your foot tapping. Benny is the real deal.

We’d like to thank Benny for his time and allowing us to record him.  This is the performance. Live from the Gluck.

You can sit back and enjoy the entire performance, or use the following time code to jump around.

Ballad of the ATF – 1:10
Little Yellow Box – 5:20
Jesus and Tom T. Hall – 9:56
Better Troubled Times – 14:07
On Key – 18:29
Poor Little Rich Girls – 22:13
Paddy Wagon – 26:18
Liberty and Justice – 30:35
Crazy Woman – 34:56

Also, check out Benny on Youtube. Thanks once again to Benny Skyn!

Recorded and mixed by John Casey.

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Artist Feature: TheEscapePlan

photo by derek rudolph

by Dan Sweeney

“What we really want is for people to be able to, after a bad day, go home, put on our album, and feel like ‘OK, I’m pumped, I’m back in the game.’”
– Corey Rexroad of TheEscapePlan

Lofty goals for any band, but not beyond what the four-piece outfit TheEscapePlan feels is possible. This pop-punk style group is made up of lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Isaac Sharp, lead guitarist Corey Rexroad, bass guitarist Nathaniel Friend, and drummer Ben Dickey.

All natives of West Virginia, and all current students at different colleges and universities, TheEscapePlan performed live in the Gluck Theatre Monday, January 31st, with a tight, calculated set – an impressive feat for a line-up that has been playing together for less than a year.

With catchy hooks reminiscent of Fountains of Wayne, a “big-guitar-sound” akin to My Chemical Romance and vocal performances in the style of The Fray, the band’s style is admittedly pop-punk influenced. Artists they try to emulate include both The Fray and Switchfoot, as well as John Mayer and The Cab.

Look no further than the track “Mr. Scientist” for evidence of the early and mid-00’s pop-punk influence. The fuzz-box vocals are reminiscent of The Killers’ track “Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf,” and the message of “something more to life” hearkens back to their love of Switchfoot, a band with self-professed Christian influences that doesn’t want to be categorized as Christian rock.

“And that’s what we try to emulate,” says Sharp.

“No matter what, your beliefs sneak into your writing, and we try to embrace that without forcing the issue,” says Sharp.

“We put it out there and hope people make the connection and search for more.”

photo by derek rudolph

Their first show was, appropriately, at a church in Grafton, WV, where they opened up for another local pop-rock group, The Hide and Seek Effect of Morgantown.

“We were really impressed by them,” admits Rexroad.

“They’ve been playing together for three or four years, I think, and their sound was so polished and practiced, and they’ve been playing some of their stuff for just as long. And it showed.”

The feeling was mutual, at least enough for the members of The Hide and Seek Effect to start helping them out with bookings. Last August, TheEscapePlan played an event in Clarksburg called “Jesus Fest.”

photo by derek rudolph

“We got to play on the same stage as Aaron Gillespie,” beams Sharp.

Gillespie is known internationally for his drumming career with the Christian metalcore band Underoath, as well as playing the role of front man of his new band The Almost. Together, these are two of the most commercially successful crossover acts from the Christian music scene to the mainstream.

Since August, TheEscapePlan have played shows while going to school during the week and have opened for The Hide and Seek Effect and another West Virginia band, The Amorous. They are currently in the planning stages of a local tour, heading as far away as Maryland, Kentucky, and Ohio.

TheEscapePlan’s first EP, Hope On The Horizon, is due out Summer 2012.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/TheEscapePlan/196665280390155

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/TheEscPlan

ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/theescapeplanonline

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MGTSND 01-31-2012 / TheEscapePlan

This week you’ll hear from TheEscapePlan. This performance was recorded on January 31st, 2012.

TheEscapePlan could be defined as a christian rock act, but the band would probably prefer if you didn’t narrow them down to such a specific pocket of sound. Basing their style off of acts like Coldplay and The Fray, TheEscapePlan serves up steady, booming drums with floating vocals to communicate an idea of morality.

The band is composed of:

Isaac Sharp – Vocals, Keys, Guitar
Corey Rexroad – Guitar, Background Vocals
Nathaniel Friend – Bass
and Ben Dickey – Drums

We’d like to thank TheEscapePlan for their time.  This is the performance. Live from the Gluck.

Listen HERE.

You can sit back and enjoy the entire performance, or use the following time code to jump around.

Won’t Stop – 1:23
All For You – 8:16
Mr. Scientist – 12:30
Shipwreck – 16:45
Hope on the Horizon – 21:26
Make it or Break it – 27:10
The Wake Up – 31:18
Refugees – 34:32

Also, check out the band’s Facebook page. Thanks once again to TheEscapePlan!

Recorded and mixed by John Casey.

Morgantown Sound featured in The Daily Athenaeum

Last week, Morgantown Sound was the spotlight of an article in The Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia University’s student newspaper. Check it out here!

MGTSND 01-23-2012 / Sleepwalker

This week you’ll hear from local act Sleepwalker. This performance was recorded on January 23rd, 2012.

Sleepwalker plays host to a post-hardcore sound that can only strike you as slightly creepy yet also engrossing. Through loopy guitar riffs and howling vocals, the band supplies a sound unique to the current Morgantown landscape, making them one of the more popular acts on the scene.

The band is composed of:

David Bello
Will Foreman
Tyler Grady
Patrick Manzi
and Jason McCarty

A special thanks goes out to Sleepwalker for their time. Here’s the performance. Live from the Gluck.

You can sit back and enjoy the entire performance, or use the following time code to jump around.

Ice Skater – 1:15
Red Balloons- 3:43
Shifting of the Poles- 7:10
6s- 9:43
Diceman Cries- 14:05
Breakup Song – 17:10
Cold Feet – 20:02
Dead Things – 22:37
Burn Up in a Car – 25:00
Emile Ajar- 28:45
John’s Lament – 31:10
Dirty as Hell – 34:19

Also, check out the band’s Bandcamp page. Thanks once again to Sleepwalker!

Recorded and mixed by John Casey.