Wammy nominated 2nd Story Band featuriring co-founders Meagan Lane and Geoff de Mers, who drew up in the 50’s and 60’s during one of the most musically rich periods in the evolution of of American pop music, has, one of the most interesting and fresh sounds to come out of American pop music, has one of the most interesting and fresh sounds to come our of the Metro Washington DC area. It was a time when Rock-a-billy, doo wop, R&B,Tejano, Calypso, Cowboy music (C&W), Swing, Rock and Roll, Folk and Folk Rock could be heard ob the radio. In fact, since 1978 Meagan and Geoff have always been one step ahead of their time…as is evident in this new release - a world beat blend of Blues, Caribbean, Pop Rock, West African Rhythms and New Orleans funkiness. Not strictly, blues, the new album is a retrospective containing old and new tunes: :The first song on this disk, ‘Down By the Water’ [World Beat Blues Rock] tears out of the gate - lets you know that you’re in for a ride.” [EvO:R - Review this - Bill Carrera]. And check out the Rockabilly Zydeco (Cry, Cry, Cry)- track #6 , Bluesey Irish-Country Waltz (Tom Big B - Track #8 and New Orleans - Dixie Blues (Junkman - Track 9
The CD sounds great! “It is very well recorded and produced and reflects the diversity, creativity and soulful ness for which this band is known. “Eve Ziebart, music reviewer of The Washington Post, said of Meagan Lane in her article captioned “FIRST RATE 2ND STORY WOMAN - Lane’s voice is a constant surprise - sweet, arch, rough, wanton and worldly in turn… the melodies are fresh and the lyrics both catchy and , yes, educated.’” And from Bill Cerrara of EvO:R, “Meagan sounds like a soulful Janis Joplin, but with a much better range. Matter of fact, the backing as well as the lead vocals are top notch!” Meagan is also the bass player an probides a strong anchoring groove. In addition to vocals, Geoff de Mers contributes electric and acoustic guitar: ie. , African Highlife grooves in Cesar Rules, finger style slide on Junkman, “funky scratch” on Down By the Water . And don’t overlook his wailing Harmonica solo in As te Years Go Passing By (Track #4). Other fine musicians featured on this Cd are Chris Vadala, - saxaophone and the flute; Henning Hoenhne - clarinet; Peter Bonta - keyboards; Dan Cassidy (brother of Eva) - violin; and native born Brazilian percussionist - Alejandro Lucini
Meagan Lane and Geoff de Mers, founders of the 2nd Story Band, have been singing and performing together in the Metro DC area since 1978. Over the years and in their many musical incarnations - folk, blues and swing, Irish, Celtic, country, FM pop cover tunes, alternative rock, funk, West African, Latin and Caribbean - Meagan and Geoff have allowed their multi-cultural musical associations to influence every aspect of their art. In fact, the unique 2nd Story Band sound is a direct product of the influence of the music scene embedded deeply in the
cultural diversity of the Washington, DC area! As an example: In 1990 Meagan and Geoff formed a West
African band - Hedzoleh's Story - in collaboration with Amartey Larea, a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter from Ghana, West Africa, whom they had met at a concert sponsored by the "House of Musical Traditions". Their shows included performances at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art and Harmony Hall Regional Arts Center during
African History Month. Meagan and Geoff haven't heard music in the same way ever again. But for some reason audiences in the DC area are always surprised when they learn that the Band is local, not from out of town!
The 2nd Story Band's performances grow out of a love for spontaneity - some tracks on the "Blue Shades" CD were recorded live in 2001 at Walton Recording in Fairfax, VA.- and yet the arrangements are tight and well crafted. At outdoor and larger concerts children (of all ages) rush toward the stage and dance to the infectious grooves. And as a part of the stage show the Band features authentic and colorful West African Dancers and percussion blended in
with the funky blues style ... hence - World Beat Blues.
This CD and 2nd Story Band definitely deserve to be heard!