Echo Park began in the fall of 1979 when 3 musicians from Boone, North Carolina decided to take a different approach to playing in a rock band. Up until then, the three of them had played in bands collectively and separately that emphasized image, dress, promotion…everything but the music. In this new band the music would matter first and foremost. The three young men, Rusty Blanton (guitar), Kyle Graham (guitar), and Mark Williams (drums) needed a bass player to round out the ensemble. Bass players were few and far between and good bass players, especially in the mountains of northwest North Carolina were pretty much nonexistent. The guys knew of one person that was perfect for the band, only he had moved clear across the state back to his hometown of Murfreesboro. Rusty and Mark called their old acquaintance, known to most as Fish, and prevailed upon him to move back to the mountains, with no job or place to live, to play in a rock band. He jumped at the chance. The four of them rented a house in the town of Blowing Rock in a residential section called Echo Park and began a legacy that continues 30 years later. By 1988, Kyle had moved to Colorado, Mark moved on to greener pastures (literally…he races horses now!) and Fish and Rusty revamped the band’s lineup to include a keyboardist and lead vocalist Bob Rochelle. Over the next 20 years Bob, Fish and Rusty would serve as the nucleus of Echo Park, often performing as a three piece acoustic act. During this time, drummer Robbie Stevens and keyboardist Steve Roark contributed greatly to the style and sound of the band. A brief period of inactivity came about in the mid 90’s in which Steve moved to Nashville and Robbie found work with other bands. Bob, Fish and Rusty continued playing acoustically and writing songs. Ready to get back into playing the intense, intricate rock music they had become known for, they found another drummer without looking outside of their own families. Rusty’s son Jamie was 13 and had become a drumming prodigy. The four of them played with various keyboardists until the summer of 2007 when Steve moved back to Boone and back into Echo Park. Once again a solid 5 piece, Echo Park has recorded a collection of their songs, some of which date back to the Blowing Rock days. The 12 song disc showcases a band whose influences range from Yes to Rush to Tom Petty to Black Sabbath. Tight vocal harmonies, complex time signatures and driving bass combined with lush yet edgy keyboard and guitar textures and songs that tell varied stories of the human condition make up the experience that is Echo Park.
Rusty Blanton : guitar, backing vocals
Jamie Blanton : drums
Fish : bass guitar, bass pedals, backing vocals
Steve Roark : keyboards, guitar, alto and
tenor sax, backing vocals
Bob Rochelle : lead vocals, keyboards