Hooligan Band Press Release
April 20, 2007
During the late 1970’s, off in a far distant corner of the galaxy - a million miles away from the trendy Disco clubs, a precious few music combos spent their time weaving together songs into colorful patchwork quilt sets. This was the advance guard of what would become one of the most powerful genres in underground music: the jamband scene. In the northeast, the most prominent of these groups were Max Creek from Connecticut, Timberwolf and the Volunteers from Long Island and the Hooligan Band of Northampton, Massachusetts.
Like their counterparts, the Hooligan Band found its roots in the music of the Grateful Dead – which, by association, extended into electric blues, jazz, country and folk ballads, with traces of reggae and other world rhythms tossed into the mix. Using this foundation (also with a pronounced tip o’ the hat to The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Band) as a launching pad, combined with the influences of late seventies/early eighties groups like Springsteen, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, The Police, Tom Petty and others, the band found its voice and began to create a rich tapestry of original songs, strung together by intricate, extended improvisational jams. That was the hallmark of a great Hooligan Band performance. From 1977 to 1982, the band performed across the northeast at colleges, nightclubs and benefits, generally playing between 100-150 shows per year.
Adopting a thoroughly communal and democratic approach to both music and life, the band featured three songwriters and generally presented three to four lead vocalists. The compositions by Johnny Stevens, Don LaSala and Carl Mateo, each unique in their approaches, magically blended into a rich swirl of songs – often interlaced by the band’s trademark improvisational transitions. The players also included accomplished drummer Billy Klock, bassists Don Lawson, Kent Barclay and Glenn Brown, the original bass player from the Hooligan seed band "Northern Lights", vocalist Marji Macy, saxophonist Howard Zeger and percussionists Brian McKenna and Jeffrey Barnes. During its peak touring years, the band traveled with a full production team - with Steve Solomon handling lighting, Roger Cooney/Peter Keppler on audio, and Mark Bilodeau/George Anderson as trusted drivers and crew. Others involved included Manager Mike Densmore, Office Manager, Chris Orellana, Lyricists Carl Holt and Steve Solomon, poster artist JoAnne Mulhall and an extended family of scores of radiant friends.
Following their formal dissolution as a touring group in 1982, this merry band of artists continued to perform at “family gatherings” throughout the next twenty-five years…and do so to this day. Although numerous recordings with various configurations of the players were logged during this time, in 2007 the group decided to record once again as The Hooligan Band in the basement of Big Pink in Saugerties, New York. "In the Pink" was engineered and mixed by Tony Perrino and Mastered at Silvertone Mastering in Saratoga, New York by Larry Devivo. The ensuing CD “In the Pink,” is a gem. Stevens (guitar/voc), LaSala (guitar/voc), Mateo (keys/voc/harmonica) and Klock (drums) are joined by Rich Cahillane on bass and the incomparable Tony Perrino (who tours with Dan Toler of the Allman Bros.) on B-3 organ. The band will play a limited number of live concert/dance performances during the upcoming year, including a July 3-4 mini-festival at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY.