Maple Road is a four-piece band from the Washington/Ozaukee County, Wisconsin area that has been delivering a unique blend of blues and rock for nearly four years. The diversity, originality, and "homegrown" feel of Maple Road appeals to a broad audience and keeps fans coming back for more. Dually fronted on guitar and vocals by Jenny Abbott and Randy Panas, and backed by George Passint on bass and Nick Casati on drums, Maple Road delivers an unexpected and intriguing musical mix of power and soul that demands attention.
Jenny Abbott, lead/rhythm guitar player, vocalist, and sometimes lyricist for Maple Road, was born and raised in Wisconsin. Drawn to the mysticism surrounding deep delta blues and the authentic power of blues-rock, Jenny finds herself constantly inspired and needing to be no more than an arm’s length from her axe (Fender Stratocaster Mexican Issue/Texas Special Pickups). Albert King, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King (need to breathe), Robert Johnson, BB King and Jimi Hendrix hold numerous pages in Jenny’s CD collection in which such artists can be found mingling alongside greats like Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, Dave Matthews and John Mayer. Jenny’s list of influential artists is continually growing as she meets new people along the way. Her Dad’s 12-string, Stevie Ray’s “Crossfire” and Eric Clapton’s Unplugged album mark Jenny’s earliest Blues memories. “I’ve been playing for a little over 6 years now and don’t see myself stopping…ever!”
“I’m not rule bound when it comes to listening to music. As long as it’s true and it’s making somebody feel something somewhere, it is significant. To me, playing the Blues is an honor and a responsibility, albeit the most enjoyable responsibility I’ve ever taken on.”
Randy started playing guitar at the age of 12. He took lessons on and off for a few years, as well as joining and forming bands. Playing gigs lasted about four to five years. Sound Unlimited, Night Walkers, and Limericks, were band names that show their age. Randy’s music making lost out to the late 60’s and early 70’s culture and music took a back seat to raising a family.
In 1999, Randy bought a Squire Strat and Peavey amp. This was a new beginning. He started playing more and reconnected with a friend, who plays bass and knew a drummer. Thus began the “Basement Jam”. In October, 2006 Randy, Jenny, and Nick met and formed Maple Road. Currently, his main gear is a Strat and Tele, various pedals and a Clark Beaufort amp. Musical influences include the Beatles, Hendrix, Clapton, SRV, Page, B.B. King, Santana and many more.
“There is nothing sweeter than great tone.” Randy
Nick Casati has been playing drums for over 10 years. He picked up his first kits out of the West Bend newspaper when he was seventeen. He paid $300 for this Rogers 5 piece kit in gold sparkle. Never really taking lessons, Nick taught himself to play by listening to a lot of music and using his own creativity. After only a few years of playing, he was asked by his church to join the Christian rock band there. This opportunity was pivotal to his playing. He gained a lot of valuable experience and musicianship playing with several very seasoned musicians. To this day, he plays with this band called "Alive" every Sunday night.
A few years later, he formed Hollow Complex with a long time friend. Hollow Complex, ironically, a heavy metal band, played for about four years until motivation started to diminish. Soon after Hollow Complex broke up, he started blues/rock band, Maple Road, with Jenny Abbott. He likes Maple Road because it lets him capture the rapid excitement of some songs, and the slow, solemn ambiance of other songs. It also allows him to tap into his creativity and utilize his versatility as a drummer/percussionist.
Nick plays on a 5 piece Premier XPK birch and maple kit; which consists of two toms (12'', 16''), a 22'' bass drum, a 13'' Mapex Black Panther snare drum, and an 8'' steel Gretsch Blackhawk auxilary snare drum. His kit is decked with Zildjian and Sabian cymbals and he uses Pacific DP602C double bass pedals.
Nick's influences include Tony Royster Jr., Stewart Copeland of The Police, Joey Jordison of Slipknot, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, and Carter Beauford of Dave Matthews Band.
George Passint began taking guitar lessons at the age of 12. Around the age of 14, he and his best friend (plus 4 other musicians), united to form The 6th Dimension of Sound. George kept up his playing and his love for music after a 4-year stretch with the band and many years later, he fulfilled the role of the lead guitarist in the band U Turn. George recalls several memorable gigs at the Riverside Theater located on the East Side of Milwaukee.
About 5 years ago, George decided to pick up the bass guitar, and with an ever-growing passion for music, he found himself in the bands Gibraltar (Rock), and Embedded Reporter (Folk). George’s aptitude has been permanently "embedded" within Embedded Reporter’s original recording entitled, "Unnamed Sources".
George is enjoying his recent union with Maple Road and has found himself within his element playing the Blues!