THE DIRTY GRASS PLAYERS

Hailing from Baltimore, Md The Dirty Grass Players have established themselves with one toe-tappin’ foot in traditional bluegrass and blazing musicianship that pushes boundaries. Comprised of Josh Ballard on Bass, Alex Berman on Banjo, Ben Kolakowski with the guitar, and Ryan Rogers on mandolin, this four piece is successfully bringing their growing fan base a down, dirty and heated performance. Their ability to seamlessly transition from downhome bluegrass to spirited improvisation makes each performance unique. Throw in some Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd or a dash of southern rock and you’ll quickly understand what they mean by Dirty Grass. Their self-titled debut CD The Dirty Grass Players captures this energy and as 2017 winner of Charm City Bluegrass & Folk Festival Band Competition clearly indicates, this is just the beginning. Successfully touring the Mid-Atlantic and festival appearances, this year finds the group expanding along the East Coast and building on this momentum. For anyone that enjoys a musical throwdown by skilled musicians its time to get your grass dirty.

WIG PARTY

Wig Party kicked off 2018 with a bang! Playing two after-parties for some of the biggest acts in the jam scene. February began with our first engagement for Phish’s Trey Anastasio on his solo acoustic tour located in Morristown, NJ. In March, The group played at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Times Square for Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s duo tour at Radio City Music Hall. As well as appearing at The Brooks Art Center in Bound Brook, NJ; a big first for the band. The quintet is currently finishing up our new EP release, 99th Birthday. Diligently worked on this in tandem with Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth, studio engineer Don Strenecker, and mastering engineer Gene Paul (9 time Grammy winner and Les Paul’s son). The anticipated release of the new album is October 2018. Some exciting new talents have joined Wig Party. Eric Marcazo is playing bass and Drummer Tom DiCiann joined the group as well. John Cisco moved to guitar and original band member Vincent Ventriglia remains on lead guitar and vocals. The additions gave Wig Party the much bigger sound they were shooting for. Our new and improved 5-piece band “Joe Biglin Keys /Vocals, John Cisco Guitar/Vocals, Tom DiCiianni Drums, Eric Marcazo Bass, and Vincent Ventriglia Guitar/Vocals ” kicked off the lineup by opening for Chris DeAngelis of Kung Fu. We’re looking forward to introducing our new sound to our fans. The group is excited for the New Year ahead and the opportunities that will come with 2019.
2017 brought a roller coaster ride of highs and lows to Wig Party. The years started with a tour of the northeast, and continue until July when they got asked to be a part of Phish’s historic Bakers Dozen run at Madison Square Garden. Playing a pre party at American Beauty NYC on July 30th. In August the quartet made the decision to further their recording catalog by heading back into the studio that fall. But in October keyboardist Hank Rosenthal was lost to his on going battle with addiction. The three remaining members decided to press on, adding Joe Biglin to the group. The current line up is Vincent Ventriglia Guitar/Vocals, John Lennon Cisco Bass/Vocals, Joe Biglin Keys/Vocals and Dominic Palombi Drums. In November the band recorded their new EP produced by Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth and engineered Don Sternecker at Mixolydian Studios. The EP will be release in 2018 with tour dates to follow. If anything the roller coaster ride of 2017 will make one hell of a rock and roll story for 2018. 2016 injected new life into Wig Party with the additions of John Cisco (Bass/Vocals) and Dominic Palombi (Drums). The once quintet became a quartet. Vincent Ventriglia and Hank Rosenthal assumed larger roles as vocalists in the group. The members are writing new songs and revamping the old ones for upcoming live shows. The band is returning to the road in 2017 and looking forward to making the most of a second chance. In 2012-2014, Wig Party was greeted with new tour dates. The band played over 100 shows up and down the East Coast. The iconic line-up incorporated venues like the 8×10 in Baltimore and B.B. King’s Blues Club in the heart of Time Square. The band shared the stage with Timothy Carbone and John Skehan (Railroad Earth) and The Marco Benevento Trio just to name a few. The Glass Girls EP was in rotation on 100 triple A radio stations and 7 commercial stations across The United States. The EP charted on Relix’s Jam Band radio and stayed there for over 3 months. Top 40 wrote reviews and interviewed Vincent Ventriglia in the “Rock” section on their website. But the steam fizzled out, and three members decided to pursue different life paths.

THE MERRYMAKER OCHESTRINA

The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina is a completely original and unique alternative rock trio currently residing in New York City. The uncommon act is the brainchild of songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Ryan Shivdasani. Due to such a wide variety of musical styles exhibited by the band, it is difficult to categorize the music and songwriting into one definitive genre and style. Instead, as an avant-garde artist, Shivdasani prefers to refer to his artistry as an eclectic mix, which he considers to be psychedelic and experimental rock (experimental neo-psychedelia, psychedelic art rock, fusion, and avant-psychedelia).

The trio consists of Shivdasani, assuming the lead role, and a new line-up of two other accomplished musicians; Sal A. Mander on drums, and Daryl Chen on bass. The original two accompanying musicians are Danny Wolf on drums, and Jack Redford on bass. All of the musicians have a complete understanding of Shivdasani’s musical direction which enhances the overall sound.

Ryan was born in New York and grew up in Northern California. He studied at Cal Arts majoring in classical and jazz guitar. While pouring his heart into songwriting, he gigged around Los Angeles, learning more and more about the music business. However, it’s not the business end of music that Shivdasani enjoys, or even knows much about. His mindset is focused on the art of music. If not for that, he probably wouldn’t be involved in it at all. Ryan considers the music industry and business to be the biggest challenge of his career. After his LA music experiences, Ryan moved back to New York where he formed The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina.

Shivdasani is inspired by “anyone that’s good”, as he puts it. Humbled by the New York jazz scene, he feels that jazz artists are essentially the top-level musicians, while maintaining a great deal of respect for rock and pop musicians. Growing up, he was a huge Hendrix and Zeppelin fan. He was also crazy about funk and soul music — basically everything from the 60s. He describes the band’s “sounds-like” category as something between late 60s psychedelia (like Cream and Hendrix), melodic songwriting and arrangement (like The Beatles), and funky pocket playing (like The Headhunters). There are also more contemporary elements, like Chili Peppers, Beck, Nirvana, Radiohead, or Tame Impala, even if that’s not really modern anymore”.

The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina’s new album “ACT 3” was released in late April of 2018. The official music video is forthcoming. The CD can be purchased at the group’s Bandcamp site, CDbaby, iTunes, and other online music distribution portals.