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Bars, Music

The American Wake Band Information

Oh, My Guinness!! The one line says it all. The American Wake is all about a good time. Whether they are playing a full throttle instrumental, a cranked up traditional or one of their signature originals, the underlying vibe is fun. Based in Orange County/Long Beach, The American Wake plays throughout Southern California and beyond to an ever increasing fan base that has taken them from the pubs to festivals and bigger headlining gigs at some of the Southland’s best venues. The band grew up in the punk rock scene of the 80s and early 90s, many of the members playing in such local bands as Eighth Cranial Nerve, Detox Jonze and Sixtieth Parallel.

It is this attitude that is most noticeable in the band’s arrangements of traditional Irish tunes and their original material. The live experience is an aggressive, fast paced show that focuses on pulling the crowd into the music. The band’s signature tune, and oldest original, “Oh, My Guinness” has been known to have as many as 15 sturdy drinkers (and not all of them men) downing 20oz pints in an attempt to unseat almost undefeated bass player/Guinness pounder Chris Hatt. The band’s original material combines elements of Irish traditional tunes, punk aggression and lyrics pulled from everyday life.

The five piece band is fronted by Eric Ree, who has the ability to draw the crowd in through his powerful voice along with solid guitar playing and a quirky sense of humor. Dueling instrumentalists, Frank LaBlanc on Mandolin and Robert Keysers on fiddle, bend the boundaries of traditional tunes by adding their own influences and style to the music. Bass player, Chris Hatt and drummer, Damien Murray make up the powerful rhythm section for the band. With a wealth of experience and the ability to lock into each other in any situation, the two push the envelope of rhythm as far as they can.

The five distinct elements make up a band that is developing their own rules for what constitutes an Irish band and creating a sound that is truly their own. The band has developed an ever growing fan base that is dedicated to the idea that what The American Wake does is the way Irish music should be played.

The American Wake are:
Eric Ree – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Frank LaBlanc – Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Chris Hatt – Bass Guitar, Vocals
Robert Keysers - Fiddle
Damien Murray – Drums, Vocals

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