"Fiction 20 Down is a delightful, upbeat, soothing rock fusion mix, with elements of hip-hop, reggae, and pure rock!" -IndieMusicReview.net
Led by Jordan Lally's inspired lyrics and impassioned vocals & rhythm guitar, Justin Berdeguez's incomparable lead guitar , DJ Fritzges’s groove-inducing bass and Andre Toney's soulful, rock steady drum work, Fiction 20 Down have come together to forge a truly original rock music brew! "If you want to see a great live band, Fiction 20 Down is where it's at!" (BranchOutMusic.com). The band has conquered nationally renowned stages up and down the East Coast and as far west as Ohio, opening for MTV acts like EVE 6 & Jimmie's Chicken Shack and national touring bands like Badfish & Groundation along the way. Fiction 20 Down has played college campuses from the University of Maryland to Framingham State in Massachusetts, as well as independent music showcases like the Millennium Music Conference in Harrisburg, PA (for which the band’s song “Wind Me Down” was selected to appear on the MMC Compilation CD).
Beyond the stage, F20D (as fans affectionately call the band) has conquered the radio & television as well. In addition to live on-air performances and interviews on college, commercial and internet radio outlets, F20D is in rotation at upwards of 40 college radio stations from Buffalo's WBNY down to Savannah, GA's WRFS and is featured on internet radio giant Pandora. The band is in rotation on large regional commercial radio like Baltimore's famed WTMD 89.7FM & 98 ROCK FM and in addition, Fiction 20 Down's hit "Wake Up" was featured on XM Satellite Radio's "The Radar Report" for up and coming international artists! F20D has also made appearances on a variety of regional television shows from New York's "Poughkeepsie Live" to Delaware and New Jersey's "The Tim Qualls Show".
To call Fiction 20 Down prolific songwriters would be an understatement to say the least. With the addition of the "Comfortable Fools" LP in 2009, Fiction 20 Down has now released three full-length albums in only two short years- all recorded & produced by F20D front man Jordan Lally out of his Reveler Recording Studio. SublimeStylee.com praised the 2007 F20D debut "Down n' Out + Up n' Rising" as "one of those precious albums where all twelve tracks must be listened to before putting the CD away". Their follow-up album - 2008's "Welcome to the Grassroots" - was touted by Denmark's Glimmer of Whimsy music blog as "a pleasure to listen to" and "addictive," Suzie Mudd of Music Monthly added "I love it!" and Sam Sessa of the Baltimore Sun wrote simply, "[Fiction 20 Down] is good enough to be true." And how about the latest "Comfortable Fools" LP? HomeGrownMusic.net says, "Fiction 20 Down creates well crafted songs with an infectious spirit and an impressive lyrical, effervescent quality", SkopeMag.com adds "Fiction 20 Down merge rock and reggae like I have never heard before... they are the real deal and Comfortable Fools is one freshly cool LP."
In only two short years, Fiction 20 Down have amassed a rock resume most bands only aspire to: live shows up and down the East Coast with stops in some of the nation’s premier live music venues and festivals; commercial, college & internet radio rotation; live radio interviews & performances; three full-length albums all garnering critical praise; and lastly, but most importantly, a loyal and ever-growing grassroots fan following. With all this behind them, Fiction 20 Down is only getting started. Be sure to check out F20D live on tour in a town near you and stay tuned for a brand new album due in 2010! Find out for yourself why Fiction 20 Down is truly "an undeniable talent!" (TheUmbilicalChord.com)
Jordan Lally- Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
DJ Fritzges- Bass
Justin Berdeguez- Lead Guitar
Andre Toney- Drums
Down n' Out + Up n' Rising (LP 2007)
Welcome to the Grassroots (LP 2008)
Comfortable Fools (LP 2009)
Let It Ride (EP 2010)
What About Love?
Truth Be Told
Top n' Tails (2010)
Til You Find Me
Fiction 20 Down, Comfortable Fools
[+ Show ]
First off, I’d like to mention the exceptionally professional touch put forth on their overall appea...First off, I’d like to mention the exceptionally professional touch put forth on their overall appearance of the cover art and inside sleeves. This brand new LP has a very pleasing feel about it due to its well-put-together packaging. Right away, I was drawn to this band and their record just from first sight. Appealing and eye-soothing visual effects are evident before you even slip the disc in your stereo! Obviously, there was a lot of love & care that went into the looks, but will the sounds pan out. I will warn you that I was definitely not disappointed.
Fiction 20 Down better known as F20D by fans are made up of a Baltimore foursome that make up an incredibly cool brand of music. F20D offer up some rock with some reggae vibes thrown in for fun, which are heavily picked up on the opening track, “Wind Me Down”. Comfortable Fools goes far beyond just straight rock & reggae vibes though in particular with passionate vocals by Jordan Lally. Lally is the sole songwriter for this LP along with being the lead singer, playing rhythm guitar and not to mention he also recorded, produced and mixed this record in his own recording studio for Reveler Recording, LLC. Very impressive to say the least for this young man whose impactful vocal performance was definitely a key ingredient toward the success of making this album. Lally’s words were pure and his delivery was equally impressive as you could tell he poured all of his heart into this project. Now, we can’t forget about the rest of the band who are just as awesome with distinct qualities of their own. You have got some sweet rockin’ licks from the lead guitar of Ben Metzger and then in turn get some hard-hittin’, solid drumming from Benjamin Potok. The bass lines actually stood out to me this time around, which rarely happens to be honest. DJ Fritzges played the hell out of his bass with some incredibly catchy lines that grooved everything together.
Now onto the 12 songs that appeared on this LP. You get an easy-going rock sensation that’s laid back on one end, but jams out on the other. Overall, Fiction 20 Down give the listeners a heavy dose of a fun-times atmosphere. Playing their hearts out and having fun while doing is the secret to this group’s glory. There are some very rock-oriented moments on here along with some fine acoustic elements as well. Track 8, “Rock Bottom Blue”, stands out as a powerful yet subtle vocal performance by Lally along with some nice-sounding strings to class things up a bit. Rhythm-wise, two songs that really make a point in that department are “Oh Why Me? Oh…” and “Honor Echoes” due to the heavy drum beats, slammin’ bass lines, rockin’ guitar riffs and the singer bringin’ the goods swiftly. I love the fast flow of words being sang here by Jordan Lally; a very efficient tactic musically. And then to finish matters off, the four members end with some group harmony that is definitely ear-pleasing.
Fiction 20 Down are the real deal and Comfortable Fools is one freshly cool LP. Look out for the Baltimore boys coming to a town/city near you. For more on F20D and their latest release, SKOPE out www.f20d.com.
By Jimmy Rae
Exclusive MP3 Leak: Fiction 20 Down
[+ Show ]
Who would have thought Maryland would be the home to so many great reggae rock influenced acts comin...Who would have thought Maryland would be the home to so many great reggae rock influenced acts coming out of the area? Ballyhoo!, Can't Hang, 86 the Effort, Pasadena and Lionize. You can now add another band to the list - Fiction 20 Down.
Wind me Down is taken from the band's just released new album Comfortable Fools.
Indie Music Review: Fiction 20 Down
[+ Show ]
Fiction 20 Down is the very definition of laid back. After I started to listen to it, I was taken ba...Fiction 20 Down is the very definition of laid back. After I started to listen to it, I was taken back to a time in High School when my life was much less complicated. It seems that the Buddha-nature of life really kicks in as one gets older.
Anyway, it instantly reminded my of The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys: laid back, mellow, rhythmic. deliberate, and tasting of fusion jam.
Fiction 20 Down music, on this their second album, is a delightful, upbeat, soothing rock fusion mix, with elements of R&B, reggae, and pure rock. If I have any complaint, it’s that the font they use on the album cover is undecipherable, so that I had to get all my information from their web site.
Jordan Lally’s vocals are relaxed, smooth, melodic and at the same time emphatic. They reminded me of the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir’s vocals on the song Passenger from the Terrapin Station album. Todd Hipsley acoustic rock guitar fills the space with energetic and proficient playing, these two being augmented adeptly with Chris Massaro’s bass and Benjamin Potok’s drum set.
This has really been one of my favorite album’s of late. I look forward to their next album release.
Reviewed by Gary Levinson
Fiction 20 Down- Welcome to the Grassroots
[+ Show ]
When I heard Fiction 20 Down describe themselves as a ‘college rock’ band, I thought I was in for an...When I heard Fiction 20 Down describe themselves as a ‘college rock’ band, I thought I was in for another pale Jack Johnson imitation. Sure their music is comparable to a Johnson or Donavon Frankenreiter, simply because they create an acoustic sound. However, a quick listen to “Welcome to the Grassroots” reveals two key differences. One they are a full band and as a result offer a more robust sound featuring more powerful drumming and bass guitars. Two, they take a unique approach to music making, namely an open stance on downloading and burning their music. It’s an attitude that shows a love for music rather than desire for economic compensation, an outlook that comes through in the very first seconds of the album with lyrics like “welcome to the grassroots a movement, we the people choose a declaration for the youth and any else who seek the truth.” Declaration of Grassroots, the first track and source of these lyrics, is a nice intro but only touches the surface as far as the music is concerned.
Stroke the Fire and Wake Up offer up a more typical sound, but they are well executed and offer up the band’s own unique take on the genre. Abraham and the Aftermath is an interesting song that blurs the boundaries between the acoustic style and pop.
The band hits a high on Gossip and Gunplay, by far the most addictive song on the album. It features a reggae style guitar riff with a catchy chorus. I found myself listening to it multiple times in a row during this review and will probably continue to do so. Another one of my personal favorites was Conclusions, which features a nicely done guitar solo at the end. It’s just seems to balance the album and keep it from sounding monotonous.
Ultimately, the album does what does well, partially because of an inspired outlook on music and also an undeniable talent. Any fan of acoustic styled music albeit a bit heavier form of it, would do well to check out Fiction 20 Down after all they “choose to stand alongside the people,” the least we could do is listen to their music.
Fiction 20 Down: Good Enough to be True
[+ Show ]
Fiction 20 Down started backwards. The Bel Air-based band recorded an album before they started play...Fiction 20 Down started backwards. The Bel Air-based band recorded an album before they started playing live. The original duo of singer-guitarist Jordan Lally and guitarist Todd Hipsley recorded an album called Down n’ Out + Up n’ Rising, which came out last year.
Hipsley and Lally recruited bassist Matthew Batarseh and drummer Benjamin Potok to round out the lineup. Together, they worked on Welcome to the Grassroots, a new album that came out this past summer.
Jordan, how did you and Todd first meet and start working together?
Jordan: We actually went to high school together. We’d sit by campfires and jam, just do some covers and mess around and that sort of evolved. One day he came into my studio and what came out of that session was the album Down n’ Out + Up n’ Rising.
Did you hire a session drummer?
Jordan: Yeah, and we sort of fudged the bass ourselves.
Todd: Tried to? I think we did a pretty good [job].
Matthew: Speaking as a bassist, they did a very good job.
Todd: I never played the bass before … I think it turned out pretty good.
Jordan: He literally rented the bass on the way to the studio for the session.
I know Fiction 20 Down is the name of a song on the first album, but what does it mean?
Jordan: The easiest answer would be to read the lyrics. The verses are describing the worst-case scenario and the chorus says, “I’m writing this now but I pray it’s fiction 20 years down the line.” It’s about having no regrets when you look back.
Jordan, a lot of your lyrics are spiritual. Why is that?
Jordan: Well, I grew up in a very Catholic family. My mom and dad were very involved in the church. I had a wonderful foundation and that has (by osmosis) come into everything I write. I was writing lyrics long before I was in a band.
Hear the full interview and live performance with Fiction 20 Down at 8 tonight on Baltimore Unsigned on 89.7 WTMD, listener-supported radio from Towson University. Visit wtmd.org
Fiction 20 Down – Down n’ Out + Up n’ Rising
[+ Show ]
Straight out of Bel Air – Maryland of course is Fiction 20 Down, an acoustic rock band with a pinc...Straight out of Bel Air – Maryland of course is Fiction 20 Down, an acoustic rock band
with a pinch of folk music with vibes that make it near impossible to not sing out loud
and dance in your seat. They have a perfect blend of rhythm, instrumentals, and down to
Earth lyrics which strike the right chord to make first time listeners, lifelong fans.
Their first album Down n’ Out + Up n’ Rising is no exception. Songs such as The Weather
and Maudlin have beats that you will catch yourself listening to on the way to work, at
work and on the way back home.
Most albums have two or three superb tracks that you listen to while skipping over the
rest, Down n’ Out + Up n’ Rising is one of those precious albums where all twelve tracks
will be listened to before putting the CD away. Fiction 20 Down has plans to release
their second album in the spring of 2008 and can currently be seen live in the
-Drew Budwin, SublimeStylee.com
Mount graduate Up N' Rising
[+ Show ]
Acoustic rock band Fiction 20 Down has an unusual musical connection to Mount Saint Mary's. Class...Acoustic rock band Fiction 20 Down has an unusual musical connection to Mount Saint
Mary's. Class of 2002 alumnus Jordan Lally not only sings lead vocals for the band, but
has also started his own production company, The Reveler.
Releasing their debut album "Down N' Out + Up N' Rising" out of The Reveler, Fiction 20
Down is building a fan-base a little at a time. Starting with independent record stores
and online sources such as iTunes and cdbaby.com, the record was released on April 17 of
On "Down N' Out + Up N' Rising," many of the songs relate to the impressionable minds of
insecure college students who are just trying to figure out what to do next. The seventh
track on the album, "20something," specifically refers back to Lally's time as a student
at the Mount ("just wandering at 20something / still up and throwing all I can down /
steady thinking over just how I lost the bliss I'd found").
The band is not just Lally alone though. Guitarist Todd Hipsley came into Lally's studio
one day to jam on his guitar and the two just seemed to mesh together from that point on.
They both have been influenced by the late Bradley Nowell and his band Sublime, Mike
Einziger, and Jimi Hendrix.
With a sunny reggae sound, Fiction 20 Down can be compared to bands such as Dispatch,
State Radio, Jack Johnson and Stephen Kellogg, making them a great band to check out for
upcoming beach trips and summer weather.
-Kayleigh Gelles, The Mountain Echo
Live Show Review - F20D @ Fletcher's
[+ Show ]
A quiet band from Bel Air, MD who hasn't really dug too deep into the underground music scene yet bu...A quiet band from Bel Air, MD who hasn't really dug too deep into the underground music scene yet but that will all change come 2009 because this band is a must see and from the looks of things on Dec. 11th they aren't going anywhere but up and out. Fiction 20 Down really brought the bag of goods…This was the first time I saw this band live after listening to both of their albums multiple times, let me say this, this is another fantastic live band. They just don't do it on the album but they bring it to you all the way with; front man, Jordan Lally singing his heart out and keeping a rhythm on the guitar, Todd Hipsley jamming away on the guitar to Chris Massaro slapping away at the bass and last but not least Benjamin Potok slamming on the drums.
This band really impressed me playing tunes from both of their albums. Fiction bounced off with "Declaration of the Grassroots…which rolled out the welcome mat nicely. Then came some uplifting tunes to get everyone moving like "Wake Up", "UpRise and Shine" to "20something" and "Gossip and Gunplay". Everyone there was having a great time, moving their feet to the sound of the beat and even some people were singing along, which is always a good sign in the right direction. Fiction 20 Down finished the set up with Wind me down, Fall on Back, a cover of Warren G's song "Regulate" and their last song was "The Weather" a personal favorite of mine that keeps you moving and wanting more from these guys.
Fiction 20 Down played a great show and brought incredible vibes, this band has a lot of fun playing live shows and they don't hold back and really get into it and it's nice to see bands that still play for the love of the music because I'm sure we all buy albums from bands and go and see them and are disappointed that is the total opposite of Fiction 20 Down! If you want to see a great live band, Fiction 20 Down is where it's at.
by: Ryan McKeldin
"Branch Out Music"
Fiction 20 Down - Comfortable Fools CD
[+ Show ]
Fiction 20 Down displays tasteful chops and smoldering guitar in this twelve song studio release. ...Fiction 20 Down displays tasteful chops and smoldering guitar in this twelve song studio release.
Fiction 20 Down first began playing music in 2007 and have released 3 full-length albums. In that time frame, they have morphed from an acoustic rock band to a reggae band, to a synthesis of those styles, with elements of hip hop being added to the cauldron as the band embraces its next steps for 2010 and beyond. Featuring Jordan Lally as guitarist and lead vocalist and songwriter, Ben Metzger on stratospheric guitar, DJ Fritzges on bass, and recent addition, drummer Mike Marx-Gibbons, the band creates well crafted songs that pull from lots of different influences in creating a varied, interesting package.
“Comfortable Fools” begins with three melodic, pop-infused tracks. “Wind Me Down” is an energetic track punctuated by strong vocals and lilting guitar. “Wake Up” has an optimistic, likable spirit while “Top n’ Tails” displays a wistful tone, nice guitar work and appealing vocals from Jordan Lally. “Gossip & Gunplay” has a refined, polished quality and is punctuated by Ben Metzger’s signature guitar chops coloring the periphery of the song. Lally’s lyrics and vocals have a very charming quality throughout the album but are particularly evident in this song. This track segues into “Gossip & Gunplay” (ext.), a 2 minute postlude featuring the silky guitar that distinguishes the best of these songs. “Oh Why Me? Oh…” is a likable sing-along that invokes the spirit of Sublime as it saunters to its conclusion.
“Cornerstone” is a tender ballad ultimately resulting in a marriage proposal, when a “bachelor’s levity” is willingly traded for the “shoulders of a father.” There is an elusive quality at the core of “Rock Bottom Blue” and this lovely track is punctuated with haunting strings and excellent lyrics and vocals. “Honor Echoes” details the bitter story of a soldier held in captivity for seven years, only to be shot at the precise moment of his liberation. The irony of the lyrics is nicely framed above a tight, understated jam, featuring another crystalline guitar solo from Metzger. “Away She Goes” is an interesting, “modern” take on the stories of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded on orders of the King. The album closes with the ambling, loosely jammed “Comfortable Fools,” featuring a nostalgic, campfire anthem quality.
In reviewing this album, I am very impressed with the lyrical, effervescent quality of several of these tracks. The lyrics are idealistic and youthful, yet display maturity and a larger perspective on matters of the heart and the world we live in. At the core of these songs is a likable, infectious spirit, coupled with strong playing and musicianship. These songs seem to have a wider mainstream “pop” sensibility that would make Fiction 20 Down likable to fans beyond the “jam scene.” However, there is enough crunchy guitar and rhythm to keep things honest and forward moving on the dance floor. I particularly like “Top n’ Tails,” the “Gossip & Gunplay” tracks, and “Comfortable Fools” and these songs all seem to be very thematically different. This speaks to the band’s ability to wear different hats, and they do that well on the tracks of this album.
- By J. Evan Wade
F20D's typical set list will include the band's original tunes in addition to a variety of covers ranging from Sublime, 311, Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley to Jay Z, Biz Markie and Warren G. F20D mixes rock, reggae, hip-hop and more!
There are no upcoming dates at this time.