61 North is an inspirational, high-energy band blending new and old with a sound that fuses blues, rock, jazz, funk, and progressive music. The band prides itself in an ever-growing arsenal of potent original songs that electrify listeners. 61 North is a band to experience – its tasteful improvisation, exceptional musicianship and powerful stage presence make the group an incredible live phenomenon and a must see.
With the 2008 release of its debut record On the Road, 61 North has firmly established itself as an up-and-comer by garnering accolades and awards from radio stations and live audiences up and down the east coast. The band has catapulted itself into the headlines and airwaves. There music is spun regularly on 93.7 WSTW of Delaware and 88.5 WXPN of Philadelphia. They have shared the bill/opened for such nationally acclaimed acts as Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Porter Batiste & Stoltz, Arlo Guthrie, Delbert McClinton and Tinsley Ellis, and are rapidly gathering the interest of the music community.
In February 2010, the band will produce their second annual 61 North Benefit Concert for Spinal Cord Injury, a benefit established by members Brian LaPann and Ryan “Gooch” Nelson of the group to increase awareness, fund research, and provide financial assistance to individuals across the country with spinal cord injuries. The corporate foundations funded by the first annual 61 North Benefit Concert include Magee Rehabilitation Hospital and the Adam Taliaferro Foundation, founded by Penn State Alumnus and Humanitarian of the Year award recipient Adam Taliaferro, who suffered a debilitating spinal injury while playing football for Penn State University.
Spinal cord injury is a cause close to the heart of 61 North. In 2004, guitarist Ryan “Gooch” Nelson was in a devastating car crash, injuring his spine and leaving him a c-7 quadriplegic. For Gooch, an accomplished guitarist before the accident, the outlook was bleak -- after spending over six months in the hospital, Gooch’s life was irrevocably transformed. He had lost the ability to live life as he had before – including playing music…or so he thought.
Two years after the accident, Gooch's grandfather bought him an electric guitar to play slide, a style previously foreign to him. With paralysis of his hands, Gooch naturally developed a unique slide technique using a custom-made hand-blown thumb slide on the left hand and thumb pick on the right playing his cherished Les Paul. Brian LaPann, childhood friend and then practicing music student at the University of Delaware, rekindled his relationship with Gooch, as he helped to teach him to play blues standards and original songs. Gooch’s new world began to unfurl.
Brian and Gooch’s collaboration began with a focus on blues music as the soul of their originally composed songs. As Brian’s intense blues infused, rock n’ roll driven guitar work and soulful lead vocals were refined, Gooch began to forge his technique, drawing from the rhythmic acoustic focus of his past to create memorable slide riffs and melodies. 61 North’s addition of bassist Bob Comfort and drummer Joe Bross complete the balance of the band by bringing a powerful rhythm and funk backbone to its hard-driven blues and rock sound. Bob began working with the band shortly after its inception in spring of 2006. His respect for funk and rock & roll music is evident in his natural and charismatic feel. Joe Bross entered the band a year and a half later, proving instrumental in building up the bands dynamic with his raw power and cement mixing beats and grooves.
Thus was born a collaboration that morphed into 61 North, drawing its name from the legendary and mystical highway through the rhythm and blues heartland of Mississippi to the city where electric blues originated, Chicago. They seek to take their blues in a different direction, a concept which has been inspirational to innumerable pillars and icons of blues and rock music.
61 North has given its band members an opportunity to develop an identity built on a solid foundation of original and soulfully felt music. Bob Comfort and Brian LaPann’s higher education and music backgrounds add subtle sophistication to the visceral appeal of 61 North’s edginess. 61 North has found its voice in these four talented musicians. The diverse musical expertise that each bring to the stage make enjoying them live, or in the studio, truly an inspirational experience for every listener.
Brian LaPann: Vocals, Guitar
Ryan "Gooch" Nelson: Slide Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Bob Comfort: Bass, Vocals
Joe Bross: Drums
For booking & other inquiries:
Brian LaPann: 856-217-2893
Ryan "Gooch" Nelson: 609-674-4974
On The Road - Nov. 2008
Midnight Hour spun on 88.5 WXPN of Philadephia
Single "Loaded Gun" played on 93.7 WSTW of Delaware
Venues and Festivals:
Hyatt Regency Hotel - Labware Corporate Conference (Huntington Beach, CA)
Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival (Elmer, NJ)
Union County Music Festival (Union County, NJ)
Camden Back Yard BBQ Festival (Camden, NJ)
Riverfront Blues Festival (Wilmington, DE)
Cape May Wine Festival (Cape May, NJ)
Southern Shore Music Festival (Millville, NJ)
World Café Live (Philadelphia, PA)
The Queen Theatre (Wilmington, DE)
The Smyrna Opera House (Smyrna, DE)
The 8x10 (Baltimore, MD)
The National Underground (NYC)
Shared the Stage With:
Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Part of our mission is to give back to causes we believe in. We put on an annual benefit concert for Spinal Cord Injury and are always open to playing free concerts for a good cause.
Benefits We Support:
61 North Benefit Concert for Spinal Cord Injury: Salem Community College - Supporting the Adam Taliaferro Foundation & Magee Rehabilitation Hospital.
Relay For Life: University of Delaware - Supporting the American Cancer Society
Skidfest: University of Delaware - Supporting AYUDA
Ram Jam: Elkton MD -Supporting Engineers Without Borders
Guts, Guitars & Glory
Check out our website's press page to read all of our reviews.
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"61 North are a powerful blues-rock band that kicked off our event with a blistering set that appeal..."61 North are a powerful blues-rock band that kicked off our event with a blistering set that appealed to a wide age demographic. The music harkened back to an earlier era when artistic integrity held sway. The energy from the stage drew in the younger crowd who appeared ready to make the band their own!"
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"These guys are a cut above when it comes to original Blues. They do what few bands can, put an orig..."These guys are a cut above when it comes to original Blues. They do what few bands can, put an original touch to an established form of music. The songs they write along with their great musicianship will keep them in the forefront of the national "inde" blues scene for years to come!"
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"We have had a string of sold out shows with 61 North - they always deliver a great crowd to the ve..."We have had a string of sold out shows with 61 North - they always
deliver a great crowd to the venue and are a pleasure to work with"
"This band is awesome!"
61 North wins best rock song with "Loaded Gun" - Mark Rodgers
Satisfy Your Weakness
On The Road
Jimi Is Gone
Find Some Love
A Lot Like You
Back Down To The Woods
Red Headed Angel
The Rising Sun
Teach Me Love
Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Cream, Racontuers, Allman Bros, Red Hot Chili Peppers, ZZ Top, Phish, S.R.V., Bad Co. etc.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.