Rob Duskey and The Rounders
Rob Duskey and The Rounders are a Cleveland, OH original alt-country/Americana/jam act with standout boy-girl harmony vocals and a growing fanbase in the Midwest. Comparisons to The Decemberists, Blues Traveler, Rusted Root, Hootie and The Blowfish, John Mellencamp.
***WE NO LONGER KEEP OUR CALENDAR CURRENT ON SONICBIDS. PLEASE VISIT ROBDUSKEY.COM FOR CURRENT, ACTIVE TOUR CALENDAR, THANKS!***
“[Blank Canvas to Man] recaptures that ever-present rootsy sound of groups like Hootie and The Blowfish and Blues Traveler.”
-Janet Goodman, Music News Nashville
“Cleveland hasn't had a male/female vocalist rock record pairing as enjoyable as this in a long time.”
-Matt Wardlaw, CoolCleveland.com
“[Blank Canvas to Man] is about as authentic as it gets. A collaboration of impeccably tight musicians mixed with spot-on harmonies and lyrical hooks which stick with you for hours brings it all home.”
-Ann Thompson, AfterTheGig.com
“Rob Duskey’s strong voice sounds like a mix of Darius Rucker and John Popper.”
It’s been a life-changing year for Cleveland-based singer-songwriter Rob Duskey, who got his first taste of the “relentless touring” so many up-and-coming bands are quick to trumpet as an accomplishment. Following months of a seven-day-a-week working musician’s grind of everything from club dates to rib cook-offs to solo restaurant busks, Duskey felt compelled to capitalize on the regional success of his February 2012 sophomore release, Blank Canvas to Man, by embarking on his first package tour to parts West. “The reality of 12-hour van rides, day after day, wasn’t exactly what I had conjured up in my head,” Duskey reflects. “But it was an unbelievable blessing to have the chance to expose my life’s work to so many new audiences.”
Produced by Dave Douglas (the former drummer for Relient K), Blank Canvas was painstakingly conceived as a platform to showcase the strengths that have earned Duskey and his long-time backing band, The Rounders, their unwaveringly loyal and unusually diverse fanbase: accessible songwriting, dramatic boy-girl harmonies, and a solid musical foundation of alt-country, Americana, and straight-ahead rock. “From start to finish, the album takes you on a refreshing journey through reality” –Mandey Corsi, WJCU 88.7 FM / neorocks.com.
But Blank Canvas wasn’t purely a homegrown DIY effort: Duskey’s sound caught the ear of Blues Traveler’s John Popper, who kindly lent his trademark harmonica chops to the album’s fourth track, “Palo Alto.” With Popper’s cameo, the “90’s rock” comparisons in the press became almost unavoidable. But that ultimately proved to be a good thing—it helped carve Duskey something of a niche in an “indie” scene bogged down in a bottomless inbox of skinny-jeaned wannabe-Pitchforkers.
Within a week of its debut, a nationwide audience voted Blank Canvas’s jangly “Meet Me in the Middle” runner-up out of hundreds of entries in Ourstage.com’s Alt-Country new music contest. The album also garnered the attention of Cleveland’s news media, earning the band live spots on television (WKYC (NBC)’s “Good Company” and “Live on Lakeside”) and radio (WJCU 88.7 FM’s “NEO Rocks” and V107.3 FM’s “The Inner Sanctum” new music showcases). Several Blank Canvas tracks have also seen regular rotation on two of Cleveland’s AAA/rock FM stations and in multiple college radio markets nationwide.
The self-released Blank Canvas proudly rides the coattails of Duskey’s 2009 debut, Cautiously Optimistic (“A flat out, a good time rock and roll tale of many loves found and many loves lost.” -Matt Wardlaw, CoolCleveland.com).
2012 also saw big changes in the Rounders’ lineup, as singer-songwriter Megan Zurkey, pianist Rob Kovacs (Brooklyn's Return of Simple), and touring guitarist G.S. Harper were added to the mix. “Once I really committed to being a full-time performer, I got to play with so many amazing and diverse musicians,” says Duskey. “The sound I was looking for just came together one night… I knew we had something special.”
In addition to its regular headlining and co-bill situations in the Midwest, the act has opened for a number of nationals in the jamband and Americana/alt-country circuits (Railroad Earth, The Bodeans, The Clarks).
Stu Laven, Jr.
Video ("Meet Me in The Middle"):
Blank Canvas to Man (2012) (self released)
Cautiously Optimistic (2009) (Slanted House)
We play original sets, all family/kid/radio friendly. We can play anywhere from 40 minutes to more than 3 hours with a 80-20 breakdown of original/cover material as venue may request. Act is also available as a coffee house acoustic duo.