Blackwater '64
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Blackwater '64

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Americana




"Blackwater '64's Whiskey and Wine"

The sounds of modern rock radio get filtered through the polite yearnings of modest young men on Blackwater '64's debut EP. Absent is the overblown bravado or dude-rock posturing that clouds so much guitar-driven rock music -- singer and guitarist Ben Martsolf doesn't achieve profundity in his lyrics, but his full-throated delivery on a song like opening track "Dancing With Your Ghost" evinces a palpable ache.

Opening the EP with a ballad is a ballsy move, especially one that features some back-and-forth with guest vocalist Amy Snyder; in the leadoff spot, it forecasts some romantic drama that isn't all that present on the rest of the six-song program. But the song does tip the band's hand a bit -- it likes to employ moody dynamics without sacrificing the beat, and lead guitarist Aaron Bickel favors clean melodic lead lines over histrionics, which is a plus. His playing shows traces of Southern rock on "See You in Hell" (fitting for a song that name-checks "Sweet Home Alabama"), but Bickel and the rest of the band are able to tighten the reins and let the vocals ring clear. That's the M.O. for Blackwater '64, and luckily Martsolf has enough range and raspy grit in his voice to warrant that attention.

The EP gets bogged down a bit by the biggest bane of modern rock -- all the damned self-seriousness. There's a dourness on the edge of town here, and the EP doesn't balance out the gloom, even at its most energetic. "Army" might be the best example of Blackwater '64's tendency toward unearned heaviness. In the song, an old man and a young man share drinks and ideology, but the song makes no clear comment on the battles being waged within, either personal or political. This is Martsolf's biggest platform to either tell a compelling story or make a trenchant observation, but it manages to sidestep both options in favor of a big chorus.

Above it all, though, he's a likable vocalist backed by a band capable of nuanced performance -- the rootsy shuffle on closing cut "Bridges" suggests a different band altogether. Judging from this competent but limited debut, it will be worth sticking around to see what kind of band Blackwater '64 becomes. - Riverfront Times


April 2013 - "Whiskey and Wine" E.P.

                     Dancing With Your Ghost

                     Whiskey and Wine

                     See You In Hell

                     Cowboy Showdown



April 2014 "Drugs and Dragons" - Digital Single

April 2014 "Firefly" - Digital Single



Blackwater '64 has toured and played shows in: MO, IL, KS, TN, KY, OH, TX, LA, AL and GA as both Headliners and Support for such acts as: Needtobreathe, American Aquarium, Gasoline Heart, Shooter Jennings, Cassino, Carter Hulsey, Park, Adam Faucett and Tom Pappas (of Superdrag)

Started in Nov of 2012 as an alt-country band and has since developed a guitar rock sound.

Blackwater '64 embodies the sound and feel of early classic rock.

For fans of: Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, and Jason Isbell

Debut E.P. "Whiskey and Wine" released April of 2013

Full Length album to be released late 2014/early 2015

Band Members:

Ben Martsolf (KS) - Lead Vocals & Guitar
Aaron Bickel (MO) - Lead Guitar
Aaron Peipert (IL) - Bass Guitar
Matt Effinger (MO) - Drums

Band Members