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Bands join forces and mix their sounds
The Republican
By: Donnie Moorhouse
Thursday, October 11, 2007

As soon as you click "play" on the Myspace page music player you will instantly recognize the groove. That's Gary on slide guitar, Callie singing. That is Electric Blue and the Kosmik Truth.


That was Electric Blue and the Kosmik Truth.

Gary Phelps and Callie K. have joined forces with former members of Bullseye Jones to create CiDERHOUSE, a countrified, blues-rock groove band that plays the Waterfront in Holyoke on Friday night.

Electric Blue and the Kosmik Truth began with the two performers in 1996 and became not only regulars on the then-thriving local music scene, but also touring from Allston to Austin.

CiDERHOUSE represents a slight change of pace with the addition of an eight-string lap steel and a shift from the standard blues structure that Electric Blue utilized. "It can have a real countrified feel and with the heavier songs it can have a rock slide feel," Phelps said. "We are also adding some Bullseye Jones songs to our set list, straight-up rock tunes with a Rolling Stones-esque flavor."

The band is keeping the jams to a minimum but leaning heavily on the prowess of new members Erik Morgan (guitar), Chris Pelletier (bass) and Greg Carreira (drums).

"Their band (Bullseye Jones) played at CiDERHOUSE's First Annual Apple Jam Festival," Phelps said. "We also played with them at a few shows here and there and Callie and I loved their sound, both originals and cover selections, and thought that they were a tight, hard- working band and that we would love to be involved with these guys. So we collaborated and combined forces and there you have it."

Much like Electric Blue, the CiDERHOUSE crew will go with a grass roots marketing plan, concentrating strictly on the local scene. They hope to earn a strong local following before venturing out on the road. They will go into the studio this winter with plans to have a record out by spring.

Along with the show at the Waterfront on Friday (10 p.m. start) the band is planning its annual Saturday-after-Thanksgiving stint at Theodores' on Worthington Street and its first New Year's Eve party in the Grand Ballroom at the Holiday Inn in Holyoke.

For more information, check out the band at
- The Republican

Valley Advocate
Nightcrawler: Hooked On PDP Thursday, October 11, 2007
PDP brings the rock to Greenfield; the loss of a legendary luthier; some freshly squeezed Ciderhouse news.
By Gary Carra

Lastly, after nearly two years with its previous rhythm section, Ciderhouse core members Gary Phelps (guitar) and Callie Katsounakis (vocals) have set their sights on finding some new personnel to "change the musical direction." Phelps recently checked in to report that he and Katsounakis appear to have hit the musical bullseye.

"Callie and I had worked with this band Bullseye Jones a few times and really liked their sound," he explains. "After I recorded their demo, I asked them to become a part of Ciderhouse."

Phelps, Katsounakis, Chris Pelletier (bass), Greg Carreira (drums) and Erik Morgan (guitar) make their official debut this Friday, Oct. 12 at Holyoke's Waterfront.

With Morgan holding down the chord changes proper, Phelps says to expect considerably more slide and lap steel playing from him individually, and even a couple Bullseye classics thrown in for good measure.

While Bullseye itself appears back-burnered at best, the latest blog from the band's Myspace reveals that the Westfield-based jam rockers have no intention of disbanding permanently for now.

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- Valley Advocate


Cider in the house
Thursday, January 25, 2007
By Ken Maiuri

Breaking up is hard to do. And the long-running band Electric Blue and the Kozmik Truth kept breaking up. So, after ten years, the Western Massachusetts duo behind the band, Gary Phelps and Callie K., decided to put EBKT on ice and start a warmer artistic endeavor: a group called Ciderhouse.

It's not a huge departure from their band of old. K and Phelps still write the original songs (and they play covers, too), and the band around them -- now bassist Tom Terry and drummer Paul Brandoli -- still knows how to stretch out on a musical idea. But the twosome is taking a more laid-back approach, letting their songs grow into whatever stylistic shape they naturally form.

"We call it 'countrified soulgrass'," said Phelps. "EBKT was designed to make people dance; it was a funk-rock foundation. We still want them to dance, but it's not as necessary as listening, feeling and enjoying the songs."

A click or two away on MySpace, you can hear some demos and live tracks and get a taste of the Ciderhouse brew. It's spiked with blues, rock, funk, spacey jamband stretches, and a twang here and there. Phelps now plays the 8-string lap steel, drummer Brandoli has a funk and soul background, and it all finds a way into the music. "Sausalito" is groovy with an "acoustic Zeppelin"-like vibe and some nice slide work, while "Snake Drive" blazes up a club stage with funky, dirty guitar riffing and K's blues-diva vocals.

EBKT spent a good deal of effort getting out on the road, but the year-old Ciderhouse plans to concentrate on their own neighborhood for a while, focusing on local clubs, finding an agent, developing their sound and preparing to make their debut album -- most likely by themselves, on professional gear.

Nevertheless, the band does gig often, both near and far. One of their favorite places to play is Plattsburgh, NY. "It's a fun town, much like Northampton," said Phelps.

And locally, Ciderhouse enjoys performing at Theodore's in Springfield, which ended up being the site of one of the band's most memorable shows to date -- when Phelps' cousin Vinnie led the band for a cover of "It Had To Be You" in order to propose to his fiance.

"In the middle of the song, we brought it down, and he called her up [on stage]," said Phelps. "He got on one knee and proposed, then busted back into the song. She was totally surprised!"

Phelps said that someday he and K may have an Electric Blue and the Kozmik Truth reunion to give the old band a "proper burial," but Ciderhouse is their focus. They plan to release their debut album this year, and possibly even hold their own festival, featuring bands they've played with over the years, as well as some local artists.

Catch Ciderhouse this month: Friday, February 16 at Finn McCool's in Westfield (9 p.m.), and Saturday, February 17 at the Basement in Northampton, (10 p.m.).

©2007 The Republican
© 2007 All Rights Reserved. - The Republican


NO SYMPATHY- Release Date: October 31st 2008



The Truth, the Kozmik Truth, and nothing but the Truth

Callie K. and Gary Phelps have been writing and performing music together since forming Electric Blue and the Kozmik Truth in 1996. At a time when the Western MA music scene was searching for a band to call it's own EBKT's combination of funk-based rhythms and expansive improvisation filled the void nicely. By the time they disbanded in 2003 they had embedded themselves into the musical landscape of the region, frequently playing to capacity crowds at the largest local venues and had established themselves as a seasoned touring force playing gigs everywhere from Allston to Austin.

Keeping up with the Joneses

If you want to know when the seed of Bullseye Jones was first planted you need only go back to 1991. It was then that Greg Carreira and Erik Morgan attended elementary school together. Though at the time Greg was in Fourth grade and Erik in First, by the time 2002 rolled around schoolyard harassment had given way to musical kinship and the two were jamming on a regular basis. By fall of 2006 Chris Pelletier had joined the fold and the newly dubbed Bullseye Jones was forging a reputation as a classic power trio with a rock 'n roll sound much larger than the sum of its parts. Their crowning moment came in June of 2007 when their rain-soaked set at CiDERHOUSE's first annual Apple Jam served as the high point of the weekend for the weary crowd.


CiDERHOUSE was born in the aftermath of EBKT, and began with Callie & Gary as an acoustic duo. As they soon expanded to a 4-piece, full band outfit Callie picked up a washboard, Gary took to the lapslide and their style was streamlined to roots-oriented genre that was equal parts bluegrass, blues, and rock 'n roll they facetiously ordained "countrified soulgrass". In September of 2007, with band tensions running high, CiDERHOUSE called in a favor from Bullseye Jones and Erik, Greg, and Chris joined the fold.

As a 5-piece with two guitars and five distinct songwriting styles, CiDERHOUSE has surely become a musical force to be reckoned with. Callie has a voice that can go from sweet falsetto to pure, brute force in a matter of milliseconds and the chops to stun any jaded audience. Greg and Chris make five years together as a rhythm section sound like thirty, walking the line between bravado and restraint. Gary and Erik form a one-two guitar punch that combines seasoned sensibility and youthful attack. Their songs run the proverbial gamut, from bluegrass-y steamrollers to riff-based hard rock epics, with washboard and melodic slide guitar showcased throughout.

Their debut record, released 10/31/08, gives an insight to their true chemistry and shows the wisdom of over forty combined years of road experience. The release also has them primed to take advantage of an uninspired rock 'n roll scene and be recognized as the premiere rock 'n roll band in the northeast.