Face Down in High Water
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Face Down in High Water

Band Rock Alternative


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"FDH2O Wins Battle of the Bands"

Members of local band FDH2O (Face Down in High Water) recently took first place at the Wattsburg Erie County Battle of the Bands competition that took place last weekend at the Wattsburg Fairgrounds. FDH2O competed against about a dozen other bands and the winners were decided by a panel of judges. During the competition, FDH2O performed about 20 original and cover songs during their one-hour performance. The band was presented with a first place torphy, shown above, and received a $300 cash prize. Band members from left are Matt Downey, Dave Keem, Paul Downey and Dave Downey. - Erin Passinger, The Corry Journal

"Performers have night of high notes"

Dave Keem found comfort in a big, loud and crowded room teeming with black sport jackets and bright ties, short skirts and spike heels, fedoras and fezzes.
It was there, from a black table at the Bayfront Convention Center, that the drummer with Corry-based Face Down in High Water soaked in the scenery of the third annual RockErie Music Awards '09 on Sunday night and felt privileged to be part of it.
"It's motivating," said Keem, whose band was in the running for the event's first ever Song of the Year Award. "To be able to be with all of these musicians...it feels like you're home."
Sunday night's festivities proved to be quite a homecoming for Keem and his band mates, as their song "Drown" was chosen as the year's best by a three-member panel that included Grammy-winning singer Pat Monahan of Train.
-Sept. 27, 2009
- Tim Hahn, Erie Times-News (front page)

"Original Spin (Cutting Music Festival)"

Cover bands and tribute acts need not apply at the Cutting, N. Y., Music Festival

The sixth annual Cutting Music Festival goes cutting-edge this weekend in Cutting N.Y.
No, it won't feature Animal Collective, 100-foot video screens with laser-light shows, or a live satellite performance by Radiohead. Cutting-edge in Cutting, N.Y., doesn't mean Scissor Sisters will show up, either.
Instead, for the first time this festival will squarely focus on artists that play original music. You won't find a tribute band or covers-only group in the bunch.
"This is the first time we've done this, just [feature] people who play original music," said Joe Schrecengost, manager of host band Face Down in High Water.
"We just want to promote bands that are trying to write their own stuff and support those who do local music by doing more than just covers."
With bands from both the Buffalo and Erie areas, Cutting also features more stylistic diversity than most festivals which define themselves purely by genre.
"It's completely across the board, "Schrecengost said. "We've got some really heavy stuff, and we've got more mellow music and some roots, Americana stuff.
You'll find feel-good main-stream rock by Erie's Eastave, Americana-leaning Matt Maloof and the Contraband, bluesy Southern-rockers Rick and the Roadhouse Rockers, and hardcore by both Scarwork and Waiting for Never.
Buffalo funk-punk "potty rockers" Anal Pudding, a Cutting staple, also returns with its out-there, outrageous rock. For being a part of Cutting so long, the band may earn a pass on the "original only" edict.
"They always do a cover of Frank Zappa.‚ÄĚSchrecengost said. "That's fine."
The Cutting site encompasses 50 acres, including a pond and wooded area for free camping.
The sloping land allows for a natural amphitheater-like setting for music fans, and the size of the property will help the event pull off another cutting-edge first: on-site Olympics.
Well, sort of.
"One thing we're doing different from past years is having a lot of fun games of chance," Schrecengost said. "We'll have football toss, corn hole. We're calling it the Cutting Music Festival Olympics."
It's just a different Olympics with horseshoes, Frisbee toss, miniature golf, beer pong, basketball, and volleyball also on the docket. There's no swimming, however, so Michael Phelps can stay home unless he enjoys good music. The festival will feature plenty of that, including a set by the host band.
Face Down in High Water is gearing up for the release of its second CD, produced by Randy Hetherington. They also recently won the Wattsburg-Erie County Fair Battle of the Bands.
Food vendors will be available with hamburgers, hot dogs, and more. Fans can bring their own coolers with food and drinks, but no class bottles are permitted.
Dogs are also OK, unlike at most festivals. But remember, this is cutting-edge.

preview insert in Erie Times-News
Thursday, August 20, 2009 - David Richards, The Showcase

"Faimly Affair"

No wonder Face Down in High Water is so tight. It has every Downey but Robert.

Preview by Dave Richards
Staff writer

The Downey family doesn't need a special occasion like Christmas or Thanksgiving to get together.

They just need a gig.

Long-running hard rock/alternative band Face Down in High Water features three -- and sometimes four -- members of the Downey family, plus drummer Dave Keem. That closeness pays off on stage with the band playing tight, hard-pumping, cut-to-the-bone original rock.

When you know each other as well as these guys do, you needn't tiptoe around anyone or anything.

"Nobody's afraid to give anybody else advice," says lead singer Paul Downey. "It's a pretty good relationship. Someone told me long ago, 'Don't ever get into business with the family; it'll ruin everything.' But I think we've been like glue."

Face Down in High Water, together 12 years, includes brothers Dave and Matt Downey, the guitarist and bassist, respectively, who are Paul's cousins. Paul's brother Kevin Downey joins the band on keyboards and back-up vocals when available; he's also in Dreamscape.

The family bond helps Face Down in High Water play marathon four-hour shows with nary a set list. They know how to read each other.

"The way we play our shows is kind of free style," Paul Downey said. "We don't really have a set list per gig. We can kind of float through it without one, using hand signals, like a quarterback would in a football. It's kind of fun and everyone kind of catches onto it."

Few bands feature their kind of range; they can play anyone from Alice in Chains to ZZ Top, from Bob Marley to Green Day.

"We try to feel the crowd out, see what they like," Paul Downey said. "Before we play, we'll see what people are dressed like -- could be a metal crowd, could be country.

" Obviously, we don't play country but we'll play the mellower stuff at first, then. We have like six hours of cover tunes, everyone from Elvis and Johnny Cash to Korn and Linkin Park. It runs the gamut."

Their darkly compelling, enthralling originals lean to the heavy, alternative side of the rock spectrum. At times, they sound like a heavier version of Collective Soul: the songs pack an emotional punch and feature strong, memorable hooks.

Some songs are more aggressive like others, like the raging "Fire Inside," the racing, walloping "War," and riff-crazed "Pain." Most songs emerge from live jams, like "Sweet."

"We were playing a party and were contracted for three hours, but it ended up we kept playing and playing," Downey said. "We were playing 'L.A. Woman' for probably 45 minutes at six in the morning to watch the sunrise because people were still hanging out.

"We just kind of fell into a different groove and found that one (for 'Sweet.') That's the way a lot of these songs were written. We didn't sit down and write them; we just found them or they found us, I guess."

Same thing happened at a recent gig at Iron Horse in Cambridge Springs.

"Dave's guitar string got broken, so Matt and Dave (Keem) started playing some kind of bluegrass-country progression. I started making up words about a trailer park. Some people came up to me this weekend gong, 'Hey, you going to keep playing that 'Trailer Park' song? I said, 'I don't really remember it that well but we'll try to make something out of it.'"

The band put in a lot of hours with Hetherington into their self-titled CD at Midtown Studios. It was released in October.

"We laid tracks and he and I sat there for months, just listening to little sections, like three seconds long, over and over again," Paul Downey said. "The whole disk isn't very long but it was a painstaking process."

The CD -- and winning a RockErie music award -- may help them land more Erie gigs. They currently play all over the county, including Garland, North East, Corry, Youngsville, and more.

"We'd really like to do an 8 Great Tuesday or a block party," Downey said.

That's something the whole Downey clan agrees with.

-Dec.10,2009 (Pg.21)
- Showcase (Erie Times-News)


1. FDH2O Live at Forward Hall, released in 2004

2, Face Down in High Water, self-titled studio album, released in 2009

FDH2O has performed in the fallowing cities:
Corry, PA - Spartansburg, PA - Wattsburg, PA
Erie, PA - North East, PA - Harborcreek, PA
Columbus, PA - Canadohta Lake, PA - Youngsville, PA
Warren, PA - Tiona, PA - Pleasantville, PA
Edinboro, PA - Cambridge Springs, PA - Venango, PA
Pittsburgh, PA - Sugar Grove, PA - Tidioute, PA
Cutting, NY - Clymer, NY - Findley Lake, NY
Chautauqua, NY - Lakewood, NY - Bemis Point, NY
Jamestown, NY - Ripley, NY - Fredonia, NY
Buffalo, NY - Mayville, NY - Sherman, NY
Cleveland, OH - Kent, OH - Virginia Beach, VA - Tampa, FL
Jacksonville, FL - New Port Richey, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC



Face Down in High Water
(F D H 2 O)

FDH2O is from North Eastern Pennsylvania. With over half a decade of solid experience the band has the ability to showcase a powerful display of onstage emotion. FDH2O continues to spawn a contagious army, known as their fans!

FDH2O covers a great variety of music. All original music shows last up to an hour and a half. For longer shows, FDH2O includes cover songs throughout their sets and a typical show would last four hours. The band performs in the Pennsylvania and New York state regions, but have also traveled for shows in Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, and Tampa, Florida.

FDH2O is an award-winning band with half a decade of experience. FDH2O has placed third overall in Erie PA's Sherlock's/Budweiser 2004 battle of the bands. They have also placed in first during the preliminary round of Emergenza national music competition in Pittsburgh, PA and third place in the semi-final round. FDH2O has showcased for 3 major record labels (Virgin, TVT and Koch) at the Hard Rock Cafe in Cleveland, OH.

FDH2O hosts their own annual concert the Cutting Music Festival featuring some of the tri-state's best groups. FDH2O is in demand throughout the region, don't hesitate to contact us.

FDH2O is accredited with:
-Winning Best Song of the Year award, 2009, Erie PA putting them on the front page of Erie Times-News
-Winner of the Battle of the Bands 2009 held at the Wattsburg Fairgrounds.

This year, FDH2O was also nominated for:
1- best alternative band
2- best song of the year
3- best album of the year
in this year's Rock Erie Music Awards held at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA.