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Dover, New Hampshire, United States

Dover, New Hampshire, United States
Band Rock Funk


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I'm a sucker for the music of New Orleans and the culture that surrounds that great city. So when I received local band Gnarlemagne's debut album, "Run For Shelter," and turned it over to find that the first song on the disc was entitled "Funky New Orleans," I knew there was a good chance I was going to like what was about to be spun on my stereo.

What I heard was a group of young men that sounded mature beyond their years sonically, but just immature enough to give the music that little something extra that makes the music on this recording immensely enjoyable.

Audio slide show

There's a lot going on here. The band seems to pull from a lot of different influences, and has created the perfect (and consistent) musical blend from these varied sources. You can hear elements of classic rock, swamp soul, gritty blues, and reggae, all slathered with a thick coat of funk that curls the upper lip, gets the head bobbin', and the feet movin'.

Gnarlemagne need to be heard. This is the type of music the Seacoast music scene is in dire need of. It's fun, it's loud, and it's inviting. Lead singer Stuart Dias wraps the theme of this music up in a tight little package on the second cut of the album, "Ain't Asking for Much," when he sings repeatedly in his raspy soul tinged voice, "I ain't askin' for much, I just want you to move." Is that too much to ask for? I think not.

This band is tight, and very much focused on their craft here. The sharp guitar riffing, the swirling Organ rhythms, the pulsing bass lines, the backbeat of the drums, and the poignant horn section really keep this music unquestionably interesting and fresh from track to track. Front to back, "Run for Shelter," is a stellar debut album from a local seven-piece band that is poised for a very bright future. I know I'm looking forward to it. Position yourselves for movement. These guys are good.

Check out for information on the band and their music.

— Christopher Hislop
January 07, 2010 2:00 AM


The funky septet known as Gnarlemagne is about as far from gloomy as you can get. Based in Dover and Durham and frequenting the UNH college scene, this entourage borrows from the best of '70s funk, New Orleans soul and classic rock to produce high-spirited party music.

The album roars to life with the opening track, "Funky New Orleans", establishing a solid groove before introducing the booming growl of Stuart Dias' voice. The second track, "Ain't Asking for Much," is much more guitar-driven, with a fast rock pace reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic." The title track comes next, with a sound that is equal parts New Orleans funk and jam, much like the Rebirth Brass Band.

The Gnarlemagne crew consists of Dias on guitar and vocals, Alex Brenneman and Mike Kulik on trumpets, Matt Francoeur on saxophone, Ian Katz on trombone, Jed Allen on drums and Alex Koffler on bass. They recorded partly at Boston University and partly at Thumbprint Studios in Epping. The 10th and final son, "Catalina," was recorded live at The Muddy River in Portsmouth.

Dias sounds at times like a young Richie Havens, at others more like Dr. John or the Seacoast's own Dave Gerard. It's a very New Orleans voice, full of Cajun fire, that will probably only get huskier as he continues to perform. The group's brass component, with trumpets, trombone, and saxophone, contributes to the festive atmosphere, and Dias' guitar occasionally bursts into electric mayhem.

The lyrics are not particularly thought provoking, instead mirroring the album's celebratory tone. "I need a hot meal, I need a cold drink / I need a soft bed, a quiet place to think / 'Cause by the end of the week I'm to tired to speak / And I won't be your fool no more," Dias sings in Stink-Tooth."

It's difficult to capture this kind of raw energy on CD, and the band probably excels during live performances. For more on Gnarlemagne, visit

By Matt Kanner
November 4th, 2009 - The Wire

Hailing from UNH, Gnarlemagne is a blues/funk band who's tunes demand dancing.

The band incorporates a horn section consisting of two trumpets, a saxophone and a trombone. This is not to be confused with Ska. Gnarlemagne works the horns into the mix really well and doesn't fit the mold you'd expect from a band with a brass section.

The band's compositional style is reminiscent of an earlier, less complicated time in music. The sounds of The Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, and Jimmy Hendrix come through in the band's two posted songs on myspace.

"Ain't Askin' For Much" has a great up-beat feel to it and really puts the horn section to work. Singer/guitarist Stu Dias really gives it his all on this track. The guitar riff reminds me of "Testify" in a way that I really appreciate. This song is real crowd starter for sure.

The other track on Gnarlemagne's myspace is "Smokehouse Blues". This track is a little slower but still gets a good head bop out of me. I think there will always be room for a solid blues progression in rock music - and this one is no exception. The piano driven lines have a great accompaniment from the horns and even some cowbell.

Although the band did not perform at the Music and Arts festival hosted by The Dover Children's Home, they still make an appearance on the compilation CD with "Ain't Askin' For Much". The band currently has some dates booked in New Hampshire and I'm sure would put on a great show.

Derek Heidemann
July 31, 2009 - Manchester Underground Music Examiner


Run For Shelter
Live at the Stone Church

Tracks with radio play:
Ain't Askin' For Much (WHEB)
Catalina (WHEB)
[Entire "Run For Shelter" album] (WUNH)



Gnarlemagne grew from friendship and have been playing together since 2006. The sound is primarily rock, but funk, soul, and blues are also a large part of the inspiration for the band's sound. The heavy emphasis on dancing and having fun is no exaggeration; the band's enthusiasm for this music is very contagious, and routinely gets the audience up and out of their chairs.

Gnarlemagne cut their teeth on a weekly gig at a bar in Dover, NH. Since then, they've expanded to play at some of the best venues and festivals in the seacoast area of NH, and are beginning to play out of state as well.

Unlike most bands that have a catchy name, Gnarlemagne is hard to spell and non-obvious to pronounce. It's a combination of "Gnarly" and "Charlemagne", which isn't necessarily descriptive of the band's sound. However, after years of playing together, the name has stuck.