Harbour Grace
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Harbour Grace

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The best kept secret in music


"Facing their biggest gig Local band Harbour Grace to open Parkfest 2006"

Thursday, April 27, 2006
PITTSFIELD — It's Monday night at the Pump House Pub on Edward Street, and the band is rocking the house.

The pub, a makeshift bar in the bottom of Harbour Grace lead singer Darin Almeida's home, serves as the rehearsal site for the Pittsfield band.

It looks like a trendy new bar. The walls are painted red. All the lights are red, except for a few neon beer signs. There are six guitars hanging on the walls. And 19 cans of beer on the bar.

The band's amps are shaking; they're practicing especially hard tonight, seeing that their biggest gig to date is on Sunday.

This ragtag band of 30-something locals is playing Parkfest 2006, the University at Albany's end-of-the-school-year concert bash that brings in national acts both big and small to the Pepsi Arena. The largest student-sponsored concert in upstate New York, Parkfest crowds can swell to over 10,000.

Harbour Grace, which specializes in melodic hard rock, will open the show at 2:30 p.m. The headlining acts are Busta Rhymes, Chris Brown, Dashboard Confessional, New Found Glory and Teddy Geiger.

"This is going to be huge," said drummer, Dan Teichert, 33.

There's a sense of excitement you can feel from these fellas, like a boy about to go to his first professional baseball game. They have 74 years of musical experience among the four of them, but since forming in May of 2005, they've been restricted to playing small clubs locally, in the Springfield area and across the border in Albany. Teichert is the veteran of the crew, having played with the bands Xavier and Lord Hill, touring alongside Arlo Guthrie.

Almeida, guitar; Keith Ferris, 31, guitar; and Dan Robinson, 34, bass, played together in a band called Circle of Stone about 10 years ago. The band broke up, but reformed last year, searching for a drummer to round out the quartet.

Almeida's brother-in-law, Teichert, a drummer, had the itch to get back into the band scene, and the chemistry seemed to click.

"We've been in bands before where it was a chore to get together and practice," Ferris said.

"But this is something we look forward to," Robinson said. "It's about the brotherhood, just wanting to hang out and write and play music."

The one sour note is that Robinson won't be able to play on Sunday at the Pepsi Arena. A carpenter by day, he nearly amputated a finger a month ago using a table saw. He's had surgery, and is hoping to be back on stage in a few months.

Filling in for him is Chris Samson, 26, an Adams bassist from the band Sifer.

"They took me in, got me drunk and here I am," he said. "It's been great. I've really been able to learn a lot from the guys."

Their first album, "Placid," a collection of five original tunes, has just been pressed, and the band is expecting 1,000 copies to be delivered in time to sell them at Parkfest.

Guthrie's son, Abe, served as the engineer and producer, and the songs are framed by hard-hitting guitar riffs, some infectious. Think Tool and Alice In Chains. All four members contribute to song writing, and the lyrics go beyond the mundane.

On "Too Far Gone," Ferris laments over a former girlfriend battling depression and angst.

"I have done all that can be done by a man without a degree," he writes in reference to being unable to provide psychological help.

On the title track, "Placid," Teichert writes about a life-altering moment: "So close to the surface, lips nearly break the water, and I'm screaming your name."

"It's about my son," Teichert says. "We were on Pontoosuc Lake one day and my son was playing near the beach. He fell into the water, and it was like he was in this embryonic state. He couldn't get himself out and was just looking up at me through the water.

"It was only for a second or two, but all this stuff started racing through my mind. The song is about a spiritual connection to him."

The members hope they can win over some fans, maybe even some promoters, with the 15 original tunes they'll play Sunday.

They've already scored one Albany-area zealot. Jeff Eckert, 23, CEO of a small record label, Set Em' Up Records in the Albany area, helped Harbour Grace get on the playbill of Parkfest.

Almeida met Eckert at a bar in Albany and told him the band "was the greatest thing since canned beer."

"Once I heard their music, I thought their stuff was incredible," Eckert said. "They need to be mainstream. More people need to hear them. I'm hoping Parkfest can get them some exposure; open up some doors."

The men of Harbour Grace admit that, while it's a longshot to score a big record deal, all harbor some dreams of "walking away from the everyday and making music for the masses," Robinson said.

If it doesn't happen?

"We'll still be down here," at the Pump House Pub, Teichert said, "making music."

- By Benning W. De La Mater, Berkshire Eagle Staff


EP - "Placid"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Although the band has only been playing together for just over a year and a half, they have been performing like seasoned veterans, which can be attributed to their combined experience of over 75 years. In their short time together, the band has performed at several large venues, recieved substantial press coverage, and have amassed quite an impressive list of accolades.

The band performed at this years Albany New York's Parkfest 2006 music festival, along with such artists as Newfound Glory, Dashboard Confessional, Teddy Geiger, and Busta Rhymes in front of thousands of fans.

The band was also most recently selected as a semifinalist from a group of submissions totaling in the hundreds, for Albany's Channel 103.1 most original band contest of 2006.

Individual band member bios are as follows:

Darin Almeida has been playing guitar for 18 years with the bands Aichbone, Ewe Phreaks, Circle of Stone, and the Ned Project at such venues as Sir Morgan’s Cove, Infinity, and Saratoga Winners. Influences from the bands King's X, Helmet, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Hum are evident in his sound. Darin's gear consists of Jackson, Ibanez, Alvarez, and Washburn guitars; and B-52 Amplification.

Keith Ferris has 17 years experience on guitar as a member of Psychopompous and Circle Of Stone. He has performed at several venues including Sir Morgan’s Cove, Saratoga Winners, Infinity, Charity's, 615 Main Street, TT The Bears, and O'Brien's. His influences are Sarah McLachlan, Eddie Vedder, and Tool. His gear: Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, and Martin guitars through B-52 Amplifiers.

Dan Robinson has played bass guitar for 12 years with the bands Dorian Grey
and Circle Of Stone. He is influenced by groups such as Rush, Incubus, Pink Floyd, Our Lady Peace, Pearl Jam, Roger Waters, and Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers; hence his Modulus "Flea" bass, Pedulla MVP5 bass, and Ampeg SVT5+ Heads and Pro Series Cabinets. Venues played include TT The Bears, O'Brien's, The Boathouse, House Of Rock, and 615 Main Street.

Dan Teichert has been drumming
for 27 years. As a
member of the original bands Lord Hill and
Xavier, he toured the US and cut records from 1996-2000. The following 2 years he was out on the road with Arlo Guthrie playing such venues as the Whiskey A Go-Go, Philadelphia Folk Festival, and the prestigious Carnegie Hall. He has shared the stage with musicians like Little Feat, Hot Tuna, Richie Havens, and Johnny Johnson.

The band has just released their first 5 song EP entitled "Placid" which was engineered by Abe Guthrie.