Iroquois Confederacy
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Iroquois Confederacy

Lykens, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Lykens, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Band Rock Classic Rock

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"Back when I was a young cub reporter, I worked for a little paper called The Citizen Standard. One of the towns that the paper covered was Lykens. Usually, Lykens was just a way to get from Valley View, where the paper was based out of, and Elizabethville, where there was much more to do.

In late 2006, a band was formed called the Iroquois Confederacy, taking its name from the Native American history of the area. However, this band doesn't sound like anything I ever encountered in my time there, but I sure wish could have.

"To understand the band, it's very simple. Their sound is described as beer-drinkin', guitar grindin' music for the masses, and they were right. Growing up listening to so many different types of music, Iroquois Confederacy sounds like a cross between the Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, with a little bit of Rage Against the Machine mixed in. These four men make it work beautifully so that one genre doesn't overpower the others. It's a talent that few artists have, but these boys have it down pat.

Guitarist/lead vocalist Jeff Heilman turns into a vocal chameleon, going from rock to soft blues without missing a beat. Lead guitarist Andy Adams plays that six-stringed instrument like Stevie Ray Vaughn one minute and Tom Morello the next. Add in basist Eric Spotts and drummer Chris Underkoffler keeping the peace and the music all together and the combination is incredible.

While the band said it's feature track is "Cellophane Blues", a great song in itself, there are a number of great tracks on this CD. My personal favorite is "Old Joe," telling the story of a worker drone in the world getting the shaft in life and taking out his revenge like many of us might wish we could. I really couldn't find a bad track in the bunch. "The Left Handed Peace Pipe" is a CD worth checking out.

Makes me wonder what else I missed in Lykens. Maybe I'll have to head back over there sometime. - Shinbone Magazine


Named in deference to the Native American alliance whose constitution forced early settler Andrew Lycons to vacate the Wiconisco Valley (now the Lykens Valley) where they are based, Iroquois Confederacy introduces a hard-driving, blues-rooted brand of rock on their debut CD, The Left-Handed Peace Pipe. Their sound is loud, proud, guitar-driven, hard-nosed rock steeped in the southern rock traditions of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet, seasoned with a slight modern edge.

Frontman/guitarist Jeff Heilman delivers a rugged growl reminiscent of the late Danny Joe Brown (Molly Hatchet), and blends with lead guitarist Andy Adams to provide chunky riffs and dual harmony leads; working off the sturdy rhythm section of bassist Eric Spotts and drummer Chris Underkoffler. Iroquois Confederacy provides an interesting song variety over the discs dozen tracks; offering up no-nonsense barnburners like the opening commentary about television manipulation Father Media, the plastic celebrity ode Cellophane Blues, the portrait of sweet-leaf evangelism Holy Roller Toker and the rumbling drinking anthem Architect of Buzz. The group tones it down on the acoustic-geared Remember, and crafts a contemplative tone on the dual-speed disc-closer Silver Lined.

Perhaps the discs most unique track is Old Joe, where Iroquois Confederacy incorporates a funk rhythm and narrative into a study of 9-to-5-inspired insanity. The performances sound gritty and inspired, and the variations in tempo and guitar interplay keep things interesting throughout the disc.

Recorded and produced by the band at their Empty Bottle Studio in Lykens, The Left-Handed Peace Pipe sounds stripped-down and raw, with all the ingredients of the groups sound clearly audible and balanced, and occasional vocal effects incorporated along the way.

Fans of the southern arts and whiskey-soaked rock n roll should find The Left-Handed Peace Pipe a disc worth celebrating, and Iroquois Confederacy a rowdy-rocking foursome worth checking into. (The CD can be obtained through the groups website, www.iroconfed.com.) - Pennsylvania Musician


Discography

The Left Handed Peace Pipe - 2009
Splitting the Sky - 2010

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Bio

“The combination of these four guys is incredible.” Rob Wheary of Shinbone Music Magazine

February 12, 2011 (Lykens, PA) Iroquois Confederacy would like to announce their second CD release Splitting the Sky. Their previous release, The Left Handed Peace Pipe, received reviews such as “Loud, proud, guitar driven hard nosed rock by a rowdy rockin foursome” - Keith Hummel of Pennsylvania Musician Magazine. Michael Meade at Tastes Like Rock had this to say: “These guys pull off blues, rock, alternative and grunge all at the same time.”

Hailing from the Lykens Valley in central Pennsylvania these boys grew up listening to an eclectic mix of music and it all shines through in their own original music. Having a sound that’s been compared to the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, The Doors, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Rage Against the Machine has left them humbled in their forefather’s greatness. Rob Wheary of Shinbone Music Magazine has said of Iroquois Confederacy’s ability to mix several styles and genres of music “It’s a talent that few artists have, but these boys have it down pat.”

As Iroquois Confederacy trudges forward in an effort to bring their guitar grindin, beer drinkin music to the masses there are several release dates being planned. “Hungover” will be the flagship song off of Splitting the Sky. “Hungover” takes a look at how it would be to hang out with alcohol instead of just drinking it. Not that drinking it is out of the question, because it also deals with the struggle of telling the demon alcohol that you are done for the night and it just won’t listen. Other topics include a crazed church lady (Crazy Lady), being shot down by the opposite sex (Jetstream), the other guys point of view pertaining to your cheating girlfriend (I’m Bitter Also) and a good ole fashioned foot tapping, head bobbin instrumental that will be stuck in your head all day long (Brass Knuckles).

For more information, promo requests or to set up an interview please contact: Jeff Heilman at contact@iroconfed.com or call 717.773.0379.