Pete Kilpatrick Band
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Pete Kilpatrick Band


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The best kept secret in music


"...F***ing Radical!!"

"These guys are f*$in' radical!"

-Jason Mraz - Jason Mraz

"Pete Kilpatrick Band - The Real Deal"

by murdoch
article photo and front page photo by Jennifer Kearns

Ahh, remember the old days? Back when Pete Kilpatrick was a guitar technician for his school buds, Jeremiah Freed? Perhaps you don’t remember that. Maybe that’s because while Pete was guitar tech-ing he was doing double duty as a solo performer opening for Freed. Now THAT’s a way to get a foot in the door, and in Pete’s case, sell a couple thousand CDs. And thus it has been ever since. Call it luck, call it smart, call it being in the right place at the right time but ever since first venturing out as a performer Pete Kilpatrick just seems to be doing everything right.

There is some truth to the adage “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” This savvy Portland performer and his Pete Kilpatrick Supergroup (Pete, guitar and vocals, Ethan Wright on drums and Hutch Heelan, bass) seems to be right in the center of a near incestuous network of some of the best (and savviest) of Portland musicians. Call it the Rustic effect. The fallout. The spillover. The inevitable intermingling. The PK Supergroup routinely plays gigs with As Fast As, Paranoid Social Club and Tony McNaboe, all Rustic Overtones alum. Tony’s brother TJ was Pete’s manager for a while, while TJ managed (and still does) Jeremiah Freed. Pete and the rest of the Supergroup went to school with the Freed gang, as they did with Zack Jones (who often sits in with PKSG) from As Fast As and Brian Cook from Even All Out (whom McNaboe also manages). One big happy musical family! And this is only the first tier of the influence Rustic hath wrought. Next level includes performers like The Element and Adam Flaherty who are managed by another of Pete’s high school pals, Derek Lombardi (D’lo to his friends), who now also happens to manage Kilpatrick. On and on it goes. What a great interconnectedness PKSG is at the heart of, and it definitely works to their advantage. Pete observes, “the Portland music scene is very cool. No bands are really similar, they’re all doing their own thing. But all still get along well with each other.”

Knowing who they know has gotten the band some hefty, high profile opening slots with O.A.R., Gavin Degraw and, coming up, on the 9th of September, Pete will be opening (solo) for Dave Matthews’ guitar buddy, Tim Reynolds at the Asylum, and on the 25th opening for Reid Genauer and the Assembly of Dust at the State Theatre. Of course, it hasn’t been all “who you know.” Pete and the band, along with roughly 800 other contestants, entered what they thought was a little songwriting competition sponsored by Boston’s Mix 98.5, and won! Kilpatrick notes, with characteristic modesty,“I don’t think I realized how big of a deal it was until one of my friends told me that they have one of the biggest morning shows in the country there.” After two days of on-air interviews, still not grasping the enormity of the honor, PKSG found themselves opening for the “Kiss Me” Texas trio, Sixpence None the Richer, at the Paradise.

Last September the Pete Kilpatrick Supergroup put out their first full length CD Half-Way Home to impressive reviews. But even more impressive than the reviews is the fact that Half-Way Home remained in the Bull Moose top 10 for eight months after its release. Sales are topping 1000 for Half-Way Home and, combined with Pete’s solo CD which he distributed during his Jeremiah Freed days and a Supergroup 4-song sampler, Pete and the band have sold a whopping 4,000 CDs! Since no day jobs are on the horizon for band members Pete says he’ll be pleased if they can cover expenses and “make enough money so that we can buy lunch and stuff like that.” The way CD sales are going they may be able to afford a bottle of Moet to go with that lunch. The ultimate reward, though, Pete says is not the money or the volume of CD sales but “to have fans come up and say ‘I really like your CD,’ that’s enough for me right now.”
Interacting with fans, in fact, seems paramount to the PKSG game plan. Kilpatrick says, “We’re just trying to play as many shows as we can. It’s the best way to make fans, I think. A lot of bands start getting played on the radio and they don’t play shows, it’s not really as genuine. I think it’s cool when people say they’ve found a band and then they show them to all their friends.” Pete refers to another Maine native whose national success provides inspiration. “Ideally we’d like to do what Howie Day did, kind of take off and go on a college tour. The first year he went on tour he did, like, 250 shows.” To that end the band is now trying to line up a booking agent whose contacts might facilitate a fall college tour.

However, even without a full time agent the schedule seems to be filling up quickly, particularly in the Boston and New York areas. But according to Kilpatrick there’s always room for more shows.
And room for another CD. The songs are written, the CD will tentatively be called Yesterday Love and the tracks are being recorded, as time and money permit, at Big Sound Studio by Jon Wyman (another player in the Portland network). A spring release is planned and that’s one CD release party you’ll want to pencil in! - FACE Magazine

"2003 Best New Act"

by Josh Rogers

This year's Best New Act is certainly that: brand-spankin'. The Pete Kilpatrick Supergroup teamed up in the fall of last year and already they've accomplished so much. So what is it about these five guys from the Seacoast that has already made them so popular?

It could be the whole sex-appeal thing. A quick run-through of the message board on attests to Kilpatrick's popularity with his fans. "Hey . . . your show at the Well was sextacular!" writes hannah. Or how about this missive from Shaniqua69?: "Petey is a hotttieee." Three "e"s and everything. That's devotion.

They certainly haven't been hurt by opening slots with Rocktopus and fellow Yorkers Jeremiah Freed. Probably their biggest exposure, though, came when they were picked from over 800 entrants to play with Sixpence None the Richer at MIX 98.5's Boston Idol contest. From a marketing and promotion standpoint, these guys are doing everything right.

The guys in the band, however, would probably say that the main reason for their overnight success is the music (duh!), and we're inclined to agree with them. Kilpatrick's songwriting sets a solid groundwork and he's got a good, expressive set of pipes on him. Unlike so many other singer/songwritery groups, though, Kilpatrick's band is not merely a by-the-numbers backing unit, they are an integral part of the overall sound, which is what really sets the PKS apart from other acts of its kind. Check out Ethan Wright's peppery patter, guitarist Jesse Remignati's coiling lead lines, and Hutch Heelan's solid bass work on "Cover Your Eyes." And with the recent addition of Jim Cole on keys, the Supergroup may really have a shot at taking over the airwaves.

- WFNX Boston / Portland Phoenix

"What's not to Love?"

by Jonathan Blood

The first time I ever witnessed the Pete Kilpatrick Supergroup was on a rainy day in 2003. They were opening up for Rocktopus (As Fast As) at a high school in midcoast Maine. I've seen them many times since then, and their sound has changed considerably. With their new album, "Yesterday Love," the band shows definite maturity, honing the goofy singer/songwriter nature of Pete Kilpatrick into a very creative and diverse collection of songs.

The name on the album is "Pete Kilpatrick," but, with or without the term "Supergroup," this is definitely an ensemble effort. Kilpatrick only plays the acoustic guitar, which you can hear most of the time, but usually that's augmented with various musicians' electric guitar, keys, and other nifty effects. Band personnel on the album include Kilpatrick, Ethan Wright on drums, and Bernie Nye on bass. The album also features some guest musicians, like Jim Hamalainen and Jesse Remignanti on guitar, As Fast As' Spencer Albee on keys and guitar, and Billy Libby and Adam Flaherty with backing vocals, among others.

The album opens up with the mellow "Who Do We Think We Are," which sets the tone for the more low-key tracks, but lets the listener know that the band also has the ability to craft in some interesting guitar melodies over Pete's acoustic strumming. The track also features some cool lyrics, like "What were you thinking when you sank all the ships in my sea / Such a cozy harbor before you came and dumped your waves all over me."

The title track is a pretty good tune as well. It starts out with some acoustic strumming, then comes in with a drum beat that you would expect to find backing up a cheesy 90's remix. This morphs nicely into the chorus: "When you say love, how could I forget / Yesterday love, it's like we never met." This song is obviously the single, and is put together in such a way (kind of a slow, heartfelt crawl) that Kilpatrick might just avoid being grouped in with the John Mayer/Howie Day genre, and that distinction is a good thing.

The next track, "Working On Your Heart," features indie-folk singer Graham Isaacson, sporting a deep, intimate growl reminiscent of Dave Matthews on his solo album, "Some Devil." The duet is one of the more poppy on the album, but the darker verses shared by Kilpatrick and Isaacson give the song some depth. A few tracks later is the intense, electric guitar-led "Tinfoil." The song builds up slowly and then crescendos to a wailing guitar solo before breaking into a vocal breakdown that climaxes into guitars and drums syncopating to a fiery finish.

There are other great songs on this album, too. The shuffling, inspiring "Cloud" is followed by the vocal-synthesized "Favorite Street," which is both thoughtful and experimental, evoking sort of a Flaming Lips vibe. The mood snaps back with "Day After Tomorrow," which does a good job of complementing the opening track in many ways, bringing the listener back to the poppy opening of the album, while the closing track "Out At Sea" almost loses the disc's momentum with the inevitable lovestruck singer/songwriter fare. Kilpatrick sheds a few tears on this track, which will undoubtedly please listeners of the female persuasion. But really, wasn't that the goal all along?

This album shows definite growth and maturity. On "Yesterday Love" Pete and the gang overcome the clichés associated with the singer/songwriter crowd and get creative, showing Portland what is without a doubt one of the best local albums I have heard in some time. Do yourself a favor and pick up the album or check out a show, because with the Pete Kilpatrick Supergroup, there's a lot to love.
- University Southern Maine Free Press

"4 out of 5 stars!"

by Kristen Fischer

Pete Kilpatrick didn't add the word Supergroup to the end of his formal band name for nothing. Combining a jam band sound with the electricity of alternative rock, the band's newest album, Halfway Home, certainly lives up to the band's catchy title. Kilpatrick is a master vocalist; with a voice so smooth, so completely serene...well, it overshadows the music because it's just so hard to ignore Kilpatrick's dreamy, crisp voice. Then come the tunes...a varied meld of electric guitar and upbeat percussion. There's a sense of Maroon 5 guitarage in the songs, but Kilpatrick's vocals are incomparable, which makes the CD stand out.

Overall, his sound is similar to Howie Day, with the right amount of contrast to give the album its own realm. "Secret Stuff" is an acoustic-based song which integrates almost a club-type of percussion into it, as Kilpatrick sings, "I dream too much/There's little time for the truth/I'm sailing through her/You and I will make it through tonight." Also, "The Wells Beach House" took me to straight to his softer side, as the guitars raged and Kilpatrick belted out his emotions. I like the unique range of emotionally sensitive vocals and surging electric guitars with flowing keyboards that this group has going on. It certainly makes them super, to say the least.

"Best Jam Band 2005"

By Lisa Craig

It’s so easy to fall in love with Pete Kilpatrick. And really, it’s just too hard not to. Portland’s John Mayer and his supergroup are just the right mix of young and sweet to melt hearts with their sassy lost-without-love songs. The sound is so innocently boy-next-door sexy, it’s provocative; so sadly sappy, it’s courageous; and so passionately genuine, it’s heartbreaking. It’s also very well done.

Kilpatrick’s voice is always somehow soothing, even when it goes higher than it ought to. But, the faux-voice is so cutely Peter Brady it seems okay. He makes everything sound so dreamy and song-worthy with simple, sensitive lyrics while the band keeps tight around him, creating smooth, pretty pop music that’s quintessentially singalongable. Even the lyrics "My car is a shitbox/ It lives in the garden" make you want to sing along on the group’s recent sophomore release, Yesterday Love. The 11-track effort released in March puts the band in the limelight and under the title of Portland’s Best Jam Act.

They made fun of that distinction just a bit when they came up to accept it — saying they forgot their hacky sack — but they were clearly happy to be back up on stage after taking Best New Act in 2003. Next year look for them to compete for Best Act and Best Album nominations.

- Boston Phoenix

"Review of "Yesterday Love""


If nothing else, the Pete Kilpatrick Supergroup could once at least lay claim to being the tallest band in Portland. Sure, Eldemur Krimm’s Fred Dodge might be the tallest individual, but the Supergroup, when Kilpatrick was surrounded by guitarist Jesse Remignanti, bassist Hutch Heelan, and drummer Ethan Wright, looked like they might be the USM basketball team, missing a point guard. I felt like Gulliver hanging out with the Brobdignagians when they came up to accept their award for Best New Act at the 2003 Best Music Poll Awards.

But, "I never realized how hard it was to keep a band together," Kilpatrick tells me, sitting on the couch in my office. Remignanti bailed out, and on came Jim Hamalainen, who’s now been replaced by Calvin Goodale (stolen from friends Vague Valentine, no relation to Jeremiah Freed’s Nick). Heelan’s gone, too, and the Supergroup was sort of bassless for a while until they found Bernie Nye, a music major at USM (and who himself has been stolen by Vague Valentine to play some shows). All of the above play on Pete Kilpatrick’s sophomore album, Yesterday Love, out this week.

Wright’s still around, too, and if you take a look at the liner notes you’ll find a passel of other guest musicians and friends. Adam Flaherty and former Even All Out frontman Billy Libby lend vocals. Co-producers Jon Wyman and Spencer Albee provide guitars and keys, guitars and vocals, respectively. Singer/songwriter Graham Isaacson co-writes a song and helps sing it.

For the album, anyway, the Supergroup is aptly named. It looks like the lineup of Goodale, Wright, and Nye will stick around for a bit, too. But, "the CD’s just Pete Kilpatrick," says Kilpatrick. "It’s a marketing type of thing." That whole Supergroup stuff leads to too many silly questions when they’re out on the road and booking shows. Might as well keep things simple. Like John Mayer, or Howie Day, who don’t exactly play that many solo gigs either.

Kilpatrick shares some other qualities with those two. He’s a bit of heart-throb, one gets the idea, and he’s currently mining that abundant college-show territory for gigs and fanbase, and he keeps his acoustic guitar close by. Plus, he’s fond of heart-felt love songs and a good falsetto now and again, but isn’t so singer/songwritery that he doesn’t get good and worked up with a rock song from time to time.

If you’ve heard Kilpatrick’s 2003 debut record, Half-Way Home, this isn’t new, but disc number two is significantly better. "We’ve just all grown up," Kilpatrick thinks. "The songwriting is a lot more mature. This is kind of the point I was hoping that we would get to the last time around. There’s more room on the album for people to breathe; it’s not me singing all the time, every single moment."

He credits Albee, especially, for helping them get where they wanted to go. Running low on funds after recording three tracks with Wyman, Kilpatrick turned to Albee and his infamous kitchen, where As Fast As recorded much of their last album. "We spent the whole month of December in that kitchen," Kilpatrick says.

Also, where the first album, as you might expect, drew on songs that Kilpatrick had been kicking around since he was in high school, "Most of the songs [on the new album] we wrote in the last six months. So it’s not like there’s songs we’ve been sitting on for five years. It’s fresh and you can tell when you listen to it."

Whether it’s the songwriting or the production, there’s no doubt the songs here shimmer and pop. Kilpatrick’s acoustic rings out where it should and drops to the background when it’s unnecessary. Keyboards come to life for bridges and choruses. The electric guitars change tone and character with both the player and the material. When you notice the drums, it’s because they’ve caught your attention, not because they’ve demanded it.

Are there some vocal idiosyncrasies? Yes, Kilpatrick sometimes overreaches. Is the last song, "Out at Sea," a bit of a singer/songwritery clunker? Sure, but hardcore gal fans will swoon. Do the love songs sometimes travel in cliché? Of course. They’re love songs.

What’s most important is that the songwriting is consistently interesting, and they’re not afraid to take chances.

The title track, track three, the money track mind you, opens with a pretty standard acoustic strum, sure, but then comes this techno drum beat, heavy and dominating, making the eventual vocals, distorted and low in the mix, seem to run for cover. When the chorus comes in, it’s all industrial-sounding and the vocals are only in the left channel — a little bit Seven and the Ragged Tiger, actually — before it properly, finally, launches in crystal clear and shimmering: "When you say love, how could I forget?/ Yesterday love, it’s like we never met."

That chorus and a cool down-tuned guitar hook is just about all you’ll take away from the song, everything else so wrapped up in itself and emotion.

For "Cloud," they evince a Paul Simon Graceland opening, especially from the rhythm section, and this time Pete’s voice for the verse is completely forward in the mix, and just about naked, no doubling or effects, a protection most singers wrap around themselves nowadays.

When the chorus hits, he melts into the background, feathered and layered: "One more chance is all that I need/ One last try/ So please save me." (Chances, appropriately, are a lyrical theme on the album, too. From "Vision is Hazy": "One last try, a second chance for me/ I broke out of that word called sympathy and I’m all right.")

The organ supports an electric break through the bridge before the song circles around to the finish with a couple refrains of the chorus. They could easily finish the song here, and probably would have on Half-Way Home, but they instead let it do some of that breathing Kilpatrick was talking about, finishing out with just that Graceland percussion, fading out for a good 20 seconds.

Also unexpected is "Favorite Street," a two-minute piece of candy where all the vocals are done with a cylons-like computer voice. Big heavy synth chords help Kilpatrick tell us that "I’m gonna write the perfect song . . . about a girl that never lived."

Perhaps the biggest chance here is that a song Pete didn’t write, "Working on Your Heart," will be remembered as the best of the lot. It blew me away on first listen, Isaacson and Kilpatrick working together like a 1979 duet between Peter Gabriel and Sting.

Kilpatrick opens the song, like everything’s normal, before Isaacson’s warm baritone enters: "Strands fall to the ground/ Now she’s nothing but a lonely sound/ Come winter, he’s growing tall." But it’s just a simple back and forth without the pure-pop, ice-pick-in-the-head chorus of Kilpatrick singing, "All I can say, it’s better this way/ When your love’s pouring down, it tears me apart/ It’s never enough to make me drown/ Filling up your heart till it explodes."

Later they combine on the chorus, unfortunately eschewing what would have been a great opportunity for one of them to sing the harmony part, but still nicely pairing their voices. Kilpatrick’s tenor with Isaacson’s growl just has to be heard.

Of course, it doesn’t really matter who wrote what. Even the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith have lately taken on songwriting partners. What’s important is that Kilpatrick, despite singing of Yesterday Love, is always thinking about what sounds good now. "Cause the day after tomorrow, I don’t know where I’ll be/ So let’s enjoy the time we have," he sings on "Day After Tomorrow."

There’s plenty to enjoy here...
- Portland Phoenix


2004: "Half Way Home"

2005: "Yesterday Love"

...Featuring the Singles: "Yesterday Love," "Workin on Your Heart," and "Spark."

Featured on mainstream CHR/ROCK stations in Maine, and on several college stations throughout New England.


Feeling a bit camera shy


When Pete Kilpatick emerged from the oceanside city of Portland, Maine with his debut album "Half way home" he was a little known 19-year-old with an acoustic guitar and amazing energy. Once the album was released the band began touring constantly and through intensive word of mouth and over 200 shows within the first two years began to build a devoted fan base. In that time they gained local recognition by winning the 2003 Portland Phoenix best New Act title, as well as having one of the top ten selling local albums of the year. The band also earned opening slots for highly regarded national acts such as Gavin Degraw, O.A.R, and Dispatch.

Kilpatrick and drummer Ethan Wright have spent lots of time together, Joining forces in June of 2002, Ethan has been the backbone of the band. After a few lineup changes the band is finally in it's greatest form. Bassist Bernie Nye hopped on board in November of 2004, and guitarist Calvin Goodale joined in February of 2005. This band is a very tight group of friends that grew up on the coast of Maine and who are now living in Portland.

Kilpatrick's highly anticipated follow up album, Yesterday Love, released in spring of 2005, demonstrates how far this single-minded artist has come at this still-early stage of his career. The 22-year old Kilpatrick seems wise beyond his years which becomes obvious on the first track of the new album, Who do we think we are, a song about a lost love. The level of consciousness that distinguishes this artist's songs has just as much to do with his gift for melody. The elements of musicianship between Kilpatrick, Wright, Goodale, and Nye are evident in the elevated presence and mood of Yesterday Love. The Portland Phoenix had this to say about the new album, "the songwriting is consistantly interesting, and Kilpatrick and company arent afraid to take chances", " the sound is so innocently boy-next-door sexy, it's provocative; so sadly sappy, it's courageous; and so passionately genuine, it's heartbreaking".

The album was produced by Spencer Albee, whose credits include his amazing band As Fast As (Octone Records), as well as numerous production credits. Yesterday Love was tracked in Portland at Spencer's present home and completed at Big Sound studio with Jonathan Wyman (As Fast As, Ray Lamontagne). In addition to the single "Working on your heart", the album contains several songs that Kilpatrick and Co. have been performing live on his 2004 tour at festivals, colleges, and clubs throughout New England. and they've become immediate crowd favorites.

In the past five years Kilpatrick has sold over 5,000 albums and has been featured on three nationwide compilations that have distributed over 30,000 copies. He won the Mix 98.5 Boston Idol contest over 800 other entries in 2003. They also recently won the 2005 Portland Phoenix Best Jam act, mainly because of their constant touring (over 400 shows in 4 years). They have shared the stage with many great national acts(Ray Lamontagne, Pat Mcgee Band, Vaco, Tim Reynolds). This band has got all the right things going on and they are kicking up the 2005 tour schedule a few notches to continue bringing their brand of music to the beautiful public.