Poverty Hash
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Poverty Hash

Danbury, Connecticut, United States

Danbury, Connecticut, United States
Band Rock Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Poverty Hash at Manic Fest Destiny"

Joe Roberto (Vocals, Harmonica, Lap Steel, Guitar, Keyboards) is a captivating front man who brings a catalog of over 300 songs for the band to draw from. His career in the NY/CT area has brought more than a hundred recorded tracks in 25 years. He has been in bands such as Silver Spiders, Nelson Crippler and the Tinkerman Project but most notably as co-founder of G’nu Fuz who spent extended time on the H.O.R.D.E. Tour with Blues Traveler.

- The Audio Perv

"Fairfield Weekly"

"Poverty Hash, a supergroup of sorts in the Danbury area, forges a sound knee-deep in swamp blues stomp." -Marc Ferris, - Fairfield Weekly

"Joe Roberto and Poverty Hash: Connecticut's Swampy Backyard Blues Band"

This is the story of a Danbury band, but we'll begin in the town of St. Paul, Minnesota. It's the fall of 2004. After 15 years in the midwestern music circuit, Jason Murray is setting out to travel a different track, his truck packed with instruments, clothes and his cat, Leda. He is about to head east to get in on the New York music scene–a friend has begged him to come over, offering him a free place to live if he would just get out there and play.

So he did. Murray spent the next few years living in Bridgeport, Connecticut, working in Brookfield and playing the bass all around New York. In 2006, he found his music match in Danbury native Tim Brennan. When accompanying Brennan's guitar, Murray detected a strong musical sensibility, but it wasn't until Murray heard Brennan on the drums that he understood the extent of it. With Murray on bass and Brennan on the drums, the two embodied a rhythm section with an uncanny understanding.

Enter Joe Roberto, a big, barrel-chested, growling multi-instrumentalist from Sandy Hook with over one hundred original recorded songs and a penchant for many different instruments. His band, The Silver Spiders, had just broken up, and he was playing solo for the first time in his 20-plus year musical career. Roberto met Murray and Brennan, and once they played together, became an instant music trio.

Roberto was introduced to Jon Chapman, a locally famous young guitar player, at Cousin Larry's in Danbury one night, and ended up playing guitar with him out back. Yet another perfect fit. Soon after, the four found themselves at Larry's again. Chapman was playing solo on stage, and Roberto, Murray and Brennan got up to join him.

"It was magical," recalls Murray. "There was an automatic connection. We played a 45-minute set and it was as though we had practiced 1000 times. We never looked at each other once. It was very powerful."

So became Joe Roberto and Poverty Hash, a talented quartet stomping and crooning around the genre of "carnival blues".

"Carnival blues;" Roberto explained, "it could be cotton candy, it could be House of Horrors."

"There was an automatic connection. We played a 45-minute set and it was as though we had practiced 1000 times. We never looked at each other once. It was very powerful."

Rockabilly, gypsy, vaudeville, southern rock, funk, and Americana could also illustrate the Hash's sound, but moreso than descriptions, the group is defined by their transcendence of genres, their impeccable collective and individual musicianship and their kinetic backyard yet big-stage live performances. Roberto moves from guitar to the keys to harmonica to lap steel, threading each instrument with hypnotic, sonorous vocals. Chapman's riffs channel something of a spine-tingling 50s avant-garde sound, and the thrash and groove that is Brennan's drums and Murray's bass, well that's something you just have to feel.

Roberto has been playing the harmonica for over 20 years and songwriting for just as long. He is the sole writer for Poverty Hash, but in terms of arrangements, the songs are open. "I Want Your Mind", a creeping, rollicking number from their freshly recorded EP, Whatsallthebuzzabout, was written six years ago, but it wasn't until Murray and Brennan dropped in an eastern European shuffle and Chapman tore throught the middle with a surfy solo that the song was fully realized. The song also features haunting vocals from local musician Sarianna Sabbarese, and the group just wrapped a weekend of filming for the "I Want Your Mind" video.

Though the band members range in age(26 to 43) and musical background, the synergy of the group is clear. All are ravenous musicians and involved in a variety of different projects, and Roberto practices a play-with-all philosophy.

"Whatever you want is what I want to give," he said. "Harmonica, slide, anything. I'll play with anybody."

Each member is at a point in their lives where music is paramount; "Have band, will travel" is their attitude. And travel they do, having just completed a summer tour throughout Minnesota. The band's label, Half Door Records, is based in Minneapolis, and all Murray had to do was call home to line up a two week tour. The July tour saw the band well-fed by Murray's mother and afforded them a last minute opportunity to play at the Twin Cities' third annual Deep Blues Festival.

"We were on our way to a sound check for another gig when we got the call," Murray said. "If we could get there in 10 minutes, we'd get a 30 minute slot." They made it, the crowd was incredible and their tour a towering success. They're heading back out mid-November for another go and will also be playing in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Roberto states that the band could easily write four albums a year with his wealth of material. They're planning on recording their first full-length over the winter for an April release. You can see Joe and the Hash before they head west at Cousin Larry's on Halloween, at Cafe Nine in New Haven on November 5, and at The Palace Theater for a charity benefit on November 8. Visit their web site at MySpace.com/PovertyHash. - The Mercurial


"Ma Hall's Toot and Come Inn" LP
to be released February 2011
Produced by Keith Saunders and Meredith DiMenna
Mixed by Thom Monahan
Engineered by Danny Kadar

e.p. "whatsallthebuzzabout?"
Half Door Records



Poverty Hash...it’s about making the best with what you have - lack of money, lack of sleep, chopped and diced and then cooked up in a pot with talent, attitude, and brute strength.  By definition, this Danbury-based band is a reworking of old and new, built on front man Joe Roberto’s 20-year history in rock and roll and his 300+ catalog of songs.  And because Roberto’s imposing physical stature might have you initially mistake him for the venue’s head of security, once you see him transition from guitar, to Rhodes, to harp, to slide guitar and back again, you might find yourself rushing the stage anyway hoping he will carry you out himself.

A carnival blues stomp powers the honest and passionate songs on their debut EP “whatsallthebuzzabout?” released on Minneapolis-based Half Door Records in July 2009. Roberto’s voice is comfortable both howling and hushed, tossing out witticisms and life lessons in between the band’s dueling instrumental riffs, timed to pop perfection courtesy of a telepathic chemistry between these unique players. This group is bound by hope and circumstance to the never-was city of Danbury’s music scene.

The oft-mentioned quote from Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, touting Danbury as the next music scene was 15 years early (always ahead of his time, that Thurston) and reflects what the local scene is recognizing in the band’s future.  Forget Chickenfoot ­ Poverty Hash is a Connecticut super group - melting down Roberto’s rock pedigree (G’nu Fuz, H.O.R.D.E. Tour), bassist Jason Murray’s distinctive upright tone and hip hop chops (Blue Dot Trance, Soul Reaction, Sneakthief) with the fresh energy of the up and coming Danbury drummer, Tim Brennan (7th Enemy, Sneakthief, Nice New Outfit).

At a time when America seems to be tired of trendy, come and go musical trends and craving a good recipe for its musical leftovers, Poverty Hash is simmering its singular brand of Indie-Americana-Roots and waiting for you to lift the lid.