Riley Road
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Riley Road

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Phoenixville and the Blues, it turns out, are a match made in music heaven. For the first festival, the organizers expected perhaps 500 attendees. Instead 3,000 turned out. “This year,” noted Jim DiGuiseppe, “we expect it will be even bigger and better.”

The festival will run from noon until 10 p.m., with nine mostly local bands currently scheduled to perform.

One of the most anticipated performances, however, won’t be a professional band at all, but a group of youngsters with a big talent.

“Last year,” Jim DiGuiseppe said, “Erin Riley, who heads Rock & Roll After School at The Franklin Commons and who started the Give the Gift of Music Foundation, contacted us and wanted some of her students to perform at the festival. We told her we didn’t want it to be a variety show, but she sent me a YouTube link to them performing and it blew me away.”

The group, then called A Churning Urn of Burning Funk, performed early in the day last year, when only few hundred people had arrived. “But at the end of the day,” Jim DiGuiseppe said, “we had some time left and they played an encore to around 3,000 people. It brought the house down.”

This year, renamed Riley Road, they’re getting an entire set at 5 p.m.

- Phoenixville Patch


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

What started as an experiment has developed into the area's most dynamic authentic power blues trio. By skillfully weaving point and counter-point into “off measure” time signatures, Nick, Brandon and Isaiah make up the band known as RILEY ROAD.
From three different school districts, RILEY ROAD’s members were brought together through the efforts of Phoenixville’s Rock and Roll After School program. The program attracts talented young musicians in the area to focus on writing and performing original music. Isaiah (drums) and Brandon (bass) are both established students in the program. Nick, a long time student of the Downingtown School of Rock, joined with Isaiah and Brandon in Fall 2010 to form a blues rock based trio.
The diversity of these three students (all under 16 yrs old) is their greatest strength, with each one bringing a different skill and perspective to the band. On lead guitar and vocals, Nick channels the spirit of many of the great blues artists of the past. Close your eyes and you will hear Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, B.B. King and Buddy Guy. From a blistering fury of guitar riffs to the controlled patience of a single sustained note, Nick combines his many influences into his own unique sound. Building the foundation to support this energy is the rock solid rhythm section held together by Brandon on bass and Isaiah on the drums. Isaiah’s proficiently executed, syncopated fills reminiscent of the likes of Simon Phillips or Steve Gadd, are complimented by the thunderous bass line of Brandon Walker, ala the great Jack Bruce.
Now on their own, RILEY ROAD has successfully broken into the suburban Philadelphia music circuit with their masterful combination of original music and carefully selected cover material. Be prepared to be “blown away” by this energetic trio.

Nick - Guitar and Vocals
Nick drives Riley Road’s music with his creative, effortless guitar leads, as well as the lead vocals for the band. Nick also takes on the leadership role in writing the lyrics for the band’s original songs.

Nick starting playing guitar at age 9 and has been studying and performing at the Downingtown School of Rock since 2007. He played for three years on the school’s “D” Team house band, and has recently been selected for the School of Rock East Coast All Stars, which will be touring the Northeast US this summer. He has also played twice on stage with national recording stars bluesman Albert Castiglia and blues-rock sensation Davy Knowles. His second gig with Knowles was to a sold out World Café Live on New Year’s Eve 2009 where they blistered a fourteen minute long version of “Cortez the Killer”. Nick’s influences include Eric Clapton, Cream, Peter Green (original Fleetwood Mac), Govt Mule, the Allman Brothers, BB King, Buddy Guy, and John Mayer . Nick primarily plays a Fender American Stratocaster through a Paul Reed Smith Amp, and on occasion a sunburst Les Paul Standard or a Martin OMC 15E (acoustic/electric).

Isaiah - Drums
Isaiah not only provides the rock solid rhythm for the band, but also provides much of the enthusiasm and energy. His animated style on stage often grabs the spotlight. Isaiah is a left-handed drummer who plays a right-handed set, which contributes to his unique style. He is very quick and extremely creative on the drum set, often producing innovative sounds by combining several percussive instruments.

Isaiah is a self taught drummer who started playing at a very early age. He has participated in the Phoenixville’s Rock and Roll After School program since its inception in 2009. Isaiah credits gospel music for much of his influence, as well as Tony Royster, Ronald Brunner Jr, Steve Jordan, ?uest Love, and Mark Dicciani. Isaiah plays primarily on a Pearl “Vision Series” drum kit with a Zilgian ZHT cymbal set.

Brandon - Bass
Brandon on bass guitar provides a smooth, solid backing to Nick’s guitar leads and Isaiah’s rhythm tracks. He also provides much of the technical support for the band. He is experienced with many computer based music software applications including SONAR and REASON, and frequently records the band during practice sessions. He is a skilled soundman and produces most of the recorded tracks on the web.

Brandon started with piano at an early age, switched briefly to guitar, and settled on the bass at age 12. He has been studying and performing at both the Downingtown School of Rock (where he met Nick) and the Phoenixville Rock and Roll After School Program (where he met Isaiah) since 2009. Brandon’s musical influence started with the classic Hard Rock bands, such as Motley Crew and Poison, and more recently progressive bands, such as Tool and Sound Garden. His influences come from many of the great rock and roll bassists including the great Roger Waters, Flea, Les Claypool, and Victor Wooten. Brandon favors his Gibson Thunderbird Bass played through a Gallien-Krueger head and Hartke stack, but