Jolly Roger
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Jolly Roger

Lawrence, Kansas, United States | SELF

Lawrence, Kansas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Metal


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



"A friend’s aid: Lawrence residents creating nonprofit in honor of suicide victim"

Friends of John Garner didn’t get to say “it’ll be OK” or “things will get better.” They didn’t get to say “I love you” one last time. When Garner, 25, committed suicide, he didn’t drop hints to his friends or ask them for help.

But those same friends still want to help, seven months after John Garner’s death.

“A lot of us didn’t feel like we got a whole lot of closure with the way John left,” says Ken Easthouse, a close friend of Garner’s for more than a decade. “A lot of us felt like we could have done more to help him.”

So they decided to help someone else in his memory: Six friends and one of John Garner’s brothers, Keith, have formed the John Garner Scholarship Fund. The fund is designed to give financial help to students who are strapped for cash but eager to go to attend college.

“After he passed, I didn’t get any closure, and he was like my brother,” says Joe Shelton, 26, a member of the Garner Fund’s committee board. “I figured this would be a good way to not only help me but to help other people at the same time.”

Getting off the ground
The group’s ultimate goal is to become a legitimate, tax-exempt, sustainable charity. And after tripping through paper tape, going over tax codes and researching charity law, the group is ready to host its first benefit: a rock concert.

The gig consists of three hard-rock local bands who will pull out drum sets, bass and lead guitars for a show Friday at the Pool Room. The cover is $5, but every dollar will funnel into the fund and go toward tuition payments for financially qualified students.

The bands — Jolly Roger, Come Ascendency and Dismantle the Virus — will perform for free. Jolly Roger, which has been jamming since 2006, will headline. For Jolly Roger vocalist, Matt Rodvelt, deciding to play for the benefit was an easy call.

“The guys (from the Garner Fund who approached me) were passionate and professional about what they were trying to do in memory of their friend who had passed so suddenly and inexplicably,” Rodvelt says. “All four members of the band … are excited to play for a good cause and again with some good local bands.”

Every corner of society
On the one hand, the hard-rock genre reflects John’s musical tastes: his favorite station was 98.9, he regularly attended Rock Fest, and he enjoyed jamming out to heavy music. But on the other hand, the hard rock also speaks to the idea that no matter their age, clique or economic standing, people from all corners of society can unite to make a difference.

“There is a social stigma that if you listen to hard rock music or you have a bunch of tattoos all over your body, you aren’t capable of doing good for the greater society,” says Easthouse, Garner Fund President. “We completely want to dispel that.”

Easthouse also hopes to tinker with the image of charity benefits by organizing original events, like pool tournaments and rock concerts.

“We are not your bake-sale kind of fundraiser,” says Easthouse. “If we’re going to raise money, we want to have fun doing it.”

John’s younger brother, Keith Garner, 23, is looking forward to the benefit concert, which will take place the day after what would have been John’s 26th birthday.

Keith is Garner Fund’s vice president, and he would like to see the scholarship boost someone into a world otherwise unattainable; John wanted to attend college, but didn’t have the money, and also didn’t qualify for financial aid.

Keith’s ideal candidate is a little rough on the edges, maybe not the best academic performer, but still hungry for an education — the sort of student who doesn’t qualify for academic or athletic scholarships.

“I want the scholarship to give someone more incentive to go (to college),” says Keith. “And I want it to go to someone who actually needs it.” - Lawrence Journal World

"Official Ballot Released"

The top 5 nominees in each category have been released. In the case of a couple of categories, there was a tie for 5th place, so instead of doing something weird and something that would not be fair to one of the artists that made the cut, we decided to allow a 6th entry in that situation.
You can purchase tickets to the June 25th Project Backstage 2011 Midwest Rock Awards Show through TicketStorm here:
The following are in random order and do not reflect which place they were in at the close of the count.
Jon Carter – Drek
Pauly – Canvas
Brett Cox – 49 Stones
Brent Noland – Caesura
Billy Patrick – Collapse
Roxxxi Quinn – Burning Tide
Hunter Kelso – Obsidian
Andrew Nassab – The Tempest
Tom Nieves – The Tards
Jack Nasty – Caesura
Wayne King – Burning Tide
Alec Nichols – InLike
Derek Strait – Canvas
Trent Bickel – Evalyn Awake
Bob Pearce – An Endless Chapter
Shawn King – Canvas
Tyler Lyon – Evalyn Awake
Beau Martin – Knot Afrayed
Doug Cole – Death Valley Wolf Riders
Greg Divine – Quietly Violent
Emma Jo – 49 Stones
Hannah Gaskill – The Tempest
Casi McCall – InLike
Roxxxi Quinn – Burning Tide
Caitlin Kinman – An Endless Chapter
Molly Whipple – Forever Greye
Burning Tide
Maps For Travelers
Evalyn Awake
Mute The Idol
Aftershock KC
Crosstown Station
Voodoo @ Harrahs North Kansas City
Uptown Theater
Riot Room
The Tards – Guillotine
InLike – Somewhere In Between
Jolly Roger – Wasteded
Sidewise – Acrasia
Obsidian – Dreamcatcher
At the Left Hand of God – The Tower is Tall, the Fall Is Short
Red Line Chemistry – Dumb Luck
Maps For Travelers – Static
Quietly Violent – Rise Up
Collapse – Jagermeister
Carte Blanche
Dark Addiction Entertainment
Thomas Caprefoli –
Jim Kilroy – Kilroy Presents
Kittens of Chaos
Razing Paradise
Evalyn Awake
Mute The Idol
The Tempest
Red Line Chemistry
Evalyn Awake
Burning Tide
49 Stones
Canvas - Project Backstage

"Jolly Good Fun"

Jolly Roger put on a jolly good show at the Aftershock Bar, in Merriam, Kan. this past Saturday as spectators gathered to witness the band rock the stage in the midst of fog and primary colored spotlights.
Cory Gallagher set the rhythm playing the drums with exceptional skill as Lexis Merritt shredded the strings of his guitar producing a scorching solo that rang throughout the building. Matt Rodvelt sang out the lyrics to "Downriver," one of the songs from their latest album, and Loach strummed the bass to complete the sounds for a rocking show.
The band started out in 2006 with Rodvelt and Merritt, adding David "Loach" Tackett to the crew, and later finding Gallagher at "Metal Night" at the Replay Lounge. Rodvelt and Merritt had been jamming together for 15 years and decided it was time to start something new.
"We wanted to do something raucous and fun for ourselves as much as the fans," said Merritt.
The bands CD release for "Wasted" was held at the Boobie Trap Bar on Nov. 20, 2009, which is now available online and at some area record stores. "Wasted" is a nine-track album that was recorded, throughout a years work, at the Blacklodge Studios in Eudora, Kan. On this album you will find original artwork created by Joshua Finley Illustrations and tracks such as "Glamour Swill" and "Wrecking View."
Jolly Roger has shared the stages with bands such as Bullet Boys, The Cast Pattern, Quietly Violent and Brass Knuckle Betty as well as performing at Truckhenge 2009 and Kilroys March Fest.
Future plans consist of playing and writing new music and promoting the local scene as much as possible. They will be playing a show called "Metal for Mutts" at Hawg Wild in Shawnee, Kan. on May 8 and all the proceeds will go to Disabled Pets and local animal shelters.
"The concept of the band name revolves around ‘Jolly,' having a damn good time while we are here," said Rodvelt.
Cory Gallagher is a 2009 Washburn Law graduate who is planning on practicing law while continuing his part in local music as a drummer. - Washburn Review


2008 "Mixed Nuts" Compilation CD--Track 5 "Glamour Swill"

2009 Truckhenge Music Sampler--Track 1 "Downriver"

Dec 2009 "Wasteded"
nominated "2010 Best Album" @

Streaming 5 tracks:
Glamour Swill, Reason Y, Let It Burn, Underdoggin', and Unspoken

Artist showcase Artist on KCLA (
April 18, 2011-April 24, 2011

"Unspoken" single released Nov. 12, 2011 on @

"Captured" single included on "Kansas City Music Volume 1" Dec 2011



Hailing from the Midwest's live music capital of Lawrence, KS, Jolly Roger's overtly raucous sound and explosive live performances has been developing since what would come to be, one ominous day in June of 2006.
That day's meeting between guitarist and founding member, LexXxis, of past "Vibralux" fame, and Lawrence vocalist and founding member, The Ville, formerly of "Black Tooth Grin" would end with the realization that their past influences and style could, and should, spawn an aggressive, yet still accessible, new sound.
By August of 2006, the addition of Loach on bass coupled with the powerful styling and drum rhythms of Oklahoma native, Mr. Gallagher, bore the foundation of what would come to be known as "Jolly Roger."
Jolly Roger went directly to setting up "house party"-style shows with other Lawrence bands and their first original song "Let It Burn" was a good indicator that something truly unique was developing.
The band was soon headlining for incoming acts and would begin branching out to nearby cities in the NE Kansas area. The Fall of 2007 saw Jolly Roger winning its first "Battle of the Bands" contest they had entered (the annual Battle for Blacklodge at the Boobie Trap Bar in Topeka, KS).
Expanding their sound throughout Kansas, the Kansas City Metro-area, and into Missouri, Jolly Roger honed their craft and prepared to release its first full length album. By the Winter of 2009, the album "Wasteded" was a reality.
Since the "Wasteded" release, Jolly Roger became a mainstay on the Kilroy Presents circuit, reaching the Semi-Finals of Club Wars in 2009 and 2010. The band was quickly developing a solid reputation as a top local act.
In the Summer of 2010, Jolly Roger recruited a new bassist in Kegin (JFK), most recently of Emporia's "People's Punk Band" and "EvilLoveDrones." While meshing instantly with the band and its followers, he solidified the bottom end with an old school approach and grinding tone, further legitimizing Jolly Roger's status on the Midwestern music scene.
In 2011, The KC Rock and Metalfest, an opening slot with Krash Karma, and The Manhattan Metalfest highlighted another great year. With their winning the grand prize in Local Phenomenon's Sunday Smash Showcase at the Aftershock Bar in KC, JR was able to record 2 tracks w/ Paul Schneider at Rundown Studios in Topeka. The first track "Unspoken" was made available on Nov. 12th, 2011 on BandCamp.
JR also has another new track "Captured", which was recorded at Audio Cave Recording in KC, set to be released in Dec. 2011 as one of the featured tracks on "Kansas City Music Vol. 1" compilation album put together by Anthony Scott's Cauldron Soundwerx Productions and KCLA online radio.