Roy Hobbs Agenda
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Roy Hobbs Agenda

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"Bucks County"


Jordan Simms never expected this. Not so soon, at least.
Just three months after forming Roy Hobbs Agenda following the breakup of his previous group, the Breadbox Band, Simms and his bandmates are enjoying plenty of love from the jam-band community. Roy Hobbs Agenda has a healthy lead in the fan voting for July's New Groove of the Month on And on Saturday, the Central Jersey-based band headlines the first Independence Jam at Snipes Farm in Morrisville, an all-day concert celebrating independent music featuring bands from throughout the Northeast. “This has been the most humbling experience ever,” Simms, 30 said. “We're so humbled by the response and support we're getting from people. “The jam-band scene is very inviting, but it can also be very unforgiving. My main concern at first was that we were starting from scratch. We've been very fortunate that fans are supporting us. Once they take a listen, they really seem to take hold of us.” Don't be totally fooled by Simms' humility. The members of Roy Hobbs Agenda all have impressive musical backgrounds. Simms, who plays keyboards, sings and writes most of the music for Roy Hobbs Agenda, and drummer Chris Pedersen both enjoyed success with the Breadbox Band, whose song “N” was featured on the video game “Sims 2: Seasons.” After Simms and Pedersen decided to form a new group, they recruited a couple of Simms' former band mates to round out the lineup. Sean Wolfle, who played bass in a band called Natural Breakdown, joined Roy Hobbs Agenda on guitar, and Brian Gallo from Simms' old San-Francisco-based band Quick Leroy joined on bass. The chemistry was immediate. “The four of us got together, and . . . I don't want to say magic happened, but it was definitely a good fit,” Simms said. “We've all been in projects before that got to a decent point. Through those experiences, you realize what works and what doesn't. “People are saying we're better than Breadbox. We're still shocked by that.” Simms, who is enjoying the challenge of being a frontman for the first time, describes the band's sound as jam-funk, yet still very song-oriented. “We definitely believe in the writing of a song, not just noodling all over the place.” At Snipes on Saturday, Simms said fans can expect freshly written material, music from the band members' previous projects and possibly some recognizable covers. “If the crowd's unfamiliar with you, the best way to make them familiar is to play a song they know,” he said. Simms has no illusions of pop stardom. But he's thrilled to be starting a new project at age 30. He compares his band's situation to that of Roy Hobbs, the fictional baseball player in Bernard Malamud's novel “The Natural,” who makes a dramatic comeback 16 years after getting shot by a fan. “You see the pop scene today, everyone is 22 years old running around half-naked,” Simms said. “I'm not Miley Cyrus. I'm 30 years old. Once Breadbox broke up, I felt like I was shot in the back of the head. “To come back and be back on the scene, that's the exact concept as Roy Hobbs. He was shot down in his prime, and people didn't think he'd come back. Then he came back to baseball and did pretty well.” The music Saturday begins at 1 p.m. and runs for at least 12 hours on two stages. The rest of the lineup features country-rock act Citizens Band Radio from Hunterdon County, N.J.; fusion-rock band Old Jalopy from New Hope; rock reggae trio Among Criminals from Washington Crossing; eclectic Maryland-based band Permilla Project; funky Virginia five-piece Laidback; and Massachusetts dance-rock band The Indobox.

- Bucks County Courier Times

"New Groove"


Roy Hobbs Agenda

Our latest New Groove of the Month was selected by our readers. So, baseball fans and non baseball alike (see below for that reference), we present the Roy Hobbs Agenda...

Can you talk about the development of the group? How did you meet and how did the current line-up solidify?

After the Breadbox Band broke up, Jordan and Chris decided that they still wanted to play music together. Then Jordan called Brian who he had played with in his first band Quick Leroy in San Francisco. Soon after that while looking for a guitarist to fill in at a show, we stumbled on Sean, formally of Natural Breakdown, and things just seemed to feel right. You know like when you’re in the pocket, things just feel right, like that.

Most of the group is comprised of musicians who have performed in other bands. How has that experience impacted on your current aims, intents and development?

Well, first of all, all of the playing experience doesn’t teach you what to do, it just showed us what not to do. We’re not saying that having been in the scene for a while hasn’t taught us a lot, we’re saying the exact opposite. Talking about aims and goals is tough, because of the experiences we know better than to aim too high or put all our eggs in one basket, some of us in our last projects thought that we had a golden ticket, now we know to not jump to conclusions, just work hard, but still enjoy the ride. As far as development, the main thing is communication on stage, the fact that we all come from realizing that communication on stage is key in this kind of music. And lastly while we are here, we would like to thank our prior projects for helping us get a foot in the door. Much Respect.

Who writes the band's music? How it is typically presented to the group and how does it then come together?

Usually one person will write the basic song and bring it to the table for the rest of us to flesh out (yeah, we know that sounds cliché). In other cases they have evolved from sitting on the couch with a couple of guitars late at night. A hefty portion of the current catalogue was written by Jordan with an occasional ditty thrown in from one of the rest of us.

To what extent are you drawing on the existing catalog of Breadbox Band and Natural Breakdown and to what extent are you developing new material to place in rotation?

Well now …. here we go. Alright first off, here’s the deal. Any songs we play from either one of those two catalogues, one of us has written. Now we’re not saying that we don’t tease things from time to time to put some starch in people’s shorts, but it’s all in good fun (we hope). From Quick Leroy where Jordan and Brian originally came from we pull a good deal of songs. A lot that were written by Daniel Elkins, still one of Simms’ and Gallo’s good friends whom they consider their Robert Hunter/Tom Marshall, Buddy (well…sort of). Only being together a few short months, man they felt longer, the project is still green so we are fortunate to have new ideas every day ‘cause everything is still new, it’s like that new hot girlfriend… fun huh?

How do you approach its original songs in the live setting?

This could be a long talk if our songs live translate to this discussion. In the same sense we still believe in “the song,” there is nothing wrong with the three minute get your point across tune. Actually in the live setting it’s somewhat refreshing, not saying that we’re not going to try and hit you hard for those three minutes it’s still good to know that the heartfelt simple message can work just as hard as the jam. That being said we’re realizing with this formation that we are sometimes thirteen minutes deep into a song and still have to come back to the verse …. It’s kinda fun. So basically being fans of the scene in the first place, we have the approach of “what do you think would be cool?” and take it from there with originals, jams, covers, and teases.

What about covers, can you talk about what songs you toss in from time to time? Who selects them?

Funny you should ask that. Let’s start simple. If someone has never seen you before and you play a song that they recognize there is an immediate connection there. I think we all select them, it’s a lot of “man I love that song”, and “dude check this out!” so obviously a lot are pulled from our influences. Some of the songs we do now are “Can’t Always Get What You Want by the Stones”, “Bathroom Window” by the Beatles, “Stuck in the Middle” by Stealer’s Wheel, “Good Friday” by the Black Crowes oh and of course some Dead and Phish thrown in there. That’s just some of what we are doing right now, but we like covers and expect them to keep coming.

In terms of cover tunes can you talk about any spectacular successes and failures?

Wow. Of course we have all butchered a cover or two in our years, I mean in past projects we have stories out the ying yang. Fortunately we haven’t been around long like this … but I’m sure you’ll get one from us. Now on a positive note “Stuck in the Middle” has really seemed to be working for us, we put our own spin on it and people are responding well to it. And of course in prior projects there are things that we are particularly proud of as well.

The band name, is that drawn from The Natural? Can you talk a bit about how you landed on Roy Hobbs Agenda? While we're at it, is it three words, or just one, all run together?

Yes. The story of Roy Hobbs basically is that he was shot down in the prime of his career, and came back a little older and did pretty well in baseball. It teaches you that you don’t have to be twenty two years old and good looking to break into any industry, if you work hard enough and want it bad enough it can happen. Hence we’re trying to follow his plan, his agenda. When all of our previous projects ended, we felt like we were shot in the back of the head (like Roy Hobbs) and the dream was over. To come back have this support is the most humbling experience of our lives so far. “Roy Hobbs Agenda,” it’s three words my friends, but if you know it at all, that’s good enough for us. But if you are thinking about getting the tattoo, let’s talk first.

How often do you rehearse? What do you focus on when you get together for rehearsal?

Several times a week, but the rehearsal doesn’t stop there. We know and trust that individually we will all work on what we need to by ourselves during the week and that helps a lot. The main thing we focus on is don’t f*** up on stage, and steps we can take to avoid that.

Can you talk about some of your performance highlights thus far. Is there a gig or gigs that stand out? Why?

First and foremost Bucks County Music Festival, that was really our debut to our peers. We really stepped into our own and found our sound as a band on that stage. It became our foundation, and we’ve been building on that sound ever since. Please understand as we’ve mentioned before the experiences we have from our prior projects still mean the world to us. Also we have had a few gigs where we have gotten a chance to play with some of the great musicians in the scene that we have played with before. We love having people sit in with us at shows, especially at fests, it brings the scene in our minds closer together.

What about a studio or live release, where do things stand there?

Well yes, both. As far as a studio album goes, we are planning to get into the studio sometime in Mid-October. We also plan on releasing a live disc at some point. On the other hand, let’s talk business for a second, selling records ain't what it used to be. So, for that reason and many others we love the tapers just as much as you do. This scene is all about sharing music and word of mouth, we’re just happy that people are listening to what we are doing. That is the reason we ourselves pass out mixes we have made of our live shows, it truly makes it about simply the people and the music.

Any final thoughts to folks across the country who may be hearing about you for the first time from this piece?

Hi, again we are so humbled to be here, please if this is the first you’ve heard of us give us a listen, come see a show, hang out, dance, and have a good time with us. We have really had some crazy experiences in the past and they have taught us so much about life, music, and how important you guys are. I mean we even know where to get a burrito at 4am, but there is so much more to learn and that’s what we realized when this group came to together. The opportunity to be able to share ourselves with you means so much to us, so thank you for taking the time to get to know a little about us. We are here because we love the scene, the people, and of course the music. We will continue to do our best to try and rock ya hard every night and keep the scene grooving. So come out and share the experience with us. Lastly, we so honestly appreciate the support we have received so far thank you so very much to everyone who took the time to go and vote for us, we love you all. Forming this band has given us new life, and a realization that there are still plenty of good times ahead of us, so come be a few companions on this ride.

- Jambands.Com


"When She Wasn't There" is currently playing on
"So much Depends"
WDHA (New Jersey)

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A unique collaboration formed in early 2008, New Jersey’s Roy Hobbs Agenda features a new mix-up from the east coast music scene. Roy Hobbs Agenda features Jordan Simms (keys) and Chris Pedersen (drums) previously of the Breadbox Band, Sean Wolfle (guitar, bass) formally of Natural Breakdown, and Brian Gallo (bass, guitar). With taking obvious influence from their most recent endeavors, this talented formation has come together to elevate their game. Their funky syncopated rhythms and soulful lyrics take influence from some of the true masters of classic rock, funk, and jazz. With a multitude of instrument changes, the Agenda truly puts on a show. With a mass appeal and a fresh sound everyone can feel, Roy Hobbs brings a complete entertainment package; lights, sound and energy. Collectively the members of Roy Hobbs Agenda have shared stages with New Riders of the Purple Sage, Col. Bruce Hampton, The Codetalkers, Max Creek, Railroad Earth, Strangefolk, Raq, Melvin Sparks, Sam Kininger, The Breakfast, Ryan, Montbleau Band, U-Melt, Perpetual Groove, Zen Tricksters, Vince Herman, and many more! The festival scene is no stranger to these guys, making appearances over the years at the Green Apple Music Festival, Strange Creek, Stonehenge, Phanphest, Camp Creek, Rocks off Boat Cruise and Wormtown events. Nor is the mainstream market, with former members of the Breadbox Band recording their song "N" for EA Games, Sims 2: Seasons, alongside Gov’t Mule and SCI. With more than 10 years of experience and heavy dedication to the road, the Roy Hobbs Agenda will be coming to a venue near you; so put them on your agenda.