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Manchester can seem a bit like a musical black hole unless you’re a big fan of metal and hardcore (in which case it’s the place for you!). Scalawag is a bit of an alien in that aggressive scene, favoring a more laid back, song-oriented rootsy/jam sound that appeals to folks who like good songwriting, yet prefer electric guitars to a coffeehouse acoustic style. Their first release is “Wheel on Steel,” a pleasing, well-written and well-played affair with alternately Rolling Stones, Petty or Springsteen influenced songs. Guitarists Liam Spain and Peter Gustafson split the songwriting and drummer Jeffrey Baumann contributes one to the disc.... Highlights include Gustafson’s danceable number “Juniper,” which features a great melodic, catchy chorus, and Spain’s straight-ahead lament to the end of summer, “Lost in the City.” - The Wire

The various members of New England’s Scalawag has been rockin’ with a good sense of the boogie woogie for the past twelve years. They all joined up to form Scalawag around 2002 and haven’t looked back since. “Wheel on Steel” is a culmination of rock ‘n’ roll, power pop ballads, and college rock’s integrity. Grooves thick as iron and as smooth as a baby’s skin arm Scalawag with a likable touch. Their songwriting is top notch and they add in some interesting elements with banjo, them a different rock sound than most bands. -


Wheel OnSteel - LP 2006



For the past ten years, the members of Scalawag have been no strangers to the musical landscape of New England. It was during this time, while performing in bands such as Marty Keystone, Full Tilt Boogie, The Spain Brothers, and The Freeks that the groundwork for this new group was being laid. After crossing paths and sitting in with each other at various shows, a musical friendship was born. In late 2002, they decided the time was right to begin this new collaboration.

For three months the band holed up in a south Manchester, NH house and began to work out what should become the Scalawag sound. They wanted to incorporate the rhythms of Sun Records recordings, the musical simplicity of Woody Guthrie, the lyrical storytelling of an early Springsteen , the loose grooves of The Rolling Stones, and the musicianship of The Band. When they emerged, Scalawag was able to create a sound that was reminiscent of all of these artists, yet unique unto itself.

In the three years following the formation of the band, Scalawag has been perfecting their live shows while constantly playing venues throughout northern New England. In between these performances, the members of the band have also been demonstrating their strong songwriting skills, penning dozens of songs, showing that they are ready to take their place among the premier original bands of the area.