Scotch Rocks
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Scotch Rocks

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Scotch Rocks @ Tommy Doyles

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Scotch Rocks @ Bullfinch Yacht Club

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Scotch Rocks @ Tommy Doyles

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

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


The best kept secret in music


Johnathan Perry - Globe Correspondent

When the up-and-coming Boston alt-rock band Scotch Rocks found out it was losing one of its two lead singers shortly after the release of its debut album, the news nearly drove its members to drink. For one thing, the timing which has been fabulously on the group's side since its inception last year could not have been worse. The band's self-titled full-length CD, a potent blast of hook-powered, classic-style rock, emphasized the dynamic male/female interplay between singer-guitarists Chris Canney and Jordan Caress. Caress moved to Nashville last month, and suddenly the Buckingham-Nicks vocal vibe was gone, as were roughly half the songs in Scotch Rocks' catalog.

"It's a tragedy she left," Canney says of Caress, his friend and songwriting foil. "It's a horrible thing to lose her, but it's better for her to go and be happy somewhere rather than suck it up, stay, and be miserable."

Indeed, the members of Scotch Rocks now a trio of guitarist Canney, 27; bassist Matt Ferrel, 27; and drummer Chris Powers, 28 could just as easily be talking about themselves. Not only are the three resourceful musicians, but they're old friends intent on forging ahead because making music in this band is, ultimately, what makes them happy.

Scotch Rocks will debut its new, pared-back lineup when it headlines T.T. the Bear's on Thursday. "Some of the songs are going through surgery" is how Ferrel sums up the trio's efforts to rearrange and rework its material for three, rather than four, people.

Canney and Ferrel each come from musical families (Canney's father plays in a classic rock band; Ferrel's dad is an award-winning fiddler) and played in rock bands together as high school students growing up in Needham.

Powers played in various bands with Canney and Caress when all three attended Bard College in New York. After graduation, Canney looked up his old high school friend Ferrel, who was by now living in Boston. With Caress, he started an earlier incarnation of Scotch Rocks. Great timing and a dash of serendipity played a key role in Powers joining the band last year.

"Chris showed up at one of our shows when we had a different drummer," Canney recalls over drinks with his bandmates in a downtown bar. "That drummer quit onstage that night and Chris was there in the audience. So, after the show, I asked him if he was playing drums for anybody."

Powers remembers being impressed that night. "When I saw them, [the music] had gone to a different level than when we were in college," Powers says. "I loved it. When we got together, it clicked immediately."

So much so that Scotch Rocks recorded its debut disc one month later, holing up in the recording studio Canney had built in the basement of his parents' Needham home when he was a teenager. The band also used an array of homemade guitars built by Canney, who had once worked for First Act, the custom-guitar manufacturing studio in Boston. (He also custom-built harps in Seattle for a couple of years.) "It's something to do, take a couple of months, build some guitars, and try to play 'em," says Canney, who's a carpenter by trade.

It's easy to imagine any number of the sleek, melodic tracks on "Scotch Rocks" being played on modern rock radio, from the glistening pop of "All Summer Long," to the sensual rush of "M.I.A.," to the guitar tempest that anchors the ballad "Stop." Canney's sandpapery vocal carries "Don't Come Back," and Caress's vocal on the tough-but-tender "The Same Mistake" is equally impressive. Then there's the epic "Radio," which, while on the long side, builds to a full-blooded climax and is one of the disc's most captivating tracks.

"Scotch Rocks" is a remarkably strong debut, a triumph of chemistry and heart cut with a dose of melancholia that saves the radio-ready material from middle-of-the-road predictability. Understandably, the departure of a core member of the group poses a unique challenge. But Scotch Rocks is moving ahead and has even begun work on an album that reflects its new lineup. "It's a huge change, but it's not the first time I've had to be the [only lead] singer," Canney says. "Chris is an amazing singer too, and Matt can sing, so everybody is stepping up." - Boston Globe


Debut Full Length Record "Scotch Rocks" available online and at shows.
Songs available at:
Tracks receiving Radio and Internet play!!!


Feeling a bit camera shy


Upcoming front page arts feature in the Boston Globe, Friday, July 14, 2006.
Current airplay on WFNX, WBOS, WERS America's #1 college radio station and others.
Hard at work on 2nd record with NYC Producer Caleb Shreve.

Scotch Rocks was destined to be born. Their music comes from the hard work and dedication of three great friends, who have worked together in one form or another for over 15 years. Scotch Rocks is the band they all dreamed of playing in one day. A band with songs people want and need to hear, lyrics that matter, and a contagious and mesmerizing energy in their live shows. Chris Canney on vocals, guitar and keyboards, Matt Ferrel on bass and vocals, as well as Chris Powers on drums and vocals, live to play music. Their music is filled with colorful harmonies, unforgettable guitar hooks, and explosive dynamics. If you haven't caught their live show yet, do yourself a favor a check it out.