Gig Seeker Pro



Band Rock Acoustic


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


The best kept secret in music


"Local Group Up-And-Coming"

College towns across America have long been the birthplace of great music. From Athens, Ga., home to the University of Georgia as well as R.E.M. and The B-52’s, to Austin, Texas, the location of University of Texas and birthplace of Spoon and You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, countless bands have gotten their break in such alternative music hot spots. The local Madison music scene has plenty of bands, but the majority of these groups simply do not have the talent to move to the next level. One of the few that already are making waves elsewhere in the country are local music exemplars Secondhand, who appeared at Madison Avenue last Friday night in support of their new album, In The Wake. Already in their short career, the band has released three EPs in addition to this, their first full-length album and has played over 40 shows across the Midwest, mainly in Chicago, Milwaukee and of course, their hometown of Madison. In January, they will be featured in an issue of the Milwaukee-based M Magazine. Led by singer/songwriter Jake Shimon, the band blends a number of different sounds into a tight fusion of solid rock music. Shimon pulls off the Jack Johnson meets Matchbox 20 meets Jimmy Eat World sound with relative ease. The funky bass-driven hooks of Nick Danola also help jazz up the group’s sound — there’s nothing flashy or wildly experimental here, just steady, catchy, straightforward music. Throughout In The Wake, the band exhibits their cohesiveness. This may be due in part to brothers Derek and Blake Arnold, on lead guitar/backup vocals and drums, respectively. When asked about the opportunity to play with his brother, Derek said, “We’ve been playing together since Blake was a freshman in high school so we’re pretty familiar with each other. We definitely have the same musical ear and we get along so well that it’s very positive for the band.”

Secondhand has already faced a great deal of turmoil in its short lifespan. Last year, the band replaced former bassist Jason Shafton with Nick Danola, who attended high school with the rest of the bandmates in their hometown of Mequon, Wisc. Danola instantly fit right in with the band, learning all of their songs in an impressively short 10 days — just in time for their most important show to date, appearing as the opening act for Local H at Luther’s Blues. The band still has a few obstacles to clear, though — Blake Arnold will be studying abroad for several months, necessitating the band to find a temporary replacement for the drummer. There are several candidates in consideration, although the band does have one unnamed person in mind. Despite these setbacks, Shimon has confidence in his band’s talent saying, “I’ve put a lot into this. It’s a long shot, but I believe in our music.” Things seem to be on the up and up for Secondhand. There is a documentary being produced about them, their music is being played on radio stations around Madison, as well as St. Louis, and their website has been receiving over a thousand hits a month, translating into continued growth in their fan base.

Another reason for the growth in Secondhand’s popularity can be attributed to the development and refinement of their sound. Derek Arnold says that while their sound used to be more “pop-rock,” it is now much more “rock-pop.” Shimon pulls together many different influences to create a sound, which he makes his own. At times he sounds very much like Chad Urmston of Dispatch, as he does on “In The Wake,” probably the best song on the album, with its catchy guitar riffs and a powerful hook of a chorus. Singing, “I’m just gonna say/ I want you to stay away/ You’re always making waves/ Making waves/ Always making waves,” Shimon shows off his vocal range on the song, changing his singing style dramatically and with ease. He displays the same talent on the track “Anymore,” moving between pop and rock as he matches his talent for writing lyrics with his talent for expressing them. Shimon and company display great potential and, despite what even they admit to be a long road ahead of them, today’s musical climate will always have room for another band that can appeal to a wide variety of audiences. Secondhand surely does this. If there is going to be a band which can make Madison a college town music hot spot, Secondhand is certainly up there with the best of them. Their newest album In The Wake proves that its members have the talent to move beyond the local scene and into the national spotlight.

Grade: A - The Badger Herald - Eric Mansbach

"Secondhand Sound Pleases Listeners"

It is not particularly shocking that students in Madison join in a national campus appreciation of a good acoustic band. It is apparently shocking that the Madison music scene offers more than one worthy of attention.

Certainly, spending an evening in participation of a “Sex at Six” sing-along is enjoyable. But even the Profits take a break now and then from dominating Luther’s Blues. In fact, the quartet will take their sounds out of town until the end of the month with Party in the Park.

Have no fear. Head down the usual trail to Luther’s this Wednesday to discover there is in fact an alternative foursome — Secondhand.

As self-described, the Secondhand sound is one of Dispatch meeting Coldplay with some Maroon 5. The musical styles may be passed down, but recreation can be as powerful as the conception.

The story is one of typical happenstance. During 2001, frontman Jake Shimon was creating his solo record when he came upon cousin Shafton, owner of a small Chicago-based recording company.

In adding finishing touches to the 2002 sophomore record The Inspiration EP, the Arnold brothers — hailing from Shimon’s hometown of Mequon — were enlisted.

Not until the following year did the brothers — Derek on lead guitar and Blake on drums — cohere with the cousins to form what has become Secondhand.

Intention may not have brought the quartet in contact, but it certainly keeps them together. With the power of the pen, songwriter Shimon infuses just enough emotion in his lyrics to make them relatable.

There is just enough intensity in the melodies to make tunes energetic, just enough harmony to make them calm. And there is just enough inclusion of the cowbell to leave any Wisconsinite satisfied.

The strength of Secondhand lies in the composition of the sound. With beautifully bare vocals singing honest words, Shimon defines such a sound. “Still Can’t Leave” proves an ideal example of that execution.

Soft guitars and loose harmonies support the chorus, “But I’m tired and I’m weak / And I need to go to sleep / I’m worn down / I’m worn out / I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t breathe.” Surrounded by such tones, the primary voice produces a dreamy, nearly haunting effect.

The scene Shimon questioningly sings of could be from the silver screen. Using such arrangement, the song provides an undisturbed reflection of the classic romance film moment of seemingly lost love.

Similarly, “On a Higher Plane” develops a tension between Shimon’s vocals and Derek’s precise stylistics on the guitar. Relying one on the other, the sounds produce a reeling effect. As Shimon sings “Love / What can I say about love / That’s not been said about love / Cause I don’t know if I’m speaking for myself,” Derek responds through his chords.

The interaction draws in and captures the listener, making the song as memorable as it is pleasing.

Though the reflective lyrical content often centers on the push and pull of relationships, the sounds are not strictly solemn.

Secondhand can as easily play an upbeat, infectious song. Per usual, the live show makes numbers such as “Saturday Mourning” — the tune boasting of the aforementioned cowbell percussion — even more appealing.

The performance of the clean rock bass paired with the soul-slanted guitar riffs on “Waitin’ on a Summertime” proves even catchier than the recorded version allows. The sense of optimism and promise of which Shimon sings in such tunes boasts of the energy of the band’s performance.

The foursome will be set to share their enthusiasm onstage as readily as they offer introspection from their musical labors.

Opening for indie rock band Local H with Mary Ellis, the show begins with Secondhand at 8:00 Wednesday evening. Luther’s opens its doors to the 18 and up crowd at 7:00 with tickets at $12.50 the day of the show and $10.50 in advance.

Cannot wait until then? Head to for pre-performance preparation with an abundance of live and recorded songs.

More than enough alternate versions leave one eagerly anticipating just what Secondhand will have ready for the crowd, proving there are always alternatives. - The Badger Herald - Christine Holm


In The Wake - 2005
Six Down EP - 2005
Two Hours Late EP - 2003
Voice Mail EP - 2002


Feeling a bit camera shy


Reminiscent of the 90s rock they grew up on, Secondhand is an extremely original acoustic rock 4-piece whose music is both moving and irresistibly catchy. With the release of 3 EPs and over 50 shows in under 2 years, it’s no surprise that Secondhand’s music has quickly spread throughout their hometown of Madison Wisconsin and across the Midwest. The band features the powerfully unique voice and emotionally sincere words of singer/songwriter Jake Shimon, whose new and refreshing melodies are complemented by the voice and lead guitar work of Derek Arnold, the virtuoso bass stylings of Nick Danola, and the intricate beats of drummer Blake Arnold. Ready to break onto the national scene, Secondhand has performed in Midwest cities including Chicago, Rockford, Milwaukee and of course Madison, with radio play on Madison’s WMAD, WJJO, and WSUM, Washington University in St. Louis station KWUR, University of Arizona station KAMP, and most recently were featured on “The Radar Report” on XM Radio’s Unsigned Channel 43. Crowd favorites like “Waiting on Summertime” and “Sideways Days” have helped Secondhand prove their undeniable talent and validity in today’s music industry and are sure to keep listeners humming for days. With the release of their first full length album “In The Wake” on December 2, 2005, their recent spots opening for national acts Local H and Michael Grabicki of Rusted Root, and a music video for the first single “Anymore” recently completed, Secondhand continues to gain recognition and plans to continue expanding their audience to the next level.