Shiny Lapel Trio
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Shiny Lapel Trio

Band Jazz Pop

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Feb
06
Shiny Lapel Trio @ Lyme Art Foundation

Lyme, Connecticut, USA

Lyme, Connecticut, USA

Feb
04
Shiny Lapel Trio @ DuGlace

Deep River, Connecticut, USA

Deep River, Connecticut, USA

Feb
02
Shiny Lapel Trio @ Griswold Inn

Essex, Connecticut, USA

Essex, Connecticut, USA

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Music

Press



The voice of a former Ottawa resident has people across the country swaying.
A remake of the song "Sway" by Thomas "Tiger" Marion and his band, the Shiny Lapel Trio, is featured on a national television commercial launching the fall fashion line for Kohl's department store.

The Shiny Lapel Trio -- actually a quartet has its cover of the Dean Martin classic "Sway" featured on the new Kohl's department store commercial.
"It's a great commercial, just our song playing while a bunch of things, swaying in the breeze, cut across the screen," Marion said in a newsletter on the band's Web site www.shinylapeltrio.com.

Although the band's music has been labeled by some as Big Band and by others as swing or rock-a-billy, Tiger Marion says it's a combination done with less which gives them more.
"I like to say that we're a not-so-big-band that plays Big Band music. It's just guitars, bass, drums and vocals -- no horns or keyboards. It gives what we do a real revved up rock-a-billy/swing sound," he said.
"Some people call it swing-a-billy. Imagine if you will, the Stray Cats meet Frank Sinatra,"
The success of the band and of the commercial is gratifying but Tiger Marion says he hopes to continue playing music.
"I'm getting e-mails every day from people all over the U.S. with nice accolades about our music and the commercial, but I know the hype won't last forever. The best that we can hope for is more work and better work," he said.
"I feel truly blessed that people seem to enjoy our music. I just hope to grow upon what we're already doing and maybe expand the geography of where we play."
- Ottawa Herald


For Tiger Marion, gigging with the Shiny Lapel
Trio is the greatest second job anyone could
ever have.
And while people these days are clawing to
hang onto their fi rst jobs, Marion’s moonlight music
career is, well, in full swing.
In addition to its full slate of private shows, the band has
a Tuesday night residency at the Griswold Inn in Essex
and a monthly gig at the famous Swing 46 in Manhattan
—105 shows in 2008 alone. Add to that the occasional
work of recording music for television commercials.
“It’s crazy and nuts,” Marion, a Deep River resident,
says. “We’ve been busy, two or three nights a week. We’re
not bragging or boasting, but we’re pretty happy with it.”
And things aren’t slowing down anytime soon. The
band heads into the studio—Chiller Sound in New York
City—this month to record its third album, “The Shiny
Lapel Trio - From The Get Go!”
Marion says “From The Get Go!” will feature more
standards—with covers of Nat King Cole, Dean Martin,
and Bobby Darin songs—and some “not so standard
swing tunes,” including a rendition of “If I Only Had A
Brain” from the The Wizard of Oz. If recording goes as
planned, the album will be released in October.
Busy, to be sure, but it’s all part of the mission,
which, according to Marion, is to “have fun, make
people smile with our music, play out as much as we
can, and play as many new places as we can. We’re not
out to change the world, we just want to have fun and
play music while we’re here,”
The Making of a Trio
Despite the band’s name, the six-year-old Shiny
Lapel Trio, is actually a quartet, featuring Marion, Marc
Iacobellis of Ivoryton, bass; James Alio of Deep River,
guitar; and drummer Rich Talarczyk of Branford.
“It just sounded a better,” Marion, 42, said.
And the Shiny Lapel Trio’s mix of swing, jump blues,
and rockabilly—picture Louis Prima fronting Jason and
the Scorchers in a really smart suit—is the culmination
of Marion’s career in music that has taken him from
Kansas City to Cuba.
Marion grew in rural Kansas with a truck-driving
father who liked “bad country music,” like Glen
Campbell and Freddy Fender.
“But my dad also loved Elvis Presley and Johnny
Cash,” Marion said. “So I was able to hear that, too.”
Eventually, Marion discovered punk rock, and like a lot
kids in the sticks, he thought he was the only person in
the world who liked it. “Everyone I knew was into Def Leppard or whatever was on Top-40
radio,” he said.
Around the same time, Marion also fell in love with Frank Sinatra.
“I was a closet Rat Pack fan,” he admits.
In his late teens, Marion moved to the college town of Lawrence,
Kansas, and became involved with the fertile local music scene. He
also worked on spoken world albums with legendary beat author
William Burroughs.
But after a while, with a wife and children, Marion decided to get
out of music, and, in something that could be a line in a song, he sold
his vintage guitars, moved east, and got a corporate job.
“I thought I’d just bang on the guitar around the house,” he said.
Shortly after moving to Connecticut, Marion recorded an album
of children’s songs, and while promoting it, learned about the
popularity of swing music in the state. Suddenly, he became drawn
once again to his secret love of big bands and jump blues. But rather
than going out and fi nding a horn section, Marion decided to keep
the Lapels completely stripped down. It’s a combination that has
resonated big time, both locally and commercially.
“The local support for our band is, and has been, from day
one, absolutely fantastic,” Marion says. “We seem to have a lot of
people who, for whatever reason, enjoy and follow what we do, and
we feel lucky to have them.”
The band’s set includes standards like “Is You is or is You Ain’t My
Baby,” “De-Lovely,” and “Sway.” The band’s sultry take on “Sway”—
originally crafted by Pablo Beltran Ruiz—eventually got the attention
of a local advertising worker who was a regular at Lapels gigs.
Marion said the band was invited to audition for a Kohl’s
commercial and managed to beat out Michael Buble and Chris Issak
for the job.
After the ad ran on television around Christmas, 2007 the band’s
profi le jumped.
“We got calls from fans in Mexico and Canada,” Marion said.
“Even this drunken phone message from someone in Sweden. I still
have it saved.”
Kohl’s asked them back for a second time in the fall of 2008, this time
featuring the band’s version of “Beautiful Things,” made popular by
Bobby Darin. Several tour dates later, the U.S. military came calling.
Marion explains, “I have a brother in the Navy who,
unbeknowst to the band, submitted our CD to the MWR [the
entertainment branch of the Navy]. One day I got a call out of
the blue asking us if the band would be interested in coming to
Guantánamo Bay and performing for everybody stationed there.
We played three shows over four days, and it was incredible.”
Though the touring and commercial - Shore Publishing


The Shiny Lapel Trio is that rare thing—a fresh-sounding jazz/standards cover band. They are big band dressed up as a trad jazz quartet. They play standards, rockabilly, a little Hank Williams. They are cool, even if their lapels are actually not too shiny and they are not a trio.

New Haven Advocate Best Of New Haven winners heard the band at this paper's 2006 awards ceremony at Anthony's Ocean View. They've also played at Alchemy, Cafe Nine and the Blues, Berries and Jam farmers' market series in downtown New Haven.

Now millions more know the Shiny Lapel Trio as the steamy Latin backdrop in a TV commercial for Kohl's. The ad features dancing shirts and streetlights, and a Pablo Beltran Ruiz song called "Sway," best known as a hit for Dean Martin.

The impact of the TV ad was bigger than anyone anticipated. "I've gotten emails from 23 states," said frontman Tiger Marion, beaming. To date the video has been downloaded over 3,700 times. Because they were not credited in the commercial, fans have been turning to the internet to find out "Who does that song?"

Marion met guitarist James Alio while touring to support an album of kids' songs, and found they shared an affinity for Louis Jordan and Nat King Cole. Alio recruited longtime friend and fellow Deep River resident Marc Iacobellis to play bass. They began playing out, adding drummer Rich Talarczyk, and have since made a name for themselves playing clubs and private events nonstop for the last four years.

Besides those 30-second ads (which don't actually show the photogenic band), the best place for swing lovers, jazzers, dancers and romancers to find Shiny Lapel Trio these days is at the Griswold Inn in Essex, where the band has been playing every Tuesday night for the last two years. This cozy little venue may be a fan's best option to see the band live, as the SLT slows their schedule this fall to record their next album. That's just as well, because the fellas obviously feel at home there, cracking jokes and inviting the bartender onstage to sing with them. With standing room only at the bar and couples dining and dancing enthusiastically all night long, this just might be the most happening spot in Connecticut on any given Tuesday.

Their next album will likely be out before January, and will feature a full-length version of "Sway." And more commercials are on the horizon. "Every year we seem to double," says Tiger Marion of the band's success. "We're sort of reaching critical mass." They're so busy these days that they've considered quitting their day jobs.

'Sway to go.
- New Haven Advocate


One of the best nights spent in a quiant new england town that 2 Michiganders could remember. The evening ended far to soon, how time passes when your haveing fun. Plans are in the making for aother trip to new england and do inclue an evening with the shiny lapel trio Posted by Steve and Louise Maczynski - New Haven Advocate


Listen to these guys and just try to stand still! - Day


A smart mix of Swing and Rockabilly.

- Journal Register


If the sound so enthusiastically generated by the Shiny Lapel Trio were a garment, it would be a piece of pure silk lingerie, circa 1940 solid, intricate, and strikingly naughty! - Ink Publishing


The Shiny Lapel Trio are a rare jewel on the Connecticut music scene. A red hot time capsule to be enjoyed by all.
- Shore Publishing


Ain't much out there that gets any smoother than 50's swing, and these four cats do it pretty damn well.
- Journal Register


Discography

From The Git-Go
97$ for a Taxi
Zip, Bang, Pow!

Photos

Bio

The Shiny Lapel Trio is a tiny little band with a great big sound! Keeping it simple with just three rockin’ instruments, and a big ol’ slice of velvety smooth vocals, these guys tear up a dance floor like a carpenter late for lunch. Whether they’re rippin’ thru a classic Louis Prima standard, or makin’ ya cry with a Nat King Cole ballad, the instruments grind along full throttle while the vocals float across the top as thick as a layer of gritty bar room smoke. Oh, they schwing baby and it ain’t for the faint at heart!

If you need another boring top 40 cover band, there are plenty to be found, but if you want a band that’ll make your feet hurt from dancing and your voice hoarse from singing along, then you need to see what the Shiny Lapels are all about: Pure, sweaty, sinful swingin’ fun!