SMOKEWAGON
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SMOKEWAGON

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The best kept secret in music

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SMOKEWAGON
DEUCE

This crunch heavy and gritty power trio from Brooklyn continue on their second record to crank out heart pumping dirty rock and roll tunes with great snarl. Singer Kevin Omen, Pat Fondiller, and Jesse Howard make up Smokwagon, a band with tremendous work ethic and building reputation in Brooklyn. Imbibed in the correct way, Smokewagons 70's styled geetar shreds, pounding skins, and driving thump from the low end give their whiskey soaked odes and howls that extree juice that will keep your head bobbing and your liver floating for a long while after the tunes finish. "Me and the Devil," has plenty of stomp and some nice slide touches. "Brutus," and "Model Citizen," are crazy good as well. Jason Lafarge (at the amazing Seizures Palace Studio in Brooklyn) has captured their passionate live energy on CD quite nicely. - Doug DeFalco/Jelly NYC


"These Brooklyn-based urban cowboys came highly recommended to me from the boys in motorpunk kingpins Rock City Crimewave– matter of fact, I think Smokewagon’s 6 stringer Kevin Omen was an original Crimewave member. Makes sense, since the same rough and ready steam-powered engine rumbles deep in the hearts of the ‘Wagon, only these cats seem to have traveled down an extra 500 or so miles of bad road, as reflected by all the soul bearing, scar flaunting, and teeth gnashing going on in the slower, more somber tunes. The rock songs sound like rock songs- fist fighting and whiskey drenched- but it’s these spaghetti western-tinged slow burners that really stand out. The thoroughly teary “Ernestine” is a monster, sounding like a saddle sore Nash Kato pouring every ounce of hurt into the microphone, and even better is the epic “I See a Darkness” which starts out like a regretful Kris Kristofferson missin’ his Rita and ends up in a wall of crashing guitars and flooding emotion. I listened to this song over and over on our way home from Detroit, like a melancholy mental patient. Of course, the wife kept pointing out how much it sounds like Bruce Springsteen, but it’s still one of the best, most affecting rock songs I’ve heard in ages. Smokewagon are unique and quite possibly brilliant- I mean, just check out their twangy country version of the Misfits’ “Skulls” for further evidence- and you really ought to get a hold of this before your redneck cousin from Alabama (or worse, your sister in Jersey) does and ruins the whole effect for you."
-Sleazegrinder

- SLEAZEGRINDER


SMOKEWAGON

A fistful of dark rock, Brooklyn’s Smokewagon shadow boxes with Johnny Cash’s ghost, summoning their power from scars, stiff drinks and temperamental skeletons in the closet. Despite the intense debaucherous darkness---the “bad road,” saddle sore,” “red-neck,” “whiskey-drenched,” “teeth gnashing,” “melancholy mental patient” darkness---the music is strangely sweet and soothing, like a good lullaby after a bad dream. 3-16-04
- NY PRESS


SMOKEWAGON
DEUCE
J E D E R, der sich für echten Rock mit einem leicht southern-lastigen Sound, für abwechslungsreiche Songs, für eindringliche Texte und für authentische Musiker begeistern kann, wird dieses Album lieben. Deuce hat das Zeug zum Genre-Klassiker - SMOKEWAGON sind jetzt schon Kult!
BestellNr.:5333 | € 14,99

Everyone who can be excited by real rock with a light touch of southern sound, by diversified songs, insistent texts and authentical muskier, will love this album. Deuce have all for a genre-classic – smokewagon already are cult now!
- JEDER


Smokewagon – Deuce
Just for Kicks Vertrieb, 04/2006






Weiter rauchen
Eine echte Alternative stellt die amerikanische Band Smokewagon dar. Weil ZZ Top irgendwie verschwunden sind, Urge Overkill nicht überlebt haben und Lynyrd Skynyrd scheinbar nur einen Song haben. Inmitten dieses Dreiecks setzt Smokewagon an. Unbelasteter Bluesrock, ruppig gespielt, über weite Strecken mit Tom Waits ähnlichen Tiefen.
Ab und an lassen sich Punkvermerke finden, Grungetendenzen nachweisen aber nie bloße Verehrung diverser Helden. Ein angenehmes Album. Geradaus, durch die Mitte, ohne Engpässe. Warum nicht mal einer kleinen Band großes Gehör verschaffen?
www.justforkicks.de
(RED)


Keep on smoking
A real alternative is the American band Smokewagon. Because ZZ Top somehow disappeared, Urge Overkill didn’t survived and Lynyrd Skynyrd obviously just have one song. Inside this triangle Smokewagon puts on. Unloaded blues rock, played rude, over long distances with depths similar to Tom Waits. Sometimes there can be fund punk memoranda, tendencies of grunge but never pure adoration of divers heros. A nice album. Straight, through the middle, without bottlenecks. Why not give big audience to a little band?
- JUST FOR KICKS VERTRIEB


Staubtrocken mit sehr viel Whiskey, das wäre die Kurzfassung. Jetzt kommt die Langfassung. Das Trio Smokewagon aus Brooklyn rockt sich auf Deuce durch sämtliche Facetten ehrlicher Rockmusik. Man fährt auf dem Motorrad durch Southernrockgefilde, um kurz darauf vom Gas zu gehen, auf’s Pferd umzusatteln und dem Alternative Country zu frönen.

Vom straighten Hardrocker “Flesh“, der einfach nach vorne prescht über lockere Brit Pop bzw. Grunge Verweise bei “California“, jedes Lied brennt sich mit seinen Eigenarten sofort in den Gehörgang, und doch deckt jedes für sich eine andere Sparte harter Rockmusik ab.
Besonders hervorzuheben ist die Stimme von Sänger Kevin, dessen Reibeisenröhre whiskeygeschwängert sowohl den langsamen als auch den schnellen Stücke gut zu Gesicht steht. Ein Album, das Spaß macht und rockt. Eine Platte sowohl um Stimmung vor der Party aufzubauen, auf der Party abzurocken, Morgens um 8 nach der Party runterzukommen und am nächsten Nachmittag mit seinem Hangover zu ringen.

Und ein wahres Schmankerl verbirgt sich am Ende des Albums mit der Coverversion von “Whiskey in the Jar“. Es ist, als würde Johnny Cash in einem Irish Pub aufspielen. Daumen hoch für Smokewagon.


Patric von Reth

Dusty dry with a lot of whiskey, that would be it the short form. Now her comes the long form. The trio Smokewagon from Brooklyn rocks itself on Deuce through any facet of true rock music. One is driving on a motor bicycle through southern rock landscapes, just to go off gas shortly after and to change to a horse and celebrate the alternative country music.

From the straight hardrocker “Flesh”, who just runs to front to easy brit pop or grunge f.e. at “California”, every song burns itself with its unique into the ears and jet everyone for itself has its one category of hard rock music. Especially out sticking is the voice of the singer Kevin, who’s grater channel, sucked with whiskey as well fits to the slow as well to the fast music. An album that makes fun and rocks. A record as well to rise the atmosphere on a party as well as rock on a party, as well as coming down from a party in the morning and on the following afternoon get along with ones hang over.

A very special hides itself at the end of the album with the conversion of “whiskey in the jar”. It is like Johnny Cash plays in an Irish pub. Thumbs up for Smokewagon.
- Patric Von Reth


Mich würde mal interessieren, wo Just For Kicks immer diese grandiosen Bands hervorzaubern. Wenn ich mir jetzt zum Beispiel wieder das neue Album der bisher völlig unbekannten Smokewagon anhöre, frage ich mich, warum diese Band nicht schon längst einen Major-Deal in der Tasche hat und mit der coolen Mischung aus gediegenem Blues und sattem Heavy Rock zur Mainstream-Rock-Konkurrenz aufgeschlossen hat.
„Deuce“ ist wirklich ein verdammt saucooles Album, das einen in der ersten Hälfte mit energetischen Modern Rock der Marke Monster Magnet angreift und einen dann später mit den gefühlvollen Semi-Balladen „Jackson“ und „Why Could Love Me“ wieder zurück auf den Teppich holt. Schwungvolle, kompromisslose Gitarrenladungen wie „Brutus“, „Flesh“ und „Bombs“ bekommt man nicht mal aus der Schweinerock-Szene zu hören, wohingegen die Authentizität eines bluesigen Rock & Rollers wie „Remember“ einen vermuten lässt, als würden Smokewagon zu den Begründern des traditionellen Sounds gehören. Dazu noch herrlich Entspanntes wie „California“, Dreckiges wie „Fireball“ und das coole, aber etwas zurückhaltende Cover vom Thin Lizzy/The Dubliners-Klassiker „Whiskey In The Jar“.
Wenn ihr mich fragt, sind Smokewagon einer der besten, wenn nicht sogar der beste Rock-Import, den Just For Kicks in den vergangenen zwölf Monaten über den großen Teich geholt haben. Wenn eine Band sowohl Lynyrd Skynyrd als auch zeitgemäßen Hardrock in ihren Kompositionen zum Harmonieren bringt und das Ganze dabei auch noch tierisch rockt, ist dies für mich ein Qualitätsmerkmal, das jeden gestandenen Rocker dazu bewegen sollte, für dieses fette Album 15€ auf den Tisch zu legen. Ein authentisches Gesamtbild macht eben manchmal doch noch mehr her als fette Grooves, punkige Rhythmen und all die sonstigen Elemente, mit denen die Retro-Bewegung arbeitet! Und deshalb lohnt es sich jetzt auch nicht, mit langen Reden zu erklären, worum es bei Smokewagon geht. Das sollte sich nämlich bei dieser genialen Mischung ganz von selbst erklären!. Volltreffer

What would interest me is where just for kicks always get this grandiose bands from. When f.e. I listen to that new album of the until now absolute unknown band Smokewagon, I ask myself, why this band not already has the major-deal in its pocket with that cool mixture of well grown blues and lush heavy rock has upgraded to the mainstream rock competition.

“Deuce” really is a fucking cool album that in the middle attacks with energetic modern rock of the label monster magnet und afterwards pulls oneself back to the carpet with sentimental semi-ballads “Jackson” and “Why could love me”. Swinging compromiseless guitar stowages like “Brutus”, “Flesh” and “bombs” one doesn’t even get heard from the pig-rock-scene, whereas with the blues rock’n rolls like “remember” one suspects Smokewagon to belong to the founders of the traditional sound. Together with grateful relaxing like “californie”, dirty like “Fireball” and the cool, but little chary cover from Thin Lizzy/The Dubliners-classic „Whiskey In The Jar”.

If you’d ask me, Smokewagon is one of the best rock-imports that just for kicks landed in the last twelve month over the big lake. If a band as Lynyrd Skynyrd well as actual hard rock brings to harmony in its compositions and the whole things moreover rocks beastly that’s a sign for quality for me that should move every grown up rocker to put down 15 € on the table for this fat album. An authentically whole image sometimes gets along better than fat grooves, punky rhythms and all the other elements with that the retro movement works! And therefore it isn’t worthwhile to explain in long speeches, about what Smokewagon is about. Because this should explain itself from that genial mixture! Direct hit!
- Wallsoffire.de


In the past it wasn’t that everything was better. But some things were. One had read about a promising album, went to the next record store, took the searched record and went to the next person with the question: “Could I hear it?”. Afterwards one would have with the earphones a certain Aha!-feeling and probably stand in the store with a gloomy or misty-eyed face. Before now are starting the strangest speculations. I wanted to say that the record went down well!
Back to the present that also isn’t too bad. When I recently got a packet with that CD in it, I again had this Thumbs-up feeling. The reason was the album “Deuce” of the US-American band Smokewagon. Short after the second song Brutus very impressive got to his end, it really became clear that this was a surprise. The riff-rocking Me And The Devil even extends the positive impression, but the best would follow: Fireball and Model Citizen. Those two remind me somehow of Ghost Riders In The Sky, just with more Wumms. OUTLAWS go home, here comes Smokewagon!!
With “Deuce” the trio publishes its second album, after their debut “Smokewagon” in the year 2003. The record company presents stylistically as a straight playing power-trio that has found its origins in acts like ZZ Top, Urge Overkill or Nirvana. Somewhere there seem also be influences of Tom Waits, The Bad Brains and Lynyrd Skynyrd mixed with the Ghosts of Robert Johnson and Doc Holliday. Is the reviewer allowed to remark that there’s also a little bit of The Four Horseman and the early Black Crowes to hear?
The band I didn’t knew before hearing „Deuce“ first let me think of a band from the Souther States. Wrong, one has its basis in Brooklyn, New York. We are already surprised when we get know that they’re not out of a sticky and dusty Southern States village. Furthermore I expected a speedy five or a at least fully guitar four. Next mistake, boy, because an earlier gaze in the booklet would have discovered me that it is a formidable three.
One unites brilliantly the trademarks of Southern rock , the so called roots-rock and country borrowing to a mixture with a heavy dash of rock’n roll and a great portion of groove. The music of Smokewagon sounds very much purist. Thematically it doesn’t deal very much with the topics of girls and fast cars, but more about agony, solitarily, losses or the burdens of life. It is narrated in a powerful, authentically and emotional manner about the less beautiful sides of life.
The primary in midtempo-region played songs shine through a high degree of variety. Melancholically ballads take turns with fast tracks whereas it should be said that the mayor part of their songs should be sorted in the label heavy rock. The listeners expect mainspring guitar duels (Me And The Devil), staccato like increasing rocker (Bombs) or just brilliant played acoustic records (Jackson). Even trips in pop regions (Drunken Angel) the band around the guitarist/singer Kevin Omen knows to present.
Omen who works since teenager ages an self-compositions is in the northamerican eastcost scene not an unknown person. Already awarded with the 'Boston Music Award' and nominated for another , he already could profile himself before Smokewagon as a songwriter in different bands. Together with bassist Pat Fondiller who for years stayed at the westcoast and before returning to the Big Apple also did different acts and the drummer, originally from the Wild West, omen and others today play rude blues rock with a distinct country-dash and also charactarized with dashes of grunge and punk.
„Deuce“ is a straight, played nice through the middle that every fan of true and hand made rock will enjoy. Much seems familiar, but never the record degrades to pure adoration of heros. The guitar solos in Bombs remind one perhaps of the blessedly shining times of Lynyrd Skynyrd or Blackfoot, during the outstanding Model Citizen Johnny Cashis greeting and Phil Lynott gets a salute in form of the succeeded interpretation of Whiskey in the Jar but it has the original stamp of Smokewagon. An outstanding album which hopefully finds a lot of friends.
- House of Rock


Discography

2002 Smokewagon, self titled debut
2006 Smokewagon "Deuce"
You can listen to songs from our debut record on our website or at CD Baby.
We were featured on "out of the box", Jonathan Clark's show here in NY on Q104 as well as various on-line radio stations.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

A FISTFUL OF DARK ROCK, The incredibly apt description of SMOKEWAGON given by their design-juggernaut/spiritual advisor Liz, does a good job of describing their sound which floats somewhere between the raw, hardscrabble rock of early Zeppelin, dark and eerie Ennio Morricone-meets-Nick Cave soundscapes and 90's post-punk, wall-of-guitars bombardment.This Brooklyn based power-trio creates music with the confidence and bravado of seasoned vets and the skill of master craftsmen then serves it up live with the intensity and sincerity that can only come from dedication and experience. While rooted in the holy trinity of country, blues and rock, their sound is not a rehashing but a logical progression of all the best that the 20th century had to offer, incorporated into a true 21st century american rock band.

Their debut release "Smokewagon" in October 2002 was an instant local hit having them open shows for Brant Bjork and the Bros. (Kyuss/Mondo Generator), the Unsane, Vietnam, Lubricated Goat, the Heroine Shieks, Nick Oliveri (Queens of the Stone Age) Alex Skolnick (Testament) and others. Encouraged by the support Smokewagon decided to go back into the studio in July 2004 to record their second record this time working with Siezures Palace Engineer Jason LaFarge. "We took our time." explains bass player Pat Fondiller, "We wanted to avoid the 'sophmore jinx' and put out a record that not only stood up to the first one, but blew it out of the water." The extra effort paid off as Smokewagon released "Deuce" in February, 2006 selling 220 copies the first night at their record release party in Brooklyn. The band now looks forward to getting back on the road to promote the new record.

Kevin Omen was a long time fixture on the Boston Music scene, playing in many bands, most notably: fronting OTIS (Cherry Disc, the U.S. label later disolved by Roadrunner; Bulletproof, Germany), THE OMEN SIGNAL and the ROCK CITY CRIMEWAVE (Pig Pile records) as well as solo performances. He also lent a hand playing banjo on the critically acclaimed ANGELS OF LIGHT 2003 release "Everything is Good Here, Please Come Home" (Young God records). Winner of a Boston Music award and nominated for yet another, Omen has established himself as a prolific American songwriter. An intense, inspiring performer, He's spent half his life performing and perfecting his craft, racking up thousands of hours on the road in the U.S. and Europe.

Jesse Howard hails from the wild west but left the dusty streets of Wyoming for the bright lights , eventually settling in behind the kit in Chicago's PISTOLERO. After a long binge of rock and debouchery the urge to wander was upon him again, ultimately leading him to Brooklyn where he met two weatherbeaten bartenders in need of a drummer, the rest is history...

Pat Fondiller brings a west coast perspective to the line-up having spent many years in San Francisco playing with the art rock outfits CLATTERYAK and FELLAHEEN (the latter winning a "BESSIE" award, NYC Dance Theatre and Performing Arts, for composition and headlining the NYC Downtown Arts Festival in 1998.) all the while perfecting his earth-rumbling sub-sonic bass sound. Now, back in New York, he has gained a reputation as a tireless musical ironman doing session work as well as duty as a side man for the WASABI DEVILS, MIDDLE FINGER(w/Megan Spooner from Fellaheen and Steve Moses from Alice Donut) and former SWANS main man Michael Gira's ANGELS OF LIGHT (Young God Records). In addition to playing both bass and mandolin on the Angels critically acclaimed 2003 record "Everything is Good Here, Please Come Home", He played electric bass on the Young God release "Nino Roja" from DEVENDRA BANHART released in April, 2004.