Gig Seeker Pro


Tustin, California, United States

Tustin, California, United States
Band Country Pop


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"Sway – Let It Roll (CD)"

I don’t like a great deal of country music. Call me uncultured or otherwise wrong, but I do not find much to appreciate in the genre. However, a band named Sway has done wonders in their “Let It Roll” to show me the inherent beauty of the style. “Let It Roll” starts off with “Cowgirl Scene”, a track that immediately shows the talent inherent in the effort of all four members of the act. However solid “Cowgirl Scene” is, the band ratchets things up considerably higher with “Let It Roll”. While each of the different tracks can be taken separately during “Let It Roll”, full enjoyment of the disc only comes when listeners hunker down and listen to the album as a whole.

“In the Hands of Love” is reminiscent of Mary Chapin Carpenter, and particularly during her “The Bug” era. However, far from being merely an act influenced by the greats, Sway really flip the script when it comes to what individuals expect from a country band. Nowhere is this more clearly shown than during the disc’s middle point, “When Love Finds Its Way”. “When Love” is one of those tracks that will bounce around listeners’ heads endlessly; the blend of instrumental and vocal components during the track create something that is much, much more than its constituent parts. During both “In the Hands of Love” and its follow-up, “I’m Over You”, Sway easily crossover into a rock domain, calling forth acts like Fleetwood Mac in the creation of some stellar music.

“More Than Enough” continues this crossover tradition, with guitar tracks eliciting a sunny demeanor as the vocals come forth as a tie-together of the Dixie Chicks and of Reba McEntire. The male vocals that are dominant during “Left Unsaid” continue to spice up the album and keep listeners focused in, while the instrumentation takes that next bold step forward in creating the best possible music. “Let It Roll” is evidence that country music can be new and fresh, and that Sway is the act that is leading the charge. Twenty-five years from now, “Let It Roll” will be seen as an album that influenced an entire generation of musicians. This bodes well for all of music.

Top Tracks: Left Unsaid, Let It Roll

-James McQuiston
Editor, NeuFutur (print magazine)
Editor, http://www.neufutur.com (e-magazine)

Rating: 8.9/10

- NeuFutur Magazine

"Orange Pop: Sway is moving steadily toward success"

Special to the Register

Although Sway was launched a mere eight months ago, the quartet's masterful debut "Let It Roll" sounds as if it was honed by a group of musicians who have been working together for years.

"We got started in early October," explained singer-guitarist Gina Quartaro, who noted some of the songs on the 10-track disc date back before the band was formed in late 2007.

Sway also features guitarist-vocalist Perry Martin, bassist-vocalist Laurens Vernot and drummer Trevor Hands. The foursome will celebrate the release of "Let It Roll" with a free show at The Neighborhood Cup in Aliso Viejo on June 21.

"Perry and I had just met and we started collaborating. We met Laurens at a songwriter's night (held at The Neighborhood Cup) and he said, 'I need to be in your band.' "

Added Vernot: "They wanted me to have a red bass. I had a red bass."

Vernot went on to explain while his own background as a longtime proponent on the national power pop scene (his latest project, Lava Province, performed at the International Pop Overthrow festival in 2007) might seem at sonic odds with Sway's distinctive brew of alt-country and Americana, joining the band was a natural fit.

"I heard the songs and said these are people I need to play with. Pre-Sway, I wasn't thinking about country music. I just thought this was great pop music that calls for a third (vocal) harmony. They (Quartaro and Martin) are terrific songwriters and terrific singers."

The group's lineup was completed earlier this year with the addition of Hands, a Burbank resident who was born and raised on a farm in Southwestern Kansas. The other three members of Sway all live in Orange County.

"After less than a year, we have a strong following and are playing a lot of places," Martin said. "It has snowballed very quickly."

"Let It Roll" showcases Sway's countless strengths, notably wonderful songs, solid arrangements and effortless musicianship, as well as emotive lead vocals and pleasing harmonies.

"The sound is more roots than country," Quartaro said of Sway. "I still do what I do (write songs that span a number of genres), but we bring a bluegrass and rootsy feel to it."

Sway is part of a growing regional roots music movement, with the group's sound embraced at coffee houses, country music clubs and outdoor festivals. Upcoming performances include the far-flung likes of Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth, Saddle Sore Saloon in Norco, the Gypsy Den Café in Santa Ana, as well as at area shopping centers such as Irvine Spectrum and Metro Pointe at South Coast.

"When people hear us, they feel like they're hearing something they've heard on the radio," said Quartaro, who strives to write songs that are accessible and compelling at first listen. "We're often accused of 'I can't get that song out of my head.'"

What comes out after spending a few minutes with Sway is while the group loves to perform live, it is the deep connection the musicians have with their songs and how they craft those with the care of a loving parent to ensure each tune shines on its own.

"It's a lot of fun," Martin said of Sway. "Partly because it's so unexpected."

- Orange Country Register


Sway - Let It Roll
2009, Sway

Southern California quietly has built a thriving country music scene over the years. While not gaining the attention or reverence of Nashville or Branson, Orange and L.A. counties are home to a thriving country music community. Gina Quartaro and Perry Martin were both pieces of the puzzle in SoCal, but it wasn't until they were introduced by their Chiropractor just about a year ago that they moved to the head of the pack. As 2/5 of Sway, Quartaro and Martin have melded into a dynamic singing/songwriting/performing force majeure that is bound to turn a spotlight on the scene as a whole. Quartaro was raised on Hank Sr., and Martin cut his teeth touring Vietnam with The Donny James Show and performing on television for the Armed Forces Television Network. Together, they've found a sort of musical alchemy that's almost fairy-tale quality. The former Nashville Star contestant, Sway, released its debut album, Let It Roll in 2009. Look out Nashville, here comes Sway.

I've been waiting for a while for a band and song to come along that will ultimately prove what country radio is made of, and I've finally found it. Cowgirl Scene, the opening track from Let It Roll, should put Sway firmly on the Country music map. Suffice it to say that on a major label with the right marketing push, this is a #1 hit. It will be the shame of the industry if that doesn't happen, because this might just be the best Country/Pop offering of the last few years. It's a girl's night out song, and so infectious you won't be able to get it out of your head. Let It Roll comes from a more introspective place, reflecting a positive outlook based in self-sufficiency. The song is very tuneful and well-written; the sort of personal anthem that people might take to in difficult times.

If I Knew is in the classic vein of tragic country songs; a musical letter from a widow to her deceased husband about their daughter. Quartaro gives a moving vocal performance, with Perry Martin answering in almost ethereal tones. Get the tissues ready for this one. Sway swings from this bit of personal darkness to In The Hands Of Love, a highly optimistic song about the power of humanity to rise above its own petty nature in response to one another's needs. This is another song that should be getting serious airplay, although its perhaps a bit too upbeat and positive thinking for a cynical radio industry.

One of the things I enjoy most about Sway is their willingness to break the mold, musically. Check out I'm Over You, a song with distinct country coloring but which smacks of an almost Fleetwood Mac pop sound. Quartaro is entirely in her element here in a mildly driven pop/rock song in Americana clothing. This particular melody will inspire you to sing along and will keep recurring in your mind. Perry Martin takes over lead vocals on This World. Martin's voice is distinctive, part Leonard Cohen and part crooner. This World is a highly positive song that again hits the theme of people overcoming their own base natures, and how that ability is a perennial marker of hope. You'll also want to be certain to check out More Than Enough and Love Takes Time.

Whether it's Quartaro's lead vocals, Martin's harmonies, the songwriting, the energy or any other quality you care to name, Sway is a first class Country/Pop outfit with significant commercial potential. If the industry doesn't embrace this band and give them the support they need then shame on the establishment. Sway has found a dynamic blend of classic Country and Pop that is pop gold. Let It Roll is a dynamic and wholly enjoyable debut.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)



Sway "Let It Roll" Released June 21, 2008




SWAY are a contemporary country duo (with a sprinkling of bluegrass influence in some of their songs) formed by founding members Perry Martin and Gina Quartaro.

Their paths would cross...............

In the office of Doctor Dana Ballerini, good friend and chiropractor extraordinaire, on an unassuming day, Gina and Perry would meet and discuss music. What would happen from there is history in the making and the very beginning of SWAY. Their approach to songwriting is a mix of sincerity and devotion. Their product is a well written song destined to SWAY the listener.

Vocals/Rhythm Guitar

Born, Gina Josephine Quartaro in Hollywood, CA, and a prolific songwriter since the age of eight, Gina has written and co-produced over 200 memorable songs to date. She has been coined the “Female Elton John….” by the legendary Russ Reagan. Her debut album, "I'll Always Be Your Girl” attracted industry attention and got her a deal on Award Records/ADA and a national release after which she released her second album Josephine Redwing, "Attention"

Gina has opened for such national acts as Rosanne Cash, Nick Lowe, Sweet Hearts Of The Rodeo to name but a few. “Late in 2007 I formed a band called SWAY featuring Perry Martin on vocals and guitar, Laurens Vernot on bass, and Trevor Hands on drums. We're still in search of the right mandolin & banjo player in Orange County, California but remain hopeful. SWAY is an all original group rich in harmonies and thoughtful guitar hooks. Our music is catchy. We've been accused of having that song that stays stuck in your head for day - - - guilty as charged!"

Vocals/Lead Guitar

At a very young age Perry wound up playing in a country show band, "The Donny James Show" and toured South Vietnam during 1968 -69.

The band were eventually given there own weekly television show on the the Armed Forces Radio and Television Network. The show was called, appropriately, "Nashville Vietnam". "We would generally record four or five shows at a time in the studios in Saigon and then tour for a few weeks."

The female vocalist of the band was Leta Frizzell, daughter of country legend Lefty Frizzell, who later toured with the band himself for a couple of months as a guest star. They also had guests on their Armed Forces Network TV show such as Hank Snow Jr. and Sheb Wooley of "Rawhide" and Purple People Eater fame.

From there Perry toured the Far East finally settling in Hong Kong where he released three very successful albums of original pop/rock songs. He finally made his way to the United States and after a variety of musical twist and turns ended up back in the country genre again - - first as a solo artist and now with Gina and their band SWAY.

SWAY's debut album was released June 21st 2008 - - an album full of catchy, radio-friendly songs. To quote Robert Kinsler, in his article in the Orange County Register promoting the CD Release: "Although SWAY was launched a mere eight months ago, the duos’ masterful debut, "Let It Roll", sounds as if it was honed by musicians who have been working together for years. "Let It Roll" showcases Sway's countless strengths, notably wonderful songs, solid arrangements and effortless musicianship, as well as emotive lead vocals and pleasing harmonies".