Ted Hovis & The Stolen Camaros
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Ted Hovis & The Stolen Camaros

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | SELF

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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"Anyone But Me" might sound like Radiohead at first listen, but more listens reveal original depth and feel. By the end of the song, Ted's floating voice delivers lyrics that evoke an enlightening day, and "Only For Now"s guitar work, vocals, and lyrics are recorded with a little bit of reverb, taking you right to that place inside you haven't talked about since your heart was last broken." - Unsung Hero (USA)


A Shining Rock Album

Bruce Von Stiers

A little bit Bono, a tad bit of Billy Idol. Who am I talking about? A hard rocking singer/songwriter named Ted Hovis. Hailing from the Washington D.C. area, Ted has just recorded a new album.

The title of the album is Let It Shine. On the album Ted does the lead vocals and plays both the electric and acoustic guitars. He also plays the bass on the album.

Ted is joined on the album by Kevin Gutierrez, Jamie Kowalksi and Jenn Colten. Kevin played the drums, did the percussion and did the keys for a few of the tracks. He also produced the album. Kevin is a partner in the up and coming recording studio Assembly Line Studios. Jamie does the keys for most of the album. He has classical training and has written a bunch of music. Jamie is a long time collaborator with Ted, having been in his band and other bands like White Boy and Red Wire. And then there is the delectable backing vocals by Jenn Colten. Her musical tastes run from 80’s pop to blues & jazz like her rendition of the great Louis Jordan song Is You Or Is You Aint found on her MySpace site.

The title track, Let It Shine, is up first. It is a toe-tapping, hip shaking, smile affecting rock piece.

Killer guitar reminiscent of a time gone by permeates the second song, Pocketful. Ted’s vocals are smooth yet give of a slight aura of angst.

Thinking Out Loud is simply a too cool rocking blues groove.

Twisting In Denial has a light U2 sound to it.

Another song that has a light blues groove is Fly So High. It has a smoky rock guitar sound that might have come out of the ‘70’s.

Until It Fades is an aching love lament with nice acoustic guitar.

Moving back once again to the 70’s rock blues guitar mode, The Place You Called Home is another great song on the album.

Foolish Pride has an intro that reminded me of Deep Purple. Then the song settles down to a moderate pace that makes it sound like something from U2.

The album ends with a subtle ballad called The Well Has Run Dry.

Ted Hovis has had his music compared with Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots. I’ve added my comparison with U2 and some classic ‘70’s & ‘80’s rock. So you might say that Ted’s music spans many decades of rock music. Having done so, this new album, Let It Shine, should have a bit of everything for everybody, from young to old rock fans.

Let It Shine is out now. Online venues like amazon.com and CD Baby are but a few places to get a copy of the album.

To learn more, visit www.tedhovis.com.


© 2011 Bruce E Von Stiers
- BVS Reviews (USA)


"Singer-songwriter or arena rocker, Ted Hovis meets the requirements of both labels and even the most stubborn rocker will fall for his music." (translated) - Keys & Chords (Belgium)


"Highlights? "Pocketful", the title track, "Twisting in Denial", and "Until It Fades". The conclusion must be that Ted Hovis rocks right out of the wood he is cut and I feel comfortable saying that in the near future he may be a household name...3/4 Stars" (translated) - Heaven (Netherlands)


"Right from the bluesy intro, "The Place You Called Home" shouts out quality and the depth of the arrangement absolutely guarantees a certain amount of 'I wonder what comes next?' That's always a good place, I find, to mug the listener into submission and why Ted is going to find a ready enough audience for his work...Highly recommended quality rock." - RebelRiffs (UK)


I do a lot of reviews of metal albums of all genres and a fair bit of hard rock stuff too, which is great fun. But that is only one side of my musical taste and it’s nice to every now and then have something to review that caters to my other musical side. The last few days I have been enjoying the new album from pop-rocker Ted Hovis and it’s been a nice break from the norm.

Ted Hovis is a Washington DC based singer/songwriter who draws influence from many spectrums in the world of popular rock music and writes in a style that is custom made for radio airplay and movie soundtracks. On the album you will hear influences from a range of artists as broad as Matchbox Twenty, Jeff Buckley, Kings Of Leon, U2 and many more. Each song sounds a little different from the one before it which keeps the album interesting, but there is still a distinct style running throughout the album that should help Ted stand out a little from the pack.

Ted’s vocals are very high quality and he must be a dream to work with for a producer as his natural ability shines through, the only slight down side to this is that over the journey of the whole album in can become a little too nice and there isn’t really many distinct vocal moments with the wow factor. But as I said, listening to this album as individual tracks shows at least three or four potential radio hits and in these the vocals are totally perfect. As wide as the influences are on the album, to my ears it was the U2 influence that comes out strongest with the title track LET IT SHINE and also TWISTING IN DENIAL, which coincidentally are my two favorite songs on the disc.

In the times we live in where a lot of popular music is centered more around ego, image and coolness, it’s nice to hear music written and played by a down to earth normal guy that doesn’t have any gimmicks other than his ability to craft catchy, U2 inspired pop-rock tunes and a smooth voice. LET IT SHINE is very recommended for fans of U2, Matchbox Twenty and any catchy pop-rock bands in general.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 8/10 - MyGlobalMind (Australia)


Ted Hovis is a Washington DC based singer-songwriter-guitarist with a style that refers back to grunge bands like Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, but without sacrificing a well defined pop edge. It’s all very accessible. Hovis sings his songs with a strong, pure voice and his words, though hitting on a plethora of emotions, are uplifting and positive. The musicianship is exemplary – Hovis is talented guitarist with a band who are equally adept. The title song is the perfect opening track. A monstrous chorus is embellished by a guitar motif, which would have put a smile on Billy Duffy’s face (circa “Spiritwaker”).

- Leicester Bangs (England)


If you dig straightahead arena rock, give “Let It Shine” a spin. D.C.-based singer/songwriter Ted Hovis has crafted an ideal album to listen to with the windows down on a hot summer day as he puts his impressive voice and solid songwriting on display.

The nine-track effort gets off to a flying start with “Let It Shine” and “Pocketful” and after a brief lull, Hovis brings things home with a flourish on “Fly So High,” “The Place You Called Home,” “Foolish Pride” and “The Well Has Run Dry.” Full of ear-pleasing hooks and clean guitar riffs, “Let It Shine” is a winner. - Daily News (Pittsburgh, PA)


Ted Hovis is living proof that looks can be deceiving. Glancing at a photo of the clean-cut, DC-based musician, I thought he probably made shiny power pop or modern folk music. But 30 seconds into the
title track on “Let it Shine,” Hovis’ strong new CD, I’m conjuring images of long-haired, tattooed 80s rockers.
Bombastic yet melodic, “Let it Shine” is the kind of muscular meat and potatoes rock song that would
sound great out on the open road with the car windows rolled down. Hovis showcases his versatility on
the second track, “Pocketful,” a mid-tempo ballad featuring chiming guitars and a hypnotic groove. In
track three, “Thinking Out Loud,” Hovis shifts gears again, dropping into a funky bassline punctuated by languid vocals. While the ever-shifting styles might give a casual listener a case of musical whiplash, this well-produced disc showcases Hovis’ talents as a songwriter, guitar player and singer. - OnTap Magazine (Washington, DC)


Ted’s voice is a beautiful instrument; an engaging one. And fortunately for him, it also sets him apart. It was difficult for me to place a comparison; he’s that unique without being weird. The focal point for me is often the lyrics on an album, but there were times I had to force myself to pay attention to what he was singing about rather than how he
was singing it.

Also fortunately for him, Ted guitar skills are as good as his vocals; only making my predicament with focusing even more difficult. He alternates so well between soul and blues and rock, there isn’t a genre for him to fit in, and that’s a good thing because talent like this shouldn’t be contained to one space. For him, it just spills over.

So now, the lyrics. Who is this guy and what is he about? There’s a lot of loss here. In “The Well Has Run Dry,” Ted makes my heart hurt as he sings, “Have I lost my place in this world/If I haven’t the strength to try anymore.” He also seems to hold onto something he often feels he’s about to lose. In “Until It Fades,” he sings, “But it all feels
so right/To be here by your side/Until it fades away.” This sentiment seems to be an underlying current to many of the tracks on the album.

But there’s also hope. In “The Place You Called Home,” the chorus declares, “You’ll find me waiting for you/In the place you called home” as a loved one struggles to return to happier times. In “Twisting in Denial,” one of the stand outs on the album, Ted promises that he’d rather feel the pain than living with false hope. In “Thinking Out
Loud,” he realizes that “Time is a healer, time is a means to an end/Time lets me see again.” And even in “Until it Fades,” while the written lyric has such a heaviness to it, Ted delivers it in a way that reveals he’s just appreciating the moment and not focusing on the heartache at the end of the road.

Ultimately, hope floats. Even if it seems lost in the quagmire of heartbreak. And I appreciate the sentiment that Let it Shine gave to me; without the valleys, we can’t appreciate the pinnacles for the beauty that resides there. Ted’s got a beautiful way of taking you on that journey, from one end of the spectrum to the other. - Relate (USA)


The title track of this CD begins with a guitar riff borrowed from U2's The Edge and sung with a voice that resembles that of Robert Plant... The semi-acoustic, melodic ballad "Until It Fades" and the closing rock ballad "The Well Has Run Dry" are sung very beautifully and according to our tastes are our where the very best to work on this album can be found. (translated) - Rootstime (Belgium)


By the end of the 1990s, rock music had taken a nosedive into a pit of the absurd and unthinkable.

With the decades' early hit-making bands having imploded, a repugnant slew of acts, whose names and music sounded like they had gone through the garbage disposal, attempted to fill the massive hole.

During this period, many fans lost any faith they had left in rock music.

Since, few have produced anything that semblances the seminal rock of the early to mid '90s. Ted Hovis is stepping up to enclose the void and defibrillate those with a heart for memorable rock songs.

Hovis' sophomore album, "Let It Shine," released in late 2010, picks up where the final chords of the initial careers of Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains left off. He incorporates the guitar and vocal qualities that were centric to those bands' success, while also bringing in some influence from U2's work of the same period.

Hovis is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter based out of Washington, D.C. In 2009, nearly a decade following the release of his first album, "Change in Progress," Hovis experienced a soccer injury that pushed him back into recording. After recovering from a broken wrist, which kept him from playing the guitar for the longest period since his teenage years, Hovis was overwhelmed with the desire to pursue music on the professional level again.

Hovis dived hard into "Let It Shine," writing all the music and lyrics for the album, while also laying down the vocals, guitar and bass, with producer Kevin Guttierrez providing additional instrumentation. Composer Jamie Kowalski also stepped in on the keyboard, adding a contemporary edge.

There are two things that stand out about "Let It Shine," the first being Hovis' vocals. Hovis has an incredibly wide range. If the album wasn't heard in a whole unit, listeners might think they were hearing two to three different artists. Hovis can easily bend his voice in whatever direction is necessary, even reaching falsetto highs on occasion. His voice is unique, while remaining reminiscent of his influences. Hovis could pass as a Bono doppelganger on "Twisting in Denial."

The second notable quality of "Let it Shine" is Hovis' guitar and bass work. Hovis is accomplished at both instruments and has an excellent sense of rhythm. He knows how to make each instrument complement the other, without his songs sounding muddled. In "The Well Has Run Dry," Hovis single-handedly pulls off a sound that is hard for two, let alone three, people to accomplish.

The richness of "Let It Shine" was no doubt achieved by multi-track recording, but Hovis' ability to bring together the multiple parts so well is admirable. Developing one component of a song is hard enough; Hovis manages several and constructs them into songs several layers deep.

"Let It Shine" is well produced, but it will be over-produced for some. Those looking for an organic product will be turned off by the synthetic noises that make regular appearances on the album. "The Place You Call Home" could use a lot less drum machine, that's for sure.

Ted Hovis' music is more pop-driven than his predecessors, but should satiate the appetites of those who have been waiting far too long for some decent modern rock music. Many of the songs on "Let It Shine," especially "Pocketful," beat most of what receives heavy promotion today, leaving an imprint on the ears that doesn't quickly dissolve.
- Mountain Times (NC)


"The melody both musically and vocally is strong. There is a lot of energy and forward momentum. The guitar solo is very good...There is a lot of talent here."

- TAXI review of track "Let It Shine". Scores of 9/10 given for melody, production, and engineering. - TAXI


Discography

"Let It Shine" (LP) - 2010

"Change In Progress" (EP) - 2000

Photos

Bio

Soaring & unrepentant arena rock, transcendent acoustic ballads, deep and dark bass grooves – all punctuated with a hint of the blues. This is the unique sonic landscape created by "Let It Shine", the internationally acclaimed album from Washington, DC based singer/songwriter/guitarist Ted Hovis.

Upon release, it immediately received rave reviews in countries such as the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, as well as numerous major markets in the US, drawing favorable comparisons to U2, Led Zeppelin, Kings of Leon, and other elite major label acts.

Two songs, "Let It Shine" and "Until It Fades", earned awards in the prestigious SAW Mid-Atlantic Song Contest in the Rock/Alternative and Open categories respectively.

Realizing he had a great thing on his hands, Ted sought out a top tier group of musicians to perform the material live and the Stolen Camaros were born. The group features DC area music scene veterans Mark Beeson (Merchants of Cool, Red Car Driver) on bass & vocals, Dick Busby on keyboards, guitar, & vocals, Ted Dumas on drums.

The band played its first show in 4/2011 and has since performed at numerous DC area events & venues including:

- Hard Rock Cafe - Washington, DC - PinkJams! Artist Showcase

- IOTA - Arlington, VA - "The 9" Songwriter Showcase

- Art On The Avenue Festival - Alexandria, VA

- Del Ray Music Festival - Alexandria, VA

- Relay for Life Event - St. Mary's County MD

- Fireflies - Alexandria, VA

- Fast Eddie's - Centreville, VA

- Fat Tuesday's - Fairfax, VA

Prior to his latest project, Ted contributed four original songs to the soundtrack for the internationally released independent film "Running Deep" from Invision Films. He also fronted the five piece Ted Hovis Band, opening for acts such as Chris Barron (Spin Doctors) and recorded his first solo CD "Change In Progress", which received enthusiastically positive reviews and airplay on DC101 and other radio stations across the country.

Before that, he played bass in the popular DC area modern rock trio fetiSh, earning a WAMA Wammie nomination and appearing in major festivals with national acts such as the Violent Femmes, Our Lady Peace, Goldfinger, Marvelous Three, and Local H as well as regional favorites Emmett Swimming, Everything, and the Pat McGee Band. While still in his teens, he played lead guitar in Shoelace Soup, a funk rock quartet who once played on a bill with the legendary Gap Band.

Ted also performs regularly as a solo acoustic artist and considers it a privilege to pass along the music that influenced him in addition to his original material. His set list includes over 70 tunes by great artists such as Led Zeppelin, U2, Radiohead, Kings of Leon, John Mayer, Jeff Buckley, Stone Temple Pilots, Coldplay, The Killers, Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty, Prince, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Allman Brothers, The Cure, INXS, Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams, Deep Purple, BB King, REM, and many many more...