The Crashers
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The Crashers

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The best kept secret in music


"A review of the Love School CD"

A review of the Love School CD

Fans of straight-ahead traditional rock ‘n’ roll rejoice! The Crashers have emerged from the Green County/Monroe area with an ass-kicking blend of blues, boogie, and rock and a sensational new album Love School.

Recorded by Mark Haines at Smart Studios, this disc single-handedly resurrects the concept of the good ol’ Midwestern bands of yore but also benefits from modern production values. Love School is all analog and was recorded almost completely live in the studio in only five days. The vocals were also nearly all done on the first take. With that in mind, this album is even more remarkable given the exquisite tightness and groove of the rhythm elements. Such an undertaking becomes more realistic when you have Georgia Satellites drummer Mauro Magellan in the driver’s seat along with bassist John Wartenweiler. Magellan plays with such authority you can’t help but sit up and take notice.

From the drum intro of the opening title track, The Crashers come out swinging like, well...the Georgia Satellites with Susan Tedeschi-style vocals by Jennifer Deprez. Although small in stature, Deprez sings with enough power and sass to make a poor boy snarl.

The next track, ‘Love Live,’ comes on like a short and sweet Foghat tune; old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll at it’s finest. This stuff is custom made for radio play without being formulaic or contrived.

All you guitarists out there who appreciate great, unfettered tone will enjoy these performances by Gary Hendrickson, who’s been gigging in southern Wisconsin for twenty-odd years. His blues-inspired soloing comes to the fore on ‘Let’s Say’ and ‘My Lovin’ Baby’ and his rhythm riffing throughout is terrific.

And if that’s not enough, The Crashers add Madison veteran Jimmy Voegeli on keys to provide the perfect topping to an already tasty treat. Check out the guitar/keyboard duel on ‘Make Him Mine,’ the sweet Hammond sounds on ‘What Do I See,’ and the rockin’ accordion on ‘Too little Too Late.’ Voegeli also tinkles the ivories very effectively throughout.

Love School is being pressed and distributed by the British label Jerkin’ Crocus and should be available at online locations and in local music stores as you read this. The Crashers should finally become a staple in local clubs as well, especially in Madison, where their intense brand of rock and boogie should bring down a few walls. Love School will go a long way in giving these seasoned veterans the recognition they rightly deserve.

Rick Tvedt - Rick's Cafe

"Review of Love School CD-Translated from German magazine"

Home of Rock

What to the vulture walk there in such a way? A woman! A siren! Sirens: In the Greek mythology sea virgins with beautiful voices , who attracted and killed the sailors by singing. Another definition speaks of sea-cows, but now no role plays. "Trust me... ". Oh so, that is Kaa, the snake from the jungle book. No matter, I trust you, Kaa siren. Jennifer Deprez is called now it and she might be the hottest vocal cord since Maggie Bell in the neck have. Remember still who Maggie Bell? STONE THE CROWS. MIDNIGHT FLYER 1981. The woman Janis at the nearest came without a plagiarism to be. And now Jennifer. To sound the woman, who comes my conception of a perfect singer next, without after nebula crow, Elfe or sea-cow. In these volumes THE CRASHERS is a certain Mauro Magellan drummer. You know him from The GEORGIA SATELLITES in former times and since years the back beat punch of Dan Baird lives on with his power. For 13 years he drums with him. Completely besides with the CRASHERS (and in a whole row further volume, where does the man takes the condition ago?). None the sort "I bang now times a little on my bass & drums " if the Incarnation of a full throttle drummer separates rock & roll, as it my friend Bobby Nesbitt of REBEL STORM is. Or like John Bonham was. Or Keith Moon. Thus the driving volume, not just a simple time keeper. Young of this era does not know the others in such a way in Europe, but I can say to you... Where already the speech of Dan Baird is, my favorite-Rock'n'Roller also produced this CD. he does that for years gladly and if it makes it, then thereby never possibly a bubblegum comes out. Because he does not produce Popbands. And it does not have much time also at all, therefore the CRASHERS brought its plate in in only 5 days. Mauro - which a liitle Traditionalist - he says that no ProTools was used. And no Samples. And Overdubs were used also only for a few guitars. Yes, and? Young, you need this let us shit also not at all, it are Rocker, it are scooter, it are Boogie men with a woman. And you have with "Love School" the ultimative party record with Swing and so much Groove that ProTools and safety devices would have not been needed. The reviewer schubbert jerkily on the chair around, fumbles nervously at the beer glass and shakes and rocks precariously with the head. No, those are not age conditioned symptons of deficiency, it's only time ton boogie: Love School, Love Life, Make Him mine, three killers - fortunately Jennifer works afterwards (Let's Say) as Blues singer, but the chemical compound of the razor-sharp guitar with this voice is deadly. Association here and with My Lovin' Baby: Bessie Smith, Etta James or Aretha Franklin in modern. World-wide at the most a half dozen guitarists play so impudent Schrabbel-Rock'n'Roll as in Say It With Your Knees. From it apart it sounds simple sexy, if a guitar gives this dirty sound of itself. In addition still such a text, finished is the Sex party?. (? by THE QUIREBOYS) Far one in the Reigen of the marvelous sounds. Too Little Too Late is the Song, which one wishes oneself for years of LITTLE FEAT. Accordion, piano, gesegneter singing, it is really long no longer only a little too late, it is much too late over out these unbelievable CD still halfway without prejudice to come out Replay, replay, replay, and then finally the first Ballade. There you howl then, directly just emotion my lovin' baby. Some other volume became now a Highspeed Song after-pushes. The CRASHERS, bring a Midtempo Groover, which is so intensive however to Could DO Better with I that it sounds in the comparison to the preceding What DO I See such as hard skirt. Tonight procures the worthy Rock'n'Roll-Ending. Which for a celebration. Bravo, bravo, bravo! There is only 36 minutes, however adds up with well 10 runs at the piece also. More honest, more solid, more luxuriant, more kick-Ass this music could not be. - Home of Rock

"Read about The Crashers"

Read what the Janesville Gazette said about The Crashers:

The old adage that you can’t hurry success is proving true for a group of veteran musicians from Monroe.

The Crashers, a rock and rhythm band that first played together some 20 years ago, decided to kick it’s semi-dormant act into high gear about a year ago. The result is a record deal, a new CD, “Love School,” and an impending European tour.

“The band has really always been together, but we’ve really gotten down to doing like four jobs a year,” says guitarist and song writer Gary Hendrickson. “We managed to keep in touch, and things would come along; we’d get request to play.”

The band took a “partial 10 year hiatus,” Hendrickson said, and then last year drummer Mauro Magellan went to work “at getting this thing off the ground.”

“Mauro really was the pulse behind getting it going. A year ago, almost to the day, he said, ‘Let’s do a CD and let’s go to Europe,’”Hendrickson recalled. “ I’ve never really considered doing anything beyond just playing in the area and doing cover stuff. I’ve written music before but never really thought it would have a chance.

“Anyway, last October I decided I would quit taking all my jobs-and I play quite a bit-and just write music. So I just focused on that.”

Hendrickson, with some help from Magellan, wrote 10 songs in just a few months. The band hired Nashville producer Dan Baird to coordinate a recording session, and booked time at the highly regarded Smart Studios in Madison to cut a CD.

“We did the record in five days,” Magellan said. “It’s an expensive studio, so we opted for fewer days but in a really cool studio. It had a vibe. The tracks were chosen according to which ones (vocalist) Jennifer (Deprez) sand best. It was all live, and it’s just raw music.”

The Crasher’s bass player, John Wartenweiler, completes the four piece band. They invited a former band member, keyboard player Jimmy Voegeli (a regular with Madison’s Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band), to join the recording effort.

Magellan, who formerly played in the Georgia Satellites, has toured extensively in the United States and Europe. His experience, not to mention his confidence, was key to the group’s decision to look beyond the confines of the American musical landscape.

“The idea of going to Europe really inspired The Crashers,“ Magellan said. “When we (Americans) play Europe, it’s a little different to them: Americans playing blues-based rock ‘n’ roll is the real thing. It’s not some German band trying to sound American.”

Magellan said Hendrickson’s guitar playing, combined with Deprez’s vocals fuels the band’s sound. He said the fact that Hendrickson was able to write such solid songs for the CD was a bonus. “He’s a great guitarist, but not all guitarists can write songs. He turned out to be a really good writer.”

Hendrickson was raised in Monroe and picked up the guitar at age 18. He said the 1960s and ‘70s were rich years for music in the small Green County city. “There were dances going on all the time, sometimes two or three on the same night, and there was some first rate talent coming in from out of town,” Hendrickson said. “There were a lot of (guitar) players from Madison who influenced me.”

He recalled working double shifts at a gas station for half a year, which gave him time to learn his instruments.

“I was in there with a guitar, and I didn’t even really plan on it.” Hendrickson said. “It was just that I learned some blues scales and some progressions, and that’s all I did for hours on end. I just got stronger, and the next thing I knew, I was playing with all these guys who had been playing for years. Turns out I was a talented bum.”

He and Wartenweiler first jammed together 24 years ago and formed a band while they were still in their 20s. But Hendrickson discovered that playing in a polka band could be more lucrative than performing rock ‘n’ roll, and he spent much of the last 20 years playing polka music.

“It was a supplemental thing and turned into a serious thing,” he said. “I’ve been on like 13 or 14 CDs-one Grammy nominated one. And we were in a movie, ‘Chump Change’, which was out not too long ago. It was just a brief spot with a polka band.”

Hendrickson says while he’s not wildly optimistic about what will happen with The Crashers newfound ambition, he’s “pretty positive we’ll be able to get some good return on our investment.” He’s started to work on songs for another CD, and writing for his lead singing wife, Deprez, has become easier.

“My wife is a wonderful vocalist,” he said. “She’s not really a true blues singer, but she has inflections in that direction. So I thought, I’ll just write things that are in a blues context, in terms of the melodic context of the vocal. The lyrical lines are structured more in a pop-rock sense.”

In a live performance, The Crashers play a wide range of cover songs from blues, rock and R&B artists.

But, as their original songs grow in number and popularity, the covers might become obsolete.

“The song writing and the new recording is a stab in the dark,” Hendrickson said, “but so far it seems to have paid off, and it’s becoming more of a distinct thing.”

back - Janesville Gazette

"Across the Pond, Local band looks to make good in Europe"

Here's what The Monroe Times said about the Crashers

A Monroe band is hoping to step out of the small stage and into worldly limelight by releasing its first CD in Europe.

The Crashers, formerly known as The Gate Crashers, comprised of Mauro Magellan on drums, guitarist Gary Hendrickson, bassist John Wartenweiler and lead singer jennifer Deprez, have just released its first studio album, “Love School,” in Europe. The CD release will be followed by a European tour, possible later this year, of small cafes and festivals all across Europe, according to Magellan.

Magellan, former drummer for the Georgia Satellites, has toured extensively in Europe with one-time Satellites lead singer Dan Baird. Based on this experience, he and the other members of The Crashers decided to hit the European scene, a scene Magellan describes as rock ‘n’ roll heaven.

“They’re the best,” Magellan said of Europe’s music fans. “The beauty of it is those people are there to see you. They have a smashing good time. They rock.”

Magellan said there really is no comparison between the European and American music scene. “In Europe, they’re something special,” he said, adding European music fans are picky about their music and its ingredients and they appreciate where the music originates. “We fill the bill as authentic, the genuine article and they appreciate it. They treat you like an artist. That’s why a lot of people go there. You’re highly respected,” he said.

The Crashers have been together for the better part of two decades, having played mainly cover tunes until recording the new CD, which features their own songs.

“It’s an attempt to be a real band, a serious band. Not a fun-time party band hired to play occasionally.”

So far, this approach has been well-received by those who have reviewed “Love School.” One German review gave the album 97 points out of 100, according to Magellan. Rick’s Cafe, a Madison based paper, gave it 9.5 out of 10 stars. Rick Tvedt, who reviewed the CD for Rick’s Cafe, said, “The Crashers should finally become a staple in local clubs, especially in Madison, where their intense brand of rock and boogie should bring down a few walls. “Love School” will go a long way in giving these seasoned veterans the recognition they rightly deserve.”

Magellan said he hopes a little recognition overseas will be a springboard to success in the States.

“I don’t foresee us having a No. 1 smash hit. But I am seeing us touring and playing lots of important dates around the US and Europe.” he said.

If successful in Europe, it would be a unique phenomenon for a band because of the fact The Crashers are based in such a small city.

“Obviously based out of Monroe is unusual. Usually bigger cities come up with these bands. It would’ve been easier if we were the Chicago Crashers. Just that name alone would catapult our band in credibility. We’ll actually have to back up what we do. We’re going to have to prove ourselves, “Magellan said.

Ideally, Magellan said the band would like to find enough success in Europe an gain a level of credibility that would attract an American label to produce its second album in which five songs are already in the works. He said credibility is the key to this happening because “otherwise it’s throwing out your hook with no bait.”

No matter the level of success The Crashers receive, they will not forget their roots in Monroe. The band has upcoming dates at Ludlow Bar Oct. 24th, Old Smokey’s likely in December, and of course the Berghoff and Blues Festival, which is held in conjunction with Cheese Days. Magellan said he expects The Crashers to continually play in Monroe because “the appreciation of the crowd is great.”

back - The Monroe Times


LOVE SCHOOL Jerkin' Crocus Records, UK
There has been air play for What do I see and the title track Love School on WEKZ and also on indie stations through the U.S. Also Switerland, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and the UK have played and done specials on the CD.


Feeling a bit camera shy


The captivating energy and soul of Rock n Roll and the Blues empowers the stages of today's music world. With the audiences' undying passion for both musical styles, The Crashers uniquely juxtapose the commercial appeal of Rock-N-Roll with the embracing seduction of the Blues.
The Crashers feature veteran blues/Rock guitarist Gary Hendrickson, who has dazzled the regional scene with his tone and natural delivery for over two decades.
Jennifer Deprez, is the singer and charmer of the combo. Her voice is heard all over the country in various ads for radio and television. Unlike her petite frame she sings with power, clarity, and heart.
Bassist John Wartenweiler, one of the founding members, is steady and in the groove. When he plays the up right bass the entire mood and feel changes with him.
Mauro Magellan, is the drummer. He provides the fatback, (powerful rythmic drive) a distinct feel and a bombastic groove that sets him apart from other blues type bands. This Ex-Georgia Statellte still travels the world pounding out his dance worthy grooves.
The Crashers are frequently are backed by the talents of many outstanding musicians, giving then a fresh sound everytime they play their unique brand of Blues!