The Few
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The Few

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
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I was really blown away when I heard this track from Massachusetts band The Few so I just had to share it. The track, "Start A Revolution" is a peppy track from their forthcoming third album Headstock, but it could easily fit in The Blues Brothers.

Take a listen. Hopefully you love it as much as I do: - T.O. Snobs Music


I was really blown away when I heard this track from Massachusetts band The Few so I just had to share it. The track, "Start A Revolution" is a peppy track from their forthcoming third album Headstock, but it could easily fit in The Blues Brothers.

Take a listen. Hopefully you love it as much as I do: - T.O. Snobs Music


Can you feel that? Can you feel that bluesy groove? I doubt it unless you’re listening to this CD right now. After listening to The Few’s newest release, South Side of Somewhere, I must say this CD has a way to get you moving.

I just let the music set in, and almost instantly I found my foot tapping along with the music. Soon my head was bobbin and my shoulders swaying.
This CD is a hit and miss situation. These guys have a great blues sound that resonates throughout the entire CD.

I really like the fact that they have both male and female vocals in all of the songs, it gives a very nice texture, big ups for that.

Overall, with the dynamic lyrics, great guitar work and just great bluesy groove feeling you get when listening to it makes it hard to put this CD away. Never the less, if you can find it and you could really dig some blues rock right about now, I would give you the go ahead and pick it up. - LocalBandsRI


Taken from the Summer 2008 issue of Limelight Magazine.

A band that is hard to define

By Jessica A. Botelho

Originally starting out as a two-piece band about three years ago, The Few is now a solid quartet who says they are a band that is hard to define. They resist being pigeonholed into any genre of music and call themselves "a band that loves to keep it real," and plays music that is "honest, sincere, and to the point, but also fun and catchy." With their positive vibe and funky groove, their innovative sound comes from an eclectic mix of classic rock, reggae, and Motown, infused with small bursts of blues, folk, and country.

Guitarist and singer Kevin MacKenzie, who often plays on a Fender Jazzmaster his father made for him, first formed the band in college with keyboardist and singer, Zeke Panitz. However, for the last two-and-a-half years, female singer, Jaime Rioux, has been the front person for The Few.

"I was classically trained in opera from the time I was 12 until age 18," said Rioux. "I studied music theatre at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut for a couple years, but decided that wasn't the route I wanted to go. I actually ended up at Berklee with Kevin and that's how I meet Zeke."

As a threesome, they played their first show in March 2006, before adding a drummer, Sheamus Shepard, to the group. Panitz and Shepard create a strong rhythm section, almost making it easy to miss the fact that they do not have a bass player.

"A lot of people don't even notice we don't have one and we don't think it takes away from us at all," said MacKenzie. "I think it makes us unique. Most bands have a bass player and we don't. It gives us a different sound."

"It creates space so we can all play around a little more when we want to," agreed Shepard.



Playing around with music is actually one way they write their original music. They influence one another while practicing.

"We always start out with a jam," said MacKenzie. "It may be Sheamus just messing around with something on the drums and then Zeke starts playing something and I jump in or vice-versa."

MacKenzie and Panitz are The Few's songwriters and they have been writing all the material together since they first started the group.

"Most bands are fortunate to have one good songwriter," said Panitz. "We have two."



Along with having more than one writer, they also have multiple singers.

"I think it's great because we can do a lot of different types of songs," said MacKenzie. "Jaime can kill the Janis and Aretha and other stuff we wouldn't be able to do without her. Then, me and Zeke can do the rock, bluesy-type songs."

MacKenzie also feels having several singers is a bonus because it adds a different dimension to their songwriting. They can often write music and vocals around a specific singer. Panitz thinks it gives their fans a wider range of entertainment and bigger variety of musical styles.

"When we're playing live, it's really good because we can switch off vocals," said Panitz. "So, if we're playing a longer show that's three or four hours it means the people in the audience aren't hearing the same vocal. They are getting three different ones."

During those longer shows, they perform many originals as well as a good amount of cover songs.

"But, if we're playing for 45 minutes or an hour we do 95 percent originals," said Panitz. "We'll only do one or two covers."

When performing their own material, they frequently play songs from their debut album, "South Side of Somewhere," as well as songs from their recent release, "Morning Static." They also rip through covers like Otis Redding's, "Hard To Handle," Creedence Clearwater Revival's, "Bad Moon," Bonnie Raitt's "Something To Talk About," as well as impressive versions of Janis Joplin's, "Piece of My Heart," Aretha Franklin's, "Respect," and an old blues tune called, "Parchment Farms," which MacKenzie starts off on a harmonica. Rioux shakes a tambourine on some songs and rattles a maraca on others while singing and dancing on stage. When playing venues with dance floors, Rioux even gets off the stage and dances with the audience.

"If definitely helps to engage a crowd," said Shepard.

"Plus, she looks way better dancing up there than we do," added McKenzie. "She definitely can engage the crowd well."

When the audience sees Rioux and the rest of the group having a good time, it only makes them want to get up and dance along with the band. Panitz thinks without Rioux, they would be completely different.

"It's not because Jaime's a girl, it's what she brings as a musician," he said.

Rioux believes she brings her organizational skills to the band and feels her band mates have taught her a great deal about music.

- Limelight Magazine


Full Review & Photo Gallery - http://playgroundboston.com/2009/07/02/show-review-and-photos-the-few-harpers-ferry/


The Few were busy last weekend, pulling back-to-back duty with a Friday night show at the Beachcomber and a Saturday night set at Harpers Ferry. Never one to miss out when they’re in town, I opted to catch the Allston show, where they filled in the opening slot for Aussie indie/punk outfit Children Collide. Saturday’s performance also marked the end of an era for the band, as this was founding member/vocalist/keyboardist extraordinaire Zeke Panitz’s final show before he relocates to Ireland.

Until recently, The Few gigged for years without a bass player, relying on the duo of Kevin McKenzie (guitar) and Panitz (keyboard) to flesh out the sound. The news of the latter’s impending departure however impelled the group to opt for a more traditional lineup, thus adding bassist Ryan Martin to their ranks. Now, as Martin’s upbeat rhythms rumble in behind Mckenzie’s dirty, bluesy riffing, it’s hard to believe that this low-end was ever missing from the band’s output. While Panitz’s skill as a songwriter and nimble-fingered pianist is no doubt irreplaceable, hearing The Few’s songs underscored by Martin’s bass only confirms that when it comes to rock, a solid bass line simply cannot be matched on the synth.
Joining the many paying tribute to Michael Jackson last weekend, The Few opened their set with a tongue-in-cheek rendition of “Beat It” before gliding into their familiar eclectic rock groove.

Saturday night’s performance was divided into two halves, opening the show sans keyboard, before Panitz joined in to close out their set. Over the first half, the band churned out a dirty guitar-driven, blues-inspired sound. During highlights “Wanna Get Down” and “Burnin’ Up,” drummer Shaemus Shepard banged out springy up-tempo rhythms, while McKenzie channeled his inner Hendrix, wailing filthy wah-heavy solos (those who have followed the band have gotten to witness the growth of McKenzie from a solid axeman into a guitar behemoth).

Throughout the night, couple Kevin McKenzie and Jaime Rioux (soon-to-be Jaime McKenzie) traded lead vocal duty, Mckenzie’s gritty bluesman baritone uplifted by his classically trained fiancé’s powerful and seductive voice. Rioux hit her stride with a crowd-pleasing cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of my Heart”; she is without a doubt the only performer I’ve seen pull off a worthy take on Joplin’s classic.
Closing the night with Panitz in a familiar place behind his shag-covered keyboard, The Few were opened up stylistically, his piano lines drawing their songs into jammier, poppier territory (yes, those are real words). Their first song together “Never Gonna Be the Same” seemed a fitting number for a band in transition.

Finally, bringing the set to its end, the band launched into their staple sing-along “Smokescreen.” Banging out piano and guitar chords in unison, before transitioning from the verse into the pleasingly infectious hook, The Few’s instrumentation coalesced into a warm blanket of sound, creating a feel-good buzz that would be the musical equivalent to topping off a good meal with a better stout. A satiating experience provided by a group quickly distinguishing itself as a premier act in a sea of bands. - Playgroundboston.com


Taken from the Summer 2008 issue of Limelight Magazine.

A band that is hard to define

By Jessica A. Botelho

Originally starting out as a two-piece band about three years ago, The Few is now a solid quartet who says they are a band that is hard to define. They resist being pigeonholed into any genre of music and call themselves "a band that loves to keep it real," and plays music that is "honest, sincere, and to the point, but also fun and catchy." With their positive vibe and funky groove, their innovative sound comes from an eclectic mix of classic rock, reggae, and Motown, infused with small bursts of blues, folk, and country.

Guitarist and singer Kevin MacKenzie, who often plays on a Fender Jazzmaster his father made for him, first formed the band in college with keyboardist and singer, Zeke Panitz. However, for the last two-and-a-half years, female singer, Jaime Rioux, has been the front person for The Few.

"I was classically trained in opera from the time I was 12 until age 18," said Rioux. "I studied music theatre at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut for a couple years, but decided that wasn't the route I wanted to go. I actually ended up at Berklee with Kevin and that's how I meet Zeke."

As a threesome, they played their first show in March 2006, before adding a drummer, Sheamus Shepard, to the group. Panitz and Shepard create a strong rhythm section, almost making it easy to miss the fact that they do not have a bass player.

"A lot of people don't even notice we don't have one and we don't think it takes away from us at all," said MacKenzie. "I think it makes us unique. Most bands have a bass player and we don't. It gives us a different sound."

"It creates space so we can all play around a little more when we want to," agreed Shepard.



Playing around with music is actually one way they write their original music. They influence one another while practicing.

"We always start out with a jam," said MacKenzie. "It may be Sheamus just messing around with something on the drums and then Zeke starts playing something and I jump in or vice-versa."

MacKenzie and Panitz are The Few's songwriters and they have been writing all the material together since they first started the group.

"Most bands are fortunate to have one good songwriter," said Panitz. "We have two."



Along with having more than one writer, they also have multiple singers.

"I think it's great because we can do a lot of different types of songs," said MacKenzie. "Jaime can kill the Janis and Aretha and other stuff we wouldn't be able to do without her. Then, me and Zeke can do the rock, bluesy-type songs."

MacKenzie also feels having several singers is a bonus because it adds a different dimension to their songwriting. They can often write music and vocals around a specific singer. Panitz thinks it gives their fans a wider range of entertainment and bigger variety of musical styles.

"When we're playing live, it's really good because we can switch off vocals," said Panitz. "So, if we're playing a longer show that's three or four hours it means the people in the audience aren't hearing the same vocal. They are getting three different ones."

During those longer shows, they perform many originals as well as a good amount of cover songs.

"But, if we're playing for 45 minutes or an hour we do 95 percent originals," said Panitz. "We'll only do one or two covers."

When performing their own material, they frequently play songs from their debut album, "South Side of Somewhere," as well as songs from their recent release, "Morning Static." They also rip through covers like Otis Redding's, "Hard To Handle," Creedence Clearwater Revival's, "Bad Moon," Bonnie Raitt's "Something To Talk About," as well as impressive versions of Janis Joplin's, "Piece of My Heart," Aretha Franklin's, "Respect," and an old blues tune called, "Parchment Farms," which MacKenzie starts off on a harmonica. Rioux shakes a tambourine on some songs and rattles a maraca on others while singing and dancing on stage. When playing venues with dance floors, Rioux even gets off the stage and dances with the audience.

"If definitely helps to engage a crowd," said Shepard.

"Plus, she looks way better dancing up there than we do," added McKenzie. "She definitely can engage the crowd well."

When the audience sees Rioux and the rest of the group having a good time, it only makes them want to get up and dance along with the band. Panitz thinks without Rioux, they would be completely different.

"It's not because Jaime's a girl, it's what she brings as a musician," he said.

Rioux believes she brings her organizational skills to the band and feels her band mates have taught her a great deal about music.

- Limelight Magazine


The Few got it's start at Berklee...guitarist Kevin MacKenzie, originally from Norton, MA and keyboardist Zeke Panitz, who hails from Virginia met while attending Berklee College of Music in 2003 and began writing songs for a class they had together. It didn't take long before they discovered that they complimented one another, and the seeds were planted for the Groove Rock band "The Few."

Jaime Rioux (vocals, percussion) also a Berklee Alum, joined the band in 2005 and the three performed briefly as a trio. After many auditions, Sheamus Sheppard, a native of North Adams, MA became the obvious choice as drummer.

The present band has been in place for about a year, playing in local venues like Bruburgers in Framingham, MA and Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI, where they [serve] as the house band.

They recently advanced to the [3rd] round of the Emergenza Music Festival in Providence, RI, and in October of 2006 the band flew to Brazil to play in the capital, Brasilia.

- The Sun Chronicle


Discography

Unreleased Full-Length (currently in studio) - early 2010 estimated release
"Morning Static" - EP, 2008
"South Side of Somewhere" - LP, 2006

Photos

Bio

PRESS:

"A group quickly distinguishing itself as a premier act in a sea of bands." "...Mckenzie’s gritty bluesman baritone uplifted by his classically trained fiancé’s powerful and seductive voice. Rioux hit her stride with a crowd-pleasing cover of Janis Joplin’s 'Piece of my Heart'; she is without a doubt the only performer I’ve seen pull off a worthy take on Joplin’s classic. "
- Playgroundboston.com

"The Few is taking the local music scene by storm behind the bluesy, powerful vocals of lead singer Jaime Rioux."
-The Herald News

"...The dual female/male lead vocal is like having vanilla and chocolate soft serve in the same funky cone."
-The Noise

"With their positive vibe and funky groove, their innovative sound comes from an eclectic mix of classic rock, reggae and motown, infused with small bursts of blues folk and country"
- Limelight Magazine

"I must say this CD has a way to get you moving. Overall, with the dynamic lyrics, great guitar work and just great groove feeling you get when listening to it makes it hard to put this CD away."
-Local Bands of RI

ACCOLADES

Nominated for "Band of the Year" and "Female Vocalist of the Year" (Jaime MacKenzie) for 2008 Limelight Magazine Reader's Poll Awards

Headlined for Justafest 2007 and Kendra Mountain BikeFest 2008

"Heartblind" selected for White Noise Records Compilation CD "The Scene," sponsored in part by FYE

"Only My Love" and "Don't it Feel Good" selected as Track of the Day on Garageband.com

Heavy Airplay Rotation - WBRU, iChannel.fm, Cabo Wabo Radio. Regular airplay on several other stations (internet and traditional)


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PAST SHOWS

Boston Area:
Middle East
Harper's Ferry
Bill's Bar
Baseball Tavern
Beachcomber
Bulfinch Yacht Club
Abbey Lounge
Milky Way
The Midway
Kirkland Cafe
Precinct
Copperfield's
Club Bohemia @ Cantab Lounge
All Asia
Church
TT The Bears

RI:
The Blackstone
The Wheel House
The Shore break
Pitcher's Pub
Century Lounge
Club Hell
Living Room
Tazza

VT:
JustaFest (Night #1 Headliner)
Okemo Mt.

NH:
Keene Music Festival

Western/Central MA:
The Elevens
Lucky Dog Music Hall
Tammany Hall
The Acre
Headlined Kendra Mountain Biking Festival (formerly Pedro Fest)

Southeastern MA:
MacFest
Wheaton College

Internationally, The Few has performed in Brasilia, Brazil and Galway, Ireland.