The Live Wire

The Live Wire

 Chicago, Illinois, USA

Empire State Express is a Chicago-based rock roll power trio, with a sound reminiscent of The Black Keys, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. ESE combines whipsmart songwriting with high-energy, neo-classic rock in a series of controlled explosions. Think Elvis Presley meets Elvis Costello.


A recovering New Yorker, CHRIS STEELE first cut his teeth on Bleecker Street with the rock/fusion project, The Johnny Tweed Show. After parting ways in 2003 Chris retooled his songs for the local coffeehouses. However as his writing matured and took on alt-country, blues and neo-garage influences, Steele felt increasingly confined by the solo format. Transplanted to Chicago in August '05, he sought out collaborators with the talent and style to match his ambitions as a songwriter.

CURRAN MCHENRY has played in a slew of eclectic Chicago-area bands, including Something Being Broken, Higher 4 Hire, and Wonderland. Previous efforts with SBB have aired on local radio and H4H was a featured act at Hempfest 2003. Curran teamed up with Steele in September 2005. His home studio is The Live Wire's current base of operations.

Growing up in a musical family, JASON DEIBERT started playing bass at age 14. After years of studying under local studio musicians and jazz players he has developed a style that is unique yet versatile and grounded in fundamentals. Previous bands/projects ranged in genre from hip/hop and funk to traditional jazz and rock and roll. Personal influences include but are not limited to: Jaco Pastorious, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, James Jamerson, Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles. Jason joined Live Wire in October 2005.



Written By: Chris Steele

Tuned in to the whale song
of a tin can
as it rattled to your door.
Wished I could punch the gas
change the gear
change the plan
like every time before.

'cause I've come to derail
an engine that repeats
ten thousand beats an hour
It runs on empty hopes.
It's running out of steam
and I've let this run too far.

Left you at the threshold of broken dreams at eleven fifty nine.
Wished I could conceal my thoughts steel my heart
steal a kiss
before this last goodbye

'cause not so long ago
you made me skip beats--
ten thousand leaps an hour
And you've got a heart of gold
but it's dragging me too deep
and I've miles to run by dark.

So tell me it's just as well.
Turn the key, hang up the phone
I'm trying to cut this cord and save you from my hell
but I can't divide myself alone.


Written By: Christopher Steele

One last song / One last melody with my ear to the tracks / Is it so wrong / to love someone so much you must give ‘em back / It aint your voice / though it’s been years since I’ve had you on the line / and it aint your mind / that’s been haunting my memory, and set my songs in a minor key

So may your trace this trail of half lies back to me and be my sunrise, Emily

One last call / One last lonely night with my nose in the glass / Is it my fault / That I’ve scuttled each half love and balked at every pass / It aint your kiss / ‘cause I don’t recall your lips against mine / and no, it aint your smile that I find winking back at me from the well of every pint or three

So may we just embrace the dusk and let it signify

That I’ll see you where the sun rises / Never was my intention to let your fall far away / And I pray that behind the horizon / my words might find you with welcoming ears

So one last verse / One last torch song before we fade to black / Could’ve been worse / Could’ve used you and left you and never looked back/ But if your course should never more ravel with mine / Oh pay no mind / ‘cause I’ve coughed up my last crumb I search of lost time

And if we can’t prolong our swan song, call it a lullabye

And I’ll see you where the sun rises / and all apprehensions’ melted far far away / We were doomed the moment our eyes met / but if you’ll look no further I’ll look the other way

And I’ll see you where the sun rises / Never was my intention to let your fall far away / And I pray that behind the horizon / my words might find you and we might find a way


Written By: Christopher Steele

Some’d like to think the least of you my dear / It aint all in their heads / but the worst of if they tell themselves / to rest a little easier every night / and your pain they’ll justify / with the bitterest of lies

It aint fair is it?

You’ve dug your hole / and I sympathize but this aint something I can solve / Right now I’d hate to be in the line of fire of this revolver

You bounce back a little too fast / but when you make lovers of your friends / don’t expect their wounds to mend so soon / I guess you thought it might be different this time / but when it’s the leash or the noose / which one will you choose

It don’t seem right, do it?

Maybe it aint your fault / Well I won’t criticize something I can’t resolve / No I won’t put myself in the line of fire of this revolver

It aint a fair fight is it?

Maybe it aint your fault / Well I won’t criticize something I can’t resolve / And if love’s free then why does parting lips feel so much more like pulling teeth / You’ve dug your hole / and I can’t bring myself to watch as you snap before us all / I won’t put myself in the line of fire of this revolver


Sunrise (single)

Set List

TYPICAL SET LENGTH: 30 - 45 mins.


Chain Reaction
Old Soul


A Lack of Color (Death Cab for Cutie)
What a Little Moonlight Can Do (Billie Holiday)
Come On (The Verve)