The Lucky Jukebox Brigade
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The Lucky Jukebox Brigade

Albany, New York, United States | SELF

Albany, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Comedy


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Albany's Lucky Jukebox Brigade Celebrates Debut CD"

Eight young bodies are crammed onto the small downstairs stage at Valentine's, nestled amid a wild variety of musical instruments. Tubas and euphoniums vie for space with violas and ukuleles. All sorts of hand percussion pieces are waiting to be shaken to and fro. There is not a guitar in sight.

Is it rock 'n' roll?

It's Lucky Jukebox Brigade.

The Albany octet will return to Valentine's on Friday, to celebrate the release of its debut full-length album, "Pretty Well Damned."

The above scene occurred 10 days ago, when the Brigade landed on a joyous, squawky bill with like-minded ensembles Blood Roots Barter and Vermont Joy Parade, as part of Dan Johnson's Americana Tuesdays series. Lucky Jukebox played early, but had the room swinging and enchanted.

We pulled founder Deanna DeLuke directly offstage to chat, finding a quiet space to talk in a late model Subaru parked in front of the downtown club.

DeLuke, 24, is the one with the ukulele, an instrument she takes seriously, even if she's smiling as she strums. She began her musical life on the guitar, but she's found her voice with the baritone, whose strings match the top four of its larger cousin while offering a mellower tone.

"The band Beirut is one of my main influences," she says, "and the frontman, Zach Condon, plays ukulele and that sort of popularized it for me."

Beirut, a New Mexico-bred, Brooklyn-based Gypsy-tinged collective, plays heavily into DeLuke's story of creating her own magical ensemble.

Raised in Albany, and schooled at the Albany Academy for Girls and, later, Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., DeLuke desired what many graduates do: a year of travel, of looking at a world only read about or watched on a screen.

She journeyed (joining up at and bouncing around from one city to another). She mingled. And — inspired by Condon — she played her ukulele.

But in each town, she also posted an ad on Craiglist, looking for like-minded band members to fulfill her sprawling vision.

"I was on a cross-country adventure of sorts, and I posted ads in several cities, figuring wherever I get a response, wherever there's a band, that's where I'll live."

Funnily enough, she found the right crew when she got back home in the fall of 2010.

"I'd been trying in Albany for years. I'm from Albany and I love it, but to that point it hadn't worked out. Then our bassist Geppi Iaia, found the ad. He knew a few other potential members, so I came back and I knew it was going to happen right then."

DeLuke had the name for the band long before they formed, which began as free association using words from posters in her teenage bedroom.

"I pieced together the words Jukebox Rebirth and somehow, realizing that I wanted to have a huge band, it evolved into Jukebox Brigade. I'm not sure where lucky came from."

The name fits, especially in its, well, brigade-ness.

Valentine's, as noted, was swimming in brass and strings. But the album — tracked by Carl Blackwood at Warming Room Recording Studio in Albany, and boasting cover art by violist Gina Mauro — is finely crafted, awash in textures rather than waves of blare.

It's certainly post-rock and indie as all get out, but it's not messy except where it intends to be. Pioneering bands like Neutral Milk Hotel have inspired a cadre of rickety, rollicking Salvation Army-style combos that also specialize in gang harmonies and horn charts that sound more like Sunday morning than Saturday night. But DeLuke says Lucky Jukebox Brigade, which is populated by a number of College of Saint Rose music majors, is aiming at something cleaner and tighter.

"We're definitely not Salvation Army, in that we like to have the highest possible quality in both our recordings and our instruments, but we do have a hodgepodge of stuff."

Lead vocals on the album are shared by DeLuke and percussionist Kristoph DiMaria (who actually does strum a little bit of guitar on the disc).

The combination - Michael Eck of The Times Union

"The Lucky Jukebox Brigade Celebrates with CD Release Ball"

Local carnivultures, blue bombers, and shadowy captains—all—will be riding the feathery highway at Valentine’s Music Club and Beer Joint Friday night to celebrate the official release of The Lucky Jukebox Brigade's all-original, expertly-recorded LP Pretty Well Damned.

Without a doubt, Friday night’s wacky and wild postmodern jamboree will inspire your ears, fill your heart, provoke costumery, and draw up a few question marks. Don’t miss. All the folks who have dance in their pants will attend. Be interested. These are the voices of the pastiche generation.

Look, I’ve already talked this band up, and no doubt you’ll hear more from me. So consider this a challenge, a call-to-nonviolent-arms put out to all local and national music journalists:. Review Pretty Well Damned. Write about this band. Check out the show this Friday night. Bring out your inner Brigadier.

Where: Valentine’s, 17 New Scotland Ave, Albany NY

When: Friday, May 18, 2012 — 8pm

Cost: $5

Dress code: Semi-formal attire is encouraged (but not required) at the ball. Other unusual forms of attire are also welcome — costumes, banana suits, fancy pants, or that strange thing in your closet that you never have the chance to wear. - Mishel Filisha of The Albany Examiner

"Throwin' it down indie folk style: The Lucky Jukebox Brigade"

The first time I encountered a posted ad for Albany local band The Lucky Jukebox Brigade it was at Hudson River Coffee House. Stuck to the wall opposite the coffee counter with masking tape was a hand-drawn magic marker poster advertising, A New Band In Town. "Charming," I said to myself, "handmade."

Then these pink and green, gold star, glitter happy signs started popping up not just at the coffee house, but all over town. Every downtown shop was decorated with one of the crafty little advertisements. I noticed. After all, that’s the DIY spirit in full. But the handwritten posters bragged, A New Band in Town. New? Yeah, sure, said this jaded observer. Everyone is doing something new, right? Everyone claims their project is something different. Every band purports to be an original. That’s not nearly often enough the case, say we of an overly critical nature.

But it turns out that this time—and let’s keep it at only this time—I was wrong. What those posters led me to is a performance so eclectic, so organically synthesized, and so skillfully articulated that I had to question my initial skepticism. What those posters led me to is a group of people so in love with music, so purely motivated, and so open-spirited that I had to shake off my clouded presumptions and, you know, Believe.

With a band that includes multiple vocalists, guitar, bass, banjo, accordion, drum kit, percussion, violin, saw and an array of horns, The Lucky Jukebox Brigade’s scene has been described as a troubadour-led folk circus on a pirate ship raided by gypsies. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if a bell-voiced Siren of the Tyrrhenian Sea and her admiring, chipped-tooth ancient sailors could—for one modern evening—suspend expected outcomes and gather round in revelry, this is what it would look like. Was I a skeptic at first? For sure. But now I’m fully convinced. I’ve done it, folks. I’ve joined the Brigade.

The Brigade’s sound merges elements of varying musical traditions. When asked to describe how this eclectic musical vision materializes, the band’s vocalist/percussionist Kristoph DiMaria explains:

"It’s amazing how diverse and robust everyone’s traditions and sounds are. How did it happen? Pure magic, I believe. It’s a folk, rock, gypsy, pop, jazz, Afro, Latin, ‘hop, melting pot with so many flavors to savor your ears won’t want to stop. We all bring our backgrounds to the table when working on these songs, and although the styles vary greatly, I think we have found a happy medium that combines good songwriting with innovative arrangements, an expanse of timbres and musical ideas, and an overall love of music that permeates everything we play."

Can one plan this sort of amalgamation? Is it left up to chance? Lead singer and ukulele mama Deanna DeLuke describes it as a natural process, "Most of the time the songs just come out how they come out. The strange array of instruments and people in the band definitely makes the songs sound the way they do, but we don’t really plan it, it just happens." But this is more than just happenstance, really. She continues by contextualizing that process within her philosophy of music: "I think that when people play music, a little bit of everything they’ve ever done or thought or been seeps into the music, so it all comes out of who we are."

A band’s musical essence emerges especially when playing live. When describing The Lucky Jukebox Brigade’s live performance, super-fun and audience-centered are the operative descriptors. "Our shows have been a blast!," says multi-instrumentalist Brian Elsenback: "It’s a real affirmation of the progress we’ve made to play a set that the crowd really enjoys and can get into." Bassist/vocalist Geppi Iaia furthers that notion: "Our live show is fun! We try to integrate the crowd as much as possible. We’ll hand them instruments, leave the sage and dance with them. We’re tying in some theatrics, too." DiMaria sees live performance as fulfilling the ba - Mishel Filisha of The Albany Examiner

"Lucky Jukebox Brings Back Vaudeville"

The Lucky Jukebox Brigade is bringing vaudeville to Albany.
The eight-piece indie folk group is becoming known for its energetic live shows at places like the Hudson River Coffee House, where the stage allows audience and band members to intermingle and dance with each other. But the band isn’t just content to play music and dance — there are characters and costumes and full-blown theme shows.
“From my standpoint, I’ve always been interested in integrating music and theater, having characters onstage and having costumes to bring the songs to life,” percussionist Kristoph DiMaria said recently by phone, with bandmates Deanna DeLuke (vocals, baritone ukulele) and Geppi Iaia (bass).
“We played a vaudevillian masquerade party at The Lounge at BSP in Kingston last year that was pretty well-attended, and everyone came dressed in Victorian outfits or with a Steampunk motif, with patches and masks and all that beautiful stuff. It brings it back to the vaudevillian tradition of the ’20s and ’30s, where there was music and art in live performance — a little more than just entertainment.”
For their Friday night performance at Hudson River, the band will be combining pirates, cruise ships and a luau.
“It will be as if pirates came out to take you on a cruise on their The Lucky Jukebox Brigade, with Life Among the Trees, Homebody WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday WHERE: Hudson River Coffee House, 227 Quail St., Albany HOW MUCH: Free MORE INFO: 596-0959, ship, and had a luau,” said DeLuke. “But they’re not the bad kind of pirates.” MAKING THE ROUNDS
The Lucky Jukebox Brigade’s shows are all about having fun, and it’s catching on locally. Having only just formed last year, the band has kept busy playing nearly every club in Albany that will have them. On Saturday, the day after the Hudson River show, the band will help inaugurate the first MOVE Music Festival in downtown Albany — they take the stage at Jillian’s at 2 p.m.
Initially, the band formed around DeLuke’s burgeoning songwriting. She fi rst posted on Craigslist in October of 2010, searching for musicians of all stripes to help flesh out the big-band sound she was imagining.
“The band Beirut really inspired me a lot and helped me fi gure out what I wanted in a band,” she said “I wanted a different kind of lineup. I wanted horns and strings because I love those instruments, and I wanted an eclectic percussion player in addition to a full drummer. In the ad I listed all of the instruments I’d be interested in — a lot of them were pretty obscure.”
She got her eclectic percussion player with DiMaria, who was the first to respond. He initially brought Iaia on board, along with the group’s first drummer, trumpeter and an accordion and banjo player. The original six-piece lineup recorded a four-song EP, “By the Way Your Shadow Looks,” in January of 2011.
Today, DeLuke, DiMaria and Iaia are the only original members left in the lineup, which has expanded to include a full horn section with tuba player Andrew Burger, trombonist Emily Trumpfheller and euphonium and melodica player Christopher Weatherly. Violinist and mandolinist Gina Mauro, and drummer Michael Graves complete the current lineup.
“The original plan was that anybody who played anything we liked would be incorporated into the band,” Iaia said. “With the lineup changes we were given different ideas. Once we got the horns together, it really expanded the dimensions of the group and the texture of the songs — now we have a great range of high-frequency and low-frequency instruments.”
As the lineup has grown, the band’s songwriting has also evolved into a more collaborative approach. Burger has used his classical background to write the group’s swelling, symphonic horn arrangements, while the rest of the band has brought their ideas to DeLuke’s original song “skeletons.”
“We’re like composers and arrangers, as opposed to band members jamming out on something with everybod - Brian McElhiney of The Daily Gazette

"Readers Poll: Media & Arts"

Best Local Indie Rock Band

1. The City Never Sleeps

2. (TIE) Skeletons in the Piano, The Lucky Jukebox Brigade

There appears to be a passing of the generational torch with this category, as longtime reader fave Sirsy dropped to fourth below rising whipper-snappers the City Never Sleeps. - Metroland


"By the Way Your Shadow Looks" EP, released in February 2011.

"Pretty Well Damned", debut full length album to be released May 18, 2012.



The Lucky Jukebox Brigade was formed from a hopeful craigslist ad posted by lead singer Deanna DeLuke seeking bandmates. Since the Brigade formed in October 2010, it has grown into a gypsy rock orchestra with horns, strings, and eclectic percussion. It was recently voted one of Albany NY's best bands in the annual Metroland Reader's Poll.

The Lucky Jukebox Brigade's live shows are known for the explosive dancing that breaks out in the crowd. Whether the venue is a traditional rock club, a roller derby arena or a rooftop, there is always dancing. The band has played over 300 shows throughout the Northeast and toured from Albany, NY to Austin, TX and back in the summer to support the release of their debut album, Pretty Well Damned.

In March of 2014, the band announced their upcoming sophomore album, Familiar Fevers, mixed and mastered by Mike Watts (The Dear Hunter, As Tall As Lions) and due out in June. The debut single and music video, "Glamour," is currently available at 

Influences: Beirut, The Dresden Dolls, Gogol Bordello, Rubblebucket, Bella's Bartok

Band Members