The Newbees
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The Newbees

Newport, Kentucky, United States | SELF

Newport, Kentucky, United States | SELF
Band Pop Americana

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"Review: The Newbees' 'Modern Vintage'"

Early last month, local Pop/Rock masters The Newbees were scheduled to present a release party for their fourth long-player, Modern Vintage. The show was to be the second ever at the eagerly-anticipated Southgate House Revival, but the Newport club had some safety code issues and had to delay its opening at the last minute.

Better late than never, The Newbees return to the Southgate House Revival (the club opening the following weekend) for a Wednesday/Thanksgiving Eve celebration of their latest effort. The show will feature music on all three stages; special guests are Sundae Drives, Les Whorenettes, Shiny Old Soul, Dave Hawkins, See You in the Funnies, Honey & Houston, Chaselounge and The Turkeys. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance through ticketfly.com or $12 at the door.

Modern Vintage would be a great title for any album by The Newbees. On the new LP, the skills and songwriting exhibited by the group members, including multiple vocalists and songwriters, combine for a collection of rich, dynamic songs that seem informed by the entirety of contemporary music history (at least the melodic stuff). The songcraft of The Newbees is impeccable and Modern Vintage contains several of the band’s best tunes to date.

Good songwriting can stand alone, sung a capella or with just a piano or guitar, but another of The Newbees’ greatest assets is their arrangement talents.

On Modern Vintage, the members — all studio-musician-worth instrumentalists — augment the tracks with perfectly placed strings and horns, prominent keys, flawless vocals harmonies and other auxiliary instrumentation and noises. The Newbees also apparently know their way around a studio; the great production gives Modern Vintage a warm, analog feel.

It’s hard to not think of the kings of melodic Rock and Pop, The Beatles, when listening to The Newbees, and not just because the members are also in one of the best Beatles tribute groups you’ll ever hear. Like the Fab Four, The Newbies have an innate knack for memorable melody, are supernaturally effective songwriters and are unafraid to use whatever tools necessary to serve the song best, regardless of the genre.

Husband/wife Newbees founders Jeff (a wildly impressive guitarist as well as songwriter) and Misty Perholtz switch off on lead vocals, adding even more alluring variety to Modern Vintage (and all Newbees’ albums so far, for that matter). And it’s to the group’s credit that the eclecticism is never jarring, as the album rolls fluidly from a standout track like “Nevermore,” a swaying Soul ballad that you might mistake for a lost Aretha Franklin cut, to “Don’t Knock It (’Til You Try It),” which sounds like a mix of Lyle Lovett and The Band, to the Soft Rock sunset-fade of “Goodbye Sun.”

Meanwhile, opener “Medicine Show” is a simpler, uncluttered Indie Pop nugget that Imperial Teen would have loved to have written and buoyant rocker “Up All Night” has the Power Pop pep of an early Elvis Costello track. Elsewhere, the acoustic “Hallowed” has a campfire Gospel sing-a-long lilt and hopeful closer “Find” ends the album on a note of sublime acoustic grace, gently enhanced with low-key synth swiggles and swelling orchestral strings.

Modern Vintage could really just be another way of saying “timeless,” which makes it an even better fit for the title. - CityBeat


"Look and Listen with The Newbees"

If you are a fan of hypermelodic Pop/Rock and you haven’t heard or seen local group The Newbees (pictured), what are you waiting for? The perfect chance to check the band out comes this weekend with the release of a gorgeous CD package, Live @ The Southgate House. The two-disc set includes a “Look” DVD with video footage and a “Listen” audio CD recorded at a show at the Newport concert venue in November 2008.

The Live package is stunning on many levels. The packaging is top-notch, and the video/audio recording is amazingly pro. Put together with help from area production company Mind Ignition, the product itself stands as an equal to anything put out by a rich major label record company.

Then there’s the music — a diverse, dynamic Pop sound (influence from everything from Tin Pan Alley to vintage Americana to the Fab Four can be detected) that's delivered flawlessly. With their impeccable musicianship and vocal abilities, The Newbees sound better in concert than most bands do on their carefully constructed recordings. The strings that augment the songs are so spot on you’ll be convinced they had to have been added in post production.

As songwriters, Newbees members long ago proved to be among the elite in the region, and on Live the songs breathe and shine effervescently. The band fittingly works in some covers of classics in the Pop/ Rock realm, like their powerful, dazzling version of “I Am the Walrus” and a solid take on Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles hit “Maybe I’m Amazed,” sung brilliantly by vocalist/guitarist Misty Perholtz.

The Newbees celebrate the release of the project at York Street Café Friday.

Guests include Nashville’s Michelle Hemmer, The Billy Rock Trio, Newbees keyboardist Jesse Jordan’s The Shirt and Tie Stiffs and The Bee Strings, the tight string ensemble that's on the CD and will play with the Newbees during their headlining set. - CityBeat


"Best of Cincinnati for October 6th, 2004"

The Newbees

(Covington) Retro Pop

Wake up, it's happy fun music time! Sardonic or not, it's catchy as hell. Witty lyrics and plucky guitar and keyboard melodies punctuate the lighthearted ditties from this multifaceted quartet, a songwriting collective including a husband and wife team, a tax accountant and a riverboat captain. Seriously.

Dig It: Ben Folds Five, Randy Newman, Don Henley

(Review by Ezra Waller) - Citybeat


"Locals Only: does anybody remember laughter?"

The Newbees strive to bring fun back to Rock & Roll with a playful, often humorous brand of Retro Pop

Interview By Katherine L. Sontag

Introducing a buzz band that will take you back to when you drank milk with dinner, your mom still packed your lunch and the '80s hadn't happened yet.
Warm, fun, surprisingly sophisticated and honest, The Newbees prepare to feed Cincinnati a spoon full of sugar with their debut album, Songs from a Dilapidated Apartment, which will certainly help the medicine go down.

The Newbees -- Jeff Perholtz, Misty Perholtz (yep, they're married), Chris Damele and Tim Seiwert -- are cut-and-dry business folks by day and fun-loving harmonizing fools by night. In essence, it was this realization that formed the Retro Pop backbone of the band's sound. Realizing their daily lives were full of serious endeavors, they wanted their music to be old-school fun, an outlet and release for them and for those listening. Just when it feels like too much, the band backs off the nostalgia.

"It is a delicate line we draw though, because, we want to sound good and be professional and joke around at the same time," says Jeff.

The Newbees remind listeners that vintage sugar Pop can still be meticulously organized, intelligent and taken seriously.

"We are four silly/goofy people," says Jeff. "And believe it or not we do have more serious tunes, but we really see the crowd come to life when they get the joke."

The quartet can be compared to Josh Rouse meets The Sundays. Jeff and Misty, who have been singing and playing together for years, were worn out by limitations of their duet last spring. So they decided to double their duo.

In April they began to search for other singer/songwriters and quickly found Seiwert, who brought his snazzy snare drum lines to the group, and Damele, who rounded things out with signature "Dr. FunkDaddy" bass.

"I am really just an old hippie girl and hippie girls love to groove," says Misty, mid-dance move before a recent Newbees show.

Pulling off good, four-part vocal harmonies live is no small feat, but the Newbees wouldn't have it any other way.

"Vocal harmony was a must, it really added to that old-school, familiar sound that we have come to love and be associated with," says Jeff.

Misty's female vocals add a sultry soul in songs like "Maybe" and "Good Sunlight," which she wrote. Each of The Newbees wrote at least two songs on the album, atypical of most bands.

The band's full schedule the past six months has been crammed with shows and recording, gaining The Newbees some significant buzz. Songs from a Dilapidated Apartment is a 14-track montage of lush harmonies, funky baselines and groovy percussion. The track "Song from a Dilapidated Apartment" was indeed recorded in different parts of an apartment.

"I produced and played from the studio (aka, a teched-out bedroom). Misty cut her guitar and vocals in the kitchen. Tim drummed in the hallway; and Chris played in the real bedroom, dirty clothes on the floor and all," Jeff explains.

The Newbees admit to being "geeked out" by Josh Rouse's 1972, which is highly retro-fluential. This led them to hire the same mastering engineer to finish off their album.

"Jim Demain, of Yes Master in Nashville, added the final magic touch to our CD," says Jeff. Demain has also worked with Steve Earle, Elton John, Billy Joel, Michael McDonald and John Hiatt.

Expect to be laughing and singing along with them even if the goofy group isn't in line with your usual mantra. The talented Newbees are infectious. Catchy tunes like "22" and the jazzy "For the Painters" have a way of getting stuck in your head for weeks.

"After years of chipping away at serious 'song-crafting,' we finally got it. Music should be fun and now we can really own the whole process," says Jeff.

After the CD release The Newbees have no plans to slow down.

"Let's go global. Nobody seems to visit Zimbabwe these days," adds Jeff.

- CityBeat


"The Newbees deliver unique, local sound"

By Elizabeth Hood

Published: Thursday, October 28, 2004

One doesn't quite no what to expect from a band compared to both Billy Joel and They Might Be Giants, until after having picked up a copy of the recently released The Newbees album.

If you like the genuineness and harmonies of '60s and '70s style music, you will love the locally produced album Songs from a Dilapidated Apartment by The Newbees.

"Our fans now have something tangible, something to hold on to and cherish fo' ever," says Jeff Perholtz, who plays guitar, keys and vocals.Their music has definite hit potential, and there is a purpose behind their album.

The tunes are catchy yet original, and the band created the album with the kind of raw emotion that fans react to.

"We want people to laugh, bob their heads and most importantly, think," said Perholtz.

The genuine frustration expressed in Perholtz's entertaining song "Mary" will strike a chord with anyone who has ever been frustrated with their expectations of a relationship.

"Who would've thought you'd cut your hair shorter than I do?" laments Perholtz as he begs for a bit of space from a nagging woman he calls Mary.

The Newbees have an organic yet full sound contrived from subtle vocal harmonies and the pairing of acoustic and electric guitar accompaniment.

While other indie artists struggle to create variety within their set list, The Newbees feed their unique sound by alternating all band members on vocals, and having multiple members writing the songs.

When Misty Perholz takes to the Newbee microphone, you hear the influences of Lisa Loeb, Fleetwood Mac and contemporary blues, making for a uniquely pleasing style.

Tim Seiwert's style sings a different tune in "40 Days," the third track on the album. "40 Days" will draw you in with its catchy bass line and vocal track that possesses a defining, rhythmic punch. The acoustic guitar fills the sound, completing a nicely polished mix. The style is similar to the likes of Ben Folds and Jason Mraz.

The track "Little Things," written by bassist Chris Damele, can be described as chill music, with its melody line similar to the music of Lisa Loeb, and its smooth transitions between verse and chorus.

It is evident from the album that The Newbees have a fun live show because their music is ideal for dancing and you can't help but tap your feet to it.

Still, the album is not without an edgy ballad.

The track "Time" is unforgettable, with Misty on vocals, and deep parallels to the work of Fleetwood Mac.

What's more, the album was actually recorded in an actual apartment, with drumming done in the hallway and Misty's guitar and vocal parts created in the kitchen.

Their music is definitely worth an evening, so check them out Friday night at 9 p.m. at Stanley's Pub in Mt. Lookout.

They are also playing a double gig Nov. 12, at the Barrelhouse at 10 p.m. followed by a show at the Southgate House at 11:30 p.m.

Copies of the new album Songs from a Dilapidated Apartment will be available at the band's shows.

For more information, show schedules or MP3s, check out the band's Web site at www.thenewbees.com.
- The News Record


"Spll It"

In a music scene that is pretty self-contained, without drawing a lot of "outsiders" (i.e. suburban folks who don’t go out after sunset, folks who just go to dance clubs, folks who only want to hear cover bands), THE NEWBEES might just be one of the most recognizable original bands in the entire community. But the band’s cheeky jingle in that Gold Star Chili commercial is pretty far from what the band actually does on its CDs and live shows. While still pretty playful, there’s a richness, masterfulness (in songwriting and performance) and ear-dizzying diversity on display on the band’s latest, Amsterdam, the third part of the Newbees’ "accidental trilogy," which follows the exploits and dilemmas of a "burned-out, overworked Rock band" in the never-sober Dutch city. The band’s Pop songs are especially impressive, recalling The Beatles and early ELO in the best way possible. But they’re also pretty damn good playing Jazz (the smoldering "Molly"), and the barroom strutter "Are You Kidding Me" sounds like Nina Simone going postal on a brassy Broadway show tune. Don’t let the chili ad fool you -- this is one talented band. -- MIKE BREEN - CityBeat - Mike Breen


"The Newbees"

At Sitwell's, The Newbees are on an electric high, jazzed-up from a Beatles tribute they just played over the weekend. All multi-instrumentalists and songwriters, they constantly share the spotlight. The anti-ego band. With luminous smiles all around, they agree: "Positive energy is the reward here."

Tim Seiwert (drums, vocals) grew up as "a gypsy." With a dark beard and black-rimmed glasses, he's rather quiet, taking it all in.

Misty Perholtz (guitar, vocals) is lit up, with watery blue eyes and a plaid hat, bursting with life and a caffeine buzz. An audio production major at Ohio University, she met Jeff Perholtz (guitar, keys, vocals) there.

Jeff is talkative, enjoying a full plate of eggs and bacon. He has performed, recorded and produced music for more than 15 years.

After the two joined musical forces, they later married.

Sharon Udoh (keys, vocals) also plays keys for energetic Pop/Alternative outfit Beau Alquizola Band, among others. Beaming, wearing a Seedy Seeds shirt, Sharon explains, "I play the piano well. I play guitar OK. I play bass badly. God, when he created me, he put all the good in the music part and left the rest dry."

In 1998, Jeff and Misty became full-time engineers, operating a record company, recording studio and mastering facility, producing more than 250 CDs and DVDs annually. They recently recorded The Turkeys' album, which is as clear and crisp as they come in productionland.

By 2004, The Newbees were noted as a group with harmonies, a range of songwriting skill, upbeat melodies and a retro influence.

"It is just timeless music, more timeless than retro," Jeff says. "So many people get hung up on a particular sound or format, but with four songwriters, that's hard to do."

Meshed together, The Newbees have a taste of Pop, old-time Rag, Swing and Jazz, with an added buoyant flair. With influences ranging from Ben Folds Five to Steely Dan, their new album, Amsterdam, includes a whopping 18 songs. A sampling of different styles, Amsterdam wanders around unapologetically, anchored by The Newbees' vibrant touch.

"Morning Sun," a Beatlesque Pop tune, moves into a rolling Grateful Dead sound, then circles back to the cheerful melody. "Molly" is a different animal altogether. The song bursts out with Swing and Jazz influences, female vocals and a classy, ageless feel. "Are You Kidding Me" comes across as a show tune. Well, a show tune on drugs.

Jeff says, "I feel like it starts off with this reckless, early '20s party feel."

Misty says it's about "the growing up process ... the knocks that you meet along the way. But there are still beautiful parts of it if you can sit back and look."

Tim says, "I'm bored with morose music. I'm a positive person and I'd rather my son be a positive person."

Here and now, The Newbees are taking time off to let the creative juices flow. Misty says, "It's the first time in four years that we're not booking as many gigs as we can. It frees us to create."

"We definitely have that problem of over-saturation," Jeff says. "It's better to focus on a few big shows.

As for The Newbees' future, Jeff says, "For us, it's about spreading our music as much as possible."

Smirking, Sharon adds, "At the risk of sounding like an arrogant bastard, we're a pretty great live band." - Cin Weekly - C.A. MacConnell


Discography

"Modern Vintage" 2012
"Live at the Southgate House" 2010
"Amsterdam" 2008
"Famous" 2007
"Songs from a Dilapidated Apartment" 2004

Photos

Bio

The Band:

Jeff Perholtz - Guitar, Vocals, Songwriter
Misty Perholtz - Guitar, Vocals, Songwriter
Tim Seiwert - Drums, Vocals, Songwriter
Alex Lusht - Bass, Vocals, Songwriter

From the imagination of a husband and wife musical duo, blossomed a multiple lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriting collective. Since 2004, The Newbees have been producing compelling original compositions, crafted of rich harmony, improvisation, and lush string and horn orchestrations, employing vintage pop energy and rock-n-roll sensibility.

The Record:

MODERN VINTAGE is the fourth studio album, from the Northern Kentucky-Cincinnati songwriters. After releasing an acclaimed live concert DVD/CD set in 2010, The Newbees were inspired to complete a collection of songs that rocked with the same dynamic abandon as a killer live show.

Depending on the track, that show could have taken place at Scotch of St. James in 1966, The Fillmore in '69, The Troubadour in '77, or Tipitina's last night. The result is a high energy, old school pop-rock record, defiantly modern in it's content and construction.

Enjoy frequently on a high fidelity stereophonic apparatus.