The Werks
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The Werks

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"The Werks to headline BarnJam"

The Werks are headlining this spring’s BarnJam, and will be taking the stage at 11 p.m. Other musical guests include G-nome, Julie Roth, Jon Dittert, Mike Schulz, The Backporch Jam, Drew Cappotto, Brendan O’Grady and Jersey Joe & the BarnJam All-star Band featuring Xandra.

The Werks has become a staple act at BarnJam. This BarnJam marks the third, and last, time The Werks is headlining the event.

“It will be our last time playing [BarnJam], so it’s going to be a really special show,” keyboardist Dave Bartoletti said. “We prepare more for these types of shows. It’s really easy to connect with the crowd.”

“It definitely has its own aura,” guitarist Chris Houser said. “It’s one of my favorite crowds because it’s all about the music.”

The Werks consist of Houser, bassist Chuckie Love and UD seniors drummer Rob Chafin and Bartoletti. The band has become one of the area’s premier jam bands and has built a loyal following on UD’s campus and throughout Dayton for its mesmerizing live performances.

A shared passion for music as well as amazing chemistry between band members have been key ingredients for The Werks’ success. During performances, the band combines rehearsed material with improvisation. The Werks’ style guarantees that each show is unique and unpredictable, never playing a song the same way twice. Staying true to the jam band style, The band lets its music and the crowd lead the way.

“You can only make mistakes if you’re really rigid,” Bartoletti said. “In that sense, there are no wrong notes.”

“There really are no boundaries,” Love added.

This summer the band plans to focus on playing festivals and touring throughout the Midwest in cities such as St. Louis, Chicago and Louisville. Ky. They will also be playing at Dayton to Daytona.

Fans can anticipate hearing a few special covers the band has been practicing as well as a few new original songs it will debut at upcoming performances.

“The audience is a huge factor,” Chafin said. “We tend to play off their energy.”

Currently, The Werks has no studio CD in the works but is continuing to work on new material. The band encourages people to record its shows, which showcase its improvisational style better than a studio album.

“That really captures what we’re all about because we’re constantly working on new material,” Houser said.

The Werks is also performing Friday at the ArtStreet Amphitheater from 8-11 p.m. According to the band, the performance is a chance for The Werks to give back to the supportive UD community with a show that is free for students.

For more information about The Werks and BarnJam, as well as directions to BarnJam, visit and - Anna Sexton, Flyer News

"Canal Street Owner/Founder"

"The Werks contagious enthusiasm on stage makes it obvious they sincerely love
what they're doing. The musicianship is stellar. Good, creative
arrangements (they don't play all over each other), and particularly
tasty guitar work lead them into some dangerously fun improvisation.
They've gradually transcended the genre stereotypes to become an
outstanding and very original rock band." - Mick Montgomery

"The Werks Thriving in Jam Band Revival"

Jam band music is more popular than ever locally and one of the guiding lights of this grassroots revival is The Werks. The local four-piece is gearing up for a big summer of outdoor festivals and club gigs with a local show at Canal Street Tavern on Saturday, May 3 at 9 p.m.

"It's looking like we're going to be all over the Midwest right now and we just keep expanding," drummer Rob Chafin said. "Dayton has been the catalyst of everything for us from the beginning. We started here and it's just been a gradual process of moving out and expanding regionally, meeting new bands and meeting new people and going from there."

The Werks — Chafin, Chris Houser (guitar, vocals), Dave Bartoletti (keyboard, vocals) and Chuckie Love (bass, vocals) — formed in 2005. Chafin credits the quick turnaround time from fledgling act to a thriving live band to the group's formation from two existing bands.

"Dave and I met up with Chuckie and Houser," Chafin said. "They were in an existing band that was about to lose their drummer. Dave and I were in a band that was about to lose our guitarist and bassist and we kind of mixed together. We had original songs already so we were already a step ahead in that sense."

The Werks are making a number of festival appearances over the summer, including Southwind Music Festival in Bellefontaine on June 21 and Jambaloosa in Pittsburgh June 27 through 29. Perhaps the biggest date for The Werks is the group's first appearance at Hookahville, the outdoor blowout hosted by Ekoostik Hookah in Thornville, Ohio, May 24 and 25.

"Ekoostik Hookah has been a real big help for us," Chafin said. "They're like the original Ohio jam band and we've opened for them several times now and we're going to continue playing with them. They've kind of taken us under their wings and it's been really nice to have that luxury.

"For our type of music, festivals are one of our main focuses," Chafin added. "One thing we always look forward to besides the festivals is Canal Street shows. Mick Montgomery, the owner of Canal Street, is a great man. He's helped us a lot in terms of our growth as a band and just giving us an opportunity to play and grow." - Don Thrasher - Dayton Daily News

"Dayton jam band gaining public attention for eclectic style"

When it comes to music, there's no need to fix it if it already works. But one Dayton experimental rock group has proved that it can always get better.

Jam bands have been a fixture for some time in the Dayton area, but one of the most popular groups has been The Werks.

The Werks is an improvisational rock band that uses a unique blend of many musical styles and influences to produce a distinct, powerful sound.

The band is comprised of guitarist Chris Houser, bassist Chuckie Love, drummer Rob Chafin and keyboardist Dave Bartoletti. Each adds their unique blend of vocals and melody.

"We each have something special to offer," Bartoletti said.

"Yea, we all bring something to the table, and you can see that in the live shows," Houser added.

The band's power lies in its live performances, which contain a heavy use of improvisation and structured jams. This style of performing guarantees that every show will be completely different and memorable.

The Werks' maxim, "a little bit of everything," holds true with everything from their influences to the structure and freedom of their music.

"People really listen to the music and it's very interactive," Bartoletti said. "It really works when you are willing to let the music go where it will take you."

Although comparisons have been made to other experimental groups, The Werks stands on its own by composing music with an array of rock, jazz and improvisation focused on musical precision and the willingness to let the crowd direct the music.

"The audience seems to pay more attention at our shows," Houser said. "There are a lot of improvisational groups but people really seem to listen and focus on what we are doing."

Influenced by such artists as Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Umphrey's McGee and The Grateful Dead, The Werks has been able to master the mechanics of skillful improvisation, and have reached a musical level where they almost instinctively know where the music is headed.

"We play off each other almost completely now," Bartoletti said. "But we also really have to play off the audience and see where they want the music to go."

They feel they have surpassed musical boundaries and have offered something refreshing and rewarding to the audience.

"We have gotten past the point where we are just playing for ourselves, and really reached out to the audience to get to a musical climax," Chafin said.

The Werks appreciates the Dayton music scene and the support they have received from UD students, but eventually hopes to travel and expand their music to reach all people.

"College students are still definitely the best crowds we have ever played for," Chafin said.

"I want to be able to see the world with what we are doing," Love said. "It's something I want to do for the rest of my life."

The Werks has performed at such local Dayton venues as the Canal Street Tavern, the Nite Owl, the Foundry, the Hills, Flanagan's, The Pub and the ArtStreet Amphitheater.

They have also shared the bill with other popular groups such as Particle and The Maji.

Upcoming shows are to be announced, and the band is currently in the progress of recording its debut live album.

For more information about the band, including set lists, news, merchandise and upcoming tour dates visit its Web site at

The Werks encourages everyone to come see them perform, and then decide the impact from their live performances and what they can produce.

"You don't have to be a jam band fan to enjoy what we do," Houser said. "It's just good music and it is interactive for the audiences. It can really go anywhere."

- Chris Novotney, Flyer News - Flyer News


The Werks - Synapse, 2009 (Studio)
The Werks - Dig It, 2007 (Live)
The Werks - Self-Titled, 2006 (Studio)



In order to fully understand The Werks, one must first witness them perform live. Self-described as a groove rock band, The Werks' original songs explore genres such as funk, electronica, soul, bluegrass, jazz, afro-cuban, celtic, R&B, and dance. Their unique style of performing is affected and manipulated by the energy of the audience, guaranteeing that each show will be different and memorable.

Their influences are as eclectic as their music, but some common influences include Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers, Phish, Jimi Hendrix, Rush, The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd, Umphrey's McGee, and The Grateful Dead.

The Werks have shared the stage with many great acts such as Ekoostik Hookah, Sam Bush, Railroad Earth, Particle, Tea Leaf Green, The Emmitt-Nershi Band, Lotus, Badfish, U-Melt, Wish You Were Here, The Macpodz, Greensky Bluegrass, BoomBox, Outformation, The Station, Freekbass, One Under, The Maji, The Recipe, The Spikedrivers, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Papadosio, The Ragbirds, Jam Samich, Burning River Band, Mike Perkins, Covert Operations, Boogie Matrix Mechanism, The Goods, and many more.

As their tour radius increases, it is obvious that The Werks are becoming one of the Midwest's fastest growing bands. This success is largely accredited to the hard work of the band, their street team, and the dedication of their fans.

"The Werks have gradually transcended the genre stereotypes to become an
outstanding and very original rock band." - Mick Montegomery, C.S.T.