The West End
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The West End

Rockville, Maryland, United States | SELF

Rockville, Maryland, United States | SELF
Band Rock Americana


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



"Big Crowd at The West End Show"

On Saturday night The West End rocked a packed house at Austin Grill Rockville. As promised, both their dedicated and new fans loved the music and energy radiating from the stage. By the end of the second set the crowd was singing and clapping along to The Weight, one of many special moments during the evening.

The West End’s live performances are always pounded out with strength. The original songs, Rise and Walk, Free to Choose, and 24, from their very impressive first CD Risen were tightly done to perfection. There wasn’t a single part of their three hour show that left you wanting. Mike Shawn and Brad Rourke shared their time at vocals to present a wide range of rock traditions. The band’s camaraderie is always highlighted by the verbal libations of Randall Rose, which he interjects between his strong bass playing. The sharp beat of Monique DeFrees’ drums invigorated the crowd right down to the very last blast of Blue Flower. Their obvious thrill of being on stage truly spread throughout the crowd.

The band “passed the boot” to support our Rockville Volunteer Fire Department. Fire Chief, Russell Dawson, along with about 30 fire station volunteers came out to show their support for The West End and their effort. The crowd dug down and donated a very generous $675.14.

Mayor Susan Hoffmann sat right down in front. When she joined the band on stage, she admitted this was the first time she’d heard them play. Obviously impressed with their performance, she was surprised they’d only been together for about two years. She thanked the band for their efforts on behalf of our dedicated fire department and encouraged everyone to join her in filling the boots.

Delegate Jim Gilchrist, a long-time fan, was also in the audience, along with City Council members John Britton and Piotr Gajewski, the latter of whom stopped by at the end of the evening for his first listen.

What a turnout as many, many friends discovered what a great community place Austin Grill can be, as it promotes local talent and many good causes. The West End will be back on Saturday, April 12th. - Rockville Central

"Editor's Pick"

I had the pleasure to see the Rockville, Maryland natives the West End perform up in Georgetown recently. The way the crowd was worked was impressive to say the least. The West End are all rockers that know that the word “rock” has been bastardized, twisted, and mutilated to the point where it encompasses practically anything. “Risen” looks to change that, returning rock to its proper place in the hallowed hallways of music. Brad Rourke belts out lungful belches of powerful pop ballads written with a sneer sense of sincerity and jubilant earnestness. As a fan of Nick Cave, it’s no surprise that he conjures forth the ‘everyday man’ in lyrics and delivery. The rhythm section is equally dense with steady percussion, textured bass grooves that are smooth and balanced, while the excellent keyboard work rounds out their sound gifting them with a sound quite far removed from their self-dubbed “primitive Americana rock”; in other words, there ain’t much primitive about the West End. Gershwin’s famous “Summertime” is covered and rounds out an impressive debut EP. - Smother Magazine


This Ride Could Be My Last -- CD (December 2008)
Risen -- EP (June 2007)



The West End has influences that cover all the bases. One member digs jam bands. One grooves to Keb' Mo' and Green Day. One wants to be Nick Cave.

Together they produce a sound they call Americana rock. "Americana" as in hearkening back to the hard-times roots of the land. "Rock" as in . . . rock.

The band was formed when neighbors Mike Shawn, Monique DeFrees and Brad Rourke got together and they felt a musical kinship. The tension -- and overlap -- between all their influences added up to something new. Friend and neighbor Matthew Taylor fills out the sound and with Kate Gordon's incredible vocals they have built a dedicated following.

Their live shows are marked by an infectious enthusasm for the music combined with respect for the individual songs. Their rapport with the audience keeps people coming back and their love of the music keeps people wanting more.