Tin Star
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Tin Star

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Rock Cover Band


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


 When some people are shown a copy of Tin Star’s eclectic and varied song list their first reaction may be, “This doesn’t fit together”. To dismiss Tin Star because of this would be to deny yourself the opportunity to hear one of New Orleans’ most exciting new bands.

Formed from old friendships, long standing musical associations and brotherhood, the members of Tin Star knew they were on to something the first moment they plugged in, turned up and played together. According to Bassist/Vocalist Pete Winkler, “Right from the start we knew we had a chemistry that doesn’t come along every day.”

Winkler is a seasoned veteran of the New Orleans rock scene, well respected for his melodic compelling songwriting and solid musical chops. He started as a teenager in alternative bands Abstract Illusion and Uncle Stan and Auntie Vera . In time, he went on to form original band Of Human Bondage. Later, he would front the tragically underrated Motorway and release two records that were well received by critics and fans alike. He has also been a mainstay in Susan Cowsill’s “Covered in Vinyl” project, an ambitious musical undertaking that plays classic albums in their entirety in front of live audiences.

Back in the early 90s, Winkler would cross paths with Kevin and Craig Caliva, guitar playing brothers, who were dishing out funky rock originals with Psychedelicatessen. The Caliva brothers had grown up learning to play together and had spent time in the horn driven King Bees and rock cover band Groove Muscle. “Our musical evolution was always intertwined”, relates Kevin Caliva, “even though I am older and picked up the guitar first Craig was never far behind me in ability. It amounted to two people researching the same subject and sharing what we knew. There was never competition between us.” Before long, Craig’s vocal ability would blossom and he would develop into a formidable songwriter with a catalog of great songs. Craig would go on to front the Eddy Redd band and do a stint on trumpet and guitar with The Egg Yolk Jubilee Music Band.

Drummer Craig Calamia was providing a relentless rhythmic thunderstorm with rockers Leonyne when Kevin Caliva came into the fold in 1987. Leonyne spent several years pounding out heavy rock covers across the Southeast. “We were playing 3 sets a night of covers in places that the term dive would be a compliment”, remembers Calamia. “Eventually, we were throwing some originals into the set but not without some protests from club owners.” By 1990, Leonyne’s patience with the cover band scene had come to a head and Calamia moved to New York City to join original rockers RRangel. Meanwhile, Kevin Caliva would become a founding member of the all-original Whiskey Wild. Years later, Calamia and Kevin Caliva would reunite to play in 80’s metal tribute band Ratt Poison.

By possessing a scattered musical history, a variety of influences and a wide-ranging repertoire of songs some might assume that Tin Star would lack focus. In fact, these attributes play to Tin Star’s strengths. Winkler and Calamia form a powerful dexterous rhythm section, equally capable of bombast and subtlety, while the Caliva brothers share an intuitive interplay more akin to a single four-handed guitarist. Lead vocal duties are split between Craig Caliva and Pete which only adds to the melodious quality of their vocal harmonies. The two have

 been gigging as an acoustic duo off and on for years and their chemistry and familiarity shows.

At a Tin Star performance the audience will hear a song by the Replacements nestled between songs by The Cars and Wilco. 80’s new wave numbers by The Plimsouls and Golden Earing sit comfortably with rockers from Queen and the Clash. Slower songs by Drive by Truckers, ELO, and The Church add an ethereal atmosphere to the performance. Originals by Pete and Craig are also a featured part of the set.

The future for Tin Star looks bright. There is a backlog of original material ready to be unleashed and their ease at learning new challenging material means that new songs will continually be added to the set. There are plans to head into the studio and release an EP in 2019.. The current focus for Tin Star is to bring their energetic live performances to enthusiastic audiences across the Gulf Coast.

Interested parties can keep up with Tin Star at


Band Members