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A new beginning
Days Unknown are hellbent; plus, Joanne Lurgio’s new disc

Alex Li, Matt Tortorella, Paul Jacques, Seneca Nowland, and Mike Jacques, also known as Days Unknown, are one of the biggest drawing heavy rockers in the area. They derive their sound from some bands they’ve kept company with, commercial growlers such as Staind and Godsmack, and they make no bones about it. They specialize in serving up solid platefuls of meat-and-potatoes, metal-tinged decibels, and the signs are beginning to emerge that they’re ready to take it to the next level. "We’ve gotten the record into the hands of people like Mark Tremonti [Alter Bridge/Creed] and Aaron Lewis [Staind] and now we’re waiting to see if anything will come of it," says Tortorella, the front man. "But no matter what happens we’ll stay determined on being the best band we can be and at some point get signed. That’s our dream."

The quartet rose from the detritus of a couple of fairly popular area outfits, including Crankshaft and Tremor. Both of those bands had made some headway but couldn’t get to where they really wanted to go. Now, as Days Unknown, a band so named because it felt like a new beginning with an uncertain destination, they’re making headway quick. "We’re headlining the Century Lounge once a month," says Tortorella, "and we’re doing a weekend feature once a month at Mardi Gras in Cranston, which is something an ‘original’ band never did at that venue." They also play regularly along the New York/New Jersey/Boston/New Hampshire axis and are in the beginning stages of a tour that will take them through Baltimore early next year. "We’re focused on picking up where a band like Kilgore left off," says Tortorella, "and bringing back actual rock to a scene that’s lacked it since then. When it comes to ‘mainstream’ rock, we’ve emerged as leaders and we’re hellbent on keeping it that way."

DAYS UNKNOWN + MINDFOLD +SILVERSTDET + RESIN | CD release party | Tantric Lounge, North Main Street, Providence |Dec 10 6 pm | $10 includes a CD


Joanne Lurgio didn’t think this day would ever come. A late bloomer to begin with, she went through many of the rituals of life — marriage, motherhood, divorce, work, and school — before deciding to concentrate her energies on music. But she’s finally done it: she recently trumpeted the completion of her debut CD, Find a Dream . . . Catch It If You Dare. Like many debuts, it wasn’t an easy journey. As life would have it, Lurgio was faced with many unexpected obstacles that disrupted the production — theft, illness, and the death of a family member. The project started in August 2004 and Lurgio expected a swift completion, but soon began to doubt her purpose. "For the first time I can remember," she says, "my spirit was challenged and my desire to make music began to fade." Fortunately, the music, ever a source of peace for Lurgio, returned. "I’m stronger now," she says. "This October, I finally caught my dream." The CD was produced and engineered by Jack Gauthier at Lakewest, with some of the finest musicians around. Duke Robillard, Marty Ballou, Kevin Fallon, Paul Dube, and Mary Ann Rossoni all pitched in, as did Joanne’s cousin Michael DeQuattro on drums, her brother Don on fiddle, and her son Joseph on mandolin. "The best part for me," she says, "was watching the other musicians add their personal touches to my songs. I watched my songs come to life. It was really amazing. Sometimes I cried!"

JOANNE LURGIO +MARIAVENTURA | CD release party | December 10 3-6 pm | Dave’s Bar & Grill, 2339 Post Road, Warwick | 401.739.7444


Brunt of It is throwing a couple of parties this weekend for the release of their CD, Certain Uncertainty — on Friday (the 9th) at AreaVenue, 3 River Lane, Newport with Lost City Angels, the Fad, and Mustache Ride, and on Saturday at Mojoe’s, 166 Broadway, Providence. The Bloodshot Hooligans will help them with that one. The disc is a satisfying melodic barrage of punk, old-school style, reminiscent of the mid-’80s West Coast sound a la Black Flag, but with traces of early HŸsker DŸ. Good stuff. Bring the jackboots.


There’s a great show at the Century Lounge on Friday starring Jazz Bastards, Uncle Everett, and Fever Dream. The Jazz Bastards, who are profiled in this month’s issue of Relix and will be releasing a new album any moment now, kick it off at 9 pm. This month’s installment of "Songwriters In the Round," on Sunday (the 11th) at 7 pm at AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, features Kimberly Lamothe, Rick Demers, Tim Mann, and host Ryan Fitzsimmons. The theme is "Darth Vader." On Wednesday (the 14th), the Rhode Island Songwriters Association celebrates the release of its long-awaited CD, RISA Round 3, Volume 1: A Collection Of Songs Written For the RISA Songwriters In the Round Shows Recorded Live At AS220. The disc features 16 local artists and is available at www.risongwriters.com. Many of the artists on the disc will perform, including Fitzsimmons, John Fuzek, Ed McGuirl, Joanne Lurgio, Marjorie Thompson, Dan Lilley, Heather Rose, Mary Ellen Casey, Jan Luby, and Paul Pasch. The show begins at 8 pm at AS220 and admission is $5. Call 401.831.9327.

Our thoughts are with Jerry Balchunas, also known as Johnny Tornado, who is very ill at this time. The good folks at the Brooklyn Coffee & Teahouse, where Jerry hung out quite a bit, will be getting together for positive energy and good music. Call 401.575.2284.

Lastly, at press time, we got word of the closing of Jarrod’s Place in Attleboro, Massachusetts, one of the area’s most active rock clubs. We’ll have more info next week.

E-mail me with your music news: big.daddy1@cox.net.

Issue Date: December 9 - 15, 2005
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