I recently had a chance to sit down and interview Chip and Maleena Dominick from Chip and the Charge Ups, as well as, Brian Gulish the Vice President, Marketing & Communications for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. We talked about the new collaboration by Chip and the Charge Ups and local vocalists: Liz Berlin (of triple-platinum recording artist, Rusted Root), Doug Carnahan (of After The Fall, voted “Best Rock Band” in the Iron City Rocks Pittsburgh Music Awards for the past five years), Jen Craven (of emerging metal band, A Common Crown), and powerhouse gospel vocalist, Char Fields. Black and Gold Christmas. Don’t forget to purchase the track and the shirt! The sell of the accompanying T-Shirt is being donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. In the interview you’ll learn about the making of the song, how to make donations to the food bank, and volunteer at the foodbank. You can listen to the interview (above), watch the official video, and read Patrick McElravy’s review below:
It’s the middle of November in the City of Steel. We just had our first decent snowfall, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and Christmas is not so far off. It’s football season which means the black and yellow terrible towels are waving frantically throughout the city of Pittsburgh as people huddle up in front of the television or pile into Heinz Field for the Steelers. Stores everywhere already have good old Saint Nick up on display everywhere and Butterball Turkeys are flying off the grocery store shelves as fast as the stock boy can load them. It’s official, people, we have entered the holiday season…..one of the craziest, most stressful, fun, and most meaningful times of the year.
Now that we got the obvious out of the way, this time of year is a time of giving, gathering, and celebration. It seems as though Pittsburgh power pop band Chip and the Charge Ups are already way ahead of the game with their new holiday anthem “Black and Gold Christmas”. The seed for the project was planted ironically in the blistering summer heat of July. Singer/songwriter Chip Dominick and company would set out to write a Christmas-themed song portraying various landmarks and traditions about the city they love and hold so dear. Once the band had the general structure of the song mapped out they took things a step further: Recruiting various rock vocalists from the surrounding Pittsburgh area (After the Fall and A Common Crown to name a few). With a task as big as writing a strictly Pittsburgh-themed holiday song while collaborating with various vocalists, how would the end results turn out?
“Black and Gold Christmas” definitely hits in all the right places and some. The band do an excellent of creating a fantastic backdrop with melodic gusto and punch for the various singers to showcase what they each bring to the table. The first half of the “Yinzer” track allows for everyone to show their individuality, taking turns showing their prowess, but it isn’t until the back half of the song where we really see the magic really happen. After a short bridge, Chip acts a conductor bringing everybody back in for the grand finale. Everyone works together to display some impressive harmony work to build the ambiance. One of the most definitive qualities of “Black and Gold Christmas” is that it is fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Everyone is there and having fun and hanging out to make this holiday-laden tribute to the city of Pittsburgh.
Chip and the Charge Ups certainly have quite the product on their hands. “Black and Gold Christmas” serves as a fun track that I can see being adopted into Pittsburgh culture with its powerful performances and excellent songwriting. A noteworthy mention is Chip and the Charge Ups have partnered up with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for the track’s release. “Black and Gold Christmas” is now available on all digital platforms with all profits from the T-shirts being donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. So bust out your Christmas wreaths and terrible towels and go download “Black and Gold Christmas” today to rock out and help a great organization within the Pittsburgh community!
Miss Freddye take a shot at 3 Questions & a Song on episode 020!
- If you could pick one album that you loved, and erase it from your memory and hear it again for the very first time, what album would it be?
- What is it about the Blues that keeps bringing you to the stage?
- It seems obvious there is some great Jazz artists influencing your sound. Do you have any early rock N roll artists who have influenced you in anyway? – asked by SKAR in episode 019
About the Song: Lady of the Blues
The song was written by a former minister out of WV. When Steve heard her nickname Lady of the Blues, he got to know Freddye and wrote the song. She says the song fits her to a T, and it is the Title track on her album.
About Miss Freddye
I started out in church at the age of 15, singing gospel. In 1995 started singing in the blues band “BMW”(Blues Music Works). In 2002 formed my own band, “Blue Faze”. Go on to open for Kelly Richie, Janvia Magness, Eden Brent, and Bettye LaVette.
Purchase Miss Freddye’s Album: Lady of the Blues
Follow her on Facebook
- I know that you used to use the tagline “Pure Rock Fury” for your band, and I feel like it is a pretty good description for your band. How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard you yet?
- Recently, I was flipping through my social studies teacher’s manual and found a photo that looked exactly like my college roommate. If I were to find a picture of a time traveling member of DRAGLINE, what historical event would the photo be with and why?
- What is it that you like and dislike about the Pittsburgh Music Scene and what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a part of it as opposed to a more musical city like Nashville, LA, or New York; what do you find special about opposed to any other music scene out there? – Asked by Doug Carnahan on Episode 009
The Song: She Put the Devil in Me
The song is about Temptation and giving in to it.
Band Location: Leechburg, PA USA
Band Genre: Rock / Metal / Punk Rock
DRAGLINE was born out of the fiery remains of what once was the Midnight Plowboys. The Plowboys had Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins style rockabilly riffs along with some southern rock influence. This has carried over into DRAGLINE’s sound, although now, there’s an edge that has been added to it, with some Motorhead influence and metal riffs being tossed around. The line-up consisted of: Jimmy-Lead guitar & vox, Mike-Bass guitar & backing vox, and Jay on drums. DRAGLINE is proud to play an all original set, yet has no problem dropping in some David Allen Coe, Johnny Cash, or yes, even Motorhead. Their sound is a basic power trio. Their style consists of “bar-room” rock ‘n’ roll, punk rock, metal, and even some rockabilly floating around in there somewhere. Their ideology is “just play, have a good time, and most importantly put on a good show” They do everything from benefits to bike nights. Whether it’s doing a backyard BBQ or playing at a local bar, the boys in DRAGLINE just wanna play. Grab yourself a cold beer and check them out…you won’t be disappointed!
Find Dragline online:
Three questions for Doug Carnahan – Episode 009
- I know that you used to be in a you play solo acoustic shows, and you front After the Fall, a Heavy Rock and Metal band. So my first question is, what musicians would you say have influenced you?
- What’s up with your microphone? (bonus question)
- So this next question kinda doubles up on the questions, can you tell me what the writing process for an After the Fall song is like and then specifically how it went for “The Fight”? (Check out Fernando’s Review of “The Fight”)
- What keeps you going when all else fails, when the people that you need let you down and the people that are the closest aren’t there what keeps you motivated to make music? – asked by Deyv Dee on Episode 008
The Song: The Fight
“The Fight” is a song about everyday life, and getting through it as unscathed as possible. We all have faced adverse situations that may cause us to stumble, and perhaps, even become a bit jaded towards life. That’s really the struggle, trying to get through life without compromising yourself, your morals, etc, and oftentimes, we don’t walk away the same person, be it for better or for worse. “The Fight” is meant to be inspirational, in the sense that we all have the ability to stare our individual adversity in the face and declare that we won’t come unhinged, that we’ll persevere and come out on top! Short of death, we all have the ability to overcome our individual obstacles, we simply need to have the strength and courage to do so, and that’s what I tried to convey with “The Fight”. A short side note, my eldest daughter, Sydney, helped to inspire some of the lyrics. I try to match the lyrics to the emotion that the music invokes, and I was having trouble determining the emotion attached to the music in “The Fight”. She asked me what my hangup with this song was, lyrically, and I told her. She then proceeded to tell me that I should make the song have both happy and sad emotions, that those were the emotions she felt upon hearing the music. I got to thinking and thought that, in life, we all experience both of those emotions, often one right after another, and that started me on my way to getting the lyrics completed!
About After the Fall
Band Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Band Genre: Hard Rock/Metal
After the Fall is a 4 piece, original hard rock band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Originally formed back in 2003, they’ve undergone several lineup changes over the years, and although met with success soon after their formation, it’s their current incarnation that has the city of Pittsburgh and cities throughout the country, abuzz. With Matt Ferrante on drums, Steve Craven on bass, Zac Shepard on guitar, and Doug Carnahan on vocals/guitar, they’ve made a bang in Pittsburgh and surrounding regions since the addition of Carnahan on vocals back in the spring of 2012. More recently, they would replace longtime guitarist Brandon Cornish with Zac Shepard. They’ve shared the stage with such national acts as Warrant, Sevendust, Nonpoint, Hed PE, The Sin City Sinners, Dope, Corrosion of Conformity, Hurt, Primer 55, and more. They have played in cities across the country, turning heads and recruiting new fans as if their lives depended on it.
Their sound is reminiscent of some of the great hard rock bands of the late 80’s, early 90’s, yet still stands out amongst their contemporaries as fresh, melodic, and just plain catchy. The songs are predominantly driving, radio friendly, hard rock songs, infused with attention commanding guitar riffs, topped off with vocals and lyrics that drive their point straight home and often through the heart.
Starting with their 2014 EP which contains their first big hit “Rumors” and followed with their full-length effort “My Confession” in the summer of 2015, After the Fall has kicked their career into high gear, winning the Iron City Rocks Pittsburgh Music Awards for “Best Rock Band” (2014-2019), and “Album of the Year” (My Confession). Armed with new, soon-to-be released music and with their signing to Pittsburgh’s RFL Records on September 6th, it’s only a matter of time before their music is in front of the masses! RFL Records released “My Confession” on November 30th, 2018 with full label backing, new packaging and promotion to reach a worldwide audience. They also released the single “The Fight” in April, 2019. With a jam packed schedule and shows dotted all over the map, be sure to keep an eye out for After the Fall in a town near you!
Find After the Fall online:
Purchase After the Fall
- You have a new line up, what can you tell me about the new members?
- If you could live the movie rock star, which band would you join?
- If you can take the band to any city in the world and perform, as the band is now, where it would it be and why?
The Song: I Won’t Carry You
Simply put the song is about staying your path, regardless. It’s about separating yourself from those who will be nothing but dead weight. It’s about doing what you feel is best for you and what fulfills us. It’s about leaving those behind that would rather attempt to destroy your dreams rather than work to achieve them.
SiLK9 is a Pittsburgh PA based hard rock band that was founded in April of 2013 by Anthony Leone and Jamie Rohr.
The Ep was released too much acclaim on the local and Tri-State scenes with regular radio play on several local stations as well as internet radio received 6 Nominations in the “Iron City Rocks Music Awards” and nailed down the award for “Best Album of the Year
Songs from the EP have been featured on 97.7 Butler Pa, Adrenaline 101, 105.9 The X, 102.5 WDVE, The PARockShow.com, 107.5 The Eagle in Wheeling WV, also featured on Lou Lombardi’s Rock n Roll Circus.
Shortly after, a licensing agreement was signed with JTV digital and Pop-up music.
On November 21, 2015 the new single “Shattered and stained” was released for digital download. The song has already been featured on 105.9 The X as well as Big D’s House of Pain on Adrenaline 101.
September 12, 2016 Anthony Leone, Founder of SiLK9 signs a deal with RFL records
January 2018 the new EP “RETRIBUTION” was released. Featuring 5 tracks that are best described as Dokken on the melodic side meets Pantera on the heavy side.
5 high energy and flat-out aggressive tunes that will burn the soul and etch new depths into your Metal core; melody that stretches the heart and a heavy beat that ravages your mind.
A video for the first single, I don’t know, was aired on January 29th with promotional partner, BRAVEWORDS.com.
SiLK9 has worked with: Steel Panther, Lynch Mob, Adelita’s Way, The Art of Dying, Winger, Drowning Pool, Skid Row, Jake E Lee, Puddle of Mudd, Winger, Warrant, The Reb Beach Project, Sebastian Bach , Dokken, Bullet Boys, Enuff Z nuff and Tantric
SiLK9 has recently started tracking a new single and hope to have a release date soon!
The dawn of a new era launches and the thunder that is SiLK9 is set to take the hard rock world by storm.
Can your ears handle the volume?
Find Silk9 Online:
Purchase Silk9’s Music
- You’re involved in quite a few charity events that are musically based. Could you take a moment to talk about them and explain what got you involved in them?
- If you could change one thing about your local scene, what would it be?
- In the way that the music industry has shifted, are you a fan of this new model or not? And why? – asked by Brady Novotny Episode 003
The Song: Baby Blues
It was the first track that we wrote and recorded for recently released new album, ” Love, Lust & Other Wreckage”
It’s all about regret after losing something special.
About John Vento
Businessmen 1997 – present
Nied’s Hotel band – 2006 – present
And also some other John Vento project sprinkled in . LOL
Pittsburgh, PA – Americana/ Folk/RNR
Find John Vento Online:
Download John’s Music
Our goal has been the same since we got started way back in 2004 as AK Music Scene. We have always believed that the music scene in southwestern Pennsylvania provides the best music available today, and our goal is to get it out to the masses. We have so many ways for you to be introduced to it.
- You can listen to our show the Pennsylvania Rock Show on its official website, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Spotify to name a few locations. Also check our our podcast network, Podcast your Scene.
- You can listen to our radio station, broadcasting Pittsburgh (and surrounding areas) music 24/7!
- Want air play? Submit your Music. Get interviewed.
- You can listen to our brand new Spotify Playlist, featuring bands and songs from both the Pennsylvania Rock Show and Build the Scene Radio.
- Want to go to a live show? We can help you with that, too. Visit our concerts page.
- Looking for a venue? Guess what, we have that, too. Visit our venues page.
- Like viewing concert photography or reading about shows and new music? Check our our friends at First Angel Media.
- We have a ton of friends who are contributing to the scene and trying to help bands and artists as well. You can find them here.
- Want to know what is going on in the scene? Join our mailing list.