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Judge for basement band

Brooklyn, NY
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Portrait of basement band
basement band was founded when longtime friends and musical collaborators Jeff Malinowski (guitar, vocals) and John Durgee (drums, vocals) moved to Brooklyn in 2005. The duo began performing their folk-rock-influenced songs in venues throughout NYC, and fortuitously fell into a group of talented young musicians reviving country music’s Honky Tonk tradition at the Lower East Side’s Living Room. Performing there and at various other New York venues ever since, the band retained its harmony-driven, feel while its size—and sound—expanded. The outfit now floods the stage six musicians strong, with Amal Bouhabib’s honey-drenched vocals, James Preston’s cadenced bass, Patrick Hay’s prodigious guitar and Bryan Trenis’s organ accompaniment often augmenting their original sound to a fever pitch.

In the summer of 2007, basement band began recording their debut album the way most NYC groups do: In a cramped Manhattan studio, laying down tracks individually (guitars first, then drums, then bass). But created track by track, the band found that their songs lacked the “live” feel so essential to their sound. So after finding a recording studio large enough for them all to track together in Woodstock, NY, the musicians quit the city for a weekend trip. There, the album’s ten songs were all re-recorded. With basic tracks in hand, the band returned to Brooklyn to add some finishing touches (vocal harmonies, percussion), but purposely left the tracks bare enough so that the recordings retained their live sound. The resulting album, “until the evening came” is a stirring mix of barn-splintering rock and heartbreaking country ballads.