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Dakota Black is Southern Metal Band from New Smyrna Beach Fl, which consists of Neil Keeran, Steve Mannocchi, Paul Baker, Sean Harris, and Mike Pope. All veterans of the Central Florida music scene, and have played in area favorites such as Lypswitch, Tranquilizer, Second Sight and Grumpy*. Each member has years of touring/ studio experience, and has shared the stage with many national acts. Dakota Black is their new project which blends metal and southern rock, to bring forth the true Florida sound. A band that is built on the values of hard work and dedication that are the true roots of America. With this outlook, along with the creativity and experience of it’s members, the result created something that has been lost in music. A true American band with an American sound.
Dakota Black has been billed with Texas Hippie Coalition, Eve To Adam, Wayland, Another Lost Year, Bobaflex, Great White, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, Echotren, Michael Angelo Batio, The Michael Allman Band, ONE and Jimmie Van Zant.
Since 2010, Dakota Black has won a series of internet polls, placed 3rd in the Hard Rock Rising 2012, #7 (out of 200) in the Rock Star Energy Drink BOTB, CD of the Year 2012 on Rock Gator Radio, has been featured on numerous FM and Internet Radio Stations, remained in the top 10 of the Reverbnation Central Florida Charts, have been billed with numerous National Acts, and its members have landed sponsorships with Spear Guitars USA. With a growing fan base and nonstop attention from industry professionals, Dakota Black has become a force to reckon with. Their quest to conquer Florida and everything thereafter had begun.
Neil Keeran, a veteran of the Central Florida circuit as a drummer and in most recent years, a vocalist. Neil has fronted popular Central Florida bands such as 5 Minutes Alone, and Dreams Die which became music scene staples in the Florida metal underground and received regular airplay on 101.1 WJRR. In 2007, Neil Fronted the popular band Tranquillizer and landed a management deal with Ruins of Old Management. This partnership gave them the opportunity to tour and open for national acts such as metal legends W.A.S.P., and Black label Society. They became a sought after act and were regularly booked at top Central Florida venues such as the House of Blues and The Hard Rock of Orlando.
Paul Baker has been a bassist in the Central Florida music scene for many years. He has played in countless cover and original bands and played many great Central Florida venues regularly with multiple bands. Paul's solid and tasteful playing have added depth to the already solid set of Dakota Black.
Steve Mannocchi’s countless recording sessions and numerous performances across the East and West Coast have made him a seasoned player. His touring experience has given him the opportunity to play top venues such as the Hard Rock of Orlando and a House of Blues tour which included Orlando, Las Vegas, and San Diego. Steve’s playing has been featured on numerous CD compilations and magazines such as Guitar 2001, Recording Magazine, Guitar Nine, and Underground Guitarist. This exposure lead Steve to a spot on the Joe Satriani Tribute CD “Crushing Days” and the Guitar 2001 Compilation “Lick This” along side players like Rusty Cooley, Ron Thal (GnR), Rob Balducci, and Mike Chlasciak (Halford). Steve’s played in many popular bands such as Central Florida’s Grumpy* where he played hundreds of shows sometimes along side national acts such as Stuck Mojo, Yngwie Malmsteen, Pat Travers, Guano Apes, Drain STH, Endo, Double Drive, Sevendust, Our Lady Peace, 3 Doors Down, Jimmy’s Chicken Shack, Earth 2 Andy, Full Devil Jacket, Caroline Spine, Naïve, Darwin’s Waiting Room, Skrape, Vergo's Merlot, and One Minute Silence. Steve has received airplay on numerous radio stations throughout the country and in Europe with multiple bands and as an instrumentalist.
Sean Harris is a newcomer onto the Central Florida music scene. His playing is reminiscent of players like Zakk Wylde and Jake E. Lee. Sean has a knack for writing killer riffs and can rip solos like no other. He has stepped into the dual guitar role like a pro and has a knack for filling out the composition without losing the depth of the song.
Mike Pope is a hard hitting, groove oriented Drummer with years of live and studio experience. Mike has played with numerous bands such as Lypswitch, Foreplay, and Lull which have played throughout the Central Florida and Kentucky area. Mike has opened for numerous National acts such as Black Stone Cherry, The Kentucky Headhunters, Trip and Loose Change. Mike has played the Kentucky college circuit as well as the Kentucky Folk and Blues Festival on numerous occasions.