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"PEAK PERCUSSION" "Black Star Drum Line taps into drum corps history" Wisconsin State Journal January 30,2105 Playing in Black Star Drum Line demands exacting precision. So it’s precise to say that the history of this youth percussion group goes back to the 1970s — decades before the members of Black Star Drum Line were even born. “I know it’s going to sound weird,” said Black Star founder and director Joey B. Banks, “but it really started in 1976.” That was the year Banks’ grandmother signed him up for the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps. Banks was 9 at the time. “That’s really the inspiration for me putting the (Black Star Drum Line) together — because I had the opportunity at 9 years old to be part of the Madison Scouts organization and to march and play a drum, and travel all over the country,” he recalled. “I did it for 11 years.” Today, Banks is a Grammy-nominated drummer who teaches and performs with Steely Dane, the Big Payback
“Photos: Black Star Drum Line Black Star Drum Line performs during Lakeshore Kids on the rooftop of Monona Terrace. Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/photos-black-star-drum-line/collection_df6cbce9-951a-559e-898b-b124824dbef5.html#ixzz3GAAVkFbc”
“Photos: Black Star Drum Line performs at Monona Terrace The Black Star Drum Line performed at Monona Terrace as part of the Lakeside Kids! program on Wednesday. The performance group, founded by Joey B. Banks in 2008, has performed over 400 shows in Madison and surrounding area. Here's a look at their performance, and a recent rehearsal at Zion City Church. Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/photos-black-star-drum-line-performs-at-monona-terrace/collection_9a9a2d1a-0d31-11e4-935d-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz3GAA7gVqa”
"Overture's Rising Stars program brings out talent" The initial audition, although band oriented, nonetheless brought out a diversity of ages and offerings representing nine communities, including seven-year-old singer Sesily Baker and Black Star Drum Line, both of Madison, and the all-girl band Precocious, of Monroe. Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/overture-s-rising-stars-program-brings-out-talent/article_b5d76018-d8c5-51cc-9fd2-b1a07cc8f807.html#ixzz3GAFJ2nAB
“BLACK STAR DRUM LINE OVERTURE CENTER FOR THE ARTS Feb 15, 2014 Kids in the Rotunda welcomes The Black Star Drum Line Performance Group. Black Star Drum Line, famous for their “street beats”, has done over 400 performances in the Madison and surrounding area since the program began in 2008 and 50 performances in 2013. The group also showcases talented dancers, singers, rappers, and local performers from the Madison area. In 2013, the Black Star Drum Line released their 2nd full-length CD and their second music video “Slam” on You Tube. Make sure to catch this Black Star Drum Line performance. You will definitely be impressed by the skill of these young performing artists! ArtsFreePress is not affiliated with this event or performing arts organization.Purchase tickets to this performance by clicking the buy tickets button.”
“Chazen Launches ART•SPIN Initiative with Special Programming for Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey Exhibition FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 1, 2013 Madison, Wisconsin—The Chazen Museum of Art is pleased to announce ART•SPIN its new community outreach initiative to further expand the museum’s offerings and community access to arts programming. ART•SPIN events will be presented with support from area businesses and highlight area artists, musicians, and performers. Many of these special events will be organized in conjunction with a major exhibition, thus informing the visual art on display with performing arts and hands-on activities. ART•SPIN events will be free of charge. Performers include Sadarri and Company Storytellers, Anthony Lamarr and Meghan Rose, the Boys and Girls Club Black Star Drumline, and Limanya African Drum and Dance.”
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 4, 2013 WISCONSIN AREA MUSIC INDUSTRY ANNOUNCES NOMINEES FOR THE 33RD ANNUAL AWARDS SHOW R&B/Soul: Al White, Charles Walker Band, Hypnopotamus, Streetlife, The Blue Olives, Tweed Funk, Weapons of Mass Defunktion ”
“CD Review: Bobby Messano: That's Why I Don't Sing the Blues Bobby Messano is not from Atlanta, but he could be. He has that sound:) I am writing this review here because I told you all about his appearance at The Local in Marietta a few months ago, and so many of you missed it. I want you to know that you should do two things: (1) Buy this CD right now, and (2) Next time Bobby Messano comes anywhere near Atlanta, don't miss him this time! As for "That's Why I Don't Sing the Blues," I am not going to try to be objective or even-handed or any of that. This is, quite simply, the best blues-rock CD I've heard this year, and can stand up well with any CD of the genre I've ever heard, including the Allman Brothers, Derek Trucks, or any of the other Southern blues-rock greats.Not bad for a guy from Wisconsin! ”
“Recorded at 2009 Bamfest in Madison, Wisconsin, Messano is in fiery form. Backed by long standing bassist Steve Geller and drummer Joey B. Banks, Messano tears through a set of highly charged material of original tunes and classic textbook standards. "CrossRoads Blues" begins in quirky two step fashion. Stopping on a dime, the song reverts back to Fillmore East era Cream fed a dose of steroids. Bobby's own "Holdin Ground" features white-hot fretwork which makes him the darling of the club and festival circuit. It's strange Messano isn't a big name in the blues rock world. His chops are hot but he still remains off the radar. Oh well. The pros and cons of the industry.”
“BOBBY MESSANO LIVE IN MADISON Prince Frog Records “Both “Holdin’ Ground” and “In The Depths Of Love” are slow blues songs that contain scorching lead guitar work and passionate vocals throughout. “The way things Used To Be” is an energetic shuffle, and the set’s closer, “Get Up & Dance With the Blues,” is a funky and rhythmic blues number. While the covers reveal a respect and adoration for classic music from a veteran performer’s perspective, the originals are potent and adept, in a manner that’s unique to Messano. -Brian D. Holland”
"Local band Weapons Of Mass DeFunktion certainly has the "mass" part down, usually incorporating at least seven members who flesh out its sound with guitar, keys, turntable, horns, and extra percussion. Once in a while, a singer joins the group's danceable funk jam-outs."
"How do we defeat terrorism? By setting off the dance bombs that Weapons of Mass DeFunktion mixes up with frenetic jazz, wah-wah funk, hip-hop and reggae. Everyone will be too busy dancing to care about world domination or the takedown of Western decadence."
"Weapons of Mass DeFunktion drops funky bombs of improv-based jazz. "
“BOBBY MESSANO "LIVE IN MADISON" Prince Frog Records "When first eyeing the set list, one might think that Messano relies too heavily on covers, but the five originals within the eleven song set are praiseworthy enough on their own. It’s where his real blues work shines, too. After hearing them, it becomes apparent that the covers are a tribute to the musicians who have influenced him over the years, songs from the past that he just loves to play alongside the originals. While the covers reveal a respect and adoration for classic music from a veteran performer’s perspective, the originals are potent and adept, in a manner that’s unique to Messano. -Brian D. Holland,Blues Review Magazine ”
"Singer/bassist Adam Isaac, a tall, effusive Wisconsin native with an unquenchable jones for the Prince songbook. He's got a knack for penning urgent pop-funk grooves that often rise above the usual dance-floor fodder".