Yes, you heard right.... "The Kootz"!
The Kootz hail from Essex, Bergen, Union, Passaic, Sussex and Monmouth Counties and have been around for nearly 10-years, now! That's a pretty long-run for any band!
Starting out in the late 90's, it all began as a nucleus of 5 or 6 musicians who informally jammed at various member-basements and even played an occasional gig or two... 'back in the day', the band was called 'OMJ' (short for 'Old Man Jam')... By 2001 it was unanimously decided by co-founders Chris Bolger and Glenn Taylor with the full-commitment of the other charter-members, Ben Asher, Tony Dente and (the late) Dr. David Frisch... that this fledgling-outfit would try and make a 'go of it', seeking more exposure and acceptance... as well as gigs!
OMJ became "The Kootz" in 2002. The 're-naming' was sort of a self-chuckle, based on the fact that most of the members were already over 50 years old; Hence, the "Kootz-Credo", "Rock 'n Roll With Fiber", is quite-visible on the band's banner, which is 'hung in plain-sight' whenever they perform-live!
The intensity with-which band-leader 'Glenny-T' publicized the group began to bear fruit by 2004. He was able to book the band more frequently... and the word began to get-around about these 'old-guys' who could really rock! There were private corporate events and municipal concert opportunities. These Northern NJ-guys also started crossing the Driscoll Bridge (or NJ Mason-Dixon Line) a LOT more frequently and began performing at many of the shore-area's hottest venues between Point Pleasant and Long Beach Island... Before-long they were performing over 200 shows a year, all-around the tri-state area.
A debut CD entitled 'Tales From The Endless Bus Tour of New Jersey' followed in 2005, with guest appearances from Tommy James (as-in Shondells) and Smithereens-drummer Dennis Diken... Produced by Glenny-T at his own production-studio, 'Taylor-Made Productions' (www.taylormadeprod.com) this debut-album, a combination of Kootz-penned originals and a few classic-covers has achieved over 18,000+ downloads on i-Tunes, as well as over 2,000 units of the hard-CD sold at last-count!
All the while, the band was metamorphisizing, adding additional members; With all these shows being-booked, The Kootz began to 'rotate' from their 'pool', as well as 'import' some occasional 'Guest-Koot' performers... This 'stable of Kootz', now totalling 13 core-members in-all (as well as 7 occasional 'guest-artists'), enables the band to play as many as 250 shows annually, sometimes with 2 on the same night! It has yielded several different and exciting Koot-combinations... while maintaining that same pursuit of the classic 60's and 70's musical genre! It is in this way that The Kootz are a truly unique rock 'n roll band... It's kind of like a "small rock 'n roll corporation"... comprised of these diverse and talented musician-friends!
A second 'totally-live"-CD, entitled "Kootleg" was released at the start of Summer-'09... sporting the entire 'cast' of the band performing 21-rockin'-classics. The live-disc embodies many diverse-combinations of Kootz-personnel... as well as the material that they play.
Ironically, there had never been a moment when 'all-Kootz' stood under one roof at one time... That changed on October 1st, 2009 when "Kootleg, The Concert" become a reality! On that evening, the entire "Kast-of-Kootz" core and guest-members, took the stage together... for possibly the only time ever! The event took place at The Prime Time Dinner Theater in Sayreville, New Jersey and played to over 350 enthusiastic Kootz-fans!
In January of 2010, The Kootz were hosted for 2 separate TV-shows on Spotlight-NJ, a News-12 NJ program that reaches all of the Northeast-US. Performing as a semi-acoustic quintet, in a two personnel-configurations, the appearances included six-original Kootz songs, as well as two interview-segments with show-host, Della Crews. See the shows on www.thekootz.com!