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You would be forgiven if after hearing their name you were to mistakenly confuse, Suburban Plaza, with a place as opposed to a musical band. It’s an unusual, but fitting name for a band that defies easy definition or categorization. Tony Clef, front man, on bass guitar; Jerry Rescue on keys and backing vocals; James Dillinger on drums; and Dave Hamilton on keys and backing vocals are a band of brothers literally (cousins
from upstate New York).
Natives of Rochester, New York, they are a product of the church and it is the institution where their musicianship was honed; singing and playing together since their formative years in sanctuaries, temple halls and revival tents across upstate New York. They are versed in the complexities of music instrumentation and orchestration, demonstrating a musical talent and skill that suggests to the listener they’re well beyond their early 20’s. The Suburban Plaza’s sound is a rich composite of diverse musical genres, representing gospel, rock, rhythm and blues and alternative; inspired by a diverse cadre of artists and groups from The Beetles, Prince, Steely Dan, Aretha, Sly and the family Stone, to name a few; not to mention numerous rap stars, hip-hop acts, r&b artists past and present. At any given moment, you can hear their influences echoing just beneath the surface, in a musical bed of intricate harmonies and arrangements, smooth transitions and progressions, and sumptuous melodies, harking to a time when such craftwork was common place.
Their sound is in exercise in contradictions, masterfully executed and elevated to an art form; raw yet polished, brash but mature, secular and spiritual, cinematic in scope, while intimate and personal. It is today, yesterday and forward looking, refreshingly new, but warmly familiar. Not an easy trick to pull off, but pull off they do, like a walk in a plaza!
Once hearing them you’ll immediately recognize this is not your average band, not average in any way, shape or form of the word! What you’ll realize is that you’re listening to an immensely talented and accomplished collection of musicians, demonstrating a level of artistry that leaves your ears awestruck! You’ll want to define and categorize what you’re hearing, but find yourself hard pressed to do so. Don’t bother asking them to help you, as far as they’re concerned some things are best left undefined, left to interpretation, one’s imagination, much like their namesake…Suburban Plaza.
“I’d prefer our music speak for us, our story, it’s all there, if you listen closely” – Tony Clef