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The Ayes

By Gary Wien

Baby put a pot of coffee on
tonight we're gonna stay up
way past dawn
It's gonna be a sky full of stars...
--"Shooting Stars"

From the moment you hear the opening words on the 4-song EP by The Ayes, you know that you're hearing something special. And by the time you run through all four tracks, you're begging to hear more. Rarely has a band become so polished in so short of a period of time.

The Ayes (pronounced "The Eyes"), based in Red Bank, were formed in the beginning of 2003. Since that time they have quietly built themselves quite a following with their unique blend of musical styles. They have a sound that's one part country, one part blues, and two parts rock and roll. They don't care what you call it as long as you like it.

"I've often tried to describe it and I can't," said Gary Scannelli. "I guess it's kind of mellow, sultry light rock with a country feel."

Scanelli plays bass alongside Brian Donegan on lead guitar and Lew Rosengrant on drums. ?But the star of the show is lead singer/guitarist Silvi Gonzalez. It is her voice which provides the sultriness, the sexiness and the haunting aspects that are part of every Ayes song.

"I'd call it haunting alt-country," said Brian Donegan. "It's kind of ambient. Some of the guitar parts remind me of some Cure stuff a little bit. It sounds like classic rock to me. I mean, the riffs sound country but the music doesn't always sound country. All of the different elements give it that vibe."

The four band members are all accomplished musicians that teach at the Red Bank Academy of the Arts. Simple jamming together led to helping Silvi out with some original songs she had written. The urge to form a band struck her after playing a solo set at the Internet Cafe in Red Bank. Within a few months, the Ayes were born. Or at least they had finally decided upon a name that they could all live with. The sound would take a little longer.

"Originally I think it seemed like we were heading into - I don't want to say punk, but punk would be the extreme," explained Silvi Gonzalez. "Then we decided that we sound really nice by adding a lot of texture into the music as opposed to brute angst and stuff like that."

Gonzalez actually was a punk rocker when she lived in London. Her British accent is still very apparent when she talks, but there's no hint of it when she sings. She has played in bands since she was 12 including one called "Toys" that caught the eye of Malcom Maclaren who was interested in signing the band to a record deal.

"It seemed like they wanted to take over the creative side of things and I just wasn't willing to do that," added Gonzalez.

Lew Rosengrant, who also plays drums for the band Jaski, was the only band member actively in the local music scene before the Ayes were started. The rest of the band hadn't really played seriously for many years. But all four recognize that they have something special going on with the Ayes and they're willing to do what it takes to make it. "My bags are packed!" said Scannelli.

The band will release a new single in March - something that should find its way onto regional radio. From there, they hope to start expanding their fanbase by playing gigs outside of Monmouth County in places like Trenton, Princeton and New Hope, Pennsylvania. You can catch the Ayes on March 4th at the Saint in Asbury Park with 4 Way Street, Highway 9 and Jon Leidersdorff.

For more by this author, click here

Riverside Rhythm and Rhyme Presents Patrick Fitzsimmons On December 16
(SUCCASUNNA, NJ) -- Riverside Rhythm and Rhyme (RR&R) presents Patrick Fitzsimmons on Sunday, December 16 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Investors Bank Theatre in Succasunna. Tickets are $20 for general admission; $15 for RAA/SSG/JAM members; and free for those under 18.
Outpost in the Burbs Presents Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams
(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Outpost in the Burbs presents Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams on Saturday, December 8th at 8:00pm at the First Congregational Church, 40 South Fullerton Avenue.  Opening the show will be New York City-based singer-songwriter Leslie Mendelson. Outpost volunteers will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for the holiday season for Toys for Tots at the show.
Jann Klose and The Voice's Josett Diaz To Perform At Ethical Brew To Benefit A Cause Close To Home
(TEANECK, NJ) -- On Saturday, December 8th, singer-songwriter and recording artist, Jann Klose will perform at Ethical Brew on behalf of Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center, a community arts and cultural center for children and teens located in Bronx, New York.  Doors open at 7:30, show begins at 8:00pm.
Kenny Chesney To Perform At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
(ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- Focusing on smaller venues and markets not directly impacted by his massive stadium tours, Kenny Chesney sought to make his Songs for the Saints 2019 Tour mirror the intimacy of its namesake album. Inspired by the resilience of the people around him, Chesney doubles down on the human connection for his 2019 tour by seeking those members of No Shoes Nation who have spent the past decade and a half making the trip to stadium markets for what is now a summer tradition. On Saturday, May 11, 2019 he brings the tour to Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in Atlantic City, NJ.
State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Friday, December 7 at 8:00pm, Saturday, December 8 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday, December 9 at 2:00pm. Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a division of Cirque du Soleil, has become a critically acclaimed, state-of-the-art Broadway musical, and a fun-filled, holiday family show. Tickets range from $35-$98.

"Great Music!" Tavares and Harold Melvin's Blue Notes LIVE! at the Strand Theater
The music of the 1970s is alive and well this Saturday, November 3, 2018 at Lakewood, NJ’s Strand Theater with a concert by the ’70’s R&B and soul groups Tavares and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes!
"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.

Event calendar
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2018

The Madness of George III @ Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, Morristown - 2:00pm and 7:00pm


Warren Miller’s Face of Winter @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 7:30pm

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