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Music Marauders

Summer Camp set review by the Music Marauders at http://www.musicmarauders.com/2010/06/summer-camp-2010-chillicothe-il_17.html

The Station, whose set also began 11:00 A.M. on the nearby Starshine Stage, carried the same attitude towards making music as The Hue. In comparison, The Station’s progressive sound was more polished and contained the cohesiveness that is required to play their rhythmically tight brand of rock and roll. If energizing the pre-noon crowd was their goal, The Station succeeded in their 8th straight Summer Camp appearance.

The Station with Greg Fundis on djembe
Dave Carter with Greg Fundis on djembe

Dave Littrell
Dave Littrell

 

Quad Cities Dispatch

Springfield rock band to return to RIBCO

Quad-Cities Dispatch-Argus May 14th, 2010
By Jonathan Turner, jturner [AT] qconline.com

The Station, a Springfield, Ill., rock band, will return to the Quad-Cities on Friday, May 21, for a special Summer Camp Music Festival Pre-Party at Rock Island Brewing Co., 1815 2nd Ave.

Since The Station's last visit to RIBCO about a year ago, the band has been signed by Planet Playground Records and taken home such accolades as "2009's Best Original Band" by the Illinois Times and "2009 Live Album of the Year" by independent distributor Homegrown Music Network.

"The booty-shaking-rock-fist-pumping quartet, well known for their electrifying and visually titillating dance-rock live show, is gearing up for a summer full of festivals," according to band member Dave Carter. That includes its eighth straight appearance at Jay Goldberg's Summer Camp Music Festival, taking place Memorial Day weekend at Three Seasons Park in Chillicothe, outside Peoria. That festival features five stages and 100 bands, headlined by Umphrey's McGee and moe.

The May 21 show at RIBCO starts at 9 p.m. with a performance by Chicago's Jaik Willis, recent winner of Summer Camp's "Your Facebook Your Festival" contest. According to Chicago Jams, Jaik "has wandered around the USA like a modern minstrel, surfing sofas, car-camping, and paying dues to sing the blues."

"He does very musical, very high-energy shows," Mr. Carter said. Carter further described The Station's sound as "driving rock, with a good dance beat behind it."

Tickets for the RIBCO concert are $6 at the door. For more information, visit TheStationMusic.com.

The Illinois Times

The Station announced the addition of virtuoso Howard Freitag as the newest member of this volatile and versatile band in transition. Last fall another master musician, bassist Jeff Cunningham, came on board to join in the Station’s mix of funky fusion and pop jams. Now with Freitag adding his immense talent and years of experience into the mix along with founding members drummer/percussionist Dave Carter and vocalist/guitarist/saxophonist Dave Littrell, the band appears to be unstoppable on the way to bigger and better things. Already a well-respected name on the jam band circuit with a successful touring schedule in place, The Station stands poised to rise to another level in the industry. Whatever happens, incredible jamming and dynamic playing is a given. Check out the first Springfield appearance of the new lineup Saturday night, March 6, starting around 10 at Bar None.

Homegrown Music Network

The Station's double-live release Speed of Sound was recently named the Homegrown Music Network's 2009 Live Album of the Year! LIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR: The Station - Speed of Sound - Live at Marley's offers two plus hours of ambitious, genre-bending rock and roll. The songs are characterized by incredibly strong guitar work, energetic, effusive lyrics, and a stark mixture of musical styles ranging from progressive rock and horn-driven funk, to spacey jams that remain sharp and on point.

The Illinois Times

As The Station, a Springfield-based national touring funk/rock/jam band, celebrates 10 years of being together as a functioning unit in 2009, the nucleus of Dave Littrell (vocals, guitar, sax) and Dave Carter (drums, percussion) with Kevin Lemen (guitar) announces the addition of Springfield bassist, Jeff Cunningham, to the lineup. The Chatham native who plucks the 4, 5 and 6-string basses as well as a fretless and a standup acoustic, played with Dave and Dave in Three Amigos a few years back and also worked with LowPhat, Soul Pudding, Senses, Los Injectors and other bands in recent years. His amazing improvisational skills and awe-inspiring musicianship should coalesce well into the free form flying of The Station as the group continues to tour and begins production of a fifth original music recording.

Jambase.com

... The first standout performance of the weekend came from the Springfield, IL band The Station. Their set was characterized by dissonant, jazzy melodies that would snap instantly into catchy choruses, with blazing guitar and sax work to top it off. Jam after jam peaked perfectly, with some pleasantly surprising excursions into trance territory a la The Disco Biscuits. The talent of lead axe man Kevin Leman was undeniable; he sounded conspicuously like a young Jimmy Herring, shredding through dissonant jazz scales but displaying a keen sense of ear-pleasing melody...

The Illinois Times

Please join me in offering hearty congratulations to The Station as they commemorate 10 years together as a working band in 2009. Over the last decade, the Chatham-based group spent about half of that time playing on the road, released three CDs, including a double live set, Speed of Sound (2008), and won in two categories of Illinois Times’ Best of Springfield in 2008, for Original Band and Band Most Likely to Hit it Big. The nucleus of the group, known around here as the Two Daves — Carter on drums and percussion and Littrell on vocals, guitar and saxophone — are founding members of The Station. Two other original members swapped out with current Stationers, Kevin Lemen on lead guitar and John Kerska on bass, in 2004. According to Carter, that’s when they increased gig dates from 50 to more than 150 per year and began the transition, “from a young band starting out, into a working business with year-end plans, books to balance, and meetings to make.”

 

Many changes occurred in the music industry over the last 10 years and The Station has seen its fair share at the independent, working-band level. In 1999 most artists didn’t have Web sites, there was no MySpace and digital downloads on handheld personal players had yet to replace CDs as the favored form of listening to recorded music. “I was 18 years old when we started, so needless to say, everything has changed for me,” said Carter. “Literally everything has changed for us as a band too, from marketing to music.” Music-wise the band progressed from a jam-band-influenced group barely out of high school to a well-tempered combo of musicians able to perform dozens of originals and countless cover tunes on the spot. Through challenging themselves and their audiences by continually performing new self-penned material and doing fun takes on other music, The Station found themselves growing as a musical group and earning a credible fan base. All that is to be expected after 10 years of playing together, but what the band, or anyone else for that matter, couldn’t anticipate was the vast change of technological advances coming in the information world. “In the last few years we’ve gotten over any fear of new technology and worked with connecting with fans and making personal relationships,” said Carter. “Understanding how to take full of advantage of all the technology out there now is essential to getting ahead.”

 

Carter should know. While working at a local Internet provider back in 1999, he started a band Web site just a few months after The Station’s inception. Since then they’ve ridden the wave of Web-based promotional tools available to music artists, including MySpace, Facebook, podcasts, Twitter and a host of other sites and programs, connecting the band to an ever-growing base of fans through the Internet. “I can get on Twitter and Facebook at 2 a.m. after a show and going through ReverbNation, a Web site for bands, it gets started and immediately posted to everyone who’s connected to us. It’s amazing.”

 

With a celebration of the past comes an inevitable look into the future and as this quartet of young men, now having fun playing in the band, head toward the inevitable choices of mid-life, what might happen in the next 10 years? “I see us continuing the trend of fewer and bigger shows, recording more albums, and all of us having families — I’d be ecstatic if we’re doing this same thing,” said Carter. “As long as this band and our music lights a fire in us and we’re constantly striving to create, we’ll keep going.” The Station celebrates 10 years as a band with an anniversary concert at City Nights Theater in the Capital City Bar and Grill on Friday, April 10, with 56 Hope Road opening the show.

Homegrown Music Network

The Station - The Speed Of Sound January 22nd, 2009 The Station’s 2008 double disc, “The Speed of Sound – Live at Marly’s” offers two plus hours of ambitious, genre-bending rock and roll. The songs are characterized by incredibly strong guitar work, energetic, effusive lyrics, and a stark mixture of musical styles ranging from progressive rock and horn-driven funk, to spacey jams that remain sharp and on point. The quartet, which hails from ..Springfield.., ..Illinois.., has been playing for 9 years and has toured relentlessly across the ..Midwest.. in that time frame, releasing three studio albums in the process before “The Speed of Sound.” Fusing mathematically challenging compositions (think Rush or Umphrey’s McGee) with sterling guitar work (a la Phish and 1970s era Jerry Garcia), “The Speed of Sound” presents an engaging “live” double disc package that will satisfy the seasoned fan, yet garner the interest of the new. The tracks contained on these discs were recorded across two different days in late 2007 and showcase the band’s “live experience” and the dizzying talents of guitarist Kevin Lemen. The first highlight of the album for me would be the spectacular, funky groove of “Illuminator,” which explores various rhythms and sonic textures with Lemen’s guitar and Dave Littrell’s energetic saxophone work. This “party song” clocks in at over 12 minutes, a characteristic shared by most songs on the album. These longer songs provide ample room for soloing and exploratory improvisation, yet remain tight, focused, and meaningful, without pointless noodling. “The Other Side” is a jubilant, buoyant track that highlights Dave Littrell’s strong voice and Lemen’s trademark guitar showmanship. “Vagabond Slim” begins methodically with lingering, haunting notes that set the stage for an exploratory jam that sounds reminiscent of “....Shakedown Street....” era Grateful Dead. This song ultimately concludes in spectacular fashion with scorching interplay from Littrell’s saxophone and Lemen’s guitar. “Drop of a Hat” begins with Lemen’s crunchy guitar work before transitioning into looser, more melodic waters. This song exhibits many swings in mood as these more melodic moments are then starkly juxtaposed against Lemen’s blistering solos. The collection’s shortest track, “Midwest Moonshine,” with its likable, liquor-soaked sensibility, reminds me of early Widespread Panic and would be a sure fire winner in that crowd. This album, with frenetic, paint-peeling guitar solos and funky open-ended jams, offers lots for the listener to chew on. I found myself drawn to the musicianship and “jams” in the album, more so than Littrell’s lyrics and vocals, but this is purely a matter of personal preference and taste. After playing this album several times, I found myself playing Disc 1 the most, as its tracks offered a pleasant, energetic mix of guitar work, vocals, and songwriting. In reviewing The Station’s “live” album as a whole, I feel that the album displays many different swings in mood, manner, and delivery and does so with satisfying results. This collection aptly showcases The Station’s showmanship and songwriting abilities and presents them as an undiscovered treasure in the jam scene. The “Speed of Sound – Live at Marly’s” offers further evidence that The Station is worthy of our attention. - By J. Evan Wade

The Illinois Times

The Station, repeating as Best Original Band (also, in 2008, the Band Most Likely to Hit it Big) celebrates 10 years as a band in 2009. Just a few months ago founding bassist Josh Kerska left the group and local bass virtuoso Jeff Cunningham joined, while the band continues on as one of the hottest progressive rock acts in the Midwest. The jamming quartet of Cunningham, Dave Littrell, Dave Carter and Kevin Lemen, obviously known for original music, presents an annual Halloween show focusing on a specific music group or event. This year see the Best Original Band for 2009 perform a night of Sly and the Family Stone tunes at City Nights Theater on Oct. 31. Be sure to check out another Station show to hear the catchy and intricate selfpenned tunes that won them this category for two years straight.Runner-ups Micah Walk Band and NIL8 show the incredible range of talent our readers had to choose from within the Springfield original music scene.

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