For August we’ve got our spotlight on an all female hard rock band, Brigade. Clubgoers throughout New York and New Jersey are raving about their catchy choruses and hard-edged groove. They’ve opened for nationally known acts like Peter Criss and Ace Frehley of Kiss, Warrant, and Firehouse. They’re gorgeous and on the edge of something big. If you like what you see here, then go check out their web site at http://members.aol.com/BrigadeNYC/index.htm and for more wav files go to http://www.hotstuff-nyc.com/brigade.html.
Brigade has gained a loyal following of faithful fans who know a good thing when they see it. Plus they’ve begun to attract the attention of some industry insiders, most recently, Heart drummer Ben Smith. He flew in from Seattle last spring to produce Brigade’s self-titled EP. The EP was recorded at the Electric Lady Studios in New York City and the chance to work in such a professional setting really brought out the band’s best. Once owned by Jimi Hendrix (his album Electric Ladyland was recorded there) the studio is full of beautiful murals, state-of-the-art equipment and rock history. Also present for the recording was a large tomcat named Jimi (in honor of the studio’s founder) who has an interesting habit of climbing the padded walls of the different studios. The EP itself contains four of Brigade’s best songs so far and can be ordered on both CD and cassette. You can also download a clip of their song “River of the Deep” on their web site.
JODI VAUGHAN – Vocals
Jodi’s earliest memories of music come from the age of three, riding in her birthfather’s pickup truck through the small country town of Vienna, Georgia, singing along to country legends such as Patsy Cline, Kenny Rogers and Alabama. In 1988, Jodi joined a local Southern rock band and quickly won over the crowds with her soulful vocals. After spending two years with the band, developing her unique style of carefree lyrics, she felt it was time to break out, took her last paycheck, packed up her car and made a very risky leap to New York. Shortly after she arrived in the Big Apple, Jodi got a job at a local restaurant and immediately put out the word that she was looking to join or form a band. A week later, Brigade was already beginning to take shape and started touring the New York club scene, once again bringing Jodi’s Southern charm and determination to the stage.
COLETTE RUSSEN – Guitar
Colette first started playing guitar while attending high school in Brooklyn. A classically trained flutist, she decided to rebel against her ‘orchestra image’, borrowed an acoustic guitar and chord book from friends and taught herself the basics. She managed to con her way into the advanced class at school by showing up, finding out how many chords people knew and then going home and learning all of them overnight. She made it into the class and ended playing in several high school rock bands. After a couple of years off attending the Conservatory at Brooklyn College where she studied the classical flute again, she’s come back to Rock and the Blues!
COLLEEN MULLARNEY – Bass Guitar
Colleen’s love for music was spurred watching her big brother Ricky singing and jamming on the guitar. Unfortunately, trying to learn how to play on his lefty guitar was too frustrating and asking her parents for another instrument was just asking for trouble. Still, she persevered and eventually, made a deal with a local bassist – if she bought a bass, he’d give her the lessons. Her parents gave in and from then on, playing the bass was her destiny. This talented bassist from the charming town of Jersey City, NJ has been in and out of local bands and has traveled extensively in search of the right musicians for her sound. It took her almost six years to find something that clicked, but in the end, the wait was well worth it!
LISA SACCO – Drums
When little Lisa Sacco’s parents noticed her constantly banging and tapping on everything in sight, they broke down and bought their little skin-basher a drum set. However, it was a scaled-down version of a real set. It didn’t even have a snare drum or a bass pedal, but Lisa wasn’t discouraged. After discovering Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, she decided that she would one day be in a band as well. This decision led to her first real drum set and a string of bands that eventually brought her to Brigade!
June 2005 Update: Brigade is now known as Kin and their new website is at http://members.aol.com/kinsite/ or view their ROCKBANDLOUNGE.COM Band Page.