Who: Thank You Scientist – Shadow Merchant
When: Thursday, May 22, 2014 | 7:30PM Show | 6:30PM Doors
Where: Roxy & Dukes | 745 Bound Brook Rd, Dunellen, NJ
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Thank You Scientist
Salvatore Marrano – Vocals
Tom Monda – Guitar
Greg – Bass
Odin Alvarez – Drums
Ben Karas- Violin
Ellis Jasenovic – Saxophonenovic
Andrew Digrius – Trumpet
Strange sounds brew in strange places, and Thank You Scientist is no exception. With “more hooks than an old tackle box and more time changes than a broken pocket watch,” the band belies their humble suburban New Jersey roots with a sound that is undeniably unique. Boasting a seven-piece band (collectively playing roughly twenty instruments) and a hyper-composed sound much indebted to the band members’ experience and formal training in both classical and jazz idioms, Thank You Scientist has been mesmerizing live audiences since their inception in 2010.
Dubbed “The Top Unsigned Act in the Tri-State Area” shortly after the release of their debut EP, The Perils of Time Travel, the band hasn’t slowed down a bit. On June 8th, 2012, the band released their first full-length record, Maps of Non-Existent Places, an album funded by fans from all over the world via a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. The album is a stunning collage of influences—progressive rock, jazz, fusion, classical, metal, psychedelic, ’60s pop, and world music all seem to collide together at full speed, and the impact demands your attention. A Frank Zappa for the indie generation? Incubus jamming with the Mahavishnu Orchestra? Mr. Bungle and Steely Dan joining forces to fight Godzilla? King Crimson and the Brecker Brothers serenading you at your bedside? It all seems so strange on paper, yet it’s sure to satisfy your ears in the best of ways.
Don Henney—Keyboards, backing vocals
Paul McGinnis—Drums, backing vocals
Sean Reiter—Guitars, backing vocals
Howard Whitman—Bass guitar, lead vocals
Shadow Merchant is an original progressive rock band based in Philadelphia.
With years of combined experience, and with influences ranging from Rush, Kansas, Spock’s Beard, Porcupine Tree, Yes and Dream Theater to Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and more, Shadow Merchant brings their unique brand of progressive rock to the music world.
Shadow Merchant got its start in 2007 when radiologists Dr. Sean Reiter and Dr. Paul McGinnis, while working in the same practice, discovered their mutual affinity for prog rock. Both were experienced musicians. Guitarist Reiter had been in a band that opened for one of his favorite groups, Kansas, while McGinnis was a longtime drummer with a style reminiscent of Rush’s Neal Peart and Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy. The two radiologists began to rehearse together, and before long, they began developing original songs. Still, they needed more members to turn their duo into a full band.
Reiter asked a friend who was involved with music if he knew anyone who: a) played bass b) could take on lead vocals, and, of course c) loved the prog! It turned out, his friend did know someone: Howard Whitman, another progressive rock devotee who had an extensive background as a professional musician.
Two became three, and then another friend of Reiter and McGinnis joined on keyboards. By 2008, the first incarnation of Shadow Merchant was born, with the band’s name derived from an antiquated term for radiologists.
When the keyboardist decided to move on, the now-trio set about finding a new fourth member, and after a series of auditions, met up with New Jersey-based keyboardist Donald A. Henney Jr. With his musical talent and mastery of keyboard technology, Don was the perfect missing link the band was looking for.
By 2011, Shadow Merchant was playing professional gigs, starting at Northeast Philly’s famed Whisky Tango nightclub. In November of that year, they were invited by NYC-based InsideOut recording artists Jolly to join the bill of a night of prog rock at The Legendary Dobbs in South Philly. Another highlight was a show at Philly’s legendary North Star Bar in early 2012.
Later that year, Philadelphia classic rock radio station WMGK introduced a new contest, Rock MD, a competition for local groups that had medical doctors as members. Shadow Merchant was named a finalist in Rock MD 2012 and played at the Keswick Theatre (former site of RoSfest) on 10/11/12.
2013 saw the band return to The Legendary Dobbs, and play at other venues including Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live. Shadow Merchant was again named a finalist in the 2013 WMGK Rock MD competition and returned to the Keswick stage on 10/09/13.
Shadow Merchant performed again at World Café Live in April 2014, playing a special set that included a tribute to Electric Light Orchestra—complete with string section.
The members of Shadow Merchant were honored to play the After Party for RoSfest 2014 on May 2, celebrating the release of their debut CD “The Tunnel” (released that day) with a set of songs from the CD, along with select cover songs from some of their favorite classic prog bands.