The Throttles hold together Brazilian, afro, gypsy, jazz, and blues styles with wild turning improvisation and an underlying kinetic country-rock and roll energy. They effortlessly string together thumping two-beats, latin and afro dance hall marathons, and surf-rock ragers. They buzz with restrained intensity and powerful, tight execution. The sound is thrilling, the feeling is visceral; musical alchemy as it can only be experienced live.
Guitarist and primary singer Greg Burgess' playing style and technique defines the bands' sound by bringing Django Reinhardt and Bola Sete influence to a muscular rock combo. His rich and gutsy hollow-bodied sound is a result of lovingly devoted practice. He is a man obsessed with pulling beautiful music from his instrument. He started out sitting in at Ricky "King" Russell's Boston area open mics, then played rhythm with Little Frankie Blandino's surf stalwarts the Fathoms. He was recruited for Boston's psychobilly Speed Devils, then joined double-bassist Jack Hanlon in the Amazing Royal Crowns in 1998. Touring relentlessly with the Crowns, he was a powerhouse of cascading runs and thrilling fills, always able to whip up a rock and roll frenzy. Lightning fast and nimble, his creative solos at times seemed to upstage the rest of the song. No longer constrained by standard rock and roll arrangements, the Throttles arrangements stay fluid, allowing Greg the space to go long and far with his solos, holding listeners in suspense wondering, 'where will he take it?' . . . almost always someplace exuberant.
Bassist Jack Hanlon and drummer Matt McLaren started playing together in 1988 in the garage rock tradition with high school bands the Mole People and Flower Gang. Jack went on to help form the Amazing Royal Crowns, which brought him all over the United States and Canada, Great Britain and Australia. There he developed his uncanny slap bass chops, speed and power. Since that time he's worked countless gigs and has become well-known and respected around New England as a premier fill-in for roots and blues work. He can bring the deep south swing to make Bill Black proud. Jack is also a devotee of Willie Dixon, and it shows in his slap treatment of the band's afro and cuban influenced sounds. He brings to the frantic gypsy material the necessary speed and drive which he developed as a punk rockabilly upright bass machine. A luthier himself, Jack delivers a delectable bass sound when he plays, sweet and low, crackling and percussive.
Matt McLaren has played with countless live bands, not to mention soundtrack recording, burlesque shows, theatre, opera, Highland bagpipe and drum corps, politico-hardcore punk and beyond. Over the last decade he has recorded 6 full length albums and toured 9 countries with Alec K Redfearn and the Eyesores. He helped form Double Decker Dance Band, formerly Providence's best afro dance band. Sound collective Barnacled triumphed with a critical release on legendary ESP records. Matt has extensively studied the West African percussion ensemble transcriptions for drum kit by Royal Hartigan, and draws heavily on playing by Ed Blackwell, Bill Ward, and George Hurley.
In 2009, The Throttles started crafting their sound in bars, working up a repertoire of blues, country and rock to fill the evening. Greg Burgess' gypsy and Brazilian guitar influences gradually crept into the sets, and the sound blossomed. In addition to original songs and instrumental pieces by Burgess and Hanlon, the group frequently pulls from its bar band repertoire; T Rex, Tom Waits, Blondie, Black Sabbath, Bob Dylan, Nancy Sinatra, War, Bola Sete, The Pogues, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Moto, the Stooges, Van Halen, Velvet Underground, Warren Zevon, Rolling Stones, Pat Martino, Buddy Rich, Billy Joe Shaver, Hank Williams, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Violent Femmes and endless standards.
The Throttles play regularly around New England, particularly Worcester, Boston, Providence, New Bedford, Newport and Westerly. In addition to bars and music halls, the group has been hired for corporate events, weddings, roller derbies and fundraisers.