Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones
Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones are fronted by a 20-year-old powerhouse guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. The South Carolina-born artist, who formed the band as an eight-year-old, has developed a powerful and sublime synthesis of skills and makes it clear that the future is hers to conquer.
On their new self-titled album, Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones (available everywhere now) the band — who’ve played over 2,000 shows — digs to their core and leaves it all on the floor. The album is an aural kaleidoscope of blazing guitars and searing vocals, all of which establish Wicklund as a triple-threat player, singer and writer.
The album’s producer, Sadler Vaden, says: “Once we started writing some songs, I saw that she had a real, raw talent. I was inspired to work with her by her love of classic rock music and blues. I wanted to honor that in making this album, but also add a little modern edge to it.”
On the 10-track album, Wicklund taps into the fury of loneliness (“Ghost”). She resurrects specters of Hendrix and Joplin (“Looking Glass”) as well as power ballad intensity (“Strawberry Moon”). Then, just as she’s supercharged you with about as much raw energy that you can handle, she lets you down gently with the acoustic intimacy of “Shadow Boxes”— all the while her vocals achieving a raw intensity that is rarely found elsewhere. It all comes together in a perfect blend of old-school rock ’n’ roll as viewed through the eyes of a new generation’s urgency.
That impression is doubly emphasized in the video for the album’s first single, “Bomb Through The Breeze,” a performance video featuring a hurricane of swirling color interspersed with black bunnies and slithering snakes creating an eerie visual environment.
“Sadler and I wrote the song “Bomb Through the Breeze” as a response to feeling backed into a corner by someone who doesn't get the hint,” says Wicklund. “This is the type of song to hopefully inspire some self-confidence when it comes to standing up for yourself and others. Unfortunately, when someone's volume is on loud for so long, the only way to get their attention is to do something even louder.”
The buzz about Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones continues to grow globally. Guitar Player Editor-In-Chief Michael Molenda (posting at GuitarPlayer.com on 9/13/17) has heralded Wicklund “not simply as a shredder or a tonal colorist, though she certainly has chops and can go for some buzzy and less-than-organic sounds. What’s impressive to me is how she uses her custom Tom Anderson guitar and Orange halfstack to drive the emotional context of her songs with a combination of spiky rhythms, slow lines, fast runs and cagey riffs. It all adds up to a thrilling ride.”
Within 1 week of release of the album, it has been selected to appear on many of the Spotify tastemaker playlists, including Fierce Femmes & New Noise along with the “Bomb Through The Breeze” video being the first ever independent artist featured in the Top 10 on the Rock This playlist!
Hannah credits her father with instilling the lesson of never losing the intensity that music requires. Her first guitar was a present from him, as a kind of atonement for getting rid of her backyard trampoline. That very night, he taught her to play “Rockin’ In The Free World” and Tom Petty’s “It’s Good To Be King.” (Creativity runs through the family: her mother, a talented artist, painted the latest Steppin Stones album cover.)
The band will continue to tour for the remainder of 2018 with past appearances including major events such as the Peach Music Festival, Firefly Music Festival and Kaaboo Del Mar.
She grew up knowing that her life would be consumed by music. And somehow it feels as though it is only the beginning...
In late 2016 the idea of Haunting Titans emerged. Starting with just some simple guitar chords eventually the band formed into a crew of dedicated members. In early 2017 with writing steadily rolling and a demo under their belt, Haunting Titans started to play consistent live shows with members Sarah Murphy, Sean Beirne, Nick Guerrera and Robert Scucci. They have played all over their state of Connecticut from New Haven to Hartford, to New London, to Stamford, and many, many other places in between. In the summer of 2017 they were granted the awesome opportunity to be on Comcast’s Channel 10 Public Access Show ‘Live Bands Touring’. On the show they were interviewed on influences, writing, concepts and played a selection of their original songs live. Haunting Titans have also been the featured guest on WPKN’s Radio Show ‘CT ROCKS!’ answering questions about how the band formed and what are the future goals for the group. They have also been lucky to play a handful of local CT music festivals such as Black Rock PorchFest, Blazin’ Vibes Fest and The Underground Parade. Fall 2017 came with both happiness and saddens as The Haunting Titans began recording their full album but also had to say goodbye to their beloved bassist Robert Scucci due to a move. Welcoming their new bassist Robby Madeux they have embraced the change. In 2018 The Haunting Titans plan to release their full first album and continue to expand their reach throughout CT, New England and beyond. You will also find 2 tracks from The Haunting Titans on Volume 3 of ‘It Came from Connecticut” a compilation CD of local CT bands of all genres and walks of life.
New Haven, Connecticut rock quintet, Chaser Eight, is a melodic, alternative rock outfit that released a new Naked Collection on January 27th, 2017, three singles at the beginning of 2016, and their first studio LP, Chaser Eight, on February 17, 2015. The group boasts bluesy and richly expressive vocals, mesmerizingly textured guitar playing, and a dynamic and imaginative rhythm section. Inspired by Joan Jett, Foo Fighters and Alanis Morissette, Chaser Eight writes moody, guitar driven songs lead with soulful female vocals. Since the age of ten, singer, *AUDRA*, and guitarist, Pat Walsh, have been writing songs together and released their first EP, Late Night Companions, in 2012 followed by EPs Up and Up and At the 426 in 2013. The band writes about relatable subject matter - darkness, love, loss, partying, and sex - inviting listeners to connect with the raw, passionate lyrics.
In 2013, the band made its television debut, performing two songs on WTNH's Connecticut Style Stage 8 and returned to Stage 8 in March 2016 and February 2015 to promote their singles and self-titled album. The band made their first official licensing placement in January 2014 with the commissioned remake of their song “Road (Indecision)” as the main title for the independent motion picture, Acting Like Adults. Their music has been played on Connecticut radio stations 99.1 WPLR and Radio 104.1 with Radio 104.1 being the official host of their video release party at Stella Blues in New Haven, Connecticut on March 25, 2016 and album release party at The Ballroom at The Outer Space in Hamden, Connecticut on February 21, 2015. Chaser Eight has opened for Panic! At The Disco, Atlas Genius, and The London Souls. *AUDRA* has worked with The Rolling Stones' iconic former manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, on the production and arrangement of her songs. They will be performing live all throughout the Northeast during 2016 and you can find their music on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, and many other popular sites. Stay connected with them at chasereight.com.