Mathew deRiso - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo
Kurt Mullins - Fretless Bass, Lead Electric Guitar, Keys
Jeff Deignan - Drums and Percussion
Shawn Blomberg- Bass Guitar
Mat D and the Profane Saints new album Holyoke (release date March 04, 2014) was originally conceived as a solo album, production on Holyoke began in August of 2011 as a follow up to Mat's acclaimed 2010 release Plank Road Drag. Percussionist Jeff Deignan was asked to record drum tracks for the new album adding a new element to the sessions to round out the sound in an attempt to depart the percussion-less solo recordings of the past.
Upon rehearsing many of the songs slated for release on the album, it was decided that the project was leaning more towards a full band effort; despite the album's more subdued and personal tone in comparison to the Profane Saints earlier irreverent work on Small Town Burning and Dirt Town City Limits. After some argument and serious debate, the old recordings were scrapped almost a year later - even though the album was virtually complete. The band started over from scratch. As sessions continued the album transitioned from a solo recording to a full blown Profane Saints album. The group forged ahead into new territory, leaving little of the Rockabilly infused Country Rock of it’s past for a decidedly more progressive sound marrying a blend of Blues, Surf, Cajun, Old Time Country and Americana influences into an insurgent Roots Rock sound that better reflected the mood and the overall direction of the songwriting. Lyrically the album was inspired by the desert prairie landscape of Eastern Colorado, Western Nebraska and the Black Hills of South Dakota. The death of Mat's Father in 2008 and subsequent death of his Grandfather in 2011 meant many road trips back to his native State of Colorado to say goodbye. On the final and somber trip back home from Denver, Mat saw a sign on the edge of the interstate that read "HOLYOKE" and thought "Holyoke - there's nothing holy about this landscape...it all seems so forsaken…so barren.
" Mat's thoughts culminated in this statement: "I felt as though everywhere I turned and in every direction I was a half mile from hell."The inspiration had been found. The concept and theme of the new album took form recalling the topography, deep seeded legends and myths of the Old West. Snapshots of ghost towns and landmarks that lay in ruins with long lost angels of a golden age reborn as languished spirits in the decay of the modern world. Old train depots, dive bars, lonely highways and abandoned mines were translated into gritty tales of phantom railroads, ill-revered roadhouses and back door brothels with a salty cast of killers and ramblers that populated them; with death and the devil waiting for them all at the bitter end. Holyoke also marks a new beginning for the band with the addition of bass guitarist Shawn Blomberg, with founding members Jeff Deignan (drums/percussion) and Kurt Mullins (electric guitar / bass guitar) remaining as a revitalized and focused core the group with their eyes set firmly on the band‘s future, looking forward to hitting the road with singer-songwriter Mathew deRiso at the helm with plenty of Hard Luck Americana and Bad Man Ballads on tap.
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