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Band: Little Ivory Blues Band

Members: Seth Shoemaker, bass; Garrett Stoner, lead guitar; Aaron Lewis, lead vocals and blues harp; Mike Rowland, percussion; Lucas Hough, keys

Who we talked to: Shoemaker

How did you guys get together? In September of 2006, I met the guitar player in the band, Garrett Stoner. Me and him got together with our keyboardist, Lucas Hough. We kind of started . . . just jamming with each other. From there, we met Aaron, who is our singer, and at the time he was our drummer. We had a band then. That didn't really work out. For about five or six months, we really didn't do anything. Then we added Mike Rowland. I guess for probably close to a year now we've been together.

Where did the name come from? Well, we were listening to (a live recording by) Jimi Hendrix and he has a song called "Little Wing." When he played it live . . . he called it his "Little Ivory." We were kind of going through a Jimi Hendrix phase and it was awesome.

Can you describe your sound and style? We're predominantly a blues band, but we do blues and we do like blues/rock. The stuff that we play has a heavier feel, more like a Texas blues.

Who are your influences? We all kind of have our own influences. Our guitar player, Garrett Stoner, his main influence for his playing is Stevie Ray Vaughan. I guess my biggest influence for my bass playing would probably be Jaco Pastorius. Anything from like the '30s to the '50s is Aaron . . . like Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and all those guys. Collectively, (we like) Blues Traveler.

They're coming to York in June. We're in the Battle of the Bands (at Sovereign Bank Stadium) on May 24 to try and open up for them. I don't know when we play right now, but I know that we get 90 seconds to show what we've got. We're going to play the hell out of it. We have an original that we're going to play the abridged version of. Its called "Chicago Breakdown."

When did you guys start playing music? I started playing bass . . . the summer between my seventh- and eighth-grade year. I've always loved music, though, my whole life as long as I can remember. Garrett Stoner . . . started playing in sixth grade. Mike, the drummer player, has been playing drums every since he could pick up the drumsticks. Me, Aaron and Mike are seniors (at Central York High School). Lucas is a sophomore, and Garrett is a freshman.

Do you guys play out a lot? We're in the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania, and they have bands in Harrisburg often that we try to get out to. We try to play wherever we can. If there's a place to set up, we'll play. We've been in three battles of the bands. The first competition we were in . . . was when the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania had a blues competition from all the blues bands from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. It was the first actual gig we ever had and we ended up taking third out of 15 other bands. The funny thing was that . . . we were the only people there under the age of 45. (Laughs) There was (a Battle of the Bands) at the (York Jewish Community Center) that we won, and one at Penn State York. Hopefully, we'll win (the competition at Sovereign Bank Stadium).

If you win, you get to meet Blues Traveler, right? That's the best part. (Laughs)

What would you want to say to them? If I could get over my stutter from being so nervous, I don't even know. Just to learn anything would be awesome.

What's coming up in the future? We're all kind of staying local after high school. We plan on making our career out of this. We actually won 12 hours of free studio time at Right Coast Recording. We plan on getting there after we graduate when we have time to.

- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF

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