Music on the Mayne Stage Musical Guest Bios


SERYN_1167.jpgSeryn is a 6 piece band who now calls Nashvile, TN their home. When listening to the well layered textures of guitars, ukulele, accordion, bass, violin, banjo and various percussion, it's hard to imagine This Is Where We Are is the band's debut effort. The band's strength resides in their vast musical talent and understanding of dynamics. Their beauty is gracefully displayed through chilling harmonies. Each member and their voice carry the same importance. One is not complete without the other.

It is in this craft that the young band shines so bright. It has earned them a sound that isn't easily defined, but still proven triumphant. What may first appear as straight folk songs, later transcend into menacing walls of sound. The term "Folk-Pop" has been thrown around and maybe it loosely fits, but we will leave the definitions up to you.

The Denton Record-Chronicle said "Seryn's set was so dynamic that you could feel the key changes in your feet, through Festival Hall’s concrete floor!". While the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, "Watching Seryn perform, it's hard to convince yourself that those crystalline, multi-part harmonies are not pre-recorded or some kind of sleight of ear." You can see where this is going...

This is Where We Are was produced by Britton Beisenherz (Ramble Creek), and recorded over the course of a few months. The experience felt at their live show seems to be captured well in these recordings, which was something of great importance to the band. The band has created their own buzz in the most traditional way too by winning people over at their shows. It's not often that a band without a record out is able to play so many great bills and sold out shows. Much less, be nominated for awards such as Best Folk Artist, and Song of the Year (Dallas Observer). There is no shortage of regional press on them either but the band is excited to take their sound, their show, and their new record on the road. They will be traveling all over the US in the coming months. Go see them play and you will be sucked in!

"Beautiful arrangements (both in instrumentation and in vocal harmonies) and an epic, "big sky" sound that, at times, seems more fitting washing over dilapidated wooden pews in an old church than the usual torn-up couches, vinyl booths and barstools of area venues." - Dallas Observer

Miss Tess and the Talkbacks

MissTess&TB.jpg The Brooklyn-based singer and her band make grooving modern vintage music that nods to the traditions of saloon jazz, country swing, early rockabilly, and New Orleans second line, yet somehow maintains a unique and personal sound. Miss Tess & The Talkbacks have just released The Love I Have For You, their second on rootsy label Signature Sounds (Lake Street Dive, Eilen Jewell, Chris Smither, Erin McKeown…). The new album was produced by Miss Tess & The Talkbacks and recorded and mixed by Devin Greenwood (Norah Jones, Anais Mitchell, Amos Lee) in Brooklyn, NY. The 7-song album features six covers and one new original and pays homage to some of Tess’s favorite singers and songwriters including Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Ted Hawkins, Randy Newman, and Hank Williams. Miss Tess explains how the band chose the 6 songs to cover: “Each artist we covered has held a special place in the history of our lives, as well as in the history of American music. These folks are all musical giants who dedicated their lives to music, and for that I hold them in the highest esteem.”

In their earlier incarnation, they were known as Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade and that, says Miss Tess, proved both too small of a box and too confusing. They were consistently confused for a zydeco band or a New Orleans band. "When I conceived of the band in Boston back in 2006 or so, we had a horn player and we were a little more jazz influenced," she says. “In the last couple of years the sound has evolved, something that naturally happens when you spend so much time on the road with a band. We’ve become slightly edgier and there is some more country and early rock n’ roll coming through. We now have two electric guitars. I'd been thinking about a change for a while and we finally settled on a name. With a name like the Talkbacks, it is what it is."

That's a good thing because it's not easy to define Miss Tess and the Talkbacks.

Their last album, 2012's Sweet Talk, includes 10 originals and a smoldering cover of "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire, " the Ink Spots classic. The originals include the bawdy cabaret of "Don't Tell Mama," the waltzing "Save Me St. Peter" ("Walking on water is a hell of a stand / With no solid ground and no helping hand."), the dance hop, swamp rocking of "People Come Here for Gold," and the burning jazz blues of "If You Wanna Be My Man," which easily could have been sung by Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan, two of her early idols.

Miss Tess also lists Bonnie Raitt and Tom Waits among the artists she admires. Both have that ambitious stylistic range. Waits, she notes, "was able to take some of those older jazz and blues influences and kind of twist them around and do his own thing." That's just what Tess and her band do again and again with top notch musicianship to boot.

"I think we do bring new sounds to the table," she says. "I'm trying to figure out how we do that. Our ears have been informed by different things than the people who were living back then. We're not actively trying to copy anything. We're making fresh arrangements, kind of taking the feeling, style, and soul from some of this older music that we like. "

She says lately the band has taken a turn towards more of a groove. "The newer stuff has been more early rock and roll, some Chuck Berry influence, some Doug Sahm," she says. "I think lately we've been interested in dance music, something with a beat, a groove, something that makes you want to shake around."

Miss Tess grew up in Maryland and went to college in Baltimore intending to be a graphic artist. She took piano lessons at an early age and dabbled in guitar, though she didn't start learning it seriously until she was almost out of college. Her parents played music in a variety of styles including big bands, swing, folk, jug band, and blues groups. She listened to punk, grunge, and alternate rock, and then got into rockabilly, old country, and early blues after she moved to Boston. It all fits.

She was always traveling, taking road trips for months at a time and one day driving away from the mountains after a Colorado bluegrass festival and having written a few songs during her sojourns, she decided music was her art. She went back to Baltimore and put together a band. Eventually, she moved to Boston, took a few classes at Berklee, and one a slew of local music awards. Later, came the move to Brooklyn and has been there for almost four years. Her first album was recorded with mom and dad playing with her, and she has been steadily recording since. By the end of 2013 she will have nine albums under her belt.

In Boston, she found the vintage archtop guitar she plays most of the time. A friend suggested she get a guitar more suited to her style and she found it on Craigslist. The seller lived a few blocks away so she went to check it out. He had a bunch of guitars, but the archtop grabbed her eye. She went back and visited with it several times. “It had such a sweet tone,” she says. “I became obsessed with this guitar.” Eventually, she plunked down the $825, a big chunk of change for a student working a temp job. The guitar came with its original case papers showing it was first owned by a woman in the 1930s. "I said, it's meant for me," she says.


Nick Shaheen


A native of the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights, Shaheen's workmanlike mentality spills from his education and onto the written page. Majoring in Finance and Marketing at the University of Michigan, Shaheen toyed with music a bit in his teens and early 20's but admits to not committing to songwriting up until 2009, when he crafted a tune rather out of the blue that he couldn't shake. "The song came out so fast and afterwards, it was something I could look at and I felt like it stood on its own and didn't need me to validate it or anything," he recalls. "I always felt connected to music and knew I'd be doing something with it, but I never really wrote anything (before that)... so it seemed kind of strange. But when it all started to happen, it just sort of unfolded for me and I felt very connected to the whole thing."

After relocating to Chicago to continue work in finance, Shaheen met up with those that would make up his backing band through open mic performances and connections at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. It seems like fate that these members, most of which being from Michigan as well, also sport not-so-typical work histories: Shaheen is backed by a lawyer, an Apple Genius, a mechanical engineer, a brand strategist and a district manager of a hardware store chain.

Far from just another good-hearted singer with an acoustic guitar, Shaheen and his cast of friends and area musicians paint an always moving picture - sometimes with flashes of horn or banjo, but always with flair and playing for the good of the song. The hypnotic shuffle of "Hard Times," the lively storytelling of "Fishin'," the hushed romance of both "By My Name" and "Quite Uncommon" - all are blanketed in a keen sense of harmony, structure and making the most of one's palette. Shaheen has clearly took cues from his influences - Van Morrison, Dave Matthews, Bob Dylan - but these are far from crib notes. He stands on his own throughout this album, spilling Dylan's deliberate lyrical rhythms over a mix of bluegrass, folk and busker-style country.


JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound

jc brooks.jpg A band that has been described as Otis Redding fronting the Stooges, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound emerged from Chicago in 2007, generating an exciting and explosive garage, funk, and soul sound. Consisting of guitarist Billy Bungeroth, drummer Kevin Marks, and bassist Ben Taylor, a horn section called the Lowdown Horns (Chris Neal and Andrew Zelm), and the charismatic frontman JC Brooks, who has a background in theater and acting as well as music, the band built quite a fan following with its ferocious and electric stage shows. Brooks is a dynamic performer, evoking memories of Redding, James Brown, Sam Cooke, and other soul greats, while the band sounds like, well, a sharp-dressed punk band with horns. The group self-released Beat of Our Own Drum in 2009, following it two years later with Want More on Bloodshot Records. In the late spring of 2103, the band released the full-length Howl.


Tommy Keene

tommykeen540.jpgTommy Keene (born June 30, 1958) is an Americansinger-songwriter, best known for releasing critically acclaimed new wave/power pop songs in the 1980s. He has a longtime cult following among fans of the musical genre of power pop.[1] Originally hailing from Washington D.C., his 1984 EP Places That Are Gone became one of the year's top selling independent releases.[2] The EP garnered a four-star review in Rolling Stone, and was voted the #1 EP in the following year's Village VoicePazz & Jop Poll. Keene has since recorded and released numerous albums on such labels as Dolphin, Geffen and Matador Records. He has worked with producers T-Bone Burnett, Don Dixon, and R. Walt Vincent. He continues to record and tour and recently released an album with Robert Pollard, formerly of Guided by Voices, as 'The Keene Brothers.' Tommy's three favorite bands are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who. Keene also played guitar on the Goo Goo Dolls' hit song Broadway on their 1998 album Dizzy Up The Girl.

Keene released his 9th original studio album "Behind The Parade" with Second Motion Records 1n 2011. This is the fourth release with members of the label as founder Stephen Judge also signed and released Keene's 2 disc retrospective "Tommy Keene: You Hear Me" in 2010 and his previous release "Crashing The Ether" in 2006 on his Eleven Thirty Records while serving as A&R Director and General Manager at Redeye Distribution.

After nearly 30 years in the music business, you might expect someone like Tommy Keene to start slowing down. If you did, you'd be wrong. Produced by Tommy in his home studio, with able assistance again from R. Walt Vincent (Pete Yorn), Tommy's new Behind The Parade (Second Motion) continues his career-long run of premier, melodic guitar-based rock, following up 2009's stellar In The Late Bright with yet another batch of winning tunes.

Ranging from the proto-Keene jangle of “Already Made Up Your Mind” and the edgy, power pop (no, he doesn't mind that description - much) storytelling of “Running For Your Life” and “His Mother's Son” to the moody, ambient instrumental “La Castana” and the horn-infused opener “Deep Six Saturday”, Behind The Parade finds Tommy ably taking a few risks while managing to play to his considerable strengths. Behind The Parade, along with his recent output, shows Tommy is akin to an athlete rediscovering his prime-only in his case, he never left it.


The Story of lePercolateur

le perculator.jpg As the railyard bled into dark warehouses, the stranger found himself alone. Street after street he walked with night taking control of his senses until his ears perked at the music of sirens. The dulcet tones of violin, bass, and the female voice spiraled through the darkness from the sole source of warmth in sight. Helplessly drawn in, he found the last lit trailer in camp that seemed to have sprung forth from another time, and there--in the form of three women--was both the past and the future in one.

He introduced himself as Sam Random and explained that his path and his name were inextricably linked. Sensing a kindred spirit, they proffered their names: Marielle de Rocca-Serra held the violin, Stacy McMichael propped up the bass fiddle, and it was Candace Washburn's voice that had beckoned him. As Sam sat at their fire and opened up his tattered guitar case, another man, his elder, stepped forth from the darkness having been drawn in from afar. Armed too with a guitar, he announced himself as Kevin Rush and sat with no concern as to whether he'd been invited - simply knowing he was home. Fueled by coffee black as the night they found themselves in and so dark it could have been wartime, they played through 'til the sun began painting the eastern horizon red.

Winding their caravan through the windiest of cities, lePercolateur has spent the time since this fateful night sweeping in to transport concert-goers to a time where music was a liberating and cathartic respite from persecution-- where the frenetic energy of struggling to simply 'be' coalesced with the unbridled spirit of gypsy music and burgeoned into swing dancing. The troupe transformed the Green Mill, Andy's Jazz Club, Untitled, Jazz Showcase, Mayne Stage and Katerina's into sold-out Parisian dance halls circa 1937 on a monthly basis. Their high-energy sideshow has made "Percolateers" of attendees of the Lakeview Art Festival, Deer Park Jazz Festival, Jazz Institute of Chicago's 2011 & 2012 Jazz Tours, Hard Rock Cafe Chicago, 2013 & 2014 All Souls Jazz Festival, City Winery, Martyrs, Schubas, Chopin Theatre, the 2010 and 2011 Chicago Cultural Center's "Music Without Borders" series, and Purdue University's Swing Dance. They were Featured Artists in both 2009 and 2011 in the Windy City Lindy Exchange, during which they flaunted their uncanny ability to seamlessly fuse two different eras via their reinterpretations of modern pop through the medium of hipster gypsy jazz. Along the way, these temporally displaced merry-makers were victorious at the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival's "Last Banjo Standing" contest.

lePercolateur released their debut album "Pop Manouche" in March 2013, and thus became the latest band to join the Chicago Sessions record label. Audience members are sure to wake from a dreamlike daze wondering in which year they find themselves... wishing it was what their senses told them. 


Fareed Haque

fareed haque.pngFareed Haque (born 1963) is a fusion guitar virtuoso of Pakistani and Chilean descent.

Raised in Chicago, he studied at North Texas State University and Northwestern University.[1] He is renowned for bringing classical and jazz styles to his jam band collaborations, including, but not limited to, those with Paquito D'Rivera, Dave Holland, Sting, Joe Henderson, Lester Bowie, Arturo Sandoval, Robert Walter, Keller Williams, The Disco Biscuits, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Kahil el Zabar, Defunckt, Ramsey Lewis, Gabe Noel, Edo Castro and more recently with George Brooks[disambiguation needed] on "Summit" and Garaj Mahal.[2] Haque received the 'Most Valuable Player' award at the 2002 High Sierra Music Festival.

He is now a professor of Jazz and Classical Guitar Studies at Northern Illinois University. Fareed's notable students include Neal Alger (of Patricia Barber's group) and Bradley Fish.[3]


Barrence Whitfield and the Savages

ALBUM COVER_bs208_savages_cvr.jpg A Boston-based singer of what one might refer to as "traditional" R&B (i.e.,'50s- and '60s-style), Barrence Whitfield is the owner of one incredible pair of lungs and limitless energy and enthusiasm for his music. A soul screamer in the spirit of Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, and early Don Covay, Whitfield & the Savages, though never breaking big nationally, are a great cult act, a triumph of substance over style, with a bunch of terrific records to boot.

Whitfield (real name Barry White, no joke!) came to Boston from New Jersey in the late '70s to attend Boston University. Prior to college, he'd spent time singing in an assortment of ill-fated hard rock, disco, and even progressive rock bands, never really singing the soul music he grew up loving. His move to Boston was a way of putting (at least temporarily) his musical past behind him. He had no intention of starting another band; his focus was on college. That was until he fell in with a bunch of Boston musicians led by ex-Lyres guitarist Peter Greenberg, who shared Whitfield's love of raging soul and R&B. After hearing Whitfield sing, Greenberg was convinced they'd found the best voice in the city and Barrence Whitfield & the Savages were born.

For a while, they were the toast of the town, and without a doubt one of the best live acts in Boston. It was a hopeful sign, too -- an African-American man working with a bunch of white guys in a city not known for its racial hospitality. After some dues-paying at college frat-house parties, the Savages were ready for the local club scene, and they tore it up. Whitfield was a dervish on-stage, working himself into such a frenzy of screaming and running around that he would occasionally black out. The band, especially Greenberg and drummer Howie Ferguson, were raucous and rough, in high gear from the moment they hit the stage.

Their self-titled debut LP was released to much acclaim (some of it national) in 1984, but the Savages' brand of old R&B -- and the fact that they relied almost exclusively on covers -- didn't help them get beyond their status as enthusiastic archivists. A second album, Dig Yourself, was greeted by even greater acclaim and attendance at live shows was peaking. By the time of 1987's Ow! Ow! Ow!, the original incarnation of the Savages had been replaced by an entirely new band. Though the mania remained intact, there was a concerted effort for smoother soul songs designed to show off Whitfield's voice. While America was being apathetic to the Savages, England was going wild for them. BBC disc jockey Andy Kershaw fell in love with the band, taped a gig in Boston for air in Britain, and brought the Savages over for a tour. Among their English fans were Robert Plant (who showed up at some gigs) and Elvis Costello, who was supposedly writing a song for them. Call of the Wild, a truncated, six-track EP version of Ow! Ow! Ow!, was released in the U.K.

Unfortunately, English success didn't translate back into big sales in America, and the band soldiered on with a few more personnel changes, but remained a cult act, touring in their strongholds and releasing fewer and fewer records. Live Emulsified appeared in 1989, followed by Let's Lose It in 1990. Whitfield took a break from the Savages and recorded two albums with mercurial Texas singer/songwriter Tom Russell, Cowboy Mambo and Hillbilly Voodoo, released in 1993 and 1994, respectively. Whitfield reunited the band for 1995's Ritual of the Savages.

In 1997, Whitfield began working with the Movers, a Boston-based blues octet, then all but vanished from the music scene until the Savages reunited in 2011 and released the acclaimed Savage Kings on the Spanish label Munster Records. Whitfield and band signed to Bloodshot Records in late 2012 and released their label debut, Dig Thy Savage Soul, in the summer of 2013.


Amy Hart

amy hart_web.jpg Born and raised in the Chicago Area, Amy Hart got her start playing blues in festivals as a teenager opening for such artists as Koko Taylor, Junior Welles and James Cotton. Putting her own stamp on the groove she migrated to LA and released "Too Cruel" a track on the Mercury Records Soundtrack for the cult movie "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" Starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt and from there hit the road as a singer/songwriter. 
Decades, deals and several disks later she has returned to her blues roots, with the lastest release, "Congratulations" on Painted Rock Records.

Amy is currently in the studio working on a new cd, due for June release, on Painted Rock Records.



switchback.jpgSwitchback is an American music duo with several full-length recordings released, the earliest of which dates back to 1994. The music of the band falls into the Americana and traditional Celtic genres. For over two decades, the musical partnership of Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack, known as Switchback, has been entertaining audiences around the world with their unique American Roots music blended with Celtic Soul. In 1986, FitzGerald was a mandolin student of Jethro Burns and had already been touring with Clifton Chenier when he met McCormack, an award-winning voice student of Whelma Oshiem at the American Conservatory of Chicago and a member of the Star Search selected band Beyond Blue. They were both chosen by legendary County Kerry composer and concertina master Terrence 'Cuz' Teahan to join his traditional Irish group. Teahan taught FitzGerald and McCormack the old country techniques of Irish musical entertainment, making them one of the last generations to be directly influenced by a master of this musical genre.

By 1988, shortly before Teahan's death, the duo continued his musical legacy with the Wailin' Banshees, joining forces with banjo great Bert McMahon of Woodford, County Galway and Chicago fiddle legend Mary McDonagh. The Banshees flourished, but it was the power of seeing such Texan greats as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Ely, and Rodney Crowell that fueled FitzGerald and McCormack's songwriting and ultimately led to the formation of Switchback in 1993.

Their first album was literally a commercial success, with Chevrolet using one of the songs to promote their Chevy Blazer. Their music eventually reached the ear of Grammy-winning producer Lloyd Maines, who then produced several albums for the band, with The Fire That Burns being selected as one of Performing Songwriter Magazine's top choices for 2003. Throughout this time, the duo managed a heavy touring schedule, opening for such acts as The Moody Blues, Leon Russell, Lee Greenwood, John Hartford, and Beausoliel.

Meanwhile, the Celtic music world never forgot the duo's Irish roots, so Switchback continued to cultivate a following at concerts and festivals. The duo has shared the stage with such notable Celtic musicians as Cherish the Ladies, Gaelic Storm, Liz Carroll, and John Williams. They annually tour Ireland and frequently perform at the Westport, County Mayo pub owned by The Chieftain's Matt Malloy, who often appears there as well.

Playing over 200 engagements a year, Switchback can be heard at festivals ranging from the Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Nova Scotia to the Summer Celebration in Michigan where they performed for an audience of 15,000. Their concerts take place at such venues as the intimately famous Bluebird Café of Nashville to the 3,400-seat Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville, Indiana.

Switchback's music is frequently played on radio stations such as RTÉ Radio One with Pat Kenny in Dublin, Ireland and can also be seen on Public Broadcasting Television stations throughout the United States.

Switchback also conducts educational programs and songwriting workshops for school and community organizations. They have developed several instructional sessions and often customize programs to fit the curriculum or concepts of the clients. Many of these seminars are held in elementary and high schools and libraries but have been conducted in settings as far-ranging as juvenile detention centers and church camps.

Wherever they play, no matter the size or age of audience, Switchback always captivates and charms folks with their energy and creativity.


Frank Catalano/Jimmy Chamberlin Collective

frank jimmy.jpg

Jimmy Chamberlin, an American drummer, songwriter, and producer, is best known as the former drummer for the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Following the 2000 breakup of the band, Chamberlin joined Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan in the supergroup Zwan and also formed his own group, the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex. He is currently active / performs under the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex name. In addition to his current work as CEO, Chamberlin has joined Chicago jazz legend Frank Catalano for a string of 2013/14 performances in the Chicagoland area. An EP by Catalano and Chamberlin Love Supreme Collective – EP was released on the 29th of July 2014.

Chamberlin, who originally trained as a jazz drummer, cites jazz musicians Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa, and Buddy Rich, as well as rock drummers Keith Moon, Ian Paice, and John Bonham as major influences on his technique. While he is known as “one of the most powerful drummers in rock,” he primarily strives for emotionally communicative playing. In 2008, Gigwise named Chamberlin the 5th best drummer of all time 


Frank Catalano is the only known saxman to have performed with Miles Davis, Randy Brecker, Charles Earland, Elvin Jones, Stan Getz, Betty Carter, Von Freeman, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett, Les Claypool and Louis Bellson while still in high school! This led to his signing to Delmark Records at age 18 and a string of critically acclaimed recordings. Catalano has been heard by millions of people all over the world thanks in part to 3 Grammy-winning and 11 Grammy-nominated recordings with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, and John Legend. He recently performed live on the Oprah Winfrey TV show with singer/composer Seal.

No stranger to adversity, Frank cut off his right middle finger in an automobile accident. After several surgeries and much effort, Catalano relearned his signature technique, making him one of the most in-demand musicians today. He regularly donates his musical services to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Also an entrepreneur, Frank has patented a devise that allows him to control his saxophone via midi components. Frank is a spokesperson/clinician/performing artist for companies such as Yamaha, Rico/D’Addario, and JodyJazz. He can be seen in their Print Ads worldwide. Catalano’s songs have been used in the ad campaigns of Motorola, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Budweiser as well as numerous TV and Film productions.

When not on tour or in the studio, Frank enjoys composing classical music. Frank graduated from DePaul University with a BA in music composition and he plays piano, drums and flute in addition to the saxophone. Frank’s non-musical interests include racing his BWM in closed course competition.