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Afterglow (NJ) - JPop.com
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Afterglow (NJ)

Afterglow (NJ)

Afterglow (NJ)


Afterglow is an award winning semi-acoustic rock band featuring multi-layered guitars, sugary vocal harmonies, and an exotic ground of percussion and fretless bass. A sprinkling of bells, pipe whistle, and antique toy instruments add whimsical touches, taking the songs toward realms of both dreams and nightmares. The current lineup of Jason Mattia, Ron Konefal, Mikk Ciecierski, Rich Haddad, Alvaro Romao, Stephanie Neuhaus, and Danielle Stauss, enjoy drawing the audience in to their lushly orchestrated “magic garden” of sound. Read more on Last.fm
Afterglow is an award winning semi-acoustic rock band featuring multi-layered guitars, sugary vocal harmonies, and an exotic ground of percussion and fretless bass. A sprinkling of bells, pipe whistle, and antique toy instruments add whimsical touches, taking the songs toward realms of both dreams and nightmares. The current lineup of Jason Mattia, Ron Konefal, Mikk Ciecierski, Rich Haddad, Alvaro Romao, Stephanie Neuhaus, and Danielle Stauss, enjoy drawing the audience in to their lushly orchestrated “magic garden” of sound. An engaging live show has always been a stronghold for Afterglow. The group prides itself on the ability to reach an eerie quiet in their performance, which might remind listeners of haunting nocturne, and conversely, in other live moments, producing a thundering polyphonic trance with conga, doumbek, bells, and fuzzy electric guitar.

Mattia, a classically trained guitarist, along with his band mates arrange the multiple guitars together carefully. Overall, the Afterglow sound is markedly unique in mood and musicianship, but also accessible, as in rock and folk expression. At an Afterglow show one might see a variety of fans: manic panicked goths, deadheads, grandmas, horror filmmakers, and metal heads who love intriguing guitar playing. Asbury Park Press music writer, Kelly-Jane Kotter, compares them to the intricacy, and sweetness of “baklava”, while Ben Horowitz at The Star Ledger has called them, “dreamy, new age, and Bohemian - like The Everly Sisters under the influence of Enya...” Influences include: Dead Can Dance, Miranda Sex Garden, Mediaeval Baebes, All About Eve, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Rusted Root, The Cure, The Mission UK, Tiny Lights, Jane’s Addiction, Throwing Muses, The Beatles and others, as well as East Indian and Celtic traditional music.

Richard Barone’s live album, “Cool Blue Halo”, must be mentioned here, as well as, tea parties (actually tea, sweets, and silliness), red wine, chocolate, bourbon, and Halloween and The Great Spirit. The band, as a group, has made multiple pilgrimages to see Dead Can Dance, and Lisa Gerard/Brendan Perry shows and sadly, only one Jeff Buckley show... Having a long history, in essentially two phases Afterglow feels the best is yet to come but, one must travel back to 1994 for the beginning. Starting as a quiet quartet of four musicians, the group played acoustic songs, (sometimes, even without a PA system) in the plethora of mom and pop coffee houses that dotted New Jersey through the 1990’s. Within a few performances, the group was scouted out by Asbury Park music promoter Scott Stamper, and quickly booked into his clubs: T-Birds and The Saint.

The core group of Stauss, Mattia, Neuhaus, and Konefal, was soon joined by percussionist, Romao, adding more rhythmic drive to the Afterglow sound. Eventually Konefal left the band, replaced then by Kevin Reipl, whom now presides in California, and finally, Ciecierski stepped in, more permanently, along with Haddad and the depths of his rubbery fretless bass, both adding richness to the glow vibe. The group won Asbury Music Awards for “Best Acoustic Band”, and “Best Female Vocals”. They also opened for acts such as, Abby Travis, The Cucumbers, Freedy Johnston, Ron Sexsmith, Greg Trooper, Splashdown and Our Lady Peace while simultaneously playing larger shore venues like, The Stone Pony, opening for Jeffrey Gaines, and others.

Continuing the adventure in “phase one” of their existence, Afterglow recorded singles, like the ever mellow ballad “Falling Down” and the more joyful jam-pop “Cranberries on Sunday” and others. These had airplay on alt radio station, WHTG’s “Common Threads”, with DJ Chris Rake. Afterglow was one of a handful of acts selected from the tri-state area by Z100 Radio to audition at the Westbeth Theatre in NYC for the Lilith Fair Festival. The group continued to play at coffeehouses, restaurants, reeled in by the kind likes of NJ Shore epicurean queen, Marilyn Schlossbach, who often hosted Afterglow in her spaces.

Greatly enjoying the variation between cerebral to bacchanalian vibed venues, Afterglow expanded their reputation as a down-to-earth and approachable, yet dreamy sounding band with a penchant for impeccably arranged songs. The band never released a proper cd, caught in the changeover of analog to digital technology during the 1990’s, surviving only on their prowess as a live band, in the days before email or websites ever existed. In great irony, now, the band may not release a cd, as the “next wave” of digital outreach, and music sharing finds ears in other ways. Very recently, Afterglow has happily rekindled itself for “phase two” of their being, after a ten year hiatus seeking out individual pursuits in visual, performing and the media arts, and spiritual outreach. The “Glow” members have always remained in tact, as supportive and loving friends.

This core of the selective “family of joy”, is a large part of why the group still loves playing and writing together. The group plans on playing shows and writing some more music, while releasing recordings, old, and new in the near future, in their beloved Jersey Shore, and beyond. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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