For 40 years, Pentwater has been the consistent voice of American progressive music with their unique style always reaching for more. With muti-part vocal harmonies, enigmatic themes, layered instrumentals, and engaging lyrics, they respect their listeners and give them quality audio, mature composition, masterful musicianship, and a dash of quirk & humor. Pentwater formed from several local Chicago rock and blues bands; “Liquid Tension", "Crystal Ship", “Cranberry Rose”, and "The Oceanna County Pioneer's and Business Man's Band". Early in their career, while the boys were only 16 to 18 years old, Chicago-based Dharma Records signed them to a 4 record deal, but the label went bankrupt before recording could begin. Five of the six members went on to receive conservatory training, and the song-writing blossomed to almost seventy songs.
Over the years, the band toured with Starcastle, Rush, Hawkwind, REO, Journey, and many others. Their self-titled first album (vinyl) was released in 1977 on the band’s own Beef Records label. In ’03 it was re-released on CD with 4 additional never-heard tracks. Their second release, “Out of the Abyss” (CD) dropped in ’92 in a partnership with Syn-Phonic records. In 2007 they released “Ab-Dul”, containing a mix of “refreshed” old tracks and brand new compositions.
All 3 CDs are available at CDBABY.COM, and downloads at iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, Amazon, and others. The band's 5-member lineup has remained remarkably constant over the years, with only one substitution. Original guitarist/vocalist Phil Goldman swapped spots with local guitar-hero Ron Fox back in the mid-70's; however Phil's collaborations with the band through the 90's and 00's has brought him fully back into the fold, making Pentwater the more powerful and well-rounded 6-man band it is today. Phil adds textured mandolin and acoustic to his electric guitar skills, while Ron Fox (who can make any 6-string sing!), brings a heavenly pedal steel and oboe. Ken Kappel's prowess on keyboards of all kinds has brought comparisons to greats Emerson and Wakeman on frequent occasions, but he decidedly cuts his own unique (and slightly manic) style and sound.
Mike Konopka's guitars scream, squonk, tic-tac, and wail around Pentwater's core while his violin & flute weave silk through the fabric. That leaves the rhythm foundation, consisting of Tom Orsi propelling the music along a vast array of drums and percussion that can overwhelm or emote just the right mood and driving motion. His rhythm partner, Ron LeSaar, brings low-end motion and melodic bass styles to counter-attack the treble forces using 4, 5, and 8-string basses, and has recently added Chapman Stick. While all 6 join in the multi-part and layered vocals, Mike and Tom provide the lion's share of lead vocals and harmonies that characterize the band's sound.
Pentwater's lyrics, again mostly provided by Tom, entice and intrigue the listener with fantastic stories and personal insights - definitely not your average journey! So much more than the sum of its parts... Pentwater adds up to an unforgettable experience. 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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