Thursday, March 17, 2016

Nied's Hotel Band

Describe your band, telling a little about it. 
The Nied’s Hotel Band is a powerhouse recording and performing rock-n-roll band from Pittsburgh, PA. (USA). NHB delivers the hardworking, blue collar, muscle that has made Pittsburgh a legendary rock-n-roll city. The band includes some of the best-known and respected players in the region.

The band had its origins in 2003 when singer John Vento began a studio recording project that he titled “Nied’s Hotel” as a tribute to Jim Nied, proprietor of the landmark Pittsburgh tavern of the same name, which also was the source of inspiration for many of the songs. Vento, along with noted musician/producer Buddy Hall, began the process of bringing these new songs to life, coaxing amazing performances from an all-star roster of Pittsburgh musicians – Reb Beach, Kenny Blake, Pete Hewlett, B.E. Taylor, Norman Nardini, Tom Bellin, Joe Munroe, Scott Anderson and Jim Britton.

But no one had more impact than John’s primary session drummer, Ron Beitle. As the original drummer for Wild Cherry (“Play That Funky Music”), Ron brought his considerable drumming talents and gold record experience to the “Nied’s Hotel” project, released on CD in 2004.The next release, 2007′s “The Way That You Roll,” was again recorded with session players, but Vento, along with drummer Beitle, decided it was time to start performing this material at live shows. The new release was credited to “John Vento and The Nied’s Hotel Band,” but the live band line-up changed frequently while John and Ron searched for the right chemistry.

Along the way, some fine musicians became NHB alums, but none more important than singer/songwriter/guitarist Stephen Christopher, who left his mark by penning the songs “600 Under” and “Need A Lover,” which are still mainstays of the NHB live show. Then, in early 2009, Beitle recruited his life-long friend, Russ Oblinger (bass) to join the band. Russ had just returned to Pittsburgh after a long and successful career as one of Detroit’s best session players. With these two guys in place, NHB now had a tight and accomplished rhythm section.

The band began to fine-tune their sound and develop more original material. Within a year or so, Tim Hadley, Fred Delu, Ed Jonnet, and Jim McCullough had all joined the band. With a consistent lineup and a killer new sound, the band went to work writing and arranging new original songs and creating a live show that reflected the band’s powerful personality. By May of 2011, NHB was ready to make a real rock-n-roll album. No more session players, just a well-rehearsed band entering the studio to play and record as one. Basic tracks were recorded live at Vento’s Corbriwood Studios in West Deer, PA, followed by post-production and mixing at Buddy Hall’s Beacon Hill Studio. The results were released in 2012 as an EP called “Side One”.

Although pleased with the results, the band, having grown leaps and bounds as a performing, arranging and writing unit since their inception, wanted to try something a little different. The band enlisted Klint Macro, who had just moved back to the area after a successful career in the Los Angeles studio scene, to be their new engineer/producer. The band recorded all of their new material at Klint’s Cobblesound Recording Co., as well as re-arranging and re-mixing the “Side One” material. The finished full-length CD, “One Night Stand”, was released in July of 2014.

Unfortunately, upon its completion, drummer Ron Beitle and bassist Russ Oblinger decided to leave the band for personal reasons, with Bob Fetherlin and Frank DeCarolis, both accomplished players in their own right, stepping in to fill the void. Like any great rock-n-roll band, NHB prides itself on delivering high-energy, entertaining, live shows. The band has made a major investment in its live production sound and lights, and is blessed to have one of the finest and most professional crews around.

What are your names? / Who plays what? 
John Vento- Vocals 
Tim Hadley- Guitar 
Jim McCullough- Guitar
Fred Delu- Keyboards
Ed Jonnet- Sax
Frank DeCarolis- Bass
Bob Fetherlin- Drums

Have members played with any other bands?  John Vento (lead vocals, B- Men ),  Bob Fetherlin (drums; Craig King),  Frank DeCarolis (bass; Woo Hoo Band),  Tim Hadley (lead guitar; Jet Set),  Ed Jonnet (saxophone; Gregg Allman, Three Dog Night),  Fred Delu (keyboards; Roy Buchanan), and Jim McCullough (guitar, Shades of Soul & B-Men).

Do you write your own music or perform covers? Focus primarily on original music but also play covers of similar style   Has it always been this way? No. Originally, we were 100% original but as live shows grew so did the song selection.

What year did the band form?  2009 as live band, 2004 as recording project

Where is bands home?  Pittsburgh based

What's your style or genre?  Rock-n-roll with soul (white man’s Motown- lol)

What inspires your music?  Personal life experiences and passionate toward certain

How often do you rehearse? Twice a week

What gear do you guys use? Uggggg. Not sure about that one.  Need to ask guys

Do you utilize a booking agency?  Yes – multiple but we have a primary booking guy – jeff weinberg.  And what are your thoughts around that?  It’s great as long as you are represented by ethical folks

Are you looking for a label,no and what are your thoughts around that?  We record, publish, distribute all on our own label. 
Keep control.

What are your songs about?  LOL – too many about woman. Most though deal with mature subjects like addiction, life experiences, getting old, etc. it’s cool to be serious but I keep most of the heavy stuff on my solo material.  NHB is a fun band, but we’re not afraid to deal with adult subjects like divorce, etc.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? 
The music drives the lyrics/content

Do you compose in a certain enviroment? Alcohol

Have you done any covers live? Sure, many

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? Well ……last spring we did a gig in the middle of Beaver County where 10 people showed up.  Penguin playoff night….uggg.  Frankly though we normally play to big crowds , we are very lucky to have such support.

What ages are most of your concert attendants? 40 – 60 (the classic rock crowd)

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary?  We try to vary . but honestly we probably have played our core material way too long. We try to freshen up the show every few months.

Do you have a regular place you play live often?  Not really but …..Moondogs, Baja, Nied’s Hotel (summer only), Meadows are regular stops.  We also produce our own theater shows, The Oaks (Oakmont), The Lamp (Irwin) , The Strand ( Zelionople) plus we’ve been growing in Cleveland.

What was your first gig like? A train wreck !!!!

What was your latest gig?  Fabulous, packed house, high energy, the band is tight…..
real tight !

Have you had to cancel a gig? Yep….just last week. The venue was having serious financial problems

Where have you played live this year? Cleveland Hard Rock Café, Moondogs, Latitude 360 , Ramada Greensburg, Lamp Theater, The Altar bar,

Where do you plan to gig the coming year?

Fri. Mar. 18th - 7:30pm – 11:30pm – Lamp Theatre - w/ very special guest Spectrum (featuring Christopher Brozek)
22 Main St. Irwin PA 15642 (724) 367-4000

Sat. Mar. 26th – 8pm – 12mid – Headliners @ The Meadows Casino
210 Racetrack Rd, Washington, PA 15301 (724) 503-1200

Sun. Apr. 3rd – 2pm – 6pm – Baja Bar & Grill @ FCYC w/ special guest Zuzu Petals
1366 Old Freeport Rd., Fox Chapel, PA 15238 (412) 963-0640

Sat. Apr. 30th – 7:30pm – 11:30pm – Strand Theater –w/ special guests Noble Hops and The Shiners 
119 N Main St, Zelienople, PA 16063 
(724) 742-0400

Sat. May 7th – 7:30pm – 11pm – The Oaks Theater –w/ special guest Jessica Bitsura
310 Allegheny River Blvd, Oakmont, PA 15139, (412) 828-6322 

Sat. May 14th – 8:30pm – 12:30am – Lyndora Hotel – special guest Mary Lou Scherder
1 Main St., Lyndora, PA 16045 (724) 283-1289

Sat. May. 28th – 7:30pm – 12mid – Rocksino
10777 Northfield Rd, Northfield, OH 44067

Sat. Jun. 11th – 6pm – 10pm – Nied’s Hotel
5438 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201, 
(412) 781-9853

Fri. Jun. 24th – 5pm – 8pm – Street Track N Trail – Motorcycle Rally
13723 Conneaut Lake, Conneaut, PA. 16316
(814) 382-4821

Sun. Jun. 26th – 2pm – 6pm – Baja Bar & Grill
1366 Old Freeport Rd., Fox Chapel, PA 15238, (412) 963-0640

 Fri. July. 1st – Kennywood
4800 Kennywood Blvd, West Mifflin, PA 15122

Mon. July 4th – TBA – Big Butler Fairgrounds 
1127 New Castle Rd, Prospect, PA 16052

Sat. July 9th – 6pm – 8pm – Lock 3 - Opening for “Satisfaction” – Rolling Stones Tribute
200 South Main Street, Akron, OH 44308

Fri. July 15th - 97.7 Rock Station–Band Jam
205 Currie Rd. Slippery Rock, PA 16057 

Thu. July 21st - 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Commercial Ave, Aspinwall, PA 15215

Sat. Aug. 6th – 6pm – 10pm – Nied’s Hotel
5438 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 781-9853

Fri. Aug. 12th – 9pm – 1am – Ramada Hotel & Conference Center
100 Ramada Inn Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601, (724) 836-6060

Sun. Aug. 21st – 2pm – 6pm – Baja Bar & Grill @ FCYC with The B-Men
1366 Old Freeport Rd., Fox Chapel, PA 15238, (412) 963-0640

 Sat. Aug. 27th – 1pm – 4pm -Three Rivers Harley
1463 Glenn Ave., Glenshaw, PA 15116 (412)-487-3377

Wed. Aug. 31st – 6pm – 10pm – Nied’s Hotel – 75th Anniversary Party!
5438 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 781-9853

Fri. Sep. 2nd - 8pm – 12mid – Headliners @ The Meadows Casino
210 Racetrack Rd, Washington, PA 15301, (724) 503-1200

Sun. Sep. 4th – Corbriwoodstock Music Festival (Festival 12noon-10pm, NHB time TBA)
36 Corbriwood Lane, Gibsonia, PA 15144Sun. Sept 18th – Syria Mosque outdoor pavillion – The Band Together Pittsburgh 1st Annual Music Festival 
1877 Shriners Way, Cheswick, PA 15024 (724) 274-7000

Sat. Sep. 24th – 7:30pm – 11pm – The Oaks Theater
310 Allegheny River Blvd, Oakmont, PA 15139, (412) 828-6322

Sun. Oct. 2nd - 2pm – 6pm – Spirit Hall – Hosted by Skipp Barr to honor the Nied’s family  
242 51st St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (412) 586-4441

Sat. Oct. 22nd – 7:30pm – 12mid – Moondog’s
378 Freeport Rd, Blawnox, PA 15238, (412) 828-2040

Sat. Nov. 19th – 2pm – 6pm – Baja Bar & Grill
1366 Old Freeport Rd., Fox Chapel, PA 15238, (412) 963-0640

Fri. Nov. 25th – 7:30pm – 11pm – The Oaks Theater – w/ special guests The Shiners & Highway 4
310 Allegheny River Blvd, Oakmont, PA 15139, (412) 828-6322

Sat. Dec. 3rd – 7:30pm – 12mid – Moondog’s
378 Freeport Rd, Blawnox, PA 15238
(412) 828-2040

Sat. Dec. 10th – 6pm – 10pm – Nied’s Hotel 75th Annual Christmas Party @ Teamster Temple’s Thomas L. Fagan Auditorium
4701 Butler St. Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 781-9853

Sat. Dec. 17th – 7pm – 11pm – Fox Chapel Racquet Club – Optimist Christmas Fundraiser - w/ special guest The Compadres
355 Hunt Rd, Pittsburgh, PA

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? 2011, CD’s T-shirts, cups, etc

Where can people buy your merchandise? Only at shows

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? I hate it but we all have to get used to it , that’s life.  We are offering “free downloads” on our web site for a limited time .

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this?  OMG…YES  !!!!!  sad, very sad

Do you have any role models or idols? 
Van Morrison, Eric Burdon(The Animals), Harry Chapin (who I met)

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today?
I would say both. Of course I love the old guys, that’s what I grew up on but there is a great deal of wonderful music today from young artists like Ed Sheeren.

What have been your biggest obstacles? Time & money

What advice would you give other bands or artists?  Stick to what you do best and don’t listen to outside voices. Follow your heart.

How do you get psyched for a gig? I really don’t get psyched. I just try and connect with the audience and I believe in our music and the performance.  It’s part of who we are and what we do.

Do you have any new material?  Yep – brandy new

What are your web sites?

Social media addresses?

What are your plans for the future? Keep creating new original music plus continue to mature and “work the craft’

What do you think of my work?  We all appreciate what you and others like you do to support and promote local music. It seems like a  tremendous effort on your part so I have no doubt that your heart is in the right place.  Thank you!

How do you think that this interview could help you in the local music scene and beyond?  It will expand our potential audience, but more importantly because of your work we get credibility.

What is one thing even your biggest fans don't know about the band?  We are really transparent, need to think about that one………..

Do you have anything to add?  Yes. Can I plug the new charity that we are supporting ? Band Together Pittsburgh.


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