The Coupe de Villes
The Coupe de Villes
In this age of hype and music driven by popular fads, The Coupe De Villes, with their devotion to pure, driving rhythm & blues, come as a welcomed breath of fresh air. Although they owe a great debt to a number of popular blues styles, The Coupes (as they are commonly called by their fans) have molded their own unique sound, blending the pure emotion of Chicago blues with the driving power of rock. The result is a hot mix of passionate vocals, rock solid rhythm, and scorching, yet tasteful solos.
With the worldwide release of Burnin' Blues (After Hours, Ichiban Records), it's clear The Coupe De Villes have paid their dues. From "Sweet Sweet Man" and "Geraldine" to the slow cryin' blues of "So Many Reasons" and "Mean Streak", it's one of those albums that just hooks you and keeps getting better with each listen.
The five piece ensemble features vocalist Lex Byers, whose gravelly voice transcends the medium to evoke searing emotion. The blistering guitar work of Tommy Bianchi has become a trademark of the band. The rock solid blues of The Coupe De Villes remains firmly anchored with the rhythm section of bassist Jeff Morrison and drummer George DeMott. Keyboardist John Cianciola,( who, along with Bianchi, writes most of the band's material), provides some of the most fluid piano and gritty Hammond B-3 organ fills, to be recorded by a blues band in years.
One of the highlights of Burnin' Blues is a special appearance by ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, who played with The Stones 1967 - 1975, during their most fertile period. He delivers brilliant guitar work to "So Many Reasons."
Burnin' Blues has been warmly embraced by industry insiders and consumers, alike. It was added on 48 US radio stations (rare for a straight ahead blues release) and has become one of the biggest selling records by a Western NY based act.
Formed as a "jam session" ensemble in October of 1985, in Rochester, N.Y., The Coupes are comprised of veteran players. The group started as a off-night outlet for the player's, who, had become frustrated at playing Top 40 covers. Since all the members were already committed to popular area cover bands, The Coupe De Villes gigged only occasionally.
Gradually, however, their popularity began to grow, and eventually the members left their lucrative cover bands to concentrate on rhythm & blues - the music they really loved making.
The audience for this style of music was larger than many club owners had known, and suddenly the group was drawing large crowds to a steady circuit of nightclubs.
By the end of 1988, the group had recorded and released their first album, Tuff Life. The title song, written by keyboardist John Cianciola was inspired after watching a TV documentary on the homeless. The Coupes felt so strongly about the issue that they donated all the proceeds from the single to The Rochester Area Foundation for The Homeless Fund.
The song came to the attention of comedian Whoopi Goldberg who liked it so much, she had it incorporated as one of the theme songs for the HBO special, Comic Relief 90, also starring Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. It was also used on Comic Relief V, in 1993.
The Coupe De Villes also have received a Certificate of Achievement from Billboard Magazine for their independently released song, "Time For You To Pay". In 1990, they ventured to Memphis to compete in the International Blues Festival, were they took home Third Place honors
In late 1995, The Coupe De Villes entered Dynamic Recording Studios with Chuck Mangione and Spyro Gyra audio whiz, Neil Stadtmiller, to begin work on the band's long awaited follow up to Burnin' Blues. The new album "Blues For You" has received critical acclaim with a Documentation of Certification for a Grammy.
The group continues today with a promise to make great blues. The band has had the honor of being opening act for artists such as B.B. King, George Thorogood and Delbert McClinton. With strong song writing talents, look for a Coupe De Villes release in the near future.