Corduroy 9

What kind of band would you expect to find at a pizza parlor on a Saturday night in Laurel, Maryland -- Country? Top 40? Cover? Bad? On a recent Saturday night at the Irish Pizza Pub in Laurel we found an incredibly talented original rock trio called Corduroy 9.

"The band used to be called Rainville (Bryan's last name), but we knew we needed a real name. We were sitting at a booth in the Irish Pizza Pub eating pizza, drinking Guinness and throwing names around. Finally Danny said "Corduroy." Brian thought it was cool; then I made the Pearl Jam connection. Danny said, "Corduroy 9," and we were sold."

Bryan Rainville [bass, harmonica, vocals], Danny Burke [guitar, vocals], and Brian Jones [drums, congas] have been together as Corduroy 9 since August '96. Their original music has been described as a mix of the Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground and Tom Petty. They have a blues and classic rock background but focus on experimentation with those traditional forms. They released their self-produced debut album "Stout" in December '97.

"After practice one day we were eating wings and drinking Guinness at Looney's Pub throwing around names for our first CD. It was almost as hard as coming up with a band name. Names are like that because we'll have to live with the name for ever. I looked down at my Guinness and said, "Stout!" It's simple, it's something we love and it means strength--it was perfect for us."

"Stout"cover art is a collection of all of the great classic rock groups and songs rolled into 12 songs. Corduroy 9 has found the blend of power trio r&b and the late 60's Haight Ashbury psychedelic. The song "V. Nice" sounds like it could have been recorded in San Francisco in 1968. With the overdriven mix, changing tempos, and screeching guitar solo to close the number you could pass it off as a song from a film soundtrack about the "Summer of Love". Still with the obvious influence of such artist they have managed not to rip-off any one's style but turned it into their unique sound.

"Secret Castle" is a low down dirty blues number. Slip on a pair of headphones and close your eyes and Burke's guitar work will take you to a smoky, dark, beer soaked bar. The song slowly builds from the bass line to give you the feeling that they started the tape recorder after a long jam and only let us in on the last four and a half minutes. If that is the case I wish we would have been given more. Stout is a CD by three musicians that can play a snappy pop song like "Calling Me" or a free form jam like "Brothers". The whole CD is full of rich songs made to get you to turn up your stereo until you blow out your speakers, a must for any summer party.

"Corduroy 9's only goal in life (besides complete, tyrannical domination of the world and a nice buzz) is to perform live for you and keep you coming back for more. Make it to a show if possible, and you won't be disappointed!"

How right they are--you will not be disappointed! I went to the Irish Pizza Pub to check out Corduroy 9 because I was so impressed by the musical styles on "Stout". I was even more impressed when I saw them perform these same songs live. I really enjoy concerts with a jam or two thrown into the middle of a song where you get to see if the band members are comfortable with each other on the stage. One thing I hate is a show where it sounds like the same song is being played over and over. Corduroy 9 gives music lovers what they want, music. The night was a mix of short pop songs like "Calling Me" and free form jams like the Dead's "Bird Song".

The Irish Pizza Pub is a combination bar and restaurant. Unlike most places where the band plays in the bar, here the band is set up in the restaurant. There is no stage or lighting for the band (they play in the darkest part of the room)! Corduroy 9 was so much at ease with the performance that they were giving, that nothing was going to stop them from enjoying the night. They played two long sets that lasted about two and a half hours total. Most of the night was original music from the Stout CD with covers thrown in to showcase their gritty blues style.

Three times during the night a good friend of the band was asked to join them for a number. Giles Harney was first asked to take the stage as guitarist to add a heavy metal edge. Later, he took over for Jones on the Dead's "Bird Song". The crowd was treated to a first, Jones sang lead vocals. They told everyone that he had never sang for the band before, but I think he should try his hand at singing more often. Then, David Fields, who seemed to be another old friend they had not seen in a while, took the mic to rap while Corduroy 9 poured out the funk. Jones told me during a break, "Corduroy 9 is a live band!" They definitely are. They played without a set list; thriving on the feedback from the audience and sensing what to play to keep everyone in high spirits. Burke seemed to test the mood between songs with a hook from a Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, or Nirvana song to guide the band to the next number, then would deliver scorching solo after solo never repeating the same licks. Rainville laid down the bass lines to keep the groove strong through out night while his antics of constant hat and a large black afro wig provided comic relief. Check this band out some night with a group of friends. Good friends, good music, and a good stout beer; you can't go wrong.

Brian's original artwork!
Brian Jones' original artwork!
Check out Corduroy 9's website
for dates and info!

The Corridor