amRadio tunes into the dance floor
First Posted: 12/2/2014
For the nine-piece band amRadio, it’s all about dancing. The music the group plays is geared toward dancing. Its shows are geared toward dancing. And the people that go to see them play expect to spend the night dancing.
Originally formed nine years ago, the colorful NEPA-based unit offers a diverse mix of old and the new material, including songs by The Beatles, Billy Joel, Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, Carol King, Cher, Chicago, Donna Summer, The Eagles, Gloria Gaynor, Journey, KC & The Sunshine Band, King Harvest, Kool & The Gang, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Neil Diamond, Prince, Phil Collins, Three Dog Night and Van Morrison. And for guitarist and vocalist Dave Abraham, who joined the group earlier this year, it’s been a total blast.
“I like a lot of different music, and it was a refreshing change for me,” says Abraham, who had previously recorded with Jimmy Harnen and played with several other local bands, including 3rd Degree. “It’s fun. The thing I like about amRadio is everything we’re doing is up-tempo, danceable stuff. We like to keep the energy up, and keep people dancing, and the music that we do seems to do that.”
In addition to Abraham, the band features Dave Cooper on keyboard and vocals; Chris Maruzzell on guitars and vocals; Chuck Pirone on drums; Bill Walling on bass and vocals; Joelle Witner on vocals; Bill Berry on trumpet; Don Williams on trombone; Joe Zeigle on saxes, flute and clarinet. All have impressive musical resumes. And perhaps that’s why the group is booked by Variety Attractions, a national agency which Abraham says also handles acts such as Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Bret Michaels and .38 Special.
“We’re proud to be with them,” he says. “We do a lot of travelling in the summer.”
Abraham says picking music for the band’s spirited set lists is a group effort.
“Usually we’ll just get together for practice, and somebody will bring in something,” he says. “We’ll give it a listen together and just decide on what we think will fit in with what the crowd wants, as far as what will keep them dancing. It’s usually a group decision as to what we want to do. And the good thing about this band is pretty much anything that we want to try to do, we’ve had success in pulling it off. There’s nine people in the band, and five of us sing, so the harmonies are really good.”
amRadio has performed at venues such as The Woodlands and Chacko’s. On December 19, the band will perform at Blu Wasabi in Clarks Summit and on December 20 they’re at the Bartolai Winery in Harding. In addition to the set list and stage presentation Abraham also has high praise for the musicianship of his bandmates.
“It’s terrific,” he says “Everybody’s been playing for a lot of years. And there’s a lot of energy on stage. We don’t just stand there in the corner and play. There’s a lot a jumping around and moving around, especially Chris. He’s full of energy. He doesn’t stop.”