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Entertainment

Blue Hawk Records Spotlight: Thanks Genie

Andy JackieBlue Hawk Records’ seventh compilation album contains a great group of talented musicians. At the release show, we will be hearing all the amazing tracks on the album and you can pick up your very own copy outside of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on Dec. 9 at 2:50 p.m. The artists featured on this album are: singer-song writer Dan Amato and his song “Beautiful to Me,” dynamic duo Dan and Jackson and their track “I Told You,” ‘Homebrew Jazz’ artist, Kellan Brennan with his song “Old Soul,” and our final spotlight, Thanks Genie.

Thanks Genie is a four piece rock and roll band with some blues and jazz vibes. The members consist of: junior music industry students, Dave DePaola on guitar and Andy Jackle on drums; senior music industry student, Chris Durham on bass; and sophomore music industry student and singer Amanda McTigue. Their sound is greatly influenced by Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin with Haylee Williams-esque vocals.

Thanks Genie actually began last spring semester when DePaola and Jackle had just ended their old band, The Trusties. At this point, the two musicians were looking for a new project and a new bassist to jam with. Durham transferred to Monmouth from Kutztown last spring and began playing with DePaola and Jackle. The trio played under the name “Uncle Leo” in reference to the iconic Seinfeld character, Jerry’s crazy uncle. The three began playing a lot and even performed at the promotional event for the music department, “Where’s Woods?”, in May 2015. Over the summer, the boys began writing music and putting together some songs. They had some tracks written out but still no lyrics or strong vocalist for the group. Once school started up again in September, DePaola, Jackle, and Durham were able to play more and Durham asked McTigue to join the band as their singer. McTigue’s role in the band is lead vocalist and lyricist.

Amongst the four students, together they have over 30 years of music experience. DePaola has played guitar for about 10 years and has also picked up bass and drums throughout that time. Jackle has been playing the drums for almost 10 years as well and has learned some guitar in recent years since starting college. Durham has played bass for six years and McTigue has been singing for five years.

Through all their experience and hard work, Thanks Genie brings you their track “Run” that will be featured on the compilation album this semester. For all the members, being in a recording studio was not a new thing. However, Durham had not been in a real recording studio since he recorded in Scranton with his old high school band, Public Service Announcement, four years ago. Jackle and DePaola had recorded with The Trusties at Lakehouse studios for the third compilation album in spring 2014 and for their unreleased EP in the summer of 2014. Jackle has also recorded with the band Emily Youth Project, from Monmouth University. McTigue recorded a whole album with her other band, Mildly Medicated, last summer at Retro Media in Red Bank.

For these four music industry students, this recording experience for the seventh compilation album was much different than any of their previous experience. McTigue stated, “[This] was the first time all four of us had ever played the song in full for other people.” Joe Rapolla, Chair of the Music Department at the University, likes to refer to DePaola as “one take Dave,” and that was certainly true this time around as all their instrumentals were recorded live all in one take. Jackle recalled having some technical difficulties when preparing for the recording, and explains how his cymbal broke and he needed to find a new one. McTigue also commented on how the people at Lakehouse were much more hospitable than the staff at her previous studio.

After recording and mastering, the single was ready for the album. The song “Run” was actually put together over the summer during a “jam sesh” the guys had. Durham made the “skeleton” of the song and then DePaola and Jackle collaborated to get the final product. When McTigue joined the band, she listened to the guys play through the songs they had written, thinking up lyrics for what is now “Run.” McTigue said, “While I’m listening I just get ideas for lyrics and write them down.” She explained that the lyrics for “Run” are about growing up and the child-like fear of becoming an adult. The name “Run” is suitable because the song is about running away from your responsibilities. She says this song is kind of personal to her because it is relevant to her current feelings.

Come hear “Run” and the other songs on the album live in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center at 2:50 p.m. on Dec. 9! Also, don’t forget to keep checking up on what Blue Hawk Records is up to over winter break and follow them on Facebook for updates including the date for next semester’s auditions.

PHOTO TAKEN by Liam Frank

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu