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To be perfectly honest, there’s just not much I can say about the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow that either hasn’t already been written, isn’t about to be said (check for an article in an upcoming issue of Relix), or you aren’t going to hear in this interview. Torey Hannah and Billy Keane generously talk with us for well over the 20 minutes they said that they could spare on a practice night, so thanks, gents.
Mainly, they’re good people. And their love for what they do comes through. When you combine those things in front of an audience, you’ve got magic.
What I can do is provide you with links to some really good local coverage and beyond. And give you more ways to contact these guys individually and collectively than you’re every gonna need. Check out their website and Facebook page for information on their debut release, “The Heart of the Run,” recorded live at the Shire City Sessions in Pittsfield, Mass.
Three from Whiskey Treaty Roadshow to prime you for MASSGathering
Oh, and we spin THREE tunes off the album (“Jimmy the Whiskey Boy, “Governor’s Wife,” and “Leave Your Light ON”), which should whet your appetite to see them live at:
MASSGathering at Ski Butternut
Saturday and Sunday, May 28 & 29; 8 a.m.—7 p.m.
380 State Rd, Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230
With the band’s kind permission, most of the text that follows is biographical info pulled directly from their website. But I didn’t pull everything! PLENTY more to read if you go there and spend a little time.
Also, MUCH to listen to and watch. Truckloads of video. I hope these guys are as generous with their pouring as they are with their playing. Speaking of pouring, we WILL have to get a taste one day of Hudson Whiskey, whose sponsorship of the band has allowed them to do such things as produce a killer documentary.
From their website:
The Whiskey Treaty unites songwriters of Americana, Rock and Roots-Folk music to share in their love of Western Mass, Music, Brotherhood and Whiskey!
Members: Tory Hanna, Billy Keane, David Tanklefsky, Chris Merenda, Greg Smith
Tory Hanna is a performer whose musical soul and character pours out whenever he stands in front of a microphone. Influenced largely by American singer-songwriters and roots rockers such as Ben Harper, James Taylor, and Bradley Nowell, Tory leans on modern electro-indie song-writing such as the Death Cab for Cutie and MGMT for lyric-driven and articulated melodic stylings.
To call Billy Keane a throwback would be redundant. Keane is a singer-songwriter who lives in Pittsfield, MA and was discovered by the Berkshires First Family of Music, Kim and James Taylor. Besides James, he counts Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan among his influences. Like his predecessors, Keane sings about things that are important to people: Freedom, love, and peace as well as other key issues in our time.
David Tanklefsky is a musician, journalist, radio broadcaster and sports play by play man. He has been making records and playing shows since he was 16 years old in Boston-born folk/rock/jazz kids Grimis. Tanklefsky released a solo EP “The Sun and the Shadows” in 2011 and a full length solo record “Be Brave” in 2014.
Greg Smith spent his youth honing his musical skills on the family farm in the hills of Charlemont, Massachusetts before joining his first band at age 12. He played a variety of instruments before settling on the guitar in high school and had been a member of nearly a dozen bands before relocating to Brooklyn, NY in the mid-2000s. There he formed his dream band Greg Smith & The Broken English, which made NYC venues such as Rockwood Music Hall and the Bowery Electric its home for several years.
Chris Merenda is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and lead singer/performer who brings his unique style of talent to every musical endeavor he gets involved in. His current music has been influenced by a long resume of accomplishments.
Merenda has been performing and re-inventing his sound for the past two and a half decades. Whether it was Ska/Reggae, Punk and Rock in the nineties, or Folk, Americana, Blues and Bluegrass in more recent years, Merenda is a master of style.