When you truly dive into music it becomes a lifelong obsession that will never die. Time may pass and lives may change but the bond of music will always remain. When you are in a band creating original music that bond creates a brotherhood that survives all that life can throw at you. The band Rugby Road is proof of this brotherhood as they continue to put out new music almost 30 years after first coming together.
The Philadelphia-based threesome was indie rock before there was indie rock. There were no rules to the sound of Rugby Road as they formed their own brand of eclectic music with a jam band ethos. With Kenny Kearns (vocals, keyboards, bass, guitar, etc.), Rich Pruett (drums, percussion, and vocals) and Derek Smith (aka “Smalls”) on guitars and vocals there was something building underground that was making its out noise. They became the go-to band at the legendary Villanova University parties and later became regulars at the late 90’s NYC Wetlands Preserve scene.
Rugby Road released two independent records. 1998’s Times Already Happened, and 2001’s Different Degrees continued their underground fame. Then the band got sucked into “real life” and settled down with wives and kids. The draw to making music never fails though and Rugby Road still performed to keep their minds straight.
The Passion Of Rugby Road Continues
Now Rugby Road is back with a new EP III. Although now veteran rockers in their 40’s, the sound stays true to the early days but now with a different point of view. On “Back To You” we hear that raw classic rock sound while the lyrics tell a tale of someone making the same mistakes again and again. There is a more jangly pop sound on “Give It Away” while the jam band vibe shows up a little to remind you just who Rugby Road always was. The guitars and keyboards take turns leading the charge.
The group shows a mellower and mature side on “Spoken For”. The anthem-like choruses crash against the deep emotion dripping verses with that classic grunge style but in a quite different tone. The closing track “Nobody (Needs To Know)” seems to put it all together with a driving and somewhat funky beat that dives into some experimentation. The overall feel is big-time arena rock as dark secrets are being held back in the lyrics.
It’s great to see music still keeping the bond of Rugby Road together and continuing their passion. Keep up with the men (I guess we can’t call them boys anymore) on their WEBSITE.