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Viper Bar News Wire

Live 2 Promo!

Viper Bar Live 2, our newest double live local artist's compilation is finally nearing completion!   This amazingly diverse album represents everything that has happened in the last three plus years at Viper Bar and features dozens of tracks of original material, written and performed by dozens of Boston area local artists - all recorded live at Viper Bar and set for release Spring 2004! . . . Check out the new album cover and other information on our Live 2 promo link above!

Winter 2000 - Spring 2001

Although we hadn't had an actual show since September, Viper Bar was nonetheless quite active throughout the late fall and early winter of 2000, recording and providing rehearsal space to various musicians.  Phil Burr, a Viper regular  from day one, was seen on several occasions jamming with friend Fred Bancroft, a songwriter, stand-up bassist and overall talented 'mofo.  Nowadays Phil is practicing his craft on an absolutely amazing vintage 1932 Kalamazoo acoustic guitar (we are forbidden to touch it but recently we have in fact been allowed to look directly at it)!  Also, Steve Rapson, an accomplished and well known guitarist in the Boston area graced Viper Bar with his presence, rehearsing with Phil and Fred for an upcoming show at Yesterday's in Boston.   The trio treated the Viper Bar faithful to some re-worked originals as well as some beautiful renditions of several timeless classics.

Although the December, 2nd show had to be cancelled, Viper Bar continued to remain active throughout the holidays - recording and rehearsing downstairs while designing the web-site upstairs.  Also during the month, the stage saw the return of local favorite Mike Kelleher.  Mike jammed here several times and managed to pop in for the occasional late night impromptu gig that makes the place what it is.  December also brought the long awaited return of Bobby Mitchell from NYC.  Bobby accompanied Phil Burr who at the time was preparing for the recording and release of his own forthcoming new album ("Key to Life").  For those fortunate enough to be around, Bobby played one of the most memorable sets in Viper history.

Viper Bar of course capped the year off in fashion with a great New Year's Eve gig, and in mid January had the amazing opportunity to host the entire Blackthorne Tavern Irish Session for a full weekend of recording (live album due out early 2002 - all recorded right here!).  The air was filled with the sounds of bag pipes, fiddles, and tin whistles performing authentic Irish traditionals for two wonderful days.  And although they drank us out of Guinness and Irish whisky, by sunset on Sunday we had over thirty tracks down and all had an amazing time!

In February, Viper Bar finally got back to the gig scene again with an absolute blowout show featuring the Viper debut of singer songwriter Christie Leigh and the awaited return of long time favorite Craig Stephen.  Craig also brought along his New York rhythm section "T-Fly" who absolutely blew the doors off this place with devastating original material backed by full drums and thundering bass - wow!

Having recently been exposed to Irish traditional music (thanks Mikey and Sean!), Viper Bar had to try its own hand at it with what turned out to be an amazing St Patrick's Eve gig in mid March.  Viper Bar was absolutely packed as Mike Kelleher and Sean Kane (both at one point nearly buried in their own Guinness empties!) ruled the Viper stage for the evening - an evening that featured numerous special guests and live music until 6:00 am (who could ever forget the Mule sunrise set!).     What a night!

Craig Stephen with T-Fly and Christie Leigh performing live at Viper Bar, February 10, 2001

Christie Leigh opening the night, 2/10/01      Craig Stephen with T-Fly live, 2/10/01      Rockin' the house at Viper Bar, 2/10/01  


Summer 2001 - Fall 2001

Coming off two major gigs, Viper Bar sought to get back into the recording business throughout the early summer months.  A typical week consisted of three to four nightly sessions as Viper Bar routinely opened it's doors to area musicians.  Of note was a lazy Saturday afternoon session with Bob Mullins and Jeff "Dudley" Dudziak.  Mule and Dudley (with banjo!) laid down about a dozen solid tracks, including several off Mule's new self-titled debut album.  Mike Kelleher and Sean Kane also rehearsed and recorded here quite extensively throughout the summer months and it was not uncommon for either or both to knock on the Viper door after hours on a Friday or Saturday night and proceed to treat the Viper faithful to a late night set.  Phil Burr was also seen here on many occasions rehearsing new material, recording and putting together updated demos.  Somewhere about this time Phil re-discovered his Fender American Stratocaster electric guitar - awe yeah!

About this time, Viper Bar officially began work on our second double live local artist compilation with the belief that this one could truly be something special.

On a more personal note, Viper Bar was deeply saddened by the loss of Peetie , neighborhood beagle and enthusiastic supporter who moved away in August.  Good luck fella, we're gonna miss ya!

Late summer also brought the return of singer-songwriter Christie Leigh, who originally debuted at the Viper back in February.  Christie has been rehearsing and recording here quite often (currently owns the Tuesday slot) and recently released a full length acoustic album ("Viper Sessions") full of solid original material and recorded live over several weeks right here at Viper Bar!

During the fall months, Viper Bar was again quite active, providing recording and rehearsal space to local artists and musicians.  Viper Bar began to settle in to a more structured weekly schedule with a normal week consisting of two to three nightly sessions with the likes of Mike Kelleher, Phil Burr, Christie Leigh and others.

Craig Stephen booked a Saturday night at Viper Bar in mid September and brought his entire entourage over for an exclusive closed door "Craig Stephen Extravaganza" gig.   Turned out to be an awesome show as Craig busted out all his great original material as well as a couple new unreleased songs.  We finally allowed Craig to come off the stage around 4:00 am, and only 'cause his fingers were bleeding!  Another great night in the annals of Viper history!

Still reeling from the loss of Peetie, Viper Bar again found itself bidding farewell to yet another staff member.  This time it was head bar mistress Jan who followed her heart to the deep south.  Good luck Jan Jan, we thank you for your efforts and wish you nothing but the best!

In late November, Viper Bar saw the unexpected return of delta blues guitarist, Cotie Cowgill.   Cotie returned with new material and a drummer, and treated the Viper faithful to a solid night of authentic blues.

Winter 2001 - Spring 2002

Viper Bar began the winter months on a high note as we saw the debut of talented local artist Philip Allen.  Phil was a welcome addition and natural fit to the Viper family and has since recorded some truly tremendous material here.   Somewhere about this time, Viper Bar  (having come to the conclusion that the current website was totally inadequate) began the enormous task of completely re-designing 

Feeling a bit festive during the holiday season, Viper Bar decided it was again time for a live gig.  The night was December 29, 2002, and Viper Bar featured legendary guitarist Steve Rapson and Brazilian pop singer Debra Rocha, who got things going and truly mesmerized the crowd with amazing material.

Headlining the night was the duo of Philip Burr and Philip Allen who rocked the house with awesome original material and solid traditionals.  As always, it wouldn't be a gig without some late night special guests, and this night was no different as Viper Bar saw Bob Mullins and Christie Leigh each play after hours sets to the delight of the crowd!  A tremendous night of music and easily one of the best gigs ever for Viper Bar!

January saw the return of Drum Circle as well as a tremendous volume of live recordings and rehearsals and Sean has since been basically chained to the editing and mastering equipment in an endless effort to keep pace!  Upstairs, work continued on the website.    

In other news, Viper Bar is pleased to report the return of Pedro and Nomar, our bar mice.   Seems the lads have had just about enough of winter and have once again made their seasonal return to the cozy confines of Viper Bar.  

Just when we thought things couldn't get much better, along comes March 16, 2002.  On this night, Viper Bar hosted a live gig featuring local favorites, Machinery Hall.  MaHa absolutely rocked the house up and down with an amazing set that featured brand new material from their forthcoming release, Equilibria!  Paul Devin got the crowd warmed up early with plenty of solid original material and even some special guests.  Aspiring performer Brian Landry accompanied Machinery Hall and completely captured the entire room with a truly stunning voice that combined both power and grace.  Overall (despite a small Walshy related fracas!) it was truly a wonderful evening that won't be forgotten!

All throughout this period work continued endlessly each night on the website, often lasting well into the morning hours, and finally culminating in the online rebirth of in May.  Of note was the technical assistance of Viper  Bar friend Chris Glackin who tirelessly donated his personal time to this cause.  Thanks so much!  

Viper Bar remained quite active throughout the Spring months, providing weekly rehearsal and recording  space to local artists and musicians including regulars Phil Burr, Phil Allen and Christie Leigh and in late March, Viper Bar hosted another solid (and hopefully not the last!) Drum Circle. 

 Of note was the late spring Viper Bar debut of local artist Shane Dunn who actually stumbled upon us on the internet!  Shane and guitarist Josh Oliver dropped by one night in early June and recorded a handful of truly solid originals, leaving the Viper faithful eagerly awaiting more!  

Machinery Hall with Paul Devin and special guests live at Viper Bar, March 16, 2002

Paul Devin with Jacquie Devin, 3/16/2002 The amazing Brian Landry, 3/16/2002 Machinery Hall live at Viper Bar, 3/16/2002


Summer 2002 - Fall 2002

            The Summer months brought more rehearsals and live recording sessions with appearances by Mike Kelleher, Philip Burr, Christie Leigh and even Craig Stephen, who dropped by the Viper for a rare night of rest and relaxation (actually we did force him to play a small set!).  About this time, local favorite Christie Leigh announced her plans to head to the west coast and hopefully the big time.  Instinctively, Viper Bar did the only thing we could:   wish her the very best of luck - and have a blowout farewell gig in her honor!  And what a night it was!  

            On July 27th,  the house absolutely rocked as Nate Tsianco, Patrick Sheeran, Christie Leigh, Philip Allen, Kevin So and Craig  Stephen all performed live sets to an extremely enthusiastic and over capacity crowd!  In addition to Christie Leigh's final east coast set, also of note was the Viper Bar live debut of Nate Tsianco and Patrick Sheeran who got things going with a truly solid set of mainly original material.  Although the night belonged to Christie, the stage belonged to Kevin So, who on this particular night stole the show and completely captured the crowd with some devastating high-energy rock and blues!   Thanks so much Kevin!!

            Throughout the summer, work continued on the Viper Bar Live 2 project, including three lengthy mastering sessions at the legendary Fort Apache Studios with engineer Brian Brown who was instrumental in the overall mastering of our first compilation.  Of note was an impromptu appearance by Kevin Cassidy and Paul Buhl of Machinery Hall who dropped by the studio to lend an experienced ear and offer some much needed assistance.  Thanks guys, much appreciated!  

            Recording and rehearsal sessions continued at Viper Bar throughout the late summer months including several appearances by Mike Kelleher, who is currently working on several different projects,  and singer-songwriter Sean Kane who rehearsed together here with amazing violinist Amy Basse in preparation for upcoming live performances at The Blackthorne Tavern.  Shane Dunn and Josh Oliver also continued to rehearse and record here on a regular basis and are really coming into their own with solid original material and a truly infectious sound. 

            Also of note, and this falls under the "doesn't happen every day" category, was the unexpected arrival of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf who spent a weekend next door.   Due to the enormous contingent of state and local police, secret service and military security personnel, Viper Bar was effectively closed for the weekend providing staff with an unscheduled yet much needed few days off! 

            Finally, Viper Bar would like to congratulate local artist and friend Ken Licciardi, writer and producer of the indie film "Over Exposure"  which appeared at this year's New York Independent Film Festival.  The film features Ken himself,  Steve Inguanti, Paul Devin, Jeanine Kane and many others.  Way to go!!!

Kevin So, Craig Stephen, Christie Leigh, Nate Tsianco and Patrick Sheeran, July 27, 2002

Christie Leigh live at Viper Bar, 7/27/2002 Kevin So rockin' Viper Bar, 7/27/2002 Craig Stephen live at Viper Bar, 7/27/2002


Winter 2002 - Spring 2003

             Wasting no time with the new season, Viper Bar had a major live event on November 9, 2003 featuring the absolutely amazing double bill of Kevin So and Machinery Hall!  Kevin So opened the evening and captured the capacity crowd with high energy original rock and blues and Mark Nelson, Kevin Cassidy and Paul Buhl of Machinery Hall truly rocked the house until the end.  In all, it was a wonderful night of live local music at it's finest and perhaps one of our most memorable gigs ever! 

            In addition to the return of our bar mice Pedro and Nomar, who happily made their seasonal return to Viper Bar, the winter season also brought a rather peculiar occurrence also relating to area wildlife - an absolute abundance of deer!  Now this may not seem odd to some, but going from having lived in this area for some twenty-five years and never once seeing a deer to practically tripping over them every day in December was quite strange indeed!  It seemed you couldn't even walk outside without navigating your way through a small herd.  File under the ever growing "strange but true" category here at Viper Bar.

            In January, Viper Bar saw the rare reunion of legendary local band Blue Rabbit who rehearsed here for an upcoming live performance at the Blackthorne Tavern and January also saw the awaited return of the Viper Bar Drum Circle who truly rumbled the house with infectious beat and who we sincerely hope will be back with some regularity.

            Through the winter months Viper Bar settled into a rather consistent weekly recording and rehearsal schedule for local artists and musicians.  This included regulars Shane Dunn and Josh Oliver with new percussionist Steve Blechner, Christie Leigh, Phil Allen and several others including amazing folk singer Blake Edwards who was traveling the country and somehow found himself at Viper Bar!  Blake wowed the crowd here on more than one occasion with his incredible original material and is currently working on a full length live album, recorded entirely at Viper Bar!   

            Also throughout winter and early spring was the continued and ongoing  work on our forthcoming second double live local artist's compilation, Viper Bar Live 2.  While we apologize for the delay, with each month that passes the double live album continues to get stronger and more diverse and will most certainly be worth the wait!  Stay tuned!

            Viper Bar also continued a spring time tradition with our second annual St. Patrick's Day party, which actually occurred here on March 15, 2003.  On this night the crowd was in great spirits as the Viper stage saw quite a bit of action, including performances by newcomer Blake Thomas, then Shane Dunn and Josh Oliver with drummer Steve Blechner, followed by Paul Devin with Ken Licciardi, Sean McGee and Francis Paul Gori and then Bob "the mule" Mullins and Christie Leigh who took the faithful into the wee hours of the morning!  A great night and a great time had by all!

            Viper Bar also began a new tradition in late spring 2003,  a monthly open mic hosted by the wonderful Christie Leigh who rounded up a dozen local artists and musicians for an absolutely great night of live music on May 2nd!  Bob Dugan, Sean McGee, Mike Kelleher, Mike Hohmann, Lawson Hancock, Afshin Behenshi, Phillip Allen, Christie Leigh, Nate Christy, Shiner Jones, Danielle Miraglia and Tom Bianchi each played half hour sets to the delight of the crowd and despite a minor spat between staff and an unnamed artist involving a seemingly harmless shirt, the night was a huge success and we eagerly await next month's edition!

(Images from Viper Bar's live video feed, broadcast throughout Viper Bar during actual shows!)


THIS JUST IN . . . In addition to our forthcoming Viper Bar Live 2 local artist's compilation, stay tuned for full length live albums recorded at Viper Bar by Blake Thomas, Shane Dunn and Josh Oliver and "Machinery Hall: Live at Viper Bar" a special limited edition release, mastered by MaHa and recorded live entirely at Viper Bar!!!


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