Band News and Events

The Award-Winning Shana Stack Band Comes to Claremont's Summerfest Concert Series This Sunday 

Standing Room ONLY - Northern New England's Music, Arts & Dining Guide
Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of The Shana Stack Band 
 

CLAREMONT, NEW HAMPSHIRE – The electrifying and award-winning Shana Stack Band is coming to Arrowhead's “Summerfest Concert Series” on Sunday, July 3. Tickets are on sale now at the Summerfest Concert Series website. The upcoming show adds to an already-busy summer for the band. The list of awards this band has accumulated over their still-rising careers is impressive and seemingly endless; “Band of the Year” by the New England Music Awards, “Country Artist of the Year” by Limelight Magazine, “Country Band of the Year” and “Fans Choice Award” by the Independent Country Music Association, “Country Act of the Year” by the New England Music Awards and “World's Best Indie Band” by Wiles Magazine... and I could go on. 

“The band has been extremely busy already this summer, Shana Stack said in an exclusive, Standing Room Only interview. “We have over 30 shows booked right through Labor Day and are adding shows weekly. We will play all over New England this summer, from Williston, Vermont and Portland, Maine, to Gorham, New Hampshire and south to North Attleboro, Ma. The schedule includes a wedding, birthday party, several outdoor summer concerts and even a fair in Acton, Maine.” 

The Shana Stack Band features multi-national award winning vocalist Shana Stack and Nashville Songwriter's Association International member, Ed Leavitt, the male vocalist and songwriter of the group. Peter Henault plays lead guitar, Kurt Ekstrom plays drums and Alec Derian lays down the bass. The group focuses on current country and the original music written by Leavitt, and one of Ed's songs titled "Let it Go" has been featured in the movie Compliance, which was released nationwide in the summer of 2012 by Magnolia Pictures. 

The band has opened for such mega stars as Reba McEntire, Sugarland, The Band Perry, Rascal Flatts, Chuck Wicks, as well as performing before Travis Tritt on the Main Stage at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway prior to a Nascar Sprint Cup Race. They have performed shows across New England at a variety of venues including Turning Stone Casino, Lake Sunapee Yacht Club, Tupelo Music Hall, Meadowbrook Pavilion, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Toby Keith's Bar & Grill and the Big E Fair! They also opened for the “Vocal Group of the Year” by the Country Music Association, Little Big Town and later the same month, opened for Craig Morgan and Aaron Parker at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. 

Their second full-length original CD released in 2012, What You See Is What You Get, was nominated for “Album of the Year” by the Independent Country Music Association and the follow-up album, Every Now and Then, was released in 2013. The band's fourth album titled Then and Now was released in July 2014 and they are currently working on material for their next release. 

The band's musical director, Ed Leavitt, currently focuses the band on performing mostly current/modern country songs such as Luke Bryan's “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”, Chris Janson's “Buy Me A Boat” to the current smash hit by newcomer Maren Morris, “My Church”... However, they also perform a wide range of music from Meghan Trainor's “All About That Bass” to ZZ Top's “Sharp Dressed Man” and a lot in between. The band has also arranged a traditional medley consisting of legends such as Merle Haggard, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline. 

Without a doubt, The Shana Stack Band hits the stage with one goal in mind, to engage their audience and leave them wanting more... and they are excited to perform at Claremont's Arrowhead Recreation Area. “Summerfest posted on the What's Up Claremont Facebook page and our band manager, Conrad Farnham, who also lives in Claremont, saw the post and responded," Shana added. "Our guitarist, Ed Leavitt, also lives in Claremont, so it was a great way for a local guy in a nationally recognized, award-winning group to give back to the community." 








To learn more and order tickets for the show on Sunday, July 3, visit the Summerfest Concert Series website at www.claremontsummerfest.com. To learn more about The Shana Stack Band or to book a show, contact the band through their website at ShanaStack.com or by calling 603-558-2381.

 

Double Award Winners - Limelight Magazine Music Awards 

Press Release

The Shana Stack Band wins Live Act of the Year 
and Ed Leavitt wins runner-up for Male Vocalist of the Year 

8th Annual Limelight Magazine Music Awards 

Plymouth, MA, Saturday, April 16, 2016:  The Limelight Magazine Music Awards, located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, announced today the winners of their 8th Annual Limelight Magazine Music Awards.  

Founded in October 2006, Limelight Magazine is one of the leading online destinations for coverage of the New England music scene and beyond, providing readers with exclusive interviews with musicians from all genres of music. 

After five years of publication, including 12 issues, the print version of Limelight Magazine moved its operations completely online, while always reserving the right for another print issue. 

Besides its online efforts, Limelight Magazine is committed to supporting the local music scene of New England with its annual music awards ceremony in the late winter/early spring. Each year dozens of musicians have been recognized for their immense creativity and talent. 

The Shana Stack Band, comprised of all New Hampshire and Vermont musicians (Shana Stack, Ed Leavitt, Kurt Ekstrom and Alec Derian and Peter Henault), was nominated in the Live Act of the Year category and the male vocalist, rhythm guitarist and the songwriter of the group, Ed Leavitt was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year.  The Limelight Magazine Music Awards received hundreds of perspective nominations and narrowed the field down to 16 categories and chose only 8 artists/groups to be represented in each category. They also chose Shanna Jackman to receive their Unsung Hero Award.  Jenna Lotti was the Master of Ceremonies for the awards show assisted by Chris Facey.  

At the awards ceremony presented at The Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, NH, Saturday evening, Ed Leavitt was named runner up for Male Vocalist.  Later in the evening The Shana Stack Band was announced as this year’s Live Act of the Year for the 8th Annual Limelight Magazine Awards.  The Shana Stack Band members were thrilled about the news.  Shana Stack Davis and Ed Leavitt accepted the award on the bands behalf.  Shana spoke to the audience with sincerity with “Thank you for everyone that voted.  Congratulations to all of the nominees and winner from the 8th Annual Limelight Magazine Awards."  Ed Leavitt had to jump in quickly and recommend the restaurant down the street with the amazing pretzels.  The audience all laughed and clapped for their newly named Live Act of the Year. 

The list of awards The Shana Stack Band has won over the last few years range from Country Band of the Year and the Fans Choice Award by the Independent Country Music Association, to Wiles Magazine's World's Best Indie Artist to their awards for Country Act of the Year by the New England Music Awards and Country Artist of the Year by Limelight Magazine.  The band was also named Band of the Year by the New England Music Awards in 2015.  The band never takes these awards for granted and realize it is the fans and their family that are the drive behind their success.  "Winning awards is great, but what these awards really show, is that our fans and the music industry really approve of what we are doing.  The fans are really what make this adventure fun, exciting and sincerely rewarding.  We look forward to doing what we love, making music, for years to come.” 

The band has released 4 albums in the 5 years they have been together, "Then and Now" 2014, "Every Now and Then" 2013, "What You See Is What You Get" 2012 and "You Can't Make Me Fall" 2011. The band is entering the studio this upcoming weekend to prepare songs to release as a digital download cd. The band is looking forward to another successful year, traveling all across New England to perform for their fans.  They have opened for Country Superstars such as Reba McEntire, Sugarland, Travis Tritt, Rascal Flatts the Band Perry and Little Big Town.  The opened on the main stage at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in 2015 for Toby Keith.  

You can view their website and order their latest CD by visiting www.ShanaStack.com 

Congratulations again to The Shana Stack Band on their latest award and their continued success as a band to watch in New England. 

Ed Leavitt and The Shana Stack Band Support Local Home for the Children 

David's House, a non-profit organization is very near and dear to Ed Leavitt and The Shana Stack Band.  Please watch the video and consider donating to David's House.  

David's House is the dream of a little boy named David Cyr who passed away in 1984 after a long struggle with acute lymphocytic leukemia. 

During David’s frequent visits to the children’s hospital, at that time in Hanover, NH, his father, Dick, met many parents who slept in their cars or in chairs in their child’s hospital room, unable to afford any length of stay at a nearby hotel and unwilling to leave their child’s side. Likewise, each time David was discharged, he begged his parents to take the other kids in the pediatric departments with them to their safe, comfortable home in nearby Vermont. 

For three years life went on this way. Dick met frustrated, exhausted parents and dealt with David’s illness the best he knew how; for his part, David helped. In and out of the hospital, Dick tells us, David never lost his love of life or his ability to brighten the days of those he met. 

 It was 1984 and David’s doctor told the Cyrs that David had just months left to live. The boy’s parents had heard this before, but this time, Dick could feel that it was true.  Their home was nearby – a twenty minute drive – but in such times, any distance is too far. Exasperated, overwhelmed, and feeling the frustration he had seen in so many other parents, Dick asked the doctor, “Why isn’t there a place for families like ours to stay?” There had been talk of such a place, the doctor told them, but nothing had ever come of it. 

"We're going to build a place," Dick said, 
"and we're going to call it David's House." 

Within a week of David's passing, the Cyrs and their friends and family had already begun raising money for David’s House. The seed money from which this wonderful organization has grown was David's own $300.78 (in spare change, allowances, and birthday money stashed around the house). Whenever Dick had asked him what he was saving for, David replied, "For a special reason, Dad." David's House opened its doors to guests on January 20, 1986 and since then, that "special reason" has served over 13,500 families from around the world!  

When the hospital's pediatric services moved from Hanover to Lebanon in 1991, the Board of Directors of David's House decided to launch a capital campaign to build a new home on land that the Medical Center agreed to lease for $1 per year. On May 9, 1994, the current David's House welcomed its first guests. A two-minute walk from DHMC’s doors, David’s House was designed specifically to not look like an institutional building and instead feels like a cozy house with short hallways, welcoming colors, and soft lighting.  

Launched in June of 2011, the Keeping David's Promise campaign was a two-year, $4 million effort that added a much-needed cottage-style addition to the house (four bedrooms and other spaces, bringing our total bedrooms to 20), strengthened our operating support, and helped build a long-term endowment strategy. Learn more about Keeping David's Promise. 

David's House is a grassroots organization that receives no state or federal funding; because of the support we receive from our community, we are able to provide support for families 365 days/year without ever charging any fees. 

Since the doors of David's House opened... 

...on January 20th, 1986, nearly 13,000 families from 42 states and 25 countries have called David's House their home-away-from-home. Countless others have used the house on a day-guest basis--for a shower, a nap, a meal, or any other service we provide apart from an overnight room. We provide so much more than a bed to sleep in, a kitchen to eat in, and quiet areas to find respite in – we are a safe, peaceful, home environment filled with compassionate staff and volunteers, and we foster connections among families that can result in lifelong friendships and support networks.

Community remembers Summer Hammond '17 at memorial service 

By Rachel Favors

Students line-dance at the memorial service for
Summer Hammond ’17, who died in July.
KATE HERRINGTON/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF

October 1, 2015

For her friends, Summer Hammond ’17 was the essence of positivity, especially in difficult situations. She was a person who not only preached it, but truly lived it. Hammond died in July following a period of treatment for cancer. On Wednesday, members of the Dartmouth community gathered in Rollins Chapel for a memorial service to honor and celebrate her life.

Shortly after her death, an intimate memorial service held at Occom Pond was organized by Hammond’s close friends Jennifer Cunnigham ’17, Aliyah Gallup ’17 and Tanya Budler ’15.

“Although it was mainly just sophomores on campus, we did not want to wait until the fall term to remember [Hammond],” Gallup said. At the first memorial, friends shared stories about Hammond and walked a lap around Occom with lighted sparklers in remembrance of her, Gallup said.

Budler, Cunningham and Gallup attended the Hammond family’s memorial service in Colorado this summer, and they were inspired to organize something similar for the Dartmouth community.

Budler said that she loved the memorial in Colorado because it was an embodiment of Hammond’s spirit. She said that Hammond was as close to a saint as anyone could be and her legacy was one that was worth recognizing.

For Budler, the goal of the campus memorial was to represent the various parts of Hammond’s life and to bring the positive spirit of the service in Colorado to campus, particularly for those who could not attend.

“This memorial is a launching point and an opportunity for us to reflect on who she was and for us to start living that way,” Budler said.

Similarly, Gallup said she hoped that the memorial would be a positive celebration of Hammond’s life with a respectful amount of time for mourning, solace and memories.

“I really hope that everyone can come together and completely forget about all of our busy lives and recognize how important this is for [Hammond],” Gallup said. She deserves so much respect and honor for what she did in this life.”

At the memorial, Hammond’s fellow members of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority wore blue ribbons in their hair in honor of Hammond. Photos of her were mounted along the chapel’s interior.

Hammond’s freshman trip leader Anoush Arakelian ’14 opened the service by welcoming the Dartmouth community and Hammond’s family. Arakelian encouraged everyone to incorporate Hammond’s excitement and positivity into their lives, which is something she said that Hammond would have wanted.

College President Phil Hanlon followed with a reflection on Hammond’s life and her impact on the Dartmouth community. Hanlon stressed that though he could not precisely tell her friends and family how to cope with Hammond’s loss and how to understand her death, her brightness will continue to shine and her eternal optimism in the face of struggle will be remembered.

After Hanlon’s remarks, several of Hammond’s college friends came up to share memories and reflect on her life.

Budler described Hammond as an ideal role model, regardless of her class year.

For Budler, the question was about what to do now that their mentor is no longer physically present in their lives.

“There is a hole where [Hammond once was],” Budler said.

Moving forward, Budler added that the way to fill in those holes is remembering Hammond’s legacy and holding on to the words of wisdom that she imparted while alive.

Throughout Hammond’s time at Dartmouth, she was a member of Kappa and the women’s club soccer team. She also traveled to Argentina on a foreign study program, raised money for the annual Prouty fundraiser for cancer research and participated in Relay for Life.

Hailey Carter ’17 and Rachel McKee ’17 spoke on behalf of Kappa and shared Hammond’s impact on their respective lives.

“[Hammond] valued her words and never engaged in empty conversation,” McKee said. “She spoke with purpose. [Hammond] was bold and wasn’t afraid to say that you could be better.”

Hammond’s club soccer teammate Amanda Flugstad-Clarke ’15 remembered her as the most dedicated, positive and passionate member of the team. Regardless of whether Hammond had chemotherapy treatments, she attended every practice she could, Flugstad-Clarke said.

“Even when she was at her weakest, [Hammond] was still the strongest person I ever met,” Flugstad-Clarke said. “True courage is having the strength to be brave when your future is uncertain.”

Dick’s House director of clinical medical services and assistant professor at the Geisel School of Medicine Ann Bracken and assistant dean of undergraduate students Larissa Hopkins both said that the Dartmouth community will now ask themselves “what would [Hammond] do” when making hard choices.

Bracken added that one of the reasons why Hammond was able to accomplish everything that she did was because of the support of her “amazing” parents. Hammond’s parents did not make her feel limited in what she could accomplish, Bracken said.

Following Bracken and Hopkin’s reflection, Ben Colello ’18 and Lloyd May ’18 performed Passenger’s “Let Her Go” (2012).

Gallup and Cunningham were the last students to speak at the service.

“I am eternally grateful for the two years I had to get to know this special girl,” Gallup said. “There was something about her that made you feel so special when you were with her.”

Cunningham recited Maya Angelou’s poem “When Great Trees Fall,” and called for a moment of silence to honor Hammond. She encouraged everyone to use the silence to appreciate their lives and their friends.

Hammond’s mother Sharon Hammond offered concluding words for the memorial service and thanked the Dartmouth community on behalf of her daughter.

“[Hammond] would be grateful for your friendship and treasured times,” Sharon Hammond said.

She added that Hammond would also remind everyone that there should not be any crying in a celebration of life.

Immediately after the service, a reception was held in Collis Common Ground that included a slideshow, light refreshments and memory letter writing. The culminating part of the reception was line dancing to music from The Shana Stack Band — inspired by Hammond’s love for country music and pulling her friends onto the dance floor at parties.

At the reception bracelets were distributed by Kappa members, which were printed with the words, “Forever Positive — Summer’s Way.”

Perfect Game 

Perfect Game

Craig Morgan with Aaron Parker & Shana Stack Band
When: Friday, Sept. 25, 8 p.m.
Where: Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, Manchester
Tickets: $39 at palacetheatre.org


Shana Stack Band part of Manchester stadium show
09/24/15
By Michael Witthaus music@hippopress.com

It’s not Taylor Swift or Zac Brown Band, but a local version of Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium’s blockbuster summer concerts happens when Craig Morgan appears at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester. The performer of country hits like “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” “This Ain’t Nothin’” and “International Harvester” will be joined by Aaron Parker and local favorites Shana Stack Band.

2015 is shaping into Shana Stack and songwriter/co-lead vocalist Ed Leavitt’s favorite year. The southern New Hampshire quintet won multiple awards and played its biggest shows yet, including opening for Toby Keith at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook. 
“The main stage, that’s always been one of our goals,” Stack said in a recent interview. “It was surreal … a dream come true.”
Leavitt concurred and recalled seeing Mary Chapin Carpenter at one of the venue’s earliest shows in the mid-1990s. 
“I’ve seen it grow all these years,” he said. “This was our fifth year back; they told us, ‘You’ve worked so hard for us, we think you’ve earned this spot.’ We were thrilled and honored.”
 
The year’s magic began on New Year’s Eve. During a gig at the Sheraton Boston, a representative from the New England Music Awards called with news they’d been nominated for Band of the Year. In 2014, the group won the NEMA for best country band, but the current honor caught Leavitt off guard. He greeted the news with gratitude and a belief that it would end there. 
 
“When we were nominated and I saw the others, I thought to myself, we’ve lost this one already,” he said. “I’m a fan of some of these bands. Twiddle for instance; I’ve seen them in concert several times and they’re incredibly awesome and so tight and traveling all over the country. We were humbled.” 
Stack felt like her band had cracked a glass ceiling of sorts. 
“It was good to see a country band get that recognition,” she said. 
 
In some ways, the nod also reflected the genre’s mainstreaming — the group’s most recent record, 2014’s Then & Now, is closer kin with Lady Antebellum than Loretta Lynn.  
Fast forward to the April awards ceremony. When they heard their name called as the winner from the stage at Patriot Place, shocked doesn’t begin to describe their reaction. 
“Even after we were standing on stage with the plaque in our hand making our acceptance speech I thought, there’s been a mistake here,” Leavitt said. 
They also won a Limelight Award for Country Act of the Year and continue to ride the positive wave generated by the current record, now a year old.  
The group hopes to release a new single later this year and, if time allows, make a music video. 
“We really want to do it,” said Leavitt, “but as soon as we get someone interested we’re back on the road.” 
It’s a happy chaos, however.
 
“We’ve been so busy this year it seems like one big blur,” said Stack. “We were talking as a band the other day — we look at Facebook posts and scroll through pictures on our phone and it almost seems like we’re watching someone else. We’ve been so busy we don’t remember some things. We’ve been constantly on the run, so it’s fun to reflect back on it.” 

The Shana Stack Band to Open for Craig Morgan, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium 

Concert Announcement 

The Shana Stack Band is having an amazing year thus far.  

The band was named the 2015 New England Music Award, Band of the Year and the 2015 Limelight Magazine Award, Country Artist of the Year. 

The band opened for Toby Keith and Aaron Lewis on the CruCon Cruise Outlet Main Stage at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion on Saturday, June 13.  This weekend the The Shana Stack Band will take the stage to open for Little Big Town, David Nail and Ashley Monroe on the Magic Hat Stage at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion on Saturday, September 5.  

The band has just learned they will now be performing their first stadium show. 

Presented by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats​ and the Palace Theatre, The New England Music Awards​ Band of the Year, will be opening for Craig Morgan and Aaron Parker at the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Friday, September 25.  

The Shana Stack Band takes the stage at 7:00 PM.  

Get your tickets today by visiting:  https://www.ticketreturn.com/prod2/Buy.asp?EventID=147247#.VempqpcnXVK

 

The Shana Stack Band Opened for Toby Keith 

Concert Announcement

The Shana Stack Band opened for Toby Keith and Aaron Lewis on the CruCon Cruise Outlet Main Stage at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion on Saturday, June 13.

Show began at 7:00 PM. Doors opened at 5:00 PM.

The Good Times & Pick Up Lines Tour presented by Ford F-Series was sold out.  The entire staff of the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion and Toby Keith's staff and crew were amazing to work with. 
 

The Shana Stack Band Opening for Toby Keith on the Main Stage 

Concert Announcement

This just in...The Shana Stack Band to open for Toby Keith and Aaron Lewis on the CruCon Cruise Outlet Main Stage at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion this Saturday, June 13.

Show begins at 7:00 PM. Doors open at 5:00 PM.

Purchase your tickets to the Good Times & Pick Up Lines Tour presented by Ford F-Series by clicking the link https://www.banknhpavilion.com/show061315/ticMS_SSB Use promo code: MS_SSB for your chance to win a meet and greet with Toby Keith.

Keene Sentinel - The Shana Stack Band wins Band of the Year 

Keene Sentinel
April 2015

The New England Music Awards, held in Foxboro, Mass., announced the winners of their 4th Annual New England Music Awards on April 18, 2015.

The Shana Stack Band, comprised of all New Hampshire musicians (Shana Stack, Ed Leavitt, John Sanchez, Kurt Ekstrom and Alec Derian), was nominated in the top category of Band of the Year. 

At the awards ceremony The Shana Stack Band was announced as this year’s Top Award winner for Band of the Year for the 4th Annual New England Music Awards.  Members of The Shana Stack Band later expressed, “This is just so hard to believe.  Last month we won Country Artist of the Year from the 7th Annual Limelight Magazine Awards and coming only a year after being awarded Country Act of the Year last year at the New England Music Awards. Then being nominated again this year for the Band of the Year category was so amazing.  We were surprised and thrilled at just being nominated again and we were honored to be in the category along with so many amazing artists like Twiddle, Kung Fu, Girls, Guns and Glory, Quilt and the Jason Spooner Band.  We wish to congratulate all of the nominees and winner from the 4th Annual New England Music Awards.  We hope that people will take the time to go and see these bands perform at music venues all across New England.  There is so much amazing talent and we are proud to be considered a part of it all.”

The band has released 4 albums in 4 years, "Then and Now" 2014, "Every Now and Then" 2013, "What You See Is What You Get" 2012 and "You Can't Make Me Fall" 2011. The band is looking forward to another successful year, traveling all across New England to perform for their fans.  They have opened for Country Superstars such as Reba McEntire, Sugarland, Travis Tritt, Rascal Flatts and the Band Perry and in September will be opening for Little Big Town at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook in Gilford, NH.  

You can view their website and order their latest CD by visiting www.ShanaStack.com

New Hampshire’s Shana Stack Band Takes Top Honors at Regional Awards 

New Hampshire’s Shana Stack Band Takes Top Honors at Regional Awards

By Mark Jennings
WOKQ 97.5
April 23, 2015 2:36 PM


Congratulations are in order for the Shana Stack Band. Last weekend they took home “Band of the Year” honors at the 4th annual New England Music Awards.The awards took place at the Showcase Live Theater in Foxboro Massachusetts on Saturday April 18th. The band has won numerous other awards recently including Country Band of the Year and the Fans Choice Award by the Independent Country Music Association in Nashville, Tennessee, and 2014 Country Act of the Year by the New England Music Awards.

The band has opened for country stars such as Reba, Sugarland, Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry. In September they will be opening for Little Big Town at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, NH.
 

And the winner is by Amy Nachbar 

The New England Music Awards 2015

Photo: Amy Nachbar

Examiner.com

The New England Music Awards 2015
PHOTO: Amy Nachbar

On Saturday, April 18, the New England Music Awards sold out Showcase Live at Patriot Place in Foxboro. Bands and musicians from all over New England were there to perform and celebrate the fact that no matter what, each and every one of them had been recognized for their contribution to the music industry.

Special awards were given to Chris DeSimone who received the Scene Award which is given to a person or organization for their dedication to the New England music scene. The Grassroots Award was given to Grace Morrison who has shown a dedication to humanitarian causes. The Decade Award was given to Chip McCabe who has been a staple of the New England music industry.

Comedian, Dave Russo was the evenings host and there were live performances by the Willie J. Laws Band, Little Ugly, We Were Astronauts, Amy and the Engines, Sarah Barrios, Joey Batts and Them, Ben Knight, and Pat and the Hats.

Here are a list of the winners, but I say, every one of them are winners.

Band of the year - The Shana Stack Band

Album of the year - National Throat by artist, Will Dailey

Song of the year - Sunken Ship by artist, Will Dailey

Producer of the year - Brian Coombes

Songwriter of the year - Elison Jackson

Male performer of the year - Dan Blakeslee

Female performer of the year - Anna Lombard

Live act of the year - Aldous Collins Band

New act of the year - West End Blends

Roots act of the year - Dusty Gray Band

Country act of the year - North of Nashville

Pop act of the year - Pat and the Hats

Rock act of the year - We Were Astronauts

Jazz act of the year - Los Sugar kings

Blues act of the year - Mr Nick and Dirty Tricks

Hip Hop act of the year - Lady Essence

Metal act of the year - A Simple Complex

Best in States:

Massachusetts - High Hopes Band

Maine - Hilton Park

Rhode Island - The Rare Occasions

New Hampshire - Gretchen and the Pickpockets

Vermont - The Vacant Lots

Connecticut - The Meadows Brothers

Regional artists shine at New England Music Awards 

Billy Copeland Music
Willie J. Laws

Willie J. Laws

The New England Music Awards is now running like a well oiled machine. Held at Showcase Live at Patriot’s Place in Foxborough, Massachusetts last Saturday night, performers and presenters were on and off the stage without hardly a glitch. This gave the performers a comfortable setting to strut their stuff between speakers and presentations. Showing what the whole event was all about, the bands who performed last night gave it their all as they presented their music to a six state audience.

Joey Batts & Them opened the show with their catchy chorus, rap-rock number “Bestie.” Their song was a joyful romp through today’s fixation on social media and trendy expressions. Next up, Sarah Barrios, last year’s New Act winner, showed she had staying power. Accompanied only by her acoustic guitar, her voice seemed to remain elevated, suspended in the air, as if held up by a mysterious power. Soon after, Ben Knight came on to conclude the brief opening portion of the awards ceremony with his keyboard and horn driven rock and roll abandon. His rhythm section locked into a solid groove and the rest of the band just let it rip.

Blues Act nominee Willie J. Laws Band came on strong with their thick, pulpy groove beneath WJL’s as he belted with the heart and soul of a true, down and dirty blues man. His voice was loaded with richness, experience, and he projected it with the smooth confidence of a southern gentleman. He made his song “Can’t Let Got” and his recent title track “Cornbread Moan” come alive by riffing his way into the stratosphere with a sweet guitar sound. His rhythm section pumped out something huge that a singer-musician like Laws needs to launch those mighty vocal belts and those heavenly guitar leads.

Little Ugly went up next to do their acoustic roots thing, singing together beautifully with a depth of feeling in their words and music and a great sense of rustic charm. Michael Sanford Day’s banjo and Kaia Pazdersky’s fiddle added plenty of natural beauty to their songs, which were already blessed with their uniquely matched vocal harmonies. Little Ugly had a calm, quiet stage presence, but they made every note count with their flinty, gritty picking and bowing styles.

We Were Astronauts

We Were Astronauts

We Were Astronauts played smooth, flowing pop-rock tunes that moved through their changes at a graceful pace. Melodic but also danceable, WWA showed their potential for mass appeal with a vocal melody that fit the music like a velvet glove. It also helped that a whirl of keyboard notes wrapped it all up in a sweet confection of sound.

Amy & The Engines featured dual female vocalists and a fresh modern sound. They had magic coming out of every singer and player and they made that magic happen on numerous levels. Very engaging and very involving, their twisty, multi-dimensional music created a party vibe that matched the energy level in the venue.

Next band, Pat And The Hats were catchy, melodic, and their lead vocalist, Patrik Gochez, sang with a unique timbre, one that could be distinguished enough from a million others singers, a voice that could get the band attention from record companies. They also had a special guest join them on stage, Greg Hawkes, keyboardist from the legendary Boston band The Cars. Hawkes made his mysterious, eerie sounds effective and chilling as he joined Pat And Hats for a special rendition of “Moving In Stereo.”

Master of ceremony, comedian Dave Russo, was a hoot with his one liners, zingers, and stories. His highlights included his banter with a Connecticut music scene official, his spoof on NEMA chief Joe Graham’s communication devices, and a brief display of his break dancing abilities. Yes, Russo can, in fact, break dance, but that part of his act isn’t meant for the whole family.

Booking agent Phil Simon

Booking agent Phil Simon

Project manager LeAnne Piepiora and her production crew kept things running smoothly. A slick production inside a hip, modern function room symbolized the growing sophistication of the New England Music Awards as it heads toward becoming this region’s largest, most diverse music awards show. There was a limited number of names from their previous awards shows which indicates how far and wide NEMA casts its nets to be as inclusive as possible. That a small rural state like New Hampshire had won nine out of the 26 awards presented on the same night Boston’s Will Dailey won two shows the extent of this awards organization’s outreach in the New England music scene.

We will likely see NEMA outdo themselves each coming year. The winners are listed below.

And the award goes to:

Band of the Year: The Shana Stack Band

Album of the Year: National Throat/Will Dailey

Song of the Year: Sunken Ship/Will Dailey

Producer of the Year: Brian Coombes

Cars legend Greg Hawkes

Cars legend Greg Hawkes

Songwriter of the Year: Elison Jackson

Male Performer of the Year: Dan Blakeslee

Female Performer of the Year: Anna Lombard

New Act of the Year: West End Blend

Live Act of the Year: Aldous Collins Band

New Act of the Year: West End Blend

Roots Act of the Year: Dusty Gray Band

Country Act of the Year: North of Nashville

Pop Act of the Year: Pat & The Hats

Rock Act of the Year: We Were Astronauts

Brittany Laine/Pat & The Hats

Brittany Laine/Pat & The Hats

Jazz Act of the Year: Los Sugar Kings

Blues Act of the Year: Mr. Nick & The Dirty Tricks

Hip Hop Act of the Year: Lady Essence

Metal Act of the Year: A Simple Complex

Best in State/Massachusetts: High Hopes Band

Best in State/Rhode Island: The Rare Occasions

Best in State/New Hampshire: Gretchen & The Pickpockets

Best in State/Maine: Hilton Park

Best in State/Vermont: The Vacant Lots

Best in State/Connecticut:The Meadows Brothers

2015 NEMA Honor Award Winners

The Scene Award ~Winner Chris DeSimone

Presented annually to an individual or organization for their outstanding dedication, involvement and contribution to the New England music scene.

The Grassroots Award ~Winner: Grace Morrison

Presented annually to an individual or institution who through music and performance has demonstrated a dedication to humanitarian causes.

The Decade Award ~Winner: Chip McCabe

Presented annually to an individual who over the last ten years has distinguished him or herself as a celebrated staple of the New England music industry.

New England Music Awards - Band of the Year 

Press Release
The Shana Stack Band wins Top Honor as Band of the Year

4th Annual New England Music Awards

Foxborough, MA, Saturday, April 18, 2015:  The New England Music Awards, held in Foxborough, Massachusetts, announced today the winners of their 4th Annual New England Music Awards. 

The New England Music Awards are presented every year to the musicians who call New England their home and whose dedication, spirit, and achievements over the last year have without a doubt established them as a contributing force to the most robust and diverse music scene in the country. The NEMA nominating committee consists of a variety of music industry experts including journalists from music publications, radio personalities, talent buyers, event planners, record label executives and more. This selection of professionals collectively represents all six New England states and every awards category.
 
The goal of the New England Music Awards is to celebrate and recognize some of the area’s best musical achievements. Every year NEMA nominates over 100 artists and/or bands spanning a number of categories and genres of popular music in New England.  This includes the coveted individual state awards, which recognize one act from each of the six New England states as its Best in State.

The Shana Stack Band, comprised of all New Hampshire musicians (Shana Stack, Ed Leavitt, John Sanchez, Kurt Ekstrom and Alec Derian), was nominated in the top category of Band of the Year.  The New England Music Awards receives thousands of perspective nominations each year and narrowed the field down to 26 categories and chose only 6 artists/groups to be represented in each category. They also chose Chris DeSimone as The Scene Award Winner, Grace Morrison as The Grassroots Award Winner and Chip McCabe as the Decade Award Winner. The Master of Ceremonies for the awards show was Boston Comedy Festival winner Dave Russo who has been featured on “Comics Come Home with Denis Leary,” the E! TV series “The Entertainer,” with Wayne Newton, NESN’s Comedy All-Stars, the Phantom Gourmet, Charlie Moore Outdoors, USO shows nationwide, and can be seen weekly as co-host of NESN’s “Dirty Water TV.”

At the awards ceremony presented at Showcase Live in Foxborough, MA, Saturday evening, The Shana Stack Band was announced as this year’s Top Award winner for Band of the Year for the 4th Annual New England Music Awards.  The Shana Stack Band members were thrilled about the news.  The band members Shana Stack Davis, Ed Leavitt, Kurt Ekstrom and Alec Derian accepted the award on the band’s behalf.  Their band manager, Conrad Farnham was asked to accompany them on stage.  Shana approached the microphone and began her acceptance speech with “O.M.” and Ed finished the statement with “G”.  The audience clapped and laughed along with the band’s excitement.  Shana then spoke to the audience with true emotion with “Thank you to everyone that voted.  We want to thank our families, our friends and our fans.  We are just so shocked to win this award.  We were up against such amazing artists that have thousands of Facebook fans.”  Shana continued on with introducing each of the band members and sending a shout-out to John Sanchez, Lead guitarist for the group and Wayne Braley the group’s sound tech, that were not in attendance for the big event.  Shana then turned her attention to Conrad Farnham, their band manager, to express gratitude on behalf of the band.  “Without Conrad, this would not be possible.  He works extremely hard every day to provide us with the opportunity to perform all across New England.  We are very lucky to have him.” Shana finished by saying, “We are all in this together.  There are so many amazing bands and artists in our genre of music (country) and many other genres.  We are all in this together.  Instead of competing with each other, we should all be supporting each other and helping each other when we can.”  The audience broke out in applause and screams.  Ed Leavitt then stepped to the microphone and continued the gratitude with, “We especially want to thank The New England Music Awards, Granite Coast Entertainment, the nominating committee members and especially Joe Graham, Mike Flynn and John Fleming, who founded the New England Music Awards.  We are grateful for all of that you do for the music industry.” To show how much The Shana Stack Band is appreciative of all of the support they receive during the year and their commitment to supporting other bands, Kurt Ekstrom quickly stepped up to the microphone as the band was exiting the stage, “Don’t forget to stick around for Pat & the Hats performance.”
 
The Shana Stack Band later expressed, “This is just so hard to believe.  Last month we won Country Artist of the Year from the 7th Annual Limelight Magazine Awards and coming only a year after being awarded Country Act of the Year last year at the New England Music Awards. Then being nominated again this year for the Band of the Year category was so amazing.  We were surprised and thrilled at just being nominated again and we were honored to be in the category along with so many amazing artists like Twiddle, Kung Fu, Girls, Guns and Glory, Quilt and the Jason Spooner Band.  We wish to congratulate all of the nominees and winner from the 4th Annual New England Music Awards.  We hope that people will take the time to go and see these bands perform at music venues all across New England.  There is so much amazing talent and we are proud to be considered a part of it all.”

The list of awards The Shana Stack Band has won over the last few years range from Country Band of the Year and the Fans Choice Award by the Independent Country Music Association, to Wiles Magazine's World's Best Indie Artist to their awards for Country Act of the Year by the New England Music Awards and now their most recent awards for Country Artist of the Year by Limelight Magazine and Band of the Year by the New England Music Awards.  The band never takes these awards for granted and realize it is the fans and their family’s commitment that are the drive behind their success.  "Winning awards is amazing, but what these awards really show, is that the fans and the music industry really approve of what we do.  We love to make music and share it with everyone.  The fans are really what make this rollercoaster ride fun, exciting and truly rewarding.  We look forward to doing what we love, making music, for years to come.”

The band has released 4 albums in 4 years, "Then and Now" 2014, "Every Now and Then" 2013, "What You See Is What You Get" 2012 and "You Can't Make Me Fall" 2011. The band is looking forward to another successful year, traveling all across New England to perform for their fans.  They have opened for Country Superstars such as Reba McEntire, Sugarland, Travis Tritt, Rascal Flatts and the Band Perry and in September will be opening for Little Big Town at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook in Gilford, NH.  

You can view their website and order their latest CD by visiting www.ShanaStack.com

Congratulations again to The Shana Stack Band on their latest award as Band of the Year for the New England Music Awards.

Local Artists Nominated for New England Music Awards 

Concord Monitor

By SARAH KINNEY
Monitor staff
Thursday, April 16, 2015

New England’s top musicians, songwriters and producers will be recognized Saturday at the New England Music Awards.

Those who attend will hear Latin, rock, country, folk, pop, hip hop, reggae and more by artists who call New England home.

There were a number of smaller, regional awards programs: the Connecticut Music Awards, the Boston Music Awards, the Worcester Music Awards, and the Limelight Music, said Joseph Graham, one of the awards program organizers. But not one that involved all of New England.

Graham and partners John Fleming and Mike Flynn set out to change that four years ago with the first New England Music Awards night.

A New Hampshire band, Pat and The Hats, will be one of the featured live performances of the evening. The group is nominated for best pop act of the year. Last year, they were named best band in New Hampshire at the awards.

The band features front-man and songwriter Patrik Gochez on guitar and keyboard, Brendan Harisiades on bass and vocals, Bobby Rice on drums and vocals, Scott Solsky on guitar and Brittany Laine on vocals.

The band has been promoting its first album Fake it ’til you Make a Hit, which features accompaniment from Greg Hawkes of The Cars. Hawkes will join them at the New England Music Awards, too.

The band will give an unofficial pre-party concert Friday at Bull McCabe’s Pub in Somerville, Mass.

Other featured performance acts at the awards include Joey Batts and Them, Sarah Barrios, Ben Knight, We Were Astronauts, Amy and The Engines and the Willie J. Laws Band.

Boston comedian Dave Russo will host the award ceremony.

Musical artists can be nominated in a variety of categories all year on the website.

Then, a committee of music industry experts including journalists from music publications, radio personalities, talent buyers, event planners and record label executives narrow down the nominations for each category, trying to represent a variety of genres and states, Graham said.

Once, narrowed down, voting takes place on the website.

The nominees for best in state for New Hampshire this year are Tan Vampires, Best Not Broken, Gretchen and the Pickpockets, Blacklight Ruckus and the Jandee Lee Porter Band.

New Hampshire musicians are represented in almost every category.

The Shana Stack Band, a country music group, is a nominee for band of the year.

“Bad Decisions” by Manchester singer Josh Logan was nominated for song of the year.

Brian Coombes of Rocking Horse Studio in Pittsfield was nominated as producer of the year. American Idol finalist and Mont Vernon singer Alex Preston was nominated as male performer of the year.

Roots of Creation and the Aldous Collins Band were nominated for best live act of the year.

In the genre categories, Concord-based Dusty Gray Band and Four Legged Faithful were nominated for roots, the Rory Scott Band was nominated for country, Emmarie and Pat and The Hats were nominated for pop, Crushed Out was nominated for rock, Mr. Nick and The Dirty Tricks was nominated for blues, Cameen was nominated for hip hop, and A Simple Complex was nominated for metal.

Lizzy Marella, a 15 year old New Hampshire native was nominated for new act of the year.

The awards ceremony starts at 7 p.m. at Showcase Live in Foxboro, Mass. Seats are sold out for the concert, but a livesteam can be viewed at nemusicawards.com.

Country Music Stars Sing at AUDI 

COUNTRY MUSIC STARS SING AT AUDI
Concord Monitor
Wednesday, March 25, 2015


We've spent some time covering cup stacking at the Insider (thanks Mr. Jim!), and we're big on newspaper stacking (it's the only way to get our paper into those little boxes downtown.  We found balling them up and shoving them in there to be less effective).  But what about Shana stacking?  That's not a thing. 

Shana Stack is a thing, though-she's the lead vocalist in The Shana Stack Band, which will be performing tonight at 7:30 at the Audi as part of the Walker Lecture Series.

The Shana Stack Band is a country music act of growing renown, if you consider being the winner of the New England Music Award for Country Act of the Year to be renown (we do, you should).  They've opened for the likes of Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts and Travis Tritt (not all at the same time, presumably), but tonight they are going to play music right in front of your face.  Don't miss out.  All Walker Lecture Series shows are free and open to the public, with seating on a first come, first seated basis.

 

Limelight Magazine - Country Artist of the Year 

Press Release

The Shana Stack Band wins Country Artist of the Year
7th Annual Limelight Magazine Music Awards

Plymouth, MA, Saturday, March 21, 2015:  The Limelight Magazine Music Awards, located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, announced today the winners of their 7th Annual Limelight Magazine Music Awards. 

Founded in October 2006, Limelight Magazine is one of the leading online destinations for coverage of the New England music scene and beyond, providing readers with exclusive interviews with musicians from all genres of music.

After five years of publication, including 12 issues, the print version of Limelight Magazine moved its operations completely online, while always reserving the right for another print issue.

Besides its online efforts, Limelight Magazine is committed to supporting the local music scene of New England with its annual music awards ceremony in the late winter/early spring. Each year dozens of musicians have been recognized for their immense creativity and talent.

The Shana Stack Band, comprised of all New Hampshire musicians (Shana Stack, Ed Leavitt, John Sanchez, Kurt Ekstrom and Alec Derian), was nominated in the Country Artist of the Year category.  The Limelight Magazine Music Awards received hundreds of perspective nominations and narrowed the field down to 15 categories and chose only 8 artists/groups to be represented in each category. They also chose the band "New England" to receive their Legend Award and "Robin Lane" to receive their Unsung Hero Award.  Ashley Jordan was the Master of Ceremonies for the awards show. 

At the awards ceremony presented at The Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, NH, Saturday evening, The Shana Stack Band was announced as this year’s Country Artist of the Year for the 7th Annual Limelight Magazine Awards.  The Shana Stack Band members were thrilled about the news.  Shana Stack Davis, Ed Leavitt and Kurt Ekstrom accepted the award on the bands behalf.  Shana spoke to the audience with sincerity with “Thank you for everyone that voted. I want to introduce this man right here, he is a genius, Ed Leavitt.  He is our songwriter.  We have put out 4 original albums in the last 4 years.  This is Kurt (Ekstrom) our drummer, I'm Shana.  Nice to meet you all.  Thank you everyone who voted.  And thank you to a very special guy in the audience, Conrad Farnham, we call him our Honey Badger, he's our Manager and he works wonders, we love him.  So thank you very much.”  The Shana Stack Band is appreciative of all of the support they receive during the year.  “Being awarded Country Act of the Year last year at the New England Music Awards and being nominated again this year for the Band of the Year is such an honor.  We were surprised and thrilled at just being nominated for a Limelight Award and we were honored to be in the category along with so many amazing artists like Ben Cesare, Kate Cameron, Matt Casey, Alec MacGillivray, Katie Perkins, Marian Rose and congratulations to Brianna Grace for being awards the Runner Up in the Country Artist of the Year category.  Congratulations to all of the nominees and winner from the 7th Annual Limelight Magazine Awards."

The list of awards The Shana Stack Band has won over the last few years range from Country Band of the Year and the Fans Choice Award by the Independent Country Music Association, to Wiles Magazine's World's Best Indie Artist to their awards for Country Act of the Year by the New England Music Awards and now Country Artist of the Year by Limelight Magazine.  The band never takes these awards for granted and realize it is the fans and their family that are the drive behind their success.  "Winning awards is great, but what these awards really show, is that  the fans and the music industry really approve of what we are doing.  The fans are really what make this adventure fun, exciting and sincerely rewarding.  We look forward to doing what we love, making music, for years to come.”

The band has released 4 albums in 4 years, "Then and Now" 2014, "Every Now and Then" 2013, "What You See Is What You Get" 2012 and "You Can't Make Me Fall" 2011. The band is looking forward to another successful year, traveling all across New England to perform for their fans.  They have opened for Country Superstars such as Reba McEntire, Sugarland, Travis Tritt, Rascal Flatts and the Band Perry and in September will be opening for Little Big Town at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook in Gilford, NH.  

You can view their website and order their latest CD by visiting www.ShanaStack.com

Congratulations again to The Shana Stack Band on their latest award and wish them luck on their nomination for Band of the Year for the New England Music Awards which will be held at Showcase Live in Foxboro, MA on Saturday, April 18, 2015.

Granite Coast Entertainment - The Shana Stack Band 

Granite Coast Entertainment
Article by:  Rick Stephens Murphy
Winter 2015 Issue


 
The Shana Stack Band:
What you see is what you get
High energy, high impact, engaging, talented, entertaining...Led by multi-national award winning vocalist Shana Stack and Nashville Songwriter association member, Ed Leavitt, The Shana Stack Band is all that and more.

I had the great privilege of talking with Shana and Ed and found them to be smart, witty, (Ed kept us laughing for an hour and a half) humble, and realistic about their accomplishments and goals. I found the blend and diversity of band background extremely interesting and a good example of how music truly is a universal language.

Please list the name and respective instrument of each band member
Shana Stack– Lead Vocals
Ed Leavitt– Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Acoustic Rhythm Guitar and Songwriter
John Sanchez– Lead Guitar
Kurt Ekstrom– Drums
Alec Derian– Bass guitar

Tell us the brief history of your band.
The Shana Stack Band was formed in 2010. Both Shana and Ed had fronted country bands for a number of years, but had enjoyed and admired each other for a long time. Being musicians, they often crossed paths on the road, and decided to join forces and form a new band. John Sanchez was brought in as an original member of the band, and Kurt Ekstrom joined two years later. Alec is the latest edition. The band has consistently been a part of the New England music scene; traveling all over the region to perform about 80 shows a year. The Shana Stack Band focuses on top 40 Country and original music. The band recently released their fourth album of all original music and are still, after nearly five years together, enjoying what they do.

What inspired you to make music together?
Shana and Ed have known each other for many years, and have similar tastes in musical interests. They discovered through a series of opportunities to sing together, they had a nice vocal blend. From there, the seed was planted to get together to form something. The rest of the musicians in the band have interesting backgrounds and different genre experiences, and that’s what makes the band so unique. The perspective they each bring to the group is what makes the overall sound and feel of the music unique in its own way.

Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Shana loves country music, but is also influenced by the great 1980-90 bands. Ed’s influences were the classic country singers like Haggard, Jones and Alan Jackson. He also loves the newer artists who meld the classic sound with the modern sound like Dierks Bentley and Justin Moore. John is a dead head, Kurt is into Van Halen and the classic rock bands, and Alec is the resident Jazz expert and fan.

What are your dreams and goals?
The Shana Stack Band is pretty realistic with their dreams. They know that Nashville is not exactly rolling out the red carpet for more Indie country acts, but they are very happy and content to be a part of the New England music scene. They love interacting and meeting new fans, and sharing their original music with them. “It’s always a big thrill to receive an opportunity like this, to be interviewed and thereby, allowing our group to be introduced to a new audience. We’ve won a number of awards, like the Independent Country Music Association award for Country Band of the Year and the New England Music Award for Country Act of the Year, and we are grateful. But, the awards are just icing on the cake for us. We get our biggest reward in growing our fan base and entertaining people. We’d love to continue to build that following all throughout New England.”
 
Who is the main songwriter?
Ed is a songwriter, and has a membership with NSAI (Nashville Songwriter’s Association International) and is a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). Ed enjoys storytelling, and likes to present ideas that the band can build upon. Everyone in the band infuses their talent and expertise into building an original song. It is always amazing how a melody and lyrics from Ed turns into a production when the band is finished infusing their own take on the song.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
The biggest challenge continues to be balancing the band with other work, families and the time on the road. The Shana Stack Band members traveled nearly 13,000 miles each last year, and somehow still managed a house and family obligations. It can be very challenging at times. Not only does the travel and overall obligation involve the five band members, but it also affects their sound tech, Wayne Braley and their Manager, Conrad Farnham. As the band likes to describe it, “Lots of balls always in the air.”

What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
Be ready to work extremely hard. The music business is difficult and finicky. One day you are opening for a headlining act, and the next you can be playing a small club where no one knows who you are. You have to be ready to sacrifice time away from your family and other work, which is always a gentle balancing act. You have to rehearse constantly to get tight and stay tight, and you have to be willing to change up things at a moment’s notice. Always be humble and never take anything for granted. It can all be gone tomorrow in the music business.
 
How do you promote your band and shows?
If the band is lucky enough, they get radio and newspaper advertising help. And interviews like this are invaluable to get word out about the band. As well, they continue to build their Facebook following of nearly 3,500 fans, 1,600 twitter followers and over 1,500 Reverbnation fans. They pay special attention to keeping their website current, and are always trying to engage their audience to keep them informed about where the band will be performing next and to be sure the fans know where to find their latest music. The Shana Stack Band has released 4 albums of all original music and they are available to purchase from the band’s website: ShanaStack.com as well as CDBaby, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and many other outlets.

What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
The record industry is a very up and down industry. CDs don’t sell like they used to, so you have to supplement sales with shows on the road and the dotcom outlets that
will allow Indie bands to work with them. The major record labels sign less and less acts each year, and the demographic is very young. Add to that the complication of people that are now finicky about who they follow. It’s a volatile, ever changing market, and you have to be able to change with it, or get left behind.

Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Along with being lucky enough to perform at Bank of NH Pavilion at Meadowbrook this past summer, to open for The Band Perry, The Shana Stack Band has been fortunate to play some cool local venues that keep them moving through the winter months and already have approx. 35 bookings going into 2015. They are most thankful to the fans and venues for allowing them to do what they love, which is making music.
 
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge for offering support?
“Oh gosh, so many people. We would like to thank our Manager, Conrad Farnham, who works around the clock on our behalf to find us some amazing opportunities to show off our music. We also would like to thank our Sound Tech, Wayne Braley, who travels with us to be sure that we sound our musical best during our live performances. Thank you to the club owners who have consistently believed in us and kept us booked and to the folks at Meadowbrook who allow us to come back each year and be a part of their wonderful family. We must undoubtedly say a sincere and heartfelt thank you and we love you, to our own families, who support what we love doing and keep the home fires burning while we are away on the road. Of course a special thank you to our fans who buy our music, come to our shows, and encourage us to keep moving forward. We always know that none of what we do could happen without all these people behind us. That old saying, “it takes a village” is so true in this case.” The Shana Stack Band hits the stage with one goal in mind... “To engage the audience and leave them wanting more.”

Any final thoughts?
Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed. We are always so grateful for these opportunities, and the chance to continue building our fan base. We are very humbled to be able to share our music with anyone who will listen. We would love for folks to check us out at: ShanaStack.com and to “Like” us on Facebook.

The Shana Stack Band is the perfect example of how talent, hard work, and a great sense of humor lead to success. So slip on your boots, grab your hat, and boot two-step your way to The Shana Stack Band show near you.

Here is a glance at just a few of their accomplishments over their four-years together

Winner of the Independent Country Music Association’s Country Band of the Year and Fans Choice Award
2014 Winner of the New England Music Award for Country Act of the Year
2013 - Band of the Year Winner for the Independent Country Music Association, Nashville, TN
2013 - Fans Choice Award Winner for the Independent Country Music Association, Nashville, TN
2013 - Album of the Year nominee for the Independent Country Music Association, Nashville, TN
One of Ed’s songs, “Let it Go”, has been featured in the movie Compliance which was released nationwide in the summer of 2012 by Magnolia pictures.
The Shana Stack Band has opened for such mega stars as Reba McEntire, Sugarland, Rascal Flatts, Chuck Wicks, as well as performing before Travis Tritt on the Main Stage at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway before the Nascar Sprint Cup Race.
In August 2014 the band opened for Vocal Group of the Year by the Academy of Country Music Awards, The Band Perry
 

The 2015 NE Music Awards Nominees 

The Examiner
February 23, 2015

The 2015 NE Music awards nominees for best band

 

The fourth annual New England music awards will take place on Saturday, April 18 at Showcase Live, Patriot Place in Foxboro. David Russo, Boston Comedy Festival winner will be the host. There will be live performances by We Were Astronauts, Amy & The Engine, Pat & the Hats, The Willie J. Laws Band, Ben Knight and Sarah Barrios.

The categories for the NE Music Awards are for band of the year, album of the year, song of the year, producer of the year, song writer of the year, male performer of the year, female performer of the year, live act of the year, new act of the year, roots act of the year, country act of the year, pop act of the year, rock act of the year, jazz act of the year, blues act of the year, hip hop act of the year, metal act of the year, and best in state for Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine.

There are six bands nominated for band of the year. They are Twiddle, a Vermont based quartet who masterfully blend reggae and funk and like to say they play three dimensional music. The band is: Brook Jordan on skins, Zdenek Gubb on low end, Ryan Dempsey on ivories and Mihali Savoulidis on axe. More info: http://twiddlemusic.com/

Kung Fu a funk, rock and fusion band who are home based in Connecticut. The band features Tim Palmieri on guitar, Robert Somerville on tenor sax, Todd Stoops on keyboards, Chris DeAngelis on bass guitar and Adrian Tramontano on drums and percussion. It has been said the quintet's live show is explosive and musically mesmerizing. For more info: http://www.kungfumusic.com/

Girls Guns and Glory, a country rock and roll band are nominated in two categories: Band of the Year and Album of the Year. At the Boston Music Awards they were the first band of its genre to win Act of the Year. They also took home Independent Artist of the Year at the French Country Music Awards. Rolling Stone magazine has listed Girls Guns and Glory as one of the “10 New Artist's You Need To Know." The band is: Ward Hayden on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, Josh Kiggans on drum kit, Chris Hersh on electric guitar, banjo and vocals, and Paul Dilley on upright electric bass and vocals. For more band info: http://girlsgunsandglory.com/

The Shana Stack Band is a top 40 country/pop band who mixes it up with original music. They have received awards for Independent Country Music Association's Country Band of the Year and a Fans Choice Award, country act of the year at the at the New England Music Awards and most recently named World's Best Indie Band by Wiles Magazine. The band's second full-length original CD, "What You See Is What You Get" was released in the summer 2012 and was nominated for Album of the Year by the Independent Country Music Association. For more info: http://www.ShanaStack.com/

Quilt is a Boston based psychedelic, indie-rock, pop, folk band founded in 2009. The band is Anna Fox Rochinski on vocals, guitar and organ, Shane Butler on vocals and guitars, and John Andrews on vocals and drums and Keven Lareau on vocals and bass. To date they have two full length albums, the latest "Held in Splendor" was released in January 2014.

The final band of the year nominee is a roots, folk rock and americana band, The Jason Spooner Band who hail from Maine. The band is award winning song writer Jason Spooner on guitar, vocals and harmonica, Adam Frederick on bass and vocals and Reed Chambers on drums and percussion. Some recent band highlights are taping an episode of “FoodNation with Bobby Flay”on the Food Network which featured song clips and performances by Spooner and his band throughout the episode. For more band info: http://www.jasonspooner.com/

For more info on the New England Music Awards: http://nemusicawards.com/

The (Almost) Big Stage 

Playing for pre-show Meadowbrook fans
11/13/14
By Michael Witthaus music@hippopress.com

The music at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook always starts a couple of hours before the lights go down for the headlining act. As fans pass through the gates for every show, there’s a band playing on an elevated stage decorated like a country store. This year, the Gilford amphitheater began offering pre-show talent in its premium parking lot.
The gig looks great on a performer’s résumé. 
“It’s easier to book clubs when they see that,” said Tim Souza, whose band Maganahan’s Revival played prior to Steely Dan last September. “Owners take us more seriously.”
“It has brought us a lot of exposure,” agreed Shana Stack; her country band has appeared four times, dating back to 2010. “When people see names like Band Perry and Sugarland [her band’s opened for both] they think, ‘These guys must really have their stuff together.’ … It makes people comfortable.”
It takes more than talent to land a gig on Meadowbrook’s Magic Hat Stage. Social media skills are essential.
“We look for at least 1,000 followers on Facebook, to show they can build that, and they know a bit about marketing,” said Emily Keane, who books the acts for Meadowbrook. 
A well-maintained Reverb Nation presence is also critical, posting recordings, videos, links and an up-to-date show schedule.  The music website offers Band Profile, an app that links it seamlessly with Facebook.
“I go through pages and pages of bands to find the ones that work for me,” said Keane.
If your band’s social media skills haven’t yet culled thousands of online fans, your best Meadowbrook option is performing during the pre-show Ultimate Tailgate Party. 
“It’s a great stepping stone to the second stage,” said Keane. “There have been some amazing talents out there, like Erin Ollis before Band Perry, and Beechwood at Zac Brown. … They don’t have a stage, but they play their hearts out. It adds another level of music.”
Musically, the venue seeks a balance of unique and familiar. 
“I like to book original songs, maybe some covers,” said Keane. “I look for something that makes me go, ‘I have to have them here.’” 
The selection process starts months before Meadowbrook’s typical mid-May opening day. Once a show date is set, Keane begins scouting for second-stage acts that line up musically with the headliner. Alt pop twin duo The Cranks got the nod for a Fall Out Boy/Paramore double bill, while the rootsy Adam Ezra band fit perfectly with Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss.
Meadowbrook recruits most of the acts, but artists are encouraged to reach out directly. 
“Definitely email me, in January or February when the shows come up,” said Keane. “Get familiar with our schedule, and look for a match.”
For many years, pre-show music happened in a beer tent near the gate. 2013 brought a permanent stage, with improved sound and lights. Initially placed adjacent to a food concession, it was moved to the opposite side of the midway this season. 
“We want to make it more open, provide room to dance,” said Keane.
Magic Hat Stage performers play a plugged in set prior to the show, which usually lasts a couple of hours, and an acoustic show for departing fans. Performers aren’t paid outright, but can make money selling show tickets to their own fans using a special code. The venue often sweetens the deal, Stack said. 
“For each show, fans using our code are entered in a drawing to win a meet and greet with the headliner.”
For Souza and his band, the primary benefit was exposure. 
“We got maybe 50 ticket purchases, but we did big business selling CDs,” he said. “Plus, our social media activity went way up, with all kinds of new followers.”
By providing prominent placement in the season program and click through to Magic Hat Stage bands’ websites, Meadowbrook adds a big boost in that department. 
“We track that information, and we get a lot of hits from the Meadowbrook website,” said Stack. “It’s a huge help.”
It’s not unheard of for a band to parlay pre-show success into a slot in the big amphitheater. In 2013, the Mallett Brothers Band provided support at an Allman Brothers concert. In June of this year, the Maine band opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd and Charlie Daniels. 
“It was a really cool night … when they said direct support, main stage, we jumped for joy,” band member Luke Mallett said last August. “It was kind of a dream gig. I grew up listening to WTOS in Northern Maine, and I can recite every single Skynyrd song.”
The Shana Stack Band is already eying the 2015 season for a fifth appearance on the Magic Hat Stage. 
“We’ve been super lucky to have the opportunity to present our music there,” said Stack. “It’s a fantastic stage, with great sound. It’s the highlight of our summer.”