The Shana Stack Band to Open for Sugarland
Congratulations to the Country Band of the Year at the 1st Annual Cider Magazine Awards.
The Shana Stack Band will be opening for Sugarland on the Magic Hat Stage at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, NH
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Parking Opens at 5:00 PM
Gates Open at 6:00 PM
Purchase your tickets today using Promo Code: SSMGSS for your chance to win a Meet & Greet with Sugarland.
Tickets on sale now through the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion website.
Dean Office Staff Member Performs in Country Band
By Rohail Premjee - The Dartmouth, Hanover, NH
Juggling working at Dartmouth and performing in an up-and-coming band, Ed Leavitt has a busy life. During the day, Leavitt works as the executive assistant to Dean of Campus Life April Thompson. But Leavitt also has a burgeoning career as vocalist, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for The Shana Stack Band, a Top 40 country band that recently won Cider Magazine’s Country Band of the Year.
Leavitt and the rest of the band, including lead vocalist Shana Stack, lead guitarist John Sanchez, bass guitarist Kevin Miller and drummer Kurt Ekstrom, began in 2010 as a casual group of musicians who wanted to “come together and jam,” Stack said in an interview with The Dartmouth. The group decided to formally become a band and had their first performance on Sept. 11, 2010, according to Leavitt.
The Shana Stack Band mostly performs Top 40 country music, such as songs by artists like Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert and Kenny Chesney among others, their booking agent Conrad Farnham said in an email to The Dartmouth. Farnham also works for the College as a senior specialist at the Dartmouth Arts and Sciences Finance Center.
The Shana Stack Band also performs original music in addition to southern and classic rock, according to their website. Some of their popular songs are from such popular acts as “Little Big Town” and “Sugarland,” which both feature multiple harmonies. Leavitt is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, which he said has aided in developing his songwriting skills. He has been songwriting at the professional level for 30 years, he said.
This past year, The Shana Stack Band released their first album, “You Can’t Make Me Fall,” which used music penned mostly by Leavitt, according to Farnham. The album was such a success that they plan to record their second album in April, Leavitt said.
All five members of The Shana Stack Band have extensive musical experience, according to Farnham. Stack has won over 20 awards as both a vocalist and an entertainer, including being selected seven times as the New Hampshire Female Vocalist of the Year by the New Hampshire Country Music Association, Farnham said.
The band recently opened for Reba McEntire at a concert in Gilford, N.H. this fall, Farnham said. Following their successful performance at McEntire’s concert, the band has been invited to open on the Magic Hat Stage for the popular country group Sugarland in Gilford this June.
The band has performed throughout the New England area, but they are open to exploring outside this region, according to Stack.
“Our home base is New England, as we feel that New England country [music] fans are some of the best around,” Stack said.
Leavitt attributes much of their success to younger generations’ increasing appreciation of country music.
“New acts like Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean have brought young people [also] into the fold of loving country music,” Leavitt said.
Leavitt said the band was fortunate in “catching the wave” of the increased popularity of country music in New England. Leavitt also said he appreciates for the support from his coworkers.
“[Thompson] has been extremely great to work with,” Leavitt said. “She and everyone else I work with are understanding and supportive [of the band].”
In addition to the support of his coworkers, Leavitt has found support from students and the Hanover community.
“Dartmouth has been supportive by hiring us to play at [One Wheelock] to expose our music to students and staff,” Stack said. “The Hanover community was supportive as well when [the band] was hired to play at the Hanover Street Festival last year.”
Leavitt said that much of the band’s success is also due to fellow Dartmouth employee Farnham, who has aided the group in booking 80 performances last year and more this year.
“[Farnham] negotiates all contracts with club owners while also maintaining and taking care of [the band’s] website and Facebook page,” Leavitt said.
Leavitt has also garnered attention with his song “Let It Go,” which was featured in the independent film “Compliance,” which will be screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. While many of the details of how “Let It Go” will be used in the film have not been released, it is the only country song to be featured in the film, according to Leavitt.
“Compliance” is one of the few films selected by Magnolia Pictures at the Sundance Film Festival to be released for national distribution, he added.
After recording their next album, the band plans to “continue building [its] brand and expanding [its] territory,” Stack said.
The Shana Stack Band will be performing this year at a number of outdoor facilities, fairs and festivals, including the New Hampshire Motor Speedway this summer, according to Farnham.
Dusty Bottle taps local music scene
By Andy Clark, Journal Opinion
BRADFORD—Opening a night-club in Bradford can be a challenging venture. The names of similar clubs in town are familiar to long-time area residents: Middle Earth, King Arthur’s and Rhapsody.
The Dusty Bottle, owned by brothers Horace and Larry Pike, opened on Barton Street late last month. This entertainment club is sticking to a formula: bring in local talent and disc jockeys, keep cover charges reasonable, offer a wide range of music, spice it up with karaoke and open mic on occasion, and serve food and beverages.
Hod Pike was in charge on the night of St. Patrick’s Day. He explained that his brother Larry, who is also a musician with the band Lion Heart, had a gig that night.
“Larry is in charge of the music side,” Hod said. “He books the bands and DJs. I’ve got this side covered. When the Benning Street Bar and Grill and Electra Nightclub in West Lebanon went under, Larry and I thought we would give this a try. We thought people would come from Lebanon, Hanover, and Hartford.”
“When Larry and I went to high school at Oxbow, there was a dance club in town,” Hod said. “We thought that founding a similar business here would fill a big need.”
The Dusty Bottle is a side project for both of them. Hod has a carpentry business, Larry works for Prince Telecom, a contractor for Charter Communications.
With an otherwise open floor segmented by one long wall in the basement of the building, that also houses Bradford Pizza and Swenson Insurance, the Pike brothers conceived their business with the hopes of appealing to dancers, singers, and music fans on one side and to aficionados of billiard tables, darts and broadcast sports on the other. The bar, on the billiards side, is fully equipped to satisfy adult tastes.
The Pike brothers also will be trying teen night at 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning March 20. No alcohol will be served on Tuesdays, the cover charge is dropped to $5, and pool tables are free. The pikes want to make Tuesday nights similar to school dances. Positive responses to their plans on Facebook indicate that this idea is gaining traction.
Meanwhile, all Dusty Bottle patrons can also order food from the Bradford Pizza menu, above the club and fronting on Main Street, including burgers, fries, pizza, and chicken wings.
St. Patrick’s Day was a big night for the club. Headlining the night’s entertainment was The Shana Stack Band, a country band that also plays original music and southern and classic rock. The band’s members are all residents of New Hampshire. According to the band’s booking agent, Conrad Farnham, the group recently opened for Reba McEntire in Gilford, NH and has an album, “You Can’t Make Me Fall.”
Shana Stack is a Keene, NH native and the band is scheduled to return to The Dusty Bottle on May 19.
By 9 p.m. on March 17, the club was bustling with over 80 patrons, and the band was just warming up. Dancers of all ages were using the floor in front of the band. Both pool tables were in use, and the bar was busy with fans watching NCAA men's basketball tournament games and ordering drinks.
Pike shared some ideas about use of the nightclub.
"Oxbow's senior class representatives came in to talk about coming here after a traditional senior class party,” he said. “And we want to make the club available for weddings and parties.”
“As for bands, we’re set for any group. We have a drum set and the PA system and mics are already here. They just need to bring their own instruments.”
He also shared some frustrations about the business.
“This year has been tough to book bands. Most book up well ahead of time, and we just opened. It will get better though.”
Next on their schedule? Barre-based, Film at 11, playing March 23.
Topical Sundance Film Features Song by Ed Leavitt
Topical Sundance Film Features Song by Claremont's Ed Leavitt
|Ed Leavitt is a songwriter with a day job — he works at Dartmouth College — and a song heard at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. (Valley News — Theophil Syslo)
By Dan Mackie
Valley News Staff Writer
When Ed Leavitt was about 8 years old, his family took him to a show by country music legend Mel Tillis. Leavitt remembers himself as a “pesky, pushy kid' who believed he could be a songwriter. When he went to concerts, he’d ask performers who met with fans to take a look at one of his songs.
Tillis, who had a string of hits in the 1970s, indulged young Leavitt, talking to him for about 20 minutes. He said that if he were serious about a songwriting career, he'd have to move to Nashville. He also warned about the competition: “There are a million people out there who want to write songs. There's probably half a million who are really good.’’
Nashville is on the road not taken. Leavitt, who grew up in Hartford and now lives in Claremont, never moved there. The odds of succeeding as a songwriter have always seemed long -- “the music business is probably 10 percent talent and 90 percent luck,' he said in an interview this week.
At 50, he's a songwriter with a day job who knows that not all dreams come true. But one did recently -- one of his songs, Let It Go, was featured in a film at the recent Sundance Film Festival.
The movie, Compliance, by director Craig Zobel, drew as much buzz as angry bees at Sundance. Based on true events, it recounts how a prank caller dupes a fast-food manager into interrogating, and finally strip-searching, an employee by saying he's a police officer investigating a theft. The movie asks how far people can be pushed into dehumanizing others.
“It's a very difficult subject matter,'’ said Leavitt, who followed the reaction to the film closely via the Internet. A few attendees at Sundance walked out. “They shouted, ‘This doesn't happen,’ ” said Leavitt, “but it surely does.'’
Leavitt's song, which he says has a pop flair, is the only country tune included in the movie. He's not entirely sure how it's used, although he understands that it’s playing on a radio in a scene. “I won’t know until I see it,'’ he said.
But for now, there's a note of validation for the songwriter, and a feeling of hitching his song to a star. “I'm happy to be a small part of it,'’ Leavitt said.
Leavitt has been singing and writing songs since he was a boy in Hartford, the son of a police officer (eventually deputy chief). His father played country music on the record player and often sang aloud Hank Williams Sr.'s Cold, Cold Heart. His mother, meanwhile, preferred the Beatles and classical music. The family regularly traveled to country shows around New England. Leavitt, who saw greats like Marty Robbins live, and Dolly Parton when she was an opening act -- came to love country music.
He said he's finished 300 to 400 songs and has sold half a dozen. His prospects have improved in recent years, because he's working with Nashville Songwriters Association International, which provides critiques that are direct -- “this is crap'’ or “this has wings’’ -- and with another service that shops songs around.
But this comes at a time when there are sharply fewer music labels, and the corporate owners, in the minds of those on the outside looking in, mostly bet on artists who fit a narrow demographic.
“It's a hard, hard business now,'’ Leavitt said. “That's why I’m proud of getting a cut in the movie.'’
His day job is at Dartmouth College, where he's executive assistant to the associate dean of the college. Leavitt said he's lucky. “They are so kind and patient when I have gigs,'’ he said. And being around students is good for him. “They are such a creative force,’’ Leavitt said, “they are so eager to learn.’’
Leavitt sometimes collaborates on songs with Pat Kelley of Springfield, Vt., for whom songwriting has been a sideline -- he owns a car dealership that his son now runs.
“Nobody's more deserving than Ed,'’ said Kelley. “He's paid his dues.’’
In Kelley's estimation, Leavitt is “a songwriter and country music historian. … He has a real passion for the music.'’
Leavitt has another outlet for that passion. He plays rhythm guitar and writes songs for the Shana Stack Band, which plays around the region and opened for Reba McIntire at Meadowbook in Massachusetts. (Its high-energy, get-'em-dancing performance was also among the highlights of the concert series at Colburn Park in Lebanon last summer.)
Leavitt said the lead singer, Shana Stack, has big ambitions for the band, which he said includes a roster of talented pros. “She's the star of the show, and I'm happy to let her be the star,’’ Leavitt said. “My goal is to continue writing and to help take the band to the next level. I'd be thrilled to do that.’’
And for himself, he'd love to have a song hit the national charts. “I'd be happy with one,'’ Leavitt said, “just to say I did it.’’
Hitting the Big Time with Ed Leavitt
Great news for Ed Leavitt, songwriter, rhythm guitar player, and male vocalist of The Shana Stack Band.
Ed received the outstanding news that his song, "Let It Go" would be featured in the Sundance Film Festival movie, "Compliance". The movie is getting rave reviews and OurStage.com, the New Music Revolution site designed for all kinds of music, and an affiliate of MTV, has congratulated Ed and others on their contributions to the movie and for their contribution to music around the world.
OurStage wrote: "Congratulations to OurStage artists Admiral Twin, Ashley Robertson, Bearin' Peace, Jesi Kettering, Daniel Whittington, Blacklisted Individuals, Gar Richmond, Konshens and Ed Leavitt of The Shana Stack Band and Jason Eustice. They all had songs in the film "Compliance," which is one of the most talked about films at Sundance Film Festival this week!"
Articles about the movie Compliance:
Sundance Film Festival
NewNowNext Beyond Trends
Compliance: Behind the Scenes - Video
Trailer Addict - Video
Congratulations again to Ed Leavitt for his outstanding contribution to songwriting and being a vital member behind The Shana Stack Band's success.
The Shana Stack Band kicked off Danver's Summer
The Shana Stack Band opened the 2011 Summer Concert Series, a seven week music festival at the Rotary Pavilion at Mill Pond on July 11 at 6 p.m.
According to the organizers, Danvers Recreation and Friends of Danvers Recreation, this is the seventh or eighth year that the series has been run in Danvers. Each concert is co-sponsored by different local businesses and organizations.
Last night's kick-off was co-sponsored by Graindmaison & Tripolo, LLP, CPA's and Friends of Danvers Recreation.
Danvers Recreation offered face painting for kids, and ice cream from Goodies was, and will be, available at every concert throughout the series.
Next up in the Concert Series is HoOda ThUNk, a classic rock of the 70's and 80's band on Wednesday July 13 at 6 p.m.
CD Release - "You Can't Make Me Fall"
The Shana Stack Band, soon to release their new CD, "You Can't Make Me Fall", featuring vocals by Shana Stack and Ed Leavitt, and performed by The Shana Stack Band. Songs written by Ed Leavitt, NSAI (Nashville Songwriter’s Association International) member and some songs co-written by Pat Kelley.
Three locations have been named as the CD Release Party venues:
Friday, July 8, 2011
94 Bowling Lane
White River Junction, Vermont
Call to reserve your table: 802-296-5853
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Midnight Rodeo Bar
Located at the Yard Restaurant
1211 South Mammoth Road
Manchester, New Hampshire
Saturday, July 16, 2011
McCue's Billiards & Sports Lounge
12 Emerald Street
Keene, New Hampshire
The Shana Stack Band to open for Reba McEntire
The Shana Stack Band will be opening for Reba McEntire on the Second Stage at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, NH
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Parking Opens at 5:00 PM
Gates Open at 6:00 PM
Use Promo Code: SSTSSB when ordering your tickets for a chance to win a Meet & Greet with Reba.
Tickets went on sale beginning Friday, May 20, 2011 through the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion website
Stack 'em up! - Hippo Press Article - 6-2-2011
Stack ’em up
Shana Stack Band making all the pieces fit
By Michael Witthaus
Unlike many musical genres, a good country song leads with melody and lets the beat follow. With the Shana Stack Band, it begins with a crisp lead guitar, the kind perfected by Vince Gill and Brad Paisley, coupled with the sultry sway of pedal steel. Then the rhythm kicks in, guided by gentle acoustic strumming.
That’s Shana Stack’s moment, as she steps up to the microphone and begins to sing.
Ultimately, though, a memorable tune is all about emotion, as any crooner from Patsy to Reba will attest, and it’s Ed Leavitt who provides the band’s songwriting power. A Nashville veteran who grew up on George Jones and Merle Haggard, Leavitt knows his subjects. A ballad, “Pleasure and Pain,” explores the forbidden affair of a “soccer mom” and her former college flame, while the upbeat “Perfect Pair” (a co-write with frequent collaborator Pat Kelley) celebrates a quirky love that’s likened to “Bonnie and Clyde, Sonny and Cher.”
The songs are part of a CD the band hopes to release by July or August in support of a busy summer schedule filled with several outdoor shows in places like Sunapee, Antrim and Hanover. The season ends with the band on the bill for Reba McEntire’s Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion show on Sept. 24.
“Reba’s not bringing an opening act; she has such a huge stage that it literally takes an entire day to set up,” said Leavitt recently during a break from rehearsals in their drummer’s Newport garage. “So we’re playing on the side stage, but we’re technically the opener.”
The group includes Stack and Leavitt (who also plays rhythm guitar) sharing lead vocals. Drummer Rick Leavitt (Ed’s brother) and veteran bass player Kevin Miller form the rhythm section, with John Sanchez on lead guitar and backing vocals. The many varying influences make the group greater than the sum of its parts. Miller comes from a rock and rollbackground, having opened for the Who and Steppenwolf.
Sanchez studied classical guitar in college, but he’s a full covert now: “It’s all about the Telecaster,” he says with a laugh.
Eibner, on the other hand, claims to have hated country music until he heard nascent Americana bands like New Riders of the Purple Sage, Poco and Gram Parsons in the early 1970s.
The Leavitt brothers represent the oldschool contingent, having formed their first country band as teenagers.
From her vantage point as afternoon DJ on country station WINK-FM in Keene, Stack keeps an eye on emerging hits for the band to cover. The latest addition to the set list is Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party.” Playing out, they’re able to mix a larger number of originals than a lot of other bands. McCue’s Billiards in Keene is a regular stop, but their first time through they were warned to stick to covers — which they did for the most part. “But our stuff got people on thedance floor and kept everyone drinking,” Stack recalls. “At the end of the night, we were booked for four more gigs — and we got extra money, which never ever happens.”
The band earned the Meadowbrook gig through tenacity and hard work, sending videos and song samples to venue management and engaging in a lengthy negotiation. Fans wishing to get up close and personal with the headliner, whether to gush about a favorite song or ask to have a cherished piece of memorabilia signed, are advised to buy tickets using the special promotional code SSTSSB, which will automatically enter them for a chance to win a meet and greet with McIntire at the show.
The band members themselves are fans and are eagerly anticipating the early fall show. Stack’s husband celebrated by picking up a Reba Signature Barbie doll at Wal-Mart, hoping the star will autograph it. “He loves Reba,” says Stack.
Shana Stack Band Friday, June 3, at 9 p.m. at the Chop Shop Pub and Grub, 920 Lafayette Road in Seabrook (760-7706)
Saturday, June 4, at 11 a.m. at the 27th Annual WOKQ Chowder Festival in Prescott Park, Portsmouth (rain date Sunday, June 5)
Saturday, June 11, at 9 p.m. at Midnight Rodeo Bar (Yard Restaurant), 1211 South Mammoth Road in Manchester (703-8444)
27th Annual WOKQ Chowderfest - Saturday, June 4
The Shana Stack Band will be the headlining act at the 27th Annual WOKQ Chowderfest on Saturday, June 4 at Prescott Park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The band will be performing Top 40 Country music and original music, written by Ed Leavitt, which will be released this summer on their CD "You Can't Make Me Fall". The Chowderfest begins at 11:30 AM and the band begins playing at 11:00 AM.
$10 Adults, $5 Youth (12 & under), Members - FREE!
The annual Chowder Festival offers some of the best Chowder the Seacoast has to offer.
Each year, more than 4,000 people help kick off the Prescott Park Arts Festival summer season by enjoying more than 500 gallons of piping hot chowder served up for tasting.
Be your own judge and vote for your favorite chowder from more than a dozen restaurants as they compete for the Best Chowder title.
Sponsored in part by Taste of the Seacoast magazine, this taste-testing event has become a New England staple for chowder lovers in the three-state region. Many restaurants use this event to try out new recipes before adding them to their menu, offering a great chance to sample the newest in Chowder fare in the area. Recipes in the past have included Smoked Scallop Chowder, Manhattan Chowder, Vegetarian Chowder, Corn Chowder, and Spicy Seafood Chowder.
Restaurants compete for your vote to be honored by being awarded Best Chowder, decided by the public. Other awards include Judge's Choice and Best Booth.
The Chowder festival also offers live music, tons of fun, and a beautiful setting like none other.
NEW THIS YEAR!
Enjoy TWO festivals for the price of one! Take our FREE ferry, generously provided by Portsmouth Harbor Cruises, between our Chowder Festival and the 3rd Annual Piscataqua Waterfront Festival!
Also, for an additional cost, enjoy FRESH shucked oysters provided by Little Bay Oyster Company!
If you are a restaurant interested in participating, click to download our RESTAURANT INSTRUCTION AND ENTRY FORM!