Band News and Events
The Shana Stack Band wins 2 national awards
Band of the Year and the Fans Choice Award
Nashville, TN, Monday, July 1, 2013: The Independent Country Music Association, located in Nashville, Tennessee, the Country Music Capital of the World, announced today the winners of their 2nd Annual Independent Country Music Association Awards.
The Independent Country Music Association (ICoMA) exists to educate, evaluate, and promote indie country music. The Shana Stack Band, comprised of all New Hampshire musicians (Shana Stack, Ed Leavitt, John Sanchez, Kurt Ekstrom and Kevin Miller), was nominated in 3 categories: Country Band of the Year, Album of the Year, for their sophomore album, “What You See Is What You Get” along with the Fans Choice Award. The Band of the Year and Album of the Year categories were voted on by the Association while the Fans Choice Award was voted on and determined solely by the fans.
The Shana Stack Band began the journey of rallying their over 1,500 fans on Facebook and live audiences to begin voting for the Fans Choice Award. The fans began a grassroots campaign to win the Fans Choice Award. The voting began in April and ended on June 30, 2013.
In a press release on the evening of July 1, by Alan Shephard Sr., President of the Independent Country Music Association, written to all members and nominees (winners) of the vast array of awards, The Shana Stack Band was named for both the Fans Choice Award and Country Band of the Year.
The Shana Stack Band members were ecstatic about the news. They are also a humble group of musicians. “We couldn’t do this without all of our fans, friends and families. Our families give up a lot of family-time to allow us to play music.” They are appreciative of all of the support they receive during the year. “The Fans Choice Award means so much to us. It shows that the fans really approve of what we do. They are what make this adventure fun and exciting.”
Congratulations to The Shana Stack Band on all of their success. They are really moving forward in their endeavors. The band has just released their third album, “Every Now and Then”, which sold over 100 copies, prior to its release date in June 2013. The band will be performing 17 dates in July and will travel thousands of miles all across New England to perform for the fans. They have opened for Country Superstars, such as Reba McEntire, Sugarland, Travis Tritt and will be opening for Rascal Flatts on Saturday, August 2 at Meadowbrook in Gilford, New Hampshire. You can view their website and order their latest CD by visiting www.ShanaStack.com
Nominated by the Independent Country Music Association for Band of the Year, Album of the Year and Fans Choice Award, The Shana Stack Band excites their audience with their high energy, high impact show. 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.
The Group focuses on new Top 40 Country, and original music written by Ed Leavitt. "Let it Go", one of Ed's songs, 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, as well as performing before Travis Tritt on the Main Stage at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway before the Nascar Sprint Cup Race. The band has performed shows all across New England at a variety of venues including Meadowbrook Pavilion, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the Big E Fair!
The band will be opening for Rascal Flatts in August 2013 at Meadowbrook Pavilion.
The band released their second full-length original CD, "What You See Is What You Get" summer 2012 and their third album released in June 2013.
Without a doubt, The Shana Stack Band hits the stage with one goal in mind…To engage the audience and leave them wanting more.
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.
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.
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.
Topical Sundance Film Features Song by Claremont's Ed Leavitt
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.’’
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 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.
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