Best of 2019: Ralph Renna’s 10 Local Bands to Watch

In the past 30 years we have seen a lot of bands come and go.  Some have made it bigger then we have ever imagined. It makes us proud when our favorite act or band achieves success. It’s like rooting for your favorite sports team in a championship game. Here is a list of bands/acts that have exceeded expectations, set goals and won’t give up! It’s was a tough call to narrow it down to 10 but it’s just one guy’s opinion (me) Happy New Year.

1. Bad Mothers

This Albany four-piece blows me away every time I see them live or they release new tunes. The music that comes out of this powerhouse has redefined Rock-N-Roll and given us faith that great music can still be written & played with instruments and not a computer. Check out their remake of Led Zeppelin’s classic “Whole Lotta Love”.

2. Wild Adriatic

Melody Makers from the north country putting Glens Falls on the map and they have had the pedal to the metal since day one. These dudes are constantly recording, touring and laying out a very admirable blueprint on musicianship and work ethic. They rock hard with sweet soul and are destined for greatness. Re-paving the roads, setting the trends, with dedication and loyalty being the key to their success.

3. Girth Control

I’m a serious punk rock fan, the wackier, the better.  Shorter, faster, dumber, Funner? The band that started as a  joke, and turned out to be one of the best punk bands this area has ever given “girth”  to.  I endorse Girth Control 200% and it has nothing to do with a song they wrote titled “Ralph Renna”.

4. Talia Denis

In a scene where female acts get spoiled so much, that other extremely hard working artists get overlooked, until now. It’s time to recognize a true talent who has worked harder than most, without being spoon-fed or groomed. Writing and recording her own amazing music, booking her own well-attended shows, creating a scene and giving starving artists a chance to perform with what she has built. With new music about to be released in the new decade, 2020 will be Talia’s year!

5. The Erotics

Mike Trash and his band of misfits have been swinging their cocks on stages all over the world for well over 25 years now.   With a recent live performance in Albany that left the crowd floored. Staying true to their hair metal and punk roots, they have gained recognition and respect while drinking and pissing on the shores,  sea to shining f***ing sea.

6. Ampevene

The experiment has begun and we’re digging the trip man. Here is one act who does not follow a formula or restricts their creativity by putting out hit songs or time restraints.  Music is just sounds and how we shape those sounds is what matters. I look forward to seeing what unknown territory or galaxy they venture into next.

7. Big Rush

I am an old school hip hop fan, although the 518 scene has been stale for some time now, Big Rush is one guy that is keeping that spirit alive. Pure determination, pride and guts that blesses your soul at first listen. Melding rock and soul anthems, while spitting and expressing his deepest, darkest secrets and struggles is the honesty that you appreciate and respect.  This cat is keeping it really real!

8. Stellar Young

Being a fan from the day I first time I saw this band live, under the name (the city never sleeps), they never disappoint. Impressive timeless recordings, brilliant songwriting and amazing live shows, Stellar Young is another band that has broken the mold to the recipe they created and has exceeded what was to be expected of them from record to record. They released a series of EP’s last year,  each one  is diverse from the other, in style, genre and sonic pleasure.

9. Chris Busone Band

Being a native of Troy N.Y. we tend to favor our own, but not in this case. True players and dedication should be recognized, no matter where they are on the map. This trio defines Troy rock with soul and blues to the fullest.  Blood, sweat, hard work and no tears, has been Busone’s business for well over 30 years. Business is still good, as new recordings are on the way.  

10. Faced

I couldn’t let these metalhead thrashers pass you by without giving them the push to the forefront that they deserve. All the elements you’re looking for when entering the pit.  Hard and heavy rhythm’s and chaotic grooves, providing a  soundtrack for their demonic voice to be heard, loud and clear. 

Originally Published on, used with permission.

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