Uncle Billy's Smokehouse

Uncle Billy's Smokehouse- for the Grateful Web

The brother duo of guitarist Sean Ryan and keyboard ticklin brother Jody has revived what, to many, is a lost sound in bands today. The throw back to sixties rock has become their signature sound and the major reason Uncle Billy's Smokehouse has been gaining the attention and respect of music lovers far and wide.

Turning heads every time they take the stage, Uncle Billy's Smokehouse is quickly becoming one of the hottest live music acts in the Northeast. With an in-your-face stage presence, dark and nasty jams and beautiful melodies UBS combines an obvious passion to create unique and emotion evoking music, resulting in rock driven originals that take you back to the good ole days of rock n roll. Named in part as a tribute to their father (Uncle Billy), and a surprisingly inspirational hot-dog cart (Billi's Smokehouse) seen for sale on the side of the road while living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Ryan brothers Jody and Sean created Uncle Billy's Smokehouse in November of 2000. First formed as a classic rock cover band to feed the brothers need to play music. Uncle Billy's Smokehouse soon grew into a vehicle for Jody and Sean to explore original songs and sounds without any outside influences besides themselves. In 2002, longing for the concrete landscape and random hostility of their hometown, the brothers Ryan returned home to Worcester, Massachusetts. Back home, Uncle Billy's Smokehouse quickly entered the New England circuit with friends and former band mates Jon Golen (bass) and Bill Connor on drums. Infusing the varying musical tastes of each member, UBS began to churn out new songs that exposed a wide range of influences and genres, five of which were captured in the studio in the fall of 2002 for their debut EP. With live shows consisting of numerous originals and the occasional tasty cover, Uncle Billy's was quickly filling clubs throughout Central Massachusetts with some pretty rowdy crowds.

In December of 2003, UBS made a rhythm section change to old friends Matt LeBoeuf and Brad Simmons. And even more original songs began to find their ways into setlists. Life was good for UBS but there was something that was missing, a bassist from hell, and then he was sent from below. Long time Worcester musician Steven 'Janky Bones' Sullivan returned from an 8 year absence from California's Bay area. California was the perfect place for Janky to hone his skills playing a variety of styles of music. From the jam sessions with Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction and Banyan to the touring funk band .dias funK, to the king of punk/jazz Willie Waldman, to the L.A. based Pop Killers with guitar great Ronnie Rey Gunn. It was time to return home to the east coast where he quickly started to admire the direction Uncle Billy's Smokehouse was taking their music.

Today, Uncle Billys Smokehouse, armed with its hand selected line up, and a bevy of original tunes is resurrecting the soul of rock n roll past. With an all out musical attack of towering beats, heart thumping bass lines, gritty guitar licks, and pounding keys, the band pays tribute to when rock and roll was both exciting and revolutionary. With electrifying performances that leave their audiences exhausted and spell bound, Uncle Billys Smokehouse has been gaining interest from industry big wigs, to kidz in the lot, to the 1960's era flower children, to some of the best bands out there.

uncleHailing from Worcester Massachusetts this four piece rock out fit has seen their fair of the road in the past three years. Playing shows from Burlington Vermont to New York City the band seems to have found what rock n roll has desperately been in search of for so many years. Songs that have feel good lyrics, intricate composition, and music that fuses the blues based psychedelia of the 60s and 70s with modern day intensity.

In March of 2005 the release of their first full length album 'Tracks', has already sold over 1,500 copies without any outside help. The album has quickly gotten the band on the 'must see' list so many bands spend years attempting to reach. The album received a number of very positive reviews from a variety of different types of media, including a cover feature on the March 2005 issue of the nightlife entertainment publication The Pulse Magazine. "One song and you'll be converted by the power of their blues and funk inflected rock n roll" -Pulse Magazine March 2005.

A review by Mick Skidmore, a writer for Relix Magazine for over 20 years says "A hot quartet that is intent on taking the ballsy blues-rock and psychedelic rock of the early 70's and melding it with a savvy 21st century jam sensibility, and on the evidence of their recent Tracks album that was released earlier this year they are doing a pretty darn good job at it!" -Mick Skidmore September 2005.

A feature that had the band sharing the cover with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in the Boston Massachusetts based music publication Metronome Magazine "They have resurrected the energetic pomp and circumstance of bands and days gone by that arose out of the ashes of the flower-child movement of the late 1960's" -Shaun McNamara December 2005 Metronome Magazine.

A review in Massachusetts' internet live music playground "It's the vocal harmonies that do it for me. They really hark back to the AM radio days of the mid 60s. No one even bothers trying to harmonize like this nowadays, but I'm glad they did" -Phil McNamara September 2005

Now playing the club circuit throughout New England Uncle Billy's Smokehouse is steadily carving out their niche in the scene, kicking out some good ole' down-home Rock n' Roll and bringing a party to every new club they set foot in. Today in 2007, fresh off a little time in the practice space and not so much pushing the pavement week in and week out, the band has begun to once again hone its sound in. With the band's newfound time, motivation and ambition new songs from both Jody like 'Candy' and 'Holland' add an even more funky and edgier sound to the band, along with Sean's new tunes like 'JJ's Circus' and 'Almost Done' showcase the band around his complete guitar prowess. So whether you like to dance, stomp your feet, raise a fist, or just toss back a few and get a little silly. See when we come by your place or come visit us sometime, cause right about now its a good time to be in the Smokehouse!

Billy Iuso And Restless Natives

- for the Grateful Web ">Billy Iuso was Born on January 26, 1969 in Port Chester, New York. While being born an Aquarian, during "the age of Aquarius " didn't Pre-determine his destiny in music, Billy, like so many other children of his time was weaned on the changing culture and the music that symbolized it.

His Mom and Dad were at Woodstock and early on, Billy was constantly hearing the likes of Joe Cocker, Van Morrison, The Band and of course The Grateful Dead. But, in particular, even though he was living in the Northeast, was exposed to the Southern Rock bands of the early 70's...i.e. The Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Wet Willie. Also the New York Radio stations playing the funky soulful sounds of Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, Jackson Five, and Marvin Gaye etc. All of the music, influenced but did not define where Billy was heading.

From age 8-15, Bill moved around a lot with his mother, he lived in Ohio, Miami FL and Houston TX. He received his first guitar as a present from his dad at the age of 13. But it wasn't until he moved back to Northeast at 15 , that he taught himself how to play the guitar and discovered that his recently changed voice had a "guttural" singing quality to it.

Billy formed his first band in 1986 at 17, not surprisingly it was a Grateful Dead "cover" band called Euphoria. They were quite successful in and around the New England area, even playing the opening week for the now defunct Wetlands NYC, the first club dedicated to this genre of jam music. Gradually moving from imitation to emulation Billy inserted a couple of his originals into the set. However, again not surprisingly, like so many other successful cover bands, Billy had the urge to create and play his own music.

So in 1989, Billy told his dad " don't waste your money on sending me to college" and moved to Providence, RI to seek a city /college town to spawn his music. Then he formed the now critically acclaimed "Brides of Jesus" playing music at the forefront of his musical genre that came to be known as the Jam-Band movement.

iusoIn the early 90's Billy had his "ups", opening for the likes of Dave Matthews, Widespread Panic, George Clinton, Funky Meters. And his "downs", living in his rehearsal space because he couldn't afford a separate place to live and a place to practice and opted for the latter. Through the ups and downs, coming and goings of band members, and relocating to Athens, Georgia, Billy remained true to a high energy mix of funk and roots rock in his writing, vocals and playing.

In 1994, Billy released the first Brides CD " What's Going to Set You Free" with acclaimed Allman Brothers producer Johnny Sandlin. While in Athens Billy and the Brides toured constantly all over the country with headlining and opening slots building his career. One of the most influential bands which they opened for on many occasions were the Meters, which built a friendship and a bond that linked him to his new home the Crescent City.

Billy moved to New Orleans in early 1997, here Billy recorded the second Brides CD For Real. After touring constantly for nearly four years Billy had an opportunity to stage manage for The Meters, Neville Brothers, and Vida Blue (Phish's Page McConnell side project) which in turn put his own musical career on the back burner.

Still playing a few Brides shows here and there, Billy released the third Brides CD Saints and Sinners in 2002 and returned to the touring circuit. Wanting a change and due to the unavailability of other members of BOJ due to their other musical commitments, Billy decided to go solo. His new self titled CD Restless Natives is a collection of new and unrecorded originals and a few choice covers that don¹t confine him to the Jam funk style that the Brides are known for.

Billy continues to perform as Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives with a familiar ever-changing cast of characters, 'Mean' Willie Greeweirn, Bryan Besse, Marc Pero, Ryan Plattsmier, and Chris Marsciel, Sam Hothckiss and other.

Recent highlights of the Natives include a stellar show at Tipitina's that featured Russell Batiste on a second drum set, late night jams in the French Quarter with the likes of the Grateful Dead's own Bobby Weir in the audience, and bringing the patio bar at House of Blues to a second-line sing-a-long on Mardi Gras Day.