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Virgin Steele

Virgin Steele Photo

Band Photo: Virgin Steele (?)

Formed: 1981
From: NY, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Virgin Steele News

Below is our complete Virgin Steele news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Exclusive

Virgin Steele Completes New Album

After running into some setbacks and having to recover and re-record a number of parts, Virgin Steele has finally completed their new album, "The Black Light Bacchanalia." Here's the final update for Metalunderground.com from frontman David DeFeis on the recording of the new album:

Well, believe it or not we have actually finished the album and sent it off to our label, Steamhammer SPV for publication/replication. It was a mad, wild time these past few weeks & days recording and mixing like banshees! But we made it. A week ago seems like an entire lifetime ago. It seems like every possible situation and change of season has occurred in a matter of hours and days. I personally went through the full dynamic range of emotional upheavals possible. One minute I was on top of the World, the next completely beneath it...and everything in between. Through it all as we say here in the Land Of Steele....we remained...Invictus!

As always, when it comes time to actually part with an album and send it off into the World, I get very crazy. I always want to completely re-do it, to go back to the beginning and live with everything longer, but this of course is impossible. I am always frantic and rushed with every album, but this one was exceptionally challenging. Its birth was very much like how they did it in the long, long past, when people like Chuck Berry or Elvis would record a song, and then it would be immediately pressed and released only a few short hours later. After finishing these final mixes, I straight away began the process to send the album over to our label, so I really did not have the opportunity to live with these final mixes, listen back and adjust anything along the way. I trust that all turned out well and can only judge things from my initial gut reaction, which was that everything seems fine and nice and raw! In the end Life goes on and all projects must have their completion, and this one is now well on its way to landing in your hands soon. I hope you enjoy it. All of us here in the House Of Steele stand behind it, and think that it makes a very appropriate soundtrack to the coming Autumnal Season. We poured all our blood, sweat, & energy into these tracks and everything from $200 dollar scotch (a very nice gift from a Fan) to 7-11 coffee went into the making of it. May it empower you and take you on journeys both strange & beautiful....

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Virgin Steele Experiences Recording Setbacks

Finished recording and beginning mixing their new album, "The Black Light Bacchanalia," Virgin Steele hit a speed bump when they discovered that some tracks were lost due to electric storms. David DeFeis has issued an update about it to Metalunderground.com. (Read Update #1, Update #2, Update #3, Update 4, and Update #5.)

This has been one tense week for us to say the least! Josh & I have worked like Demons from the farthest crypts of Hades, and Vikings on a rampage to complete this album. Due to some freaky electrical malfunctions caused by the various late summer storms we have had here, we lost various tracks from the majority of the songs on the album, including information on drives that were the backups. The Gods & Goddesses of all things involving the Currents of the Earth & Sky are not always kind. Luckily we had enough material from earlier sessions baked up on other drives, to be able to go in and frantically begin work again, re-recording over the past 3 or 4 days about 75-80-% of the album all over again in terms of vocals, guitars and a few stray bits of orchestration. Now after a harrowing week, we are in the home stretch and once again racing to the finish line in our attempt to make our deadline. While we are in for another major league insane day & night...this actually looks possible.

The end result of all this manic activity, is that an already raw and passionate album is even more raw and passionate! Listening back last night, I was reminded of the untamed fury and pure unadulterated energy of albums like Led Zeppelin 2, or the early Van Halen albums. Not that Virgin Steele sounds like that per say, but that spontaneity... that abandon, is captured here. If Zeppelin came back today as a Barbaric-Romantic Metal band...and were releasing there first album, they might have made an album like we are making now. It sounds like a debut album in many ways...It is very honest and overflowing with exuberance. It is heavy when it needs to be, atmospheric on occasion, Epic in all directions, violent, tender, proud and ultimately...defiant...

I want to express my Thanks to my Friend and bandmate Josh Block for his dedication, determination, and for hanging in there with me, not only playing wicked guitar on the record, but also contributing his exceptional engineering skills throughout the recording & mixing process. I also wish to thank our good Friend and long time recording engineer Ed Warrin for his tireless assistance, keen ears, great wit, and Noble skills in helping to bring this album to a proper close.

I also wish to send out A Royal Thanks and a Round Of Drinks to: our drummer Frank Gilchriest who contributed amazing drum performances even while suffering from a severely injured ankle. He is the new and indestructible Keith Moon, and he shall remain...Invictus. And: Thanks & Cheers to Edward (Van Dorian) Pursino for his passionate guitar work ,and positive vibes throughout these past several months of traveling and recording.

We hope that you will all enjoy the fruits of our Summer Of Madness....

BY THE BLACK SUN & MOON,
David DeFeis

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Virgin Steele Mixing New Album

As Virgin Steele has wrapped up recording for their new album, "The Black Light Bacchanalia," and is currently in mixing mode, David DeFeis gives us another weekly studio update. (Read Update #1, Update #2, Update #3 and Update 4.) In it, he also discusses many of the songs on the album. Here's what he has to say about it:

And here it is the final week of preparation for the album...Yes we are in mix mode and the songs are all starting to come alive. But there is still a ton of work to do, as this is one seriously long album. I don't think that I will do such a long Work again. This is quite insane...But anyway...the outcome is quite interesting for me. The epic, Barbaric & Romantic sound that people have come to know from VIRGIN STEELE is certainly in evidence on these tracks, but there is also some new ingredients that showcase another side of the Group. To me this one sounds polished yet very raw. There is a wildness to it, and a kind of recklessness that I enjoy. The drums are very live sounding....kind of like that Zeppelin open kit sound, and the guitars on some of the tracks are 7 string, so coupled with the bass and the various keys, there is a nice thickness all around. I am quite happy with the way several tracks I worked on today are turning out. TO CROWN THEM WITH HALOS & NECROPOLIS have big guitars, frantic drumming, the occasional classical keyboard flourish and raw throaty vocals. It is all very honest, heartfelt passionate music, and if you enjoyed what have done in the past, then I think you will like this one as well. I am trying to achieve the sound I hear in my head, and little by little it is arriving. I honestly wish I had another month to complete this, but I always go through that with every album...so all is normal I suppose...but this one has been a tough birth.

OK, time for wine and passing out....I've been at this for over 15 hours already.

Hail & Cheers to you all. Thanks for listening.

BY THE GODS & GODDESSES,
David

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Frank Gilchriest Clarifies Past Comments

Virgin Steele's Frank Gilchriest has written in to clarify some comments he made in the past about "fake drummers" and the abuse of digital technologies, which apparently resulted in his quotes being used out of context and with the intended sarcasm lost. Here's what he has to say about it now:

I am writing this because I want to retract the statements that I made regarding the abuse of digital technology in a 2006 interview. Unfortunately, that was the one and only “interview” I’ve ever given for Virgin Steele and it misrepresents me. It’s been bothering me ever since it was first published. At the time, I was given the impression that I was having an informal conversation with a Virgin Steele fan club. I was not made aware that it was a formal interview intended for world wide distribution. I had no intention of “slamming fake drummers.” I was slamming the use of technology to misrepresent an individuals true abilities on any instrument. After years of seeing this “interview” pop up on the internet, I decided to set the record straight for anyone who cares.

First of all, I have no problem with digital technology or drum triggers. In fact, I occasionally use triggers myself. Many of my favorite drummers use them as well. Secondly, around that time I was being accused by some of our fans of programming and not actually playing my drum parts in the studio. When given the chance, I responded sarcastically and provocatively to those accusations to have some fun and to clear up the confusion. I was unaware that my words would wind up plastered all over the internet. I would have never granted permission for that if I had any control over it. I’ve asked our manager to remove my remarks from the official Virgin Steele website many times because it misrepresents my thoughts.

I want to apologize if any of the remarks I made in a sarcastic and informal context offended anyone especially my fellow drummers. I am a huge fan of many incredible drummers in Metal who record using digital technology and triggers. Many of whose skill levels far exceed my own.

I never do interviews for Virgin Steele. I regret that what I thought was an informal conversation I might have over a beer was taken out of context and that my good natured sarcasm was misrepresented. But I guess “slamming fake drummers” makes a good headline.

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Exclusive

Virgin Steele Gives New Update, In Pre-Mix Mode

Virgin Steele's David DeFeis gives us another weekly studio update about the progress on the new album, "The Black Light Bacchanalia," reporting that they're now in the "pre-mix" stages. (Read Update #1, Update #2, and Update #3.)

Greetings & Salutations Eternal, Faithful Metal Listeners,

I am pleased to say that all the guitar solos are now complete, and they continue the tradition of crafting a song within a song. I like for the solos to be statements within themselves, that have a proper beginning a climax and a conclusion. This has once again been achieved. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with both Edward & Josh on the solos, and I am thankful to them for being so conscientious and attentive to the material. I am now compiling all the tracks, and doing whatever stray its of vocal harmonies need to be done...In short we are in a pre-mix phase now. The new gear has arrived, and I am taking full advantage of it, sleeping about 4 hours at most, as I am completely possessed by these sounds and I wish for the album to arrive in reality at sounding the way it does in my head...

The lyrics have gotten more and more involved, and the material has dictated a specific approach in putting them across...I think this Work is frenzied, quite insane, certainly Epic, Bombastic, Romantic, very heavy...but the musicality always shines through...

Until we meet again...& Beyond...stay Forever...INVICTUS....
David DeFeis

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Exclusive

Virgin Steele Nearly Done Recording New Album

Virgin Steele's David DeFeis has sent over another exclusive studio update (here's the first and the second update) from the recording sessions for the band's new album, "The Black Light Bacchanalia," indicating that they're nearly done recording and will soon be mixing it.

We are currently completing the remaining vocals, stray bits of orchestration and guitar solos....It looks like we will be heading into mix mode quite soon, and will hopefully remain on schedule! I am working non-stop to meet our deadline. New studio gear will be arriving this week and will certainly enhance what we are attempting to achieve. The album as I stated earlier is quite long, and also the bonus disc will also be pretty lengthy, as the spoken bio that I am doing is nearly 30 minutes at the moment...I hope to not simply have the bio sound like a dry dull history or science class assignment. I hope to add bits and pieces of music in there that will connect the various sections. I may use various tracks from the album, like an orchestra section or strings, that you normally would not hear that well, what with all the guitars and drums wailing away...so...it will hopefully prove entertaining.

The cover artwork is nearly ready. As I mentioned we are doing 3 distinct yet related covers. The images I have used here come from my travels in the world of History, Mythology, Anthropology and the Occult. There will be strange wood etchings used on all 3, that depict how the later "new religious" folk saw the earlier Gods & Goddess & their worship...

Anyway...it is a long hot summer here, as there is no air conditioning in the studio...and I am currently gushing water like monsoon season....It is time for one very quick leap into a nearby ocean, and then more black coffee and vocals....I shall switch to wine for the evening...

Thanks for listening and all the absolute best to you ALL!

BY THE BLACK SUN & MOON,
David

PS In this photo...Pursino shows off his new "look"...
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Exclusive

Virgin Steele Gives New Studio Update

Virgin Steele's David DeFeis has sent over another exclusive studio update from the recording sessions for the band's new album, "The Black Light Bacchanalia."

I am about a day or two away from completing all the keyboard tracks, and we are also deep into recording the guitars and vocals. Edward as usual is playing 6 string guitars, and Josh is handling the 7 string guitars. We completed all the guitars on Necropolis (He Answers Them With Death), one or two evenings ago, and now we are completing TO CROWN THEM WITH HALOS. This is a mammoth track...clocking in at around 11 minutes. It is unlike anything we have ever released. The entire album is taking on an Epic quality, and is highly aggressive, but even when aggressive, it is still highly musical. There is great beauty combined with the heaviness...If you hear the keyboard parts by themselves, you might think that this is a film score, but combined with the drums and guitars and all the rest, it becomes something entirely different. I personally am getting more & more excited and into the album every Day & Night. Those journalists who have heard a few bits & pieces are all responding quite favorably. I believe that it will be a very important album for us...
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Virgin Steele Working On New Album, Gives Update

New York metal veterans Virgin Steele are working on a new album and frontman David Defeis has given Metalunderground.com an exclusive first studio update and revealed the tracklisting of the new album, "The Black Light Bacchanalia." Defeis updates us:

It will be quite a long album...close to 80 minutes...The album (to be really brief), concerns the reversal of all things...Once conquered by invading cultures, older Pagan deities become the demons…of the new religion. The Black Light Bacchanalia is a reversal of the sacred sexual customs, and the final desecration of the "Goddess Principle", switching from matrilineal descent to patrilineal descent, with the rise of the idea of the Mountain-Fire God...., ultimately leading to organized religion completely overthrowing the ancient Pagan way of life, and ushering in the "dark ages"...The album also deals with ancient fears such as the fear of the sun not rising...Lyrically it is a kind of continuation of the story I told on the last album...Musically it is quite something else...

The album will be issued in a normal CD format, plus a limited edition version with bonus tracks, and also a vinyl version. We will most likely have 3 different, yet related covers for the various versions.

At the moment we have just completed all the drums and bass. Most of the keyboards have also been completed, and we are in the process of finalizing the guitar & vocal tracks. Mixing will commence once the guitars & vocals are complete.

Hail & Cheers, to you All, and thanks for listening....

The tracklisting for "The Black Light Bacchanalia" has also been revealed as follows:

By The Hammer of Zeus (And The Wrecking Ball Of Thor)
Pagan Heart
The Bread of Wickedness
In A Dream Of Fire
The Orpheus Taboo
Nepenthe
Necropolis (He Answers Them With Death)
To Crown Them With Halos Parts 1 & 2
The Torture's Of The Damned
The Black Light Bacchanalia (The Age That Is To Come)
Eternal Regret

Virgin Steele's new worldwide deal with SPV/Steamhammer includes the reissue of the band's entire back catalogue - from "Noble Savage" onward. The back catalog will be made available throughout 2011, with faithfully restored covers and booklets, bonus tracks and liner notes.

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Virgin Steele Annoucnes Festival Cancellation

New York power metal band Virgin Steele has issued the following statement regarding the recent cancellation of the Play It Loud Festival:

"Today we received unfortunate news from our booking agency. It appears that the PLAT IT LOUD FESTIVAL has been canceled. As you can imagine, we were very sorry to hear this, for we had been looking forward to performing for all our Friends in Italy once again...Fear not...We will make it a priority to return to your shores as soon as possible. Keep well, remain Forever INVICTUS and have a Glorious rest of the Summer & Beyond..."

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Tomorrow's Outlook Streaming Virgin Steele Cover

Norwegian metallers Tomorrow's Outlook have posted online a clip of their cover of "Victory Is Mine" by Virgin Steele. The clip can be heard on the band's MySpace page. The cover will be part of an upcoming tribute album to Virgin Steele titled "By The Gods: A Noble Tribute To Virgin Steele," which does not yet have a solid release date set.

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Virgin Steele To Re-Issue Early Albums

Dockyard 1 will re-release the classic VIRGIN STEELE albums "Noble Savage" (1985) and "Age Of Consent" (1988). Both albums will be remastered and will feature previously unreleased bonus tracks, and new full-color booklets with new photos and commentary/liner notes.

Commented singer David DeFeis: "The purpose of these reissues, is not necessarily to have the fans who already purchased them buy them again, but attempt to reach out to those who have not yet heard of VIRGIN STEELE. I am happy to once again be working with Dirk Putzke and Christine Stephan. I have known them for a long time now, and our association has always yielded exciting, positive results, and been absolutely great! I look forward to a very Magickal year ahead with them."

Dockyard 1's Dirk Putzke said in a statement: "The reasoning behind Dockyard 1's signing [of VIRGIN STEELE] is quite simply to keep these masterpieces and milestones of true barbaric-romantic music alive in print and have them available for new fans, as well as those long time members of the VIRGIN STEELE audience."

For those of you who already possess these works, fear not… the bonus tracks will be available separately as downloads.

The release date is set for February 1 in Germany and February 4 in all other European territories.

In other news, David recently completed work for a track on the forthcoming EP from the female-fronted Polish power metal band CRYSTAL VIPER. CRYSTAL VIPER recorded a cover of David's song "Blood & Gasoline" (from the "Marriage Of Heaven & Hell Part 1" CD), and asked him if he would be interested in contributing vocals to it. David not only added vocals (including miles of harmonies), but also played keyboards and mixed and mastered the track. And…he also enlisted VIRGIN STEELE bassist Josh Block to play some mammoth seven-string guitar on it as well.

The CRYSTAL VIPER EP featuring the cover of "Blood & Gasoline" will be available shortly on Karthago Records.

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Progpower USA Sold Out

The organizers of the ProgPower USA festival have announced a surprise headline set for this year's sold-out edition of the internationally renowned festival. Saturday night (October 6) will now finish with an all-star cover set featuring vocalists from both the showcase and the festival. Each vocalist will be given the opportunity to perform 1-2 cover songs of their choice with the music being provided by the members of PAGAN'S MIND. Additional guests will join them throughout the set.

"The fans have made this festival a success and it's time to give something back to them," said ProgPower USA promoter Glenn Harveston. "I wanted to announce this after the sell-out as a reward instead of in advance as an incentive. It's going to be one hell of a party on stage."

As a result of the additional performance, there has been a major change in the schedule and door times. "I had to shake things up quite a bit to make this work," Harveston explained. "However, the fans can relax knowing that not one band will have a single minute cut from their previously announced set lengths."

The new schedule and door times can be found at the festival web site. More...

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Virgin Steele's Gilchriest Slams 'Fake' Drummers

UPDATE: Frank Gilchriest has issued a statement about some of his comments here.

The official VIRGIN STEELE web site has been updated with a new interview with frontman David DeFeis and drummer Frank Gilchriest. An excerpt from the chat follows:

Q: What are your favourite moments on [the new VIRGIN STEELE album, "Visions of Eden"]? Favorite tracks? Are you satisfied with the way the album turned out? Are you pleased with your performances?

Frank: "People should buy the CD because it is different from what is currently available in the genre. It is truly an original work of music and has an interesting story that relates to all the madness in the world today.

"My favorite moment on the CD is 'God above God'. Musically and lyrically that song brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it!

"I wish to clear up any confusion about the drumming on 'Visions of Eden'. First of all, that is me playing on every song. There was no programmed drum parts used whatsoever!!

"I am very happy with my performance on 'Visions..'. However, the drum sound is a different matter. This was the first time we used a digital drum kit and I'm not entirely satisfied with the outcome. Unfortunately, they sound so perfect that people are accusing me of not actually playing the parts. Some people think Dave programmed the drums on a computer. That is very distressful to me. I worked hard to get my endurance and speed up to the task of recording those parts. I can hear my own style of attack on the drums and, my particular way of phrasing things but at the same time I understand what some fans are saying. There is a machine-like quality to due to the use of a digital drum kit instead of a real wooden one. I can't wait to satisfy the doubters when in concert I'll be ripping up those songs out on a real wooden drum kit. More...

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Virgin Steele Post Two New Songs Online

Two songs from the VIRGIN STEELE's forthcoming eleventh album, "Visions of Eden - The Lilith Project - A Barbaric Romantic Movie of the Mind" — "Immortal I Stand (The Birth Of Adam)" and "The Hidden God" — have been made available for streaming. Check them out:

"Immortal I Stand (The Birth Of Adam)" : Windows Media, Real Media
"The Hidden God": Windows Media, Real Media

"Visions of Eden - The Lilith Project - A Barbaric Romantic Movie of the Mind" is scheduled for release on September 8 via Sanctuary. Check out the album's cover artwork at this location. More...

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Virgin Steele Announce New Album Title

Long-running New York power metallers VIRGIN STEELE have posted the following message on their official web site:

"The new VIRGIN STEELE album is truly on schedule! David [DeFeis, vocals] is literally one day away from completing all mixing and mastering, and I can now honestly tell you with complete confidence that it will be out in September. The name of the album is to be... 'Visions of Eden', and it is quite epic. It is I believe the group's longest album to date, clocking in at 79 minutes and 57 seconds. We hope you will enjoy it. More information, track listing etc., will appear in the weeks ahead..."

VIRGIN STEELE's last studio release, "Book of Burning", came out in 2002.

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Virgin Steele To Release New Album In September

Long-running New York power metallers VIRGIN STEELE have posted the following message on their official web site:

"The new VIRGIN STEELE album is almost finished. Mixing commenced several weeks ago, and David [DeFeis, vocals] is nearly finished with all the tracks. He should have the mixing wrapped up within a week or two, and then he needs a few days more for mastering. All looks quite promising for an early September release. We will keep you informed.

"In related news, David and Edward [Pursino, guitar] flew over to Germany last week for a listening session for the new album, with all the key German magazines, and the reaction was extremely positive."

VIRGIN STEELE's last studio release, "Book of Burning", came out in 2002.

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Virgin Steele Begin Recording New Album

VIRGIN STEELE's official web site has been updated with the following message:

"David DeFeis [vocals] has finally decided which songs will be issued on the first [new VIRGIN STEELE] CD from out of the over 60 compositions he has prepared so far. And not only that, but the group is actually now officially halfway through capturing the first 20 on tape. Sessions are going extraordinarily well, and the group is hoping for a much sooner...rather than a much later release. We will keep you informed, as the information comes our way. I have also heard rumors about a 'making of' short video documentary that is in the works!"

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Virgin Steele Confirmed To Play At Bang Your Head

Virgin Steele are confirmed to play at Bang Your Head 2005-festival. The event is set to take place in Germany at the Messegelände of Balingen on the 24th and 25th of June.

Bang Your Head 2005 will be the 10th Bang Your Head in a row and is therefore themed "The Best of ten Years". To celebrate this anniversary, the festival's organizers invited the most popular acts of all former events. Alongside 22 acts that have rocked the festival's stage before, another well-known very special guest will be invited.

The list of artists set to perform at the Bang Your Head festival 2005 at Balingen, Germany, 24th/25th of June: More...

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Virgin Steele New Album Update

Virgin Steele singer David DeFeis and guitarist Edward Pursino commented during a recent online chat on the progress of the songwriting sessions for the long-running Long Island, NY-based power metal group's next studio album.

Said David: "After these [upcoming DeFeis/Pursino acoustic] dates, we will dive full-bore hardcore into the completion of the next album. The ideas are all there, and in fact there are about 40 demos already recorded. Hopefully it won't take too long to complete everything we wish to record. But we are not rushing. It will be ready…when it is ready. We want it to be the best one yet." Added Pursino: "We will begin recording the album in the fall and will finish when it's just right. We simply can't be rushed."

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Virgin Steele, et al 'All Star' Gig in NY

Virgin Steele 's David DeFeis, Edward Pursino & Josh Block, will team up with former Exorcist drummer, Geoff Fontaine, to perform a gig of Strange & Beautiful cover tunes at 'The Village Pub South' in NY. This concert is a benefit for the South Shore Music Foundation.

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