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Gold Coast Refuse
The story of Gold Coast Refuse is rather ordinary. The music they’re making is anything but. Critics praise the band’s sound as “a modern yet rootsy blend of thoughtful, impassioned rock and roll,” “roots rock with an edge,” “new, unique but built on the past,” “owing as much to Big Star as Uncle Tupelo.” But as for the story . . . it begins with the meeting of Jeff Falk and Michael Paeth in Chicago in 2002. They began collaborating on original material and recording in a warehouse loft above Paeth’s work. Some of their early tapes found their way to Brian McDonnell and he soon became a regular in the writing and recording sessions. The three quickly developed a wealth of original material, trading off on a variety of guitars, keys and percussion as Falk and McDonnell shared vocal duties. Guitar being the instrument of choice for all three, the writing often centered around plush acoustic and electric guitar arrangements and three-guitar harmonies. Drummer Ken Ward and bassist Michael Gros were soon recruited to form the rhythm section and the line-up was complete. Taking the name Gold Coast Refuse from one of their song lyrics, the band cut a quick demo in 2003 and spent the next two years building an audience and honing their live performance. Soon they were stealing the spotlight at national showcases such as Cincinnati’s MidPoint Music Festival in 2003 and 2004 and headlining legendary Chicago clubs like Abbey Pub and Double Door. Their first full-length album, “Yours from Ascentia,” was released on the band’s own Mile Long Records label in 2005. The album succinctly captures the diversity of Gold Coast Refuse’s writing. In ten songs and forty minutes, the band creates a wide spectrum of sound – from the acoustic roots of Big Buildings and In a Bag to the gritty garage rock of Shine and Sun on the Floor. The songs and performance are authentic, unassuming, and inviting, presenting listeners with a broad cross-section of American music’s past, present and future.

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