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The 74th Street Band - A Band To Watch Out For In 2016

 The 74th Street Band - Rocking the Desert In The Valley of The Sun
Photos Kage Bastion/ Lauri Svendsen
Story by Lauri Svendsen
The Valley of the Sun has always had a strong music scene , and that’s true these days as well,
with many excellent bands in the area. Some play a show per month, or maybe two, but one band
has been rocking the Valley week in and week out for years, with no sign of stopping. Drop by
one of the many venues for live music across the Valley, and you just might catch the 74th Street
Band rocking the house.

The 74th Street Band has been a leading presence in the music scene here in Arizona for 10 years, and have played many, many shows over that time. I’ve always told the guys, I thought they
were the hardest working band in Arizona. I have caught several shows from this band, and they
always deliver! They sound great, interact with their fans, and really host one hell of a party. The
current line-up of this band includes Randy Clark (guitar and vocals), Robert Pettycrew (guitar
and vocals), Bob Stafford (guitar and vocals), Lyle Engle (bass and vocals), and Matt O’Brien
(drums and vocals). That’s right, they all sing!

This band has opened for some pretty big name acts, including the likes of Paul Rodgers, Leon Russell, Aaron Lewis, Eddie Money, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, Dennis DeYoung, and GeorgeThorogood. They regularly play larger festivals and events such as the Thunder Valley Rally in
Cottonwood and Arizona Bike Week.

The Tempe New Year’s Eve Block Party, the Cherry Creek Music Festival, Westgate Bike night and Phoenix Bike Fest, the 74th Street Band has played them all, and more. They’ve played the American Legion Riders Toys for Tots Run 6 years running, and are a favorite of the American Legion Riders at multiple posts. They’ve also been seen at the Standin’ On The Corner Festival in (you guessed it) Winslow, Arizona, for 3 years, and performed at the Dierks Bentley’s Miles and Music for Kids Benefit for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Most recently, the band laid down a blistering set at the B.A.C.A. Biker’s Against Child Abuse benefit show. Now you see why I call them the hardest working band in Arizona!

I recently had a chance to sit down in front of our cameras with the members of the 74th Street
Band, and I asked them how the band got its start, and why the name “74th Street Band”.  Randy
explained that upon leaving the military, he wanted to start a band with guys he went to school
with who all grew up on 74th Street in Scottsdale. Back then, they called themselves“ Second
Nature”, until Robert’s wife suggested that perhaps they should call it the 74th Street Band. The
name stuck, and their musical journey began.

Now, I have attended several of their shows over the years, and one thing I noticed right away,
they are a very tight band. When I inquired as to how a band gels that much, Randy advised, “
Repetition of playing the songs over, and over, and over...trying to work on getting space in the
songs...and lots of rehearsal time. And of course the more gigs you play, the better you get at
that kind of thing, so...again, lots of repetition.”The entire band agrees that creating space in the
songs is everything! Bob also added, “ The real big reason why we are tight is our rhythm
section. They make an incredible pocket. They are dialed in every time. And the rest of us just
have to sit in the bottom of that pocket. They make it really, really easy for us to be tight.”
Robert also commented, “That, and 10 years we've been together. We've been doing this a long
time. And it never gets dull.”

The 74th Street Band fills a musical void here in the valley by delivering Arizona's Hottest
Southern Rock, and Matt mentioned, “We're all influenced heavily by Southern Rock bands like
Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, and even new ones like Blackberry Smoke.”

The band has also been writing and performing their original music, and they tell me they are in
the process of recording their first studio album. As for who writes the music  in the 74th
Street Band, Randy tells me, “It’s mostly Robert, Bob and myself doing a lot of the writing but the
creative process is really all of us.”Bob pointed out, “It's a very organic process. Everybody is
extremely creative in this group of people, and it's a joy to work with these guys and hear all
their ideas come pouring out, and how well those ideas will typically mesh together.”And Lyle agrees, “ It usually starts out like a seed, like one little pattern or one lick or something, and then it just kind of builds from there. When we’re together it seems like we can just throw stuff together. It's kind of fun, it just kind of happens.”

You can find information about the 74th Street band at www.74thstreetband.com, or at
https://www.facebook.com/74thStreetBand. A couple of their upcoming dates include the Raked
at the Lake festival at Bartlett Lake on March 13, 2016, and Arizona Bike Week 2016 in the
Handlebar Saloon on Sunday, April 10th, starting at noon. The guys will also have some
merchandise available very soon. Their shows are always posted online, so it’s easy to join the
party. They really do put on a fantastic show, and are a band that should not be missed.


- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

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