The Headlocks (left to right: Frank Cavallo, Nick Purpura, Joe Broncato, Dan Gallagher, Rob Carey)
Led by singer-songwriter Rob Carey, The Headlocks nail down the soul of rock 'n roll in a way that we haven't seen in too damn long. Their musical alchemy transports the listener to spaces and places beyond the hustle and bustle of everyday existence, on a roots rock n’ roll-inspired journey through the hungers of the heart, melees of the mind, and ever evolving seasons of the soul.
Once described as “the quintessential barroom band,” these Staten Island natives are long-time favorites in New York City's rock and blues clubs, as well as on college campuses and festival stages.
Most Golden Goose (2014), the band’s newly released sophomore album, is a finely crafted collection of lyrically rich and rhythmically rousing songs, best enjoyed while on the move—whether driving cross country, flying on a plane, sitting on the subway-bus-train, or swaying in the soft glow of a dimly lit bar scene.
Their latest release expands on the rhythms and grooves of the band’s critically acclaimed first album, Cuckoo Bird (2009), a thundering, wide-ranging set of songs recorded at Hard Luck studios in Brooklyn, NY and mixed at HeadGear (also in Brooklyn). Organically formed through countless sessions of jamming and recording with Frank Cavallo on drums, Dan Gallagher on atmospheric slide and electric guitar, Nick Purpura on gritty rock guitar, and Joe Broncato on bass, Most Golden Goose is a timeless triumph of a second studio record for The Headlocks.
Collectively, the band has too numerous a number of influences to name, but what they've created is a distinctly American sound. Surviving and thriving in a borough of New York City that seems in many minds to be lost in the shadow of Brooklyn and Manhattan has shaped the band in a unique way -- one that takes the things listeners love about American rock and British Invasion and spins it all on its head to create the rock-roots-soul-folk-Americana vibrations that resound in their studio recordings and live performances.
Heard around town...
Cuckoo Bird sold over 2,000 copies by hand and garnered a good deal of local, national, and international press and college/independent/local and Internet radio airplay. Most Golden Goose is currently being played on radio stations across the country, with upcoming shows in New York and Pennsylvania and additional tour dates in Colorado and New Mexico soon to be announced.
Music from Cuckoo Bird was featured on Season One of the TLC show "NY Ink", and songs from Cuckoo Bird and Most Golden Goose are featured in the soon-to-be-released independent documentary film Building Magic, which tells the story behind NYC-based inventor and magic maker Mario the Magician. The full-length soundtrack for the film will include a mix of tracks from both albums, as well as a few of frontman Carey's previously unreleased solo compositions.
What folks are saying about The Headlocks, Most Golden Goose, and Cuckoo Bird:
"A WILD BLUESY STREAK RUNS THROUGH THIS ALBUM, which covers a lot of territory from shit-kickin’ good ole boys to Brit pop rave-ups. Singer/songwriter Rob Carey has steel in his voice and plays fluent harmonica, highly effective on the country numbers. . . . “In The Water” is a stand-out with its whistling chorus and a memorable bridge. “Starting Over” could have been written by Joan Armatrading but again, The Headlocks sound like nobody else. . . . This is tart rock served straight." ~Bloody Red Baron Reviews, PopGeekHeaven
"Though created on Staten Island's North Shore, the songs [on Most Golden Goose] drip with the kind of bluesy rhythms that would transport one to some Georgian porch, sweet tea in hand. . . . Songs like "February Roses" and "(Why Don't You) Get Right" have THE SAME BOOMING EXCITEMENT AND ROLLING BACKBEAT HEARD IN EARLY ROCK CLASSICS." ~Lauren Steussy, SILive.com
"The music throughout CUCKOO BIRD is invigorating and creative making each track an enjoyable listen, rerfeshing and lively. A HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ALBUM FOR ALL THOSE WHO SEEK A UNIQUE SOUND..." ~Charlotte Bones, Maverick Magazine UK
"Over the past few years, The Headlocks have gained a name for themselves by playing ENERGETIC AND MELODICALLY PLEASING FOLK AND ROOTS ROCK all over the city." ~Ben Johnson, SI Advance
Cheshire Cat Sez: "This is the first "COLLEGE ROCK" album that I'd ever define as such. A little raw, unique without being quirky, and equal parts playful Bob Dylan and the White Stripes. REFRESHING AND AUTHENTIC." ~Bryan Skowera, PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
"This band has that classic rock aesthetic, sort of like a Jack White project (think Raconteurs) or bands like Dutchess and the Duke. . . . you can't knock the quality of the product." ~Peter @ -EARSOFTHEBEHOLDER.COM
"The Headlocks plough a similar if slightly more disciplined furrow to The Felice Brothers, with up to a dozen musicians throwing everything into the mix, just about making sense of it, and emerging with A ROWDY SOUND that FUSES The Band, SOUTHERN SOUL AND THE BLUES TO EXCELLENT EFFECT." ~Rock and Reel Magazine (UK)
"AMAZING VOCALS that are backed with a great group of instrumentalists. . . . In one song you may hear rock mixed with folk mixed with a little soul sprinkled with some blues and it all sounds great mixed together." ~Montrey, EARMILK.com
"Cuckoo Bird is both ramshackle hillbilly blues, tender American folk, gentle ballads, and shout-a-long Stones rock all crammed into one album. . . . GOES DOWN EASY AND CLINGS TO YOU WITH REPEATED LISTENS." ~StatenIslandDump.BlogSpot
- Bloody Red Baron January Reviews
- "A wild bluesy streak runs through this album, which covers a lot of territory from shit-kickinâ€™ good ole boys to Brit pop rave-ups. Singer/songwriter Rob Carey has steel in his voice and plays fluent harmonica, highly effective on the country numbers. â€śDream While Youâ€™re Awakeâ€ť is a hortatory U2-ish anthem leading into the memorable â€śSheâ€™s Gonna Explode.â€ť
They touch Yardbirds on â€śFebruary Roses,â€ť but no one will accuse them of imitating the Yardbirds. â€śIn The Waterâ€ť is a stand-out with its whistling chorus and a memorable bridge. Canâ€™t you just hear the Rolling Stones singing â€śRunning Free?â€ť â€śStarting Overâ€ť could have been written by Joan Armatrading but again, the Headlocks sound like nobody else. â€śWay Up Wait Upâ€ť could have been written by Scott Sax.
This is tart rock served straight."
- New Staten Island music: Rob Carey and The Headlocks celebrate CD release at Flagship
- Most Golden Goose debuted this months on iTunes and will be celebrated with a live show at Flagship Brewing Co. on Nov. 8. . .
The album includes production and engineering help from experts like Grammy-Award-winning mixer Brian Vibberts and Gavin Lurssen, who worked on the legendary soundtrack for the Cohen Bros. Film "Oh Brother Where Art Thou." . . .
The band, a Staten Island mainstay at this point, changed almost entirely from its first album, "Cuckoobird," Carey said.
"In five years, it's gone from 13 to five of us," he said. "A lot of people were just coming and going."
He said the long process of producing "Most Golden Goose" and releasing it independent of a label meant there were no deadlines. The sleeve of the album states that it was "recorded patiently from April 1, 2011, until September 2013." He and his bandmates had all the time they needed to refine it.
Below a cast of players, the sleeve reads: "This album was a long, turning and sometimes wild journey for the band, filled with the most golden discoveries."
Carey wants this one to be worthy of radio play and films--and it will be. Many of the songs from this album and his solo albums will appear in the documentary film, "Building Magic," about a magician he met while hitchhiking through the southern states in his early 20s.
Though created on Staten Island's North Shore, the songs drip with the kind of bluesy rhythms that would transport one to some Georgian porch, sweet tea in hand. Though unintentional, the five bandmates take their influences from groups like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin and The Doors. . . .
For this album, the band wanted to get back to the roots of rock-and-roll. Songs like "February Roses" and "(Why Don't You) Get Right" have the same booming excitement and rolling backbeat heard in early rock classics. [Read More...]
- Local Noise: The Headlocks
- â€śItâ€™s feel good music. And itâ€™s thoughtful at the same time. Itâ€™s the kind of music that appeals to just about everyone. We play all ages shows. We play shows down in our local scene made up of 20 and 30-somethings and we play at your local old man bar. Good responses all around.â€ť [Read More...]