Geno Stroia II – Austin, TX
Found regional/national attention when he started “The Gene Pool“ in 2001. The Austin roots-rock band, they gigged consistently until 2007 with an EP in 2003 (featuring drumming ace Barry “Frosty” Smith) and a full length offering in 2005 entitled “3rd and Main”. (Produced by Deadman’s Steven Collins).
Some highlights of that period were opening slots for The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dickey Betts, Rod Stewart, Doyle Bramhall Sr., Robin Trower Junior Brown, Freddy Fender and a 2 year residency at Austin landmark, The Saxon Pub following the legendary bar band, The Resentments, featuring the late Stephen Bruton.
Following a boatload of gigs and road work, three Austin Chronicle nominations for “best new band” and “best roots rock”, Stroia ground things to a halt with the band in the last half of the decade and opened Red Leaf School of Music with musical associate and friend Dan Barrett. As things took shape at the school, Stroia was urged by Barrett to record again with Barrett handling the production duties.
Stroia called on some old friends for a favor and got them to help with basic tracks, cut live right in the lobby of the school. “It gives it the live feel that most records just don’t seem to capture these days”. Mostly tracked in a couple of takes, there’s plenty of grease on the recording and not a lot of “fixes”. “We never set out to make a “perfect” record. Most of my favorite recordings have some great “happy accidents” on them!”
Barrett and Stroia started overdubbing when they could find the time and enlisted B-3/piano legend Red Young to tie it all together. “Red has a studio in the same space where the school is, so we’d have been crazy to not try and get him in on this!”
Other Austin notables, Brannen Temple, Nate Rowe, Matt Giles, Travis Woodard, James Rannefeld and Jim Hawkins also chip in, with Temple and Rowe joining Young and Stroia on the EP’s biggest departure, the smokey “All Because of You”. “I can’t play jazz, but I can try and play “jazzy”, Stroia laughs. “Those guys are “real players” – I just wrote a tune that I felt could show another side of my personality and wanted some guys that could help me pull it off.”
“I’m very proud of this little record. I’d like to keep releasing songs in this format and hope that folks find at least something on here that they can relate to.”