Three area residents have joined together to create a band that needs no vocalist. The Elektra Kings let the instruments do the talking.
The Elektra Kings will appear at the Barking Spyder, which is located at the Fluvanna Fountain Bowl in Jamestown, on Saturday at 9 p.m. The group primarily focuses on performing surf, spy and psychedelic blues, and does both originals and cover tunes. The band recently performed at Mojo's of Jamestown during Infinity Visual and Performing Arts' annual Local Music Showcase. The group also annually performs at the Broken String music festival in Youngsville, Pa.
The Elektra Kings features three local musicians including: Danny Imig, lead guitar; Jim Sturdevant, drums; and Gavin Paterniti, bass. The trio has been performing together since Paterniti met Sturdevant in 2010 at Mt. Airy Casino Resort in Mt. Pocono while performing with "American Idol" finalists Alexis Stone Lopez, Nikki McKibbin and Michael Johns. Paterniti, who is the education reporter for The Post-Journal, also played with Guitarmageddon and Joint Effort before joining The Elektra Kings. One of the band's recognizable features is that no matter where they play, they've always got on jester hats.
The Elektra Kings are shown performing at Mojo’s during Infinity Visual and Performing Arts’ annual Local Music Showcase.
P-J photo by Dusten Rader
Imig, who is a Chicago native, has been performing in various bands since the 1970s, including the Chicago-based punk and metal band Certain Death. In addition to his work with various bands, such as MsDemeanor and North of Dirt, Imig holds a bachelor's in journalism, studied classical guitar with Joseph Breznikar at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and Eric Lugosch of Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. For more information, visit www.dannyimig.com.
Some of Imig's favorite originals to perform live include: "Big Boppin' Swing Thing" and "Blue Agave."
"We play a lot of 'surfy' music, and do a lot of guitar-driven instrumentals," Imig said. "They vary from old jazz instrumentals, true 1960s surf music to 1950s songs like 'Rebel Rouser' and 'The Rumble.' We do some vocals when we perform covers, but we're phasing out the vocal songs and trying to do all original instrumentals.
"I did a lot of singing in punk bands when I was a kid, and I got tired of screaming at people," Imig continued. "Ever since then I've been trying to find a direction without vocals."
Paterniti agreed, stating that the group's instrumental songs go over very well with the audience.
"Danny's got so much going on in the guitar that he's covering all these different parts at once and incorporating melodies into chords," Paterniti said. "The way we arrange the songs, they are powerful enough that they carry themselves."
Sturdevant, a Warren, Pa., native, studied at Boston's Berklee College of Music, and took lessons from local jazz musician Floyd Williams. He played with a variety of bands ranging in genre from blues to reggae before playing for The Heavy Metal Horns, which toured nationally and recorded two albums. After returning to the area to raise his son, Sturdevant played with local musicians such as Joe Glarner, Pete Pepke and a band called Black John, then Green Genes, before joining Imig in 2009 to form Rock, Paper, Scissors and eventually The Elektra Kings.
"I like to play with a lot of different people, and in a lot of different styles," Sturdevant said. "With the The Elektra Kings I like the fact that we play music that nobody really plays around here. We do a lot of originals, and what I like about it is the creative aspect of it. We're not trying to sound like anyone, we're going to sound like us."
A couple of Sturdevant's favorite originals by The Elektra Kings include: "Propensity To Rut," because it's in 7/8 time signature; "Stinkin' Badges" because it's a new song and that it's a half-time shuffle, triplet-based groove tune; and "Elektra City" because it's a cool tune with a nice melody.
According to Sturdevant, he's been looking forward to playing a gig at the intimate Barking Spyder for some time, and hopes to see lots of faces in the crowd on Saturday, he said.
"In terms of a stage show, and material - we are unlike any other band in the area," Sturdevant said.
The Barking Spyder is located at 3316 Fluvanna Ave. in Jamestown. Several songs, as well as live video footage, are available on the band's website, theelektrakings.yolasite.com. For more information, search for "The Elektra Kings" on Facebook.