SHADOW MERCHANT ANNOUNCES NEW LINEUP FEATURING NEW DRUMMER AND KEYBOARDIST, RETURNING BASSIST/VOCALIST
Veteran progressive rock band Shadow Merchant is proud to announce drummer David Lee and keyboardist Michael LaBuono as new members. In addition, original bassist/vocalist Howard Whitman has rejoined the band following his departure in 2015. Lee, LaBuono and Whitman join guitarist Sean Reiter, who co-founded the band in 2007, and vocalist Yvonne Blackwell, who joined in 2015, to complete the new five-piece lineup as the band commences the recording of its second album, the successor to its critically acclaimed 2014 debut CD, “The Tunnel.”
Lee is a versatile drummer who is also currently drumming for the original alternative rock band Six Years Later. His past experience includes stints with original post-hardcore band Come Alive, and, more recently, Philadelphia-area party-cover band The Roguez. He has performed at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and Madison Square Garden. “I’m looking forward to making and performing some great music with Shadow Merchant,” Lee said. “Although I enjoy various genres of music, the complexity and musicality of progressive music has always been my passion.”
LaBuono played keyboards for 14 years up and down the U.S. East Coast with popular classic/progressive rock band Witness. But he may be best known to progressive rock fans as the keyboardist in acclaimed tribute band Trespass, which performs the early music of legendary prog band Genesis. “I am having a blast with Shadow Merchant,” LaBuono said. “I’m looking forward to putting together some great music that I am certain our audience will enjoy.”
Lee replaces original drummer Paul McGinnis, who co-founded the band with Reiter in 2007. McGinnis departed the band in 2016 due to his relocation to California. LaBuono replaces Donald Henney, Jr., who joined Shadow Merchant in 2010, and left in 2016 to focus on his solo project, Neutron Moon.
Whitman, who joined Shadow Merchant in 2008, decided to step aside in 2015 to pursue other projects, but came back into the fold this year to play a charity benefit. “We are involved in an annual event, Rockin’ Docs for Diabetes Cure,” Whitman stated. “As the band hadn’t found a new bass player by that point, I was delighted when they asked me to come back, at least for one night. I realized I truly missed the band, and, thankfully, we made my return permanent. I’m thrilled to be back in Shadow Merchant, and look forward to working with David and Michael, along with Sean and Yvonne, in this fantastic new lineup.”
Among Shadow Merchant’s accomplishments are three performances at Philadelphia’s Keswick Theatre as finalists in classic rock station WMGK’s Rock MD competition, as well as four appearances at World Cafe Live in the aforementioned Rockin’ Docs event, and a show at NJ Proghouse. The band has also performed on bills with such acclaimed progressive bands as JOLLY and Thank You Scientist.
But the pinnacle of Shadow Merchant’s career was when it was selected to be the Friday night after-party band for the 2014 Rites of Spring Festival (RoSfest), an international progressive rock event held each year in Gettysburg, Pa. This appearance also celebrated the release of “The Tunnel” CD. (Interestingly, LaBuono’s band Trespass was the RoSfest Friday After-Party band in 2012.)
“We are all very excited to have David and Michael with us,” Reiter said. “We think they will be great additions, and we are looking forward to writing and performing some great music together. With Howard back in the band, we are very excited to see what the future holds for this next iteration of Shadow Merchant.”
See the full press release below:
We are excited to announce a new Shadow Merchant lineup!
David Lee has joined us on drums, and Michael LaBuono has joined us on keyboards.
The band is now hard at work creating the follow-up to the critically acclaimed debut CD, "the tunnel". The new CD is already shaping up to be an incredible album, and we are hoping to have it completed by mid-2017. Stay tuned....
DA Music review 2015
Progression Magazine review 2015
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