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Last Featured on this show Febuary 2, 2016

Grimm Jack
New York’s Grimm Jack has been considered one of America’s best underdog rock and roll bands. A hard-driving but melodic act, the band has often been compared to Aerosmith and Guns ‘N’ Roses, with a bit of southern bluesy flavor thrown in. With a loyal fanbase through touring and radio-friendly songs, the music can be heard on FM and Internet radio, from New York to California.
The Grimm Jack story began in 1985 with guitarist Jimmie Mack and drummer Dave Leeds, two Long Island rockers who joined forces to create a contemporary rock band with an edge. Original members included vocalist Robin DesForges, guitarist Rich Daly, and bassist Sean O’Neill. The group released their first single, Janet, on the independent label CYN CITY RECORDS in 1986. The following year brought the release of a five-song EP entitled GO FOR YOUR GUNS, which gained some minor airplay on radio outside the New York metro area.
By 1988, Grimm Jack shifted into full throttle; original vocalist DesForges was replaced by singer Billy Kohout, bassist Scott Bittner was on board, and the group started gaining national recognition with the release of their next EP, PARTNERS IN CRIME. This recording featured the songs One Track Mind and Shy Boy, both which gained a steady amount of airplay on various rock radio stations, especially in the south and mid-Atlantic regions. Legendary music publications such as CIRCUS and HIT PARADER gave Grimm Jack’s PARTNERS IN CRIME very positive reviews during 1988, and the group was also featured prominently in numerous regional and local magazines nationwide.
In early 1989, Daly and Bittner chose to part company with Grimm Jack and guitarist Tom Lestat and bassist Paul Vassa were brought into the band. With this lineup in place, Grimm Jack forged ahead to create a respectable reputation based on energetic live performances and high caliber songs that fans still remember today.
The year 1990 marked the release of JAILHOUSE TATTOO, which is still Grimm Jack’s most successful recording to date. The songs Maybelline and Lookin’ For Heaven earned the quintet more radio airplay and became instant fan favorites. The tour supporting the release of JAILHOUSE TATTOO found the band performing in small towns and large cities alike, cementing their reputation as a first-rate live act.
In 1991 Grimm Jack was chosen by EAST COAST ROCKER magazine as the best eastern US band not signed to a major record label. This action not only created more positive reviews and excellent press for the group but also put them in front of other contenders vying for a major deal. Rather than stand on music already released, Grimm Jack began recording new material to ensure their quest for success as a rock and roll band. After signing a management deal and being within inches of finally grasping an elusive major label contract, the American music scene was thrown into a loop with the introduction of the grunge and alternative sounds. Record companies and radio alike lost interest in bands playing straight-ahead rock and roll, and Grimm Jack’s hard work resulted in memories and a large collection of unreleased songs. The band continued on as a staple on the New York area music scene until the mid-1990’s, never actually calling it quits, but just putting the Grimm Jack name aside.
In 2010, Grimm Jack co-founder Jimmie Mack began working with singer Billy Kohout with the idea of releasing material recorded several years earlier that was never made public. It wasn’t long before Mack and Kohout realized that Grimm Jack wasn’t just about the music, but about the musicians themselves and most importantly, the fans who have kept their music alive. Drummer Dave Leeds and guitarist Tom Lestat are back, with the addition of bassist GG Zen-Garten.
Currently, Grimm Jack has been connecting with fans new and old and receiving favorable reviews by critics.Unreleased songs have been made available along with their newest release “Thick as Thieves”. Check out the videos, listen to the music and catch them on the road.
As the philosopher Bon Scott once said, “There’s gonna be some Rockin”.

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