November Guest, of Central Vermont, is a cross between acoustic and rock. Featuring catchy progressions, wailing guitar leads, and melodic vocals, the band's sound has been described as varied between The Counting Crows, Matchbox 20, Santana and Steely Dan. Singer and songwriter Shane Clarke constructs emotion envoking songs about good times, bad times, and life in Vermont. Troy Dare brings both the finesse of the mandolin and the driving force of lead guitar. Brothers Scott and Bill McGrath, on bass and drums (respectively), hold down a tight rhythm section.
The story of the band goes back to when Troy, Shane, Bill, and Scott originally played together in college. After a few years of lost contact, in November, 2007, when singer / guitarist Shane Clarke rejoined Scott and Bill McGrath to create music. With a musical chemistry they had felt years ago, combined with years of separately honing their musicianship, they had a solid, creative engine, and November Guest was hatched.
Shane Clarke - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Shane Clarke is 33 and a native of Island Pond, VT . For as long as he can remember, Clarke was always interested in music. In his first band in 1997, he took an immediate interest in song writing, and learned to play guitar. With musical influences such as Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Counting Crows, Live, and more recently the Assembly of Dust, Clarke's style can be described as deep, expressive and melodic.
Clarke's fascination in music led him into Venue bookings and Concert productions. He founded the Vermont Alternative Energy Festival in 1998, which continued annually through 2004. During this time, he booked many local and national acts including the Jerry Garcia Band, Gin Blossoms, Antigony Rising, Assembly of Dust, and many more. After finding himself immersed in the production end of the music world and having little time for his true passion as a singer song writer, he approached Bill and Scott McGrath - members of his original band in 2007 - and together, they created November Guest.
Scott McGrath - Electric & Upright Bass, Vocals
Scott has been playing musical instruments for 23 years. At age 10 he started playing the alto and baritone saxophone, and took private guitar lessons at age 11. In high school he discovered his true love: the bass guitar. During his college years, Scott spent a lot of time locked in his dorm room being influenced by a wide range of music and playing styles - from rock to funk and jazz, and even to old and new generations of electronica artists. Some of his influences include: Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Duran Duran, Steely Dan, Peter Gabriel / Tony Levin, Kraftwerk, BT, Tower of Power, Stanley Clark, and Jaco Pastorius.
Scott has since pursued formal training in jazz, and has enjoyed playing in both original and cover bands in the Vermont area over the last decade. He is a founding member of Vermont function band Shakedown, and has produced several demos. The Island Pond Connection marks his first credit as co-producer of an original album.
Bill McGrath - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
With over 30 years of percussion experience, Bill has been around many different influences over the years. Beginning as a classical percussionist, McGrath qualified early on as an all-state finalist in melodic percussion (xylophone) indicating a mastery of both rhythm and musical scales. With influences such as Stewart Copeland (The Police), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), and Bernard Purdie (Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan), he mixes jazz, funk, hip-hop, and rock genres to create an erotic understanding of beat, rhythm, and scale with an addictive repetition of pattern. Combined with production, live, and mixing experience, Bill has delivered inspiring pieces of music in groups such as The Bay Rats Band, Troy, NY., YYz affair, AzMt, The Great Katt, D'guys, and PornFunk.
Troy Dare - Electric Guitar, Mandolin
Born and raised in Rockland Maine, Troy was surrounded by music from the beginning. His dad has always played guitar and his mom has always had passion for good music and dancing. Toy guitars, real guitars, banjo’s, mandolins, and even just a plain old guitar picks, slides, and capos were his favorite toys growing up. His dad bought him an acoustic guitar at the impressionable age of 12 and he kicked that around a little; learning some simple chords and learning “Louie Louie” to play along with his dad once in a while, but he didn’t really play guitar seriously until age 14 when he got his first electric guitar. His influences over the years like Aerosmith, Stevie Ray Vaughan, 80’s Hair Bands, AC/DC, and a few acoustic bands with friends in High School is what made it stick. There were countless local gigs, private shows, jams, and talent shows throughout the teenage years. Then in his early 20's during college years he played lead guitar in a heavy metal original band called "Squall", and a cover band with Shane and the McGrath brothers called "D'Guys". Both bands were great learning and growth experiences.
Since college his musical ability and focus has grown and changed quite a bit. From mostly playing solo acoustic and learning to sing and play classic hits for friends and family for the good times, to writing original heartfelt songs of his own, to lead vocals/rhythm in a Rock/Country cover band called "Outta Control", to yet again back to a lead guitar position with November Guest. The years of diverse experiences has made Troy want to play anything with strings on it to any kind of music that’s fun and crowd pleasing. To be reunited with old band mates that have grown so much in every way couldn’t have come at a better time…he sees great things in November Guest... and predicts a lot more to come.
Regularly Featured Guests
Patrick Ross - Fiddle
Patrick Ross is 27 and a native of Canaan, Vt. His father, a fourth generation fiddler, by ear taught him over 100 French Canadian fiddle tunes. Those tunes reflect a fiddling heritage that originated in Scotland, before migrating to Quebec, New Hampshire, and then Vermont.
Though his father died when he was 11, Ross says he'll, "always remember the fiddle tunes, and what they mean." He goes on, "I know that being an artist can bring what can be described as a spiritual awakening, which when followed honestly, can be extremely unique and rewarding. I also know that it can be filled with soul-draining disillusionment stemming from show business demands, the legal system and obscured measurements of success."
Bob Coons - Electric Guitar
Born in Chicago, and raised in the Bay Area, Bob started playing guitar in his teen years. From 1968-1973 he performed with the San Francisco Boys Chorus as boy Soprano, San Francisco Opera, and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, sharing the stage with such luminaries as Placido Domingo, Joan Sutherland, and Seiji Ozawa.
Bob also played guitar for various acts culminating in a position as tour and studio guitarist for The Timex Social Club in the late 80s. He has also played guitar in various jazz R&B acts in U.S. and Europe, and even entertained soldiers in the Persian Gulf War. In 2000-2002 he performed with Melvin Seals and The Jerry Garcia Band Pomelo, Bobbie Webb.
Bob is a regular guest performer of the Chad Hollister band. Currently Bob is also a Senior Music Analyst for pandora.com. For a sample of Coons' understanding of music theory that is entertaining, educational, and jaw-dropping, check out his episode of Pandora Presents, focusing on the blues scale.
Bob's Notable Sideman gigs: Playing regularly or occasionaly with folks such as Mitch Stein, Billy Johnson (Santana's drummer), Greg Erico (Sly Stone's drummer), Dave Garibaldi, Jules Broussard, Pharoe Saunders.