Chocolateers …all that the name implies #deliciousness

What’s the first thing a person does when they experience something new? We try to place it somewhere in relevance to some previous experience. We seem to be card-shufflers by nature.

I just listened to the 11 tracks of Thank You, the first album by the Chocolateers, released on January 31, 2015. Actually, I only listened to the first track completely and then I had to quickly confirm my reaction by sampling through the other ten. Sure enough! …this is truly a great collection of original works, by a local band. I immediately bought it. You should too, for only $5 (or more). I decided that each track deserved at least a dollar… probably a lot more.

Like any box of treats, I pry open the lid, which in the digital era means unzipping the download. Smokin’ Apples, the 2nd track is a classic rock anthem, a story song that makes me feel great. I want the lyrics!

Who do they remind me of? Grateful Dead, Violent Femmes, Neil Young, The Band, Bob Wills, Marc Bolan, Doc Watson …put ’em all in the Vegamatic, blend on high for 11 minutes and out comes this smoothie blend, the Chocolateers. It’s unfair to brand them by comparison because it’s obvious they have worked very hard to develop a flavor all their own.

The more I listen, the more I like this band. Who writes this stuff?

What if we were brothers in the Spanish Civil War? Hiding out in Barcelona with our backs against the wall? When you stood up in the plaza you took a bullet meant for me, bled out on the cobblestone so I could remain free …Can’t you remember? Like I do?”

Rumor has it they started as a duo which grew into the Chocolate Tears. It’s apparent they have lyrical roots that spring from past lives in acoustic folk, some delicate intros, the occasional sweet mandolin leads and finger pickin’ guitar. They have managed to preserve that homespun feel with a respect for dynamics, while plugging in and kicking up the watts and voltage.

I haven’t directly mentioned the vocals. They are one of the reasons I repeat-listen to all of the songs, both solo and in harmony. I searched for more information on who does what and so far, I can only report that the Chocolateers are: John Mazzariello (lead vocal, guitar), Colin McMahon (guitar), Alex Kinstetter (bass), and Christopher Schoeneker (drums). The best part of this experience for me remains just ahead and around the next bend  – hearing them live for the first time!

The Chocolateers

Two upcoming shows in Sturgeon Bay…