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The Sax Maniacs

 

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The

The members: Detroit area act The Sax Maniacs is David Daniele (saxophone, keyboards and vocals), Joe Bruglio (drums and vocals), Don Turner (Bass and vocals), Cliff McClanahan (guitar and vocals) and vocalist Ellen Giacobbi.

The history: This rhythm and bluesy quintet formed three years ago when Daniele, who serves as executive board member of the Motor City Music Foundation, had to create a band to play a regular Thursday night gig in Dearborn. Bruglio was the first on board, and was vital in bringing in the band’s other members. But the Maniacs’ fortunes truly changed when Giacobbi joined as frontwoman, a move that broadened its horizons to play Motown and other genres that featured vocals.

Since its inception, the group has enjoyed such notable local performances as the Jambalaya and Arts, Beats and Eats festivals in Pontiac, and currently is continuing to compose and present more original songs. The Maniacs also were nominated for five 2004 Detroit Music Awards, including Best Blues Band, Best Recording and Best Blues Vocalist. Giacobbi and Daniele were winners in the Best Live Performance category.

What's up with the name: Daniele says the band’s name arrived for a number of reasons; mostly for the play on words, but also because the members are, well, just plain maniacal about the sax.

“To understand the type of musical style we are portraying, you need to flash back to a time when sax was king,” he adds.

The style: Aside from Blues, R&B and Motown, The Sax Maniacs also play a collection of classic rock material. The band’s song list includes old-school saxophone tunes like “Honky Tonk,” “Night Train” and “Cleo’s Mood,” while more contemporary artists such as James Brown, Tower of Power, Bad Company, Genesis and the Beatles also are explored during the group’s shows.

Got anything recorded? Real Downtown Deal, the quintet’s latest full-length studio effort, is 13 tracks featuring a remake of “Tequila” with special guest and WRIF radio personality Arthur Penhallow on vocals. The album is available through www.cdbaby.com as well as through the Maniacs official Web site at www.thesaxmaniacs.com.

The group also appears on the Blues All Over the East compilation, released this year on the No Cover label, and also has a new LP Real Cool Crazy set to be released very soon. The catalog also can be purchased at the group’s shows.

Tell us your future? Along with integrating more original songs into the repertoire, the Maniacs hope to get music played on the radio and support the albums by playing it live as much as possible.

“You can perform for years on the local circuit and get dead nowhere,” Daniele said. “At some point, it hits you on the head like a ton of bricks the realization that you are not getting any younger and the phone isn’t going to ring like it does in the movies.

“You have to go out and make it happen.”

Website: www.saxmaniacs.com

To contact The Sax Maniacs regarding upcoming gigs, buying CD’s and all other information, visit www.saxmaniacs.com or E-mail ddaniele@umd.umich.edu.

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