A Fresh Vibe for Veteran Musicians

By Jenna Croyle

Erie’s vibrant music scene has spawned as many diverse bands as they are countless, entertaining all of us with their own unique and energetic sounds.

This week’s featured band is an original and classic rock group with a twist that devotes themselves to performing high-energy shows with catchy songs, excellent harmonies and most importantly, fun filled rock and roll good times for all.

Comprised of veteran musicians PJ Askey on Drums, Doug Phillips on Bass and Vocals, Al Donadi on Guitar and Vocals, Craig Stevens on Keyboards, Guitar and Vocals and finally, leading the way, Elly Vahey on lead Vocals and Percussion, The Pick Up Band delivers their unique brand of Erie Rock and Roll.

Covering a wide variety of classic Rock and jam style tunes by artists like Traffic, Fleetwood Mac and Steely Dan, The Pick Up Band offers welcoming, fresh originals that all mix together for a polished rock sound with a powerful groove.

Formed just over a year ago, The Pick Up Band has been featured at Celebrate Erie’s 2010 Main Stage and has performed at the Thursday Night Block Party series, along with numerous shows at local taverns.

As a veteran musician of more than two decades, Doug Phillips has performed in a plethora of local bands that include Midnight Riders, East Ave, Key West Express, Chance of Reign, Trev Zeppelin, and Spooner lending his talent to create a one of a kind reverberation of rhythm. Phillips’ consistent, inventive, classic and ultra groovy bass line adds a deep funky feel to every song.

With decades of experience under his belt, PJ Askey lends a supercharged manic energy to The Pick Up Band’s ensemble with his extreme chops that add that honed feeling to the band’s material.

Craig Stevens provides an electrifying element to the band’s overall sound and stage presence. Stevens’ keyboard wizardry blends the beauty of traditional sound with the excitement of high-level power keyboard work.

Al Donadi is the backbone of the band’s original side, writing most if not all of The Pick Up Band’s original tunes.

Influenced by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and yes, even the great, late Bob Marley, Donadi creates originals that have not only become favorites of the band’s fans, but gives The Pick Up Band a truly distinctive feel.

Taking center stage is lead singer, Elly Vahey cranking out sweet soulful sounds with a powerful and energetic voice that creates the perfect cherry on top, complement to every song The Pick Up Band has in their set list.

Vahey, who was added to the band months after their first performances, has contributed that special spice, giving the band a one of a kind sound that transcends all others.

With a stage show that rocks, a collective talent pool spanning more than half a century and a hard hitting, goodtime jamboree of a Rock and Roll experience, The Pick Up Band is a must check out explosion of excellence in music.

For more information on The Pick Up Band, please visit their Facebook page.