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Legends says ‘hello’ to hot new band this weekend

Sarah Vabulas | Thursday, November 13, 2003

On Friday night, students can say hello to Hello Dave when they play at Legends of Notre Dame. Described as “The Eagles of the new millennium” and one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets, Hello Dave has been rockin’ audiences for over a decade and is showing no signs of mercy with their newest studio album.

“Perfect Day” is set for release in January by Mountain Records. Recorded at Vortex Studio in Burbank, Calif., “Perfect Day” is the band’s most accomplished album to date and explodes with 11 tracks of big radio rock & roll. Sure to land a permanent place in the CD changer, fans will love sprightly new tunes “Broken” and “Come Right Away,” and the rich harmonious texture of “Medicine Boy.” New remixes of grand hits “Golden” and “Sweetness” have never sounded better at the hands of legendary producer, Don Gehman. The album has already generated radio airplay and the band’s fiercely loyal fan base further guarantees the album’s success.

The band’s unique mix of classic rock and bold pop served up with a side of country is enough to satisfy even the toughest critic. Known for their uproarious live shows, Hello Dave gives music fans exactly what they deserve: commanding rock & roll with merciless energy and staggering talent. Hello Dave is a guaranteed party in every performance.

After the success of their live album Wicked Revelry, the band was excited to get back in the studio, this time with producer Don Gehman. With a reputation for only working with bands whose music he likes, Gehman is one of the most respected producers in the industry. His rich heartland sound is most familiar to audiences through his collaborations with John Cougar Mellencamp and Hootie & the Blowfish, and was a perfect match for the melodic sounds of Hello Dave. This three-time Grammy nominated producer has also worked with the likes of Blues Traveler, Stephen Stills, REM, Tracy Chapman, Barbara Streisand and many more.

Completing the artistic trinity of Perfect Day is art director Gary Burden. Known for creating many famous album covers for legendary classic rock & roll bands of the 1960s and ’70s, including The Eagles’ Desperados, The Doors’ Morrison Hotel and Joni Mitchell’s Blue, he happily designed the album cover for Perfect Day. Also a three-time Grammy nominee, Burden hit the top after hooking up with photographer Henry Diltz, who documented many of the scenarios dreamed up by Burden.

The driving force behind Hello Dave has always been lead vocalist, songwriter and rhythm-guitarist Mike Himebaugh. While growing up in Michigan, Himebaugh traveled with his mother and stepfather who were heavily involved in Barber shopping, or singing in four-part harmony. This laid the seed for Himebaugh’s love of music. He remembers spending many hours behind his closed bedroom door singing along to his tape recorder. This continued until college, where he began to write his own songs and take up music seriously. Since then he hasn’t looked back. Now he says he is lucky enough to travel around most of the country and half the world singing his songs.

Also growing up in a musical family, bassist Allen Wetzel learned to play guitar at an early age. Music became such a large part of his life that after majoring in music in college he moved to Hollywood to pursue his dream. After a couple years of partying and starvation, Wetzel became disenchanted with the industry and moved back to Chicago. Since joining Hello Dave, Wetzel says he has had some of the best years of his life.

Lead guitarist Mike “Magoo” McGohan joined Hello Dave after playing an acoustic set with Wetzel at an all night party. He was later asked to join Hello Dave and has been with the band for five years. McGohan had been playing guitar since college and was no stranger to music as he had been in several bands, worked making amplifiers and as a DJ all before joining the ranks of Hello Dave. McGohan brings an infections energy to the band and his blues-influenced style is something that the audience can really get behind.

When percussionist Bryan Resendiz joined Hello Dave just after returning from Drummers Collective in Manhattan in 1995, his solid yet versatile drumming style and dedication added a talent that helped to elevate the band’s playing quality to the next level. Answering an ad Hello Dave had placed for a new drummer, Resendiz was quickly added as a member to the band. With his personal musical influences being wide-ranging he introduced several new and different elements to Hello Dave’s own unique rock & roll sound while confidently moving the band forward.

The fifth member of Hello Dave, keyboardist Tony Orant has brought a finishing touch to the already rich blend of sounds. Orant was addicted to music early and prides himself on probably being the only kid in America that actually asked for piano lessons. Throughout high school and college he developed his talent and his ability to play in many different genres. While playing in a band called Gertrude that opened for Hello Dave, Orant began sitting in with them as a guest and has just never left. Now as a full member of the band, Orant helps to pull it all together into the fun and original sound that Hello Dave has become known for.

Hello Dave played at Heartland a few years ago, attracting a large crowd, who seemed to enjoy the band’s music.

“We haven’t played for a couple weeks, since we took some time off after recording the new album, so we are excited to play again,” said Himebaugh.

Hello Dave will play their show beginning at 9 p.m. Friday night at Legends. Admission is free and requires a Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s or Holy Cross ID.

For more information about Hello Dave, visit the band’s official website at www.hellodave.com, or to sample some of their music at www.freshtracksmusic.com.