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The Revelin’ Family Band Finds Local Success

Genna McCabe | Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Breaking into the music scene can be a daunting task. With lots of competition and the unpredictability of music tastes, it can be nearly impossible to make a name in the world of music.
While this is particularly true on a large scale, musicians are often faced with similar challenges even on the relatively small scale, like at a place like Notre Dame. Yet, there are always those bands that manage to stand out. The Revelin’ Family Band, a band consisting of several Notre Dame seniors and a graduate student, has managed to do just that. Starting out small, but gradually gaining momentum throughout the school year, The Revelin’ Family Band continues to develop a substantial fan base and play shows all around South Bend.
The Revelin’ Family Band was formed by Senior Mitch Bradford during his sophomore year. Since then it has existed in several different variations, but for the last year there has been a consistent lineup. It currently consists of Bradford on lead vocals and guitar, senior Brad Monroe on vocals and guitar, senior Tim Gallo on guitar, graduate student Joey Herzog on bass, senior Joe McLean on keyboard and senior Dave Lucas on drums. Bradford, Lucas, Gallo and Monroe met while studying abroad in London, and in the words of Monroe, “our similar tastes demanded that we play together when we returned to Notre Dame.”
Through their jam sessions and common musical interests, the band has developed a sound Monroe describes as “the best of rock, country, and soul with pop sensibility.” Playing a variety of music from Carole King to Men Without Hats, the group is constantly adding new songs to its repertoire. Even within one show, the band can be heard playing a variety of songs, making it surprisingly difficult to pin down their genre. “Purple Rain” by Prince has become a specific favorite among the band and fans.
“I think we feel a common catharsis [when playing “Purple Rain”] with our audience that results in a frenzy of emotional expression,” Monroe said.
The Band has played at a variety of venues in South Bend, most recently performing at Club 23, Reckers and Legends. They have several gigs lined up for the near future, including Mulligan’s, Club Fever and another appearance at Club 23.
For now, the band intends to continue playing together as long as possible. With all of the members graduating in the spring, it is inevitable that the band will have difficulties staying together. Still, with many of the members somewhat unclear about future plans, a tour of some sort is in discussion. If nothing else, all members of the band intend to continue playing music.
“Even if the band doesn’t survive, the music will live on,” Monroe said.
More immediately, fans and intrigued readers can catch Brad Monroe and Dave Lucas performing at Acousticafe  Thursday night at 10 p.m. in LaFortune. The duo, working under a side project “The Monroe Doctrine,” have become a staple on the Acousticafe circuit and have been known to play a variety of hits, including “Sexy Chick” by David Guetta.
Keep an ear open for news of The Revelin’ Family Band and check them out the next time they are performing around campus. It’s a great opportunity to support local talent and take in an awesome performance at the same time.