Javelin is an all original four piece rock band based in Seattle. Bassist/vocalist/songwriter Bryan Mandronico and lead guitarist Johnny Keys, moved out from New York back in 2002. Their band Cooter Stew played a handful of local clubs and music venues back in the early 2000’s. These shows led them to guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Mush, a transplant from Northern Ireland, also new to Seattle in the early 2000’s. The band formed in 2014 and found drummer Michael Benitez by early 2016. The band has many music influences rooted in the culmination of all of the music they grew up loving and learning. From the earliest sounds of heavy metal of Black Sabbath, to the psychedelic atmosphere of Pink Floyd, the aggressive industrial sucker punch of Primus, all tied together with the funk of early Chilli Peppers. Mix it all up throw some Seattle sound on top and it comes out the other end as Seattle’s newest all original rock n roll band! My friends, let me introduce you to Javelin.
The Drum and Bass work of Michael Benitez and Bryan Mandronico lay the funky rhythms from which this band has found their unique sound. Their music, which is firmly rooted in funk, psychedelic rock, and early metal, are in fact, the same sounds that put Seattle on the map as a music city. Identifiably, Johnny Keys guitar work is often overdriven, distorted and with just the right amount of feedback. Created by Jimi Hendrix and often associated with the Seattle Sound of the early ‘90’s, this is an important element to the sound of Javelin. As guitarists, Johnny and Mush jive musically in a way that will remind you of many of the greats. Every note, every tone and every lyric will resonate with you, reminiscent of some of the favorite rock n roll albums in your collection.
Ben Smith and Friends
Ben Smith is the drummer for the legendary rock band HEART and is one of the worlds most respected and talented rock musicians. In 2016 he formed a new band Roadcase Royale which includes Chris Joyner on keys, Dan Rothchild on bass and Ryan Waters on guitar, vocalist Liv Warfield of Prince’s New Power Generation, and of course, Nancy Wilson herself. Ben has been performing, songwriting, recording and producing for over thirty years. Most recdently Roadcase Royale performed with Jerry Cantrell and Mike Inez for “Rock Against MS” at the Los Angeles Theater.
Ben Smith and Friends originated here at Highway 99 Blues Club last year. This has been an outlet for Ben to gather a collective of local and touring musicians, in the intimacy of a small club environment. Each Ben Smith and Friends show is unique from the others. His shows have traveled the spectrum of Jazz, Blues, Jam, Rock n Roll and beyond. Ben changes it up every time and it is always sure to impress the musical ear.
This time around Ben has put together an amazing line up of some of Seattle’s top rock musicians in support of Javelin’s debut album release party. From his immediate wheelhouse, Ben has invited Grammy Award recipient Bassist Andy Stoller, (Ann Wilson, Tracy Chapman, Star Anna), Brooke Lizotte, (Pianist, singer/songwriter, producer) and guitarist Ryan Waters, (long-time member of Sade, Song-writter, composer, producer). The aforementioned artists alone would be a big ticket show and should sell out most venues our size. So why stop there??!! Highway 99 friend and local music icon Jeff Angell, (Post Stardom Depression, Missionary Position, Walking Papers, Staticland), will be joining the crew for a handful of songs. As will Kathy Moore, (Guessing Game, Thadillac, Cracker Factory) and Jeff Rouse, (Alien Crime Syndicate, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, Guessing Game). I am very proud to announce, as his first “official” boking here down at the club, vocalist, Johndus Beckman, (Ten Miles Wide, and formally of The Mothership).
Shawn Smith Trio
Starting things off for the evening will be a Shawn Smith trio. His name needs no introduction, but in case you are unfamiliar, Shawn Smith is a local rock n roll icon and will be our resident bad ass for the evening. (Brad, Pigeonhead, Malfunksun, Satchel). Joining him in his trio will be Ben Smith and Andy Stoller. Shawn will be joining in the Ben Smith and Friends set a little later on in the night.
Thank you all for supporting local music and the progression of local music. This is a great bill of a handful of the players that got things started here in our town, players who have continued the progression of music here, and in Javelin, a fine example of musicians who will be carrying the music on to the next generation.