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Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Cherry Drops - Good to the Last Drop

"Good to the Last Drop" is the third full length by Vern Shank and his pals. The album also features legendary musicians like Ron Dante of The Archies, Dennis Tufano of The Buckinghams' fame, Steve Boone of The Lovin' Spoonful, Mark Dawson of The Grass Roots, and the late Gary DeCarlo of Steam. The moods on this record range from soft Beach Boys ballads like "Feels like summer love" to a Bowie medley including "Hang on to Yourself","The Jean Genie" and "Rebel Rebel". Super brilliant album. This is a must buy.

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about The Cherry Drops to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band?  Who is playing what instrument in the band nowadays?  

The Cherry Drops were formed in the Summer of 2012, and led by principle songwriter and lead vocalist Vern Shank. As lead singer and songwriter of the Florida-based band, he fuses an amalgamation of all he's absorbed within the bubblegum, garage rock, and power pop genre of the 60's and 70's musical mosaic and spits it back at us with a visceral, magnetic passion. Our band members are: Vern Shank, lead vocals, various instruments ie: rhythm guitar, percussion; Josh Cobb, backing vocals, guitars, bass, various instruments; Jamie Markowski, bass guitar, backing vocals; Jimmy Mason, backing vocals, drums

2) About the latest full length record "Good to the Last Drop",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?

It was recorded over the course of 3 years starting in 2015 and was completed around the fall of 2018. It was done in a track by track basis. A lot of vocal harmonies were put into it with a number of overdubs. This album took awhile to complete because we had 5 legendary musicians on it. Including, Ron Dante of The Archies, Dennis Tufano of The Buckinghams' fame, Steve Boone of The Lovin' Spoonful, Mark Dawson of The Grass Roots, and the late Gary DeCarlo of Steam who actually passed away during the making of this album. It took a while to get this all put together especially because of all the different mega stars on it and the different studios in different places we had to record parts in.

3) Do you consider it should be foolish not to use the nowadays recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?

No we used all the latest technology at our disposal. However we did our very best to make it sound retro and vintage as if we were recording in an analog studio. We are of course a "throwback" band with a classic sound with a modern twist. 

4) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another? 

Vern Shank (myself) and Josh Cobb share writing credits to our originals. Sometimes one of us will come up with the melody and I usually come up with most of the lyrical content and Josh fills in if I am having a "writer's block" kind of a day.

5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song? 

Love, struggle, the chance to make it and at times happiness and sunshine. Sounds like a strange combination, however I can sum it up as saying I am always trying to find a glimmer of hope and the happiest of days through moments of sadness and uncertainty. Most of our songs project searching for those feel good moments that we all try so hard to attain. Even though it is a struggle and sometimes we feel we can't get there,the songs take us to a place where everything is okay and
perhaps we can actually make it.

6) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

Oldies from the 60's and 70's as well as Rock bands and some New Wave bands of the 80's. We also have a great love for the crooners like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin. etc. My favorite and as a teenager was the Beach Boys. Some of the bands that influence our music today are: The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Queen.

7) Do you have a new video on YouTube  featuring a track from the new LP? 

This is our lead off music video from Good To The Last Drop. It is a cover of The Lovin' Spoonful's You Didn't Have To Be So Nice. However what makes this more significant than just a cover is the fact that Steve Boone of The Lovin' Spoonful actually plays with us on this release. He is also the co-songwriter of this song along with John Sebastian. He is a great musical friend, loved the idea of doing it with us and we are honored to bring this new take on his classic song to life with him. 

8) What can concert goers expect at a Cherry Drops gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs? 

The Cherry Drops excel at our originals, however when we do a cover, we do our very best to have at least one member of the original and with us when we do a cover. An example: we just played the Hard Rock in Daytona Beach and we brought along Tony Valentino of The Standells and Steve Boone of The Lovin' Spoonful with us. When we did do some covers live, we did The Standells "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" and "Dirty Water" and then we did The Lovin' Spoonfuls "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" as well as a song we wrote with Steve that he performed with us on our last album called "Sweet Lovin". We also throw in a few covers that we are influenced by from time to time from The Monkees, The Easybeats, The Beatles, The Sweet, The Raspberries and Bad Finger to name a few. But I must stress for the most part we are an original band and only sprinkle in a few covers from time to time.

9) Are there any bands in the USA today you consider yourself close to? 

Besides the legendary classic 60's and 70's bands (some of the aforementioned bands) If you are talking more modern bands perhaps: The Lemon Twigs, the 90's band Jellyfish, Cheap Trick, B-52's, Matthew Sweet, The Pooh Sticks, The Apples In Stereo, Los Strait Jackets

10) Anything you wanna add? 

My advice is to not to be afraid to dig deep and find something that can resurface again. Always be willing to try something new in your entertainment field no matter what it may be. Flexibility to change gives you new experiences. New experiences makes you a well rounded artist. Never forget you can re-invent yourself just like the industry does. Remember though, you’ll never know until you give it a shot and be willing to learn. Lastly, the entertainment world is definitely a business for sure, but for me it is more of a feeling, an emotion and a personal expression of yourself. Live your dream!

Just want to say thank you for your time.



Vern Shank said...

Thank you so much for your great music blog. It's people like you that keep Rock & Roll alive! Appreciate you Eric. Cheers and keep it groovy! (Vern @ The Cherry Drops)

Anonymous said...

what a fantastic band have all 3 of their albums!!!

Anonymous said...

what a great band!!!

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