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The Slim Kings featuring Billy Joel's Drummer - Liberty Devitto
Thursday, February 05 2015
$10 cover / 21+
Artist Bio

You’ve got to revere and respect your roots in order to create something new and fresh. That’s when you break ground and truly make a difference. The Slim Kings stand in the eye of a perfect storm of blues and rock ‘n’ roll. Among the New York group’s ranks are three young guns—singer and rhythm guitarist Michael Sackler-Berner, lead guitarist Henry Geller and bassist Andy Attanasio—along with legendary drummer Liberty Devitto, who spent over three decades playing on seminal records for and performing with Billy Joel.
Blending elegant song craft, impeccable instrumentation and a whole lot of soul, this formidable lineup has recently opened for ZZ Top, Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes and The Spin Doctors. The Slim Kings regularly headline clubs in the Northeast and are currently recording with Grammy winning producer Steve Jordan (John Mayer, Boz Scaggs, Keith Richards). This isn’t simply a throwback to the glory days though. It’s firmly rooted in the future.
“I like classic rock,” says Liberty. “That’s what I grew up creating. However, I don’t want to be in a classic rock band. Michael, Henry and Andy bring fresh ideas and sounds to the table. There’s a hint of old blues in there, but it’s a modern style.”
“It’s a delicate balance,” Michael agrees. “Liberty takes us back to the heart. Henry, Andy and I have the pleasure of playing alongside those roots, rather than emulating them. It’s a rare privilege.”
Their debut, self-produced recordings, completed in their rehearsal studio in Brooklyn, tap into a pure, palpable and powerful energy. Featuring mixing by Tom Elmhirst (Adele, Beck, Amy Winehouse), the drums reverberate with real force while the guitars churn out raw passion.
There’s a certain courage coursing through the fabric of all their music. It began in 2011 when Michael, working as a solo artist who was best known for songs featured on Sons of Anarchy and Law and Order, cold-called Liberty. He asked Liberty, a drumming icon and the very first drummer Michael had ever seen in concert, to play on an indie session he had booked the very next day. Liberty listened to the music online and called back fifteen minutes later. Now with The Slim Kings, they have solidified their musical partnership as band mates.
Henry, who has opened for Etta James and Johnny Winter, recalls the genesis of the band. “Michael and I went to elementary school together and reconnected on Facebook while I was living in San Francisco. The Slim Kings got started when we began trading YouTube clips of artists we both like: Gary Clark Jr., Dave Alvin and The Black Keys. We thought, ‘Hey, we could do this.’”
Soon after Michael and Henry began writing together, Liberty heard Henry’s Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix inspired guitar work and loved it. “I knew instantly that Henry was fluent in the traditions of the blues greats I hold in high regard, but he was taking those ideas and techniques to a new, darker, more contemporary place.”
“A cross country move and two albums later, the music just keeps coming,” says Henry. “We write songs and love doing it. We play around with different sounds to make exciting music that we mix with interesting and witty lyrics.”
Now, The Slim Kings are making the kind of rock music that transcends generations. “I want people to feel good about getting back into real players playing real music,” Liberty declares. “There are always cycles in this business. I think the cycle is coming back to honest music.”
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