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Phil Varca and The Slam Jammers
Wednesday, August 09 2017
Artist Bio

New York based Phil Varca & The SlamJammers is currently celebrating their 25th Anniversary together making music and continue to thrill audiences with their brand of hard rockin’ blues. Lead by a non-stop barrage of notes from the powerhouse guitar of Phil Varca, extended improvisational jams and musical interplay have come to define the group’s live performances. The trio of Varca, bass player Tom Porter and drummer Russell Stone display a finely tuned ability to listen to and play off of each other so that the interplay of musical ideas is a constant flow.
The group can rock thunderously with driving rhythms that will shake you out of your seat then quickly downshift and display sensitive, evocative playing with their soulful emoting. The group’s raw, guitar driven grooves and energy creates a big sound with no frills. Audiences identify and respond to this energy. For them, it is truly a cathartic experience. Hearing is believing!

Phil says: “There’s nothin’ I like more than sharing a bill with another an act and playing to part of a crowd that is there to see someone else. Their people don’t know you & they don’t owe you! We only get one chance to make a first impression…so I love just playing for those people …turning them on to our music for the first time & seeing their reaction!”

Performing together since 1989, the band’s live shows have become one of their greatest assets. Extended improvisational jams and musical interplay have come to define the group’s live performances and reflect their experience. They are a solid working unit that consistently delivers.

In May of ‘92, Phil Varca & The SlamJammers released “Lightning & Thunder”, an original five-song collection. The release garnered much local attention and based on the strength of the collection, the band was chosen to appear at The New York Music Seminar in 1992 and the 1993 South by South West Music Conference in Austin, Texas.

1997 brought the first full-length release titled Ready, Willing and Able on Groove Tone Sound Recordings. The track “Skin on Skin” was featured in the movie “Evil Streets”, a horror cult classic which debuted in 1998. This release, a culmination of eight years persistence, hard work and determination, landed the group coveted showcase slots at the 1997 North by North East Music Conference in Toronto, Canada, 1998 CrossRoads Music Conference and BluesStock 1999, both held in Memphis, Tennessee.

2004 saw the release of “Live at Riverhead” - recorded live (naturally!!) at the 2002 Riverhead Blues Festival in Riverhead N.Y. The recording features extended versions of original and cover material and a guest appearance by guitarist Andy Aledort, senior editor for Guitar World magazine and noted Hendrix authority.
Plans are underway to re-release some earlier recordings currently out of print & sought after by fans. The band is also writing & rehearsing new material slated for future release and have several east coast and mid-west dates planned for 2014/15.
Throughout their 25 year history, Phil Varca & The SlamJammers has enjoyed many notable performances, including shared bills with: Buddy Guy, Joe Bonamassa, Foghat, Dave Mason, Bo Diddley, Clarence “Gatemouth”Brown, NRBQ, Double Trouble, Shemekia Copeland, Chris Duarte, Popa Chubby & John Cafferty.

“Guitarist Phil Varca is clearly a descendent of the Hendrix/Vaughan tribe, but his outstanding skill and technique have allowed him to forge a style all his own. In short, Varca is, without question, a must-see talent in the blues scene. As both a player and a singer, he becomes completely engrossed in the music, and any who watch and listen, judging by The Downtown audience that night, are immediately swept along for the ride.” - The Island Ear

“Varca charms you with throaty vocals…in addition to masterful guitar playing.” – Good Times Magazine

“Varca, drummer Russell Stone & bassist Tom Porter have learned from and emulate the blues masters…taking the best of what the forefathers have to offer and added to the concoction their own brand of blues. Together they sound larger than the three of them apart. They are all at once tight, melodic and raw.” – Long Island Entertainment
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