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McKeesport rock band lands national ears with debut CD

| Thursday, June 19, 2014, 7:51 a.m.
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McKeesport-based rock band Sound Servent is having a national CD-release party at the Palisades at 8 p.m. June 21. This is for their debut self-titled album with Tate Music Group.

A McKeesport-based rock band is about to take the national stage in a big way.

The self-titled debut CD-release party of Sound Servent is set for June 21 at the Palisades at 100 Fifth Ave. in McKeesport.

The band includes McKeesport Area alumni Ed Black on guitar and vocals and Thomas Kovack on drums. West Mifflin Area graduate John Randolph plays bass.

They have been playing together for about 15 years. Their first full-length original album is being presented by Tate Music Group.

“I'm excited,” Kovack says. “We're old, but we're still jamming.”

Kovack, 47, graduated from McKeesport Area High School in 1985. He said he discovered a love of music in the school's jazz and marching bands. “It was good. I learned a lot,” he says.

Kovack was in a cover band for a number of years before joining Black and Randolph.

“I just like playing,” Kovack says. “That's why I got out of the cover band, because I wanted to do original stuff. I met those two guys, and they were just doing all originals. ... They needed a drummer, and we just hooked up.

“We all get along good. I'm very surprised, because bands have their issues and arguments. If we (need) to figure out what we're gonna do, we take a vote, so nobody has a problem.”

Randolph, 56, graduated from high school in 1976. Black, 48, graduated in 1984. Each member has a day job, and they play music at night.

Kovack says playing together helps to keep them young.

Sound Servent has opened for other groups at Altar Bar, Hard Rock Cafe and the Rex Theater on the South Side.

They put out a demo CD and posted a couple songs on ReverbNation's website. Tate Music Group reached out to the group and signed the band about five months ago.

Kovack says his band will have creative control over their music with this record deal.

Sound Servent will play its eight-song album in its entirety at the party, as well as some other tracks.

“There's some acoustic in it, and some harder-punch stuff,” Kovack says. “It's not real heavy, like trash (metal) or anything. I would say we're between Nickleback and Metallica.”

The night's opening acts will be George Houston and the Employers and The U-Betz Band.

Tickets are $12, $10 in advance. Tickets are available at the Palisades, Olympia Beer and the Viking Lounge.

Sound Servent's music will be released June 23 on iTunes. More information about the band is available online at facebook.com/soundservent and reverbnation.com/soundservent.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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