28 North may be the biggest current thing in the Pittsburgh rock scene. They have their own playlist of original songs, now at 150+ and growing, and work a classic rock, southern jam vibe that's proven popular over the decades, not only in the Tri-State area but across the land.
Their sound has won enough local fans that the group was selected as 2010's Best Band in the annual WQED Readers Poll taken by Pittsburgh Magazine. It's solid rock, with hooks, harmony and radio-friendly riffs galore.
Followers of The Grateful Dead, Lynnard Skynyrd, Government Mule, Phish, the Allman Brothers and Blackfoot should groove to their music; the band itself says its muse is The Band, chief among others ranging from the Beatles to the Black Crowes.
The members of 28 North are frontman Mike Lindner (guitar/vocals), Alex Stanton (guitar/harp/vocals), Jonathan Colman (bass/vocals) and Tyler Bond (drum/vocals). They originally started out as a trio before adding Colman, a Philly native, to round out the sound.
They have three CDs out; "Gone Too Far" (2007), "Mystery" (2008), and "28 North" (2010), the last mastered by George Marino, who has worked with the Arctic Monkeys, Guns N' Roses and Bon Jovi. All are available through iTunes and Amazon; the group is unsigned and doesn't have a label to push them, yet, and so depends mightily on the digital record shops.
28 North is putting together a fourth album in Brooklyn, working with Felix McTeigue, a well-respected country writer and producer, while playing a November residency at Arlene's Grocery, a bar known for showcasing up-and-coming acts.
And 28 North isn't sitting on its laurels or looking to become home-town heroes. They tour nationwide to support their work, having done by their count some 400 shows in the past three years.
They've shared a stage with the Dave Matthews Band, My Morning Jacket, Crash Kings, Motley Crue, Dickie Betts, Ace Frehley, Billy Squire, Steven Adler, Pat McGee Band, Pat Travers, Ekoostik Hookah, and the Blues Travelers along with locals like Joe Grushecky and Rusted Root.
The venues are just as strong as the acts 28 North supports: they've played at LA's Whiskey A Go Go and Chicago's House of Blues, along with New York's CMJ, Austin's South by Southwest, and Park City's Sundance Film Festivals. They finished a busy summer tour at the end of July and are fitting together dates around Arlene's and studio time for the winter.
They work the home front pretty well, too. 28 North is regularly part of the rotation of WDVE and have appeared on the Morning Show, Coffee House and the station's on-air Christmas Party, while WYEP spins their music, too. They've also been getting some airplay nationally since the release of "28 North."
They play the big local fests like Ribs on the River 2010, the Pittsburgh Marathon and the Rivers Casino amphitheater concert, along with area venues such as the Altar Bar, Thunderbird Cafe, Club Cafe, and Mr. Smalls.
They've got all the licks needed to break out. Now it's just a matter of getting the breaks to launch that break out.