Welcome to Round 4 of NYS Music’s March Madness 2023. We’ve whittled down 64 the bands to these Elite 8 up and coming bands from across New York State. They’ve made it this far, and we’re digging in and highlighting this next generation of New York bands on the rise.
Since 2015, New York State Music has crafted a March Madness competition that spans all the musical harbors of the Empire State. As fans and musicians, the NYS Music team aims to spotlight the great talent found across New York in a friendly contest, bringing broader attention to the next generation of artists and bands on the rise. March Madness 2023 highlights 64 bands and artists you might not know, but should know, as these homegrown talents are making waves through the New York State. Check out Round 3 here.
Enter your email address, get to know the bands, and vote for your favorites below!
Voting for Round 4 has ended. Stay tuned for the Final Four, starting Tuesday, March 21.
Yard Amphitheater Region
Honey Suckle Vine vs Mainline
Meet Honey Suckle Vine – Capital District
Honey Suckle Vine (HSV) is a high-energy 4-piece blues-rock band based out of the Capital District of New York State. The songwriting team of Joey Jaquez (vocals, harmonica) and Jeremy Silverman (guitar, vocals) have been creating original material for over 20 years across the USA. Joined in 2017 by long time friends Graham Espe (bass, vocals, recording and production) and David Snediker (drums, vocals), HSV is ready to entertain. Check out their most recent album Painted Nights. On March 24th, they’ll be playing at Putnam Place with Tops Of Trees, Kyla Silk, and House of Saturn. You can also catch them at Active Ingredient Brewery for an acoustic show on March 25 and Nanolas on April 15th.
Meet Mainline – Hudson Valley
Mainline officially hit the scene at the end of 2019 when Anthony Schettino (Bass), Johnny Iodice (Lead Singer & Guitar), Mason Servedio (Drums), and Devin Reck (Guitar) released their debut single “Open Fire” which eventually led to the self-titled EP that came out in February of 2020. Their album “The Unholy Idol” has garnered up over 80,000+ streams across platforms, and has gotten worldwide attention. The current lineup since 2022 now includes Ryan Hartell on guitar, replacing Devin Reck. As of November 2022, the band released their most recent single “In Nothing We Trust” everywhere on streaming. Their last show was March 10 at Pete’s Saloon in Elmsford, NY. You can find Mainline on April 22 at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ, opening for Kore Rozzik!
Funk n Waffles Region
Fine Grain vs Forest Dwellers
Meet Fine Grain – Troy
Fine Grain, a shoegazey punk band from Albany took both the red and blue pills with a Genny and got banned from Trader Joe’s. The girthy tones of this gritty group will remind you of late nights on a stoop in September, your first beer after work, weird questions about your parents cephalopods, and of course, the crushing weight of capitalism. With prog-inspired riffs, post-punk murk, and the occasional ripping sax solo, fine grain offers up rambunctious reverie fit for hardcore fans of all generations. Fine Grain’s maturation is a testament to the transformative possibility of punk, showing how pulled threads of the past can still stitch together a promising new future. Check out their album “Missing Adult“.
Meet The Forest Dwellers – Rochester
The Forest Dwellers are a reggae-infused folk/ indie group based out of Rochester, NY that plays universal medicine music. The band blends melodic music with incredible vocal harmonies. Stemming from different styles and genres, The Forest Dwellers fuse them into a new take on a familiar sound all its own. Listen to their song “Open Road” here. The Forest Dwellers are playing Sterling Folkfest in Sterling, NY dates May 25th- 29th. As well as The Family Hoedown at the G Lodge in Hannibal, NY dates June 9th-11th. You can also catch them playing every Wednesday in June at Abilene Bar and Lounge in Rochester, NY as part of their first residency.
Jane Dough Region
Murder in Rue Morgue vs Sarah King
Meet Murder in Rue Morgue – CNY
Murder in Rue Morgue is CJ Carr, John Wolff, Matt Biss, and Dan Ouimette, hailing from the hometown of Manowar, and Level 7 in Auburn. The band is highly influenced by melodic death metal, such as In Flames, Killswitch Engage, and Times of Grace. The band is a group of hardworking musicians who leave it all up on the stage giving the best show every time. Listen to their 2019 album “Endless Cycles” here.
Meet Sarah King – Hudson Valley
Known for her powerhouse voice and “fiery, vulnerable songs,” Sarah King creates thought-provoking, versatile Americana music. Her genuine stories about real-life emotions and situations also draw on classic folk-blues themes, balancing songs about the devil and booze with hard-won moments of reflection and acceptance. Her acclaimed 2021 EP The Hour, produced by Simone Felice and David Baron, earned her recognition as the New England Music Awards Songwriter of the Year and performances at the 2022 Folk Alliance International and Philadelphia Folk festivals, as well as supporting slots for acts including Blues Traveler and The Steel Woods. Sarah will be busy finish recording her new album in Woodstock in May before playing at Red Ants Pants Festival in Montana at the end of July. She’s also scheduled for a busy summer of festivals and touring, so be sure to stay tuned for announcements!
Strand Theatre Hudson Falls Region
The E Block vs Seize Atlantis
Meet The E Block – Capital Region
The E-Block is a 5-piece indie R&B band based in Upstate New York, blending the acoustic warmth of singer-songwriter music with an ice-cold rhythm section informed by modern R&B. Led by guitarist Luke Pascarella, with the line up of saxophonist James Soren keyboardist Devin Tetlak, bassist Daniel Folds, and drummer Leroy “Rudy” Dalton, the band’s deep bag of influences and free-flowing style have earned them a reputation as a unique live act in the Capital Region scene. Follow their instagram for all the current action, including their new project “Waterfall” releasing this spring. In the meantime, listen to their most recent track “Stay” here. There are currently no upcoming shows, but check back on their website for any announcements.
Meet Seize Atlantis – Glens Falls
Seize Atlantis has a unique, tight sound fueled by punchy bass, hard-driving percussion, melodic lead guitar, and pronounced moody vocals with meaningful lyrics, a truly dynamic range of soft to heavy Alternative Rock. Formed in 2019 out of Glens Falls, Seize Atlantis is a four-piece band most closely influenced by bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam, providing their own spin on a variety of covers from classic rock to modern pop in addition to their own original music. Seize Atlantis is currently working on their second EP which will be released this July. Listen to their most recent release, “I Need It” here. Catch their performance at Scally’s Roadside Bar and Grill in Hudson Falls on March 24th.
NYS Music has partnered with these great businesses across New York State to highlight the 64 up and coming bands and artists of NYS Music March Madness.
The finalists of of each region will be rewarded with a collection of prizes worth $3000. Partners for NYS Music’s March Madness 2023 include Mirth Films from Albany, a music news/entertainment outlet that specializes in original video content and live streaming, with news coverage ranging across the whole country, who will provide a professional multi-camera recording session at a prestigious venue in Albany for the winning band, premiering exclusively on Mirth Films.
Additionally, one finalist will earn a spot on the lineup for the Scarsdale Music Festival, held on June 3, 2023.
WEQX is a radio station in Manchester, VT. They’re are completely independently owned and operated, always have been, since 1984. This station exists out of a love for music, a love for radio, and the commitment to always giving their listeners the best of the best.
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