Toy Soldiers began in September 2007 as a duo between myself and my long-time friend and drummer, Mike Baurer. What began as a joke, quickly turned into a vehicle for a collection of songs that jumped around in the roots of American music. After a year of carting around in a Toyota Camry, pushing our home made demo’s, we entered the studio in early 2009 to create “Whisper Down the Lane”, our first record, released on May 18th, 2010 through Drexel Universities MAD Dragon Records.. Later described as a “gritty, dirty collection of liquor-fueled Americana music. Shifting flawlessly from roots, to blues, to country, to rockabilly. Whisper Down the Lane is an undeniable barn-burner.” Woohoo!
Going in as a duo, the band came out as collective of upwards of 13 musicians who had contributed to the album. Over the course of 2009 through 2010, the new collective played WXPN’s 2010 XPoNential Fest, toured the south twice and constantly fluctuated and shifted members until I decided to pair down to a solid core group in October 2010 welcoming in a group of Lancaster based musicians and great friends of mine known as Dominic Billett on drums, Bill McCloskey on bass, Luke Leidy on keys, and Matt Kelly on guitar.
Festivals: Toy Soldiers has performed at the 2008 and 2010 CMJ Festival in New York City, the 2010 WXPN XPoNential Festival in Camden, NJ, the 2010 Citibank Winter Solstice Festival at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the 2010 AmeriGREEN Freedom Festival in Manheim, PA.
TV & Film: Toy Soldiers was chosen to write the entire score for a PBS documentary to be release in 2013. Our music has also been featured in a handful of Temple University student film projects.
Touring: Toy Soldiers has performed in 15 states in two years, over the course of two southeastern tours in 2010 and one northeastern tour in 2009.
Radio: We’ve performed live on-air on WXPN (Philadelphia), WDVX (Knoxville, TN) and WKDU (Drexel University). As well as received airplay on college and AAA radio stations all across the country.
About “Whisper Down the Lane”:
“a righteous collection of rootsy, jangly, scraggly, soulful indie inspired songs that bring to mind Shangri-La era Kinks, Nashville Skyline-era Dylan, Bright Eyes and the Black Keys, The Coasters and Carl Perkins. Rock it.”
-Bruce Warren, Program Director, WXPN