About Us Part 1
Although Pinnacle have concentrated on writing material for CDs, they have performed to enthusiastic crowds at NEARfest After Party ("Apocalypse" 2012, Bethlehem, PA), ProgDay (Chapel Hill, NC), the Sterling Hotel (Allentown), Our Beer Belly's (Bethlehem), Brenda & Jerry's (Bath), and ProgOctoberfest (Saratoga, NY). They backed Nick D'Virgilio (Tears for Fears, Spock's Beard, Mike Keneally Band) at a solo concert, opened for the legendary Spock's Beard (The Forum Theater, NJ), and opened for Riverside (Crossroads Theater, NJ). Pinnacle has played several shows for New Jersey Proghouse in first rate lineups and as headliners, including their CD release party for the Meld CD.
Pinnacle’s roots go back to 1997 when Greg Jones met Karl Eisenhart. Karl recalls, "I was playing a gig with my acoustic duo in a coffee house. There was a loud, rowdy guy sitting right in front of me as the sun set in my eyes. When I could finally make out some details, I saw that the guy was wearing a Steve Morse Tee shirt. Instantly I was on my best musical behavior because here HAD to be someone who knew if I was faking it. Afterwards we struck up a conversation which lasted until the wee hours of the morning… standing in the street in a not-so-hot section of town."
Soon after that, Karl and Greg started playing together, going through a variety of other band members in the process. Eventually, they found JP Capiello who played bass and sang. The trio played maybe a dozen gigs over a year and a half period first under the name Dread Pirate Roberts (which proved to be too obscure and too easy for bar owners to screw up) and later as Landslide. JP’s life took him in a different direction (and to his own band, Recess) and the search was on again. Enter Bill Fox. Karl had known him for a while but just never made the connection that he might be the right guy for the job until sometime in early 2002.
After the three players got together once, it was obvious that the combination was a good one. Everyone involved was pulling in the same direction and it just WORKED. They set to work learning a bunch of Progressive and Classic Rock covers by bands such as Yes, Rush, Jethro Tull and The Police to both get some local gigs and just gain some experience playing together. This also allowed them to fully explore just how many different things were musically possible in a three-piece band.
After nearly eight years and two albums as a power trio, Karl, Greg, and Bill decided to bring Karl's childhood friend Matt Francisco on board as the fourth member in the beginning of 2010. This was well into tracking for the third album. This is not the first band Matt and Karl have been in together. Matt brings mad vocal and keyboard skills to the mix. His addition will enable the band to add more power and texture to the Pinnacle sound. As a trio, Pinnacle used technology to multiply their effectiveness without resorting to backing tracks. In concert, everything was played live. Only short samples were triggered when an effect was desired. This won't change with Matt in the band. Matt's considerable keyboard chops will continue to keep the playing live and the technology in the background.
The band's musical goal is to write reasonably accessible songs that are still firmly rooted in the best progressive rock traditions. The four members have influences which are wildly different in most cases, but with certain obvious overlaps.
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