Wake up to Chester
Way brothers front a “The River” sort of
band, release album
Probably the most
important thing Scooter Way learned at Penn State University and
University of New Hampshire resulted from spending his money, intended
for textbooks, on a guitar.
His college buddy
Chester and he noticed something very intriguing about other college
guys who played guitar.
“They always had girls
hanging out in their dorm rooms,” Way said.
That was enough to
Chester and Scooter
started performing a two-man show and both seemed to enjoy what they
But Chester began to
lose interest, and he and Way went their separate ... well, ways. Way
didn’t ever want to forget who was with him when he made that fateful
decision to buy a guitar, he named his soon-to-be-formed band Good
After Chester left his
side, Way continued on with the music and soon realized school just
wasn’t for him.
“There came a point I
wasn’t interested in going to class anymore,” Way said. He dropped his
classes and picked up a cover band. And he had a good run with his cover
band as well, booking three to four gigs a week.
His little brother
Mike, who had just recently started playing guitar, joined the band.
Mike was envious of his older brother’s guitar chops, like Scooter was
envious of those college guys with the girls in their dorm rooms.
“Five months later he
was playing just as well as I was, and I had been playing for four or
five years, “ Way said.
But Good Morning
Chester, the cover band, came to a crossroads that many cover bands come
“I realized singing
someone else’s songs wasn’t fun anymore,” Way said. The band took a
hiatus, while Way played a solo act for a few months.
After six months, Mike
and Scooter came to each other and decided the time was right for them
to make an original CD.
They started recording
a four-song demo in New Jersey. But the music the Way brothers created
impressed even themselves, and they opted to make a full-length 10-song
What comes out of
Little Things is anything but cover material.
Way’s hiatus from
playing other people’s songs allowed him time to reflect on life, take
notice of small details, and write 10 beautifully arranged tracks that
have the lyrics of a singer/songwriter, yet the sound of a full band.
Little Things is the
Way brothers. Good Morning Chester’s current keyboardist and drummer
aren’t on that album, just Scooter and Mike, with the help of producer
John Taglieri filling in on drums and bass.
And although Scooter
might be the prominent songwriter in the family, he has nothing but
praise for his younger brother’s guitar chops.
“He’s never taken a
lesson and he’s never really been into guitar players. It’s not like
he’s been listening to Steve Vai since he was six,” Way said. “His
emotions just bleed out in the guitar.”
Good Morning Chester
is: Scooter Way, vocals/rhythm guitar; Mike Way, lead guitar; Jeff
Brunell, keyboards; Brad Gaduette, drums.
Where to hear the
music: You can get the album online at www.goodmorningchester.com. If
you sign up for the mailing list you can get access to an archive of old
pictures and old live shows. You can also hear cuts from some of their
Little Things is a
light sound of acoustic rhythms and basic electric leads. There isn’t
this over-saturation of distortions, delays or other manufactured
sounds. Mike Way’s electric lead bounces in and out of Scooter’s rhythm
without intrusion, like in track two, “When You’re Older.” My first
thought on hearing this album was, “These guys aren’t from around here
... are they?” If you like the less-than-angst side of music you’ll like
this album. Their sound is what you’d expect to hear from 92.5 The
River. It’s an album that cries for summertime drives with the top down,
but also for rainy days spent inside. It’s good to hear alone, or sing
along to with friends. There’s a positive energy as well as somber
sounds. “Get On It” starts off the album and demonstrates the band’s
demeanor. There’s a pop sound to them, but not in the boy-band kind of
way. Their harmonies blend beautifully and they’re able to play a tune
that gets your head bopping, like “About Today.” Little Things is a
return to stripped-down music at its finest. This is definitely an album
worth listening to.