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Joel Pingitore and the Playground of Sound


Joel Pingitore and the Playground of Sound on the cover of Maximum Ink in March 2009 for MI's 13 Year Anniversary Issue by Dan Vierck
March 2009

Joel Pingitore isn’t wasting any time. He has been performing with his most recent group, The Playground of Sound, for only six months and they’re already booked and/or played 150+ shows. Besides a weekly show at The Dam Bar in Belleville, WI and a once-a-month visit to Stella’s Speakeasy in Stoughton, WI the band is fresh of a stint of gigs at Bike Week in Daytona Beach. In an e-mail interview Pingitore admitted he wouldn’t mind a show every day.

“Naturally,” He also conceded, “it’d be fantastic to be ‘The Next Big Thing.’” With an energetic six month old band that’s already working on an album and playing outside the state, however fantastic the dream, they seem to be aiming for it. On a more realistic, and partially realized note, Pingitore also said “I’d like to see [the band] as a nationally touring act.”

In the mainstream, Pingitore is a bit of an anomaly. While there are bluesmen a dime a dozen in their 40’s, most guitar slingers Joel’s age are fret-tapping, metal head shredders. It might be this youthful perspective that brings a fresh energy to the band’s live show or their interpretations of classics. While the band plans on at some point having enough original material for a full set, they relish in jamming on familiar tunes. “I think we throw a good mix of both covers and originals, but the covers are our own versions of the song.  It’s not any duplication of any recording, we put our own twist on them.”

Something to check out is the band performing Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” in front of a giant vat of beer at Capitol Brewery on YouTube. The drums and bass are solid and driving while the guitar is aptly aggressive and masterfully flexible at the same time. And then Brad Reichert’s vocals come in and the sound all comes together – a force to be reckoned with.

On other tracks, The Playground of Sound work through instrumentals that flirt with straighter rock with blues undertones and accents. The band moves between delicate, smooth guitar lines and thick riffs. It is an early demonstrated playfulness that promises to evolve into a mature and effective dynamic.

They get hot too, though. The originals with vocals can be anywhere from any standard blues rock influence. There are definite pangs of SRV in “Lone Man on a Mission” with its bouncy, tight chords until a small guitar line comes and it sounds like Pingitore is actually playing springs. Oh and there’s a solo too, of course, but you should really just hear that for yourself.

It might be better if you just heard it all for yourself, actually. This band pretty much plays everywhere.


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