Central Services

A bright-eyed and jangly power pop band with strong echoes of their Pacific Northwest compatriots the Shins and the Posies, Central Services are the sort of band who probably don't mind it when reviewers use the word "winsome" to describe them. The core of Central Services is the partnership of lead singer and drummer Kevin Emerson and guitarist Jeff Blancato. Natives of Cheshire, CN, a small town between New Haven and Hartford, Emerson and Blancato began collaborating musically in high school; when Emerson moved to Boston to attend college, he formed a funky R&B band called Soulwork which briefly included Blancato on lead guitar. After releasing two albums, Connect and Soulwork Squares off with the Super Villain in the early 2000s, and winning a 2001 Boston Music Award for best local funk band, Soulwork split up. Blancato having already resettled in Seattle, Emerson moved west to rejoin his friend and they formed a new band, Central Services, in 2004. The original incarnation of Central Services featured Emerson on lead vocals and Moe Tucker-style standup drums and Blancato on bass, alongside guitarists Ethan Jones and Damien Koemans, and keyboardist Eric Goetz. Following the release of their debut EP We're All Smarter Now in 2005, Jones left to focus his attention on the Seattle twee pop act the Math and Physics Club (in which Emerson is the non-singing, non-writing drummer) and Koemans lost his slot in the band as Blancato returned to guitar. Bassist Mark Livingston joined in time for the band's 2006 self-titled full-length debut. In addition to Emerson's side gig in the Math and Physics Club, he is also a published author for young adults. Eric Goetz is also a solo artist, releasing the 2005 album Present and Accounted For. ~ Stewart Mason

    Cheshire, CT

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