Hawks Landing Friday, June 16
Southington CT. 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Leading the band in vocals is Heather Joseph. Heather, a CT native, has been singing since she entered this world and has been cultivating her vocal prowess ever since. She grew up in a musical family, with both of her parents being in a band. Heather's mother was pregnant with her while keeping down the beat in the band. So, needless to say - Heather had no choice but become the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist she is today. As a result, many of Heather's musical influences came from the 60's and 70's: Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy Hendrix, Billy Joel, Janis Joplin and Heart, etc.
After many years of performing in church and all city/state choirs, Heather joined her first band at the age of 15, a wedding band called The Islanders. She then went on to start an acoustic duo called Eclipse, which eventually turned into the 12 years old and counting local cover band, Highfield. Heather is very active in the music scene. You can find her performing regularly with her other bands Haptic Sense, Highfield, Mindcrime, & Little Secret. Heather has and is actively lending her voice to various projects which include Those Guys, The Steve Gregory Band, the Signature Band and FreePlay to name a few. She also is a studio session artist and is credited on albums recorded by Frank Viele, Jacki Stone, Wild America, Solistic, The Namedroppers and Yankee Rock. Heather has had the honor of sharing the stage with many of today's music’s hero’s while being part of the Wimbash All-Stars, with members including the namesake, Doug Wimbish and his bandmate Corey Glover from Living Colour, Paul Pesco (Madonna, Steve Winwood...) , Mark Rivera (Billy Joel) , Daru Jones (Jack White), Oli Herbert (All That Remains), Rocky Bryant (Average White Band), and Cliff Carter (Cyndi Lauper). Heather is often compared to the likes of Melissa Etheridge, Janis Joplin, and Ann Wilson. However, anyone who has heard her will tell you there is no limit to her vocal prowess. It’s been said: “She goes from singing a heart wrenching, throat biting rendition of Led Zeppelins’ ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’, straight into classics like ‘At Last’, and beautiful ballads like ‘Ain’t Got You’ without a hiccup!” “I don’t think there is a song she can’t own and sing!”
On Bass and vocals is Rob Liptrot. Rob brings a plethora of experience to the Heavy Hitters. He is a versatile multi-instrumentalist, with roots in soul and gospel, and years of experience under his belt. He has played with many projects, such as The Manhattan Project, recording artist Frank Viele, and is also the bassist for Chemical Z. He is also currently a member of the cover band After Effect and a member of the Donahue All-Stars hosted open mic at Donahue’s in Madison, CT. Rob recently joined as an instructor of bass guitar at the Rock House School of Music in West Haven, CT.
On lead guitar and vocals is Chuck Beckman. Chuck Beckman was born in Del Rio, Texas and currently lives in central Connecticut. He started playing guitar and ukulele with his father at age 3, which inspired him to create his own music. He studied classical guitar with various teachers, and played blues and rock on his own, taking inspiration from Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eddie Van Halen, and Al Di Meola. He later attended Berklee College of Music and Quinnipiac University, where he studied jazz improvisation and performance. Chuck released a solo album, ‘Lonesome Road’ in 2008. This dynamic rock album draws from many styles of music, with heavy blues riffs and guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll. It features vocalist, Mike Vescera (Yngwie Malmsteen, Loudness, Obsession) and the propulsive, unique drumming of Greg Trabandt. Chuck also plays in several cover bands, such as Mike and the Muffintops, Zaubi, and The Total Hacks. Chuck is also a member of the Donahue All-Stars hosted open mic at Donahue’s in Madison, CT
On percussion/drums is Steve Cioppa. Steve has been laying down the rhythm for over 25 years in various projects. His experience covers a variety of styles making him one of the most versatile drummers on the scene. Over the years, he’s been in projects that have led him to opening up for a broad spectrum of groups including: Tower of Power, Elliot Yamen, The Last Goodnight, The Marshall Tucker Band, Teddy Geiger, Billy Joel Tribute Band "Big Shot" and The Radiators. He’s also worked with musicians from Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Buddy Rich Big Band and the Arturo Sandoval group. As a first call sub Steve has had the good fortune to play with almost all area groups including The Signature Band, Steve Gregory, Those Guys and HotHouse. Steve was also a member of the very successful and highly regarded CT based Funk/R&B original band, Cubistic Jack. Steve’s motto: “It's all about the groove.” It was that dedication to respecting the song and playing with integrity that landed him a home in Highfield with Heather 17 years ago. Since then, they’ve been “the duo” – sharing the stage in Haptic Sense, Chemical Z, Heavy Hitters and various other musical ventures. He currently endorses AUDIX Microphones, The Kelly Shu, REMO Drumheads and has just been added to the MAPEX Drums roster. Most recently, he has been performing festivals with the Doug Wimbish Allstars as part of his Wimbash festivals. The Allstars include both Doug And Corey Glover of Living Colour, guitarist Paul Pesco, Daru Jones and other high profile musicians along with additional members of Chemical Z. Steve can be found on many studio albums from various artists including Cubistic Jack, Sweet Bird, Steve Gregory, Traci Root, and Solistic to name a few.
Mark Focarile is an accomplished pianist and keyboardist, performing a wide range of genres including classical, jazz, rock, and musical theater. His group, Mile Marker Zero has performed all over the east coast of the United States, and has been featured in publications and compilations in North America, Europe and Australia. They have performed with artists such as Porcupine Tree, Periphery, Riverside, and the Misfits as well as appearing at RosFest and Progstock. Their music has been featured in video games including Rock Band and Nascar Heat.
Mark recently started his own music company, Innate Music, where he teaches private piano lessons, as well as providing musical transcriptions and recording. As a performer, Mark frequently plays in musical theater pits, performs as a solo pianist, and accompanies musicians all over Connecticut including Naugatuck Valley Community College. He also performs with Concrete Jungle, a NYC based Hip-Hop tribute, as well as Those Guys Entertainment. Mark has also been the Music Director and Organist for North Congregational Church in Woodbury, CT since 2003.