What’s the state of live music? Brendan Johnson, front man and cofounder of the band Stella Ruze, believes it’s due for a revival. The brilliance of a live show persists through its vibrant unpredictability. At the same time, much of that flavoring can be muddled by the constant droning of our on-demand wants.
Stella Ruze, fittingly enough, started out as a mainstay in the Manayunk bar scene, playing covers and originals weekly at JD McGillicuddy’s. Johnson became musically entangled with, singer and guitar player, Katie Burke. The two of them fused sounds together through unique pop-folk-funk ballads. They added members as they grew, including Alex Styer and Mason Wallack, whom brought with them accenting trumpets, guiding percussions, and harmonious keys.
Though the days passed from a simple one man show with a kick drum, Johnson points out that the band continues to exist in a constant drive for evolution, a drive to find out whom or where this sound will lead. This evolution presents itself so tangibly, it gravitates listeners. Stella Ruze can be seen visibly congealing a talent blend of musicians. Each musician possessing an eclectic presence and history showcased together as they imprint their conjoined mold more so with each passing show.
Through those early bar nights, Brendan Johnson understands the on-demand age all too well. It’s his hope, that music fans can once again embrace the abstract, and marvel in raw onsite creativity. Catch Stella Ruze on June 15 at the Underground. Doors open at 8pm. Tickets can be found online or at the door.