A sample size version of the Hounds will be performing an eclectic list of new songs as a preview of bigger things to come.
East Village Coffee Lounge
498 Washington St.
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Photo by Bill Wenner
Bob Langford and Jon Zobler ( The Langford / Zobler Band (LZB) ) have been locally and regionally active in diversified incarnations over the past 40 years. In the early 70’s, the founders were brought together by a mutual mentor, Todd Epstien.
The focus has been, and always will be, strong, soulful vocals.
Over those years and throughout numerous stylistic and personnel changes (see history), coupled with periods of real-life interference, each continued to nurture an obsession for guitar laced music with strong vocals over the top. At times when a third voice was available to add to their own, it would take the performance to a more powerful place.
In 2017, with a desire to expand the dynamic core sound beyond the studio, it became necessary to find the “right” person to play bass and assume 3rd vocal responsibilities. The addition of Frank Lucido Jr. in this role, along with his contributions on mandolin and guitar, rounds out the project and provides the material with a more colorful and complete sonic snapshot.
With an ear and awareness for the fundamental classic resonance of vocal harmony, lyrical imagery and thoughtful content in music, The Hounds of Heaven strive to present original and adapted song forms that bridge their own beginnings with the sound, attitude and energy of those genres that continue to survive and thrive.
The song list is a mix of collective influences from east coast blue-eyed soul, slinky Southern blues, classic R&B, front porch bluegrass and traditional country with a rocked-up attitude.
The Hounds of Heaven project is a concept intended to bring rich studio quality vocals and guitar textures to the live stage. The list is a mix of original compositions and generally undiscovered album covers that have been reinterpreted and re-engineered.
In the likeness of Petty, Springsteen, Mellencamp, Fogerty, Hall and Oates, and The Eagles, the song selections serve to represent a framework of experiences, attitudes, and observations of longing and fulfillment, youth and aging, successes and failures,
love and loss, real or make believe.
In April 2017, the three core players began researching, sounding out, framing and rehearsing material, shaping their method and sound into their own musical identity.
Bob Langford and Jon Zobler have been musically active on and around the Monterey Peninsula since the early 70’s. Beginnings as a soft acoustic duo, vocally focused, eventually evolved into trios and quatros with percussion.
The emergence and impact of disco in the late 70’s seriously affected the path of all live music performance. Venues moved beyond what had been intimate dining “listening” rooms, absent of dance floors and party energy atmospheres, to a kind that embraced the current trends and attitudes. Bands of all shapes and sizes took a back seat until it all started to swing back around in 1980.
The Langford / Zobler Band launched at that time ( as a trio ), upgraded to all electric instruments and full drum kit. By 1982, the addition of William DiLorenzo on lead guitar lifted the effect beyond all expectations, and the band was very active in this incarnation thru the early 90’s.
In 1994, as another cyclic downturn occurred in venue access and availability, Bob was recruited into the Marotta Band, a very diverse, high profile variety band, as bassist / vocalist, and spent the next 15 years working 4-5 nights a week in all exclusive private, civic and corporate venues.
By 2000, with the emergence of digital recording software, Jon immersed himself in the recording environment. He invested in a home studio and began the long, tedious process of learning the parameters required for the software to communicate with hardware.
By 2004, Jon and Bob began experimenting, revisiting and compiling their original material from the 70’s in an attempt to make it more “current”. A new band was formed at this time, but it suffered thru personnel changes, an inability to properly market itself in a changing landscape of internet based social media and the lack of good sounding performance video. The band dissolved in 2010.
In 2012, Bob and Jon took an assignment as backline for Jon’s daughter, Lily Rose Zobler. This trio project led to live instruments being played over pre-recorded drum and bass tracks in a fixed arrangement. This departure from their own material and method resulted in a reshaping of their abilities and provided a new platform in implementing a tight, structured, layered sound without governing a large band.
At present, The Hounds of Heaven project represents a coming together of each and every influence they have experienced. Presented in the classic tradition of live voices and instruments, going forward in this shape is a confluence of musical storytelling and imagery.
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