by Joe Trinacria
Toy Soldiers, an up-and-coming Philadelphia-based rock band, will perform at Pastorius Park at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, in a concert sponsored by WXPN 88.5 FM.
A young, gritty rock group that has been gaining steam in the music industry ever since its formation, Toy Soldiers started out as a duo in 2007. Ron Gallo, lead vocalist and guitarist, has seen his group undergo many changes until reaching its current incarnation as a five-piece band. Joining Gallo in the current Toy Soldiers lineup is Dominic Billet, drums; Matt Kelly, guitar; Bill McCloskey, bass, and Luke Leidy, keyboard.
The band defines its music as “a brand of soulful rock n’ roll that takes its roots, puts it in a blender and pours out that good old feeling made for today.” Toy Soldiers incorporates tones of the blues, country music and many other unique genres into one distinct, collective sound.
“Whisper Down the Lane,” the band’s debut album, was given high praise in the local music community. WXPN’s “World Cafe Live” called it “a gritty, dirty collection of liquor-fueled Americana music … an undeniable barn-burner.” Its follow-up record, “Get Through the Time,” shifted the group to a more focused approach on songwriting, giving Toy Soldiers a more earnest delivery.
In 2011 alone, Toy Soldiers has played in more than 120 shows along the east coast and in the South, in venues ranging from large theaters to intimate, small bars. In January of this year, the band entered the studio with engineer/producer Bill Moriarty to start working on its third full-length record, due out this fall.
After laying down the tracks for its new album, Toy Soldiers began a month-long national tour in March, including performances at the celebrated SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
The Pastorius Park Concert Series is presented by the Chestnut Hill Community Association and is made possible by grants from the Chestnut Hill Community Fund and Chestnut Hill Hospital.
All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. The rain location for all concerts, except the June 13 opening show, will be at the lower school auditorium of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 8000 Cherokee St.
Decisions to move the concerts will be made after 6 p.m. Call 215-248-8810 to check on the day of the concert.
The Pastorius Park Concert Series is sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Association. To learn more about Toy Soldiers, visit http://ohnotoysoldiers.com.