Mad Anthony is glad to be back

By John Benson

Fans attending a show by hard-working rock ’n’ roll band Mad Anthony should know that bar precipitation will be in the forecast.

“You might get wet, that’s true,” laughed singer-guitarist Ringo Jones. “Just a combination of sweat and booze.”

Music fans wanting to experience the Cincinnati trio in action should forgo the poncho and earplugs for the band’s return to the area Saturday at Cedars. High-energy is how Jones describes the Mad Anthony live experience, which in recent trips north has been embraced by Youngstown audiences.

“Every time we come there it’s been really good,” Jones said. “It seems like everybody in Youngstown really supports us. We’ve been fortunate to play with some really good local bands, and even though people may not know who we are seeing our name on a poster, they stick around, they watch us and they really enjoy just watching us play rock ’n’ roll. It’s just a good music town.”

Formed five years ago, Mad Anthony has been a road-dog act playing throughout the Midwest and beyond. The effort has landed the threesome headlining spots at North by Northeast, Midpoint Music Festival and Canadian Music Week.

Recently they placed their songs in the PBS-distributed documentary “Roller Derby Queens,” garnered regular rotation at college radio and released their self-titled sophomore album.

Jones said the material on the surface gets compared to The Foo Fighters, The Misfits and Queens of the Stone Age. So, yeah, the act has a stoner rock sound with hints of grunge to keep it interesting.

“On this album, we’re more refined,” Jones said. “We definitely focused on our songwriting. Before, it was more ‘Let’s be the loudest, biggest, heaviest band we can be’ and now it’s more, ‘Let’s write the best songs we can write.’ Now it’s more listener-friendly. You can still rock out to it in your bedroom but you can also play it on the radio. Like ‘Bear Attack’ is kind of blues, jam-rocking. And I’m really partial to ‘Million Miles Away.’ It’s a good rock ’n’ roll song that’s up-tempo and kind of tells the story of being on the road all the time and being away from home.”

Speaking of being on the road, and presumably away from home, Mad Anthony had a scare recently when the band was in a pretty bad car accident outside of Louisville. All of the members were taken to the hospital, where Jones received 25 stitches and 17 staples in his head.

The outfit has played a few acoustic gigs since the accident. Now it’s beginning a small tour sans drummer Marc Sherlock, who is still recuperating. A fill-in drummer will appear with the band in Youngstown.

When asked if the band is nervous about touring again, Jones said, “We just wanted to get back on the road. That’s kind of what we do best. We’re just a hard-working rock ’n’ roll band.”

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