The Refranes

   What was to become The Refranes actually played their first gig on March 12, 2010 as The Janes Gang at HD Beans in Silverton, Ohio. After discovering a few months earlier that his daughter, Caitlin could sing and sing well, Dave Janes was determined to get her on stage in a band.
   So he enlisted a couple former Leadfoot Johnny bandmates, drummer Randy Brock and guitarist Greg Thomas and put together an acoustic outfit to back up Caitlin. Cait decided she didn’t like the name The Janes Gang after the first gig so she and her dad did some brainstorming and came up with Cait Janes & The Refranes.
   After a couple years of playing acoustic gigs, Dave and Cait started thinking about going electric and adding a particular keyboardist and playing more dance-oriented music. They decided they wanted a bigger sound for the band so Dave started looking around for a new drummer and guitarist. As it turned out, he didn’t have to look far for a drummer or a keyboardist.
Dave had been playing classic hard rock in the reunited Hogwild for a couple years and having a blast so he asked Hogwild keyboardist Barry Elliott and Hogwild drummer Dave McCartt if they’d be interested in joining a pop rock band.
They both were into it so now all Dave had to find was a guitarist. On craigslist, he found Brian Cunningham who was not only a competent player but a DJ as well.
    They rehearsed for a few months until Brian and Dave had the idea of adding another female frontwoman in the lovely and talented Jessica Monds. Her arrival necessitated a slight name change for the group. Thankfully, the girls hit it off right away and their voices blended beautifully.
   Hoping that finally all the pieces were in place, The Refranes played thier first gig as a revamped pop rock outfit at Jerzee’s in Newport. Their first gig was such a smashing success, the bar manager gave them a raise and many more dates.
Unfortunately, Brian decided he had to leave the Refranes due to his many, many other commitments such as being a wedding DJ and playing in 3 other bands.
   So the search for another guitarist began. After trying out a few players, The Refranes luckily came upon one Andy McKeown, son of The Gamut-founding McKeowns. Andy has shown himself to be a perfect fit for the Refranes, who continue to rock on.
   Things were rolling along well with The Refranes, they were in the lineup for the Festival At Sycamore with the band America, played The 3rd Friday Festival in Lebanon and Geottafest, a corporate event, and a wedding and all the clubs and bars. After awhile, Jess and The Refranes decided to part ways so Cait handled the bulk of the singing while other co-singers were considered. Then came Alicia McCarren to bring back those dual female harmonies that the Refranes were initially built around. Alicia brings a great singing voice, a terrific personality, a ton of experience and has fit right in with The Refranes like she's been here all along.

Be sure to get out to one or more of their shows and check out the new line up and dance the night away.  

Barry Elliott - Keyboards

I arrived on August 24, in the 1950’s.
I was blessed with music loving parents and a brother 9 years
older than me. Being exposed to the music of the 1940’s and
1950’s at a young age started me on my musical path.

When I was around 8 yrs. old my parents  got me a portable organ
and I found myself fascinated with how the notes went together
to form chords, etc. I taught myself a few chords and learned some
of those early 60’s tunes from the records my brother brought home.
Well, when the Beatles came along, I,  like millions of other kids
wasn’t happy just listening to the music; I had to make the music!!

I took some lessons from my music teacher at school, and actually
formed a band at age 11. We performed at our 6th grade talent
show. Me on organ; a guitar player;  drummer  had a snare drum
and 1 cymbal; 2 singers up front with tambourine and maracas.
We played I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone by the Monkees, and an
 old blues tune that our music teacher taught us. We won 3rd place!!

After dabbling in playing drums for a couple of years, I went back to the keys.
My first “real” band that got gigs and earned money happened when I was
19, 20 yrs. old. Great names: ‘Mirkwood’  ‘Spellbound’ ‘Rainbow Canyon’.
That lasted 1-1/2 yrs.  or so. I spent some time being the ‘lightman’
for a successful local band in the mid to late 70’s. Of course, after a while I
wasn’t content to run lights for a band, I had to play……

1980:  I went to the local music store, bought myself some keyboards,
and started my search for a band. The music store’s bulletin board had a
notice: Southern & Progressive Rock band looking for keyboard player.
I called; auditioned; joined the band; the band’s name? HOGWILD.

Hogwild played for about 3-1/2 yrs. Great times...
After a short hiatus, Dave Janes talked me into forming another band with
him which became ‘The Urge’.  That band, with some personnel changes existed
for almost 3 years. I was feeling the need for something different
when I was asked to audition for a local group looking for a keyboard player.
That was the beginning of ‘Wiseguy’. I was a member of ‘Wiseguy’ for 8 years,
with a couple of personnel changes. Great band, Great memories. (Glenn: RIP)

So, then it’s 1996; Wiseguy’s last gig. I thought: I’ll find myself another band.
I spent a couple of years trying to put something together. Then, I discovered
how much I liked getting up at 7am on a Sunday morning. That lasted about 11
years.  In 2007 Dave  asked me about  doing a ‘HOGWILD’ reunion. We practiced
a few times and played a gig in January,2008. In 2009 we got together to do another
reunion gig and decided to form a band. Dave, Buck Secrist, Billy Ball, Dave ‘Thumper’ McCartt
and myself formed the second Hogwild and we’ve been playing for over three years now.

When Dave discovered his daughter Cait  could sing, they formed a semi-acoustic band called Cait Janes and the Refranes. They decided to put a band together with some different musicians, including Jessica Monds, giving them two talented singers to front the band. Dave asked me to join them, and after hearing Jessica and Cait together, I had to join. Thumper came aboard on drums, and we auditioned several guitar players and found a very talented Andy. We named the band The Refranes, and have had a successful start to what I hope will be many years together.






Andy McKeown - Lead Guitarist

 

Raised on the mean streets of Dillonvale (in the Cincinnati area), Andy realized at an early age that music was his destiny.  Watching his parents play in the Cincinnati mega-cover band The Gamut while also being fed a steady diet of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and later, Michael Bolton, Yanni, and Rick Astley, he dreamed of making it under the lights on stage.  Having studied under Cincinnati guitar guru Roger Klug, he forged ahead with this dream.  Eventually he made it in as a replacement in the High School Band Challenge winning Latex Penguin (yes, a weird name, full of amazing musicians...and Andy).  There he tasted what it was like to truly entertain.  After the members of LP went their separate ways (or as we all like to say....went to college), Andy was left to play with himself.....errr.....play by himself whilst trying to find a new band of misfits to make noise with.  It was in these years that he began to truly understand the greatness of Joe Perry, Slash, Jeff Beck, and Zakk Wylde, among many other guitarists. He also met the beautiful Katie, whom he would eventually marry. He jammed with his cousin Chad, an amazing musician, along with some others in a band that would never make it out of the basement followed by jamming with some guys in a metal project, who were also a lot of fun but never made it out of the basement either. In those years Andy and Katie had 3 beautiful daughters, who would consume much of his time.  A couple of times in the last year and a half, he was lucky enough to be offered fill in gigs for the bands Twice Tonight and Hott Stuff, both home to the venerable shredhead Sean Plummer (a close friend) thus bringing forth Andy's desire to get back on stage. Having put himself out on Craigslist hoping to attract certain clientele at the Greyhound Bus Station, Andy somehow managed to attract the attention of Mr. Dave Janes who was looking to fill the need for a guitarist in The Refranes. After a few months, Andy auditioned, made it, and the rest is history. He can now be found roaming the stage for The Refranes, looking to entertain, his dream of being under the lights finally realized.

Dave McCartt - Drummer and vocalist

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to play the drums.

I have a vague memory, which was confirmed by my parents, of dragging my grandmother’s pots and pans out of her cupboards, setting them up in a row according to their tone and hitting them with wooden spoons. I was hooked.

I began my official musical career in the 5th grade at age 10 under the guidance of Russell Hinkle, the former music director for the Mt. Healthy High School band. During many years of association with Mr. Hinkle, I was instructed in concert and marching band musical styles, beginning with the snare drum and then moving onto various other percussion instruments including Tympani, Chimes, Bells, etc.

At age 13 I felt like I wanted to broaden my horizons and thus began several years of private instruction from John Gardner, a percussionist with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, where I learned drum set techniques for rock, jazz, funk and various other styles of music.

I started playing in clubs in 1988 at the age of 18, in a band named Stay Tuned which primarily played light rock/lounge style music on the east side of Cincinnati. In 1992, I ran into Billy Ball on a Sunday after one of the Stay Tuned gigs, and he told me he was in band called Cutthroat Alley, and that they were looking for a drummer. I auditioned, was really into the rock style and sound they had going on, and joined the band. Cutthroat Alley went strong for several years, performing at various large events including Summer Fair 1992 and 1993, the re-opening of the Southgate House, and the Spencer County Fair in Kentucky.  After leaving Cutthroat Alley in 1995, I put together a band with Mike Hoskins, the former bass player from Cutthroat alley, called Orange Shutter in 1996. We played some rock with a lot of alternative and grunge music. Orange Shutter lasted until 1998, when the guitar player moved to Georgia.  For the next several years I tried to get other projects such as the Shine, with Joe Pizzo from the Snowshoe Crabs and Tim Durham from Ever After, together but nothing ever came of them. One day in 2000, I got a call out of the blue from Billy Ball saying that his band Ball Four (with Buck Secrist from Hogwild and Mike Belperio from Indus Red) needed a drummer. I auditioned, but didn’t hear back from them for about a year because Billy thought I was already playing in a band. Once Billy heard I was available, he called me back and I joined the band. After the sudden and tragic death of Mike [R.I.P. brother] in 2003, Buck, Billy, and I formed a band in 2005 called Sea Of Glass with bassist Tim (T-Bone) Tuttle from Slicker. We played out locally for the last several years, and parted company with Tim in the spring of 2009.

Buck and Billy approached me with the idea of hooking up with Dave and Barry and forming a new band. After getting together with these guys for a jam session, I knew this was going to be something great.

Then in early 2012, Dave asked if I was interested in joining a dance pop rock band he was putting together with his daughter, Caitlin and Hogwild keyboardist, Barry. I'd heard Cait when she sat in and sang with Hogwild several times and I knew she was good so I said sure. Then when we added Jessica, the vocals sounded twice as good. And then Andy came along and solidified everything and now we're sounding better than ever.

See you at the shows!!!!!

Dave Janes - Bassist and Vocalist

Whassup? I'm Dave Janes, the bass player. After reading other website bios, I decided I liked the first person idea so I'm gonna apply it to my page, so here goes. I fell to earth September 11, sometime in the Fifties. I was transported to Mason early in my young life in a '52 Lincoln. At 14, I desperately wanted to play the drums so my dad drove me to a Hamilton, Ohio pawn shop & bought me a $100 set of drums. Upon discovering that all my friends played either drums or guitar, a voice in my head told me that in order to be in a "real" band with my friends, I would have to play BASS guitar. So my dad and I drove back to that Hamilton pawn shop & traded the drums for a Dixon bass.

     Then, a series of different bands (i.e: Turtle Creek Express, Buttermilk, Blueberry Buttermilk, Sewer) followed. I know the names may sound odd, but it WAS the late 60s. The highlight of these years was when Buttermilk and then Sewer actually played some WSAI dances down closer to the BIG city of Cincinnati and we actually heard our band's name advertised ON THE RADIO. After high school, college and a short -lived marriage, I drifted from band to band trying to "Make It". I started with Ambush, then Tangent, then Blackhawk, then Watchtower, then Punch (who received a Honorable Mention, but didn't make it onto WEBN's Album Project in 1979).

     After finding myself a great woman, I guess I finally found some measure of success (meaning mo' money) with Hogwild in the early Eighties playing high school dances, frat parties, clubs and even an occasional prom. But by '84, lead guitarist Buck Secrist left to become a bus driver and Hogwild broke up. After my short stint with Brigadoon, Hogwild keyboardist Barry Elliot and I formed The Urge and we enjoyed a busy and fairly profitable 3 years. By '88, the band called it quits and I struggled to put another bar band together. First, Phoenixx fizzled and then Body English kind of folded. In 1991, I joined Mad Leroy, a classic/Southern rock bar band put together by vocalist/keyboardist Dave Reynolds. This band played regularly for about 4 years at bars around town before we broke up in '95.

     So again, there I was, looking for a band, maybe with some of the guys from Mad Leroy, thinking maybe we could focus on more bluesy material and shortly thereafter my 14 years with Leadfoot Johnny began. Leadfoot Johnny played a lot of gigs all over the Cincinnati area including Summerfair, The Taste Of Cincinnati and Tall Stacks and six seasons of eight weekends each at Pirate's Cove in the Four Seasons Marina. As with most bands, there were a few personnel changes which led LFJ from blues rock to more R&B/blues.

     In September of 2007 Buck Secrist called me with a Hogwild Reunion idea. Maybe do a gig or two to celebrate 25 years. The same tunes we did 25 years ago. We couldn't find original drummer Kerry Callahan so we found the drummer we had when the band broke up in 1984, Doc Collins formerly of the Relics. I called Hogwild keyboardist Barry Elliott and as he hadn't played since Wiseguy broke up in 1996, he was way into it. We rehearsed 4 times and played a gig at what was known then as Beach's on January 19th, 2008. Great time! I loved the idea of playing rock again.

    Then Buck and I went back to our own bands. He to Sea Of Glass and me to Leadfoot Johnny. Barry slid back into retirement.

    About a year later, Barry emailed the photos from the night at Beach's. Those pictures reminded us what a blast it was playing together again so decided to fire up Hogwild again only not just a one off, with a different approach. We decided to play some DIFFERENT tunes than we did 25 years ago. Songs we always wanted to play then but never did. We tried Doc Collins again but he was busy with his own blues band with his son. After
trying another drummer who was busy with other bands, Buck decided to combine his two bands, Sea of Glass and Hogwild, thus bringing guitarist Billy Ball and drummer Thumper McCartt into the fold and the new Hogwild was born.

Meanwhile, while the Hogwild thing was happening, I also discovered that my daughter, Caitlin had a beautiful singing voice. I was determined to get her some stage time and experience. So whatever band I was in, she would come and sit in and sing a few. Then we decided we could start our own little acoustic band with a couple guys from Leadfoot Johnny, guitarist Greg Thomas and drummer Randy Brock. Over a couple years, she kept progressing but we began to feel we wanted to get more pop-rock oriented, do more danceble material. I felt we needed to go electric and that we needed a keyboardist. So I went looking on craigslist for musicians. Thankfully my two Hogwild bandmates, Barry Elliott and Dave McCartt said they'd be down with it so all I had to find was a guitarist. Craigslist gave me one Brian Cunningham so I thought had everyone we needed. But then Brian and I started talking about how cool it would be to have TWO young talented, attractive girls up front and as fate would have it, he knew a girl. In steps one Jessica Monds whose voice couldn't have blended with Caitlin's any better. We rehearsed for a couple months and did the first Refranes gig with the new lineup at Jerzee's and it was a great success. Unfortunately, Brian felt he was too busy with other commitments to give The Refranes the time he thought we deserved. Fortunately, after a series of auditions, we ended up with a talented, (even if a little twisted) Andy McKeown now roaming the Refranes stage.

So come and check out the Refranes!

 Influences: Paul McCartney, John Entwhistle, Chris Squire, John Paul Jones, James Jamerson, Tommy Shannon, Jaco, Chuck Rainey, Randy Meisner, Flea, Les Claypool, Willie Dixon, Geddy Lee, Berry Oakley Jr.

Caitlin Janes - Lead Vocalist

Hi, I'm Caitlin Janes, lead vocalist for the Refranes. If you would have told me when I was a teenager that in a few years I would be fronting a cover band playing clubs and festivals, I never would have believed you. Of course, I always loved music because as I grew up it was everywhere in our house. My Dad was (and is) a working musician, so there was always lots of gear and musicians hanging around. I always loved to sing, just not in front of anybody. Way too shy. My parents finally talked me into singing "Angel From Montgomery" for them and they loved it. Step 1, I guess. It took awhile to get up enough nerve to sing in front of my boyfriend, and even longer to sing in front of a group of people. Dad and I started sitting around with the acoustic six string, working on tunes like "Fix You", "Son Of A Preacher Man", "Guilty" and others. At the time Dad's band was Leadfoot Johnny and on Sunday afternoons, they'd do an acoustic gig at Pirate's Cove in the Four Seasons Marina on the Ohio River. It was a light, loose atmosphere and Dad thought it would be a great opportunity to get me up there in front of people and sing a few. Fortunately, I had plenty of family and friends cheering me on and that definitely helped. I was sooooo nervous! But when I finished, I knew I'd found something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Later on Dad got a couple of his buddies (Greg Thomas on guitar & Randy Brock on drums) from Leadfoot Johnny to join a band that was eventually to be called Cait Janes and The Refranes. We kept it acoustic and low key and we did our first gig at HD Beans in Silverton back in 2010. It was fun and I was thrilled to have my own band and gigs but still had a long way to go as far as confidence. Dad assured me that these things take time and before too long, I actually started feeling comfortable on stage.

We decided later to form a more rocking cover band that did more danceable material, so Dad talked a couple of his bandmates from Hogwild, drummer Dave McCartt and keyboardist Barry Elliott into coming aboard. After a series of guitarists we finally found Andy McKeown who is awesome. And finally Alicia came along and I feel the Refranes are finally where we should be personnel wise. I truly love singing and of course being in a band with my Dad is great and we're all looking forward to the next gig. Come on out and check us out if you haven't already and come again if you have. See you at a show!

Alicia Kuzel - lead and back up vocalist

 

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