The Badlees reunite for inaugural Pittston Prohibition on Sept. 19
From a press release:
It has been eight years since local legends The Badlees performed a full set with their entire lineup, so anticipation is building for a brand new event that will reunite the Selinsgrove roots rock band.
The inaugural Pittston Prohibition will poke fun at its playful name by bringing all kinds of local beer, wine, spirits, and cider to the upper and lower Tomato Festival parking lots on South Main Street on Sunday, Sept. 19 from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Susquehanna Brewing Company (from Pittston), Groove Brewing (Scranton), Five Mountain Brewing Company (Shickshinny), Bartolai Winery (Dallas), Talerico’s Tropical Winery (Taylor), Lucchi Family Wine Cellars (Scranton), Barnyard Cidery (Clarks Summit), LBC Distillery (Nanticoke), and Holy Ghost Distillery (White Haven) will be serving drinks alongside food trucks and other vendors.
Events start at 11 a.m. with the NEPA Cornhole tournaments, and The Badlees will take the stage from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. A rain date is set for Sept. 26.
Advance tickets, which are $15 for regular admission (includes $5 token for one drink or food item) and $10 for designated drivers, are on sale now at downtownpittston.com. Prices go up to $20/$15 on the day of this 21+ event.
Participation in the cornhole games, which is $25 per player and $50 for teams who pre-register, grants free access to the event but doesn’t include a free drink token. Learn more at nepacornhole.com.
On July 1, The Badlees played a few songs together to celebrate their induction into the Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame with several other area artists like Halestorm. The organization noted that, in the 1990s, the band “served as the heartbeat of roots rock” for Central and Northeastern Pennsylvania with influential music, national hit singles, and their work with fellow local artists. This elevated status has clearly never dwindled in the region.
The Badlees created and performed original rock music since 1990. Pete Palladino (vocals), Bret Alexander (guitar), Paul Smith (bass), Jeff Feltenberger (guitar), and Ron Simasek (drums) joined forces decades ago after a few happenstance introductions that, some would say, were driven by destiny. In 2009, guitarist Dustin Drevitch and violinist Nyke Van Wyk joined the band. Individually, the members are very different on many levels, each coming to the table with unique personalities and musical influences. However, these differences are why The Badlees worked in the first place and survived ups and downs in the ever-changing music industry, releasing several independent albums and achieving national success with their 1995 album “River Songs.”
“River Songs” was released on their indie label Rite-Off Records and sold over 10,000 units before being picked up by national label Polydor/Atlas. The album was re-released across the country in October of 1995 and spawned three national hits – “Fear of Falling,” “Angeline Is Coming Home,” and “Gwendolyn.”
In 1998, after recording a follow-up album, Polydor/Atlas was sold to the Seagram Corporation, which delayed the release of the album and eventually led to The Badlees being dropped from the roster. They continued to perform and produce albums independently, ignoring trends and making great music regardless of what was in vogue at the time. Wrapping complex, thought-provoking lyrics in the rock band format was The Badlees’ secret sauce, garnering radio hits, critical acclaim, and a fervent fan base.
In 2013, they released their 10th studio album, “Epiphones and Empty Rooms,” a double-disc release highlighting the band’s complex duality. In 2014, Alexander and Smith left the band and the remaining members played The Badlees’ final shows with special guests.
Despite their differences, The Badlees and its individual members have inspired, mentored, advised, produced, and performed with many artists throughout the Pennsylvania music scene, cementing their legacy for generations to come.
Photo by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene