Romany Rye rocks the pub with new faces and songs

Lilly Necker / Sun Star Reporter
Oct. 18, 2011

Imagine you are passionate singer and songwriter from California, about to go on tour in Alaska for the first time ever and the band you usually play with drops out for a better paying gig. For some artists, the smart decision would be to just cancel the tour… but not for Luke MacMaster. The 30-year-old from the Sunshine State stuck to his plans to visit the Last Frontier. He played the campus pub on Oct. 14 with his self written mid-tempo rock, but not without having a little bit of luck.

Evan Phillips, from the Monolith Agency in Anchorage, who had asked MacMaster to come to Alaska, figured out a way to create a temporary band.

“I told Marty Severin who is the business manager in the agency and plays bass guitar in his band, The Jackriver Kings, about Luke and asked him if he can imagine playing this tour with him. He was totally down for it and so were the other two guys I called.” Phillips said. Phillips also plays guitar and sings in several bands.

The other guys are James Glaves, 29 year old e-guitar player in the psychedelic rock band Ghost hands and Derek Mangrobang, 24, who plays the drums and plays the guitar with Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles and the band Turquoise Boy. They all live in Anchorage and have known each other for a few years. They are all also experienced musicians.

“We know what we are doing on stage and we are putting our artistic bar high. We are not fucking around with it but taking it very seriously like Luke does too.” Phillips said.

“I didn’t think twice and I guess we all thought about it as a professional real deal opportunity!” Glaves said.

The group had five days to figure out how to play together.

“I super enjoyed those songs and especially the lyrics. And it’s quiet fascinating how fast they put them selves together in that short time,” Daniel Dickel, 24, said.

“I couldn’t count how many times I said to my friends ‘Oh my god, that band is so good!’ tonight, ” said Alice Williams, 26, who studies law enforcement. “They are much better then I expected them to be.”

MacMaster said he couldn’t have enjoyed the evening more.

“It was beautiful and the people are so great here,” MacMaster said. “Besides the fact that I wish I had a pub like that on my campus. I loved playing with the guys from Anchorage.”

Even though the Marty Severin,46, has lived in Alaska for 12 years now, he had never been to Fairbanks before.

“The sound people in this pub are amazing,” Severin said. “So good to play somewhere were people know what they are doing.”

The pub was filled for the performance at the end of the night the floor was packed with dancing people.

And even people who normally don’t listen to that kind of music were convinced by the end.

“It’s not my type of music at all but man, they are a tight band!” Nils Peterson, a 26-year-old biology student, said.

The new temporary version of Romany Rye will tour around Fairbanks during the next week and move on to perform in Anchorage for the last two days.

After that Luke MacMaster will go back to California to write more songs for his second album and Phillips, Severin, Glaves and Mangrobang will go back doing their regular bands.

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