In surprise to fans of the McLovins, the trio of music prodigies from Hartford, CT, the band announced today that Jeff Howard, guitarist known as AxLovin will be leaving the band following their December 30th show at Pearl Street in Northampton, MA. Jeff was one of the founding members of the group, which became an online sensation when they posted a basement cover of Phish’s ‘You Enjoy Myself’, played so well that the band quickly grew an online following and soon began playing shows as their tour allowed. Recent years have seen the trio perform at StrangeCreek, Gathering of the Vibes, numerous shows at Nectars in Burlington (where Phish got their start) and venues across New England and New York State.
On a personal note, it is sad to see Jeff leave the band he founded. When I first saw the video, I was in the midst of planning the book release party for PhanArt at Revolution Hall in Troy. With Phish cover band The Flow, from Long Island, slated to play the show, I inquired about having The McLovins open for them. Greg Bell handled everything and they opened up the show, with Jeff, Jason and Jake giving an all instrumental performance for the 200+ in attendance. With Jake unable to sing due to a passing cold, the three members stuck to their instruments and played their first set outside of Connecticut. Playing Oye Como Va, Caravan, Birdland, Cissy Strut, Cliff of Dover, originals Purple Trees and Guillotine Machine and a set ending You Enjoy Myself, the audience was enthralled and the possibilities for this trio became endless. Having seen the band grow from Internet sensation to bona fide jamband has been quite a ride.
Upstate Live Music Guide wishes Jeff the best in the future and looks forward to seeing The McLovins new lineup performing across New York in the coming year.
Statement from The McLovins, 12/17/11
The McLovins Announce Changes for 2012
Citing the need to focus more on school and other interests, Jeff Howard, the beloved guitarist for The McLovins, will be leaving the band following their December 30th Pearl Street performance. We are sad to see our close friend and bandmate, Jeffrey, leave. He is a truly remarkable guitarist and has been an integral part of an extraordinary journey that the McLovins embarked on three years ago. We will always share incredible memories of that journey, and we want to sincerely thank Jeffrey and wish him all the best in the future.
As The McLovins move forward, we are also excited about our new lineup for the band. Beginning December 31, the McLovins will evolve into a four member group. Seasoned guitarists Justin Berger, originally from Philadelphia, and Atticus Kelley, from New Britain, Connecticut, will join the band, bringing with them significant performance experience. Justin, who has played with bands in the Philadelphia area, is currently at the Hartt School of Music and will also be sharing singing with us on stage. Atticus, a multi-instrumentalist, is a studying at the Hartt School as well and will also add singing depth to the group.
The band is so thankful for the love and support from the McLovins families, fans and friends who have helped to bring us to this point in just three short but amazing years. We look forward to continuing our journey, seeking venues beyond our New England base and great opportunities in 2012.
Happy Holidays and Peace to You All,