Though they are family now, Pawnshop Roses were four strangers who came together for the purpose of making good music and having a good time doing so.
Years ago, singer and primary songwriter Paul Keen discovered MTV and Oasis and began teaching himself how to play on his mother’s old acoustic guitar. With his new found passion and armed with a head full of songs he dove into the scene looking for right people to play his songs.
Fast-forward a few years later and Keen forms Pawnshop Roses with Kevin Bentley and Justin Monteleone whom he met through a “musicians wanted” ad. Both Kevin and Justin are versatile instrumentalists who function as guitar players, bass players and vocalists in the band. Percussionist/vocalist Rich Fogg is the most recent member to join and has added much to their sound with his harmonies and driving drums.
Despite a few line-up changes in the early years, the band is solidified and has become a well oiled live act, performing hundreds of shows a year. And with a sound that could have come from a jam session between Hank Williams, the Rolling stones and the Replacements, the band has built a fan base that craves it’s electric all-out rock shows as much as they appreciate the band’s stripped down unplugged sets that showcase the organic songwriting at the heart of their music.
In 2004 the band released its first EP “Dead Man’s Radio” taken from a line in Keen’s song “Here We Go,” and sold out its first few pressings rather quickly due to a solid following and grass roots marketing.
In 2005 they were selected out of hundreds of bands by legendary Philly radio station WMMR to open for Velvet Revolver and Hoobastank. WMMR (heard in PA, NJ and DE) has graciously helped the band by frequently playing their song “Fading Out” having them perform on-air and promoting their shows.
2006 started out like any other year for PSR, and saw the band writing songs, being broke and playing lots of shows. However, the band got an early Christmas present when they were informed they won the YouTube Underground Video contest for Best Live Video for their video of “Gets so Hard” from their forthcoming Live DVD (coming winter 2007). As a result of the win, the band appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to millions of viewers and has since gone to do interviews with Relix magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer and Time Magazine to name a few. Recently the guys also played live on the local NBC and CBS morning shows continuing to get to their music out to new audiences.
After months of negotiations the band signed with Earvolution Records, a small indie label that shares the same ideas and visions as the band. The band is currently working on their first full length album to be released in early 2007 and it promises to be full of heartache, hangovers and hell fire.