Train Company: Live Hot Fun

I’d love to define Train Company with a neat label that encompasses their sound, but it’s impossible. Blues rock, yes they are that. Indie rock, that too. Jazzy nightclub seduction, yes. Gritty rock, progressive rock, they are these too. They are a rhythm even non-dancers can’t resist, a contagious joy, with sex appeal that ranges from raw lust to sweet love. They might be who you want to see if you’re “lookin’ for some change.”
 
I had the lucky pleasure of seeing them live in a small, local venue recently. If I loved their studio sound on Remains of an Effort, my love doubled on seeing them live. This band meshes. Young and energetic and in it for love, they play like seasoned veterans having loads of fun. I was astounded. I was snared.
 
Train Company is a band that understands layers and the power of subtle nuance. They know just when to hold back and when to pull out all stops and crash together. They are five guys feeding off each other’s mood and direction in the intricate building of a song.
 
Keyboardist Sam Wyatt taps tempos and crescendos from elegant to joyfully wild, as saxophonist Mark Alletag blows svelte seduction or a playful bounce; bassist Mike DeWitt tantalizes with rhythms that fix in our stomachs, as drummer Rob Lejman controls us with his steady beating or, with expert elation, rolls everything out. The band builds tension as they hold the song together, and singer/guitarist John Zozzaro buoyed on it all, responds to what he feels, tickling up a melody, luring us around corners, seducing us with a bluesy lust, or pounding a dynamic rhythm that lifts us off our feet.
 
The music drives forward, until suddenly all those separate sounds coalesce. The instruments quicken, each raising the other, and suddenly a wash of sound envelops the room. Zozzaro wails with a voice of silken seduction, rich and smooth, and guttural when need be. You’ve no choice but to relinquish, to give in to the ecstasy of release.
 
In this tiny venue, Train Company played all my favorites (do I have any that aren’t favorites?), and I don’t even know how many times the band hit transcendence. Always in “City Down by the Shoreline,” which is a fine example of their building mesh of sound, and the live version of “Other Side” caused universes to whirl and crash together. In the bluesy, beautiful “Change,” from their EP, guitars and lyrics built to climactic release, as Zozzaro sang, “Doesn’t matter anyway, ’cause we’re going whether or not …” and the audience relinquished to his own beautiful succumbing to the life he depicts.
 
A magnetic performer, Zozzaro’s vocals sometimes bubble up inside us, making the audience smile. “Bannister” had the room dancing—the sweetest sexy song I’ve heard in a long time—while “Step to Me” brings out the low and dirty, a band at work together to create raw, sensuous need.
 
I hadn’t realized how hot and sexy Train Company’s music is because it’s also filled with light, boisterous living. I don’t dance, but hearing them live, my body couldn’t resist their rhythmic undulations. “Still Can Feel the Heat” and “Myself in Two” blended assertion and nonchalance with intriguing appeal. “Leavin’” felt like the aftermath of a final night of sex and the thrill of new adventure. “October” was a beautiful testament to the band’s fearless experimentation and talent. They play with the history of rock in their genes, yet know how to make it new.
 
When Train Company plays, you see their songs taking over, how their stances alter, pulling them higher, as if the music is coming up through the floor, transporting them. Witnessing that kind of art is the greatest pleasure: immersion, surrender, and release.
 
At one point in that tiny venue, I looked around at the audience. I saw people smiling, dancing, and jumping to the energy, and one woman in a long, loose dress swayed sensuously, her hands resting on her front thighs getting lost in the sensuality of Train Company’s sound. Playful, hard, and happy; seductive, sensual, and heated. There were times I couldn’t contain my smile and other times when the sensuality had me wanting to sway like her, biting my lip instead.
 

Was it the intimate setting? I don’t know, but it was getting hot in there. 

You can hear Remains of an Effort on the Train Company website. 

Upcoming shows include

SUN 16 FEBRUARY
Kiss The Sky Batavia, IL, US
with Beco
 

FRI 21 FEBRUARY
Radio Radio Indianapolis, IN, US
with Jon Strahl Band and Jeremy Vogt Band
 

SAT 22 MARCH
Metro Chicago, IL, US
with Zaramela
 

MON 24 MARCH
FooBAR Nashville, TN, US
with Year of October
 

TUE 25 MARCH
Bottletree Cafe Birmingham, AL, US
 

WED 26 MARCH
Awendaw Green Awendaw, SC, US
F

THU 27 MARCH
The Millroom Asheville, NC, US
 

FRI 28 MARCH
Tidballs Bowling Green, KY, US
with Fat Box
 

SAT 29 MARCH
Mousetrap Indianapolis, IN, US
with bleedingkeys

Five-Star Review for Vampire Novel

Tom Olbert gives a five-star-review to the vampire novel Beside the Darker Shore.

 

“Esposito has a vivid and delicious power of imagery reminiscent of Ray Bradbury; every dewdrop sliding off every blade of grass and the crackle of every autumn leaf resonates in a narrative that flows like sweet, dark wine. The story takes us from the streets, harbor-side parks and alleyways of Boston to the villas and forests of Spain in a tale of political ambition, moral conflict, love and insatiable animal passion.”

 

“Complex and unpredictable, this one will keep you guessing, like an on-going nightmare landscape of sultry silver moonlight. Go buy this one.”

 

Read the full review on Goodreads!

 

 

 

 

[Author’s note: The review is so beautifully written, and I’ve found the author has many of his own works out. You might like to check those out too! I know I’m going to.]

Watching the World Fall in Love—with Train Company

Eavesdropping can sometimes lead to beautiful things. I was in a Starbucks, and the boisterous baristas were talking about a band, a local band I’d never heard of. I like music; I like to support local artists. I thought I’d go home and check out this band called Train Company. Odd name. I expected something maybe fun, a young group feeling their way into music, what we expect at a local level. I got something entirely different. 

Their website offered the entire album for play. I played it. I played it again. I bought it and played it every day for the next eight months. Call me obsessed: I fell in love. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t listen to them.

I’d love to define Train Company with a neat label that encompasses their sound, but it’s impossible. Blues rock, yes they are that. Indie rock, that too. Jazzy nightclub seduction, yes. Hard, anthemic rock, progressive rock, they have these too. They are a rhythm even non-dancers can’t resist, a contagious joy, with sex appeal that ranges from raw lust to sweet love. This band brings you life.

I had the lucky pleasure to see them live in a small, local venue, The Office in Batavia, IL. If I loved their studio sound, my love doubled on seeing them live. This band meshes. Young and energetic and in it for love, they play together like seasoned veterans. I was astounded. 

Train Company is a band that understands layers, the power of subtle nuance. They know just when to hold back and when to pull out all stops and crash together. They are five guys feeding off each other’s mood and direction, building intricately as keyboardist Sam Wyatt taps tempos and crescendos from elegant to joyfully wild, as saxophonist Mark Alletag blows svelte seduction or a playful bounce, as bassist Mike DeWitt tantalizes with rhythms that fix in our stomachs, as drummer Rob Lejman controls us with a steady beating or with expert elation rolls everything out. The band builds tension as they hold the song together, and singer/guitarist John Zozzaro buoyed on it all, responds to what he feels, tickling up a melody, luring us around corners, or pounding a dynamic rhythm.

The music drives forward, until suddenly all those separate sounds coalesce. The instruments quicken, each raising the other, and suddenly a wash of sound envelops the room. Zozzaro wails with a voice of silken seduction, rich and smooth, and guttural when need be. You’ve no choice but to relinquish, to give in to the ecstasy of release.

In this tiny venue, Train Company played all my favorites (do I have any that aren’t favorites?), and I don’t even know how many times the band hit transcendence. Always in “City Down by the Shoreline,” which is a fine example of their building mesh of sound, and the live version of “Other Side” caused the universe to crash and whirl together. In the bluesy, beautiful “Change,” guitars and lyrics built to climactic release, as Zozzaro sang, “Doesn’t matter anyway, ‘cause we’re going whether or not …” and the audience relinquished to his own beautiful succumbing to the life he depicts. A magnetic performer, Zozzaro’s songs sometimes bubble up inside us, making the audience smile. “Bannister” had the room dancing, the sweetest sexy song I’ve heard in a long time, while “Step to Me” brought out the low and dirty, a band at work together to create raw, sensuous need.

I hadn’t realized how hot and sexy Train Company’s music is because it’s also filled with light, boisterous living. I don’t dance, but hearing them live, my body couldn’t resist their rhythmic undulations. “Still Can Feel the Heat” and “Myself in Two” blended assertion and nonchalance with intriguing appeal. “Leavin’” felt like the aftermath of a final night of sex and the thrill of new adventure. “October” was a beautiful testament to the band’s fearless experimentation and talent. They play with the history of rock in their genes, yet know how to make it new.

They are a band that makes songs come alive. You see the sound taking them, how as they play along with each other, their stances alter, pulling them higher, as if the music is coming up through the floor, taking over, transporting them. Witnessing that kind of art is the greatest pleasure: immersion, surrender, and release.

At one point in that tiny venue, I looked around at the audience. I saw people smiling, dancing, or jumping to the energy, and one woman in a long, loose dress who swayed sensuously, her hands resting on her front thighs getting lost in the sensuality of Train Company’s sound. Playful, hard, and happy; seductive, sensual, and heated. There were times I couldn’t contain my smile and other times when the sensuality had me wanting to sway like her, biting my lip instead. Was it the intimate setting? I don’t know, but it was getting hot in there.

You can get a taste of them here

Five-star review for vampire novel

Five-star review of Beside the Darker Shore

Excerpt:

“Beside the Darker Shore is different. It is not your usual vampire tale. There is no sex in the book, per se, but it is one of the most powerfully sensual books I have read. When humans offer their blood to vampires, the eroticism of the bloodletting has no need for sex. When Stephen is in the throes of his addiction for donating, he is lost to everything but that act in that moment. Ms. Esposito beautifully conveys the addiction and the yearning for the giving through her words…I liked the characters. While there are villains in Beside the Darker Shore, they are not the stereotypical villains of vampire novels…I hope Ms. Esposito is planning a sequel or prequel. There are many unanswered questions and these are characters that have not left my mind since I finished the book.”

 

 

Available at the publisher Eternal Press or all major booksellers 

A seduction

Vampires. They tickle and tease the neck’s quivering willingness. From the peach tree, ripe fruit drops to the grassy hillside. Her skin peach under his cool lips…waits, tender and ready to be pricked. Full-leafed branches rustle and sway in a trembling wind. It shivers up her body as she tilts into his grip. A rain of ready fruit drums to earth, thunder in her gut, blood engulfed, swollen and ready to pour.

More vampire writings at

http://www.amazon.com/Beside-the-Darker-Shore-ebook/dp/B005BENI5E

Vampires and the Sensual Awakening

I’m no longer sure there is an appeal to vampires that’s any different from the appeal of pirates or cowboys/girls or folks in uniform or witches and warlocks.

One reader says it’s the heightened senses conveyed in stories about vampires, another says it’s the bad boy allure, another says it’s the protective strength, and still more call it the aspect of danger or the tortured soul or the gift of eternity.

Couldn’t most of these be applied to any antihero? Someone who is set apart whether by job or by general essence. There is something different about them. A challenge to the norm. We have to step out of ourselves and what we know, take a chance, risk.

I don’t think the desire to take a risk is the same as liking the “bad boy” or “bad girl.” Look how many have fallen in love with the good vampires of Twilight. But they do offer something different.

So, if the appeal of antiheroes is fairly universal, then why does one reader choose vampires and another pirates? I wonder if it reverts back to our first awakenings of sensuality or first taste of adventure.

My older sister had me watch Christopher Lee when I was fairly young. I saw something I’d never seen before. I saw a man bending over a woman who leaned her head back willingly, opening her neck to his lips. I saw something in their eyes that I’d never seen in kid-TV. Sensuality. Heightened pleasure. It looked a little dangerous but irresistible. A bit like sex.

For someone else, it might have been the cowboy sweeping the wild-haired woman up onto his horse. Or maybe that look on the pirate’s face when he saw the reward of his travels: adventure. Our first taste of something new that set the adrenaline pumping and imprinted in our memory.

Stories imprint in our memory. Reading is sometimes about learning and sometimes about adventure, often both. Our peculiar passions are part of our growth.

Just as vampires have grown into our culture, the thing of the night, night’s potential. They will always be here, just as the antiheroes will always appeal, in whatever dress they wear.

Something different, something to take us out of ourselves, a step away from safety, with the promise of adventure, the promise of good or wicked pleasure.

Truth and Beauty, Beauty and Truth

The ten most beautiful women. The ten most beautiful men. We jump to leaf through the list, knowing amid the ten, there might be one on which we agree. Oh, the others might be appealing, might have features we appreciate, but are they the epitome of beauty? Sometimes only one, sometimes none really stand out for any given person. Who is top on your list?

 

For that matter, what natural wonders of the world are the most beautiful? Is a beach sunset the purest beauty or a mountain peak sun-glistened? If we disagree on what is most beautiful, is beauty subjective? Or is it objective, with one true definition?

 

When in mathematics, a theory is defined in the perfect equation, simple, accurate, absolute, it is often called beautiful. In chemistry, the blending of compounds is sometimes called a beautiful synthesis. Is it true what Keats said in his poem? Beauty is truth, truth is beauty?

 

While looking at life events, recording memories, creating sketches of people I see, and responding to things I hear or read, I hope to look at all life’s seductions, the things that spark us, that stand out as real, as beautiful in one way or another. I believe that something in our subconscious responds to equations of truth, the world when it shows us true grace.