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Round 4, Week 3: Steel Keys & Brass vs. Host Echo

Congratulations to our Round 4, Week 2 winners: Shapes of States!

Congratulations to to Shapes of States! They collected the most votes in our online Battle of Original Music this past week.

This week features two more of the best original acts that have thus far submitted a photo, an original mp3, and filled out our rigorous questionnaire. Check out their sound below and cast a vote for the act you prefer. Each week, the popular online vote decides who proceeds to the next live show (Saturday, April 9 at Nietzsche’s) where four acts will square off in a no-holds-barred extravaganza of local original music.

That night at Nietzsche’s (21+), each audience member will be given one ballot on which to cast his or her vote for his or her favorite band. At the end of the night, when the tally is completed, only one will have won the right to perform in the Artvoice BOOM Grand Finale—the battle royale, winner-take-all live blowout where one talented act will walk away with unspeakable prizes, a handsome wad of cash, and the eternal privilege to proclaim themselves Artvoice BOOM Grand Champions!

This week, we give you Host Echo and Steel Keys & Brass. Take a moment to meet them and listen to them on this page. Finally, cast ONE vote for the one you like best. Through the magic of the digital age, we will tabulate the voting and announce this week’s winner on-line and in next week’s print edition.

A word of warning however: Bands attempting to stuff the ballot by submitting multiple votes will be rooted out using the most sophisticated intelligence software available on the black market. (Well, okay, that’s a bluff, but if you try to fool our IT guy you will be caught. Just ask the FBI…he’s that good. And if that happens, you will be disqualified with nowhere to appeal our decision.)

If you're in a band and would like to enter BOOM for a shot at the $5,000 grand prize, visit to find out how. Only two slots remain before our next live show, and a chance at the grand finale! In the meantime, check out this week’s contestants, and may the best act win.

Steel Keys & Brass

Host Echo

You must have the latest Adobe Flash Player installed to listen to the BOOM! contestants.

You must have the latest Adobe Flash Player installed to listen to the BOOM! contestants.

When/where did the band form? In the late winter of 2009, Nik Kryder (6 and 12 string guitars) and Mike Wallace (vocals, saxophone, piano) got together a few songs and played a few small bars and lounges in their suburban town. In the late winter of 2010, Nik and Mike shared the stage with Corey “Wombat” Rost (bass, mandolin) and CJ Ahrens (percussion, drums), playing at clubs and festivals in and around Greater Buffalo.

You might like us if you like: John Fahey, Tool, Pearl Jam, Miles Davis, Buck 65

Best show played: At DBGB’s a few weeks ago, our first set was frustrating because we couldn’t hear the guitar in the monitors. CJ started the second set with the most intense drum solo I’ve ever heard from the man, and that ferocious energy carried the rest of the show.

Why you should win the Online Battle of Original Music: Steel Keys & Brass has such a wide array of influences such as jazz, bluegrass, roots rock, hip-hop, psychedelic pop, etc. and all four members come from different musical backgrounds (trained in classical guitar to studying jazz at UVM to singing musicals on stage to simply rocking out on the drums daily). Our sound has evolved from jazz-pop to balls to floor rock’n’roll to progressive bluegrass-jazz; and with growth that comes with each new song written, we carry on that which we learned about our sound, or least at the sound we are able to create, into the music we make in the future.


When/where did the band form?Host Echo was originally founded in 2003. The current line-up formed in October of 2010.

You might like us if you like: The Moody Blues, The Doors, Jamiroquai, Fiona Apple. Multi-genre eclectic fusion.

Why you should win the Online Battle of Original Music: Host Echo deserves to win BOOM! because they love you.


Polls are closed for this pair of bands!
Visit the BOOM homepage for results and current contestants.

What did you think of this week's contestants? Feel free to discuss below - please keep it friendly - and remember, posting a comment in favor of a band doesn't count as a vote. Use the link above to cast your vote!

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