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Danbury Band Rocks Out With Crowdfunding Effort

Danbury-based Phoenix Tree is comprised of musicians from all over Fairfield County.
Danbury-based Phoenix Tree is comprised of musicians from all over Fairfield County. Photo Credit: Submitted

DANBURY, Conn. -- Dave Bonan of Danbury-based Phoenix Tree, credits the group's longevity -- the band celebrated 10 years in February -- to its musical evolution.

In other words, explained Bonan: "We're a lot louder and experimental these days, and are versatile in that not only are we a quintet for large venues, but we also perform as a quartet, trio and duo depending on the space."

Every member of the band -- Fishkill resident Dan O'Connor (guitar, vocals), Justin Virga (guitar, vocals, glockenspiel) originally from Bridgewater/Danbury, now living in Washington, Conn., Hector O.K. Jimenez (bass vocals), a resident of Bethel, Danbury resident Bonan (percussion) and Jan Jurgielewicz IV (drums) who grew up in Redding/Monroe and now lives in Stratford -- has played in other outfits. All have extensive musical backgrounds and do this in addition to their day jobs, which range from the creative, entertainment and retail fields.

"Phoenix Tree has no one leader or ego, explained Bonan. "We play to each other and to the audience and let the music build layers."

The group performs throughout Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven Counties as well as the Hudson Valley, Westchester and Manhattan.

Aside from celebrating a decade of business, the band has started a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising funds for a new studio album. The campaign, their first, launches Saturday, June 25 at 8 a.m. via Indiegogo and will last two months.

Folks who contribute, said Bonan, will receive a variety of "amazing and creative perks for every level they donate."

Bonan said he and the other bandmembers felt it was time for something fresh and new. "We had a very old EP and a live CD ["The Legend of Smoky Johnson and the Melted Wax Creature"] but those two featured our old drummers," he said. "We realized it was time to create a high quality studio mix, given that all five of us are playing at the top of our game."

The goal? To record at Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport.

The band is all about keeping it local. Its first performance, in fact, was at Molten Java in Bethel in 2006. "Folks shouldn't forget about their indie music scenes," stressed Bonan. "Danbury's has been a fiercely indie and eclectic one since the late 80s."

Go to www.phoenixtreemusic.com/ for more information. To donate to the crowdfunding site, go to https://igg.me/at/phoenixtreealbum for the crowdfunding site.

Upcoming shows include The Fez in Stamford July 2, Note Kitchen & Bar in Bethel July 22, Billy Beans Pub in Danbury July 23 or Georgetown Saloon in Redding on July 30.

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