JAN. 2, 2019
Happy New Year, kids!
Lots of cool things in store for 2019, including shows across the Midwest, South and East Coast; a trip back to the studio with a new record coming later in the year; and a couple cool surprises to whet yer musical (and literary...wink, wink) appetites in between.
As for 2018, thanks to all our fans who listened to us, all the clubs who booked us, the radio stations who played us (well, played our music...), and the writers who wrote things about us.
With the release of We're Sorry... in late '17, the "Colorardo Avenue" single reaching #17 on the Triple-A Top 20, the album reaching the Top 200 on the national Triple-A, AMA and FMQB charts; our cover of The Jam's "Going Underground" landing at #3 on 91.3 The Summit in Akron's Top 33 local spins in 2018; a bad-ass video for "Colorado.." shot by the indomitable Mr. Benjamin Lehman and released in April; and the release of our first holiday single, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (so stop calling me Bruce...)" to close out the year, I'd say we had us a pretty good run.
Here's to doing it once more - with feeling - this year. Cheers, babies!
Dec. 19, 2018
Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates new holiday single, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," is out now - (click the link to hear it) and spinning on 91.3 - FM The Summit in Akron; 89.3- FM WCSB in Cleveland; and 90.7-FM WKTL-FM in Youngstown/Struthers, Ohio. The song appears on the Good Intentions Foundation/Audioworks Media album, "Christmas Memories: Vol. 2," with proceeds benefiting Akron Children's Hospital and other local charities. Ho, ho, ho, chillun!
Oct. 4, 2018
And then there were fireworks...Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates live 10/6/18 @ Norton Cider Fest. Read all about it... Stay tuned for more info on Fall 2018/early 2019 tour dates and brand new recorded things - coming soon!
April 26, 2018
Brian Lisik talks to The Youngstown Vindicator and the Warren Tribune Chronicle about his new album, flying solo, and life after elbow surgery ahead of his 4/28 appearance at RISER Tavern in Boardman, Ohio.
April 13, 2018
Brian Lisik talks writing and rock-n-roll with the Record Courier ahead of his PenOhio tour stop at Kent State University April 14.
April 10, 2018
March 9, 2018
Tune in to WFIV-FM in Knoxville, Tn. at 9 a.m. March 10 to catch Brian Lisik's Feb. 8 in-studio interview with Kristine Kinsey, wherein topics from songs off the new Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates album, We're Sorry..., to the best (and worst) hair metal bands of the '80s just might get discussed...ad nauseam, in fact. Listen live at www.myi105.com or via your smartphone TuneIn app. (whatever that means).
March 2, 2018
Brian Lisik will be kicking off a tour of colleges across Ohio this month (see the"shows" page for the full schedule) as a special guest performer at the 2018 Pen Ohio high school and middle school creative writing tournament. The sets will include songs from Lisik's five albums and a Q&A with students about starting and maintaining a career as a professional writer, performer and recording artist. Other guest Pen Ohio 2018 guest speakers include critically acclaimed author and activist, D. Watkins ; Newbery Award winning author, Jack Gantos; and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, Connie Schultz.
Feb. 7, 2018
Brian Lisik, with Waylon Payne and Wade Bowen, will be appearing at 12 p.m. (CST) Feb. 9 on WMOT - FM, Nashville's "Finally Friday" show, part of a quick two-day radio promo junket Feb. 8 and 9 in Knoxville and Nashville. Be sure to tune in to Roots Radio at WMOT.org.
Jan. 31, 2018 - Filming of the music video for the latest Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates single, "Colorado Avenue" with the indomitable Mr. Benjamin Lehman (who, not so incidentally was the man behind the camera for the "Jan. 13" vid)is currently underway in a series of diners and cornfields throughout greater-Medina County, Ohio. Meanwhile, the new album, We're Sorry... is getting spins at more than 20 AAA and Americana stations across the U.S. and Brian is scheduled to appear on WDVX (89.9 FM, Knoxville, Tn.)'s Blue Plate Special show at 11 a.m. Feb. 8; at 2 p.m. Feb. 8 on WFIV (105.3 FM, Knoxville, Tn.)and on WMOT (89.5 FM, Nashville, Tn.) Feb. 9. That is all for now kids - check back and stay tuned for more coming soon. Cheers!
Dec. 7, 2017 - Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates on Goldmine (Magazine) Radio:
Nov. 17, 2017 - Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates reviewed in Absolute Power Pop (absolutely cool!) :
Brian Lisik & The Unfortunates-We're Sorry... I've had this Akron band on my radar since Brian Lisik's solo album in 2012 and with We're Sorry... Lisik & The Unfortunates have released their most realized collection of tunes. In fact this album may be the Replacements record you've been waiting for since Pleased to Meet Me (or at least Don't Tell a Soul).
From its title (which recalls Sorry Ma...) to its shambolic-but-melodic sound, 'Mats fans and fans of rocking power pop in general will enjoy this album. "Don't Like Nobody" captures the Westerbergian outlook on life, while the gender-bending "Bye Bi Love" might be the spiritual successor to "Androgynous".
Elsewhere, "Heart a Hand" recalls Westerberg's gift for metaphor and wordplay and "Indescribable" is a smoky barroom ballad in the vein of "Here Comes a Regular".
Now all they need is a drunken appearance on Saturday Night Live.
Sept. 19, 2017 - Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates in Seattle Post-Intelligencer -
Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates bring a new set of guitar-rock tracks with We're Sorry.. Straight-ahead but rough-edged and with quirky lyrics, the songs are self-aware with a sometimes tongue-in-cheek attitude but nonetheless soaked in real feeling.
The artistic voice is consistent even as the style varies, from the garage-punk of "Another Friday Night" and "The Meat Locker" and the wry sexuality of "Bye Bi Love" to the small-town lament of "Hey Zelienople!," the '70s-summery sheen of "IDKWTIC," and "Feudal Nights" with its Jackson Browne/BTO flavor.
Lisik's voice has taken on even more of his habitual heart-on-sleeve honesty, evoking the early Bruce Springsteen as he piles on the syllables like the sun's about to go down forever in "Heart a Hand."
Acoustic songs towards the end of the album showcase the more vulnerable side of his sensibility, along with more of the arch humor. A plea, a snarl, the occasional whine, all called forth from a fully seasoned and mastered vocal instrument.
We're Sorry... is nothing for Lisik to be sorry about, nor for his excellent band of backing musicians, featuring especially inspiring piano work from Tim Longfellow.
Brian Lisik appears live on WAPS 91.3 The Summit in Akron, Sept. 13, 2017 -
Sept. 13, 2017 - Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates in Cool Cleveland -
Akron Rocker Brian Lisik Releases His Latest Album at Jilly’s
Akron-born Brian Lisik has been kicking around northeast Ohio’s music scene for about two decades, initially with the indie rock band the Giants of Science, inspired by groups like Cincinnati’s Afghan Whigs and Soul Asylum. When that band broke up in the early 00s, Lisik struck out on his own, releasing his first solo album Baggage in 2004.
Three more albums have followed over the years, gaining him attention for his increasingly skillful songwriting and the unbridled passion of his vocals. Now his band Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates are ready to drop another one titled We’re Sorry..., following the recent release of a single “Feudal Nights.” The 13-track album has been described as “an offering of good ole heartland rock and roll that’ll remind you why you fell in love with rock in the first place.”
Sept. 12, 2017 - Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates in the Akron Beacon Journal:
Brian Lisik is ‘Sorry’
Akron singer/songwriter Brian Lisik and his band, the Unfortunates, will celebrate the release of their latest audio magnum opus, We’re Sorry, Thursday night with a show at Jilly’s Music Room in Akron.
The album is another dependable collection of adult heartland rock ’n’ roll; no genre hybrids, no attempts to find a place in whatever the pop landscape zeitgeist might be this month. Recorded at the Pie Factory in Barberton, it sounds as if it had been tracked live with all the warts, mistakes, false starts and in-jokes that are part of its charms.
We’re Sorry is also a bit looser and louder than the band’s 2015 album Curtisinterruptedus, with plenty of ramshackle guitar stabs and good, old-school rollickin’ piano, in mostly sub-four-minute tunes that get in, punch you directly in the ear and get out.
The lead single is "Feudal Nights," a boilerplate example of Lisik’s seemingly easy way with a catchy vocal melody and a rockin’ chorus, and is getting airplay on 91.3 The Summit. Hard-rocking tunes such as the Motorhead-inspired "Another Friday Night" and the adrenalized, punk-infused, album-closing stomper "Meat Locker/Shumpert’s Head" might surprise a few fans with their relatively wild abandon.
Lisik’s raspy vocals and passionate exhortations occasionally recall John Mellencamp but with less of the self-seriousness, evidenced by song titles that include the vaguely R&B-ish "Idkwtic (I Don’t Know What This Is Called)," and the acoustic and slide guitar-laced "The Song Remains Unnamed."
Onstage, the songs will likely be a bit sweatier and the folksier tunes will rock a bit harder.
- Malcolm Abram
Sept. 8, 2017 - Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates in Cleveland Scene -
No Apologies: Singer- songwriter Brian Lisik returns with raucous new album
Lisik recorded (We’re Sorry…) over six days at the former Gardner Pie Company factory (a space that also doubles as a scuba diving training facility and occasional rehearsal space for Black Keys’ guitarist Dan Auerbach). “Another Friday Night," which he recorded on the first anniversary of the death of frontman Lemmy Kilmister, features a Ray Flanagan guitar solo and serves as a tribute to the hard rock hero.
*Album opener, "Hey Zelienople!" features piano and howling vocals and comes off like Wilco on steroids as Lisik embraces the gritty side of his sound.
“People tend to forget that I started out in sweaty, loud, mostly out of tune rock bands – and live at least, I haven’t really evolved all that much, truth be told,” Lisik says in a press release announcing the album's release. “I find a lot of artists write to escape who they know they are – and maybe don’t like. I’ve always used it to figure out who I am. And I’m kind of starting to like the guy.”
As for album title, Lisik says he didn't give it a ton of thought.
“We had a lot of titles for this album, but the right one always seems to kind of fall out of the air when it needs to,” he says. “So the title, I guess, says, ‘We’re sorry if this sucks, but then again, if you don’t like it, we’re sorry — that’s all you get.'”
- Jeff Neisel
(* appears in print version only)
Sept. 7, 2017 - Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates single, "Feudal Nights," featured in Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine's Sept. 2017 Trail Mix with new releases from Josh Ritter, Charlie Parr, Jesse Terry and (hell yes!) The Flamin' Groovies. Enjoy kiddies! http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/trail-mix/trail-mix-september-2017/
Aug. 28, 2017 - East of 8th (Nashville) Exclusive Premier of "Hey Zelienople!"/Brian Lisik interview discussing We're Sorry...
Ohio-based rock outfit Brian Lisik and The Unfortunates will release their new album, We’re Sorry, on September 15th.
Recorded in a whirlwind six days inside the former Gardner Pie Company factory (a space that also doubles as a scuba diving training facility and occasional rehearsal space for Black Keys’ guitarist, Dan Auerbach) the album’s spontaneity and the room itself act as the visceral sixth member of the band, as Lisik and company tear through the album’s 13 tracks like it’s their last day on the planet and they’re going out with the biggest, most raucous bang imaginable.
We’re Sorry opens with the Rolling Stones-esque “Hey Zelienople!”—which kicks off the party with a false start, as the band counts off the intro three times, endearing us to this album before it even truly begins.
“‘Hey Zelienople!’ is about as matter-of-fact, narrative-type song as I get,” explains Lisik. “Unlike a lot of my stuff, there is no hidden message or metaphorical significance at all. It’s the true story of stumbling upon a place called Fishers Bar in Zelienople, Pennsylvania and playing a great, impromptu set after a particularly disastrous outing in a neighboring city—basically it’s ‘Turn The Page’ and ‘Hotel California’ with far less gravitas.”
The song is a face-melting testament of bluesy swagger, perfect for a blue collar bar or a top-down convertible ride on the road of rebellion.
“I like that a lot,” Lisik says of the muscle-y guitar power of the song. “Especially how our guitar player, Ray Flanagan, took the original ‘Woman From Tokyo’-sounding riff I’d written for the song and kind of beat it into a much more self-respecting pulp. This really was the most fun I’ve had making a record in I don’t know how long.
"Plus, we did 90 percent of it in about three or four days. And ate a lot of heavy Eastern European cuisine from this Polish deli down the road. This in turn forced us to stay largely out of each other’s way during the recording process,” he adds. “So maybe that all helped too.”
Aug. 10, 2017 - Nashville Blues Society reviews We're Sorry...
BRIAN LISIK AND THE UNFORTUNATES
For their latest album, Akron-based Brian Lisik And The Unfortunates serve up a healthy, thirteen-cut offering of good ole heartland rock and roll that’ll remind you why you fell in love with rock in the first place. These guys have a quirky outlook on things in general, too, and that common thread runs thru the whole set. “We’re Sorry…” is full of hooks, attitude, killer vocals and musicianship, and will evoke memories of classic Seger, Springsteen, Petty, and the Stones.
Brian Lisik is on guitar and vocals, while additional guitars are from bassist Steve Norgrove and Raymond Flanagan, Benjamin Payne on drums, and keys from Tim Longfellow. Subtlety is a non-factor herein, too, as the fellows blast off with the ultimate false starts that ultimately turn into an “Exile”-era Stones romper entitled “Hey Zelienople!”
The jangly guitars and keys of “Don’t Like Nobody” recall vintage E Street Band, while the punk-rock angst of small-town life is documented in the mile-a-minute revs of “Another Friday Night,” and that pattern closes the set as the fellows channel their inner Minutemen and Ramones with the furious pace of “The Meat Locker/Shumpert’s Head.”
We had two favorites, too. The pitfalls and pratfalls of young lust are addressed by our hero and his heroine “in the Johnny Cash shirt,” over on “Colorado Avenue.” And, the set’s most humorous cut takes a tongue-in-cheek look at gender-bending, “Bye Bi Love,” as Brian begs the musical question, “If I was a girl, would I be your girl?”
Brian Lisik And The Unfortunates titled this set “We’re Sorry…” in case folks didn’t like it. Take it from us, folks—these guys have nothing to apologize for! Rock on….Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.
July 25, 2017 - We're Sorry... reviewed in Midwest Record magazine.
BRIAN LISIK/We're Sorry: The guitar driven songwriter rockers step up with a set that won't have them being compared to the Byrds or Tom Petty as they carve out some ground of their own. While those groups were products of their times, Lisik and his cohorts are very much products of theirs, keeping this from being big brother's music. High flying rock for kids stuck in flyover land, this is the sound of fist pumping, beer chugging, sweaty bar band rock that satisfies the soul. Well done.
July 2017 - Looking forward to a busy fall, kiddies! The new Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates album, We're Sorry..., will be hitting the streets Sept. 15, with the first single, "Feudal Nights," going to radio Aug. 21. Stay tuned for Fall 2017 tour dates - coming to a city near you! Meanwhile, catch us around town all over Ohio all summer long. Cheers!