2016-09-08 / Around Town

SPOTLIGHT on Music

Meet The Z-Boys
By Mark Gorman

It is often said that the “music gene” is passed from one generation to the next, and this week’s featured band could be a prime example of that phenomenon. The group’s drummer, Ziggy Coffey, is the son of renowned Newport drummer Mike Coffey. And bassist Amato Zinno’s dad is Portsmouth’s own David Zinno, one of the busiest bass players in Rhode Island. Meet The Z-Boys.

Zinno is accomplished at both the upright and electric bass and has already played the storied Newport Folk Festival in 2015. His musical range is quite wide and he appears comfortable playing any style.

Coffey, a veteran of the electric teenage band Sidewinder from the age of 14, has been drumming professionally for many years. His tasteful backbeat is a key component of The Z-Boys’ exciting sound.

Rounding out the band is the gifted guitarist Greg Burgess. What makes him one of the most highly regarded players in our area is his versatility and his impressive guitar chops. Burgess can be heard playing rock, roots music, jazz and The Z-Boys’ specialty, surf rock. He moves effortlessly around the fretboard and is fun to watch.

Newport This Week recently caught up with Zinno to talk about the band and their upcoming album. When asked how The Z-Boys got started, the bassist revealed it was sort of by chance. “I’ve known the guys for about three years. We did a gig together at the old One Eighty and we were flying by the seat of our pants. Then we did a four-hour gig in South County and made everything up on the fly. It was wild,” he shared.

Watching the trio perform is an interactive experience, as they put tremendous energy and emotion into every note. “Our band is fun, loose and spontaneous. We play well off each other. We project that to the audience and we want everyone to have fun with us,” the musician said.

Their self-titled first album makes its debut on Sept. 23 at a CD release party at the Columbus Theatre in Providence. I have listened to the record and thoroughly enjoyed the energy and musicality it offers. The band wrote all the tunes, ranging from a bossa nova with Bessie’s Bossa to a Hendrixlike boogaloo. You can almost feel the fun the band is having as you listen to these tunes!

The group was quick to credit their sound engineer, Ray Gennari, owner of Rocktorium of Love studio, with helping them create the perfect record. “Ray gave us space but helped us flesh out our tunes. His attention to detail is unreal. He’s very particular and made us sound our best,” Zinno said.

Be sure to download their album at TheZ-Boys.bandcamp.com. Catch them every Wednesday from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. at Perro Salado, 19 Charles St. For more info, follow The Z-Boys on Facebook.

Mark Gorman is a retired high school guidance counselor and guitarist-vocalist who performs locally each week.

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