Title - HardKnox: Redux
Artist - Gamache Marak Rondini
For those unaware, it was 20 years ago today, Sgt. Pep… no wait, wrong band, wrong story! We think ours is more interesting because
it’s true! No Flaming Pies, no screaming fans (Well, very few anyway), no backward recorded secret messages!
40+ years ago Wayne Gamache (guitar, vocals) and Tom Marak (bass and vocals) put together the first of many iterations of the Connecticut band HardKnox.
A bit later in 1980, Tony Rondini (lead guitar and vocals) joined and became one of the core members of the band. In 1984, after 7 years playing (mostly throughout New England at area clubs, high schools and colleges), personnel changes, recording demos, two (2) 45 singles (Magical Man/Only You, I’m In Love Again/On My Way) and an EP (HardKnox Roughcut) of original material, the core members decided to call it a day.
Currently, all of these vinyl recordings are being bought and sold by many record collectors in the U.S., Europe and Japan.
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We are now very happy to announce that we have just-released our brand new CD HardKnox: Redux, an album of re-recorded and updated songs from the HardKnox RoughCut EP, and other songs written around the time that HardKnox was in existence during the late 70’s and early 80’s.
1. I’m In Love Again
3. After the Show
5. So in Love
6. Magical Man
7. Midnight Fantasy
8. Oh My Dear
9. Get Away with Words
10. On My Way
11. Only You
12. Don’t Be Afraid of the Night
14. On My Way (Live)
15. I’m In Love Again (Live)
This vibrantly brilliant new album opens on the foot-tapping rocker I’m In Love Again and the lusciously melodic hipsway of Star and they are followed by the late ’80s/early ’90s flashback AOR of After the Show, the laid back, mid-tempo balladry of Angel, and then we get the jangly guitars and layered harmonies of So in Love and the gritty rocker Magical Man.
Next up is the effortless AOR of another early ’90s flashback vibe, this time held within the synth and guitar-driven storytelling of Midnight Fantasy which is itself backed by the jaunty, Beatles-esque Oh My Dear, the rocker Get Away with Words, and then we get the free flowing rock/pop sensibilities of On My way.
Along next is one of my own personal favorites, the ’60s-imbibed, love song rocker Only You and that is followed by the raw, earthy rock of Don’t Be Afraid of the Night, the album rounding out on the Southern guitar blues of HardKnox, coming to a close on two lives tracks in both On My Way and I’m In Love Again.
After the breakup of HardKnox, Wayne Gamache stayed involved in music and continued to write and record songs both as an individual and with numerous other artists including Tony. He has his own recording studio “Origin Recording Ltd” and Mansion Road Music Record label in Wallingford CT. As you can see on the discography page of this website Wayne has been very busy.
Tony Rondini took a hiatus from playing out, but continued to keep up his guitar chops. In the 90’s he connected with musicians in the Colchester CT area, playing blues and country rock covers as “Hampton Station”. The band morphed into “Top Secret”, doing mostly rock and blues covers.
In 2006 Tony re-engaged with Wayne, and rekindled the relationship. This sparked Tony’s renewed interest in writing and recording. It wasn’t long before his home studio, Chimney Window Studio, was built.
Today, Tony lives in Austin Texas and is working on a new record scheduled for release sometime in mid-2022. Tony and Wayne began writing new songs and recording, as well as working with vocalist Reena Hart to record and produce her 2013 release “Waiting For You”.
Tony’s debut record “No Use For The Blues” was released in 2015, featuring several songs co-written with Wayne. Grooveyard Records picked up distribution of that record in 2019.
Tony also co-wrote and is featured on guitar for several songs on Wayne’s 2018 release Gamache “Get in the Game”.
Tom Marak took a short break from the music business (33 years). He taught Social Studies and was a teacher for academically gifted students at North Haven High School in CT for 37 years, until his recent retirement. During that time, he coached their Future Problem Solving teams to multiple state championships and Future Problem Solving International Competition championships and awards.
After getting back in touch with Wayne four years ago, he dusted off his old bass and guitars, and got back in the game, as the collaboration was revived.
Fast forward 37 years, Tony, Tom and Wayne are proving Thomas Wolfe wrong and metaphorically “went home again” with the Gamache-Marak-Rondini, CD "HardKnox-Redux" consisting of updated and reworked versions of original songs previously recorded as demos and singles, or in production when the band broke-up.
The reunion began as an attempt to preserve previous recordings of our original material, cover songs and gig recordings. We were impressed with how the tunes stood the test of time, but concerned with the condition of the recordings.
The quality left much to be desired and original tapes had badly deteriorated or totally disintegrated, most of our songs survived only on cassette tapes.
To not let this material fade into oblivion, we saved all we could to digital format. Then we decided to re-record our original material. We hope you agree it was worth the effort and time, and you enjoy the music on our Gamache, Marak, Rondini CD release HardKnox: Redux.
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