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Musician Spotlight: Judo Heirs

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Eric Baylies
by Eric Baylies

The Judo Heirs is a New Bedford all-star band of sorts. The players have played in such groups as Beyond The Embrace, All Chrome, The Tall, Gaskill, The Hidden, and many more. With members working at No Problemo, The Pour Farm, and The Green Bean, you can barely walk downtown New Bedford without tripping over one of them. I spoke with Adam Gonsalves about the band.

How did the band originate? Who plays what?

Adam Gonsalves: The band is: Kevin Grant on vocals, Adam Gonsalves on guitar, Joel Monty on guitar, Drew Taber on Bass and Martin Johnson on drums. (Craig Burns played bass on our first CD ” Karate Island”). The Judo Heirs started when So Automatic began a hiatus, due to our Guitarist Chris Kelly leaving for graduate school. Martin and I wanted to start a new band and I decided to play guitar this time, having always been a bass player. All of the members of Judo Heirs have been active in the New Bedford music scene for decades, so we all knew each other for years. Craig Burns and I reconnected on Facebook and we all agreed that the only logical vocalist was our friend Kevin Grant. We played as a four piece for a year and recorded a full length CD which we put out ourselves. After about a year we got Joel Monty on second guitar who was at all the shows and selling CDs for us at No Problemo and when Craig decided to leave on an extended break from the band we scored Drew Taber on bass (who I play with in Iron Mustache, an Iron Maiden tribute band).

Judo Heirs Band New BedfordThe Judo Heirs seem a lot more political than the average whaling city punk band. How is that working out?

Adam Gonsalves: Kevin writes all of the lyrics but in my opinion they are all a perfect balance between political and personal. I love that approach. As for the band being political, all I can say is that we are all individuals and that we all have respect for one another, as well as each others respective beliefs. New Bedford is a plus for us. We are proud to represent for New Bedford, and are proud of the fantastic and expansive music scene that the city has had throughout years.

What can we expect to see next?

Adam Gonsalves: We hope to make a new record sometime this winter now that our sound has progressed due to the changes in personnel.

Check the bands myspace for local listings at No Problemo and The Blackwatch Pub, and if you have the wheels, Boston and Providence.

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