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Members of local band Blunt Force Trauma, Brian "Big B" Harrold, "Bad Boy" Dave Marko, Rick LeBlanc and "Rico" Rick Ferguson write, produce and perform music with one common goal in mind-to bring people together.
"The music connects us with one another," said Blunt Force Trauma's lead vocalist and guitarist Dave Marko. "We're not involved in this to make a living. We're in the business of writing and recording music for people to hear and enjoy around the world. That's all we care about."
Blunt Force Trauma writes and records all original music in Marko's basement studio in Brimfield.
The band produces albums to give away free of charge.
"We've given away over 10,000 albums in three years," Marko said. "It's a love of the art form of making music and making it available to as many people as we can."
Blunt Force Trauma formed in 2009 and found its niche on Internet radio stations, including the Blizz of Rock, Stargazer Rock Radio and Ear Fuel Rock Radio.
"I started out on this radio station out of Norway called the Blizz of Rock," Marko said. "I sent them an MP3 and they wanted more and started interviewing us on the radio. Then we started to get really heavy play on other stations and it just grew from there. It's a great way for independent artists to get music heard worldwide without going through networks and corporations."
Marko said the greatest part of Internet radio is he gets to meet people outside of Brimfield.
"Blizz of Rock has DJs stationed everywhere, from Norfolk to Philadelphia," Marko said. "They draw people in from their local areas to listen and all of these radio stations have chat rooms associated with them. We get to talk to people from all over about our music and answer their questions. It's really fun."
In 2011, Blunt Force Trauma's collective of fans from around the world gathered at Marko's home for the first time.
"There was an interest in all of our Internet fans getting together," Marko said. "We had people fly in from Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada. It was truly a U.N. of music. We had over 100 people at the house and it was very multi-cultural. It was very rewarding because we made a lot of friendships from that and we try to get together every year now."
Marko, who has worked with everyone from Bruce Hensal, who engineered the Eagles "Hotel California" and Stevie Wonder's 1976 album "Songs in the Key of Life, to The Outlaws guitarist Freddie Salem, has produced all five of Blunt Force Trauma's albums.
"The thing I like most about writing and producing are the things that aren't planned. There are improvisational things that happen and the hair stands up on your arm and you go, 'Oh, that's really good,'" Marko said. "We have no limits and no rules. Although there is organization and arranging involved, we really do tell each other just to express yourself and see what we end up with."
Marko recently produced Blunt Force Trauma's 2012 blues-based album, "5 Alive."
"This album is different from our earlier albums, like 'Weight of the World,' because there's not a lot of heavy reflection," Marko said. "The music is loud, upbeat and easygoing. It's all about having a good time."
The video will be available mid-January via Facebook and YouTube.
Blunt Force Trauma is also working on their sixth CD, which will be completed by summer 2013.
Calvin Archbold, Internet radio show host at Stargazer Rock Radio, first heard Blunt Force Trauma five years ago and has been playing their music ever since.
"Everybody who tunes into the station loves their music and once people actually get to know the band they, love it even more," Archbold said. "It doesn't really hit on any one genre. It's not country and it's not rock. It has its own sound."
A few weeks ago, Archbold dedicated his entire radio show to Blunt Force Trauma.
"It started at 8 p.m. and it was 1:30 a.m. before I got done," Archbold said. "The show completely maxed out. There were over 40 people in the chat room during the show and that's the most the station has ever had at one time."
To listen to Blunt Force Trauma, tune into Archbold's radio show at www.stargazerradio.com every Friday at 8 p.m.
To download Blunt Force Trauma's music and to check out upcoming events, visit Dave Marko's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dave.marko.5.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1123
Please let me mention the awesome addition of Susan (Sookie) Vorhies Lead and backup vocals performing on BFT5 Alive
Great article Kelly, thanks for your support! Brian(Big B)Harrold