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New Brown Hat

New Brown Hat came onto the 90's music scene officially between 1992-1998. Members began playing together as early as 1986 in various groups and ensemble arrangements. Based primarily out of New York City, New Brown Hat was a part of a music scene characterized as jam band. This was not always the best characterization for the band that developed a very song-based writing style. Original members, Craig Woerz, Frank Kovac, Fell Herdeg, Kyle Young, and Julie Prunier developed a prolific repertoire with their structured collaborative style. Focused songwriting and a female front vocalist, placed them on the edge of this landscape, thus crossing over between the singer-songwriter realm, pop-music, and the improvisational live scene in which they performed. Such clubs as Wetlands Preserve, The New Music Café, and the Biter End, were mainstays for the band.
Eventually they sold out such well-known venues as New York’s Mercury Lounge and nearly sold out IrvingPlaza. They sold over 10,000 copies of their live compilation Live to Dat and amazingly over 12,000 units of their independently released Dandelion Wine CD. Additionally, the group nurtured on of the most personalized database system (unique at the time) with over 10,000 names on their mailing list, and independent distribution that kept Dandelion Wine stocked in over 125 retail stores from Maine to the Carolinas, including Sam Goody, Tower, and Strawberries (all prior to I- tunes). New Brown Hat was one of the most sought after unsigned concert headliners on the east coast.
In the fall of 1997, lead vocalist Julie Prunier, departed New Brown Hat suspending a critical buzz around the band. Searching for a female singer with substantial talent took over 6 months, yet led to the extraordinary talent of Julie Sparks. Sparks joined the band, bringing some of her own songs yet joining in with the collaborative process that produced such autonomous success. This group produced one album Man Bites Dog, which was only available online. It received massive attention for an independent record produced within a short-time frame, 2 months. New Songs such as By The Way and Heart of Stone displayed the bands matured and honed songs-writing talent, as well as derivative works on standards such as Redemption, Simple, and Jealousy, illustrated the maturity and aptitude of the musicians and the collective group. This placed them in a unique category amongst the changing music industry of the mid to late 1990’s. Combined with the transition between vocalists, the group could not regain enough forward momentum and disbanded in 1998.
As of 2010 New Brown Hat occasionally plays live with member successfully involved in other musical endeavors. Most notably Frank Kovac, with Kovac Brothers releasing a record in 2010 (Fell Herdeg on bass and vocals). Additionally, a cancer benefit with New Brown Hat headlining has been orchestrated by Craig Woerz for October of 2010. To that end, New Brown Hat considers increasing the show schedule and the possibility of new recordings in the next 2 years.

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