The Roka Group | I Want It to Begin

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Rock: 80's Rock Rock: 90's Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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I Want It to Begin

by The Roka Group

Smooth guitars, catchy lyrics and melodies from a basement band a bit dressed up. Boost the low end a bit and enjoy.
Genre: Rock: 80's Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Urban America
3:20 $0.90
2. Talk to Me
3:40 $0.90
3. Lion
3:47 $0.90
4. What Do I Have to Do
3:39 $0.90
5. Angeline
4:35 $0.90
6. What Are You Gonna Do
4:10 $0.90
7. Better Way
3:34 $0.90
8. Take Away Those Feelings
2:46 $0.90
9. I Want It to Begin
2:34 $0.90
10. In the News
3:48 $0.90
11. Friday Night
3:25 $0.45
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The band had its roots in Philadelphia where most of its members were born, raised and then jammed. Our drummer Brian was born in Detroit but moved to Philly at a young age. There he met Bill and Chuck. The three formed a number of bands with a other musicians over the years. Their first performances were just across the bridge in south Jersey. Eventually moving to clubs and taverns in the suburbs and then into the city.

After many diverse changes over the years Pat Fox joined the band bringing the wonderfully gruff sounding vocals that we needed. Brian and Bill's vocals were smooth, we needed a different sound and Pat brought it. With Pat in the group there was that strange competition that a lot of guitarists get trapped into, we tend to slowly edge the volume knob towards 10. Chuck call them the “volume brothers”...and that we were. I imagine if we were to ever form a band together again it would have to be called The Volume Brothers but back then called ourselves Vengeance.

Not long after Pat, Maureen brought keyboard and vocals. Off we went to the studio to record a demo disc of cover songs but while there, Pat suggested we add our originals. Track 6 and track 9 are the product of that Fresh Tracks studio time. They were the first and they were the only tunes that featured the keyboard. We changed the band's name to the nicely ambiguous Fox Band and we booked jobs all around the Greater Philly area but Pat had caught the original bug. He had a yearning to concentrate on original music and we broke up to pursue those goals. Ironically a few days later a booking agent offered to keep us working as much or as little as we wanted and anywhere we wanted on the east coast if we would cover a weekend at one of his clients on South Street, one of the hottest places to play at the time. We had to turn it down. Some doors close for a reason they say! Pat moved on to write, the rest of us started a jamming band and played at block parties and beef and beers around town for fun with a member of another Philly band Half Step.

A few years later we got together to learn some of the music that we had written and eventually and very hurriedly recorded the best that we had learned. Back then we recorded on tape, set up our studio in my basement and worked. There was only a little time because I was moving in a few months to the Pocono Mountains. The recording done, the master was lost and it would seem that I had the only copy of the mix tape out of everyone involved and that got misplaced! I searched for that tape many times but could never find it. That door closing has been extremely difficult to deal with. We just weren't in the position any longer to get together to do the recording again.

Towards the end of 2014 the tape was found, transferred to digital. We know it's not the best quality production, that it has that basement band edge in some of the phrases but if you boost that bass just a bit and let yourself get into it, it's enjoyable. A few of the songs in the collection made their debut on a local New Jersey radio and internet radio station on November 1, 2014, shortly after the tapes had been found.

Today Pat and Chuck still play at clubs and taverns in Philadelphia as The Dead Horse band. They're an original and cover band that is in the studio right now re-recording some of these songs and new material. Maureen doesn't play as far as we know. Brian went on to play with a number of different bands but then gave it up to catch bass; fish that is, his favorite activity. More recently he's started playing again with his church group. I teamed up with a guitar/banjo player and performed as special music in many local churches, fund raisers, including a few telethons and held services with their music at nursing homes. I sang with a number of local choral groups and even sung at a wedding. Recently I've been getting together with a talented neighbor, the two of us never played together before and were invited to perform at a 9/11 service in town. We had two days to learn and perform a song and pulled it off. The two of us have been working on getting our timing down and our song writing time up. We plan to produce acoustic versions of a few of these songs and release some new material as well...we're just not sure what we'll call ourselves.

So you see, Roka never existed, it's more of a statement! Roka means Fox and it's a tip of the hat to the band's inspiration, Pat and also to his extremely patient sister Ann for allowing us to kindly use her basement for so many sessions. The Hungarian translation is to honor my mom who along with dad suffered through repeat performances of the same songs for hours on end in their basement.

Special thanks to our award winning graphic designer who we were fortunate to have working for us. She's produced many CD covers including the 30th anniversary cover of NPR's World Cafe collection. Thanks to that puppy on the cover, she belongs to my son Joe and her name is Roka. Special thanks to our first commercial radio playtime on 94.3 in Orange, NJ and to the Ghetto Travelers, Ruff and Bolo, in particular Bolo for playing our music internationally on his Saturday radio show.

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