Friday, 8 July 2016

Artist Profile: Poker Face (Rock)



Poker Face first hit the Lehigh Valley in 1989 playing venues such as the Airport Music Hall, Zodiac Club and the Pascal Club (now Irv's Gentleman's Club). In 1992, the band released its first album, Game of Love, and embarked on a lifelong career of music and mayhem. Throughout it all, they played for Presidential candidates and hardcore rock'n rollers, shared the stage with dozens of nationals and hundreds of unknowns, worked with the best in the industry and the worst of humanity. Now, 20 years later, their 5th full length album, "Peace or War," has just been released with no intentions of slowing down.

After the debut of Game of Love, Poker Face set out on a mission to strengthen the Lehigh Valley music scene by getting local artists, venues and enthusiasts to come together. The "Just Do Me" bash was born and continued for 5 consecutive years featuring multiple bands performing over several days. This was followed up with three Rocktober bashes and continued into the next millennium with two years of hosting the Backyard Buzz weekly showcase and four years of BeLeVe (Best of the Lehigh Valley) festivals.

Early on, the band pushed to get their music out to a larger audience with showcases in Philadelphia and New York City. Playing on the success of their festivals and the "do it yourself" mentality, trips to the Big Apple grew to include several bands packing up to 4 full tour buses.

During all of this, two more albums had been released: Next "1996 and Sex, Lies & Politiks" 2000. The flavor of the music was still thick with harmonies and intricate in form, however, the message had changed from one of pop-love to that of questioning authority and shedding light on the dark underbelly of national politics. The band was now travelling more extensively throughout the Mid Atlantic region and became a staple at protest rallies and freedom based events in Washington DC.

With the completion of their 4th album, "Made In America," Poker Face had now bought a beat up old motor home on E-bay and was playing in over 20 states throughout the country. They were getting airplay on hundreds of college stations and lead singer, Paul Topete, was now writing freelance for American Free Press.

In an effort to produce new material in a timely fashion, the band invested in their own studio equipment. Unfortunately, the learning curve was not anticipated and crashing computers necessitated the recording of the full album three times. A Presidential election also diverted the studio efforts as the band was constantly requested to play in support of Ron Paul in every part of the country from Sturgis, SD to Clearwater, FL.

During this marathon project, new relationships were forged. The band had the opportunity to write with Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad and mix at Seattle's Robert Lang Studios (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains) with producer Toby Wright (Alice In Chains, Metallica, Bob Marley, Ozzy Osbourne and 100s more). The finishing touches were put on their 2009 album, "Peace or War," and a sneak peek release occurred this October with shows near St Louis, MO and Louisville, KY.

With 20 years under their belt, Poker Face is just getting started. Just wait and see what will unfold with 20 more.

The members of Poker Face wish to thank the LVMA staff for this recognition and their continued support of Lehigh Valley artists.


Electronic Press Kit

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