David Simmons (Axe Grinder)
It all started when Dave was five years old and saw Rex Trailer for the first time. After that his parents bought him a plastic guitar and he would noodle melodies to Howdy Doody, TV Shows, and WRKO radio. At six years old he took group lessons at a Community Center in Reading, MA, the same Center that Aerosmith met at years later. From that time on he taught himself to play by practicing over and over again to his favorite rock LP's. At eleven years old he received more musical structure from a Berklee Graduate, Ed Marino, who also tutored Brad Whitford. Aerosmith and Still Water practiced just houses away, which was a big influence on him. Dave was the catalyst for the song "Mind Bender" from the band Still Water, which was about one of his guitars. The story was turned into a movie called Almost Famous by Cameron Crow. Once Dave learned about the Blues, Beatles and Stones, there was no stopping him. He practiced diligently eight to sixteen hours a day and was a child prodigy. His loud playing would shake the house and rattle the neighborhood. After High School he played around locally until in 1995 he began playing bass for the band Girl On Top, and has since hailed on lead guitar giving Girl On Top it's edgier sound. Dave is a multi-instrumentalist, and plays keyboards, drums and anything that has strings. He is also a carpenter and mechanic. Besides repairing guitars for forty years, he has also taken extensive luthier repair classes to become the best he can! As a guitar technician he has a true gift and natural ability. Everyone who has had their guitars repaired by the Axe Grinder have been extremely delighted. He is as talented in instrument repair as he is as a musician. If you haven't ever seen Dave play guitar, you will be astounded when you finally do. Wow! There aren't many in the world who can play a guitar like David Simmons! He has such deep intense emotion, tone and ability; like very few others. Hope you give the Axe Grinder a try! You'll be happy you did.
Influences: Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, Rory Gallagher, Rival Sons, Johnny Winter, Jeff Beck, etc.
Karen DeBiasse (Voice / Music Teacher)
Karen DeBiasse started playing guitar, singing and writing songs when she was seven years old in Chatham, NJ. The guitar came with her when she moved to West Chester, PA. There she spent countless hours playing with friends, at parties, and with teachers at school. At 16 she began studying voice in Philadelphia with Artie Singer, teacher of the Big Bopper and Frankie Valli. While going to Delaware Community College a music teacher took notice of her, told her about Berklee College of Music, helped her fill out the application, and four years later she graduated with Honors
receiving a Degree in Jazz Composition/Arranging/Voice/Guitar. After trying many voice teachers in town with no luck, yet never giving up, one of the greatest things in her life happened. She found Dante Pavone! Dante was a World Renowned Vocal Teacher who passed his famous method down to her, because she was his most serious student. Karen studied with Dante consistently for over fifteen years untill his demise in 1996. She has been teaching his method since 1982, curing wrecked voices and enabling even the most tone deaf to sing beautifully, and perfectly in tune. Karen also teaches every instrument, and since the advent of Skype now all over the world. She also studied with World Famous Charlie Banacos for years on guitar and John Horrigan for a decade on drums. After being in many other bands, Karen started her band Girl On Top in 1988. Girl On Top won First Place in an International Music Search for Meridian Records with over 300 World Wide contestants, was named Top Band in 2013 by Metronome Magazine, and was Runner Up in Ticket Master Showcase Contest. She also won a local Boston award for Most Voluptuous Performer. Writer of over three hundred songs, fifteen of them have been placed in Independent Films. Girl On Top performs regularly and have opened for such bands as The Goo Goo Dolls, Extreme, Tracy Bonham, etc. www.girlontop.com
Interests: Acting, Apple Computers, Art, Audio Engineer, Business, CD Art, Dancing, Film Making, Film Editing, Landscape Artist, Musician, Multi-Instrumentalist, Photoshop, Photography, Poetry, Producing, Screen Plays, Song Writer, Videographer, Web Site Designer, and Writer. Karen D.