SKYROCKET! is a wickedly original cabaret of "solid gold" hits from
SKYROCKET! is a wickedly original cabaret of "solid
gold" hits from the 1970s, album favorites from the ‘80s,
and great rock anthems from the best bands in the world.
Inspired by the most bombastic, stylistically baffling and
memorable decade in rock history, SKYROCKET! nails
the broad spectrum of styles, bands and star
performances that made this era the best and worst of
musical times. Unlike any other party band, SKYROCKET!
does it all with a fearless style totally its own.
COVER BAND 2.0
Austin, TX Indie Rockers Change the Tune of Private Events
No Tuxes Allowed
It all started several years ago when a group of musician friends in Austin, Texas bonded over a goof.
Songwriters from local bands of varying notoriety, they put together a short set of cringe-worthy 1970s one-hit
wonders for a performance at a club near the University of Texas, aptly named the Hole in the Wall. Calling
themselves the K-Tel Hit Machine, an homage to the uber-cheesy hit compilation albums once marketed on TV,
they were an instant success -- at least among the small crowd at the Hole, most of whom were other local
musicians. Some even lined up to join the band for a chance to re-create guilty pleasures like “Hot Child in the
City” and “Boogie Fever.”
A seminal concert at a skating rink recruited one last band mate, Trish Murphy, who’d hired them that day as the
opening act for her CD-release party co-hosted by the Texas Rollergirls. They changed the band’s name to
Skyrocket! (exclamation point mandatory) and landed their first corporate holiday bash for a Wendy’s franchise.
“With songwriters, you have to realize the taste bar is set pretty high,” says Darin Murphy, Skyrocket!’s drummer
and music director. “The ‘70s were a roller coaster for so many different styles. On top of that, everyone brings
their own charisma and performance skills to the mix, so instead of one lead singer you can have five.” The
chance meetings in weird places would later launch even more ambitious musical adventures: A wedding gig
with the all-female Tosca Strings eventually spawned an extravagant, sold-out tribute to ELO, recorded live with
a cast of 13 players at the famed club Antone’s.
It was hardly new territory, though, for working musicians used to the necessity of doing side jobs to pay for their
European tours. They originally met while doing session work at Tequila Mockingbird, a downtown commercial
music studio. Tequila had become the water cooler for the cool by hiring only talent from the rich local music
scene; a touring drummer could do the voiceover for the same demo, while house composers often competed
with famous songwriters for national spots. Performers mingled with ad producers, and the lines between indie
and corporate seemed to matter less if at all. The studio became the band’s first rehearsal space, and within a
year they’d perfected over 150 spot-on versions of AM-radio solid gold staples.
The band chooses songs according to how precisely they think they can replicate them, which both widens and
narrows the field. “Instead of playing the same songs all the other bands play, we’d rather dig deep and offer the
ones people love but never get a chance to hear. We have the diversity of talent in the band, plus we have the
chops and the guts, so why not take some risks?” Most of Skyrocket!’s players are multi-instrumental, so the
band switches around onstage, and the show is always changing.
the critics say
Austin Chronicle Music Awards
the critics say
Why a cover band? Because they can, and they will MAKE you like it.
Repeat faves at the Continental Club, Trish Murphy, Darin Murphy
and their kick-ass band are on a mission to conquer the world as
Skyrocket, Austin s in your face 80 s cover band, bucking the too-cool
Austin music scene with an unabashedly OMIGOD dance party of
AUSTIN CHRONICLE CRITIC’S PICK
Best Reason to Pawn Your Karaoke Machine
That The K-Tel Hit Machine [now known as Skyrocket!] is one of the most beloved bands in
originality-obsessed Austin should be no surprise to anyone who's seen them do "Hot Legs." Or
packed into Antone's for their ELO tribute. Or salivated over their looming "Eighties explosion."
What started as a goof among friends has certainly grown – have them quote their fee sometime –
but hasn't really changed; it's still a bunch of friends, who happen to be some of Austin's most
talented musicians, getting together to jam on songs they all grew up on. The songs may be other
people's, but what makes Skyrocket! so delicious is that they do them with a style all their own.
THESE CRITICS SAY…
If you miss hearing some of the super hits of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Skyrocket is a fantastic cover band
from Austin with some regional favorites in its ranks. Former Houstonians Trish and Darin Murphy
are on board….It’s as fun as it sounds.
Skyrocket is every wedding reception’s dream – fun cover songs that don’t get too cheesy, and a 7piece band whose dance moves get the party started. The best part of Skyrocket is their ironic
stance toward their material. This is a cover band that’s totally in on the joke.
Rare Austin Magazine, Reader’s Choice Award
I think some of them will need some time to recuperate from last night's Skyrocket concert. Which
is less of a commentary on the capacity of New York's literati for Texas-style entertainment than it
is a plug for this band, which is so good it actually made people feel cool about standing around and
listening to covers of the Bee Gees, ABBA and Kiss. If you are old enough to have owned any of
these bands on vinyl, or will admit to knowing the lyrics to "Boogie Fever" -- you need to set aside
your novel for one night and go see them. White suit and platform shoes are optional.
Michael Merschel, Dallas Morning News
tfrlmeR [email protected] [email protected]
Playing the next best thing to the real thing
for fun and profit. By D.c. Btoom
"Man, these guys are great!" enthuses a sweaty, disheveled SO-something man jockeying to place his order at the
bar at Austin's Cedar Street Courtyard. "Just wait, the second set's gonna be even better," assures an equally sweaty,
equally disheveled early 4O-something woman in front of
him, while behind them a 30-something hipster who's clearly
- and in far better cardiovascular condition
says, "But the third set's reolly killer."
Such is the passion for Skyrocket! (exclamation point
theirs, not ours), the hardest working '70s and '80s party
band in the Live Music Capital of the World. Austin holds that
distinction, of course, not for its cover bands that ply their
craft in the city's Sixth Street pickup bars, but because it's a
mecca for working musicians from around Texas hoping to
make their mark playing their own original songs. But many
end up rethinking their career objectives while playing $50
gigs on Tuesday nights before a handful of half-interested
beer drinkers or totally disinterested diners. You don't need
to be Milton Friedman (Google him, youngsters) to understand that those are just the hard realities of supply and demand; for every venue that's still in the business of booking
live music, there's, oh, maybe 300 or more bands and singersongwriters hoping to land a gig that offers just a bit more
than a few crumpled dollar bills in the tip jar.
The seven members of Skyrocketl have a "been there,
done that, and we're havin' a lot more fun doing covers and
we're actually making some decent money" attitude about having
put their individual musical careers on hold to become what is essentially a live Karaoke band for nostalgic adults with disposable
income. But it's not like these musicians didn't have anything going on for themselves before banding together to rock corporate
events and weddings putting their own spin 'on classics such as
"Dancing Queen," "Do Ya Think l'm Sexy," "Tainted Love," "Brass
in Pocket and "Jesse's Girl." No, these Skyrocketeers! are about as
far from your stereotypical dive-bar musical hacks as Cliff Richard
is from Keith Richards
- both of whom may find their songs being
played by the band on any given night.
Between them, Skyrocket! members have released a dozen or
so albums as solo artists or as band frontmen. Benjamin Hotchkiss,
who will morph from Rod Stewart to Mick Jagger to David Bowie during the course of the Cedar Street Courtyard show, has fronted original Austin bands such as the Duckhills and the Real Heroes, Johnny
Goudie's band from the early aughts, called, Goudie, had major label releases to their credit, and he's been the driving force behind a
series of musical mutations, from Mr. Rocket Boy in the mid-90s to
his latest, Liars & Saints. Trish Murphy, whose brother, Darin, plays
drums for Skyrocket!, is not only the band's designated Material Girl,
she also boasts the most impressive discography with four criticallyacclaimed albums to her credit. The rest of the band is rounded out
by lead guitarist Paul English and multi-instrumentalists Corey Glaeser and Kyle Crusham, all of whom are solo artists in their own right
or have played with the likes of Will Sexton and Fastball.
"l actually hired Skyrocket!, then called the K-Tel Hit Machine,
to play my last CD release show (for 2005's Girls Get in Freel," Murphy says. 'And then I started thinking, 'l wanna be in this band."
Tribeza Austin TX
SKYROCKET! the fan mail
Skyrocket were simply brilliant last Wednesday and really put our event over the top. The day after, my wife
ended up giving birth to a daughter. Her name is Skye. I think we’ll be calling her Skye-rocket for years to come.
--Marc Glosserman, Founder & CEO, Hill Country Restaurant, New York
The IntelliMark party was just another business party until two years ago – when Skyrocket! first performed at
our bash. Now the fun but subdued party has been transformed into a wild dance fest Thanks for being the best
cover band in Austin, thanks for making our party so memorable for two years straight! —David Frager,
Intellimark Associates, Inc
Wow!! Can I just say that SKYROCKET is an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING band! So many people came up to me
throughout the night and the next morning commenting on the stellar band and wanting to know all about you
guys. We're still getting e-mails, in fact! --Kate Ferguson
You all play to perfection the fresh covers that everyone can sing, despite the fact that they haven’t heard some
of them for 25 years. Your unique, un-cliché song selection is what sets you apart from all other cover bands.
Bravo Skyrocket! You no longer have a mere fan. I am now one of your many disciples. ---Maureen Swanson,
St Vincent de Paul School
I’m speechless! SKYROCKET SHOW IS OFF THE CHARTS!! Lots of great comments! I think my regulars
were stunned, I was! My first show! I def want to bring the band back to Merkaba on a regular basis!
Anthony Williams, GM, Merkaba Lounge, Austin
This band has a look and an attitude that’s very current. They have no competition in Austin. Now my biggest
clients won’t plan a party without Skyrocket!
Suzanne Court, owner, Suzanne Court Catering and Events
Book this band and you will party like it's 1979. You will know all the songs, even though you won't want to admit
it, and proceed to sing along and have a helluva night. More than just a cover band, SKYROCKET! is a tribute
band composed of A-List Austin musicians who have a love for the hits of the 70's and 80's.
Erin Collier, Austin Chronicle
I just saw Skyrocket this past weekend at the Zachary Scott Theatre's Red, Hot and Soul event. They
were outstanding, as usual! The best news is that we raised $150,000!!! This was a $40,000 increase
over last year! Marie Albino, Director of Grants, Any Baby Can
When everyone is high-fiving each other and singing with abandon, that's all you need to know. Coming soon to
a flashback near you. Don't miss it. --Ed Bailey, VP Brand Development, Austin City Limits
Order yourself a tall glass of Boone's Farm and prepare to be elevated. It's a blast!
Susan Castle, Music Director, KGSR
All I can say is: You guys saw 175 faces, and you rocked them all! Thank you for making my wedding so
awesome and memorable. -- Laura Moser, co-author of “The Rise and Fall of a 10th Grade Social
I'm still thinking about what fun my birthday party was on Saturday. Maybe you noticed a group of about 20 folks
who never left the dance floor? I've known most of them for 15 years or more and I've never seen them dance
like they did on Saturday. --Paul E. Hoffman, Chief Operating Officer Calendar Club
Skyrocket! was the star band for the Austin International Consular Ball for 2006! Mayor Wynn recommended
them for the event and now I am a huge fan. The international audience loved them and more people danced
than in any of the past events. Thumbs up and five stars! -- Adrienne Carter Hughto, President, Solution
Raised within the music and theater communities of Houston, DARIN MURPHY (drums, Music
Director) grew up surrounded by musicians, actors and DJ's, developing versatile music skills and an
encyclopedic knowledge of pop records. Eventually he would climb to the top of Houston's music scene with his
sister, Trish Murphy, producing two independent CD's and performing for capacity college crowds. In the midnineties they both migrated to Austin. While his sister quickly aligned with members of Austin's alt-country elite,
Darin carved his niche in the town's British-influenced indie rock scene. Mixing his Euro influences (Beatles,
Cardigans, Costello) with some of his American favorites (Beck, Wilco, Dave Grohl), Murphy re-emerged at the
end of 1998 with Solitarium, his first self-produced, self-performed solo album. Solitarium drew praise from
critics, record retailers and curious listeners worldwide, and in 2001 the much-anticipated follow-up, Haunted
Gardenias, brought songwriting awards, year-end top ten lists and regular airplay on commercial AAA radio.
And in 2005, he made his professional acting debut on Broadway in the original cast of Don Scardino's musical
biography LENNON. www.darinmusic.com
There are, at last count, too many damn bands in Austin, TX — self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the
World” — to even bother counting. But when it gets right down to it, there’s just a few such rock bands that really
matter here and THE REAL HEROES leads the pack. The band’s sophomore outing, Greetings
From Russia, was recently hailed by Texas Music Magazine as a “single-serving rock ‘n’ roll multi-vitamin.” We
have supreme confidence that The Real Heroes — by name, singer/guitarist/frontman extraordinaire
BENJAM IN HOTCHKISS, guitarist PAUL ENGLISH, guitarist/keyboardist KYLE CRUSHAM ,
bassist Kenneth Dowling and drummer Joey Spivey — have the goods to hold their own. Yeah yeah yeah … we
know you think you’ve heard and seen it all before. We know you’re swimming in so much great rock ‘n’ roll, you
probably take the stuff for granted. And we’re pretty sure you’ve heard plenty of bands that evoke the majesty of
T-Rex, the artful swagger of Ian Hunter and prime Bowie, the thrill of Television, the pop-metal panache of
Cheap Trick and even (of so they’ ve been told) the arena-sized, triple-guitar roar of vintage Blue Oyster Cult.
But all at once? And delivered by a five-piece band of seasoned (long story) but unspoiled veterans that truly
knows the difference between putting on an honest-to-goodness rock ‘n’ roll show worth remembering and just
“playing a gig” … and always goes the show road? Didn’t think so. www.therealheroes.com
From rock and roll front man and band leader to guitar/keyboard playing sideman, for which he won
“best keyboard player” in the 2004 Austin Chronicle music awards for his work with indie rock band
Endochine, to studio musician playing on such albums as Eliza Gilkyson’s Lost and Found and Jeff
Klein’s Everybody Loves a Winner, to songwriter’s songwriter, writing with the likes of Jane Wiedlin &
Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Go’s and the ever-celebrated Patty Griffin to name a few, JOHNNY
GOUDIE (vocals, keyboards, guitar) has earned and maintained the title musician’s musician. As
former front man/leader of the band Goudie, he gained national attention when the band was signed
to Lars Ulrich’s Elektra records subsidiary, The Music Company, after the band was together a mere 9
months. The band released one album on the vanity label, the critically acclaimed, Peep Show (2000).
The album was produced by Goudie, Mike McCarthy (Spoon, … And You Will Know Us By the Trail of
Dead) and Dan Maccarrol (The Grays, Aimee Mann) and mixed by Jack Joseph Puig (No Doubt, John
Mayer, Remy Zero). The band spent over a year on tour of America in support of the album. Lost in
the shuffle after the AOL merger and dissatisfied with his “100% creative freedom” deal Johnny
decided to take his band and leave the Multinational conglomerate label and join forces with some
friends in a cooperative independent label out of Austin called India Records. After a celebrated
second album, effects of madness (2002) and another year on the road, Johnny decided to disband
the group that bore his name. As strong as Johnny’s writing and recording abilities are, those are only
part of the package. He is also one of the most captivating and compelling front men around. His
presence on stage is larger than life. “You can’t take your eyes off of him.” was how he was described
in Billboard magazine. With a voice that can go from falsetto whisper to blood-curdling scream in two
notes and he can go from Robin Zander-like stoicism to Who-like thrashing of his guitar in a matter of
seconds. At his solo shows, his sense of humor and love for story telling shine as much as his
gorgeous voice and “tell-all” lyrics. Johnny Goudie is the consummate performer.
CORY GLAESER is a Wisconsin native who moved to Austin in the 90s to live the rock and roll
dream. He founded the pop band Sheboygan with his Wisconsin mates and also tours with Austin-based
platinum-selling band Fastball. Cory plays bass, lead guitar and keyboards and is a graduate of the University of
Wisconsin’s music school.
Houston native TRISH MURPHY has been a musician most of her life, learning guitar at age 11 and
landing her first paying solo gig at 17. Determined to differentiate from her counterculture parents, she enrolled
in a Catholic college iand stuck her guitar under her bed for the next four years. But after receiving a BA in
philosophy from the University of Dallas, she formed a duo with her younger brother, and Trish & Darin became
one of the biggest-drawing acts in Houston in the early 1990s. She relocated to Austin in 1996 to nurture a solo
career and became one of Texas’ most credible and successful songwriters, touring the U.S. and Europe behind
albums that received national airplay and landed her on club and festival stages nationwide and across Europe.
Her discography now includes four solo albums: Major-label debut Rubies on the Lawn, and three released on
her own label. She is currently promoting her latest album, Girls Get In Free, which released nationally in 2005.
Trish is also the voice behind many commercials and is currently the voice of Henna Chevrolet in Austin and the
Texas Tourism Board nationally. She enjoys community service as a board member for Girls Empowerment
Network (GENaustin.) She also loves teaching cooking classes, public speaking, and starting weird new bands.