Plenty of bands on New York ’s jam rock scene have been together longer than L-SKI – Yet few can match the vivacity and originality this promising young quartet brings to the stage one live show after the next. L-SKI (pronounced el-skee) has been compared to early incarnations of Steely Dan, Blues Traveler and Phish. But there’s an undeniable freshness in the band’s three-part vocal harmonies, snaking guitar licks and funky percussion grooves that leaves fans and critics struggling to place them in the context of any band from recent years.
L-SKI is fronted by Rhode Island natives Ben DeFusco and Jake Wolfgang. The songwriting duo shares duties on vocals, while DeFusco mans the guitar and Wolfgang rocks keys and percussion. Bassist and fellow Rhode Islander Chad Flaherty brings wild jams back down to solid ground, while drummer Joe Defils – the hired gun from Detroit – contributes background vocals and beats that beg to be danced to.
L-SKI formed in 2007, the byproduct of DeFusco and Flaherty’s flameout pop band Bridges Fell and Wolfgang’s former Nashville-based acoustic group Everyday Atlas. When solo artist Defils entered the fold in late 2007, the band was reenergized and performed a string of jam-packed live dates at venues in New York’s West Village that codified the L-SKI sound and stirred up a loyal fan base. Now that the seeds of infectious songs like "Babbitt," "In My Hand," and "Jack" have been planted, listeners are high on the L and hungry for more.
Touring to support their newly-released EP, L-SKI is riding a wave of momentum that may be too big for its own good. During a January 2008 show at Rhode Island ’s Wheelhouse Tavern, the band drew a crowd of 300 – but nearly 100 had to be turned away by order of the local fire marshal.