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Worcester Telegram and Gazette  June 2012

 

There’s something endearingly straightforward about the song “Guillotine,” by Worcester rockers Sheez Late. It’s just a straight-up rock ’n’ roll, without fuss or ornamentation, and sometimes that seems like an endangered species. Same holds for the songs “Worshipped Lies” and “Shimmy Shack.” It’s just a great groove, delivered with skill and a touch of grit. 

 

 Scott McLennan  Worcester Telegram and Gazette 2008

 

Band reunion is better Late than never

At risk of sounding like a fogy, let us now reminisce about the good ol' '90s, when homegrown original bands of all styles kept Worcester's nightclub circuit pretty well jammed.

 

Ralph's Chadwick Square Diner spun off the satellite nightclub Bowlers. The spot we now call The Lucky Dog Music Hall was still Sir Morgan's Cove and good for annual battles of the bands that attracted enough competitors to keep things going for weeks at a time. The Music Box, the Above Club, The Space, The Espresso Bar were live music hot spots whose passings are still lamented. Garage rock, alt-rock, punk, funk, metal, jam-rock, blues rock - you name it, somebody in Worcester was giving it a local spin

 

Funny now to think how back then people were complaining how much the scene had cooled from the 1980s. If everybody only knew how good it was for the time.

 

"I took it for granted," said Ron Roy, guitarist and singer for Sheez Late.

 

Sheez Late flourished in the early 1990s, releasing its first album around the time Nirvana's "Nevermind" was shaking up attitudes about music. Sheez Late was ready for the new guard, mixing up scrappy garage punk with weirder elements plucked from the rock 'n' roll spectrum.

 

Roy sang and played guitar in Sheez Late, along with fellow guitarist Hugh Mahaney, bass player Amy Mackey, and drummer Joe Sheehan. At its peak, the band was a big draw in the clubs, dutifully covered in these pages and those printed by the alternative press covering the city's music scene, and a staple on local music radio programs emanating from Wormtown.

 

"It was new to us being in the scene like that. We didn't grasp it very well. I also think what we were doing was a little bit different and to get our point across, we worked really hard," Roy said. "But everyone in the scene was really so supportive."

 

Sheez Late ran its course by the mid-'90s, and eventually Mackay settled in Deleware and Mahaney in North Carolina. Sheehan played drums for a few other outfits, and Roy checked out of music, at first bothered by a persistent ringing in his ears and later tied up with the needs of a growing family.

 

"I thought I'd go acoustic, but I never took to that. I just stopped playing for 10 years," he said.

 

But that all changed when he teamed up with Blow Up Dads, a band fronted by Jim Dewer.

 

"It's age-appropriate rock. Sort of a Stones-ish sound," Roy said.

 

But working in that band prepared him for a reunion with Sheez Late. The foursome that had not played together in nearly 14 years decided last Christmas when everyone was in the area visiting family to attempt a reunion show. That is after they had a chance to hang out and jam a little among themselves.

 

A series of e-mail exchanges nailed a set list, and a rehearsal after this holiday season sealed the deal for a show happening Saturday at The Grey Hound Pub, 11 Kelley Square, Worcester.

 

Roy described the show as a no-pressure gig, though he will be pulling double duty that night as Blow Up Dads is also on the bill. 

 

Richard Duckett Telegram and Gazette 2009

 

Never to late

Sheez Late reunites after more than a decade

‘Ralph's,” said Ron Roy, “is one of our favorite places to play. It was great back then, and Ralph's is still a great place to play.” 

Those words indicate a certain then-and-now perspective. If those words also set off some reverberations and recollections, then you remember the alternative rock band Sheez Late. 

Consisting of Roy (guitar and lead vocals), Amy Mackey (bass and vocals), Hugh Mahaney (guitar) and Joe Sheehan (drums), Sheez Late had quite a buzz going for it locally in the early 1990s. 

They were a big club draw — including, of course, at Ralph's Chadwick Square Diner. So it is appropriate that Ralph's will be the venue when Sheez Late literally gets its act together again when it performs Saturday (at approximately 10 p.m.) as part of a lineup that also includes Indiana Handshake, Lesser Knowns and Eric Sommer. 

Sheez Late is back as a trio — minus Mahaney, who now lives in North Carolina. Mahaney may show up from time to time, and he was on hand when Sheez Late had a reunion concert a couple of years ago at The Grey Hound Pub. That was intended as a one-time deal. Saturday's performance is meant to signify something more lasting. 

“We are back together and we hope to keep this going for a long time. We know we are not going to make it to the big time, but we can keep doing what we love to do and I think most people can appreciate it for what it is,” Roy said. 

Back in 1993, former Telegram & Gazette entertainment columnist Scott McLennan penned his appreciation of Sheez Late, calling the group “one of the Wormtown scene's hottest bands.” They played “rough-and-tumble garage rock” combined with “razor-sharp lyrics, acid-washed vocals” and a guitar attack “that favors passion over cold precision,” McLennan said. 

Roy, 44, who grew up in Worcester and now lives in Milford, said the band, founded in 1990, had several personnel changes initially. But when Roy, Mackey, Mahaney and Sheehan got together, there was a certain musical magic. “It was great. You (could) feel the connection with those guys. We were fortunate when we met. It just clicked,” Roy said. “I feel fortunate. I've jammed with other musicians but it just didn't feel right with those guys.” 

There were a couple of CDs, and Roedell Records in California included the band's “Wasn't Me” on a “Diamond in the Rough” compilation that received national distribution. 

Sheez Late stayed together for about four years. Roy was the first to leave. He had suffered hearing damage characterized by a ringing in the ears which he still experiences. He was going to perform acoustically, but that never really worked out. Meanwhile, Mahaney moved to North Carolina and Mackay spent time in Delaware and then New Jersey. 

But then she moved to Springfield. If there were thoughts of getting the band back together, now was the time. “With Amy here, we can do it,” Roy said. 

Roy has adjusted to his hearing problems and has kept his hand in playing. Sheehan has performed with several prominent Worcester and Boston bands. He also has had ringing in the ear symptoms. Roy and Sheehan now both play wearing earplugs. 

Roy said that when Sheez Late had its reunion concert two years ago he was surprised by the number of people who came up to say they remembered the band fondly or had heard of the group. “I thought they were just clubgoers, but they were coming up to see us. It was great. We had a great time, and we really had a great response.” Appetites were re-energized. “I'm really excited that we can be a band again.” 

Sheez Late performs all original material, most of it written by Roy, although Mackey has written songs as well. “We're a little different,” Roy said. 

The band has already been doing some recording, taking advantage of the technological changes since 1994 by setting up a home studio. “If people want to hear more we'll probably do something more professional,” Roy said. 

As for live performing, “we believe once a month would be good for us. We've still got a lot of other obligations, but we want to give it a good go.” 

By Jessica A. Botelho The Pulse lifestyle and entertainment magazine 2010

10.10 Up and Comers
After a long hiatus, the members of Sheez Late are back on the local music scene and are gearing up to release a new album.
 
“We just love to play music,” said guitarist and vocalist Ron Roy. “It became a possibility again so we got together and jammed.”
 
Roy, along with bassist and vocalist Amy Mackey and drummer Joe Sheehan, originally formed the rock band in the 1990s and decided to reunite as a trio just over a year ago. Ultimately, they said they were missing something and cello player Adam Harrington was just what they needed to update and personalize their style.
 
“I saw them play at Ralph’s Diner and I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” said Harrington. “I thought they wailed.” Harrington, who has been in the band for just over three months, said the cello “…brings a whole lot more to the table. “It adds depth to the music,” he explained.
 
Roy agreed. “The cello is definitely powerful,” he said. “Our music is similar to the way it was, but now it’s got an edge and you don’t hear that in many bands.”
 
Sheehan said they weren’t sure if they were going to like it at first, but they were all pleasantly surprised. “We definitely dig it,” he said.
 
Currently, Sheez Late is in the process of recording a seven-song CD titled Blast.
“We decided to call it that because we like to have a blast,” laughed Roy.
 
Mackey said it has been truly great getting back together. “We’re still playing a lot of older stuff, but it has a new twist to it,” she said. “It has a great energy.”
 
In order to show off their fresh sound to their Worcester fans, they are a show at The Raven on October 2nd.
 
“It’s a fun city and it’s affordable,” said Roy. “For musicians, there are a lot of opportunities in Worcester. The community is so supportive of local music and we’re fortunate to be a part of it. We hope you check us out on Facebook and MySpace.”

Pulse Magazine September 30 2015 By Jennifer Russo

Sheez Late / GO

For anyone under the impression that all bluegrass and folk-flavored music is feeble and fragile, full of sit-back-on-a-rocking-chair ditties, it’s time for you to listen to GO by Sheez Late. A bluegrass and folk recipe for the 21st century, GO is a perfect example of how a specific style of music can push itself and border other genres and influences, creating something new and fresh.

GO has the DNA of straight-up rock ’n’ roll attitude. Sure, it could be classified simply as folk rock, but even that would be an understatement. If played on electric guitars, many of the songs here would fit neatly into the rock realm. That’s not to say they still couldn’t, but rock traditionalists likely would not concur with the twang and spice dashed on top. However, one gets the feeling that Sheez Late is just fine with staking out its own parcel of land.

“Guillotine” is a brash and heavy, in-your-face number that shouldn’t work with banjos, but somehow does, as Ron Roy sings, “Time to face the guillotine” in an angry and directive voice. Many of the songs here are similar in tone, while some (like the play on words of “Hard Attack”) are upbeat and filled with carnal intentions. The standout track is the dark “Leave Me Alone.” A song more heavy in heart than sound, “Leave Me Alone” is a strong showing of stirring emotion that proves Sheez Late can also hit the heart and get deep.