Jeff Feltenberger wants to kick your tail and kick it hard. The former Badlees guitarist says his new band, Sweet Pea Felty, is a simple foot-stomping, loud-and-proud rock 'n' roll group that aims to entertain rather than enlighten.
"It's basically rock songs for a bar," Feltenberger says. "There's no ballads. It's just loud guitars, and the whole message is kind of tongue-in-cheek. Nothing's too serious."
Though Feltenberger penned Badlees' gems such as "Ore Hill," "34 Winters," "Appalachian Scream," and "Heaven On Earth," he says Sweet Pea Felty has no immediate plans to play those numbers. Rather, it'll focus on some newly written material, some tunes from his former side project, Echotown and some spirited covers by acts such as The Fools, Jason & The Scorchers, Webb Wilder and Bobbie Gentry.
Feltenberger, who recently left The Badlees after 14 years, says the time was right for a change.
"I was just kind of in a rut, I guess," he says. "I had trouble getting behind some of the things that were going on, and if you don't agree with something, and you complain about it and complain about it, then you just become a complainer rather than doing anything positive. The band looked at it as a negative effect on the vibe, I guess, and I can't dispute that at all, because it was."
Feltenberger says he has no hard feelings and that he might be open to playing with the band again someday.
"I don't know if that's a possibility or not, but I'd never rule anything out," he says. "I loved playing in the band, and I love the music. That's never been an issue. It's just not so much a creative outlet for me anymore, and some of that's my fault for just allowing myself to take a back seat. There were other things too ... but I've heard all of the tunes for their new record, and it's going to be slammin'."
Sweet Pea Felty features keyboardist Chris Novak and guitarist Mike Morrison, who were members of Echotown. Rounding out the lineup are bassist Craig Cady and drummer Kevin Thomas. The group will make its area debut on Thursday at The Waterfront in Plains Township as part of the Bud True Music Series. Also on the bill are local reggae master George Wesley and Scranton singer/songwriter Joanne August.
"It's loud, it's fast, and it's fun," Feltenberger says of Sweat Pea Felty's live show. "Dylan's not sweating it on this stuff."
For more info on the band, visit www.sweetpeafelty.com.