By Staci Wolfson
Known simply as “Mike and Steve,” Mike Koehler and Steve Dooley had been serenading Baltimore for around five years before bringing in a feminine touch to the pair, currently in the form of Jessie Firey. As the trio, Gutter Rose, the three versatile and multitasking musicians provide Baltimore music fans with mellow, folksy tunes – the perfect complement to a night out with friends and summer cocktails.
CBSBaltimore.com recently caught up with Gutter Rose guitarist Mike Koehler (who also plays piano, mandolin, harmonica and percussion) and spoke to him about their sound, their projects and the Baltimore music scene.
Q: Who plays what in Gutter Rose?
A: I sing and play guitar, piano, mandolin, harmonica and percussion. Steve plays guitar, and Jessie sings and plays percussion.
Q: How did you name Gutter Rose?
A: We originally came up with the name “A Rose Between Thorns” since we are two dudes and a girl, but that name was taken by a group in D.C., so I just came up with the gutter part instead.
Q: How did Gutter Rose come to be?
A: Steve was my next-door neighbor when I was growing up, and we ended up playing together in our basements for fun. We finally realized that we may as well play for people, make a little money and get some free beers out of the deal. Earlier this summer, we were in need of a new female singer, and that’s when we found Jessie. Both Steve and I had connections to her family before we even met her – like fate.
Q: How would you describe Gutter Rose’s sound?
A: We are an acoustic trio that plays cover songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, as well as some modern pop, rock and country. Pretty much any song we can play or sing that people request, we will give it a shot.
Q: If Gutter Rose’s music was an ice cream flavor, what would it be?
A: Chocolate chip cookie dough, just because it’s my favorite.
Q: Who are your musical influences and the band’s musical influences?
A: The Band, Bruce Springsteen, Dusty Springfield, Van Morrison, Heart, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, anything Motown, Ray Charles.
Q: What’s your favorite song to perform?
A: My favorite song to play is “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen. It’s always a crowd-pleaser, and I’ve always loved it. I also love listening to Jessie sing “Rolling in the Deep,” by Adele; she just destroys it every time.
Q: What other local bands are your favorites?
A: I’ve always been a huge fan of Can’t Hang. Both Jessie and I went to Towson High School with them and have always enjoyed seeing them play live. They have to be one of the best groups around.
Q: Describe Gutter Rose in three words.
A: Sexy, talented, laidback.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the Baltimore music scene?
A: I love how eclectic it is. You can really find any type of music or band that you want. And there are so many places to go see music from bigger venues like Rams Head Live and the Recher to smaller clubs, bars and restaurants all over town.
Q: What else should local music fans know about Gutter Rose?
A: We are here to entertain people. That’s the bottom line. If the people at our shows are having fun, so are we. Come out and see us and we promise a great night!
For more information Gutter Rose shows, visit them at http://www.facebook.com/GutterRoseMusic