Patchogue guitarist Matthew Read hit it big this weekend with his new band, Corky Laing and The Memory Thieves. Band members include Read; Josh Horton, lead singer and former Supervisor; Corky Lang, a well-known drummer from the 1960's band, Mountain; and Eric Schenkman, guitarist for the Spin Doctors, a band that made the pop charts in the early 1990s.
The band made its debut at the Miami Music Festival on Friday night with a 45-minute set of all original music. Horton said that the major music event was a great opportunity for the emerging band.
"The break was tremendous," Horton said.
Playing together for only three months, the band rocked the festival with some 11 new songs, all written by the band members.
"We have a great dynamic and communicate well together," said Horton, who is the band's lead singer.
The band started as a friendship between Horton and Laing, who met at a music festival over the summer. Laing was playing with Mountain, known for its hit song, "Mississippi Queen."
Laing has over 40 years of experience in the music industry, not only as a drummer, but as a successful producer and songwriter.
"We just hit it off and thought we could put something together that would blend Corky's rock and roll roots with folks like myself," Horton said, who was at the festival with his band, Big Suga. Horton also performs solo.
Not only did the pair mesh musically, but Horton said, Laing has been a great friend, teaching his son to play ice hockey and guitar.
The harmonization between Horton and Lang resulted in a "classic rock sound with contemporary coloring," Horton said.
Laing soon brought Schenkman into the group. The pair, Horton said, are longtime friends and fellow Canadians.
Read began playing with the group after filling in for Schenkman at a gig.
"Matt is such a unique guitar player," Horton said. "He is well-versed and competent. He brings in a really interesting sound that complemented what Corky and I had been working on."
Read, who by day is an electrician, said he has been studying music since he was 13. He attended Berklee and earned a degree in music theory.
Together, the newly formed band got down to work, jamming at a studio in Southold nearly every night of the week. They vowed to lay down an album early in the new year.
"I would tuck my kids into bed at 7:30 and then head off to the studio," said Horton, who landed a job as the senior managing director ofoffice after serving as Southold's youngest supervisor for two terms.
"We actually didn't think we would be performing so soon," Horton said. "A friend of Corky's asked us to headline at the Miami festival."
Horton said the group jumped at the opportunity.
"It was a great way to keep the pressure on us to produce and advance our project," Horton said.
What's next for the band? They will be playing on Nov. 27 at B.B. Kings Blues Club in New York City and then will be working on their album, which they intend to release sometime in March.
"Maybe, one day, Giants Stadium," said Read.