The Informants, like so many other bands, were formed after bassist “Mac” McMurray and singer Kerry Pastine bumped into each other at a nightclub in the fall of 2005. Discovering the singer’s band had just split up and knowing his own was about to, McMurray suggested they get together. He assembled a backing band of first-rate musicians, rounding out the rhythm section with pianist Mark Richardson, drummer Paul Christophersen, and guitarist Paul Shellooe. From the group’s first rehearsal it was clear that top priority would be to capitalize on the dual sax attack of Kenny Plum and Jonny Love, and more importantly, its charismatic star-in-the-making’s powerful vocals, and tempting sex-kitten charm. Since debuting in January 2006, the Informants’ invigorating performances have become something of legend. After being named Denver’s “Best Bar Band” Westword had this to say on the subject, “Plenty of musicians take umbrage if their group is called a bar band. Still, the finest acts with this label don’t need open taps or drink specials to work their magic; their playing is intoxicating enough.”
Inspired by the music of the juke joints, Richardson began composing a spicy stew of eclectic roots songs, resulting in the critically acclaimed 2007 debut recording, Stiletto Angel. The album has proven to be more than just an exercise in retro recycling; as one critic put it, “not only are the Informants able to recreate a great vintage sound, at times they also manage to sprinkle in a little bit of modern music, creating something new and alive.” Kerry Pastine and the Informants recast the mold of the Memphis and New Orleans sounds, like Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Joss Stone and Sharon Jones re-fashioned the sounds of Philly and Mowtown.
Mixed and mastered by Big Head Todd & the Monster’s Jeremy Lawton, Stiletto Angel’s distinctive, universally appealing sound caught the ear of House of Blues Radio Hour host Dan Aykroyd, who featured the title track as the Blues Breaker song of the week on the nationally-syndicated, award-winning program in February 2008. In reference to the Informants, Akroyd said, “they will not be Denver’s little secret for long,” and he was right. Disc Jockeys at 300+ radio stations worldwide have been playing the record, with every track on the album having been added to a playlist somewhere, including a debut at #1 in May at WPTS-FM in Pittsburgh. Furthermore, a recent licensing deal with Muzak will ensure the band extensive national mainstream exposure. Stiletto Angel has also been appearing on numerous “Best Of” lists including Westword’s “Best Denver Releases 2007,” Strictly Blues “Top 50 of 2007,” and a #7 debut on Real Blues Magazine’s “Top 100.” The overwhelming success of Stiletto Angel recently propelled the Informants to a 2008 Westword Music Showcase Award for “Best Blues Band,” squarely placing the Informants atop Denver’s “A” list and in the center of recent A&R chatter.
So when will the Informants rest? Not this year — or next. Having recently shared stages with Koko Taylor, Tab Benoit, Firefall, Lifehouse, and the Railbenders, the band will fulfill a heavy club and festival itinerary through fall, including a July 30th Elway’s date that will be filmed for the Altitude television network music program, On Stage, to begin airing August 19th. With studio time booked for next winter, a new album and tour are expected for spring 2009.