Musical Style and Influences
The Badlees forged a distinctive sound through their formative years that fused rock and pop elements with a distinct Pennsylvania style they called "roots rock". This sound was best presented on their breakthrough album River Songs, released in 1995. Some of the band’s later efforts, especially Amazing Grace and Love Is Rain, branched out into several different sub-genres, such as new wave, blues, folk, country, and Americana.
The band members themselves drew their influences from diverse sources. Founding member Jeff Feltenberger was formally trained as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, with a bend towards folk, country, and bluegrass. Guitarist and chief songwriter Bret Alexander cites various influences ranging from John Lennon and the Beatles to Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Steve Earle. Drummer Ron Simasek is a huge fan of Frank Zappa and, along with bassist Paul Smith, the Canadian power trio Rush. Singer Pete Palladino drew his influences from a spectrum of rock and pop artists including contemporaries Counting Crows and Edwin McCain.
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