|In the early 1980's Mike Baker, Carl Cadden-James, Ron Evans, and John Coonie played in the well respected Lehigh Valley band, "SORCERER". Covering many songs that most bands wouldn't attempt, they proved their musicianship, flawlessly tributing a variety of Yngwie Malmsteen songs, some of the more difficult RUSH tunes and hosted a collection of many favorite classic rock songs.
In 1985 guitarist Chris Ingles was added to the fold, only to take over keyboard duties when soon after, Brendt Allman, new to the Eastern Pennsylvania area also came to join.
It was around this time the band took a hiatus from the club scene and put it's efforts into crafting guitar orientated metal original music. Chris Ingles left to pursue higher Education, studying theology and music.
Drummer John Cooney sent a demo tape to Mike Varney who was interested in hearing more. As the bands original material progressed, incorporating more thought out arrangements, Varney's interest continued.
Brendt Allman and Carl Cadden-James continued to work on a piece called "The Queen of the City of Ice" which showcased a long, involved more progressive direction. This piece fit perfectly into what Varney and business manager Pete Morticelli's new record label was looking for. The record label was MAGNA CARTA, whose objective was to bring a fresh breath of progressive rock to an audience who was subdued by larger record companies quest for typical commercial music.
At this time, Ron Evans found himself more interested in the straight ahead rock approach of the bands earlier days and left to pursue a direction more suited to his personal tastes.
The band changed their name to SHADOW GALLERY and put together an 8-track demo of material, recorded in Cadden-James basement. One day when Carl bumped into Chris, he asked him if he was interested in adding his keyboard talents to the new project. Chris did more than this, adding some of his compositions to the fold, giving the band an even more progressive, well rounded edge that painted a wonderful canvas for Mike Baker to put his vocals over.
The demo was well received by Magna Carta who officially signed the band August 23, 1991. Shadow Gallery was the second band to sign to the Progressive rock label. The year 1991 saw the labels first release from the band MAGELLAN. SHADOW GALLERY's self titled debut followed the summer of 1992. Although the material was only in demo form, the label desired a quick follow up to Magellan and pressed the Shadow Gallery cd's which were released in Europe and Japan only.
The band had already started writing material for their next album when their possibilities of a japanese tour were becoming more defined. At this time their search for an additional musician to complete their live show began. They hadn't looked too long, when in March of 1993, guitarist/keyboardist Gary Wehrkamp had received a call from a friend who knew of a band needing an additional member. Gary, who had just gotten off the road with the band THE BOXTOPS, returned the call, set up a meeting and met with the band April 3rd. His position of additional live musician changed to band member 3 weeks later. This seemed to be an even more wise decision that July when the band and the record company decided that it would be better to put out another CD and follow that with a tour.
For the next 8 1/2 months the band extensively demo'd material and in April 1994 started recording with drummer Kevin Soferra. Kevin, a seasoned pro, was called in at the eleventh hour when other drummer prospects fell through late in the demoing game.
That summer the band moved its' rehearsal space to Northampton and equipped itself with studio equipment. Chris Ingles took a break from the music business for a while which gave Wehrkamp a chance to record a great deal of keyboards for the album. The band faced a few more obstacles when they began to have a long string of equipment problems, delaying he recording yet again.
In April of 1995, the CD was completed and July 11th saw the release of "CARVED IN STONE". Again the band prepared to tour, however that summer they remained affixed in their new studio, contributing songs for an array of tribute CDS, such as "THE MOON REVISITED" (Pink Floyd), "TALES FROM YESTERDAY" (Yes), "SUPPER'S READY (Genesis), and in December the band took a break from their rehearsal schedule as Brendt Allman flew out to PRAIRIE SUN Studios in California to record rhythm tracks with DREAM THEATER's Mike Portnoy and MR. BIG's Billy Sheenan. This was for a tribute to RUSH. After a break for the holidays, the beginning of 1996 found the other members of the band adding tracks to the tribute which would come to be known as "WORKING MAN."
Unfortunately, the continuous recording schedule found the band in a familiar situation. All members began to write on their own for the next CD. The band's rehearsals gave way to more recording sessions as the band began to demo their new songs. That summer Gary, Brendt and Chris began to rehearse the new material with drummer JOE NEVOLO in Asbury Park, N.J.
That November, they entered SLOYER SOUND Studio and cut the drums in less than 4 days. At this point the band further updated their studio with a new disk based recording setup and spent a while trying to reconfigure their studio setup.
As the band approaches the winter of 1997, they know they have a lot of work ahead of them. Their strong work ethnic and desire for a top quality product add waiting time between releases, but when they are done, the hard work and long wait pay off, and they release a production they are proud of.
In the winter of 1997, the band continued to work on their new concept album, remaining locked in both SHADOW GALLERY studios and also using 9TH STREET STUDIOS to complete their work. TYRANNY was released on September 25, 1998 to high critical acclaim.
In October 1998, Carl Cadden-James traveled to Europe talking to the press about the new record.
In the last two months of 1998, Brendt, Carl, Gary and local musician/songwriter Gary Sloyer started working on some musical ideas that along with James Labrie's work, would become songs for MULLMUZZLER : KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. The CD was released by Magna Carta in the Summer of 1999. This disc was to be the first solo album by James Labrie (of Dream Theater) and included the songs: Shores of Avalon, Guardian Angel, Sacrifice and Slow Burn.
As this CD was being released, Mike Baker was extending his voice to another project. With Gary producing at 9Th STREET STUDIOS, Mike played the part of MELZI on the original cast recording of LEONARDO DAVINCI/THE ABSOLUTE MAN. Gary and Mike also contributed background vocals for the project.
As the winter of 2000 came to an end, Shadow Gallery had plenty of new ideas recorded in the form of demo's, and band meetings decided which songs to press ahead with, and the new album, was slated for recording. Recording commenced on the last week of April 2000, with Joe Nevolo back behind the drum kit with producer Gary manning the boards at the Menagerie Recording Studio. The band last recorded drums there in 1995 for the song TIME (Pink Floyd) from the disc "The Moon Revisited"
The first project of the new millennium in the year 2000 was to become another guest spot. This time Gary contributed a Guitar solo and a keyboard solo to the disc "Flight of the Universal Migrator" by the band AYREON. He's featured on the song "Through the Worm Hole".
At the same time in the spring of 2000, James Labrie and Magna Carta were anxious to start the next MULLMUZZER adventure and again turned to the songsmiths from Shadow Gallery for some songwriting collaborations. New songs were written and Demo'd throughout the spring of this year, while Shadow Gallery continued recording for their fourth studio release.
Shadow Gallery's latest disc was finished in Early November 2000 and a mix was scheduled for December of that year. James LaBrie flew down to continue working on three new songs with Gary and Carl for the second MullMuzzler CD. In December, Gary flew out to STUDIOCHICAGO in Chicago, Illinois, to co-mix with Veteran NEIL KERNON. The CD was finished by years end and sent off for mastering.
In February of 2001, Gary recorded electric and acoustic guitars for the new Magna Carta release, EXPLORERS CLUB II. The rhythm section also boasted TERRY BOZZIO on Drums, and JOHN MYUNG (Dream Theater) on Bass. This exciting CD, headed by TRENT GARDNER of Magellan should be ready by the end of 2001.
On April 11th, Shadow Gallery released their long awaited disc, LEGACY. The CD appeared in Europe a month later.
In July of 2001 Mike Baker appeared as "Melzi" on the release "Leonardo - The Absolute Man by Trent Gardner.
In September of 2001 Mike and Gary completed their contributions on the Magna Carta CD - The December People - Souns like Christmas.
January of 2002 brought word that Gary was performing on Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One project CD.
The year 2004 brought a beehive of activity from the band. In March of 2004 the band began the recording process for the 5th Shadow Gallery Release, while in May of that same year was the release of Aryeon - The Human Equation with Mike Baker singing on the song "Day 16: Loser" Gary completed his contributions to the Shadrane project with the first release "Neurastasia." And the news in November that Shadow Gallery had signed with Inside Out as their new label rounded out a successful 2004.
Currently in 2005 Shadow Gallery has seen "Room V" released to great critical acclaim. The band is now in the promotion process in support of "Room V".
Official Biography: http://shadowgallery.com