77 The stone is growing locally | Lifestyles


NIAGARA FALLS – A few weeks ago, when music promoter Anita West announced that Coco Montoya would be coming to the Rapids Theater, she seemed almost as excited about 77 Stone.

The hard rock trio is made up of 19-year-old Michael Delano on lead guitar and vocals and 18-year-old TJ Podsiadlo on bass, with 16-year-old Vito Wojcik of Niagara Falls on drums.

Delano and Podsiadlo are recent graduates of Grand Island High School. Wojcik is entering his final year in Niagara Falls.

Don’t let age fool you. Delano carries himself with a sense of calm that goes away as soon as the lights come on.

He led the group through a scorching Saturday night set during the Chandler Street Summer Concert Series at Tappo Pizza in Buffalo.

The trio has an energetic and emotional hard rock side with a punk side.

“We started when we were all in high school,” Delano said. “Vito still is.”

Delano rose to prominence when he was only 16 when asked to join Christone “Kingfish” Ingram on stage at Tralf, now closed.

“77 Stone will be the first band on stage for one of my shows in Niagara Falls,” West said. “This is the perfect band to open my concerts at the Rapids because they are promising and local.

Vito’s father is Bruce, guitarist of the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame. “I’ve been on top of everything from the start,” he said.

As Vito’s skills grew, Bruce said that D’Amico music’s Ivy D’Amico put him in touch with Delano. The duo wrote a song the day they met, “Paradise Falls”.

77 Stone opened for the Grace Stumberg Band and headliner Grosh.

Grace Lougen plays solo guitar in both groups and started Saturday with two solo concerts.

“I get a ton of influence from her,” Delano said of Lougen, “and Stevie Ray Vaughn.”

Wojcik is there to promote them as only a seasoned musician can. He said on Monday that he believed they were done opening for something other than national acts.

“I’m just telling the boys you have to carve your own thing,” Bruce said.

On Saturday, 77 Stone performed mostly from the original with sounds almost influenced by Black Sabbath as well as weird covers like “On the Road Again” by Canned Heat.

77 Stone will be the next live at 8 p.m. Thursday at Buffalo’s Asbury Hall where the trio will open for Bruce Wojcik and The Struggle. Aside from the national acts, Burce said the young musicians might not be the last time they headlined a local show.

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