PLATTSBURGH - When Groove Junkies come to town, the band travels a long way to get here. However, if you ask them, they'll tell you it's worth the trip.
"We absolutely love the fans here," said Keith Vidic, bassist for the Waterbury, Conn. band.
Vidic and his bandmates - rhythm guitar player and lead vocalist Eric Bleile, rhythm and lead guitarist Bryan Lendroth, drummer Chris Breton and lead vocalist Trish Radil - have been playing the Plattsburgh area for the past two years, first playing at Olive Ridley's. The self-proclaimed "modern rock party band" has been entertaining audiences playing both originals and covers since 2001.
"We came up with hundreds of possible names for the band, and it came down to "Groove Junkie" or "Hippopotamus and the Funky Monkey," said Vidic. "We chose Groove Junkie because it was shorter and easier to say, although I still liked the Hippo one."
Clubs tended to announce the band as "the Groove Junkies," so the band just went with it, adding an "s" to their name," said Vidic.
"Our original idea for the music we play was modern rock, energy music with a groove feel," explained Vidic. "Something you could dance to but still be entertained by watching the band perform."
Eventually, the band added to that theory, playing songs people know, but that aren't usually seen performed by bands.
"Having both a male and female singer gives us a lot of flexibility to play all types of music," said Vidic.
"I think we put our personalities into our sound and our show," said Lendroth. "We tend to pick songs with energy that will keep the crowd going and wanting to see more."
The band has a new demo in the works, with plans in the meantime to play a charity fundraiser this summer. Though the majority of their gigs are in their native Connecticut, that doesn't mean the Groove Junkies will be off the Plattsburgh radar.
"You can find us all over Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and this winter up in Vermont for various shows," said Vidic.
"I don't think booking started yet for Olive Ridley's come fall, but I'm sure we'll be back there a few times before next summer," added Lendroth.
And, the fans are what make the more than 500-mile trip to Plattsburgh worth the drive.
"Fans in Plattsburgh seem to appreciate us more I think," said Breton. "The cover scene is getting so over-saturated in the Northeast these days and I don't think there are as many cover bands in the Plattsburgh area as there are in Connecticut."
"We love the fans in and around Plattsburgh - some of our most dedicated fans hands down," said Radil. "We've even had some drive five hours to come see us in Connecticut.
(Editor's Note: Groove Junkies will perform Friday, July 23, and Saturday, July 24, at the Naked Turtle on Dock Street. The show will begin at 10 p.m. Their complete schedule can be found on their Web site, www.thegroovejunkies.com. They may also be found on Facebook by searching the keyword "Groove Junkies.")