PIKEPHOTOWhen Pat McIntyre’s long stint as rhythm guitarist for Chicago’s The Cells ended, it was clear that there wasn’t anything he could do but start recording his own songs. Cells drummer Randy Payne, who’d been playing in bands with Pat for years, also found himself needing to move on, and wanting to focus on getting Pat’s songwriting out to the audience he’d always known it deserved.

Pat had always been the consummate harmony singer in every band he played in, and now he needed someone to step into those shoes and back him up. The Joy Poppers’ Tom Szidon, whom Randy and Pat had also seen playing bass and singing backup in clubs around Chicago with The Girls, seemed right for the job, and soon he was on board to help out with Pat’s early recording sessions.

The band caught a break before it had a name, a demo, or a lead guitarist — they were added to a bill with Ireland’s Ash, under the provisional name McIntyre. Pat asked his friend Scott Lucas of Local H if he could play the show, Scott said yes, and suddenly Pat had a band on his hands.

Scott christened the band Cisco Pike, which is either an old country road in Ohio, a “walking contradiction, part truth and partly fiction” (according to Kris Kristofferson), or the arch-nemesis of the Rawhide Kid. In any case, the name seemed to fit the band’s sweet and sad, romantic and rocking sound, almost like that old corduroy jacket you can’t bring yourself to get rid of.

ciscopikeheader2

Cisco Pike recorded their first song, Beautiful, with Joe Cassidy of Assassins, at his Musicola studio. They mixed Beautiful with Neal Ostrovsky of The Webb Brothers, at B-Side Audio, and added four more songs, Roll, Better Alone, Alarm and Wasteland. They’re currently writing and recording more new songs