From left to right: Adam McHeffey, vocals, guitar and banjo; Ben Goldstein, drums; Shaun Savage, electric bass; Kari Spieler, vocals and guitar.
“I’ve only seen a few artists bring a room to a hush, only to have their audience hooping and hollering moments later, and these four talented Yankees have joyfully mastered their ability to do so. By the end of the first song, we were out of our seats and upfront. Strangers instantly became neighbors as the entire venue was swept up in the action.” – The Blue Indian
When Adam McHeffey (guitar, banjo, vocals) first heard Kari Spieler (guitar, vocals) in 2009, she was playing a cover of the Jackson 5's “I Want You Back” in their college co-op, where Adam volunteered.
"I thought she sounded amazing, but she was selling her CD for ten dollars, and that was just too much for my wallet."
Though both Adam and Kari performed regularly around the campus of SUNY Purchase College, it wasn't until the final weeks of their senior year that they met in Kari's bedroom and recorded "Johnnie," a song Swear and Shake performs to this day.
The bedroom demo of "Johnnie" began to circulate, finding its way to Shaun Savage (bass) and Thomas Elefante (former drummer), both childhood friends of Adam. That summer, with ever increasing momentum, Swear and Shake recorded their first EP, aptly titled Extended Play. Extensive performing followed the release of Extended Play, playing venues in New York City and Brooklyn, and on the weekends performing to neighboring cities.
In the summer of 2011, Swear and Shake recorded Maple Ridge, named after the barn in which it was recorded. Produced by Ben Goldstein (current drummer), Maple Ridge was released in the summer of 2012. The reviews speak for themselves:
“Postcard-perfect indie folk with an undercurrent of sly humor." – Time Out New York
"Folksy, foot-stomping rock" – New York Times
“You may not know them yet, but you should.” – Teen Vogue
"Maple Ridge... is exactly what a full-length debut should look like." -folkyourself.com
“Taking a sick-and-tired of being sick-and-tired look at romance, singers Kari Spieler and Adam McHeffey harmonize about wanting to give up the game.” – CMT Edge
“With their more recent appearances being at festivals like Shaky Knees and Governors Ball, it’s clear that the band thrives in a live setting.” – Paste Magazine
“This is a band you’ve got to see, and will delight the crowd.” –Music Savage
Swear and Shake most recently has shared the stage as direct support for The Lumineers, Delta Rae, G Love & Special Sauce and ZZ Ward. Summer 2013 has seen them performing at such festivals as Shaky Knees, Governors Ball, Mountain Jam, Summer Camp. Despite near constant touring, the band has found time to record new material with an expected release in late 2013. The first single from these recordings has already seen the light of day, as Paste Magazine premiered fan favorite “Brother” in May of 2013.