Hoboken’s dB’s Are Back Again

The dB's, a band whose smart, jangly pop found a home in the late-70s Hoboken music scene, returns after decades pursuing independent projects and separate lives.

Original dB’s, from left, Peter Holsapple, Chris Stamey, Will Rigby and Gene Holder, are releasing their first album since 1982.
Photo by Daniel Coston.

In the late 1970s, four young men from North Carolina found a welcoming home in the Hoboken music scene. The dB’s honed their smart, jangly pop at the city’s soon-to-be legendary Maxwell’s club. Before long, the band found fans nationwide with the help of college radio and a major tour with R.E.M.

A few decades went by, with the attendant marriages, kids, divorces, moves, band breakups and solo projects. But old friendships die hard, and now the dB’s are back. The band is releasing its first album since 1982 with the original lineup: Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey (vocals and guitars), Gene Holder (bass) and Will Rigby (drums). “It just seemed like a natural thing to do,” Holsapple says. “The time seemed right to present ourselves to the world again, older and better.” Falling Off the Sky comes out on June 12 via the revered Hoboken-based label Bar/None.

The dB’s have reunited before—typically with a Jersey twist. They played several shows at Maxwell’s in 2005. It was quite the homecoming, especially for Stamey and Holsapple, both former Hoboken residents. (Holder still lives there.) The new album also brought them back to a favorite Hoboken haunt, Water Music Recording Studios. Though the band took full advantage of the studio’s digital recording technology, Holsapple believes their classic sound is intact. “The record has a warmth and familiarity to it that I think people will gravitate toward,” he says. (The band performs at Manhattan’s Le Poisson Rouge on June 15.)

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