Local Scene: The Little Bonzo

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The Little Bonzo

• If you can't see the drummer on some of the songs by Code Whiskey tonight at Mosites Bike Nights, it's because his head barely rises above the kit.

Avery Molek, from Washington, Pa., is only 5. He just finished kindergarten.

He started drumming at age 2, and the prodigy has become a YouTube sensation for his videos playing along with Kiss records, which caught the attention of Kiss drummer Eric Singer.

Tonight at Station Square, Avery will sit in with Code Whiskey on classics by Van Halen and AC/DC. It will be only the third time he's played out with a band.

The first two were two weeks ago at a festival presented by Rice Energy, where he was demonstrating how he can play along with CDs. The band Ruff Creek saw it and members asked if he wanted to sit in with them on "Pour Some Sugar on Me."

"We were a little bit leery," says his father, Ed Molek, "because he had struggled before with that song, but he absolutely nailed it."

That same day, AC/DC tribute band AD/HD enlisted him for "Jailbreak" and he pounded that one out with authority.

"It was such a learning experience, playing with people in a live setting," Mr. Molek says. "We noticed the next day his motivation level had changed. He learned five AC/DC songs in five days."

He's going to join AD/HD in West LaFayette, Ind., on Friday and then make his Sturgis Bike Week debut with them in Michigan on Saturday. His dad plans to keep a close eye on him to make sure he doesn't start to pick up some of that rock-star lifestyle.

"We're not going out there trying to pursue to get him famous," Mr. Molek says, "and he doesn't want to play for the fame and be noticed. He just loves music. With how much he's progressed since October [since the videos hit], we saw how that was adding to his love for it. We kind of weighed that with 'Is it too much exposure?' We think it's good for him to get the music experience. If it gets to the point where it's too much pressure. ... We're not going to get into a situation where 'You need to learn these two songs by then.' It has to be fun for him."

Mr. Molek is a graphic designer and his wife, Elizabeth, is a medical assistant. Neither plays the drums. They just noticed Avery's unusual faculty for it as a toddler with a toy kit and have gently guided him.

"We started to notice that he was learning songs by ear. One day he started playing a song -- a Kiss song -- and doing a lot of the intricate things, like hitting the cymbal and stopping it with his hand, and getting the core beats almost instantly."

He started taking lessons about a year and a half ago with Vic Dapra at Guitar Gallery in Canonsburg. Mr. Molek, who plays a little guitar, has been scrambling to keep up.

"I play guitar but never played in a band. I was never able to play a whole song all the way through. But it's like playing catch with your kid. I have to make myself better."

Also on the free Bike Nights show, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m., will be John Corabi, who did a brief stint as the singer for Motley Crue, and also worked with Angora, The Scream and Angel City Outlaws, among others. He is touring solo, promoting the new "John Corabi Unplugged."

Bike Nights features weekly prizes, special promotions, contests and charity initiatives to benefit prostate cancer research through The Pittsburgh Pirate Parrot Annual Cruise for a Cure. For details: www.facebook.com/StationSquare. To see Avery play, go to www.averymolek.com.

Malloy's heartfelt gospel

• Move over, Travie McCoy.

Here comes Travis Malloy. Not to be confused with the Gym Class Heroes frontman, Mr. Malloy is a Stanton Heights native and Pittsburgh CAPA graduate who's destined to make waves on the national gospel scene.

On Friday, the singer-songwriter will celebrate the release of his self-titled sophomore album with a performance at Petra International Ministries.

Mr. Malloy, who sings in the vein of such R&B crooners as R. Kelly and Brian McKnight, is well known in the local gospel community, having been a regular at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, and from his work with his group Nu Prayz.

This self-titled album mixes traditional gospel soul ("All the Glory") with a track like "Turn It Up" that has the contemporary pop/R&B production of a Beyonce song, or "Favor," with its velvety Luther Vandross feel.

Mr. Malloy says of the project, "Everybody wants the promise, but nobody wants the process. But I believe during the two-year process of this album, it was worth the blood, sweat and tears because of the ministry and anointing it contains. I want lives to be changed. Not only do I want to prick the hearts of people, but I also want to encourage and inspire."

It begins at 7:30 p.m. at 235 Eastgate Drive, East Hills, with Brother Hahz and Trini L. Massie & 4 The Caz of Christ. Visit www.travismalloymusic.com.


First Published June 28, 2012 4:00 AM


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