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Duchess of York 

That York family rock band is really going somewhere. And the way things are going, that might not be to college or regular jobs. Especially after their April 19 performance at Toad's Place. That night, Duchess of York played to an already loyal crowd as well as to the critical gaze of publicists, ready to play god with their future career, with names like Atlantic, Columbia and Epic Records. It seems appropriate that Elliot Yamin was in the audience as well -- Duchess of York may follow his trajectory. The night may be their ticket to the big leagues, and they're certainly more than deserving.

The band includes Michael York, 17, guitarist and singer/songwriter, and his brother Austin, 21, on bass, as well as their cousin Constantine Giavos, 18, on drums, and Giavos' cousin Jacob Shank, 16, on guitar.

Click here for audio slideshow.

Ever since the group's 2004 start-up (then it was The Rising Sons, with a few different cousins and acquaintances rounding out the roster), it's been barreling toward a successful career upon the same fusion of rock and old blues that defined groups with names like Led Zeppelin and The Who.

Now, though, the York sound has transformed into something a little less definable — something very much its own. With Michael's edgy, amplified vocals, flavors of The White Stripes and Kings of Leon, and guitar riffs that move between funky and thunderous, Michael says they "want to be one of the most diversified groups out there." The only thing not in their future is "maybe a techno album — maybe," Austin says.

Since the release of their third CD late last year, "Era in Static," the guys have certainly become familiar faces around town.

"Richmond's great in that it has a lot of smaller venues where we can prove ourselves," Michael says. "We take great pride in where we got started, but we want to live it up big, too."

Richmond's been good to them, but the lure of the rest of the world is strong when there are important names that can open it up. But they're more than willing to gain a little distance to win a little recognition. "We want to be on the road 275 days a year," Austin says.

Michael adds, "We want to be one of those people."




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