Guitarist Ron Rennells and his vocalist/wife Kathleen Frasca formed Dead Ringer in 1995. Since then, the Hollywood, CA-based quartet has continued to resurrect the vocal jazz tradition of the 1930s to '60s. Influenced by the melodic jazz playing of late guitarist Wes Montgomery, the group has created an ultra-smooth but swinging sound. In her liner notes for the group's second album, Dad Music, released in 2001, Jill Manning claimed that Dead Ringer is "part of the Mancini generation...so hip they're on the fringe of squaredom....a love refrain for hipsters." Dead Ringer represents the latest in a series of career moves by Missouri-born Rennels, who formed his first band more than three decades previously. After working with several Midwest groups, including the punk band the Resistors, he moved to Los Angeles in 1978 to attend the Guitar Institute of Technology. A native of Hollywood, Frasca spent much of the late-'70s and early '80s in England, where she wrote, designed, and published an underground pop fanzine, Wow Magazine -- The International Kathy Fan Club, for eight years. The original lineup, which performed their premier gig at Hollywood's farmers' market, has experienced several personnel changes. Founding bass player Mark Marquardt was replaced by Marty Buttwinick, who was replaced by Joe Plutschow shortly after the release of the band's debut album, Atomic Cocktail, in late 1997. The group released Dad Music four years later. Dead Ringer has had an ongoing gig performing every Sunday evening at Jax's Bar and Grill in Glendale, CA.
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