PETTY THIEVES band is a product of the Auburn Public Theater’s open mic nights and the many musicians who appear there regularly. Sam Pruyn, who is a transplant from Long Island, NY, started appearing at the open mic nights in September 2016 where he met Carey Eidel, Bob Brower, Scott Anderson, and Loren Miller among others who had a Sunday Morning Jam each week. This group( later named The Sunday Morning Righteous Indignation Band ) in various configurations continues to perform most weeks at the APT.
Sam and Loren started doing a duo set together and subsequently heard JD Balloni performing Tom Petty material at open mic. The three decided to start doing the Petty and related artists songs at the open mic and were well received. “Oz” (as he prefers to be called) was playing bass with Loren Miller in their classic rock band Rockinspiel and was asked to join. Finally, Rich Howard, a drummer from Auburn, who frequented the APT open mics from time to time was asked to join.
PETTY THIEVE’S focus is on the music of Tom Petty as well as that of the artists he has performed with including but not limited to The Byrds, The Traveling Wilburys, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynn and George Harrison. They also plan to include material that Petty does live as well as that which he states as influences. This is a broad spectrum of music to draw from but the band does not intend to limit itself in any way.
JD BALLONI- Guitar, vocals: JD is a life long resident of Aurora NY. He started his first band The Haze, a hard rock instrumental band with a couple of High School Friends from Aurora. He saw his first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers show in 2006 and has been a huge fan ever since. He started to play acoustic covers of Tom Petty songs at Auburn Public Theater’s open mic night where he met Sam Pruyn and Loren Miller and started the band Petty Thieves.
SAM PRUYN- Guitar, Vocals: Sam is a transplant from Rockville Centre, NY on Long Island in 2014 where for many years he played in classic rock band The Moondogs, a staple of the Long Island music scene, especially the east end (the Hamptons, Shelter Island, and the North Fork). Later he played in The Hoodoo Loungers, a New Orleans themed roots band, playing all over from Montauk to Manhatten. Earlier Sam played original Christian themed songs both solo and in bands at fellowships and churches from New York to Ohio. Sam continues to play at Auburn Public Theater Open Mic nights as often as possible.
LOREN MILLER- Keyboards, Harmonica, Vocals: Loren began his career performing with The Living End touring in Oregon. In Auburn, NY he has played in many bands including rock band Catspaw, the Yankee Blues Band, Locoweed, The Lansing St. Blues Band, The Buddy Barrett Band, The Jitterz, The Oddz, and Rockinspiel. He also continues to play with acoustic bands such as Never Too Late and the Sunday Morning Righteous Indignation Band.
“OZ” – Bass, Vocals: Born in Port Byron, NY. He started his 1st Band called “US” in 1980.They wrote and played originals as well as covers. Some other bands he has been part of, just to name a few, were Phase Four, The Jitterz, Pulsate and The “Oddz”. In addition to his work with Petty Thieves he is currently working with Rockinspiel, a classic rock and R&B band.
RICH HOWARD- Drums, Vocals: Rich Howard is a veteran drummer with 38 years of playing and teaching experience in the Central New York Area. Rich is a lifetime resident of Auburn, NY and has played with many of the top bands in the area. The list includes The Travelin Jones’ Band, The Steve Odum Band, The Soda Ash Six and The Funky Blu Roots. While manning the drum chair for Petty Thieves, Rich continues to maintain a busy playing and teaching schedule.
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