History


Formation: 1991-1995

The band started in the early 1990’s in the Rutherford, NJ area just outside of New York City. Original members were, Joe Boris (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Gary (Garo) Gallagher (guitar), Tony Lander (vocals, keyboards), John Terrazzi (vocals, drums), and Mike Pignotti (vocals, bass). Everyone grew up in the same town, except Joe Boris. Joe was playing with the Nick Clemons Band (son of Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s East Street Band). Joe answered an ad in the newspaper, walked into a rehearsal and was playing the Hoboken Motorcycle Clubs Party the next weekend to 2,000 people. The band at this time had a great vocal lineup. Tony and John grew up together and both had an excellent ear for layering vocals on top of each other. Just as the vocal harmonies grew, Joe and Garo worked on guitar harmonies, calculating each note interval and stretching the boundaries of their guitar solos.

The band was gaining popularity on the New York Jamband scene performing in clubs such as Nightingales and the Wetlands Preserve. The first release, “Good to the Last Drop” came out in 1995. Soon following, the band added the percussion and vocals of Dan (Dano) Meredith. Joe stated in an interview on WRNR’s Road Trippin Show that, “Dano was the guy with the van who drove us to the gigs. It was cheaper to buy a set of congas then to keep paying him gas money.” This of course was totally said in jest, Dano provided a new level of vocal harmonies and soul that would establish this early line up as one of the strongest. That and his percussion skills created a new dimension to the already spacey improvisational jams.

The band grew from a van to a tour bus. The “Road Pig” was born and the band hit the road arriving to the gig in style... or if not arriving there, at least having a good story to tell.

This Too, Shall Pass: 1996-1999

The band’s second release Before Alone (1998) was completed in the absence of Tony Lander. In the early years the band would meet at an abandoned factory (Factory Studios) in Carlstadt, New Jersey which provided an excellent opportunity to rehearse any day of the week. The owners, Tony and Glen were Deadheads and helped the band with recording studio tracks that would later be included on this album.

1999 T-Shirt (Cortex Thrills Design)

Joe started bringing in new material and the band started rehearsing and playing out more often. This resulted in the strong live recording of new material, Live at the Lion’s Den, NYC (third release 1999). It was during this time the FSU Mob, One- Eyed Jacks ever faithful following of freaks, family and pirates was formed.


Time on the Run: 1999-2001

There is always balance and with too much fun comes many complications. The band didn’t pace themselves very well and drummer/vocalist John Terrazzi migrated away from the group. Another band, Lazy Sunday, which rehearsed at Factory Studio, was breaking up because their bassist was moving out of state. Low and behold....Alzie Sisco at drums. Alzie was a monster drummer and came with a great sense of humor the band so desperately needed. Immediately he and Dano clicked and the beast was born. The following year was the strongest touring year ever. Unfortunately, most of the money earned went to expensive bus repairs.

Blue-Eyed Willow: 2001-2004

There is always balance and life goes on... and life comes in. Dano had to leave the band to pursue a valiant career as a father. In search of a replacement percussionist the band found Katie Schmidt (Pearlman), a young talented drummer, percussionist with a great high vocal range and perfect harmonies the band desperately needed. At the same time Jeff Pearlman joined as the new keyboard/organist/vocalist. New songs and extensive touring materialized the bands fourth album “Sunlight Blue Madness” (2001). Produced by Mark Berry (Carley Simon-You’re So Vain) and Joe Boris, the album took on a more refined tone and explored a technical studio environment that the band was naïve to in the earlier years.

There was a strong notion that Mike was the best guitarist in the band but the only one who could play bass, so he took the job. Mike definitely towed the rope and after Sunlight Blue Madness he felt the time was right to cut the rope.


Once again at a great loss but always in balance....remember Alzie’s old band “Lazy Sunday” that broke up because the bass player was moving? Well it turns out he didn’t move and was now available to join One-Eyed Jack. In comes Adam Riley on bass! Adam brought vocals and songwriting skills, brandishing a new writing style missing since Tony Lander left years ago.

Sights and Sounds

A big part of the One-Eyed Jack was always the artwork and community of talented people supporting the band. The original logo and all of the album art (except Keep Your Head) was designed by Clarence Shumaker III (Shoe). Shoe and Joe met at the University of Maryland in the late 80’s. Almost as soon as One- Eyed Jack formed, Joe decided to contact Shoe for artwork ideas and the “dude logo” was born. Later Shoe designed the sun logo that would later be used for all promotions after 2000. Artwork was important but without graphic design it would have never found its way onto the albums or posters. Sergio Rodrigues (Cortex Thrills Design) was the mind behind all of that. Any Album, poster and even T-shirt was his creation. The Keep Your Head album and artwork was the creation of AL-tariq Graves “BLAQink” who goes by many names and souls.

The band also took on a permanent sound engineer, Jason Dermer (Harry Chapin’s archivist). With Jason behind the soundboard many of the live shows were more polished and years of live recordings are now available in our audio archive site at archive.org.


Years following had some really great shows. The band played with members of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Allman Brother and Grateful Dead, but struggled with bad management choices. Katie and Jeff went their way and the band needed to regroup. Once again... remember that band....Lazy Sunday that Alzie and then Adam came from...well in walks Steve (Squigs) Minutillo (keyboardist/vocalist and weird sounds).

Things started to piece back together, and in August of 2005, One-Eyed Jack was included on a DVD produced by JamCam for Jerry Garcia’s Birthday Bash at Trip McClenney’s Sunshine Daydream Festival. DVD included Bob Weir and Ratdog as well as the Codetalkers, Ekoostic Hookah and David Nelson Band. Performances and interviews are archived on our YouTube site.

The Firing Line: 2005-2007

After five years it was time to put all those new songs on an album. A good year of touring with help from artist/manager Chris Dileo (Bob Weir, Mikey Hart and Phish) the band hunkered down for another studio project. Working with Zack Rizvi, from the band Kansas, and Jimmy Wilgus at the Den Recording Studios, One-Eyed Jack’s fifth release “Keep Your Head” (2006) was born. This album featured percussion tracks from Joe Boris’ former band mate, Robert (Bob) Ramos (Nick Clemons Band). “Bob crushed everything on that recording....congas, timbales, cow bell, whistles, and even an old bell from his grandfather’s tractor.” In addition, female vocalist, Rosie Lazroe supported background vocals on several tracks. By chance, Pedal Steel Guitarist, Buddy Cage (New Riders of the Purple Sage) was available, and after one grueling night of “Producer Joe,” laid down the steel lines to “What You Find.” Buddy said Joe Boris’ “producing” was worse than anything Bob Dylan’s crew put him through on the Blood on the Track sessions.

The album was a great spring board and One-Eyed Jack started moving onto festival tours by summer 2006. Rosie Lazroe stayed on to provide vocal support and eventually took front stage for some of her original songs which added a new layer to the band’s sound. The band toured into 2007 and hit a high spot that shook things loose.

Just Jack: 2008-2019

The band went on “hiatus” from 2008 to 2012. Sound engineer for the band, Jason Dermer started Asbury Audio and moved onto designing the Stone Pony’s Summer Stage. Members (sans Joe Boris) performing numerous festivals under the band name “the Jacks.”


In 2012 Joe and the band started working together again as One-Eyed Jack. Unfortunately, Alzie and Squigs already moved on to other projects. Vincent Pierce of Natural Breakdown, joined as the new drummer. Artist/manager, Chris Dileo introduced the band to Sam Cutler, former manager of the Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead which set the band on a stronger path and interesting tour up to 2020.


Tim McCullion joined as the keyboardist. 2019 featured west coast shows that included the Skull & Roses Festival, Ventura, CA and the Further Benefit, Eugene, OR (to rebuild the original Ken Kesey and the Merry Prankster’s Bus). Further was One-Eyed Jack’s recorded audio/video performance of two nights at WOW Hall, Eugene, OR with Zane Kesey and his pranksters.


Aged since 1991 and bottled 2020

Touring stopped in 2019 with plans for 2020 that were complicated by the COVID-19 epidemic. The band remains on hiatus since 2020.

One-Eyed Jack (Golden Gate Park-2019)