PANDEMIC’S SILVER LINING SHINES ON PINO FARINA BAND
In 2020 when venues shuttered their doors during the pandemic, adult-alternative rockers Pino Farina Band came out of that dark cloud and did what they do best. They gathered a community that connected through music. With lead singer Pino Farina at the helm, he stepped into the world of livestreaming, sometimes playing sessions that exceeded four hours and gained a sizable following that showed up twice a week, every week. The epidemic of isolation that people felt during those difficult months found not only relief, but joy as Pino dove into his playlist and performed with passion and abandon. Dubbed “The Escape Sessions,” news of his easy affable manner, superb guitar skills and powerful vocals reminiscent of Jeff Buckley and Lenny Kravitz was spreading fast. Split screen videos were recorded with his bandmates (Michael Poupko, John Cwiok, Johnathan Schiller) and soon, well-known Chicago area musicians were asking two questions, “Where did this seemingly unknown band come from?” and “Can we record a virtual video together?”
As the pandemic raged on, they rocked on. When it was safe to return to outdoor stages, it was thrilling for both band members and newfound fans to finally meet face-to-face. Pino Farina Band was chosen as one of the premier bands to star in COVER-21: Ignite Chicago. Released in 2021, this indie documentary film told the story about the impact the pandemic had on venues, musicians, and support staff.
In the last year, Pino Farina Band has performed in raucous music halls, at intimate listening rooms, on festival stages, and even inside a barn. This journey has also led them back to the studio to record songs for their upcoming release entitled, Daises. Their new EP is not a sweet flower of an album, but a “pushing up daisies” collection of songs dealing with self-doubt, relationship struggles, rock bottoms and situations where life turns on a dime. But never does Pino Farina Band leave you mired there. The songs and the band's optimism inherent in their music reassures that redemption and renewal are on the way.