Foreigner tribute band ready to rock Library Theatre
Since he was in elementary school, music has been a major part of his life.
And growing up, Jim Cheronis has expanded on his love for the artform. From talking about his father’s and uncle’s musical influence on him (they both played the bazouki– a Greek relative of the guitar) to attending YMCA dances. At those dances the Warren Area High School student, to say the least, was entralled by the live band. From there, he absorbed as much as he could about music.
A couple of years later, he was fronting a local orginal band called Brandy Lies. Ask anyone who saw Brandy Lies live in the mid 1990s, and he or she will tell you that the band was on point — always.
They released a compact disc, and after some internal artistic differences the band went on an extended hiatus, and really not heard from again.
“Well, I thought I actually thought after Brandy Lies that was it. I was hanging it up. I was I was in the middle of my, you know, regular career, if you will,” Cheronis said.
He was working at local bank, as a retail manager, –basically a 9 to 5 job sitting behind a desk– and singing less frequently. “I really thought that that part of my life was over,” he said of fronting Brandy Lies, a regional rock band with a very large fan base and following.
Fast forward (no pun intended) a few decades. Fate steps in and leads Cheronis to a chance meeting with some old friends, who just so happen to be musicians. They were in the midst of forming Blue Morning, a Foreigner tribute band. Cheronis visited their reheasal space. So Cheronis said, he was really happy to talk with the guys, and noticed their was no vocalist. Keep in mind the band had many vocalists audition.
So Cheronis posed the obvious question to the band. “What are you going to do?”
And then Cheronis said he received “the look” from one of the members.
They bantered back and forth. He told them he was not in good enough shape to sing that kind of music.
“They shoved a mic in front of me, I sang ‘Feels Like The First Time,’ and they said ‘your’e in.'”
He pleaded with them that he is middle-aged and doesn’t have the pipes (vocals) that he used to have.
” ‘No, no, no. You work on it,’ they said. And those were the humble beginnings,” Cheronis added.
Now he is the lead singer.
The rest of the band includes Anthony Brown — keyboardist; Rich Alcorn — guitarist, vocalist; Darrin Payne — drums, voclas; and Roger Christopherson — bass guitar, vocals. They are no stranger to performing as Payne and Christopherson, along with Cheronis, used to be members of Brandy Lies. Alcorn has performed on stage with Trace Adkins, George Jones, and Toby Keith. He also was a member of the area’s progressive rock band Graphite Symphony while Brown is the owner of Graphite Sound Studio, in Sugar Grove, Pa., and his music has been used in feature films, “Red Eye”; TV, Hallmark Channel Original Series “Jane Doe,” and radio ads. Brown has recorded music with his former band Graphite Symphony prior to ceating Blue Morning.
These guys can play.
The band has honed its set list to play as a tribute band.
But it doesn’t stop there. Knowing the talent that resides in this band, the members are working on orginal material, that they also can play live.
“The guys in the band are prolific writers,” Cheronis said. “And we actually even talked about maybe introducing a three pack of originals here maybe after the end of this year.”
And to keep his voice in good condition, he took a YouTube tip from Payne. Cheronis said he looked up the Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy on YouTube, and first, he was skeptical. But after talking with another singer who went through the course, Cheronis decided to try it. Since September of 2022, Cheronis has strengthened his voice by taking lessons at the academy.
Blue Monday is scheduled to perform Saturday at 7 p.m. at Struthers Library Theatre, 302 W. Third Ave., Warren. For more information call 814-723-7231 or go to strutherslibrarytheatre.org or foreignertribute.com.