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News
February 3, 2010
From rock 'n roll to law school and back, Cruiser producer/songwriter/keyboardist Mark Avsec is featured in Cleveland's Scene magazine.

http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/cruiser/Content?oid=1831220
January 29, 2009
Donnie Iris and the Cruisers will have a new album coming out in Spring 2009 featuring live concert recordings and new songs.

More details later.
July, 2008
"Rocque Fantastique" (which is on the "Ellwood City" CD) will make an appearance in a Meg Ryan film called "Serious Moonlight" (to be released in 2009).

The July 2008 shows (please see the Shows page for details) will be recorded for future release as a live CD. 
September, 2007

A great shot of Donnie in his Lennon T-Shirt.
Thanks, Cyndi.

Look for new Donnie Iris and the Cruisers
shows this holiday season.

April 13, 2007
CLICK PHOTO FOR LARGER IMAGE
CLICK PHOTO FOR LARGER IMAGE

*ANNOUNCEMENT: Donnie Iris & The Cruisers
will be featuring the "famous" three drummer
lineup (Danna Avsec pictured here)
on June 22, 2007 for the B&O Banquet Hall show
in Youngstown, Ohio.

Fri June 22
The B&O Station Banquet Hall

530 Mahoning Avenue
Downtown Youngstown, Ohio

March, 2007
Click Me to Launch Photo
Click Above
to Enlarge

Donnie Iris and the Cruisers

Packed House Of Blues Cleveland on St. Patrick's Day
-- When Iris Eyes Are Smiling

October, 2006
Alice Cooper Alice Cooper has rediscovered Donnie Iris. Alice will be featuring "Little Black Dress" on his nationally-syndicated radio show on Wednesday, October 25, 2006, at 11:00 p.m. ("Little Black Dress" will be the third song played.)

Check it out on any local station that carries Alice Cooper's show. Here is a link to find a station in your area: www.nightswithalicecooper.com/alicecoopercom/affiliates.asp
________________

WMMQ in Lansing, Michigan has now offiicially added "Little Black Dress" --
"LBD" continues to top the charts on WDVE Pittsburgh and WNCD Youngstown.
Stay tuned for more adds.


Thank you, Dan Kelley and Keith Pellegrini, and thanks to all of our friends at WMMQ! www.wmmq.com
________________

Cleveland Plain Dealer reviews "Ellwood City"
DONNIE IRIS AND THE CRUISERS
"Ellwood City" (Primary Records)


B+ It has been more than a quarter-century since Donnie Iris and the
Cruisers parlayed their studio-crafted rock sound -- defined by such hits as "Ah! Leah!" and "Love Is Like A Rock" -- and their Buddy Holly look into the national spotlight. The outfit is alive and well, evident in the Pittsburgh band's new effort, "Ellwood City."

Normally, this is the place in a review where a classic-rock band is lambasted for rehashing old chords from decades ago. Amazingly, and it is amazing, considering Iris and his bandmates have been out of the public eye for a while, the band has created a well-rounded and imaginative album that rocks ("Little Black Dress") and experiments ("Just Go Tango") with David Bowie-sounding results. Don't miss the trippy cover of Sam & Dave's "Soul Man." Steelers town affiliation aside, Iris is still cruising.

John Benson,
Cleveland Plain Dealer
October 20, 2006

September, 2006


Donnie Iris & the Cruisers close out the Summer 2006 concert season by playing for a packed
house on Labor Day Weekend at Tower City Amphitheatre in Cleveland, Ohio!

Click on Thumbnails to view Full Images


July 17, 2006

Donnie Iris and the Cruisers play before 5,000 people in Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, Ohio and expect 5,000-plus for newly-scheduled Labor Day show on September 2 at Tower City Amphitheatre in Cleveland, Ohio.

"Little Black Dress" continues to rock on WDVE in Pittsburgh and on WNCD in Youngstown. On July 13, "Little Black Dress" rises to Number 2 on WDVE's "Top Ten Features List."


*Click photo to open larger Photo (Launches Pop-Up Window)

PHOTOS BELOW BY MELISSA DURSE
King Cool was rocking and smiling. King Cool was rocking and smiling. King Cool says, "Clap your hands."
King Cool was rocking and smiling. And he was rolling too. King Cool says, "Clap your hands."
Donnie is the best screamer in the business. Count the veins in his neck. The one who comes closest to the correct answer without going over wins a prize 5,000 people came to Mill Park for the show. Marty Lee plays his "sweet stuff" for the throng.
Donnie is the best screamer in the business. Count the veins in his neck.
The one who comes closest to the correct answer without going over wins a prize.
5,000 people came to Mill Park
for the show.
None left disappointed.
Marty Lee plays his "sweet stuff"
for the throng.

June 23, 2006



WDVE-FM Pittsburgh and
WNCD-FM Youngstown add "Little Black Dress" to their Station's Playlist!

Click the LINKS above to visit the Radio Station websites to email-request
"Little Black Dress" by Donnie Iris & The Cruisers




June 17, 2006 was recognized throughout Lawrence County, Pennsylvania as "Donnie Iris Day"
June 17, 2006 was recognized throughout Lawrence County, Pennsylvania as "Donnie Iris Day," so decreed Ellwood City, Pennsylvania Borough Manager Joseph Coffi and Ellwood City Executive Council President Glenn Jones, endorsed by Honorable Mayor Roy P. Meehan.

Donnie also received special commendations and awards from U.S. Congressperson Melissa Hart and Pennsylvania State Representative Frank LaGrotta, who reportedly is a huge fan and has a huge poster of Donnie on his office wall.

Donnie was honored by all of the above for "staying true to his roots" and for being "Ellwood City's favorite son" in a touching ceremony in Ewing Park.

Hundreds of fans and citizens of Ellwood City, including longtime producer and keyboardist, Mark Avsec, and longtime manager, Mike Belkin, came out to pay tribute to and honor the man. Donnie concluded his remarks by simply stating, to great ovation, "Let me put it this way: I am proud to be an Ellwoodian."
JUNE 16, 2006

Donnie Iris and the Cruisers rocked Pittsburgh on June 10, 2006.
PHOTOS / CHEVROLET AMPHITHEATRE AT STATION SQUARE - 6-10-06


*Click photo to open larger Photo (Launches Pop-Up Window)

Thousands come to tailgate and rocque fantastique; only a few get up close and personal. A fine young man shows where he lives at the Hard Rock Cafe after-party. The concert typically brought people from all over, including Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Los Angeles, and Los Vegas, but Al Canton wins the prize for coming in from Malaysia (shown with his friend Heather). Mark Avsec asks the musical question, "Do you compute?
Thousands come to tailgate
and rocque fantastique;
only a few get up
close and personal.
A fine young man shows
where he lives at
the Hard Rock Cafe
after-party.
The concert typically brought people from all over, including Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, but Al Canton wins the prize for coming in from Malaysia (shown with his friend Heather). Mark Avsec
asks the musical question,
"Do you compute?"
Danna Avsec joins on drums for "Love Is Like A Rock." "You're in Dawnie Iris country now." Brice Foster and Kevin Valentine drive the band.  
Danna Avsec joins on drums
for "Love Is Like A Rock."
"You're in Dawnie Iris
country now."
Brice Foster and
Kevin Valentine
drive the band.
 

*AS OF JUNE 16, 2006

"... off to a smashing start with "Little Black Dress"..."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Little Black Dress" is vintage Cruisers..."
Beaver County Times

"Little Black Dress" could be a single right out of the gate..."
Youngstown Vindicator

More to Come Soon!


Rocker Donnie Iris takes a new direction

By Regis Behe
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, June 8, 2006

There's hardly a person breathing in Western Pennsylvania who doesn't know who Donnie Iris is.

There are his songs, from "Ah! Leah!" to "That's the Way Love Ought to Be" that have filled local airwaves for almost three decades. There are his numerous appearances at local events, from Steelers games to charity functions. There is the comedic caricature of Donnie Iris that was established in the '80s via WDVE-FM's morning show with Jim Krenn and Scott Paulsen.

At 63, you might think Iris would be comfortable with the status quo that's served him so well for so long.

You'd be wrong.

On Saturday, when Iris performs songs from his new album, "Ellwood City," at the Chevy Amphitheater, fans are going to hear a different side of the guy whose black-framed glasses and frizzy mop of dark hair are identifiable from Ardara to Zelieonople.

"There are definitely some things on there we've never attempted before," Iris says. "I would definitely say it's the most ambitious thing we've ever done."

Like Iris singing ... a tango? While it's not quite the same as classical singer Placido Domingo's excursion into the genre, "Just Go Tango" is unlike anything Iris has done before. His longtime collaborator and keyboardist, Mark Avsec, turned the song into an exotic romp.

"Mark, he's a twisted guy," Iris says, laughing. "He came up with the lyrics and the idea to do the chorus in Spanish. I've been spending time in Miami the last three or four years, and I love it there, the weather and everything, so the Spanish lyrics just seemed to fit what I was doing."

That sense of experimentation, of anything goes, was prevalent throughout the sessions for "Ellwood City," which was recorded over a period of three years. And while there are tunes that fit Iris' modus operandi -- notably "Little Black Dress" and "No Rest for the Wicked" -- it's the diversity of the album that stands out. Many of the tracks, Iris says, started out as instrumental jams before morphing into songs that took different and new directions.

"I hadn't planned it that way," Iris says. "A lot of the songs started with rhythm tracks and we just wanted to take them in different directions, do different things."

"River of Love" is a bluesy vamp that could have been on a J. Geils Band album. "Rocque Fantastique" features Iris rapping -- yes, rapping -- some of the vocals. And there's a near-brilliant cover of the Sam & Dave chestnut "Soul Man." The song has been done to death, but somehow Iris and his bandmates breathe new life into the tune, Kevin Valentine's driving tribal drum beat giving the song an ominous undertone.

Iris says that while he's gone in a different direction on many of the songs, he's confident his loyal fans will enjoy the music. Beyond that, he has no expectations, even though he thinks "it's a record that really deserves to be listened to, just as a fun record," he says.

"There are a lot of new things on the record that I've heard and been influenced by. If people perceive it as being something different, that's nice. But it's still basically what I've always done."



JUNE 1, 2006 - PHOTOS

STANDING ROOM ONLY at the June 1, 2006 listening party!


HEREFORD & HOPS was packed to capacity with longtime and new fans eager to listen to the new "Ellwood City" CD. WDVE's Michele Michaels did an outstanding job as the "hostess with the mostess."

Special thanks also to ARMSTRONG and ARMSTRONG's terrific people for organizing the evening!

*Click photo to open larger Photo (Launches Pop-Up Window)

WDVE's Michele Michaels queries King Cool and Mark Avsec as to the deeper meaning behind "Just Go Tango." WDVE's Michele
Michaels makes her
remarks.
Several HEREFORD rooms were packed to capacity and connected by conference television Several HEREFORD rooms were packed to capacity and connected by conference television
A fine young man
wins a prize
Donnie makes two new friends and fans --
the terrific people at Armstrong.
Donnie makes two new friends and fans --
the terrific people at Armstrong.
Mark and
Paul
answer questions
We are pleased to announce that Cold Nectar Films, the film company that made the documentary film "King Cool: Ah! History Of Donnie Iris And The Cruisers," was the recipient of a 2005 Telly Award.

Congratulations to Tom Cummings and Dave Rogant!


Click here to purchase this award-winning documentary on DVD
The Wedge Nightclub Photos
May 25, 2006 -PHOTOS ELLWOOD CITY LISTENING PARTY
Click photo to open larger Photo

Two beautiful new Donnie Iris fans from Youngstown, Ohio pose for the camera. WNCD's Cornell Bogdan and King Cool share a warm moment, probably about cigars and their current golf handicaps. A fan congratulates Donnie on the release of the new "Ellwood City" CD just as the party gets underway.
     

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Rocker plans to debut new album


VINDICATOR ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

Donnie Iris says he's keeping his expectations low for his new album, although one gets a sense he's ready for a revival.

"Ellwood City," the first all-new album in nine years from the Pittsburgh-based rocker, will drop Thursday.

He's got a few shows booked, including a free listening party Thursday at The Wedge in Austintown,
and a June 10 concert at Chevrolet Amphitheater in Pittsburgh.

READ THE FULL STORE HERE

DONNIE IRIS CRUISES INTO ELLWOOD CITY

Cleveland Cavaliers cheerleaders

Donnie Iris & The Cruisers have finalized their first all new studio album in 9 years titled Ellwood City which is set for release on May 25.

The album marks a return to the classic 80s stacked vocals style they perfected on such hits as "Ah! Leah!" and "Love Is Like A Rock." The album also features the return of original drummer Kevin Valentine (Cinderella, Kiss) throughout.

The first single is titled "Little Black Dress" and the band just filmed a video for it featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers Girls .

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