The Amish Outlaws, a cover band quite unlike any you've seen before, may hail from an honest-to-goodness Amish background in Pennsylvania. But the boys in this band love to rock at the southern New Jersey shore.
"The crowds in southern New Jersey are varied and typically wonderful," says Eazy Ezekiel, the band's bassist and background vocalist for the group, which plays a blend of rock and hip hop. "We play way down in Avalon where people are a little more refined, as well as in Atlantic City, where there are locals and also people from all over. It's great because we meet so many different kinds of people. The Jersey people are pretty quick to party from the get-go."
A party lifestyle is a far cry from their upbringing for three of The Amish Outlaws, including Ezekiel, as well as keyboardist Amos Def and singer Hezekiah X. Ezekiel explains the trio left its Amish heritage and landed in New York City, where music became their prime motivation.
"Originally, we started playing in a band just for fun - we had no real direction. One day, I decided we should be The Amish Outlaws, and it just happened. I've always been a bigger appreciator of music than a performer, but playing music with my friends is the most fun I can think of. And getting to do it for a living makes it so much better."
And, theses Outlaws don't take their biggest asset - their fanbase - for granted. As the band prepares to play Friday, Jan. 7, at the Gypsy Bar located inside Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, Ezekiel understands he is able to return to such a great venue because of the people who support the band's music.
"The people come back, again and again, and bring friends and family, and that is what makes us most proud," he explains. "It tells us we are doing something to make that person feel good enough to want to turn other people onto it. We appreciate that more than just about anything when it comes to being in a band."
The Amish Outlaws
Roster: Ishmael L. Cool J., guitar; Jakob the Pipe Layer, drums; Amos Def, keyboards and vocals; Hezekiah X., vocals; Big Daddy Abel, vocals and guitar; Eazy Ezekiel, bass and background vocals.
What To Expect: "People can expect six men in full Amish attire acting the fool, falling down and playing lots of songs you probably forgot you loved," Ezekiel says. "We do everything we can to make you laugh and smile. And we involve the crowd, whether they like it or not."
Go See Them: Friday, Jan. 7, at the Gypsy Bar, located inside Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. The show starts at 10:30 p.m. Call 609-317-1000 for more info. The Outlaws will also be back in our area Friday, Feb. 25, as the band plays Merighi's Savoy Inn, located at 4940 E. Landis Ave. in Vineland. Call Merighi's for more info at 856-691-8051.
Fan Favorites: "In Jersey they like a lot of rock, and hip-hop, ironically, seems to go over just about everywhere," Ezekiel says. "Other songs that always go over are 'Whatcha Want' by the Beastie Boys, as well as songs by Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga. 'Shout' by the Isley Brothers is huge, too. We were kind of hesitant to play that song because we thought it was so played out. But wow, we were wrong. We played it twice the first night we did it - no kidding! And, we've been playing 'Baby Got Back' for, like, eight years now, and we can't stop."
Originals: "Oh, we stick to covers!" Ezekiel exclaims. "We wrote a song or two early on, but it was the kind of stuff that only we would want to hear, and even we'd fast forward some parts."
Influences: The Nerds, Mashwork Orange, Johnny Drama, Drop Dead Sexy and The Benjamins made Ezekiel's list of musical influences. "I guess in the cover band scene, we are lucky enough to have a lot of bands that are doing very different stuff, so we are more comparable in that we are different," he adds. "Those bands (listed above) each have their own niche, and people respond to that, so, we are comparable in our incomparability."