Dan Zlotnick Band Wins Inaugural River Towns Battle of the Bands

The Dan Zlotnick Band was the winner of the first Peekskill Battle of the Bands (Photo by Hunter Begun).

It’s not every day that something goes better than expected. But that’s what happened with River Towns Music Group’s (RTMG) inaugural Battle of the Bands, which was held at Peekskill’s River Outpost Brewing Co. on Father’s Day.  

River Outpost’s expansive beer garden and Hudson River views provided a fitting venue for a full afternoon of original music from six local bands. 

Louie Lanza, one of River Outpost’s owners, said, “The Battle of the Bands created a great energy at the River Outpost this past Father’s Day, and I was pleasantly surprised with the high caliber of music being played. The turnout was also much more than we expected.” 

Five finalists competed in the Battle of the Bands: Dan Zlotnick Band, Light Warriors, Faded Rose, Zack Krall and Anthony Giaccio and the Assortments. The School of Rock Briarcliff Manor house band also performed prior to the competition. Over the course of the afternoon, an enthusiastic crowd of over 2,000 attended all or part of the day’s event. 

The enthusiasm of the audience carried over to the performers themselves. The “battle” was less of a battle and more of a “love fest,” as Light Warriors bandleader, Erik Rabasca, called it. Nonetheless, there had to be a winner, and that winner was the Dan Zlotnick Band.  

Members of Dan Zlotnick Band, Light Warriors and Zach Kroll jam out to close the show (Photo by Hunter Begun).

Zlotnick shared Rabasca’s sentiments, remarking, “It honestly felt more like a festival than a competition. All the performers were so supportive of each other, and the organizers were so kind and welcoming. The supergroup jam at the end was the perfect way to cap off the afternoon and show the crowd how many talented artists are out and performing in the Hudson Valley.” 

To select the winner, RTMG assembled a team of six judges: Peekskill-based musician Jack Grace, former Peekskill Mayor André Rainey, Lucia Ballas-Traynor and Robert Brum from River Journal, Alain Begun, River Journal publisher and RTMG partner and yours truly. 

As Rainey, who is also a musician and DJ put it, “River Outpost was a great location to host a great event, with great performances, organized by a great team, on a great day. A win-win for all involved, especially the great city of Peekskill.”  

Watch a video recap of the BOTB HERE.

The Battle of the Bands is part of RTMG’s “Peekskill’s Summer of Indie Music.” The second event in the series will be a concert on Aug. 6 at the Paramount Theater featuring four acts with deep local roots: the Catskill-based Felice Brothers, Tarrytown-born Skullcrusher, BOTB winner and Yorktown Heights-based Dan Zlotnick Band, and the house band from the School of Rock Briarcliff Manor For tickets to the show, visit the Paramount website at paramounthudsonvalley.com

A crowd of over 2,000 attended the Peekskill Battle of the Bands (Photo by Hunter Begun).

“We believe in the local appetite for independent music,” said Begun. “We believe local venues can flourish and reinvent themselves with rich and diverse programming. We’re committed to supporting musicians, venues, and businesses in the Hudson Valley, because we know that when music wins, everyone does.” 

Peekskill’s Summer of Indie Music was made possible with support from local sponsors: Presenting sponsor Ginsburg Development Companies as well as supporting sponsors Bill Volz’s Westchester Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, River Towns Real Estate, Allan Block Insurance, School of Rock Briarcliff Manor, Korth & Shannahan Painting & Carpentry, The Dance Conservatory, Dwyer & Michael’s Funeral Home, SUNY Westchester Peekskill, and Dain’s Lumber. 

RTMG has more events in the works including a quarterly, regional music series, along with a summer festival slated for 2023. 

Liz Goodyear is Co-Producer and Partner of River Towns Music Group. She lives in Cortlandt Manor with her husband and four children. 


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About the Author: Liz Goodyear