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The Band

CURRENT BAND

Gus Mancuso
Jan 2010 - present

            Born in Houston Texas to a father who almost made a career out of college at Texas A&M due to his playing piano for a local jazz band, instead of hitting the books, Gus grew up with a love of all things jazz, blues, and big band. Wanting to be different, he chose to play the trumpet starting in the 5th grade. He played in the school bands into high school. Moving to Tewksbury, MA his sophomore year in high school (due to his father's work) he joined the Jazz band where he played first trumpet. When he developed a cyst on his lip his Junior year, he had to quit trumpet.
            Gus then served for more than 26 years in the Army as an Infantry Officer. Retiring in 2005, he joined his brother's band playing bass since they needed a bass player. Taught initially by his brother, he learned mostly through online courses, jamming original music, writing some of the lyrics, most of the bass lines and just playing along. Good enough for local gigs. After bringing Jimmy Youngblood into the band, Gus learned a lot more about how the importance of melody and lyrics really improve the music.
            After Jason joined the band he taught Gus a lot more about music theory, more bass techniques, and was taking the band far beyond where it was. So Gus took lessons for almost a year with local musician and bassist Glen Ackerman.  He taught Gus how to play using better bass techniques and a lot about how bass is played.
            "I was taught that the bass player listens to what is there, to listen critically and play what is missing. Do what the music requires."
           
Equipment: MUSICMAN Stingray Bass, Mark bass TTE 500 amp, Mark Bass New York 151RJ speaker cab.
Favorite Krippled Dogz Song: "Coming Home". The joy of the anticipation of re-deployment home station while enduring the "hurry up and wait" combined with the bittersweet memories of the guys and the losses ... hard to express except in music. This one does it.
Favorite song: "She Caught the Katy" by the Blues Brothers. Donald "Duck" Dun's baseline is a great example of how to take a great old song and make it relevant.
Hobbies: fishing, hunting, wargames
Guilty Pleasure: Sitting on my back porch drinking scotch, smoking a cigar, and watching the purple martins fuss at each other ... just being lazy.

Danny Snyder
Oct 2014 - present

      A native Texan, Danny was born in Bryan/College Station. Though not raised in a music oriented family or even playing an instrument growing up, he always had a deep love of music with the crazy idea he might be a drummer – someday. 
      Danny graduated from Texas A&M (class of ’90) and was commissioned as an Army Officer.  An Airborne Ranger, he served in a variety of assignments from stateside to combat zones to the Pentagon.  He viewed his service as a “calling” and has only the highest reverence and respect for those serving today and our Vets.  After nearly 11 years, Danny left the Army to better serve God and his family.  To quote Neil Young, he’s “seen some good ones, but [he] missed the rest”. 
      Danny is a self-taught drummer who is always learning from others.  His perspective on musicianship is that there is no best, only better.  Intense and aggressive in style and approach – honesty and growth are his goals.
      Drumming influences beyond the obvious like John Bonham, Keith Moon, Ginger Baker, Buddy Miles, Mitch Mitchell…  A handful of Danny’s favorite drummers are Ralph Molina, Matt Abts, Matt Cameron, Patrick Carney, Benny Horowitz, and Johnny Radelat.
      Favorite People & Other Stuff:  The Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ! Growing old with his wife; watching his daughters become women; mentoring men, Vets and cancer patients; CrossFit & CrossFit Endurance; boxer dogs; vinyl records; that unique silence under a nylon canopy; the smell of cordite – from anything; ruck marching; mountain running; the Paleo diet; winning…  oh, and the smell of cordite from anything and winning!

Hobbies: CrossFit & CrossFit Endurance, ruck marching, mountain running, fly-fishing… just about anything that challenges me physically.
Guilty Pleasure: Collecting snare drums
Favorite Song: Depending on the mood I am in…  Zeppelin generally covers my entire “mood spectrum” from melancholy to aggressive.  "In the Light" by Led Zeppelin is one of my favorites – well written lyrically, aggressive yet loose musically – an outstanding balance of four legendary artists. 
Favorite Krippled Dogz song: Heartburn – what could be better that the encouragement of forgiveness and the freedom that comes with repentance?  …oh yes, the astonishment of His Grace!
Equipment: Gretsch New Classic drum kit (10, 12,14, 22) with added DW Performance Series floor toms (16 & 18); multiple snare drums; Paiste Alpha, Alpha Boomer and 2002 Series Cymbals; DW 3000 & 9000 Series Hardware.

Jason Mancuso
Mar 2011 - present

            The maniacal guitarist and behind the scenes arrangement guru, Jason is a musical force not to be taken lightly. The assertive, mission oriented, baby-faced multi instrumentalist is the glue that brings life to the Krippled Dogz songs.
            Born in Tewksbury MA, Jason was always the curious kid, dubbed by his grandmother "The Professor". Raised by mostly by a single mother and later in his teens by his father & step-mother Jason lived a life of always being on the move. He later learned to play keyboards and guitar. He would also begin to teach others. He always received encouragement from his mentor and role model Bruce Alger, his grandfather Albert Mansolilli, and his father Tony. From home recordings by splicing his mother's stereo systems and recording over her cassette tapes, to playing a high-school rock band Jason always pushed himself to the next level in composing and performing.
            Jason would go on to serve 6 years in the US Air Force including tours in Iraq and South Korea.  Jason would continue music by playing in cover bands and spending time in the music conservatory of University of Santo Tomas, Philippines. Jason would also teach himself to play drums, a skill that would benefit him later on.
            Back in the USA, Jason joined his father and uncle's band "Krippled Dogz". With Jason in the band many changes took place. His dad 'retired' due to disabilities as well as the drummer for similar reasons.  Jason and his wife Laarni Bacsafra also played in the death metal band "Epic Death". This proved to be very beneficial as Jason experienced a lot of the "Do's" and "Don'ts" of playing in a band. Jason would go on to perform in the midwest sponsored by the New York Death Militia; share the stage with acts such as Warbeast, Dead Horse, Gemini Syndrome, and Mushroomhead, and meet various professional and well known artist in rock and metal. It was also at this time he would begin his professional relationship with producer Stephen Bogle.
            Jason and Laarni left Epic Death and Jason started to focus on Krippled Dogz and their label "Rock Ready Productions".
         

Equipment: Line 6/Bogner amp, Marshall 4x4 10in Cabinet, Gibson Explorer /w DiMazzio Pickups
Favorite Song:   "Comfortably Numb" – Pink Floyd, The Wall; it has my favorite guitar solo and was primarily written by my favorite musician, David Gilmour.
Hobbies: Video Games
Guilty Pleasure: From Software’s “Souls” Series games (Demon Souls, Dark Souls 1&2)
Favorite Krippled Dogz Song: "Brothers". This song is all about who we are and what we are. And why we do what we do for each other.

Jimmy Youngblood
May 2010 - present

         Born on base to an Army Captain in Landstuhl, Germany, Jimmy always focused on music.  Starting off life as an army brat caused many moves all over the world and he learned quickly throughout his childhood that music comes in many textures, but that good is good. 
         Jimmy went to vocals early and later settled in East Texas and eventually Houston.  Along the way he played the saxophone and taught himself enough piano to begin to write his own songs.  He eventually went on to make both state and national choirs while in high school.  Considered a natural front man, Jimmy lives to perform and loves the thrill of playing live before an audience as much as he loves the challenge of perfecting a song in the studio.
         Jimmy was approached by Gus to come and jam with the Krippled Dogz in its early days and quickly understood the raw opportunity and ingenuity that the band had within.  The band’s military core made it easy to form a brotherhood that allowed each to be unique but with a common purpose. 
          After Jason joined the band, it was only a matter of time before the band would start to produce at the level that it currently finds itself.  The addition of the established mixer/producer Stephen Bogle was definitely a step in the right direction for the band and the studio sound currently achieved by the band is polished, powerful, and yet still keeps the original soul of the first session that Jimmy experienced.
         Jimmy was given the opportunity to play drums when the drummer quit.  True to the integrity of the band, the Dogz did not cancel and put on a show for the first time as a three-man band for a live audience (the song Trial by Fire had special meaning that night).  They were invited back to play the same venue less than a week later and Jimmy has spent his time since marrying vocal techniques and conditioning with the energy of playing drums. 
         Jimmy also is the technician and hopeless geek specific to music and its production and spends way too much time working with the technology and tracks when not working with the band to make new ones.
         Jimmy writes most of the lyrics and works in collaboration with Jason and Gus in arranging the songs.  Their unique backgrounds lead to a unique set of sounds with influences across a large range of genres but with a singular focus of advancing music to what is good.


 

Past Band Members

 

Tony Mancuso
Jan 2010  - May 2011

      Tony loved watching his father playing piano, and taught himself how to play to a surprising proficiency. He also learned guitar from his father, going so far as to modify the amplifier to get a good distortion, eventually "burning it up" literally during a performance!       The Krippled Dogz was started as a project by Tony Mancuso who wanted to put a band together to play and record his music before the degenerative disk disease he has progressed to the point he couldn't play any more. He had joined the Army at 17 and became an Aviation Scout. At 20 he left the Army and began working and raising a family, always playing in local bands but always having to work hard to make a living. As the disease progressed, he moved to Katy, TX a few years ago to be closer to family.
      He auditioned a drummer, Jon Lively, and they convinced Tony's brother Gus Mancuso to play bass. The band set out to do original music that would express the thoughts and emotions of combat arms soldiers.

 

Jon Lively
Jan 2010 - May 2011

       One of the founding band members and drummer.  Jon's father was a drummer and band leader. Jon loved playing his fathers drums and was allowed to participate in the bands performances.
      After graduating from high school, Jon served 18 years in the Army. He was severely injured while serving overseas in the Special Forces. He received a 100% medical retirement as an Army Sergeant First Class.  As much as he loved playing with the Krippled Dogz, he eventually had to stop playing due to the nature of the severe injuries.  He wrote the lyrics for "Trial By Fire" and remains a good friend.

 

Larry Brown
Sept 2011 - Jun 2013

 

 

Steve Cottle
July 2015 - June 2016

Steve was an accomplished musician who had played for many years with the Birmingham Alabama based Horndogs. He was a fabulous multi instrumentalist who helped the Krippled Dogz arrange music. He helped arrange and perform a vocals. He was also a dear friend. After performing for a Lone Survivor Benefit, he was diagnosed with leukemia, and after a long struggle died from the disease. His arrangement of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" for the Krippled Dogz was a crowd favorite.

 

Edgar Gonzales
Jan 2016 - Jan 2017

Edgar is an accomplished musician and multi instrumentalist. Hailing from Monterrey, Mexico, he brought in his own unique style to the Krippled Dogz mix. He wrote his own songs one of which was added to the set list. His aggressive style and hard hitting leads were a great addition. Unfortunately, he had to return to his home in Monterrey. He has an open invite any time he returns!