CURRENT LOVE MACHINE LINEUP
DC area legend Jonny Cohen formed his band the Love Machine in 1988 after moving into the Silver Spring, Maryland group house also home to D.C. area cult hero Root Boy Slim. Its basement was the site of regular jam sessions including members of Unrest, Butch Willis & the Rocks and countless other local acts, inspiring Cohen to begin writing his own material.
He started out performing a cappella at open mic nights and quickly recruited a backing unit including elementary high school classmates Pete Nelson on guitar and Carl Stivers in bass. The newly formed Jonny Cohen Love Machine gained a reputation as one of the wildest and most unique acts in the DC area, with regular gigs at dc space, the 15 Minute club, and the Safari Club as well as notable appearances at such iconic venues as CBGB’s and the original 9:30 club.
He cut a demo of the song “I’m Not an Anorexic” which so impressed TeenBeat label chief Mark Robinson that he invited the group to open for his band Unrest during their performance on the University of Maryland station WMUC. TeenBeat subsequently issued 1989’s self-titled Jonny Cohen’s Love Machine album, followed two years later by the Space Butterfly EP. After a 1992 seven-inch, “Indian Giver,” Cohen resurfaced the following year with the full-length Getting Our Heads Back Together. After a four-year hiatus, the group resurfaced with If Six Were Eight.
Cohen’s latest release, A Quiet Reminder, reunites Cohen and Nelson with Stivers who relocated to the West Coast in 1990 along with their friend from their junior high days, veteran DC drummer Ken Kavanaugh, aka the Biddje. The Love Machine’s newest member, Allen Blackman, rounds out the the album, playing bass on five songs.
His first album in almost twenty years, A Quiet Reminder is deeply personal, featuring songs about life, love, friendship, religion, addiction, and 1970s action star John Saxon.