Madison Rising

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Madison Rising
Madison Rising band members.jpg
Members of Madison Rising - AJ Larsen, Dave Bray, Tom DiPietro, Sam Fishman
Background information
Genres Patriotic rock, Post-grunge
Years active 2011–present
Labels Purple Eagle Entertainment
Members Dave Bray
Sam Fishman
Tom DiPietro
AJ Larsen

Madison Rising is a musical project that call themselves "America's most patriotic rock band",[1] and is the creation of New York City entrepreneur Richard Mgrdechian. The New York Post referred to them as the "Monkees of conservativism and "a heavy sound that fits into the Stone Temple Pilots/Creed spectrum--just think of them as Rage For the Machine".[2] The band's unique rock version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" has brought them widespread public attention.



Madison Rising is the creation of New York City entrepreneur Richard Mgrdechian, who chose the members of the band by placing ads on Craigslist and YouTube, and then holding "endless" auditions in 2011.[2] Jonathan Widran of said, "their socially conscious aesthetic is reminiscent of the pointed folk music of the '60s -- even though they are presumably on the other side of the political fence".[3]

The band was first named after Madison Street in Hoboken, New Jersey, where their studio, Water Music Recorders, was located; but later upgraded the reference to include U.S. founding father James Madison.[4][5] Other names considered included The Constitution Kings, Authors of Liberty, and Soldiers for Freedom.[6]

Dave Bray, the lead singer for the band, enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 18. Before being shipped off, Dave found an interest in music, and formed a band in his garage his senior year of high school. According to Bray, "It was my last stitch effort at rebellion before signing my life away."[7]

Madison Rising performance at the Prudential Center in June of 2014

Albums and accomplishments[edit]

Madison Rising, the band's self-titled debut CD, was released in October 2011 via CD Baby.[8]

In early December 2011, the band attempted to procure a permit for a live "Take Back Wall Street" performance in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, in response to the Occupy Wall Street protests. The permit was ultimately denied by the park's ownership, Brookfield Properties.[9] Two months later, the band played a short show for Occupy Congress in January 2012. Lead singer Dave Bray said that, to his shock, "we were met with a warm welcome" during the band's five-song set before several hundred Occupy demonstrators.[10]

Their second album, American Hero, was released via CD Baby in November 2013 and is dedicated to military members, police, firefighters, and other first responders.[5] While many of the album's 10 tracks may be seen as uplifting, some of the lyrics explicitly take aim at President Barack Obama, calling him a "liar" and saying that "2012 brought about the re-election of an anti-Christ." The song "Come to the Ready" contains the line about the "re-election of an anti-Christ" in the chorus.[11] The American Hero album has been on the Top 100 for and reached #1 on the Classic Rock list.[7]

Madison Rising has performed at numerous military and USO events, NFL half-time shows, at NASCAR, Sturgis, and other major venues, as well as having opened for rock legends including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steppenwolf, Kansas, and others.[12]

On October 24, 2013, the band performed "The Star Spangled Banner" for the PBR World Finals at the Thomas Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.[13] On June 15, 2014, Madison Rising performed "The Star Spangled Banner" at the opening ceremonies for the 2014 Special Olympics USA, held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.[14]

In March 2014, the band announced they had been chosen to provide the theme song for Amazing America, a Sarah Palin-hosted program on the US cable network Sportsman Channel.[15][16] In keeping with the show's subject matter, the theme song's lyrics contain references to nature, flags, glory, dogs, horses, trucks, and guns.[12][15]

On April 18, 2014, the band played a "Patriot Party" in Bunkerville, Nevada, for supporters of controversial rancher Cliven Bundy.[17] This should not be confused with the "Patriot Party" that the band performed in Anderson, South Carolina, on April 5 for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.[18]

On September 17, 2014, Madison Rising played a free concert in Philadelphia in front of Independence Hall, in celebration of Constitution Day. Kevin Scholla of Breitbart wrote "Bray and the boys are making tremendous music".[19]

Madison Rising has paid tribute to the United States Armed Forces on each of their albums. In November 2014, the band created a music video and recorded their own arrangement of the "Marines' Hymn" for the 239th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Andrew Malcolm of Investor's Business Daily commented, "If this doesn't get your heart pounding, you're dead".[20]

National anthem[edit]

On February 22, 2014, they performed their rock version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Daytona International Speedway. Their performance was poorly received by the audience and panned by Deadspin,[21] USA Today,[22] The Huffington Post,[23] and others.[24][25][26][27] Track president Joie Chitwood III defended his decision to bring in Madison Rising based on past performances but noted that "[...] our fans are very opinionated and they make sure that they comment, and that's their right."[28]

Madison Rising lead singer Dave Bray, a Navy veteran, told in June 2012 that his group tried to stay as "respectful to the original version as possible" while also being "absolutely unique" when performing their rendition of the National Anthem.[29] In March 2014, he told The Daily Beast that he "took the words and formatted them so that they feel more like a modern day rock song" and "took liberties with the melodies to make it a little more singable."[6] As of October 2014, the band's video for "The Star Spangled Banner" has reached 5.8 million views on YouTube.[30]

Madison Rising's version of "The Star Spangled Banner" was included on the soundtrack for Dinesh D'Souza's 2014 documentary film America: Imagine the World Without Her.[31]

Legal issues[edit]

In early April 2014, former band member Alex Bodnar initiated a civil lawsuit in Brooklyn against band manager Richard Mgrdechian for owed "wages, royalties and [production] credit". According to the New York Post, Mgrdechian would not comment on the pending litigation except to describe Bodnar as a "disgruntled employee" who had "breached his contract."[16]

Concert tours[edit]

  • 2014 - Defend Freedom Summer Tour


Current members[edit]

  • Dave Bray – Lead vocals
  • Sam Fishman – Drums/Vocals
  • Tom DiPietro - Bass
  • AJ Larsen - Guitar

Former members[edit]


Studio albums[edit]

  • Madison Rising (October 2011)[8]
  • American Hero (November 2013)[5]



  1. ^ Sandich, Kate (February 25, 2014). "Madison Rising's rock-out national anthem at Daytona draws critics". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Smith, Kyle (September 4, 2011). "Hey, hey, we’re the rightees". New York Post. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Brenzel, Kathryn (February 26, 2014). "Band that sang controversial national anthem at Daytona linked to Hoboken". The Jersey Journal ( Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Leggett, Steve. "Madison Rising". Pandora Radio. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Jacobs, Ben (March 29, 2014). "Meet Madison Rising, the Band Behind Sarah Palin's New Theme Song". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Bringing Rock Back to America: Madison Rising". This Is It Philly. December 17, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Madison Rising by Madison Rising". CD Baby. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ Pickey, Kerry (December 5, 2011). "Anti-Occupy Wall Street band prohibited from performing in Zuccotti Park". The Washington Times. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Hallowell, Billy (November 11, 2013). "‘The Re-Election of an Anti-Christ’: Rock Band’s New Album Takes Aim at President Obama". TheBlaze. 
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b Faughnder, Ryan (March 26, 2014). "'Most patriotic band' pens theme for Sarah Palin's new show". Los Angeles Times. 
  16. ^ a b c Saul, Josh (April 15, 2014). "‘America’s Most Patriotic Rock Band’ tied up in royalties lawsuit". New York Post. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  17. ^ Rogers, Keith (April 18, 2014). "Bundy supporters party, welcome ‘domestic terrorist’ label". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 23, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Patriot's Party To Help Vets". Anderson Observer. March 24, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  19. ^ Scholla, Kevin (September 18, 2014). "Madison Rising Delivers Rocking Constitution Day Show in Philly". Breitbart. Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  20. ^ Malcolm, Andrew (November 10, 2014). "Change of Pace: Madison Rising's stirring birthday tribute to Marines". Investor's Business Daily. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  21. ^ Burke, Timothy (February 22, 2014). ""America's Most Patriotic Band" Plays America's Worst Anthem Rendition". Deadspin. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  22. ^ Scott, Nate (February 22, 2014). "'Patriotic' band performs spectacularly awful national anthem at Daytona". USA Today. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  23. ^ Greenberg, Chris (February 22, 2014). "Madison Rising Treated Daytona To Possibly The Worst National Anthem Rendition Ever". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  24. ^ Gant, Andrew (February 14, 2014). "Band's rockin' anthem hits sour note with some Daytona race fans". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Madison Rising performs rock version of 'Star Spangled Banner' at Daytona International Speedway". WPTV. February 22, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2014. 
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Moment rockers' 'spectacularly awful' rock version of The Star-Spangled Banner provoked smirks and outrage at NASCAR race". Daily Mail. February 22, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2014. 
  29. ^ Lee, Tony (June 8, 2012). "Madison Rising Slams Bill Press for Being Embarrassed by National Anthem". Big Hollywood. 
  30. ^ Madison Rising. "The Star Spangled Banner". YouTube. Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  31. ^ "The Star Spangled Banner by Madison Rising". The Dennis Prager Show. July 4, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  32. ^ "The Star Spangled Banner by Madison Rising". CD Baby. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 

External links[edit]