Piecing The Puzzle Together

Interview with Diane DiMemmo

January 13, 2021

If you’re a music fan and you hear the moniker “Original Ukulele Infused Rock Band” you just HAVE to check it out. Thus, begins our introduction to NJ-based rock outfit - Springwood. A perfect 50/50 blend of rock and roll and punk elements set to a unique soundscape that includes the ukulele. Make no mistake about it; we’re not talking about anything like the stylings of Tiny Tim’s ukulele playing. Springwood’s authentic sound gets under your skin, sinks deep in your bones, and will make even the quietest of fans get up to dance and sing along!

Springwood is Michael Medina (Lead Vocals / Ukulele), Johnny Knight (Electric/Acoustic Guitar & BG Vocals), Clive Williams (Bass & BG Vocals), and John DeMan (Drums & BG Vocals). Founded by Knight and Medina, the band’s current lineup really came together with “incredible chemistry” during the last two years with the addition of Williams and DeMan. And their current album Electric Luau (which was released this past November) is a testament to how important it is for band members to really gel.


The tunes on Electric Luau run the gamut of emotions from the elation to being with friends and partying all night (“Party With You”) to times when you’ve hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to go (“Point Of No Return”). But there’s also optimism felt in the song “I’m Free” where the end of a toxic relationship forces you to embrace a better life. The band’s lyrics (written by Medina and Knight) read like poetry and all four bandmates contribute admirably on vocals by providing layered harmonies in all the right places.

Their musicianship is also quite impressive leading with Medina’s powerful, gritty vocals and textured ukulele strumming. Knight’s guitar playing screams of experience and talent coming together to produce acoustic and electric solos that grab you and don’t let go. Masterful bass lines from Williams and the freight-train driving percussion of DeMan provide the foundation for an addicitive musical soundscape in Electric Luau.

Listen to the Springwood Podcast!

I had a really fun conversation with the guys recently which can be listened to in its entirety on YouTube and all podcast streaming platforms. All band members couldn’t say enough about one of their biggest influences – ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro - and put out a direct request to be able to open for him one day when touring makes its comeback.

“When Mike started playing the ukulele during our rehearsals, it sounded so good,” said Knight. “Everything just naturally came together. It developed into this very organic, different brand of music.”

And when asked how they all feel when performing this different genre live for fans, Williams said, “I would describe it as being in heaven. Musically in heaven. You’re singing a song, having those feelings, smiling while looking at each other and the crowd. It’s heaven.”

DeMan added, “Well, I always get nervous. But performing is like magic. Music is a language and we’re all speaking it. We’re having this conversation on stage.”

Then Medina also chimed in. “It’s like this crazy thousand-piece puzzle and you finally finish it … and everything just connects.”

No doubt that once pandemic restrictions are lifted, this energetic group will pick up right where they left off … a year booked with shows, winning fans over, and fitting together perfectly with their unique take on rock and roll.

Listen to our full podcast or watch it on YouTube ... links above for easy access!

and ......

Don't miss Springwood LIVE at The Brighton Bar - Friday, Jan 15th!

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Diane DiMemmo stumbled into and fell in love with Asbury Park and photography a few short years ago. An avid concert fanatic and former musician, she recognized the need for a Jersey Shore music publication to highlight the accomplishments of local and national musicians through photos and press. Asbury Park Vibes has been her labor of love ever since, along with her Golden Retriever – Cooper – who you’ll often see walking Diane through the streets of Asbury.


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