Two Philadelphia area musicians, Buzz Saylor and Jeff Miller, formed Simon Apple with the intentions of writing material that combined their favorite elements of pop, progressive rock, and jazz, coupled with positive, hopeful, thought-provoking, even sometimes humorous messages. Imagine a cross of Peter Gabriel, Sting, Steely Dan, Marillion, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Genesis, Kevin Gilbert, Pat Metheny Group, Supertramp, Bruce Hornsby. If those artists do nothing for you, then you will likely hate Simon Apple's music as well! (Where's the love?).
The 2004 release, 'River To The Sea', features several Grammy-winning and multi-platinum guest artists including: Bassist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, John Lennon, Pink Floyd), guitarist Buck Dharma (Blue Oyster Cult), saxophonist John Helliwell (Supertramp), cellist Hugh McDowell (Electric Light Orchestra), bassist Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group), and trumpeter Dave Stahl (Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr.).
In early 1998, Simon Apple independently released their first single, "It's Over", taken from their debut CD From The Toybox. By April, "It's Over" had climbed to #21 nationally, on the Adult Contemporary Gavin chart (kept out of the Top 20 by Mariah Carey by only 24 spins). By late summer, their second single, "A Boy Like Me", broke the A/C Gavin Top 30 again (reaching #29). A third seasonal single, Scenes Of December, also received national airplay (reaching #43).
In 1999, lead singer John Feldmann left the band because of his inability to tour with his new-found family responsibilities. After 16 pain-staking months and 800+ vocal demos later, Jeff and Buzz finally found the voice they were searching for in Portland, Maine of all places! Singer Dan Merrill does not merely replace the former vocalist Dan has taken the sound of the Apple to wonderful, new heights.
After almost 2 years in the making, Simon Apples long awaited album, River To The Sea, was released in October 2004. This album marks a fairly large step forward in terms of creative growth in production, arrangements, and just overall sophistication... its quite a bit more complex than the previous album... although not abstract... still very listen-able, yet without pandering to the lowest common denominator, so to speak.
"River To The Sea" yielded the band's first U.S. Top 10 Adult Contemporary radio hit in December 2005, with "Hold Me [Like A Lover]". The album is also graced by some world-renowned guest artists that the Apple have admired and been fans of for years: Bassist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, John Lennon), guitarist Buck Dharma (Blue Oyster Cult), saxophonist John Helliwell (Supertramp), cellist Hugh McDowell (Electric Light Orchestra), bassist Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group), and trumpeter Dave Stahl (Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr.). In addition, the album was mixed by Grammy-winning producer/engineer, David Leonard (credits include: Paul McCartney, Rush, Tony Bennett, Prince, Barenaked Ladies, kd lang, Avril Lavigne, Bruce Hornsby, Toto, John Mellencamp, to name a few). Needless to say, the band was extremely flattered and honoured by the participation of these great artists. As Jeff humbly states, Its quite the thrill of a lifetime to have some of your musical heroes perform on your own material!
Simon Apple donates a portion of every sale of River To The Sea to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation... forever, until there is a cure. For more information on CF please visit: www.cff.org
Simon Apple was invited to perform at the First Union Center in Philadelphia for Elton John twice, Billy Joel three times, Bruce Springsteen, Cher, Creed, & Depeche Mode. The Apple have also performed for Flyers, Sixers, Eagles... considering Buzz & Jeff are huge sports fans (especially avid hockey fanatics) those gigs are always quite enjoyable. As Jeff states, Getting paid to perform and watch your favorite teams - does it get much better than that?!
Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Steely Dan, Marillion, Dave Matthews Band, Kevin Gilbert, Pat Metheny Group, Supertramp, John Mayer, Chick Corea, Rush, ELO, Blue Oyster Cult, James Taylor, The Beatles, Tears For Fears, Earth Wind & Fire, Billy Joel, Bruce Hornsby, Yes, Pink Floyd, etc.