Chesterwhite | Chesterwhite & His Orchestra

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Rock: Glam Rock: Emo Moods: Mood: Fun
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Chesterwhite & His Orchestra

by Chesterwhite

a rock band likened to David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, & T-Rex with a splash of George Orwell.
Genre: Rock: Glam
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Galley Slave
2:57 $0.99
2. Low
2:07 $0.99
3. Moonage Daydream
4:34 $0.99
4. 12 O'Clock High
2:02 $0.99
5. Love Song
2:59 $0.99
6. More
2:07 $0.99
7. Idiots
2:45 $0.99
8. Father Frank's Crusade
3:20 $0.99
9. Kill This Town
2:33 $0.99
10. On The Weekend
2:49 $0.99
11. Sunburn
4:14 $0.99
12. No Other Love
4:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Chesterwhite is the brainchild of Donny Dykowsky.  Donny, a New York native, started his career singing in bars and clubs when he was only fifteen years old.  He soon went on to travel the North East, fronting a touring rock band and later on earning a degree in composition from The Conservatory of Music at Purchase, NY. This album is inspired by his true-life science-fiction journey.

The name Chesterwhite is taken from an old high school teacher. What was meant as a backhanded compliment, Donny found to be reminiscent of such early influences as Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd.  And although CW has been a revolving door of musicians, this record features Dave Dunn on guitar, Seth Moutal on drums, and Freddy Pastore on bass.  

Their self-titled, debut album Chesterwhite & His Orchestra (Erroneous Records), is like throwing David Bowie, Zeppelin, & T-Rex in a blender with a splash of George Orwell.  In Chesterwhite¹s words, "This band is the soundtrack for undesirables. For those on the outside, we're a home for your fears." The content is an honest look at the world of today and a stranger look of what's yet to come.  It's an emotional romp through the diary of a survivor sidetracked by humanity, corruption, and love.

In "Kill this Town" Donny paints this social commentary: "Your daddy's giving handouts, crawls on his knees; Your brother's missing class, giving head to a priest; Everyone's addicted, Hell even police; So turn me on turn me off, arrest me; I am your killer..."  



to write a review


what a diverse group we have here...lingering songs in my head througout the day....primal screams in sunburn followed by deep dark armageddonous tracks filled with drama, despair, and delicate delomie's. my heart, my ears, my soul fill with warm pleasure listening to this hot band...stardom awaits


...completely blown away...a breathtaking sound...
It's not often that we are completely blown away by a rock album. Usually, we listen to it a few times, make some mental notes and move on. That's not happening now.

Chesterwhite & His Orchestra deliver a breathtaking sound and beat in this new album of their's. The iPod has been tuned to this album and nothing else. There's not enough good to say about it.

Keith Kehrer/

Chesterwhite and crew explode out of the starting block right off with the "Gall
Chesterwhite and crew explode out of the starting block right off with the "Galley Slave". Lead singer and songwriter Donny Dykowsky comes by his passion honestly having gone through painful cancer treatments in the late 90’s. For a minute I thought I was hearing that long lost Jeff Buckley release. But, there is an intensity here that Jeff only hinted at. The band simmers and roars and Donny literally wails over them almost like a shaman exhorting them to give him more and in fact there is a song called appropriately enough “More”. I love the rawness and sweetness of these songs. Dave Dunn has that roots rocking edge to his guitar that makes you want him to play more solos. Seth and Sir Freddy lay down a solid sledge hammer bottom that is both sensitive and solid to these intensely personal slices of life. This is definitely a band that must be seen live.

Now on to the songs. First of all, they are all winners . I didn’t hear a weak one in the bunch. I can’t wait for their next release.

"Galley Slave" had me bouncing in chair. It’s a bootie shaking, party boogie though "Galley Slave" brings up pictures of grunting, sweaty men rowing a boat while being whipped by a mean looking Viking guy. “It’s a metaphor Keith. Not real.” Oh ok. Sometimes I get carried away with my imagination.

"Low" shows another side of Donny and band. It has that power pop feel like Jellyfish or this band I used to like, The Falling Wallenda’s. 

"Moonage Daydream" definitely has that glam thing going on. Someone’s parents must have had some T-Rex or Ziggy Stardust on while Donny was in the crib. I love the guitar bridge. Such an unusual guitar solo. Simply smashing.  This song stayed with me a while. The Count nails the ending in class rock guitar god tradition. Radio stations take note. This is a hit. 

"12 O’Clock" has such a killer riff. I want to play with these guys. My guitar fingers were itching. I love guitar solos and this one has a killer one. So simple and traditional but it works. The fuzzy chorus effect on the vocals pushed them over the top. 

"Well Love Song" is not the most original title for a song but this song has drive and panache. (Sheesh, did I just say panache?). I can hear this track in a film. Maybe a slasher teen movie eh? Some music license potential here for sure. Boy, Donny can sure can hold out those high notes. Impressive!

"Yes. Give me More" .  A little French cabaret thing going on. It has a sweet melody and killer chord progression. I wanted it to go longer and to kick into something big and monsterous. It just teased me into wanting more. 

I can see Chrissie Hynde singing "Idiots" snarling the words. Another chair bouncer/air guitar song here.  The band really pushes Donny to go all the way to edge on this one. More nice guitar work. I am really impressed with how much this band cooks. It must be fun singing with these guys.

"Father Frank’s Crusade" is another one of those songs that begs to be on the radio. Love the wandering bass and guitar line. Lovely backing vocals. Sweet and strong.

Oh yes give me those 80’s new wave tom tom riffs.  Love this drummer. "Kill this town" is another song for the Pretenders catalog.  Rootsy and rockin’ playing Donny’s voice off monster guitar riffs.

Just when I think I have these guys figured out then they go and throw "On the weekend" at me.  A stop time rockabilly style thing. I can hear Donny snear in true Elvis fashion. Really I can. What a fun guitar solo, so, cliche but it’s like the best taffy that you should’nt really eat and do anyway. Short but sweet.

"Sunburn" is a vocal tour-de-force. Donny out Buckely’s Jeff Buckley for sure, bringing his own screaming angst to this track reaching notes I can only dream of hitting. I can feel his emotions soar as I close my eyes and float to the sound of his voice like an angel in dispair.

"No other love" should make all the girls swoon. Almost a 1950’s or Righteous Brothers tune for a new age.  Get on your knees Donny and make the ladies scream and ache for you. A very fitting end to a very passionate release for this band. Oh, and the guitar solo is short and a beauty. 

Seth Steiling/

As a whole, Chesterwhite & His Orchestra’s self-titled album is one of the best
Most of the albums I have had the pleasure of reviewing thus far have consisted of eclectic indie rock, lo-fi folk, and the like.  While I thoroughly enjoy these genres of music, I have been waiting for a mind-blowing rock album to land on my doorstep.  Unfortunately, while searching for my Zeppelin in shining armor, I have had to wade through a sea of sloppy guitar, incessant power chords, over-wrought vocals, and broken-record lyrics.  However, my time finally came.   The day I opened my mailbox to find Chesterwhite & His Orchestra’s self-titled debut album, my appetite for a thick, juicy rock-burger was finally satisfied.  With marvelous songs from beginning to end, lead singer Chesterwhite (Donny Dykowsky) and his companions crafted a fantastically unique and invigorating album, and then furnished it with razor-sharp lyrics, surging and crashing instrumentation, and vocals that take me back to some of the better rockers I have heard.


What makes a good rock band?  The qualifications are endless, subjective, and individualized, but almost all of the bands that enjoy any longevity and acceptance share one common characteristic…  They are cool.  I suppose “coolness” is in the eye of the beholder, but Chesterwhite & His Orchestra – Dykowsky (Vocals/Guitar), Freddy Pastore (Bass), Dave Dunn (Guitar), Seth Moutal (Drums) – are undeniably cool in my mind.  They sing about deadbeats and derelicts, vagabonds and outcasts, hoodlums, delinquents, and mendicants.  However, they don’t sing as passersby or onlookers.  Neither do they appear to be the suburban youth band that sings about the rough-and-tumble life, but covers their own inexperience by singing in affectedly woebegone tones.  In songs like “Galley Slave” and “Low,” Chesterwhite calls out to listeners as if he hails from a grimy ally or a dilapidated apartment.  This edge secured the “cool” impression in my mind, especially because I myself am nothing more than a suburban tool.  The fact that he seems so authentic in his delivery bolsters the perception that he truly could be singing from experience. 


Chesterwhite’s genuine confidence is augmented by convincing lyrical accounts.  In “Low,” one of my favorite songs, Chesterwhite celebrates his anthem for the street urchins: “Spent my time in the war / Lost my passion to suit gentlemen / I search the cracks of pavement / For cigarettes, cause / I am that organ grinder / I’m that filthy hand in your face / But it’s a living for some of us too/low for a place.”  “Idiots” laments the mundane, the rat-race… the “establishment”… essentially everything that Chesterwhite does not want to be: “I do my business on the second floor / You are a soldier/but you don’t have a war / You’re busy killing time / but it’s only on your side / There’s no end in sight.”  The paradoxical “Love Song” reveals the flipside to the typical sugary, idyllic commentary on love (I assume with tongue planted firmly in cheek): “She stabbed me with a kitchen knife / I was sleeping she was up all night / She don’t even want me alive / But she loves me and that’s alright.”


Now to the most important part of all… what do they sound like?  Often the mark of a good band, Chesterwhite & His Orchestra’s sound is hard to peg, and it varies from song to song.  For those who MUST have a comparison, imagine the offspring of Three Dog Night’s evil twin, David Bowie’s missing masculine half, Queen, and Led Zeppelin (doesn’t every good rock band boast its Zeppelin roots?).  “Galley Slave” starts the album off with a foot-tappin’, head noddin’, swing-like guitar and drum driven intro, later followed by insertions of jazzy drums and cascading bass.  Jekyll and Hyde vocals are part madman, part genius: Chesterwhite seems to lose his mind with absolute calm and unflappability.  In “Low,” Chesterwhite & His Orchestra sounds like Three Dog Night… almost… perhaps if they had been raised by wolves.  The sound is very similar, complete with the rhythmic, descending guitar in the foreground, wavering distorted background guitar, and many other tricks that Three Dog Night employed, but Chesterwhite just isn’t quite sweet enough.  When I was trying to find whom they were similar to, I kept coming back to Bowie.  Then it dawned on me.  Chesterwhite’s “Moonage Daydream” is a Bowie cover, and an excellent one at that.  I would say it is my favorite song on the album, but the others are so good, that I would prefer to pick one that Chesterwhite wrote.  Accordingly, “Moonage Daydream” joins “Low” as tops in my mind.  It is an intoxicating song with some of the best vocals on the album.


As a whole, Chesterwhite & His Orchestra’s self-titled album is one of the best rock albums I have heard in a long time.  Every song is fantastic, addictive, and authentically personal.  If you love unadulterated, stick-it-to-the-man rock and roll (which I know you do), you must own this CD.  Go get it.  Right now.  Go.


I’m not a music critic, but I know what I like…and I like Chesterwhite! Brazen and beautiful, this rockin’ self-titled debut is a masterpiece of everything that made rock great in the seventies: big chords played fast, surprising melodies and powerful vocals, coupled with modernistic- dare I say it?- even futuristic sensibilities. Check ‘em out, these boys are amazing!

miss k

I am lovin’ this record. It’s delicious, intoxicating. It opens up like a good wine, each listen revealing another layer to savor. I keep hitting repeat on my ipod. Chesterwhite and his Orchestra is led by Donny Dykowsky whose rich and seductive voice, excellent phrasing and incredible range are such an asset to this band. He sings the sh*t outta these songs much like Freddie Mercury did with Queen. His voice and the songwriting are my favorite things about this album, but there are some other tasty morsels I am particularly enjoying: the piano part on MORE, the bass line on IDIOTS, that great splashy cymbal playing that drummer Seth Moutal is doing on LOVE SONG, the brilliant cover of MOONAGE DAYDREAM, the way that 12 O’CLOCK HIGH is just such a dirty little rock song, the guitar riff leading to the chorus on FATHER FRANK’S CRUSADE and the lush harmonies Dykowsky layers into the final chorus (makes me smile every time!), the guitar groove on SUNBURN that just makes me want to grind my hips. This is a song to put on when you have your girl over gentlemen. It turns me on for sure and the way the song builds to the final chorus really is like hitting that climax you long for at the end of some great sex. The album finishes with NO OTHER LOVE, which is one of my favorite songs on the album. It’s a beautifully crafted love song and it’s the blues, which is a subtle irony I enjoy.. All in all this is just a record you should buy and listen to A LOT. I look forward to hearing much more from Chesterwhite.

Sid Sondergard

Memorable Voice and Combo
Buy this album for four reasons: the aching, distinctive voice of Donny Dykowsky, equal measures bluesy and glam; the smart, tasty guitar licks of Dave Dunn that are reminiscent of Wishbone Ash and Ten Years After; the intelligent bass structures of Freddy Pastore; and the crisp, creative drumming of Seth Moutal.

robert johnson

y'all need to keep that doodoo in the suburbs
y'all need to keep that doodoo in the suburbs