September 23, 2017
Arts & Entertainment
66° Mostly Cloudy
  • After debuting at Annapolis Fringe Festival in September, Downside Up gigged at Eastport a Rockin’ in Annapolis, the Bay Music Festival in Centreville, the Nextival in Crownsville and other summer shows.
    Robert Guanti
    After debuting at Annapolis Fringe Festival in September, Downside Up gigged at Eastport a Rockin’ in Annapolis, the Bay Music Festival in Centreville, the Nextival in Crownsville and other summer shows.
  • After debuting at Annapolis Fringe Festival in September, Downside Up gigged at Eastport a Rockin’ in Annapolis, the Bay Music Festival in Centreville, the Nextival in Crownsville and other summer shows.
    Robert Guanti
    After debuting at Annapolis Fringe Festival in September, Downside Up gigged at Eastport a Rockin’ in Annapolis, the Bay Music Festival in Centreville, the Nextival in Crownsville and other summer shows.
  • Severna Park High School rising junior Joe Matthews (left) is the lead guitarist for the rock-centric group Downside Up. Crownsville native Lucy O’Brien handles lead vocals.
    Robert Guanti
    Severna Park High School rising junior Joe Matthews (left) is the lead guitarist for the rock-centric group Downside Up. Crownsville native Lucy O’Brien handles lead vocals.
  • Siblings John, Andrew and Mackenzie Priddy play keyboard, drums and bass, respectively.
    Robert Guanti
    Siblings John, Andrew and Mackenzie Priddy play keyboard, drums and bass, respectively.

Downside Up Showcases Range Of Talent Through Rock

Taylor Stokes
Taylor Stokes's picture
View Bio
August 10, 2017

Veterans Highway may seem like a regular stretch of road, but it contains a surprising number of hidden gems, like New Transit Truck Stop (an Indian food joint), Anne Arundel County Animal Control and Priddy Music Academy, which has taught several Severna Park High School musicians while also booking shows so they can perform live.

One of those musicians is SPHS rising junior Joe Matthews, lead guitarist for the rock-centric group Downside Up. In addition to Matthews, Downside Up is Crownsville native Lucy O’Brien on lead vocals and siblings John, Andrew and Mackenzie Priddy on keyboard, drums and bass, respectively.

After debuting at Annapolis Fringe Festival in September, Downside Up gigged at several shows. In June, the band took the stage at Eastport a Rockin’ in Annapolis and the Bay Music Festival in Centreville. In July, the band performed at the Nextival, the second annual food truck music festival in Crownsville.

Although Downside Up has been together roughly three years, Matthews and O’Brien both joined at later dates. Matthews unofficially joined the band last fall at the Annapolis Fringe Festival, stepping in to perform when more music was needed to fill the music academy’s set. “We put [Downside Up] together because we knew a lot of the same songs,” said Mackenzie Priddy. “We kind of threw something together and it became a thing.”

Downside Up almost exclusively sticks to rock ‘n’ roll – tunes from acts like Jimi Hendrix, Steely Dan, and Yes – because it comes naturally to the musicians. “My mom kind of force-fed [rock ‘n’ roll] to me as a kid,” Matthews said. “It was cool; you could move your head to it. And you can play that on a guitar — it’s something attainable, and I find that very interesting.”

Matthews has been playing guitar since he was 8 years old. In addition to guitar, he also plays bass, keyboard and drums. And he’s not the only one either; thanks to Priddy Music Academy, the majority of band members can play multiple instruments. “I’ve been with [Priddy] for five years now,” said O’Brien. “It’s an amazing experience filled with hard work.”

That being said, for Matthews, the path beyond high school doesn’t necessarily include performing. “I think it would be nice to keep [playing music] if the opportunity arose. I really want to study psychiatry as well,” Matthews said. “If the opportunity’s there, I’d be like, ‘Sure, why not?’ But it’s a really tough industry. There’s no career stability. You break your arm and you’re done.”

That won’t stop him from trying to earn a spot in Severna Park High School’s annual Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival, a show he’s auditioned for twice before.

For the time being, however, the members of Downside Up are content with doing what they do best: working together to make some rocking music.


Sidebar Ad

Faces of the Voice

  • Lonnie Lancione
    Publisher
  • Zach Sparks
    Assistant Editor
    @Sparks907
    @Sparks907
    @Sparks907
  • Colin Murphy
    Sports Editor
    @ArVoiceSports / @ColinAJMurphy
    @SPVoiceSports / @ColinAJMurphy
    @PVoiceSports / @ColinAJMurphy
  • Brian Lancione
    V.P., Operations
  • Larry Sells
    Vice President, Sales and Development
    @LarrySells1
    @LarrySells1
    @LarrySells1
  • Dylan Roche
    Editor
    @dylroche
    @dylroche
    @dylroche
  • William Nauman
    Creative Director
  • Dianna Lancione
    Publisher
    parkiewoman

Latest Tweets

Events Calendar

Request an Advertising Quote

Please do not add dashes. (ex: 4106479400)
Do not enter anything here.
Search Articles
Search Authors
Search Blog