Shadow Merchant is an original progressive rock band based in Philadelphia.
With years of combined experience, and with influences ranging from Rush, Kansas, Spock’s Beard, Porcupine Tree, Yes, and Dream Theater to King Crimson, the Beatles and more, Shadow Merchant brings their unique brand of progressive rock to the music world.
Shadow Merchant got its start in 2007 when radiologists Dr. Sean Reiter and Dr. Paul McGinnis, while working in the same practice, discovered their mutual affinity for prog rock. Both were experienced musicians. Guitarist Reiter had been in a band that opened for one of his favorite groups, Kansas, while McGinnis was a longtime drummer with a style reminiscent of Rush’s Neal Peart and Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy. The two radiologists began to rehearse together, and before long, they began developing original songs. Still, they needed more members to turn their duo into a full band.
Reiter asked a friend who was involved with music if he knew anyone who: a) played bass b) could take on lead vocals, and, of course c) loved the prog! It turns out, his friend did know someone—his son-in-law, Howard Whitman, another prog devotee who had an extensive background as a professional musician.
Two became three, and then another friend of Reiter and McGinnis joined on keyboards. By 2008, the first incarnation of Shadow Merchant was born, with the band’s name derived from an antiquated term for radiologists.
When the keyboardist decided to move on, the now-trio set about finding a new fourth member, and after a series of auditions, met up with New Jersey-based keyboardist Donald A. Henney Jr. With his musical talent and mastery of keyboard technology, Don was the perfect missing link the band was looking for.
By 2011, Shadow Merchant was playing professional gigs, starting at Northeast Philly’s famed Whisky Tango nightclub. In November of that year, they were invited by NYC-based InsideOut recording artists Jolly to join the bill of a night of prog rock at The Legendary Dobbs in South Philly. Another highlight was a show at Philly’s legendary North Star Bar in early 2012.
Later that year, Philadelphia classic rock radio station WMGK introduced a new contest, Rock MD, a competition for local groups that had medical doctors as members. Shadow Merchant was named a finalist in Rock MD 2012 and played at the Keswick Theatre (former site of RoSfest) on 10/11/12.
2013 saw the band return to The Legendary Dobbs, and play at other venues including Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live. Shadow Merchant was again named a finalist in the 2013 WMGK Rock MD competition and returned to the Keswick stage on 10/09/13.
The members of Shadow Merchant are thrilled and honored to play the After Party for RoSfest 2014, and look forward to unleashing a set of original songs from their CD “The Tunnel,” along with a generous helping of classics from some of their (and probably your) favorite prog bands.