by Jessica Novak
There’s only one requirement if this five-piece is going to slay the song: it has to rock.
For more than 10 years, the ‘Varks have been evolving and maturing (kind of) into the premier rock band of the Lehigh Valley, mixing time periods and styles of covers and original music into their non-stop, high energy sets. Paired with the group’s individual and collective talent and tight delivery – they’ve got the real deal rock n’ roll package.
The band’s musical journey began in 2002 when lead singer and guitarist Mike Rauscher and vocalist, keyboard and pianist Rod Walls decided to take a break from the music scene after a decade of traveling and performing with other bands including The Honeybuzzards, Seamrippers and The Armadillos. However, within a few weeks they formed a duo, A Pair of Armadillos and performed throughout the Lehigh Valley. In 2003, bassist Scott Erickson of Circle Sky and drummer Jay Sanita of Wake up Naked joined the duo. A year later, the band went through another transformation as new members, bassist Jon Novak of The Legendary Truth and guitar and vocalist Jay Morgan of Good Time Charlie were welcomed. Remaining true to their fondness for one animal band names beginning with the letter “A”, the bandmates decided to try a new breed and The Aardvarks were born.
With the departure of Sanita in 2012, the band found themselves at another crossroads. It wasn’t quite a deal with the devil (drummer, close enough), that led the ‘Varks to their latest addition, Ted Donatelli. Bringing 10 years of experience from the Jeff Bellfy Band to the table, Donatelli has got the pound of Chad Sexton and the varied musical palate required to rock with a band that keeps expanding their already massive song catalogue. Like Jake and Elwood Blues, the band got themselves back together on a mission (from God) to satisfy more music-loving souls with this new version of the much-loved Aardvarks.
The band’s commitment to keeping the spirit of great rock n’ roll alive stays steady as they continue to win over audiences one rowdy and raucous show at a time. Whether playing a wedding, private event, festival or a Friday night bar, the ‘Varks are known for packing the places they play and kicking up the party.
Be a part of it and come get down with The Aardvarks.