"Mark Richardson's songs come from a roadhouse somewhere in America -- one where Brian Setzer is playing just down the street and the Blasters are next door. Several strong rockabilly and blues tunes round out 'Crime Scene Queen.' Recommended."
- Blues Review Magazine
"A real treat for me on last weekend's Shipless Blues Cruise in Boulder was getting to see and sit in with Denver's The Informants. What an entertaining and exciting band. They won the Blues Foundation's Award at the IBC for best self-produced CD. They are a spectacular live band."
- Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin
"Masterfully blending with the satin and kick of instruments that waste not one note, [Kerry Pastine's voice] flows effortlessly across the 12 diamond-sharp tracks. Songwriter Mark Richardson is able to angle, crack and pop the songs in a way that suggests a renewal more than a retread."
- Ol' Skool Rods Magazine
For the members of the Informants and their fans, 2008 is affectionately remembered as the year of the band's arrival, but this year will be remembered as the year of the band's ascension. Just as the summer heat of 2009 was kicking in, so was the buzz about the Informants' follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2007 debut, Stiletto Angel. So it was no surprise that in early July word came from the band's label, Wipe It Off! Records, that Crime Scene Queen would finally be released.
Like its predecessor Crime Scene Queen draws liberally from the vintage roots music of forgotten eras, focusing on themes that drive the Informants and their fans to common destinations--celebration (Get Twisted), heartache (Nothing But A Bad Break), redemption (Salvation), and fatalism (Travelin' On). Primary songwriter Mark Richardson continues to find new ways to make weary sentiments appear fresh, and producer Jeremy Lawton (Big Head Todd & the Monsters) mixes the perfect martini of sonic and subtle. On the title track vocalist Kerry Pastine growls fiendish comic book noir, atop the Tommy gun fire of Paul Shellooe's blistering rockabilly guitar. The result is a familiarity that suspends ageless ideas, while hinting of entirely new directions.
In late 2005 singer Kerry Pastine and bassist Mac McMurray first spoke of forming a band after bumping into each other at a nightclub. Within days of that encounter they enlisted pianist Mark Richardson, drummer Nate Nicholson, the horn section of Kenny Plum and Jonny Love, and later guitarist Paul Shellooe. Since debuting live in January 2006, their invigorating and impassioned performances have become something of local legend. After naming the Informants "Best Bar Band," in 2008 Westword had this to say on the subject, "Plenty of musicians take umbrage if their group is called a bar band. Still, the finest acts with this label don't need open taps or drink specials to work their magic; their playing is intoxicating enough."
Stiletto Angel was released in November 2007 to the warm embrace of critics, with Westword including it among the "Best 2007 Local Releases." Stiletto Angel's distinctive, universally appealing modern roots sound caught the ear of House of Blues Radio Hour host Dan Aykroyd, who featured the title track as the "Blues Breaker" song of the week and said of the band, "they will not be Denver's little secret for long." He was right. Since then more than 300 radio stations worldwide have added the CD to rotation, including a rare #1 debut at WPTS-FM Pittsburgh.
Behind the success of Stiletto Angel the Informants truly had arrived. In 2008 and 2009 they were awarded the Westword Music Showcase "Best Blues" Award and a nomination by the Blues Festival Guide for "2009 Blues Artist on The Rise." They landed a television feature on the Altitude Network music program On Stage, a radio licensing deal, and a song in a surf flick. The Informants also shared stages with Koko Taylor, Tab Benoit, Marcia Ball, John Lee Hooker Jr., Henry Butler, Eddie Turner, Firefall, Lifehouse, KT Tunstall, the Railbenders—not to mention Virginia Governor and current DNC Chairman Tim Kaine on the blues harp during the Democratic National Convention.
While the anticipation for the release of Crime Scene Queen has been growing, the band has hardly been sitting idle. The band is having its most successful concert season ever, performing at several dozen of the top regional festivals. From their humble bar band beginnings to Stiletto Angel to Crime Scene Queen, ascension appears eminent.