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Fort Lee Musician Hopes Second Studio Album Takes Band Places

Fort Lee native Joe Marrero is the lead singer and guitarist for The Great Fraud. Photo Credit: Antonina Marrero
Marrero is busy mixing the band's second studio album. Photo Credit: Antonina Marrero

FORT LEE, N.J. — He could use some backup vocals and a bit of brass, but a Fort Lee musician says his band's second studio album will please the "Fraudsters" who follow them.

After winning the 2012 Hard Rock Cafe Band Battle in New York and recording their first album in the borough's Tree Fort Studios, the Great Fraud began looking to evolve.

Now, its members hope film and television work comes their way.

The Graud Fraud consists of Joe Marrero on lead guitar and vocals, Reese Karlan on bass harmonica, George Moudakis, their current bass guitarist who took over for Taso Zahariadis, and Tony Marchesani on drums -- along with a Rolodex of supporting members.

“You have to be ready at a moment’s notice,” said Marrero, 34. “You need talented musicians that understand what we’re doing so it can move forward and they can still be involved.”

Marrero has been mixing the group's combination of psychedelic, country, blues and hard rock into "The American Dream," due to drop in the tri-state area by the end of the year.

He has more than 50 songs recorded, some of which need backup singers or a horn section.

“We need a lot of talented musicians while I’m in the back room recording," he said.

Marrero performed as a teenager with a reggae group before he formed his band with a name derived from social commentary.

“The Great Fraud is the big lie that people have been believing for thousands of years,” he said.

He finds success not in money, but in how the band is assembled.

“Tour buses and touring are expensive, and we don’t have the funds," he said. "I would like to play a large venue with a lot of people, rather than many small venues. I’d like to travel the world."

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