Photo by Greg Cristman |

The Purslaines are a rock ’n’ roll band from New York City. Their music draws as much from the sounds of Memphis soul, Motown, and rhythm & blues as it does from the ferocious punk-rock sounds of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The fusing of these influences has resulted in music that is sometimes sweet but more often downright nasty.

The band is the vision of New Orleans-based vocalist Ashley Michael Bird and Pittsburgh-based guitarist Johnny Raincloud. Johnny and Ashley were both raised in the punk-rock scenes of their respective hometowns, but they were also exposed to early soul, rhythm & blues, and doo-wop music at a very young age by their parental units. It is evident when listening to The Purslaines that they are influenced not only by The Ramones but also by Otis Redding and Irma Thomas.

The story of The Purslaines begins at a bar on Lower Decatur Street in New Orleans. Ashley was tending bar, and Johnny was, well, being Johnny, making frequent trips to the Crescent City and spending too much time in Ashley’s bar. Ashley took a trip to NYC in the summer of 2010 to see a Danzig show and a parade full of mermaids — and she decided not to return to New Orleans. After a few failed attempts by Johnny t­­o get Ashley to join the band, he finally lured her in with empty promises of huge tour buses, green M&Ms, European tours, and caviar dinners. Adding bass player Denise Torcicollo and drummer Luke Martinek into the mix, The Purslaines were born and began tearing up New York City’s most prestigious questionable clubs.

After the band had been together for about a year and a half, Denise and Luke left and were replaced with Rebecka Birch on bass and Kamal Aboul-Hosn on drums. April 2015 found Denise (aka The Red Baroness) once again home to the The Purslaines.

The Purslaines are the house band for Lacey Allure’s Rock ’n’ Roll Girlie Show, which combines bands, circus sideshow, visual art, and go-go girls into an action-packed evening that will assault all your senses. Lacey Allure’s Rock ’n’ Roll Girlie Show appears at various clubs throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The Purslaines have a balls-to-the-wall, candy-kick-to-the-crotch sound. In August 2014, The Purslaines released their debut album, The Devil’s Arms available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play Music, Spotify, BandCamp, and CD Baby.