The Amish Outlaws

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The Amish Outlaws are discussed in the book Pennsylvania Germans: An Interpretive Encyclopedia by by Simon J. Bronner (Editor) and Joshua R. Brown (Editor), published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2017.

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Pub celebrates 10 years with a parking lot concert
By Suzanne Copeland

Leonardtown, MD - It has become a staple in downtown Leonardtown for locals and tourists alike. The Old Towne Pub is nestled right in the heart of Leonardtown, also known as "Leonardtown Square." The Pub celebrated their 10 year anniversary Saturday, July 28 with an outdoor concert in their parking lot. Local boy Robbie Boothe played at 3:30, and then the infamous Amish Outlaws from Lancaster, PA took the stage at 6:30 p.m.

The Old Towne Pub celebrated its 10 years of being in business Saturday, July 28. The celebratory concert drew hundreds of people to celebrate. There were beer tents, which included beers from Calvert Brewing Company, Flying Dog, Boulevard Brewing Company, Guy Distributing's Classic Draft Truck and many others. The Old Towne Pub was open for business and you could go in and order food and drinks. According to one Pub employee who was working the "Spiked Drink" Stand, which served Spiked Orange Crush, "We ran out of the Orange Crush within two hours of opening, we were scrambling to get more made for the rest of the concert." By 7:30 p.m. they had completely run out.

Patrons brought chairs and just lounged around the parking lot, enjoying their beer, and good music. It was also kid friendly, and many kids attended and played. They even took a break from playing and dance to the songs that were played. Robbie Boothe hit the stage at 3:30 and performed for two and a half hours. The concert was held under a huge tent, and the pub had even set up chairs under the tent for patrons to sit and enjoy the concert. They left plenty of room for dancing between the stage and the rows of chairs, which filled up fast.

The Amish Outlaws took the stage a little late, coming on closer to 7 p.m. They did not disappoint. They were all about the audience and included them in their concert. One band member, Brother Big Daddy Abel, took my phone that I was taking pictures with, and took a selfie with it. The lead singer, Brother Hezekiah X, was all about getting down in the crowd and dancing with various audience members.

When The Amish Outlaws time was up around 9 p.m. the audience demanded an encore from them, chanting, "Encore" until The Amish Outlaws decided to play a couple more. The fun wasn't over then, as they made Robbie Boothe get back on the stage telling him, "Hey if we gotta work overtime, you gotta work overtime." It was all fun, and Robbie Boothe got up on the stage singing with the Amish Outlaws(right). Fireworks followed the show as the final "congrats" to the Old Towne Pub for making it to 10 years.

So congratulations Old Towne Pub for being around for 10 years. Thanks for the fun time in the parking lot! Here's to another 10 years! Cheers!

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Musician feels he's called to entertain
Amish Outlaws draw an enthusiastic crowd at Bloomsburg Fair
By SUSAN SCHWARTZ Press Enterprise Writer

BLOOMSBURG — In the Amish community where Ezekiel Smith grew up, there was no electricity and all musical instruments were forbidden. But then came his rumspringa — the time when teenage Amish are allowed to experience the outside world before deciding whether to be baptized in the church. That's when he heard "The Wall" by Pink Floyd and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by the Beatles. After that, there was no turning back. "I heard those, and I realized music was more than a distraction," said Smith, now 43. "It had all kinds of meaning." He and other Amish youngsters teamed up with a few non-Amish — they call them English — to form a new band, the Amish Outlaws.

They've been touring every since. These days, three of the six band members grew up in the Amish community. Wednesday brought them to the Bloomsburg Fair's free stage, where they had people dancing in front of the stage. Not typical Amish These are not the Amish you see driving buggies in rural Montour County. Sure, the straw hats are the same, along with the blue shirts and black suspenders. But the Outlaws — bass player Smith, singer Hezekiah Yoder, drummer Jakob, keyboardist Amos, lead guitar Wyclef Jonathan, and guitarist Abel — also wore black shorts and sneakers. Some of them won't give their last names, some out of deference to family still in the Amish community, others because they prefer to be known only by their stage names. And the music they play — ranging from Johnny Cash to Snoop Dogg — is nothing short of electric.

 "Stand up! Stand up! This is not a spectator sport!" shouted Yoder as he dragged reluctant audience members out of their seats to the front of the stage. There, he set them jumping and twirling to "Shout!" by the The Isley Brothers and The Backstreet Boys' "Everybody." Fan following Abel, one of the non-Amish members of the band, kept up a clever patter, warning one man hanging back during a couples number, "If an Amish man needs to give you romantic advice, you're in trouble." They drew a solid crowd of more than 300 to their 10:30 a.m. show, many of whom danced their way up to the front before the end of the show. "My wife just loves them," said Clyde Wyland, 72, who learned about the group watching Musikfest on Service Electric Cable and came from Wilburton No. 2 to see them. "She said we've gotta see them, rain or shine. And I love them, too. I love their enthusiasm." "They get you involved," agreed Jerry Grink, 68, of West Hazleton, who became a fan after watching them on YouTube. "And they carry their notes to perfection."

Amish ties remain While band members said they don't have fans among the practicing Amish — most will never hear their music — they haven't faced much backlash, either. Smith said he would have been cut off from the community if he had been baptized into the church and then left. But since he never joined, the door remains open to him. He visits his parents in Pennsylvania regularly — though calls are difficult, since his parents live in a community where many members share a single phone. Amos, who grew up with Smith, said when he visits his parents, they don't talk much about his current lifestyle. They just talk about being together.

Yoder said when he was young, he used to sneak out to hear music. Most of his family has left the church and now do various types of art, he said. "I'm not religious any more," he said. "But I do believe we all have a calling. And strangely enough, this is mine." Honoring two worlds He meets a lot of former Amish people, who appreciate the show, he said. Smith explained the men are not making fun of the Amish with their performances. "But we appreciate living amongst the English," he said. "We're celebrating that different kind of life." Yoder said he still appreciates the Amish. About three months ago, he was in a car accident in Christiana, where he grew up. Most of the volunteer firefighters who came to his rescue were Amish, he said — though English had to drive the trucks. An Amish family let him sit on their stoop as he waited for State Police. Almost everyone went out of their way to help him, he said. "If there's any lesson to be learned, it's that good people are everywhere," he said.

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Amish Outlaws perform at the Middlesex County Fair
Ken Downey Jr, Features Editor

The Amish Outlaws performed its wide range of music to the crowd at the Middlesex County Fair in East Brunswick on Aug. 8.

The band, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary this July, performs music of various types – from Johnny Cash to Snoop Dogg.

The Amish Outlaws love to surprise their audiences with what they will play next.

The band began after four of the original members left the Amish lifestyle in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The Amish practice a tradition called Rumspringa, where on a person's 16th birthday, they have the opportunity to go out and live free of the Amish code and experience the "common" world.

After concluding your Rumspringa, members decide if they want to return to their Amish lifestyle and be baptized into the Amish church. Most members return to the Amish way, but in some cases, they do not.

"There's a lot of reasons that I left behind that kind of lifestyle," Brother Eazy Ezekiel, the band's bass player said. "The ultimate one is that the Amish believe, like a lot of religions do, that their way is the only way into Heaven. That anyone not born and raised Amish is basically condemned. When I met our drummer, Jakob (he's one of my best friends and he's Jewish), I just couldn't believe that him and a lot of the good people who I met out here were going to go to Hell. It didn't make sense to me; I couldn't wrap my head around it. Even though that they were honest, loving and loyal, but because they were born into a different group they were going to be condemned. That was the ultimate straw that broke the camel's back for me. Once I came out and made all these friends and saw the way that life was out here, I couldn't close those blinders and go back into that world."

Like Ezekiel, his friend and former member of the Amish lifestyle, Amos Def, had the same feelings after leaving behind his former life.

"Music was a big thing for me; travel and general curiosity about the world," said Brother Amos. "Everything kept pulling me into different directions and none of it went back to where I grew up. It wasn't so much as leaving as it was not returning."

But Ezekiel did make sure to point out there was nothing immoral with the Amish way of life.

"The Amish lifestyle is great in a lot of ways, but ultimately it wasn't for me," Ezekiel said.

Of the four original members of the band, three of them still play. Brothers Amos, Ezekiel and Hezekiah, who were all brought up Amish, met the band's drummer Jakob after leaving the Amish lifestyle. Now the four of them are joined by Brothers Wyclef and Abel.

"Amos and I grew up together," Ezekiel said. "He left after I did, and we met Hezekiah out here. Jakob, our drummer, he is the first ‘English' friend I made, or non-Amish person. We started playing music together. Somewhere down the line I just thought that we should start a band together, and four of us being born and raised Amish, I thought that we should be called, ‘The Amish Outlaws.' I wanted to embrace the way we grew up and how crazy life is out here."

Ezekiel, who had only heard snippets of nonsecular music before leaving the Amish lifestyle, was surprised to see what music had made him feel when he really started listening.

"It was when I heard, ‘The Wall' by Pink Floyd and ‘Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' by The Beatles did music take on a new meaning to me," he said. "I started off playing tuba, but it was way too heavy for me; so I switched to bass. Honestly, I'm a bigger fan of listening to music than I am playing it. I do love playing it, but I just love music and the more I can be involved with it in my life the better."

The Amish Outlaws enjoy performing, but what the band members enjoy more is the people they encounter throughout their touring.

"I have had a lot of bad jobs in my life and this isn't one of them," Ezekiel said. "It's nice. We're all friends, we get along, and my favorite thing about being out here and playing music is all the people we see out here and get to meet. We have people who come to see us three different times a week, and we become close friends. We don't even consider them fans, we call them family."

For more information on The Amish Outlaws, check out their website:

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Amish Cover Band Rocks the House in Vienna
Nottoway Park's natural stage setting doubled as a dance floor for the Amish Outlaws.
By Mike Salmon

Vienna — The suspenders, blue shirts, and straw hats screamed Amish, but the stage show and antics of The Amish Outlaws bore no resemblance to this religious group with roots in the Pennsylvania countryside. The crowd on the hillside at Nottoway Park was up and dancing in no time when the group took the stage on Thursday, Aug. 23 as part of the Summertime Concert Series put on by the Fairfax County Park Authority.

Hezekiah Yoder, one of the lead singers, immediately took to the audience, got down off the stage and went into the crowd, but then paused. "I swallowed a bug," he joked, connecting with the crowd as he went into the first song that involved jumping before "Everybody Rock Your Body," by the Backstreet Boys, and rolling into a set that included U2, a reggae hit, and "Honky Tonk Woman," by the Rolling Stones.

"We try to find things people won't hear every day," said Yoder, commenting that "you won't hear ‘Brown Eyed Girl,' out of us."

THE AMISH OUTLAWS are a cover band described as "men in full Amish garb releasing their pent-up energy with infectious joy," read the description on the table. The Amish garb description isn't entirely accurate, said Yoder. The religion is strict about clothes, cars and electricity. "You're not going to catch any Amish in shorts," he said.

Three of the band members are of Amish heritage, but left that life as teens. One is Yoder, and then there's another singer Amos Def, and the bass player. "All three of us are from that culture," Yoder said. Although they mention Amish in their band title, "we're not making fun of our former culture in any way," Yoder said. "We're sort of goofy people anyway," he added.

The Amish culture has European roots in Switzerland and Germany with the Mennonites, but formed in the late 17th century when Jakob Ammann broke away and started his own religion. They settled in and around Lancaster, Pa., and Yoder has heard minimal negative comments to the group in reference to using Amish in their name. They aren't a stereotypical wild rock band and the family-type crowd like in Vienna is their typical show.

"We all try to live a decent existence," Yoder said.

Providence Supervisor Linda Q. Smyth (D) announced the group at the start of the show, which was the last of the summer concerts at that park. She praised the volunteers that staffed the event and then set the evening's pace. "Let's close out our season with a bang," she said.

IN THE AUDIENCE was Ken Quincy, the vice chairman of the board at the Fairfax County Park Authority that also lives in Vienna. He was happy with the size of the crowd but knows these outside events are always a risk. "The weather is always a factor, zero rain outs this year," he said. "A big variety of music on the schedule appeals to a wide variety," he said.

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Entertainment, agriculture is at core of 163rd annual Bloomsburg Fair
By Cindy O. Herman For The Daily Item Sep 19, 2018

BLOOMSBURG — Where else can you catch top-name acts like Vince Gill and Melissa Etheridge, whirl yourself silly on amusement park rides, munch on deep-fried Oreos and check out monster pumpkins and furry, Scottish Highland cattle?

The 163rd Bloomsburg Fair opens tomorrow night with the rides, food and entertainment that have made it famous, as well as the agricultural exhibits of vegetables, grain and farm animals that launched it in 1855.

Chris Daughtry's namesake rock band launches the grandstand entertainment. Other grandstand acts include Christian rock band Casting Crowns, ventriloquist Darci Lynne, rockers Rick Springfield/Eddie Money/Greg Kihn/Tommy Tutone, country singers Cole Swindell and Kyle Mitchell, Brett Eldredge, Gill and Etheridge.

"I think this year we (also) have a good lineup of free entertainment at the band shell daily," said Paul Reichart, Fair president. He mentioned the cover band Amish Outlaws, with four of their six members having been raised in the Amish culture, and said, "That will be different."

Like every good fair, Bloomsburg hosts truck and tractor pulls as well as a Champion Demo Derby, giving viewers a chance to see plenty of mechanical challenges.

"It's exciting because they rev up those engines, and black smoke comes out of them," Reichart said. "People just love them."

Continuing from last year, Bloomsburg University's STEM  Education Center will host the Bloomsburg Fair STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) Competition. Local school districts will compete to win prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500.

But at its core, the Bloomsburg Fair celebrates all things related to farming.

"I think it's a very educational fair because of all the different animals, the different agricultural programs, the arts and crafts and school exhibits," Reichart said. "It's a lot to see, and we're very proud of the exhibitors. We're big supporters of FFA and 4-H programs."

Jeff Giger, superintendent of livestock at the Fair, noted the change from a time when people attended to inspect the prize-winning animals and exhibits. Today's fair-goers look for an opportunity to see farm animals up close.

"It's turned into education for the public and kids as well," he said.

He praised the strong, local 4-H groups and FFA teachers for helping kids learn about agriculture, which in turn leads to the students giving presentations at the fair.

"The 4-H kids get to tell the public how they take care of their animals and what their animals need," he said.

Enhancing the education experience are QR codes people can scan to access short informational videos on animals in the livestock barns. Learn about dairy goats and market goats, miniature donkeys, Clydesdale and Percheron horses, sheep, pigs, furry Scottish Highland cattle and more.

Younger kids will enjoy mutton busting – riding sheep, rodeo style. Cheese made from last year's daily milkings will be available for purchase. Guests can stroll through the livestock barns to see 1,400 animals — not counting chickens and rabbits.

"We always have really good livestock," Giger said. "If you win at the Bloomsburg Fair, you have bragging rights. It's the best of the best in Pennsylvania."

Farmers put their hearts into their work each season, and some of their best results can be seen in the agriculture hall. Gourds, Brussel sprouts, hot peppers, herbs, tomatoes, corn — the finest specimens will be on display along with grains, hay, the largest watermelon and the largest potato. Jellies, canned fruits and vegetables, apple pies and chocolate cakes will all compete for the coveted blue ribbons.

The more than 3,500 exhibits this year include "vegetable freaks," "those goofy vegetables that you see sometimes in the newspapers," said Brian Campbell, superintendent of agriculture. "We have almost 20 this year."

Giant pumpkins might be one of the most popular vegetable attractions. This year they will be placed along with happy-faced scarecrow contestants in a 1,000-square-foot pumpkin patch.

"Everyone likes to come in and see that huge, monstrous pumpkin," Campbell said.

With rides, entertainment and dozens of food stands, the Bloomsburg Fair always delights attendees, but it's never forgotten its agricultural roots and the farmers who plow, plant and harvest prize-worthy crops.

"In all the weather challenges this year, with all the rain, they still persevered, and they've made it," Campbell said. "They take great pride in everything they have, from starting it from seed to the final product."

For more information, please call the Fair office at 570-784-4949 or visit

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Havre de Grace Independence Day festivities are a hit with visitors
Havre de Grace Independence Day celebration 2017

By David Anderson

Havre de Grace's new Independence Day Commission had a high standard to meet for its first year of coordinating the community's annual holiday festivities — especially with two new events and no carnival — but they pulled it off, based on reactions of longtime and new visitors Sunday.

"I would definitely come back next year," Stephanie Merson, of Port Deposit, said as she held her 4-year-old son, Hunter.

They stood a short distance from where The Amish Outlaws were rocking out before a cheering and dancing crowd under a tent at Hutchins Park.

This year was the first Merson attended any Independence Day festivities in Havre de Grace. Nor has she seen the Amish Outlaws before.

They had spent the afternoon watching the annual downtown parade along Union Avenue and checked out the inaugural First Fridays-style block party on Washington Street.

The Amish Outlaws were a new feature this year, in addition to the block party.

Fireworks were shot off at dusk Sunday from a barge in the Susquehanna River off Concord Point, instead of their usual spot on Tydings Island.

All 1,500 tickets for the free concert had been claimed before the weekend, according to organizers.

Merson, along with other fans, noted the family-friendly nature of The Amish Outlaws show.

"They're playing a lot of good stuff for everybody," she said.

The six-man band, dressed in Amish-style outfits, played covers of rock, hip-hop and pop songs — four of the six members grew up in Amish communities in Lancaster, Pa., according to the band's website.

Their members have stage names that combine Biblical with hip-hop. Lead vocalists Brother Hezekiah X and Brother Big Daddy Abel made their way through the crowd, dancing with members of the audience and posing for selfies.
Havre de Grace ready to celebrate 'hometown heroes' Sunday for Independence Day

Bel Air resident Rick Armiger, who has seen The Amish Outlaws before, posed for a selfie with Brother Big Daddy Abel.

"We came down here tonight to see them and take in the fireworks," he said of the band.

Mindy Johnson, of Havre de Grace, who has seen The Amish Outlaws before, also reported enjoying the show.

"To me, it's better than the carnival, and hopefully they'll be back next year," Johnson said.

People could experience the show up close in the tent, and they gathered on either side of the tent and behind it, closer to the water. They were relaxing on chairs and blankets — organizers expected the people would be able to see the fireworks from Hutchins Park and many other places along the waterfront.

Abel, The Amish Outlaws vocalist, said his band has not played in Havre de Grace before, although they have played in Bel Air, the annual Harford County wine festival and in Chesapeake City in Cecil County.

"I love [Havre de Grace]," Abel said during a break. "It's a beautiful town."

He said he took a panoramic photo of the river and posted it on the band's Facebook page, noting their view for the evening.

Abel also remarked on how people brought their families out.

"I really like when we have an all-ages show," he said.

Abel talked with members of the Grode family, of Havre de Grace, including father Sean, mother Jessica, and daughters Avery and Rylee, during the break.

Jessica Grode said later that her husband has seen the band before, but it was the first time for her and the girls.

"When we heard that they were playing tonight, we just had to come," she said.

Grode said the concert was "an absolutely good alternative" to the carnival. She described the parade and block party as "wonderful."

"I honestly prefer this over the carnival," she said of Sunday's events lineup. "It was so much less congested."

The carnival had been a staple of Independence Day festivities in Havre de Grace for years. It was held in Tydings Park during the week leading up to the parade and fireworks, and the final day of the carnival coincided with the other events.

People in the park could watch the fireworks being shot from nearby Tydings Island, at the confluence of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Last year was the final one for the carnival, though, after larger-than-normal crowds surged through the city streets after the fireworks. Police also had to break up a fight among juveniles during the carnival.

City officials expressed a number of concerns about safety at the carnival.
Havre de Grace plans concert with alcohol sales as part of Independence Day activities

The Havre de Grace Independence Celebration Committee, which had coordinated the events since the late 1980s and depended on the carnival as a major fundraiser for events such as the parade and fireworks, quit en masse last year.

The members of the new commission, who were appointed by Mayor Bill Martin with the approval of the City Council, took over after they were sworn in last September.

They planned to hold a carnival, but the longtime operator, Jolly Shows, bowed out during the planning process. Commission members later secured Sherwood Amusements, but the company owner retired because of health issues.

The commission then pivoted to the post-parade block party and concert.

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Amish Outlaws to play at the Starboard July 6
June 29, 2017

The Starboard Restaurant in Dewey is known for throwing some of the wildest and wackiest parties on the Delaware coast, and when it comes to entertainment, it dominates the block. This summer the Starboard is hosting an outlandishly cool band, The Amish Outlaws, at 9 p.m, Thursday, July 6.

While the men in the band, clad in their Amish attire, may seem like a well-placed joke, it's not. Three of the bandmates are legitimately Amish, although no longer living the community Amish lifestyle. The other three members, while not officially Amish, consider themselves to be honorary members of the club.

Straight out of Lancaster, Pa., the Amish crew is adept at covering a wide range of genres and styles from rap to rock to classic hits and everything in between. From Daft Punk to Bob Marley and even R Kelly, these men jam in full Amish regalia from a catalog of hits.

The backdrop of Amish clothing combined with their clear musical talent makes for a heady combination of music and slapstick. There is simply nothing like watching six dudes in suspenders belt out, "I love it when you call me Big Poppa," by The Notorious B.I.G.

Steve "Monty" Montgomery knew that this band would be a perfect fit this summer at The Starboard. "People love them. And it's the kind of thing that we love having here. They are great entertainment, and they don't take themselves too seriously - it's just our style," says Montgomery.

As always, this show is free and is for ages 21 and over. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, given the popularity and hilarity of the band.

For more information, go to

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Life After Leaving -Inside Interview with the Amish Outlaws

From Hollywood Casino's Inside Interviews
April 14, 2016

"You will always leave something behind – your influence." – Amish Proverb

With a fan base of thousands and over a decade of experience, Amish Outlaws are not shy to leaving their influences behind. The six member band that once lived the "simple life" now captivates audiences around the United States with performances that are far from simple. The members of Amish Outlaws allure their fans just as the English way of life once allured Ezekiel.

Q: What made you decide to leave the order?

A: If I had to pin point one thing it would be reading. When I left on Rumspringa I read a lot. I couldn't unlearn the things I had read. I ended up getting my GED and going to college.

 "I couldn't just close my eyes and unsee all that I had seen"

Q: A few of your band mate's aren't Amish, how did you meet them?

A: Three of our members are not Amish. Jakob was the first friend I made when I moved to New York years ago. Together we met Big Daddy Abel in line at a Wawa. As for Wyclef, he crashed his penny farthing bike into my car outside a Piggly Wiggly. We stayed in touch after that. Luckily he wasn't hurt, the bike was never the same.

Q: What is life outside the order like for you?

A: I have a wonderful wife and three amazing children. That is all the fun I need aside from the band, they keep me hopping.

Q: When did you decide to start a band and where did the name Amish Outlaws come from?

A: After practicing for a year we played our first show in 2003. Elephants Gerald was originally our name. With 4 of us previously being Amish we decided on Amish Outlaws.

"It represented our past life as Amish with our love for English life."

Q: Do you think dressing in traditional Amish garb has helped with your success?

A: Yes! We stand out visually and it makes folks curious about us. When we aren't in garb we are slovenly dressed.

"We never have to figure out what to wear or try to look cool."

Q: What is your best memory with Amish Outlaws?

A: Oh this is a hard one! Maybe playing for thousands of bikers at a festival last year in West Virginia. They had no idea who we were, we won them over and they loved us. We are the only band to receive an invitation to perform for a second year.

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Amish Outlaws: Rebels with a cause

By SEAN LOUGHLIN, Atlantic City Weekly | Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 6:00 pm
The Amish Outlaws invade the Gypsy Bar

Since its inception rock n' roll has always been about rebellion. But when you come from a culture that shuns music entirely as the members of The Amish Outlaws have, that concept takes on even more significance. The Amish tradition of Rumspringa allows 16-year-old kids to get the opportunity to go out into the world without the strict rules and make the decision for themselves whether they want to be baptized into the Amish church, or live a life outside of it. Singer Brother Hezekiah X who had been fantasizing about performing music since he was young, took that big chance leaving family, friends and a way of life behind and he couldn't be happier about it.

"There is very little music involved in Amish culture and where I lived we were relatively close to Reading, Pennsylvania and sometimes I would sneak out and I would hear music and my voice could sort of mimic the stuff naturally," says Hezekiah. "If there is anything about being Amish that I'm still holding onto it's that we all have a calling and strangely enough mine is to be in this ridiculous band."

The band that Hezekiah jokingly refers to as "ridiculous," formed in 2002 and consists of six members, four of whom were born and raised as Amish. They perform Sunday, January 10 at the Gypsy Bar at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. With their hats and suspenders they may resemble folks you'd encounter in a horse and buggy or selling jams at a market, but onstage they are one of the most energetic, dynamic, and tirelessly enthusiastic cover bands you're ever likely to come across.

"I really see it as my highest priority to get everybody moving and grooving," Hezekiah explains. "If you're sitting down, we're trying to get you up. We're trying to get you dancing. If you can get people out of their comfort zone and get people on the dance floor a little bit quicker than they'd like, usually that means they'll have a real good time."

The Amish Outlaws have been incredibly successful over their 13-year run, performing at venues up and down the east coast, getting grandmothers up and dancing and turning any occasion into the ultimate good-time party.

"We've had a really wide spectrum of gigs from club dates to festivals, several different types of parties to weddings. I mean we've done Christenings," says Hezekiah. "At the end of the day we're sort of like ‘have band, will travel."

As far as the music is concerned, The Amish Outlaws perform just about everything including, pop, rock, R&B, rap, reggae, dance, country and heavy metal. It helps that each of the band members like a very wide variety of music. Over the years the band has developed a great relationship with Borgata and always looks forward to coming back to Atlantic City to perform.

"It's wonderful. I love that place. The Gypsy Bar isn't the biggest bar in the world, but it's such a cool place. They have a couple hundred types of tequila there and over the last 13 years I have made it sort of my business to try as many of those as possible," confessed Hezekiah.

When looking back on the life-changing decision Brother Hezekiah X made at a young age and how things have turned out for him as a successful musician, it's obvious that he takes nothing for granted and appreciates all the good that's come his way.

"It's fun. I've got a really great job. I'm such a lucky guy. When I moved out and the jobs I had as a guy who was no longer Amish — I was salesman for a while. I sold everything from steaks to copiers to cars and I can tell you the job I have right now, it's a lot of work, behind the scenes work and a lot of effort put into the show, but still I'm going to play tonight and people are going to be offering to buy me drinks. Most people do not have the really, really nice job that I have. I'm very lucky."


WHO ARE THEY: Brother Hezekiah X: lead vocals, Brother Amos Def: keyboards guitar, banjo, vocals, Brother Big Daddy Abel: lead vocals, guitar, Brother Easy Ezekiel: bass, vocals, Brother Wyclef Jonathan: guitar, Brother Jakob the Pipe Layer: drums

COMING UP: 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, Borgata's Gypsy Bar, Atlantic City


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WILLIE MCBRIDE'S:  Hoboken will become an 'Amish Paradise,' as one of the region's most creative cover bands takes the stage. The Amish Outlaws dress like simple Amish folk, but are known to throw down some serious 90s  gangsta rap covers - in short, they must be seen to be believed. 616 Grand St, Hoboken, 201-610-1522.

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Hundreds Hit Putnam County Golf Course To Celebrate Oktoberfest
By Skip Pearlman

MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac was the place to be Friday night, as more than 600 guests celebrated Oktoberfest with food, drink, and the top cover band around - the wildly popular Amish Outlaws.

The event included plenty of food, including BBQ, as well as Bangers, Knockwurst and Kielbasa, and also included an all-you-can-drink beer tent at an additional cost.

For more info on events at the Putnam County Golf Course: .

For more on the Amish Outlaws:

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Amish Outlaws poke gentle fun at upbringing
For the Pocono Record
Aug. 27, 2015 at 8:52 PM

       Growing up with no electricity, alcohol or modern music, The Amish Outlaws sing a new tune nowadays.

       Leaving the Amish life after rumspringa — the time of adolescence when youngsters decide to stay or leave the community — they still keep some of the well-known Amish traditions in place for their act. They decided to combine their love of the modern world with their Amish upbringings to start a unique way of expressing themselves while entertaining others through music.

       "We're six guys in suspenders and straw hats jumping around like fools," said Brother Ezekiel, bass player. "I wound up deciding the Amish life wasn't the life for me. We play cover songs, and dress the way we did growing up. We respectfully poke fun at it."

       The group of six has been playing together for 12 years. The past seven years. it's been their full-time jobs. Moving into the English world was a process for Ezekiel, but he's enjoyed the learning experience.

       "It was a gradual thing for me. When I first went on rumspringa, I was able to go to the mall and movies for the first time. Growing up, I didn't hear modern music," he said. "It was very different for me, but gradual."

       Four of the six members were once Amish. The other two members are "honorary Amish." The shows are not typical, and no two are exactly alike. The Amish Outlaws keep the audience wondering what genre of music they'll perform next.

       "We have some original music we've written, but people are more receptive to us playing songs they know," he said. "We do everything from Elvis to The Beatles to Snoop Dog to Disney songs. Nothing is taboo for us. We do rock-n-roll, hip-hop, country; a little bit of everything."

       When asked about moving into the world of original music, Brother Ezekiel said, "Life has taught me anything can happen." But for now, they are enjoying making the crowd smile and sing along with them during their live performances.

       "We will eventually have a live CD out," he said. "And we'll continue touring. That's on the horizon right now."

       One question they get a lot is about the array of reality television shows that focus on the Amish lifestyle, such as "Amish Mafia" and "Breaking Amish."

       "People always ask me if 'Amish Mafia' is real. I didn't experience any of that growing up," he said. "We had Alan Beiler from 'Amish Mafia' come out to one of our shows. He's a real nice guy and we stay in touch."

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Amish Outlaws to perform at 4-H & FFA Fair
What does it sound like when the Amish fall in love with rock and roll?

By Jacob deNobel

A central component of the Amish faith is Rumspringa, the time immediately before adult baptism, where teenagers are let loose from their tightly controlled communities and are invited to experience the world at large before deciding to return home. Because, in the Amish church, Baptism is held until the faithful are adults, the choice to join the church is an important step in a members' development.

However, following their taste of the outside world during Rumspringa, a few choose never to return.

This is the case of the Amish Outlaws, a band of former Amish performers who left their home communities during Rumspringa and have formed a band, based out of their love of pop culture. The Outlaws will perform Monday at the Carroll County 4-H and FFA Fair.

Ezekiel Smith, known in the band as Brother Eazy Ezekiel said as soon as he left, though he respected the life he lived before and those who chose to stay, he knew he wanted to experience more of the world than he would ever have a chance to back home.

"I saw and heard so much out here that I loved that weren't a part of the Amish life," Smith said. "I couldn't unsee and unlearn what I found. There is a separation from the outside world and I found a path that I felt was as good as the path I was on before."

The Outlaws first formed in 2002, when Brothers Ezekial and Amos of the same community met Brothers Hezekiah and McMullen at the Pocono Vacation Park "Rock and Roll Hootenanny." The four instantly bonded over their shared backgrounds and soon began a band, alongside Jakob and Ishmael, two non-Amish members.

Today, the band consists of Ezekiel, Amos and Hezekiah of the original four in addition to Brothers Jakob, Elijah Rule and "Big Daddy Abel."

The Amish Outlaws take their inspiration from the entirety of popular music history, performing songs from artists as varied as Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley to Jay Z and Lady Gaga. In addition to their musical performances, they tell stories about their lives in the Amish community and where their lives have lead them following Rumspringa.

Smith, who grew up listening exclusively to Amish music, said he still remembers the day he was introduced to modern performers. An English – as they refer to the non-Amish – friend of his had an extensive vinyl collection. Smith had never heard anything more than brief snippets of pop music, so his friend selected the two albums he thought would best introduce him to the world of music. Those two albums were The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and Pink Floyd's "The Wall."

"It was important and passionate and beautiful and amazing," Smith said. "Amish music is often just slow, religious singing that's beautiful in its own way, but it's basically just about one thing."

Those two albums awoke a desire in Smith to learn more about musical history. He dove into not only rock, but country, pop, heavy metal, anything he could get his hands on.

"It's like a tree with a thousand branches," Smith said. "I am still going through and finding bands that have been around for 25 or 30 years that I missed out on."

The Amish Outlaws will perform Monday at the 4-H fair in the slot normally saved for the demolition derby. Fair organizer Crystal Dell said they moved the demolition derby to Saturday so that everyone who wanted to see it could have an opportunity. The move left an open slot in the schedule, one she said they decided to fill with a musical performance.

When it came to decide who would perform, Dell said she listened to members of the board who had heard the Outlaws perform in the past and had kept their eye on them for several years now. Dell said the group has a devoted following, one she expects to grow following their concerts.

Smith said there is always a moment when the band takes the stage in full Amish regalia, that the audience doesn't know what to do with, but slowly they come to understand what the Outlaws are really about.

"We're just out there playing something to make people laugh and smile. We're having just as much fun, if not more fun than anyone out there," Smith said "We want to go out there, play a couple of songs you wouldn't expect and try and sell them to our audience. We bust our behinds to put on a good show."

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‘The Amish Outlaws' to Perform at Pentagon Row

by | August 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm

It's not every day you can dance along to the sounds of a bunch of Amish men singing Lady Gaga or rapping a Jay Z song. But that's exactly what can happen if you see the Amish Outlaws during Rock at the Row on Thursday (August 7).

The group has its full story on its website, chronicling how it all started with some of the original members meeting after "Rumspringa." That's the Amish practice of letting 16-year-old children live without the Amish code of conduct to decide if they want to be baptized into the church. Although most youths return to the Amish lifestyle after Rumspringa, the guys from The Amish Outlaws did not.

The band is made up of former Amish and "Honorary Amish" members: Brother Amos Def, Brother Big Daddy Abel, Brother Eazy Ezekiel, Brother Elijah Rule, Brother Hezekiah X and Brother Jakob the Pipe Layer. All of their shows reportedly are different. Sometimes the band members will rock out to Bon Jovi or Foo Fighters, and other times they'll bring out the country with Johnny Cash. The group's website says that throughout each show, The Outlaws "spin yarns about the Brothers' upbringing and adventures since Rumpsringa."

The performance takes place from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Pentagon Row on Thursday.

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Cover band Amish Outlaws turns heads
By Daryl Nerl, Special to The Morning Call
July 31, 2014

According to the band's website, the core members of The Amish Outlaws met in 2002 while attending the "Rock and Roll Hootenanny" in Pocono Vacation Park. Ezekiel and Brother Amos spotted Brother Hezekiah and Brother McMullen (who has since left the band) dressed in their Amish garb.

The appearance of the two newly defected Amish men "drew snickers and stares from most of the crowd," according to the web biography. Amos and Ezekiel invited them to sit down and friendships were quickly formed.

Soon, the band biography says, the men became "like brothers, sharing not only the bond of having left the Amish life behind, but also the deep mutual love of music, and together they delved deeply into the 16 years of American culture they missed, watching endless hours of classic MTV, listening to the radio, CDs, records, tapes ... anything they could get their hands on. But just listening and watching was not enough ... the Brothers soon decided to form a band that combined their love of the modern world and their traditional upbringing."

Though the band formed 11 years ago, it didn't really take off until three years later, Ezekiel says. Strangely, it was around the same time that the cover band market began to dry up during the financial crisis.

"There were so many bands and so many clubs, especially when we started playing around New York and New Jersey," Ezekiel says. "I think people kind of got sick of seeing the same bands playing the same songs in the same kind of shirt … and all that kind of stuff. There were a lot of great bands doing that, but we kind of came along when people were primed for something different."

Ezekiel admitted that his choice of occupation came as a "big shock" to his parents.

"My parents are cool enough that they're happy I'm happy," Ezekiel says. "Of course, at first, one of the whole ideas of the Amish is staying away from things that are worldly. Modern music is a big thing because of the morals that it's believed that a lot of it conveys."

Yes, he does occasionally go back to Lancaster County to visit. Brother Ezekiel has not been shunned.

"There's kind of a loophole in the Amish faith that you're not bound by the church's laws until you're baptized," he says. "Because I made the choice not to go back and join church, I'm able to go back and visit. I'm able to go back and see my family."

But like a lot of parent-child relationships in the modern world, not everything is completely smooth either.

"You'll get a lot of guilt trips," Ezekiel says. "The good thing is you're not going to get phone calls to make you feel guilty."

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From Verizon FiOS 1 News:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player 

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From USA Today on June 25th, 2014

Amish Outlaws band on eternal Rumspringa
Kevin Phelan, The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News 8:12 p.m. EDT June 25, 2014
Leader Brother Ezekiel says Beatles, Pink Floyd led him to rock tunes for the English.
Amish Outlaws

It's a safe bet you've never seen an act quite like The Amish Outlaws before.

"I call it Amish Shock and Awe," says Brother "Eazy" Ezekiel, one of the band's founding members, vocalists and its bassist. "Not just the garb, but seeing six of us up there going from Elvis to Snoop Dogg to Billy Idol to Johnny Cash to Lady Gaga in a 15-minute period usually has folks kind of surprised."

The band, comprised of 3 former Amish and 3 "Honorary Amish" members, cover songs from a variety of genres while dressed in the religion's traditional apparel — hats, suspenders and all.

Eazy was raised in an Amish community in Lancaster, Pa., until, at age 16, he went on Rumspringa, an Amish rite of passage. "It means 'running around,' in the literal translation," he explains. "The Amish don't baptize their children, you make the choice as an adult to be baptized and before you do, you go out and experience the world free of the rules of the Amish beliefs and decide if you want to go back and join the church or not."

He continued to live at home until 18, but Eazy never returned to the Amish lifestyle, saying, "I couldn't go back and shut off the outside world once I had really tapped into it."

QUESTION: How much exposure to music did you have growing up in the Amish community?

ANSWER: Very little. There was singing from the Ausbund, a song book of religious songs, which was beautiful in its way, but very simple. I heard bits and pieces of modern music out in the world, at a store or a business or coming from a passing car. As kids we would sneak around and hear music outside and inside some places where we knew it would be playing, but I never listened to any music regularly until I left.

Q.: What made you decide not to return?

A.: Reading and music. I couldn't give either up. I got my GED and wound up going to college and studying, among other things, literature, and couldn't unlearn all that I did and close my eyes to it and go back and live Amish. There is nothing wrong with living Amish, I am not implying that by any stretch. It may sound like I am trying to say to live Amish is to live in ignorance. Far from it.

Q.: How did your family react?

A.: Luckily an older brother made the decision before me and kind of broke the ice, so I got off a lot easier than he did, but they weren't happy at first. A lot of guilt trips ... but from a place of love. I still get it occasionally. I am sure they still aren't happy about it, but after this long, acceptance has set in.

Q.: Have any of them been to your shows?

A.: My older brother has, but not other family.

Q.: How difficult was transitioning from the Amish community to the outside world?

A.: It was a gradual process for me; going out into the world and experiencing it while still living at home, then in an apartment. Moving to New York was a shock. I am not in the city, but I have been there a lot. The hardest part, though, is the lack of quiet ... the cacophony of phones and cars and machines and blips is hard to shut out sometimes. Missing my family was the only thing more difficult.

Q.: When did you know you wanted to pursue music?

A.: It was during the first year of my Rumspringa when an English friend played Pink Floyd's The Wall and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. He had them on vinyl — his father's copies, with the inserts and lyrics — and it wasn't until I held those albums and heard them and read the words that I realized music can mean so much. As much as I love playing music, I love listening to it even more.

Q.: How do you feel about the Amish-centric shows that are cropping up on TV?

A.: We get asked about them non-stop; 'Is the Amish Mafia real?' My answer is usually, 'If a bunch of people were doing illegal stuff on TV, wouldn't the police come and arrest them?' There is a reason they digitize people's faces on Cops… I have seen about five minutes each of Breaking Amish and Amish Mafia and of course I don't know the people on that show so I can't say how or who they really are, but it seems to me like people acting the way they think people should act on TV, but in bonnets and suspenders.

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From the June 24th, 2014 issue of The Journal News

Amish Outlaws to perform in Yonkers
Kevin Phelan, 0:25 a.m. EDT June 24, 2014
A former member of the Lancaster, Pa, Amish community, Brother "Eazy" Ezekiel discusses leaving the community and discovering music as he preps for a free show in Yonkers on June 25.

It's a safe bet you've never seen an act quite like The Amish Outlaws before.

"I call it Amish Shock and Awe," says Brother "Eazy" Ezekiel, one of the band's founding members, vocalists and its bassist. "Not just the garb, but seeing six of us up there going from Elvis to Snoop Dogg to Billy Idol to Johnny Cash to Lady Gaga in a 15-minute period usually has folks kind of surprised."

The band, comprised of 3 former Amish and 3 "Honorary Amish" members, cover songs from a variety of genres while dressed in the religion's traditional apparel — hats, suspenders and all.

Eazy was raised in an Amish community in Lancaster, Pa., until, at age 16, he went on Rumspringa, an Amish rite of passage. "It means 'running around,' in the literal translation," he explains. "The Amish don't baptize their children, you make the choice as an adult to be baptized and before you do, you go out and experience the world free of the rules of the Amish beliefs and decide if you want to go back and join Church or not."

He continued to live at home until 18, but Eazy never returned to the Amish lifestyle, saying, "I couldn't go back and shut off the outside world once I had really tapped into it."

The Amish Outlaws will play a free concert Wednesday, kickingoff Cross County Shopping Center's Summer Fest, a three-month celebration of the center's 60th anniversary, which includes free concerts, fireworks, a sidewalk chalk art festival, kids' activities and more.

Eazy answered a few questions about leaving the community, discovering music and whether there really is an Amish Mafia.

How much exposure to music did you have growing up in the Amish community?

Very little. There was singing from the Ausbund, a song book of religious songs, which was beautiful in its way, but very simple. I heard bits and pieces of modern music out in the world, at a store or a business or coming from a passing car. As kids we would sneak around and hear music outside and inside some places where we knew it would be playing, but I never listened to any music regularly until I left.

What made you decide not to return?

Reading and music. I couldn't give either up. I got my GED and wound up going to college and studying, among other things, literature, and couldn't unlearn all that I did and close my eyes to it and go back and live Amish. There is nothing wrong with living Amish, I am not implying that by any stretch. It may sound like I am trying to say to live Amish is to live in ignorance. Far from it.

How did your family react?

Luckily an older brother made the decision before me and kind of broke the ice, so I got off a lot easier than he did, but they weren't happy at first. A lot of guilt trips and hawing, but from a place of love. I still get it occasionally. I am sure they still aren't happy about it, but after this long, acceptance has set in.

Have any of them been to your shows?

My older brother has, but not other family.

How difficult was transitioning from the Amish community to the outside world?

It was a gradual process for me; going out into the world and experiencing it while still living at home, then in an apartment. Moving to New York was a shock. I am not in the city, but I have been there a lot. The hardest part, though, is the lack of quiet ... the cacophony of phones and cars and machines and blips is hard to shut out sometimes. Missing my family was the only thing more difficult.

When did you know you wanted to pursue music?

It was during the first year of my Rumspringa when an English friend played Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles. He had them on vinyl — his father's copies, with the inserts and lyrics — and it wasn't until I held those albums and heard them and read the words that I realized music can mean so much. As much as I love playing music, I love listening to it even more.

How do you feel about the Amish-centric shows that are cropping up on TV?

We get asked about them non-stop; 'Is the Amish Mafia real?' My answer is usually, 'If a bunch of people were doing illegal stuff on TV, wouldn't the police come and arrest them?' There is a reason they digitize people's faces on "Cops"… I have seen about five minutes each of "Breaking Amish" and "Amish Mafia" and of course I don't know the people on that show so I can't say how or who they really are, but it seems to me like people acting the way they think people should act on TV, but in bonnets and suspenders.

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Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Fest In Photos

Photos by J. M. Giordano

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Beer, Bourbon & BBQ festival
(Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun photo / March 22, 2014 )
Brother Eazy Ezekiel (left) and Brother Big Daddy Abel, of the Amish Outlaws, mug while playing for the crowd during the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ festival at Timonium Fairgrounds.

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From the Wed., December 18th, 2013 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

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From Chapter 9 of the book The Amish by, Donald Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven M. Nolt (Johns Hopkins University Press). The book is a companion to the PBS American Experience TV series.

Some rebellious youth who leave the community engage in activities that are offensive to their birthright culture. For example, "Emma the Amish model" appeared on the New American Pinup website selling underwear in a provocative pose.  The Amish Outlaws, a band consisting of four ex-Amish and two "honorary Amish" men, play all sorts of music in full Amish attire at various East Coast venues.

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Amish Outlaws to Perform Nov. 2 in Fire & Ice at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino

Dover, DE, October 10, 2013 --( Popular cover band out of Lancaster, Pa., The Amish Outlaws, will perform Saturday, Nov. 2, in Fire & Ice at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.

A top entertainment pick by New York Magazine in 2012, The Amish Outlaws' original performance style emerged in 2002, when three of the six members — raised under strict Amish code who broke out during Rumspringa — met and quickly discovered a mutual love of music, rejection of repression, and a lifestyle steeped in American culture.

The converted "Brothers" appear in full Amish garb and explode on stage, unleashing a constantly evolving set list including Johnny Cash, Jay Z, Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Bon Jovi, Elvis Presley, The Foo Fighters, Dropkick Murphys, Pink Floyd and Tim McGraw.

The Amish Outlaws, who are Big Daddy Abel, Eazy Ezekiel, Amos Def, Hezekiah X, Ishmael L Cool J, and Jakob the Pipe Layer, have performed for The Washington Redskins, Nike, McDonald's, Red Bull and Miller Brewing and a host of concert arenas, fairs, casinos and music fests spanning the entire Mid-Atlantic region.

The Amish Outlaws show begins at 9:30 p.m. There is no cover charge for active Capital Club® Members; all others pay $5 at the door. For a list of more upcoming acts, visit

About Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
Owned by Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: DDE), Dover Downs Hotel & Casino® is a premier gaming and entertainment resort destination in the Mid-Atlantic region. Gaming operations consist of more than 2,400 slots and a full complement of table games including poker. The AAA-rated Four Diamond hotel is Delaware's largest with 500 luxurious rooms/suites and amenities including a full-service spa/salon, concert hall and 41,500 sq. ft. of multi-use event space. Live, world-class harness racing is featured November through April, and horse racing is simulcast year-round. Professional football parlay betting is accepted during the season. Additional property amenities include multiple restaurants from fine dining to casual fare, bars/lounges and retail shops. For more information, please visit

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Start Labor Day weekend with an Amish party

They're legends of the cover band game. The Amish Outlaws have been playing for crowds for the past decade, bringing their joy for popular music to every concert. Half of the members are Amish-born, deciding to stay in the English world after their rumspringas. Now they play songs like "Rump Shaker." The Outlaws make a triumphant return to Billy Joe's Ribworks this Labor Day weekend.

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From the Wed., September 19th, 2013 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

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Musikfest Day 4 Picks of the Platzes
August 5, 2013  
By John J. Moser

The first weekend of Musikfest is over, but don't think weekdays means weak lineups.
Here are Lehigh Valley Music's Top 3 free-performance shows of the day, plus a one other to consider.                                       
Tall, Tall Trees, 7 p.m. Lyricplatz.
7 p.m. Lyrikplatz. New York indie-folk banjo player Mike Savino uses looping to create layered levels of music that has captured the ArtsQuest programming staff.
Amish Outlaws, 7 p.m. Volksplatz. The cover band from Lancaster dresses in traditional Amish attire, but is "the baddest cover band you have ever heard," says ArtsQuest Vice President of Programming Patrick Brogan. "Without hyping them too much, I would love for them to become the next Red Elvises," the wildly entertaining Serbian surf band that's a longtime favorite of Musikfest crowds. The Red Elvises follow at 9 p.m.
Beantown Swing Orchestra, 8 p.m., Festplatz. The Boston-based 18-piece jazz swing big band's former members include Nick Noonan of pop duo Karmin. They sometimes use "American Idol" finalists John Stevens and Erika Van Pelt as vocalists, but they won't be at Musikfest.
Stereofidelics, 4 p.m., Community Stage, ArtsQuestCenter. Lehigh Valley Music's My top discovery act last year. The young husband-and-wife  team from Asheville, N.C., channeled the energy and make-up of Matt & Kim: Not as punky, but equally as jaunty and poppy. And quirky, with female drummer/violinist Melissa McGinley dressed in a party dress and singing in a chirpy voice and male keyboardist/guitarist Chris Padgett playing foot-pedal bass barefoot while wailing on intricate, riffy, throwback guitar.

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Top 5 Most Bizarre Cruises This Year
By Jef With One F
Published Mon., Jul. 22 2013 at 8:00 AM

So, I've heard tell of these things called vacations where you, like, don't work. It's just a rumor I'm trying to track down before the editor comes in for my afternoon tazing, but it sounds really cool. The one that really intrigues me the most are cruises. That sounds awesome, you just get into a big floating hotel and leave behind the world for a while.

And apparently you can do this with a theme!

I investigated this last year upon discovering that there was a Kate Gosselin Cruise experience, which sounds sort of like the kind of thing the government would use to get information out of terrorists. Luckily for the self-esteem of the country the cruise failed to get out of dock since a whopping 12 people signed up for it. Well done, America!

So since Kate on the Sea is out, what other cruises are available for those of you who get vacations? Well...

The Amish Outlaws Fan Cruise 2014: I spent an hour on the Amish Outlaws website and I still have no earthly idea if they're joking on not. Apparently they are a cover band made up of six guys that left the Amish community for the traditional "Amish Gone Wild" romp that they all do when they turn 16, but they never returned to their home. They all met at the 2002 Pocono Vacation Park "Rock and Roll Hootenanny" and now travel the world doing everything from Snoop Dogg to Johnny Cash with their Lancaster, PA-style.

Fans who get in on the cruise will enjoy meet and greets, three exclusive concerts complete with an open bar, and the right to tell everyone they went on an Amish Outlaw cruise instead of something stupid like hitting the ocean with Kid Rock. At least the Outlaws won't try to sell you Kentucky bourbon by saying "Welcome to Texas." Seriously, that billboard on 610 is like the wrongest thing on the freeway.

Ports of Apparitions Cruise: Now, the term "ghost ship" makes me tingle because I thought that flick was the best horror movie of 2002. No, I don't care if you did or not because having one f means never having to listen to doo doo heads. Unfortunately, this cruise lacks a haunted crew and Francesca Rettondini naked, but it will spend seven days in the Caribbean stopping at supposedly haunted sites and ancient ruins. There will also be stops in New Orleans and Mexico, which the cruise somewhat racistly refers to as a culture with a history of violence so gruesome that blood stained specters must hang around. Nothing screams fun like the screams of the damned echoing across the waves!

Duck Commander Cruise: My dad watches Duck Dynasty, but then again so does every person's dad who has kids old enough to make snide remarks about it on the internet. Nonetheless, the show has become this huge cultural phenomenon, though I would remind the Robertsons of the fall of the Gosselin Dynasty I mentioned in the opening. Oh well, at least the Robertsons actually make something other than guaranteed work for family therapists.

As far as I can tell, the cruise is basically a chance to bug the stars non-stop for four days while they're trapped on a boat, though there will also be a cooking class by Miss Kay. I'm not sure what the appeal of meeting reality TV stars is exactly. Isn't seeing how they go about regular life the whole point of the show? There will also be music provided by American Idol winner Scott McCreery, who is now the second musical act I have mentioned in this article who I would pass over for an Amish band doing Lady Gaga covers.

The Premium Barbie Experience: I have a love/hate relationship with Barbie. My daughter has 13 different animated adventures, everything ranging from Barbie as a fairy to Barbie as Rapunzel to Barbie as Barbie taking care of her annoying little sisters. For DVDs I pick up for $5 there is worse my daughter could watch.

This Barbie cruise though... for $350 you can let your daughter sleep in a pink princess room, attend teas parties, participate in a fashion show, have Barbie movie nights, Barbie story time, take dance classes, and meet a woman who I'm sure is very nice and looks vaguely like Barbie.

Here's why I think this is a little insane; Who spends $350 on an all immersive plastic experience for a girl age 4 - 11? This isn't space camp. It's not even camp camp where you at least learn what berries will give you the trots. It's basically you dropping a month's groceries for your kid to live inside a commercial and pretending to be Lindsay Lohan right before her person Herbie went off the pier. The Barbie movies are already a parade of the firstiest of first world problems, and I'm not sure if a week of treating your kid like a doll they play with is a terribly healthy idea.

Jeff Dunham's Just Add Water: Comedian ventriloquist Jeff Dunham convinced me once that I had developed the ability to travel back in time. I remember watching him perform on TV in high school, thenhe just disappeared. Ten years later I was flipping through the channels before bed and there he was performing the exact same jokes and looking the same. I was certain that I was going to wake up next to a chubby blond with daddy issues instead of my wife, and wondering if there were still tickets left for Goldberg vs. Bam Bam Bigelow on WWF Raw.

Nope, he's managed to make a comeback, mostly through a ridiculously racist set of new puppets and tapping into a healthy does of Islamaphobia on top of that. You can even spend a week at sea with him.

Or maybe not. Looks like the cruise has been indefinitely postponed due to it "not aligning with his fans vacation plans" according to the website. It's actually really sad, as the tone on the site basically says that everyone on Dunham's email list responded with a variant on, "Yeah, I'd go, but I've got that thing at the place and you know how the economy is under Obama." I mean, it would be sad if it didn't mean that people realized that going on a Jeff Dunham cruise was the human soul's equivalent of your dad leaving with a bag of puppies and coming back with neither.

Jef With One F is a recovering rock star taking it one day at a time. You can read about his adventures in The Bible Spelled Backwards or connect with him on Facebook.

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Danbury Fair mall concert series starts with a bang
Erik Ofgang

The Danbury Fair mall Summer Nights Concert Series will kick off with a very audible bang on Wednesday.

The mall's annual Fourth of July fireworks display will light up the sky and guests will be treated to a musical performance by the Amish Outlaws at 7 p.m. The concert will take place outside the mall between the Cheesecake Factory and L.L. Bean.

The Amish Outlaws are a group of real life rock 'n' roll rebels hailing from Lancaster, Pa. The high-energy cover band performs in traditional Amish attire and several of the members were raised Amish. The band shatters stereotypes by playing a wide variety of music that ranges from Johnny Cash to Jay Z, and Lady Gaga to Snoop Dogg.

The group might just be the Amish answer to Matisyahu, who was a practicing Jewish reggae artist and used to perform in full Hasidic garb. The unusual way the band dresses is arguably just a gimmick to get your attention, but once they've got your attention the band members hold it with their skills as performers.

The group's lead singer, Brother Hezekiah X, belts out songs in a variety of styles with a deep and powerful voice. A highlight of the group's repertoire is a rousing and rollicking rendition of the Dropkick Murphy's Celtic rock hit "I'm Shipping Up To Boston."
The Amish practice a tradition known as "Rumspringa" -- which translates to "running around" -- in which Amish children, at the age of 16, have an opportunity to live free of the strict Amish code of conduct, before deciding if they want to come back and be baptized into the Amish church. A majority of the youths return but some don't; that was a factor in the birth of this band.

Four out of the original six members of the Amish Outlaws were born and raised in Lancaster and had a strict Amish upbringing. No electricity from land lines, no alcohol, no musical instruments. After they turned 16 they decided not to go back to the Amish way of life. While in the outside world they discovered a love of modern music and decided to form a band. To that end the four Amish musicians enlisted the help of two non-Amish rockers.

The free outdoor concert series at the mall will continue Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. until Aug. 7.

Danbury Fair mall between the Cheesecake Factory and L.L. Bean, 7 Backus Ave., Danbury. Wednesday, 7 p.m. Free. 203- 830-4380,

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The Amish Outlaws do not typically play at Annapolis area bars. They are HUGELY popular in Maryland and they were last seen at Annapolis's Polar Bear plunge this year and were amazing.

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From the Wed., March 27th, 2013 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

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From The Ocean Signal on Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Jackson's 21 South Parties Like It's 1899

By Phil Stilton

While the cast of the television show Amish Mafia have recently made a big splash in the entertainment blogosphere with their hit Discovery Channel program this year, another band of Amish have been rocking the east coast for over ten years.

"Straight Outta Lancaster", the Amish Outlaws, a band that features real ex-Amish community members, have gone from the fields to the stage, even earning themselves the "Top Entertainment Pick" award by New York Magazine in their annual Winter Weddings issue in 2012.

Unlike Lebanon Levi and his small gang of Amish tough guys who claim in the television show to run Lancaster County with an iron fist, the Amish Outlaws rule the stage and the audience at each of their performances.    While the Amish Mafia are out tossing buggies, running hut parties and making sure there's no adultery in their community, the Amish Outlaws made sure the "English" patrons, that's what they call non-Amish Americans, at 21 South had one of the wildest nights out in Jackson in 2013.

Three members of the five man band are ex-Amish, including lead singer Brother Hezekiah, bass player Brother Ezekiel and keyboardist Brother Amos.

According to Hezekiah, the three had left the Amish community years ago in search of a new life and were brought together ten years ago through the love of "English" rock music, a taboo in Amish society.

As an Amish kid growing up, he said he had very limited access to rock music, but would sneak out with his friends to the local clubs and found a new calling in life. It was one far from the hard life in the Amish community, a hard life on the road as a musician.

As far as the Amish Outlaws ever bringing their road show back home to Lancaster, Hezekiah said, it's doubtful. "Probably not,"  he said.  "It depends on the situation, but I'd say that's not going to happen.  We actually have a big Amish following in Maryland and they come out for us. They're a different type of Amish down there.  Like, the guy I met once at a gas station, he had a Back Street Boys kind of beard, so clearly he's able to use the good razors, plus all the Amish girls he was with were smoking hot… I mean way too hot.  They even had tans and not the tan you would get outdoors.  They went to the tanning salon… just they're wearing an Amish outfit. Maybe they got some different rules, even the fact that they were at a gas station."

While fans of bands sometimes come to shows in costume, the band says that quite often people come out to their shows with Amish style clothes, especially in Maryland.  "There's a possibility I might move to Maryland one day and run for Congress. It's ridiculous how much of a following we have there," he added. He added, many come out with an Amish outfit and bald cap.

What should you expect at an Amish Outlaws performance?  "We get people motivated and really moving, really shaking on the dance floor," Hezekiah said in an interview with the Ocean Signal. "I think because of that, generally, we had success everywhere we have played." The Outlaws play a wide range of covers from Dropkick Murphys to  Elvis to Toby Keith to Dr. Dre to Marvin Gaye, but you won't hear them play any of the Amish classics.

In case you're wondering whether the television show, Amish Mafia is actually real, Hezekiah says he doubts it, but if it is, it's not sanctioned by the community like it's portrayed on television. "I never saw anything like that when I lived there, so I'm going to say it's probably not true. I left 20 years ago, so anything can happen, but I ‘d say no," he said.

Photos by Phil Stilton

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From the December 2012 issue of Thunder Roads Magazine

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From the December 6th, 2012 issue of The Rockland County Times

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Hudson Water Club Hosts Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert Featuring the Amish Outlaws Cover Band


West Haverstraw - In an effort to raise funds for North Rockland residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the Hudson Water Club hosted a benefit show featuring the Amish Outlaws cover band on the night before Thanksgiving.

The Club organized the event through Help North Rockland, a group created to provide aid to area businesses and residents, including the  97 people currently being housed at the Stony Point Center who lost their homes in the storm.

The Hudson Water Club itself was hit particularly hard by the storm. The November 21 concert was the Club's first night open since the storm, which nearly destroyed the restaurant's deck area.

In an effort to contribute to the cause, The Amish Outlaws offered to perform at the event with their unorthodox but energetic stage act. The band members dressed in traditional Amish clothing and covered a variety of popular songs.

The act is not merely a gimmick. Hezekiah Yoder and three other band members were born into the Old Order Amish community in Lancaster,  Pennsylvania. The band itself was put together in Philadelphia about ten years ago and released original material until they decided to take inspiration from their cultural roots.

"It's been beautiful,"€¯ Yoder said. "We're about to celebrate our tenth birthday, and it's been a wonderful experience through-and-through," Yoder said.

The band has a particularly strong connection to North Rockland and the Hudson Water Club. Yoder and other band members are personal friends of the Club's owners and felt a compelling need to provide help by doing what they love.

"When you tie in the fact that we're actually doing something for charity tonight, for good people that got really hurt in this storm, I'm not lying here, I'm jumping around in my pants I'm so happy."

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From the Wed., November 21st, 2012 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

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From the Wed., September 19th, 2012 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

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From the Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

Ezekiel wrote a guest column. The put him on the cover:

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This is the guest column he wrote:

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The Amish Outlaws were also featured in the Happy Hour comic that issue:

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From the Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

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From the January 18th, 2012 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

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From the October 19th, 2011 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

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From the 2012 Winter Weddings Issue of New York Magazine

The Amish Outlaws featured in New York Magazine's 2012 Winter Wedding issue
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By Abbie Lieber

Three out of the six members of this cover band were raised Amish, but aside from dressing in the traditional garb for shows, they abandoned the lifestyle long ago. The group can tackle ballads, country, rock and roll, and hip-hop. "We'll go from 'Let's Get It On' by Marvin Gaye to 'Jump Around' by House of Pain and then take a hard right into 'Shout' by the Isley Brothers," says bassist Brother "Eazy" Ezekiel. "We've even had a grandmother at a wedding waving her cane in the air to A Tribe Called Quest. Seriously." From $6,500.

View the article online here.

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The Amish Outlaws
August 10th, 2011
By Richie Frieman
Truth be told, we don't usually feature cover bands on PEV… but we just had to make an exception for this squad. The Amish Outlaws – one of this most popular and unique cover bands on the east coast have a story that's just too damn good not to be told. You see, half the band, is actually Amish. It isn't just some quirky gimmick. Brother Amos Def, Brother Eazy Ezekiel and Brother Hezekiah X all grew up without booze, internet, music, PEV… all the awesome stuff for the first 16 years of their lives.
However, when the Rumpsringa arrived (otherwise known as the "running around"), the three brothers were able to go out into the world and see what they would be missing if they decided to go back and join the church. Most 16-year olds who go through the Rumpsringa come back to the Amish way of life… but not these three. Ezekiel says "I heard ‘Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and ‘The Wall' and became obsessed with music and immediately wanted to listen to it around the clock. Eventually I decided I wanted to play it. As Frank Zappa said, ‘Music is the best!' That is what made me want to be a musician!" And the rest is history.
The three would eventually meet Brothers Jakob the Pipe Layer, Ishmael L Cool J and Big Daddy Abel, and now you can hear the band of six playing covers from Judas Priest, Jay-Z, Neil Diamond, Snoop Dogg, Queen and Twisted Sister. Seriously, these guys span the musical universe. They'll be playing shows all summer, so check them out for one hell of an entertaining time. There's much more to get into, so keep reading for the answers to the XXQ's.
XXQs: The Amish Outlaws (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?
Big Daddy Abel: I think our sound is a fun lively mix of popular songs that people love to sing along to while dancing the night away. I don't know if we actually have a specific genre to be "locked" into because we play so many different kinds of music during our shows.
PEV: Four out of the original six of the members of The Amish Outlaws were born and raised in Lancaster, PA and had a strict Amish upbringing; no electricity from land lines, no alcohol and no musical instruments. So how did you jump into music? What was the one thing that made want to be musicians?
Ezekiel: I left the Amish life and went into The World at 16. I heard "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "The Wall" and became obsessed with music and immediately wanted to listen to it around the clock. Eventually I decided I wanted to play it. As Frank Zappa said, "Music is the best!" That is what made me want to be a musician!
PEV: What exactly is Rumpsringa and how it affected your lives?
Ezekiel: It means "running around" and it is when you get to go out and experience The World free of the limitations of Amish life and decide if you want to join Church and be baptized or not. It opened me up to things I could not close once I had experienced them, so decided not to join Church and live Amish. It was the single most defining thing in my life.
PEV: Tell us what it was like trying to break into the music scene as the Amish Outlaws. Did people have a preconceived notion of you?
Ezekiel: We spent a few years playing shows wherever we could, but once it took off, we took off fast and it has been a dizzying, fun, unforgettable experience. We played anywhere and everywhere, going from Maryland to Connecticut between gigs with horrible routing, doing up to 13 nights in a row, lots of doubles, and playing our butts off to get our feet in the door. Our feet stink, so now that they're in there, you're all stuck with us.  A lot of people expect us to play country music, probably because of the outfits. Boy, they were surprised!
PEV: What can fans expect from a live The Amish Outlaws show?
Big Daddy Abel: To be thoroughly entertain, have lots of fun and be pleasantly surprised. 
Ishmael: The unexpected.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
Big Daddy Abel: Did I leave the stove on?
Jakob: Will this Stoli and soda last me the whole set or should I have gotten a backup...?
Ishmael: Nothing, my mind actually goes blank.
PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?
Big Daddy Abel: I think any song that we can have fun with is the first requisite for choosing a song. Second would be if it's kind of cool in some way. The best ideas from songs come from when we have long car rides on the way to/from a show and something catches our attention. 
Jakob: Time Life cd collection infomercials at 3 AM.
Ishmael: We just try and keep it different from every other cover band.
PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you've arrived where you are today?
Big Daddy Abel: I look back now, because you asked the question. I don't often look back at HOW I got to "here". But now that I am... I think I would have followed along more willingly on that path rather than have "fought" with the "detours" that I felt "popped up" in my path.  
Jakob: I often think about it, it really reminds me of how much of a privilege it is to be doing something that I love . Starting the band is one of the only instances in my life where the old cliche of "work hard and you will be successful" has actually come to be. Plus this is the 2nd longest I have ever held a job!!!
Ishmael: I have no idea how this happened.
PEV: What's one thing we'd be surprised to hear about the members of The Amish Outlaws?
Big Daddy Abel: That we are all botanists from Lithuania. That would surprise me too because I am actually not from Lithuania, nor do I botan.
Jakob: We all wear man thongs under the outfits.
Ishmael: We like to eat more than anything else, aside from play music.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a big part of your lives?
Big Daddy Abel: Probably when I auditioned on trumpet for Doc Severinsen back when he ran the Tonight Show Band. That or when I started playing guitar.
Jakob: Around 5 years old my older sister would play the vinyl version of Pink Floyd "The Wall" over and over and over. I remember thinking even at 5 years old that the chick that says "Wanna take a bath?" had a sexy voice. I think I got a little mini chub too.
Ishmael: When I played my first gig at 13.
PEV: What do you want people to understand about the Amish culture that they may be mislead about?
Ezekiel: That we're hipper than you think!
PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?
Big Daddy Abel: Life on the road for me is nice. The best parts are the audiences and seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing from them after a show that they had a great time. Some of the places along the way that we've found really good food is quite a plus as well. Worst parts would be anyone who chooses to snap my suspenders or assumes that we are indestructible. Also any Housekeeping personnel that is loud when cleaning right outside or next to the room we are trying to sleep in. 
Jakob: The Best part is definitely the food ,and the ball busting that ensues non stop. Also the privilege of having Hez as my roommate. The worst part are these friggin' gas prices. OY VEY!
Ishmael: Travel is tough.  The best part is getting to the show, the worst part is leaving the show.
Ezekiel: The worst part is missing our families and friends back home. The best part is all the friends and family we have made on the road.
PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
Big Daddy Abel: EVERYWHERE!
Jakob: I wish I could travel around my block and play on back of a flatbed truck. Go around the block maybe 3 or 4 times then go home, maybe grill up some shlongs for everyone.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What's it like when you get to play at your hometown?
Big Daddy Abel: I think they may have finally given in to the fact that I don't have a "real" job like they kept urging me to get for so long. I have not played in my hometown. 
Ezekiel: They wish I had joined Church and was less worldly. I still get some guilt trips, but they are happy that I am happy. I have yet to play my home town.
PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
Big Daddy Abel: PlayStation 3! Bioshock, Bulletproof, Angry Birds and Populous currently have my attention there.  
Ezekiel: Family, friends, food, video games, and more and more and more music!
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?
Big Daddy Abel: Past would be vocalist Ray Gillen who was lead singer of Badlands, Black Sabbath and other bands, because his voice, to me, is INCREDIBLE! Current would be Prince, because he is amazing.  
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
Big Daddy Abel: I think Mumford and Sons would be someone to watch/ Lily Allen has been around a little while, but I think she's going to stick around. Katy Perry will probably continue to grow. I am curious to see what will become of the kid on American Idol right now that is singing all the hard rock stuff, James Durbin.  
Jakob: The Amish Outlaws.
PEV: If you weren't playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?
Big Daddy Abel: I would probably still be involved with acting in TV and movies. I still do it, but not as much as I did before joining the band.
Jakob: Spending my fortune.
PEV: So, what is next for The Amish Outlaws?
Big Daddy Abel: A summer full of shows!
Jakob: Hopefully playing Donald Trump's inaugural ball.

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Band of Outlaws Rocks Out Amish Style
Amish Outlaws will rap, punk, metal and more during their appearance Wednesday at the County Fair.
August 3, 2011 by John P. Dowgin

You're standing at an outdoor music festival. Six men dressed in traditional Amish garb - straw hats, collarless hooked shirts, suspenders with black pants - take the stage.
These six men, all of whom hail from traditional Amish upbringings in Lancaster County, Pa., now grab the microphones and launch into…
"Jump Around," by House of Pain.
Then Snoop Dogg's "Gin & Juice."
And right into the Beastie Boys' "Whatcha Want."
Don't worry, you haven't accidentally ingested anything hallucinogenic. You're just at an Amish Outlaws show.
And to understand where they came from, you must understand the Amish concept of "Rumpspringa."
At the age of 16, Amish youths are given a chance to leave their strict upbringing and experience the modern world, to see if the Amish way of life is what they truly want. This time is called "Rumspringa, which translates into English as "running around." Most Amish youths return to the church following their Rumspringa.
Some, however, do not. The members of the Amish Outlaws-Brother Amos Def, Brother Big Daddy Abel, Brother Eazy Ezekiel, Brother Hezekiah X, Brother Ishmael L Cool J , and Brother Jakob the Pipe Layer-would fall into the latter category.
According to the band's web site, the Outlaws never met until a chance encounter at the 2002 Pocono Vacation Park "Rock and Roll Hootenanny." Brother Eazy Ezekiel says it was just about one year later, at T-Bones in Valley Cottage, N.Y., that the Amish Outlaws made their first public appearance.
"I saved every setlist from the second gig on," Ezekiel said. "Unfortunately, not the first one, so looking at the second setlist, it was probably pretty similar. We played some songs we still do today, like "Poison" by Bell Biv DeVoe and "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats, though both have been re-vamped and mixed in with some other stuff. We played songs we sadly don't do anymore, like "The Ripper" by Judas Priest and "Simple Song" by Sly & The Family Stone.
"When we first started we could get away with a lot more indulgent material that we just like for what it is, as opposed to how our audience feels about it. We used to do the "Family Ties" TV theme song. I miss that one."
Friends and family largely attended initial gigs, but crowd reaction was uniformly positive from the start. "Man, they were into it," Ezekiel said, "and we immediately knew we were onto something."
Eight years later, the band has become a full-time job for its members. "We just do covers," Ezekiel said. "We have written a few original tunes. We started off as an original band and played a few covers, but by the time we did our first show, it was all covers. There was one original we used to throw in, and we wrote another for a battle of the bands contest we did at the Borgata in Atlantic City. It sounded like Herman's Hermits. No wonder we didn't win."
You might think playing in a hip hop/metal cover band whose hook is the trappings of your former religion might lead to familial tension. But The Amish Outlaws have played as close to true Amish Country as Wyomissing and Reading, Pa., and still keep in touch with their heritage.
"I go visit as much as I can," says Ezekiel. "Had I joined Church and then left, they would have shunned me, or if I joined another church out here. My parents wish I had joined Church, and I still get the occasional guilt trip. Not nearly as bad as it was the first few years though. At this point, they know I am happy so they don't come down on me too much.
"Of course, they wish my life wasn't so worldly, but they don't know the half of it. They'd be really worried if they did. Though, by English standards, I am pretty tame."
The Amish Outlaws appear at the Middlesex County Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 3, from 8 to 11 p.m. For more about the band, visit

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From the August 3rd, 2011 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

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From the July 6th, 2011 issue of Steppin Out Magazine

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Weekend Bar Scene: Eagles players open Olde City spot; 'bikini-wearing chicks covered in soapy foam'

By Tara Nurin

The Windrift Resort Hotel: The Amish Outlaws are one of the best party bands I've ever seen. The first time I saw them, their energy roused me out of a crabby mood and actually got me to shake my very non-rhythmic tail on the dance floor. But because they live in New York, we have to share them with bar crowds in other states. Boo hoo. So if you're near Avalon tonight, take advantage of their presence at 9 p.m. at Windrift's Blue Wave Lounge. If you're doing the family thing, you can bring the kiddies to see them at the Mercer County Park Freedom Festival at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. They wear costumes so little ones should get a kick out of them and maybe even be moved enough to wiggle their cute diapered tushies. Windrift:  80th Street & The Beach, Avalon. (609) 368-5175.; Mercer County Park, 1638 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor.

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The Amish Outlaws: Breaking Every Rule
By Edwin Bartlett
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

I was sitting around Saturday morning watching both the weather, and my list of potential gigs that I was thinking about going to when an old friend from high school, Barry Van. posts on my wall that "The Amish Outlaws" were playing at Rookies in Cromwell that night. Now I have known about these guys for about two years, and have been dying to see them, so, as always I am all in.

Barry and I decide to get there early, as Rookies, as big as it is, can fill up fast. I have been there before, and gotten there late, only to end up standing in line. So, early it was, and we did get a bite to eat. BTW, totally blew the "diet' and got the Rookies appetizer sample. Yup, all deep fried, pure fat but, damn that was good. Rookies is your typical sports bar with flat screens everywhere, pool tables, and video machines. And a stage with a serious sound system. This was going to be good.

At about 10:30, The Outlaws finally take the stage. Let me just throw in the names here. Brother Hezekiah X. Brother Amos Def, Brother Big Daddy Abel, Brother Jakob the Pipe Layer, Brother IshmaeL L Cool J, and Brother Eazy Ezekiel. And, yes, four out of the six are Amish born. They decided during their "Rumspringa" that the "English Way" was their style of life. Now these guys play some serious music. Anything from Beastie Boys to Barry White. Elvis to U2. Quite a variety. But here is the great part. From old time Rock and Roll to the best of today's hip Hop, they nailed it. Seriously, I was amazed at not just the ability to play, but the vocals were amazing.

One of the most covered artists today is Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance". Many bands do it, to a varying degree of success ,but they all have female leads. What blew me away was when Brother Hezekiah X did as about a good a cover as I have heard. And then, at the end of the night he covers AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds" and is one of a very few to actually sing it without turning blue. Effortless, and almost as if you had AC/DC right there in front of you. The fun part of the night was when The Amish Outlaws went Hip Hop. Imagine a bunch of white guys, in traditional Amish attire doing Snoop Dog and doing it well. Kind of the same impression when the Beastie Boys first burst on the scenes. You know, "but they are white. And Jewish" Seriously, throw those stereotypes out the window already. Really also liked there take on a "Men Without Hats" cover of "Safety Dance". Now this is a synth heavy song to start with, but they threw a really cool spin on the synth line. Kind of made it a 21st century modern rock hip hop thing. Very cool.

So, save the date of May 14th, don't eat dinner, and head up to rookies with me, and have an Amish good time.

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Amish Outlaws bring curious joy to Monroe
Published: 2:00 AM - 02/11/11

They have names such as Brother Amos Def and Brother Hezekiah X. They spit hip-hop, they rock. And they're Amish.

Four of the six band members are from Amish country, Lancaster, Pa. They grew up Amish, so they had no electricity and, of course, no modern music. So, to see the Amish Outlaws live is to witness people celebrating music they're still hearing in a new way. Get a taste of this phenomenon when the Outlaws play Bourbon Street.

What: The Amish Outlaws
When: 10 p.m. Feb. 17
Where: Bourbon Street, 78 Millpond Parkway, Monroe
Price: Call for cover
Information: Call 782-8501 or visit

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Spotlight Artists: The Amish Outlaws
By Sean

Our next spotlight artist is The Amish Outlaws. If you are looking for an Amish cover band, look no further than this  band straight outta Lancaster. Rock, rap, hip hop, country, name it, they play it. Formed by real life Amish men that never returned from their Rumspringa, The Outlaws have are popular and hard working musicians that regularly gig all in the northeast, from Connecticut down to Maryland. Founding member and bass player Brother Ezekiel answers our questions below:

Ishmael L. Cool J on guitar.
Jakob the Pipe Layer on drums and bonds.
Amos Def on keyboards and vocals.
Big Daddy Abel on lead vocals and guitar.
Hezekiak X on lead vocals.
Eazy Ezekiel on bass.

How long have you been performing?
The band's been together since 2002. We played our first show in July of 2003. We started off as another band called "Elephant's Gerald" but grew from an elephant into The Amish Outlaws.

How long performing in NYC?
Our first New York City  show was in 2006. Thursday, January 25th, 2006, so today is our 5 year  anniversary of our New York City debut. Do they make cards for that?

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
I was Joan of Arc in my former life. Members have been in a few different bands. Ish was in The Monkees for a few years. They were a big influence on The Beatles. He was like the Pete Best, until he punched Micky Dolenz in the face. Abel has good solo rock and roll he does. You  can find it out there if you look. The rest of us have been in a few different bands, but not much of note. Amos and Hez and I grew up  Amish, so to say we had a limited musical childhood would be pretty on  the money. It wasn't until we got out here in The World that we dove in  to music head first. We still haven't come up for air. Just sandwiches.

Favorite venues to play:
Oooh, so many. Looney's Pub in Bel Air, MD is always looney. Pun intended. Seacrets in Ocean City, MD is also a trip. You know, in the good way. Both are HUGE, always packed, always fun. The Hudson Water Club in West Haverstraw, NY is so great, especially in the summer. We play right out on the deck near the water and they treat us so well there. Cancun Cantina West in Hagerstown, MD is like stepping into a cowboy blender, but without the carnage. People are really into us in Maryland. It is nice!  Glenrowan and Burke's in Yonkers, NY are both like family to us by now, the staff and the patrons. Vintage in White Plains, NY is the same way. That Declan... he is always ready  with a hand shake and a scotch. I could go on and on. Really, we are  lucky enough to be at a point now where we like just about every place we play.

Musical influences:
Since we are a cover band, it is hard to say... other bands that are in the  same line we are and do things well definitely influence us to keep on top of our game, as much as we can. The Nerds are the first and the best. No one does it like they do and no one ever could. There are some newer bands like Mashwork Orange that are pushing the envelope. They do all mash-ups, like a DJ would play. A band like Johnny Drama are great musicians and are incorporating a lot of visual elements into their show, which is great. There are original bands like Fishbone that I know inspire me. The energy they put out in a performance is  insane. You can't go to a Fishbone show without leaving with a big,  jaw-cracking smile.

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
Our web site mostly. It has the skinny on us. And the fat. And our shows. We play all over... lots of places in New York, but up and down the northeastern coast.
facebook: The-Amish-Outlaws
Youtube: AmishOutlaws (But search for the band name and loads of videos come up from other folks.)
Twitter: @amishoutlaws
Myspace: amishoutlaws
fotki: amishoutlaws

Where can we buy your music?
We don't have any for sale right now. We may have a live CD at some point... it's been in the works for a while.

Tell us a story or anecdote about performing live in NYC.
Hez isn't the greatest driver in the world. He knows it, so I am not making mean by saying it here. Anyway, one time that we were playing in the city we were heading to the club and it was a real white-knuckle ride.  Jakob was in the back, I was shotgun, Hez was at the wheel. I think he  ran at least two red lights straight up. Changed lanes a few times  without signaling. Drove on the median. Made a right on red... in  addition to the two red lights. Anyway, we are getting close to the club and are going down this two-lane road with a walkway or sidewalk in the middle. On the walkway, we see a guy with long, curly brown hair and  shorts and tube socks. I look. Hez looks. As we pass him by, we realize it is Lips from the band ANVIL. Look them up if you don't know them already. Hez screams, "It's LIPS!" and  immediately starts to panic, trying to find a way to turn around and get back to him. There is NO way he can do it without it being illegal or  dangerous so I start screaming, "Hez!! Stop!! No!!" and he goes, "BUT  IT'S LIPS!!" He was right, but I finally got him to stay the course. I kind of regret it though.

Oh, and Hez made a New Year's resolution - no more tickets and, to his credit, he has been driving a whole lot more sensibly.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Give it everything you have, no matter if there are five people watching you or fifteen hundred. And remember, it's nice to be important, but it's  important to be nice. And don't take any wooden nickels.

Upcoming Shows:
You can catch the The Amish Outlaws at several shows in the NYC area, including:
Thursday, January 27 - Burke's - Yonkers, NY
Thursday, February 3 - Doyler & Dunney's - New City, NY
Friday, February 4 - Vintage - White Plains, NY
Thursday, February 10 - Glenrowan Tavern - Yonkers, NY
Sunday, February 20 - Rory Dolan's - Yonkers, NY
Thursday, March 10 - Burke's - Yonkers, NY
Friday, March 18 - Bar A - Lake Como, NJ
Saturday, March 19 - Willie McBride's - Hoboken, NJ
Thursday, March 24 - The Red Lion, New York, NY

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Band of the Week: Amish Outlaws take Borgata's Gypsy Bar by storm

Thursday, January 6, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 1:13 pm, Wed Jan 5, 2011.
Band of the Week: Amish Outlaws take Borgata's Gypsy Bar by storm

The Amish Outlaws, a cover band quite unlike any you've seen before, may hail from an honest-to-goodness Amish background in Pennsylvania. But the boys in this band love to rock at the southern New Jersey shore.

"The crowds in southern New Jersey are varied and typically wonderful," says Eazy Ezekiel, the band's bassist and background vocalist for the group, which plays a blend of rock and hip hop. "We play way down in Avalon where people are a little more refined, as well as in Atlantic City, where there are locals and also people from all over. It's great because we meet so many different kinds of people. The Jersey people are pretty quick to party from the get-go."

A party lifestyle is a far cry from their upbringing for three of The Amish Outlaws, including Ezekiel, as well as keyboardist Amos Def and singer Hezekiah X. Ezekiel explains the trio left its Amish heritage and landed in New York City, where music became their prime motivation.

"Originally, we started playing in a band just for fun - we had no real direction. One day, I decided we should be The Amish Outlaws, and it just happened. I've always been a bigger appreciator of music than a performer, but playing music with my friends is the most fun I can think of. And getting to do it for a living makes it so much better."

And, theses Outlaws don't take their biggest asset - their fanbase - for granted. As the band prepares to play Friday, Jan. 7, at the Gypsy Bar located inside Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, Ezekiel understands he is able to return to such a great venue because of the people who support the band's music.

"The people come back, again and again, and bring friends and family, and that is what makes us most proud," he explains. "It tells us we are doing something to make that person feel good enough to want to turn other people onto it. We appreciate that more than just about anything when it comes to being in a band."

Roster: Ishmael L. Cool J., guitar; Jakob the Pipe Layer, drums; Amos Def, keyboards and vocals; Hezekiah X., vocals; Big Daddy Abel, vocals and guitar; Eazy Ezekiel, bass and background vocals.

What To Expect: "People can expect six men in full Amish attire acting the fool, falling down and playing lots of songs you probably forgot you loved," Ezekiel says. "We do everything we can to make you laugh and smile. And we involve the crowd, whether they like it or not."

Go See Them: Friday, Jan. 7, at the Gypsy Bar, located inside Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. The show starts at 10:30 p.m. Call 609-317-1000 for more info. The Outlaws will also be back in our area Friday, Feb. 25, as the band plays Merighi's Savoy Inn, located at 4940 E. Landis Ave. in Vineland. Call Merighi's for more info at 856-691-8051.

Fan Favorites: "In Jersey they like a lot of rock, and hip-hop, ironically, seems to go over just about everywhere," Ezekiel says. "Other songs that always go over are 'Whatcha Want' by the Beastie Boys, as well as songs by Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga. 'Shout' by the Isley Brothers is huge, too. We were kind of hesitant to play that song because we thought it was so played out. But wow, we were wrong. We played it twice the first night we did it - no kidding! And, we've been playing 'Baby Got Back' for, like, eight years now, and we can't stop."

Originals: "Oh, we stick to covers!" Ezekiel exclaims. "We wrote a song or two early on, but it was the kind of stuff that only we would want to hear, and even we'd fast forward some parts."

Influences: The Nerds, Mashwork Orange, Johnny Drama, Drop Dead Sexy and The Benjamins made Ezekiel's list of musical influences. "I guess in the cover band scene, we are lucky enough to have a lot of bands that are doing very different stuff, so we are more comparable in that we are different," he adds. "Those bands (listed above) each have their own niche, and people respond to that, so, we are comparable in our incomparability."

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From the Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 issue of Steppin' Out Magazine

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Amish Outlaws
Briana Gilmartin
Issue date: 11/19/10 Section: Local Music
From Bon Jovi to Jay-Z, Meatloaf to Sir Mix-A-Lot, the Amish Outlaws play it all. Coming to the stage in full Amish attire, this band has a little bit of something for everyone, and performs a great show to boot.
Four of the original members were born and raised in a traditional Amish lifestyle in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, complete with no electricity, no alcohol, and no music. As those of you who have seen the movie "Sex Drive" know, around age 16, Amish teens take part in the tradition of Rumspringa, where they get to have fun in the Devil's Playground (the American way of life). These four brothers, Hezekiah X, McMullen, Eazy Ezekiel, and Amos Def met up at a "Rock and Roll Hootennany" in the Poconos, and proceeded to bond over music. Jakob the Pipe Layer and Ishmael L Cool J, two Americans that became honorary Amish after joining the band, soon joined them. Big Daddy Abel joined in 2007 to complete the puzzle.
The band plays shows all over the area, ranging from Maryland to New York and Connecticut. When visiting Hoboken, they make their usual stop at Willie McBride's on Grand Street. Their latest stop was this past Saturday, November 13.
Check out the band at for a full list of show dates, more information about the band itself, and the set list of songs they can play. You can also see them on Facebook and get event invites to their shows.

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Amish Outlaws Return to Hoboken
Band performs an eclectic set list ranging from 50 Cent to Neil Diamond

By Jason Stahl | October 14, 2010

The six-member band Amish Outlaws are performing at Willie McBride's this Saturday.

The Amish Outlaws are returning to Hoboken, performing at Willie McBrides on Saturday, October 16, for the fifth time in four years. For anyone who has never seen the Amish Outlaws, it's a literal rump shaker: the last time I saw them perform, they invited all the women on stage for an ass shaking contest after an hour of jumping around, getting the entire audience involved and wanting more music.

The first time you see them, what'll come to mind is the following thought: "Are these guys really Amish?" 

Some are, some aren't.

Four of the original members­Brothers Hezekiah X, McMullen, Eazy Ezekiel, and Amos Def­were born and raised in Lancaster, Pa., and had a strict Amish upbringing, which meant no electricity, no alcohol, and especially no musical instruments. At age 16, these true Outlaws decided to take part in the Amish tradition of Rumspringa, where Amish teens live free of any code of conduct.

After experiencing all of life's vices (remember the movie Kingpin?) the Amish Outlaws came together in 2002 at an actual hootenanny­a rock 'n' roll version­in the Poconos. Still wearing their traditional Amish attire­dark pants, solid blue shirtsleeves, suspenders, and a hat­the brothers noticed each other's talent.

The two other members of the band, Jakob the Pipe Layer and Ishmael L Cool J, are not Amish (referred to as "English") but they became honorary Amish when they joined. The final piece of the band­Brother Big Daddy Abel­joined in 2007.

When you see an Amish Outlaw show, the band is still rocking in their full Amish clothing and they release what they call "all of their pent up energy with an infectious joy." You never know what songs will be belted out as they cover some of the greatest hits from the greatest artists over the past 50 years from all genres of music. It's rare to hear House of Pain, Neil Diamond, Bon Jovi, 50 Cent, Cypress Hill, and AC/DC all in one night, particularly performed live.

The Outlaws no longer abide by Amish law (then they wouldn't be outlaws, no?). They drive cars­no horse and buggy­to and from shows and drink. You'll want to buy these guys at least a pint as a thank you for such a kick-ass show. You'll also get the urge to snap their suspenders, which is encouraged, however, not too hard. Lastly, don't ask for their hats. They've lost too many and claim not to have good hair (or none, in some cases).

And for you engaged couples, the Amish Outlaws are available to perform at weddings.

Amish Outlaws hit the microphones at 11 p.m. at Willie McBride's, located at 616 Grand Street.

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From the Friday, August 6, 2010 edition of The Frederick News-Post

The Amish Outlaws
Band shares musical passion after insular upbringing
Originally published August 06, 2010

By Lauren LaRocca
News-Post Staff

When Brother Eazy Ezekiel and Brother Hezekiah X, now musicians, left their strict Amish lives as teenagers and stepped into what they call the outside world, they were hit with a wonderful splash of music  -- rap, psychedelic rock, jazz, blues -- kind of like one of their Amish Outlaws shows. Before that, they'd heard mostly church hymns.

"We  came into the world and heard all this stuff ... coming from a life that was so constrained," said Ezekiel, on bass and vocals for the Amish  Outlaws.

The band formed about eight years ago, shortly after their emergence into the world, from the shared love of music of four former-Amish guys, plus two honorary Amish members: Brother Jakob the  Pipe Layer (drums) and Brother Big Daddy Abel (lead vocals, guitar). The remainder of the band includes Brother Amos Def (keyboards, guitar,  banjo, vocals) and Brother Ishmael L Cool J (guitar).

They've  performed from Vermont to Washington, D.C., and once in Vegas throughout the past seven years. Their primary gigs, though, are in Pennsylvania and its surrounding states -- Amish country. Tonight, they'll play  Cancun Cantina in Hagerstown.

The first album Ezekiel heard in the outside world was "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" -- on vinyl.

Before that, it was snippets of songs in malls and elevators and restaurants,  he said. (Yes, even elevator music was interesting, at that point.)

Needless to say, he was blown away by The Beatles.

Next came Pink Floyd's "The Wall."

"Music became my passion," he said. "I still can't get enough."

They all listen to whatever they can get their hands on, and their shows follow suit.

But to show their roots, they wear traditional Amish clothing when they  perform -- hats and all. They use it as a gimmick, they said, not disrespectfully.

Ezekiel, 35, is still close to his family, and some of his brothers have gone to shows, but "my parents never would," he said.

"My family were the musicians of the area," said Hezekiah, 36, adding that he also comes from an unusually small family -- one brother and one  sister -- and that some of his family eventually left the Amish life.

"I was born with a voice that could do a lot of different things," he added.

He left Amish living primarily because he wanted to be a musician.

The band plays all cover songs because, well, "there's no Paul McCartney in the band," Hezekiah said.

"We're about getting the audience going," Ezekiel said, "making the people smile. The best way we know to do that is play the songs that they know ... the guilty pleasure songs that they haven't heard in five years."

"Also -- give me the loot, give me the loot!" Hezekiah said.

"We're not here for a higher artistic purpose," Ezekiel agreed. "We're here to make people smile and be happy."

Their tastes are fairly similar and still eclectic. Ishmael is 53 and into Clapton, Cream -- stuff from his era, they said, while Ezekiel's  favorite is heavy metal.

"Some of it we like because it's ridiculous," Ezekiel said.

"We do 'Nothing Compares To You' -- Sinead O'Connor," Hezekiah said. "There's something really disgusting about a big bald guy singing that.  And I'm talking about me.

"It's sort of a nice mix. Nice, ridiculous, blasphemous and fun."

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From the August 12-25 issue of Night & Day Magazine. By Bill Bodkin. The text of this article originally appeared in the B&B Entertainment Blog. You can read the unedited version here.

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The Amish Outlaws
By Anna

Definitely the best band I've ever seen at a wedding (and I've been to, uh, a few.)

Possibly the most fun band I will ever see anywhere.

They played at Shay and Matt's wedding at Essex Yacht Club in CT this weekend, and despite raging thunderstorms, absurd humidity and heat  heat heat, I think EVERYONE danced. I know I did.

If you've seen these guys, you know what I mean. Yes, really Amish. Yes, really awesome and entertaining and fun.

If you haven't seen them, get thee to YouTube and watch these guys take on Baby Got Back, Start Me Up, Let's Get it On and Living On A Prayer, just for STARTERS.

They ended the night with I've Had the Time of My Life, for pete's sake. I LOVED them!

Find them at a place near you, and see them. You're welcome.

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From the Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 issue of Steppin' Out Magazine

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bill bodkin interviews one of the most unique cover bands to hit the scene- the amish outlaws.

I've seen a lot of crazy things during my career covering the Jersey Shore nightlife scene - but nothing beats watching a group of Amish men busting out "Ain't Nothin' But a G Thang." It was 2005 during Bar Anticipation's annual Spring Bash festival that I saw a group of guys dressed like the Amish walking around the mega-club. The crowd was abuzz - an air of confusion, interest and disbelief as a group of sweaty guys in black hats and blue shirts walking around, mingling with the happening crowd like it was just another day at the office. In the middle of the show the guys were called on stage by the band Dog Voices, to perform a couple of songs. As a member of the crowd, I saw hundreds of people in hushed anticipation waiting for the performance to start. By the time the group broke into the legendary Snoop and Dre collaboration, the entire bar was on its feet, bouncing to sick flow of a bunch of pale boys from Lancaster.
On that night, the legend of The Amish Outlaws was born. From there the band of cleverly named musicians - Brother Eazy Ezekiel (bass, vocals), Brother Amos Def (keyboards, banjo, vocals, guitar), Brother Big Daddy Abel (lead vocals, guitar), Brother Hezekiah X (lead vocals), Brother Ishmael L Cool J (guitar) and Brother Jakob the Pipe Layer (drums), have become one of the most popular and in-demand acts not only at the Shore but all over the northeast.
Recently we sat down with Brother Eazy Ezekiel for a rather off-beat Q&A
Bill Bodkin: The biggest question that's been posed to me as someone who covers the cover bands is "are the Amish Outlaws REALLY Amish?" So, are you Amish?
Brother Eazy Ezekiel: Three of us were born and raised Amish, yes. We don't practice the faith and never joined Church, but we are still Amish the way you are still Jamaican even if you do not live in Jamaica. Bodkin is a Jamaican last name, right?
BB: Explain how you left the Amish people? 
BEE: In a car.
The Amish don't believe in baptism as a child. You make the choice as an adult to be baptized. Before you make the decision either way, you go on Rumspringa and experience the outside world. We got a taste. Then another taste. Then pulled up a chair at the buffet and settled in for a long meal and here we are.
BB: How did you meet the other members of your band?
BEE: I grew up with Amos. We met Hez at a vacation park in the Poconos. Hez was in prison with Ishmael in opposing gangs, but they put their differences aside once they got on the outside. Turned out they were both wrongfully incarcerated. What are the chances? Jakob wandered in to a greasy burger place where I was working looking for directions. I tried three times and he just kept up winding up back there, so after the third time he just decided to stay. I am horrible at giving directions.
BB: Explain the difficulties you experienced transitioning from the Amish world to modern world? (I don't if modern is the correct word I'm looking for)
BEE: Well, I didn't just jump right in to the outside world. It was a slow process. When I started Rumspringa I would just go out among the English (non-Amish). To the mall. Wal-mart. The movies. I acclimated myself before deciding to get an apartment in the area, and then threw caution to the wind and decided to move to New York. Now that was a bit of a culture shock. I don't live in the city, but pretty close. I think for anyone moving from a rural area to the suburbs though there would be a big adjustment, but on the whole, the transition wasn't all that difficult. Especially once I discovered black coffee.
BB: What was the inspiration to form a band?
BEE: We loved music. We didn't hear much growing up. Here and there. I heard Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and it changed my life and dove in head first and it went from loving it to wanting to play it. Amos took to music like a duck to a junebug. Hez always had a good set of pipes. We had played in other bands before but when we met Hez and our original ‘other lead singer,' Brother McMullen, suddenly "The Amish Outlaws" made sense. Brother McMullen's actual name is Gerold by the way, but you didn't hear that from me.
BB: Can you explain how you brought in two non-Amish members into your band.
BEE: Because there aren't many good Amish guitar players. Yngwie [Malmsteen], maybe. But I hear he is only half Amish.
BB: Why become a cover band? Why not become an original group?
BEE: Well, we had played in some original bands before. When we started this band, we did have original songs. Even played one or two out a few times, but the covers were so much fun because of the reaction we got from the crowd. We aren't in this for any deep artistic reasons. We love playing music and making people smile and laugh. Besides, ever been in an original band? Man, that is a pain in the rear.
BB: How was the band discovered? 
BEE: Wait. We were discovered?
BB: I can remember one of your first shows being at the 2005 Bar A Spring Bash, do you remember that show? If so, explain that first big night as a band. Can you talk about the initial reaction the band received?
BEE: Well, that wasn't one of our first shows. We played our first show on July 21st, 2003 and played a bunch more between then and 2005. That Bar A gig was our first at the Jersey shore, and kind of a turning point for the band where I guess you could say things started to take off. I do definitely remember that show. At least the first few hours. We walked around the crowd and made friends with people. Then [Rob] Monte and his band at the time, Dog Voices, were kind enough to let us jump up and play two songs on their gear. We did "Milkshake" by Kelis and "G Thang" by Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre and the place just exploded. Not literally, Bar A is still there and intact, but people went nuts. It was exciting. It felt like something big was happening. Turned out it was just gas, though.

The infamous Bar A Show

BB: Was the band ever pigeon-holed as "just a gimmick band?"
BEE: Yeah, I am sure we were. You hear chatter. I think when folks see us we are able to convince them that it is not just a gimmick. We sweat WAY too much to be a gimmick band.
BB: Talk about why the band infuses hip-hop, especially 90s gangsta rap into sets?
BEE: Because we love it. One of the things about growing up Amish is we weren't raised on a certain type of music. Like the friends I have that grew up English usually grew up listening to one kind of music. You were a rock guy, or a rap guy, or a country guy. Sure, as you got older your tastes expanded but it seems like the first kind of music a person latched on to winds up being the real passion. When we got out here we listened to it all. Rap. Rock. Metal. Country. Western. Dance. Funk. So when it came to the kind of music we chose to play, it was what we loved. Rap is in that big mish-mosh. I think a lot of bands figure they can't play rap stuff, but if you put the time in you can play any kind of music, really. I guess that is our selfish reason for doing it. But, really, it is because it shocks the heck out of people. They don't expect it, and we love that look of surprise. And it seems most people like rap. And there is something funny about 6 guys in Amish gear playing hip hop, yeah?
BB: How and why did Big Daddy Abel join the group? Was he also of Amish descent? 
BEE: He joined it because he experienced a momentary lapse of reason. McMullen retired to focus on family. He made the right decision and has a beautiful family and a calm life. Big Daddy Abel was introduced to us by our friend Cara at a show. We were in the market for a vocalist and he was one. Then he joined us and became a ‘cover band guy' and stopped being a vocalist. He fits like one of those square pegs. And no, he is not of Amish descent. He is of Jersey descent.
BB: What are some crazy things that have happened during an Amish Outlaws show?

That's seriously a dude's glass eye

BEE: Huh. We've had bras thrown on stage. No kidding. I almost broke my ankle once, but that had nothing to do with the bras. Big Daddy Abel cracked his head on the PA speakers at Seacrets [in Ocean City, Maryland] and almost passed out. Hez once did a headspin on carpeting and got rug burn on top of his head. Jakob has been smacked in the face by Hezekiah's flying hats. Ishmael has drank a lot of gin. Amos did the ‘windmill' break dancing move at a show in DC and broke the land speed windmill record. I think what might take the cake, not to brag, is that I once put a guy's glass eye in my mouth. Not that putting a glass eye in your mouth is really something to ever brag about.
BB: Since we're partial to the Jersey Shore, what's some of your favorite things about playing the Jersey Shore cover scene. 
BEE: The people! And the fried Oreos. It is different when you play a vacation area. Everyone is there to have a good time and the energy is different from a regular ‘ol club. Both are great, but it seems folks are fired up from the first moment to the last and there is no period where they have to get a few drinks in before they let go. Chances are they've been drinking all day already. Maybe that's the reason…
BB: In that same vein, since you guys play all over, how is different than the other scenes you play?
BEE: There is something about the Jersey Shore that other scenes just don't have. I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's the Jager bombs. Or the… forget it.
BB: What does the future hold for The Amish Outlaws?
BEE: Lots of red meat and mileage. And hopefully people don't get sick of us. We are working hard to learn new songs and will always break our butts to make sure people have a good time. We hope it is a long future, with lots of shows, and lots of new friends. You guys are the best.
you can find out more about the amish outlaws including tour dates, picture videos and interesting things about amish culture at

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A band. Seriously! Hubby and I saw this fantastically talented group a few weeks ago. We also saw them last summer. Each time, we are just as blown away. They are phenomenal. The music is exactly what I like to listen to – check out their set list– and everyone at the event really gets into it, dancing and enjoying.

And everyone wonders, are they really Amish? I hope you find this as fascinating as I do: Yes! They are, and the full explanation is here. In essence, what they say on their site is this: "It is a little-known fact that most Amish practice a tradition, similar to the Christian "Confirmation" and Jewish "Bar Mitzvah," called "Rumspringa" (literal translation: "running around") in which Amish children at the age of 16 have an opportunity to live free of the strict Amish code of conduct before deciding if they want to come back and be baptized into the Amish church. Surprisingly, virtually all of the youths return.

But sometimes they don't.

Four out of the original six of the members of The Amish Outlaws were born and raised in Lancaster, PA and had a strict Amish upbringing. No electricity from land lines, no alcohol, no musical instruments, but their spirits were too wild for the Amish lifestyle. Once they trampled in the Devil's Playground (the Amish term for the American way of life), there was no turning back. In the years since Rumspringa, the members of the Amish Outlaws have become very well acclimated to the pleasures and vices of the modern world… music, most of all. "

They are not just talented, but fantastically funny! Check out their Q and A:

Why am I bringing them to your attention? Because I really and truly enjoy them! This is their own explanation of what you'll see at a show: "There is no "typical" Amish Outlaws show, but the average crowd can expect to see men in full Amish garb releasing all of their pent up energy with an infectious joy. With a set that is always evolving as the Brothers discover more and more music and culture, The Amish Outlaws constantly surprise the audience and keep them guessing as to what they could possibly play next, from Judas Priest to Jay Z, Neil Diamond to Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, Queen and Twisted Sister, to theme songs from the TV shows they have come to know. Throughout, The Outlaws spin yarns about the Brothers' upbringing and adventures since Rumpsringa. Amish Outlaw gigs are less performances than they are initiations into the life of an Amish Outlaw and parties celebrating the Brothers' newfound freedom."

I mean can you imagine leaving the Amish life behind, dressing as you did then, and entertaining people with dynamic musical talent? If you ever get the chance, see these guys! I wish I could buy their music for my car! So does hubby!

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Click here for our press archive to see more full articles.

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The Amish Outlaws have appeared/been heard/been mentioned on 92.3 KROCK (NYC), WDHA FM (Cedar Knolls, NJ), The Vinny Vella Show (NYC), 98 ROCK (Baltimore, MD), Ron and Fez Show (XM/SIRIUS), 10.5 WBHB Bob Rocks (PA), and more!

This is a great plug The Amish Outlaws received on the Booker show on 92.3 KROCK (NYC). Click here to stream, or right click and choose to save it to your computer.

And here is a piece on The Amish Outlaws from ARD German Radio, the largest public broadcasting network in Europe. They serve over 50 radio stations with about 35 million listeners every weekday in German speaking Europe. As Brother Big John Owens would say, "Whoohoo!" It's in German (well, duh) but if you speak the language, or watch Indiana Jones movies all the time, you may be able to get the gist of it. Click here to stream, or right click and choose to save it to your computer.

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