Steve and John Conte step outside of Crown Jewels for their latest project: The Contes. The brand new CD, “Bleed Together” finds the brothers stretching out a bit...In addition to their usual strengths, bassist John plays guitar, banjo and sings lead on a few songs while guitarist/singer Steve mixes it up on keyboards, mandolin, six and four string bass and handles some of the editing/sampling chores (check out the "Music" page for more on this CD.)
The Conte brother's band, Crown Jewels began as a hard working live act in the mid 1990s. They pumped out bluesy rock and roll and thoughtful power pop on many stages in New York City before releasing their debut album, Spitshine, in 1996. Since then, their musical reputation has built steadily across America and into the U.K., Germany, Italy, Belgium, France, Sweden and Japan. The band's various incarnations read like a who's who of great NYC players; drummers like Shawn Pelton (Sheryl Crow), Paul Garisto (Iggy Pop), Rich Mercurio (Chris Whitley), Tony Beard (Hall and Oates), Rich Pagano (Willie Nile), Kevin Hupp, Steve Murphy (Jack Bruce), percussionist Joe Bonadio and keyboard players Chris Palmaro (Joan Osborne), Doug Petty (Enrique Iglesius) and Rob Clores (John Popper).
During the early 90's they were one-half of Company of Wolves, a bluesy rock quartet signed to Mercury Records. After two albums and videos, extensive touring, solid radio support and critical acclaim, Steve and John formed Crown Jewels in order to showcase Steve's passionate voice, exquisite melodies and wry lyrics, as well as the brothers' master musicianship. Crown Jewels sophomore effort, Linoleum was released in 1998 and was embraced by listeners and critics alike for it's soulful stew of rock, psychedelic folky grooves, blues and pop.
With Linoleum, the band's music found a home on over 120 college, AAA and modern rock radio stations as well as being featured on television (WB Network's "Smallville", "Jack and Jill" and "Maybe It's Me", NBC's "Providence", CBS's "Jag", Fox TV's Angel, ABC's "That's Life", ESPN's "Winter X Games") and in films (Wirey Spindell , Two Ninas , Spring Break Lawyer (2001), The Stand In , Face The Music  and Rules ).
Touring of clubs, colleges, and conferences brought Crown Jewels to the attention of many, including Musician Magazine, which named them one of its "Top Ten Unsigned Bands in North America" and Billboard Magazine, which selected Crown Jewels as one of "Billboard Talent Net's Most Outstanding New Acts of 1999." New York's Village Voice raved, "steeped in rock's royal tradition, Crown Jewels is a return-to-your-roots treasure." London's Classic Rock magazine agreed, giving them "four stars" and noting, "Linoleum has, acclaim aside, all the accepted merits of songwriting greatness, now they have to wait for the rest of the world to catch up."