The Rhythm Surf Monkeys hail from Eldersburg, Maryland and came into existence when founding members Jim Hiltz and Kyle Reitz entered a recording studio on April 9, 2012 to record “Where Were You When My Dad Became a Hero”. Little did they know that journey into the studio, that fateful day, would result in the song ending up on The 9/11 Artist Registry.
The Rhythm Surf Monkeys continued as a studio project with Hiltz and Reitz inviting into the studio such seasoned artists such as local Maryland legends Rob Fahey and R. Lee Townsend of The Ravyns, Tony Sciuto, Mike Pope, and the talented Megan Wheatly-Shurman, to name a few.
The Rhythm Surf Monkeys produced 3 CD’s from 2013 through 2016. The first, Highway 9, was released in November of 2013. The next, Reinvented, was released in December of 2014 and contained music that won multiple songwriting awards. Reinvented had three tracks which would earn Nashville’s NSAI's “Ones to Watch” award for songwriting. "Reinvented", the title track, was winner of the Mid Atlantic Songwriting Contest Songwriter Award, along with an Akademia Award for Best Song in the Hard Rock Category, March 2015. “Prospect Avenue”, a song about growing up in the 1970’s, won another Akademia Award for Best Rock/Americana, June 2015. “Pen of Cowards” won yet another Akademia Award for Best Rock Song in September of 2016. Lastly, “Reinvented” became a number one single for KXRL Radio in Los Angeles in June 2015.
In 2016 Rhythm Surf Monkeys released their third CD titled "Roll On". This project had both Jim and Kyle thinking of transitioning the band from a studio project into a working band for the purpose of playing live. The band brought in Scott Wilson from local group Awaken. They also brought in Jeff Bober and Tom White from Rob Fahey’s legendary group “The Pieces”. Scott brought in talented female vocalist Sherry V, veteran of many of Baltimore’s top bands. The lineup became complete when Prescott Studios owner, Dave Prescott , joined the group to fill the bass position.
The newly formed rock group debuted at Maryland’s famous two-day rock festival, Stanstock, and quickly won over fans and organizers. The band, while playing live shows in 2017, was also writing and trying out new material. The culmination of their efforts produced our fourth CD, "RSM". The CD was released to a sold out house at historic Club 66 on November 4, 2017. The CD marked the 4th in just 5 years for us.
The early reviews of "RSM" were outstanding! One review by legendary Baltimore radio personality Stash read “This band can’t be limited to local exposure. People should hear this record everywhere! Love it because you don’t sound like somebody else.” Thanks Stash!
"RSM" was named one of the top rock albums released internationally in 2017 by Music Through the Times magazine. A huge honor for the band to be recognized internationally. Modern Rock Review made the "RSM" CD one of its Albums of the Month for July 2018. Lastly, The Rhythm Surf Monkeys were nominated for TWO prestigious Maryland Music Awards for 2018. Category 1, Best Rock Act, and Category 2, Best Breakout Artist for 2018. The Awards took place on December 15, 2018.
In 2019 Dave Prescott, our good friend on bass, moved to Atlanta in order to open a brand new state of the art recording studio. Mike Hamilton, bassist. joined RSM in 2019. Mike grew up in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Throughout the 1970s, Mike toured as a solo act performing his original music at concerts, festivals and clubs. In 1978 Mike moved to the Washington, DC area and played in bands throughout the years, including DESIRE, NO DOUBT-CRYPTO, TORCHERS, BLUES ATTITUDES and The MIKE HAMILTON BAND. He has engineered and produced many mid-Atlantic regional acts. Mike has 6 CDs of original music and numerous live Videos to his credit. Mike is also producer on our 5th CD titled "Speak No Evil"
In 2020, like so many other things affected, Covid-19 changed the music scene. We hope everyone is staying safe and that we will return to some degree of "normalcy" soon. During this time, however, we were honored to welcome vocalist Robyn Bingham into the band. What a performer and consummate pro she is! (see her bio on the Home page) Robyn brings professionalism, great work ethic and an Incredible Voice to the band. We are so honored to have her aboard. Robyn will be recording our 5th CD with us, and we are confident this will be our best work yet.
November 2020 brought the addition of Stephen Hancock to the band as our new male lead vocalist. Steve brings his professionalism and talents to us just in time to complete a couple tracks on our new and upcoming CD "Speak No Evil". While Steve joined the project late in the process, his contributions have been nothing short of amazing, especially on a new track titled " Last Stand". Please check out Steve's bio on our Home page.