Tell us about yourself and your music
I was lucky enough growing up to have a sister 4 years older than I, and pretty much absorbed her record collection…great stuff: Everly Brothers, Kingston Trio, Tom Rush, then later Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. From my father’s records I got Harry Belafonte and Julie London, so all that’s a pretty good starting place, I found a cheap guitar my father bought and never used in a closet, and my sister showed me a few chords. She also had a friend who recently had returned from a trip to England and had brought a few records from this exciting new band…the Beatles! As we all know they changed everything and everybody, and soon enough, my friends and I were putting bands together…that has never stopped!
Talk to us more about your latest release
As we all know the music scene has changed forever over the last few years, and not always for the better. Streaming has taken away the main source of revenue for all working musicians, and record label A&R departments have disappeared. This has left a big void in the music world for the sort of music I enjoy, so I felt compelled to try and fill that emptiness with my own music. MY CD was recorded in 4 quick visits to a Bach to Rock Music School where my friend and bass player Mike Leslie worked. He sneaked me in after-hours and along with drummer Roger Murdock we would learn three songs a night and then record the basic tracks. I’ll tell you, Rog and Mike did an incredible job…I’m so proud of the job they did. That the way I like to work…one or two takes, live and funky!
What inspired you to write this release?
The combination of the COVID virus shutdown, no record A&R departments, and the high cost of running a band in the pay-for-play NYC club scene lead me to search out anything I can do to promote myself.
Describe the writing and recording process
I hate writing songs…My taste is very good and I know what good lyrics are; Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Leonard Cohen…you know… you see, all I want to do is play guitar real loud in a band, but who’s going to hire a mediocre guitarist in their band? Because I’m not that good a guitarist, I had to force myself to write, sing and front a band in order to actually play…
I have been an engineer/producer all my life…from my teens to the present ..I’m now 69 years old! I worked for Mercury Records for a couple of years then moved on as a private engineer/producer at CI Recording in Manhattan. I recorded people as diverse and Dave Brubeck and the Misfits.
After recording the basic tracks with Mike and Rog, I bought some ProTools and did all the guitars and vocals here in my apartment, as well as mixing and mastering…
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
Well…you know…we had Gigs booked at Arlene’s Grocery, but that’s all disappeared…
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I’m trying to recreate the music and bands I loved growing up…they get loud, they get quiet…they sing about cars and girls, they sing about death. They made mistakes, but they enjoyed what they were doing…
Who have you been listening to lately?
The Who, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Tommy Emmanuel, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Ben Verdery, John Hammond, a lot of classical…Been watching Hee Haw…lot’s of great stuff in that show! Roy Clark!Wow!
Who are your biggest influences?
The Who, Larry Estridge, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Dylan, Brahms, the Beatles, AC/DC, Joe Walsh
Tell us about your passions
I’m a little too old and cynical to be passionate about anything these days
What else is happening next in your world?
I’m President of my Neighborhood Association with a membership of over 600, and I am a member of Community Board 5, so I spend about 25–30 hours a week doing public service. I’m having a lot of trouble paying bills, so I’m going to have to look for work somewhere…got any ideas?
Thanks for an awesome interview, Dave Achelis and 8 Ace