Archive for February, 2010

SAVE ON THERAPY: SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC

February 21, 2010

This is my music blog. The world needs another music blogger like it needs another guy in a bar strumming Margaritaville.

But some time ago my friend Audrey suggested that I start a blog. She’s a former colleague, and a huge music fan, and someone who handles PR for some pretty talented, up-and coming music acts. She added a caveat…since she gave me the idea, she said I had to write about a band she works with. She sent me their music and everything. So Audrey, yes I will blog about the band you suggested.

I just need to give this thing a proper beginning. So my first entry is about the musicians I have gotten to know in the past three years I’ve been living in New York. These are people who not only play several nights of the week for little money, but also have munificence enough to let other people — anyone who wants to play, regardless of talent, musical style, or even attitude — jam with them.

I start with Curtis Winchester. I was walking down Mamaroneck Avenue in December of 2006, on a cold overcast night, somewhat lonesome and missing my fiancée, exhausted from two weeks in a new job, wondering about my decision to move to White Plains New York…when I heard music coming out of a bar. I stopped.

Standing outside was a guy taking a smoke break. Unlike most New Yorkers, he didn’t avoid eye contact. Instead, he smiled.

Curtis told me what was happening was a regular jam he had been hosting for several months. He explained that he led the house band to start the session, then he called up other musicians to lead their own songs.

Psychologists say that moving, marriage, job change and parenthood are four of the most stressful life changes you can go through. I went through them all in a year and a half.

Going to those Wednesday jams at the Lazy Lounge hosted by Curtis helped get me through what could have been a tough time. I had the opportunity to walk into a situation, without hauling in gear or negotiating with bar owners, and I got to play music. There’s no deadline or work frustration that can’t be forgotten with help from Muddy Waters, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, and the talent of capable and enthusiastic musicians who do them justice.

Those musicians include the Grammy-nominated Gil Parris. He is a storyteller with a guitar. His playing is transcendent. He sets the theme, then builds on it, then works it into some kind of sonic exhilaration that takes anyone within earshot to a better place. People spend thousands of dollars on shrinks and medications to get the same therapeutic lift that Gil’s guitar playing provides for free.

And the man’s ego is as understated as his talent is immense. Anyone with half a brain who has a chance to jam with this guy will tell their grandchildren about it some day.

If you talked to frequent bass player Kip Sophos on the street he probably wouldn’t tell you he was a musician. But Kip is a master of “playing in the pocket,” or connecting symbiotically with the drummer’s kick drum to lay down astonishing grooves. There’s a sort of telepathy that happens between bass players and drummers when this happens. Players like Kip both hold down the rhythm and add melody that gets the crowd on the dance floor. And oh yeah he cuts down trees and turns them into bass guitars.

Frequent house drummers Rudy Feinauer, Joe Piteo and Dan Carillo provide the other half of the “pocket.” Rudy’s unflappable rock groove is evocative of Max Weinberg – which is why the man plays in a successful Springsteen Tribute Band. Joe from what I understand only in recent years became a drummer, but you’d never know it…he hits with such confidence and creativity that the band could turn off and people could just listen to him all night. And finally, what I appreciate about Dan “a.k.a. Chopper” Carillo is how the man works as both a drummer and as a musician…he “drives the bus” with a rock-solid backbeat but also sprinkles in killer syncopations delivered with total personality. This sounds a little gay my friend but of all the drummers I’ve played with you are the most fun to watch.

Last but not least… Curtis Winchester is the leader of these Wednesday sessions and provided my introduction to an incredible scene of musicians I would have never found. The man was born to sing, channeling the greatest singers in music — from Marvin Gaye to Stevie Ray to Ray Charles — and making it look easy. His exuberance and talent could be used to broker peace agreements in war-torn countries. Keep doing what you do Curtis my man because it keeps everyone sane. I thank you ten million times.

And thanks to everyone out there who’s hauling their stuff out to play music every week to bring positive energy to other people…graciously giving their time, talent and equipment without expecting anything in return. This is a small attempt to remedy the fact you are woefully underappreciated.

FREE JAMS HAPPENING IN WESTCHESTER ALMOST EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK…GET OUT AND SUPPORT!

(For more complete listings of ALL music in the area visit the Blonde Thunder Music Promotion Facebook page. Jaynie I have stolen your listings shamelessly…but I think that’s the point of viral marketing right?)

SUNDAY NIGHT MARCH 7 2010

Sunday Sessions at Elements WEEKLY

Hosted by Dan Carillo (full disclosure yours truly is leading this week)

$3 draft beers all night

NO COVER

Rock, blues, jazz…dang pretty much any style is fine with these cats…

Elements bar and restaurant

161 Mamaroneck Ave White Plains NY 10601
914 358 4930

http://www.facebook.com/pages/THE-SUNDAY-NITE-JAM-SESSIONS/275451623486?ref=ts

http://www.elementswhiteplains.com

MONDAY MARCH 8, 2010

Lucy’s Acoustic Open Mic

@Lucy’s

Date:

Monday Mar 8, 2010  WEEKLY

Time:

9:30-12:30

Location:

corner of Bedford and Wheeler

Pleasantville, NY 10570

914-747-4740

NO COVER

http://www.lucys-lounge.com/

Eclectic, acoustic mic night, originals encouraged, but covers are welcome.

All styles are welcome too. Its a great jam with great people and a great attitude. No egos necessary, so leave yours at home. EVERY MONDAY NIGHT 


TUESDAY Mar 9, 2010

Will Van Sise and Friends  Soul/Funk/R&B/ Open Jam

WEEKLY

Time:

9:00pm

Location:

446 Bedford Road

Pleasantville, NY 10570

PHONE: 914 747-4740

Host: Will Van Sise Lucy’s Lounge aka

Jam Central Station

Serving up your healthy nightly dose of supreme JAM- WVS and “The Peoples

Jam”- Soul, R&B and Funk Jam/Revue.  Hosted by Will Van Sise & The Wolf

Pack (Will Van Sise- Guitar/Vocals,Gary Schwartz- Drums, Anthony Candullo- Bass). Be a part of “The Scene” come hang with W.V.S and the Boys at Jam

Central Station…. Murph will be behind the bar serving up the Soul Spirits!

_____________________________

Blues, Rhythm and Soul Jam with

Curtis Winchester and Gil Parris

Lazy Lounge

Date:

Wednesday March 10, 2010

Time:                    WEEKLY

9:00pm

Location:

152 Mamaroneck Avenue

City/Town:

White Plains, NY

Friday on Wednesdays! – 2 for 1 Coors

Light all night!

THURSDAY NITE JAM

HOSTED BY JOE PITEO

@The Post

Date:

Thursday March 4, 2010

Time:

8:30-11-30

Location:

599 E BOSTON POST RD

Mamaroneck, NY

835-7746

This is a new Jam sure to be filled with new faces new grooves and many old friends. Joe Piteo is one of Westchester’s most talented local drummers, playing with bands like;The Gil Parris Band and Nicole Hart from NRG.

The house band is:

Marc Shulman- Guitar, Anthony Candullo- Bass & Joe Piteo- Drums.

Special guests: Dave Pressel, Jimm Hickey & Johnny Feds!

Full backline (Drums, amps, keys, PA)

NO COVER!

9pm-12:30am

THANKS FOR SUPPORTING LOCAL MUSIC