Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm in a new band!

I recently did some recording with Adrian Emberley as part of her Revolving Band and I think I passed the audition! She set up shop in a big barn and I played bass on about six of the twelve tracks she wrote and recorded for her new record. Those sessions were held over a three day period of intense but inspiring work with a great crew of musicians and a killer engineer/producer. All of whom are about half my age. (I was more cognizant of that fact than they were....) I haven't had this much fun recording in a long while. The energy, groove, and vibe were excellent and has resulted in a great CD I'd like you all to support. Click on the link below and check out this video of how Adrian is funding the project and kick in some dough!!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Recording with Adrian Emberley

Recording in the barn studio today with Adrian Emberley and her band. She's a great singer/songwriter/producer out of Boston and this will be a great album. (in the name of full disclosure, Adrian is my step-daughter) Everyone is playing real well and having a great time. There's a great vibe to the whole thing and I believe the finished record will be fabulous. I'll keep you all posted........................oh yeah, the bass player is just killin' it!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Meeting Mose Allison

I've always been a little too star-struck for my own good. If I meet someone whom we call a "celebrity", I tend to freeze up or feel so awkward I act like the klutz at the party who hasn't a clue how to socialize. This is especially true if those people are musicians.
Even though I know those who gain celebrity are after all, just people, some are simply more cool to meet than others. Here in New Orleans there are any number of notables, just read the local press. From international movie stars like Brad and Angelina to rock stars like Lenny Kravitz. And though I may get that awkward feeling if I met them, I doubt I'd take the time to write it down.
But I'm compelled to write about meeting and having an ever so brief conversation with the legendary pianist/singer/songwriter Mose Allison. (If you haven't heard of him, you've probably heard his songs so go look him up!) I saw his show last week at Snug Harbor. The show was a little weird in that the bass player was a.w.o.l. leaving him to play with just the drummer. I don't remember the drummer's name but it was clear they'd never played together making for a stiff performance transcended only by how cool the songs were. (That said, the drummer was an absolute monster and did an amazing job of comping the herky-jerky piano style of Mr. Allison)

The moment that inspired this posting came after his show as I left the balcony section. Snug Harbor is a small club with seats that overlook the main floor and stage. Before leaving I noticed that he had walked up stairs and disappeared somewhere. Just as I began my descent on the old stairway -- there he was following behind. And out of nowhere I observed myself extending my hand to shake his and utter a few words of appreciation and some small talk about getting through the show with no one on bass. He was gracious and self-effacing with that knowing intelligence of someone who has seen it all. There was no time for awkwardness, just the feeling that I was meeting and talking to one of the great artists of American music. This was so was flat-out COOL!.................that's why I had to write a few words........

Next post will be a salutation to New Orleans........

Friday, May 14, 2010

From the land of the Second Line

Hey Everybody,
Made it out of Paradise somewhat intact. Key West was fun and I'd like to thank the folks at Willie T's: Maureen, Vlad, Sharkey, et. al., for making me feel welcome. It's a great place to play and watch the entire Duval Street scene unfold. You can't miss this open air bar and restaurant if you're strolling down Duval. It's the one with all the dollar bills stapled to every available space. I'm biased but I think it's one of the cooler places to hang on the strip. Thank you all!
I had the luxury of time to work on writing new songs. I came up with a disparate collection of styles and grooves that have me excited to get them finished. And that's the rub........gotta get them finished! I'll keep you posted.

But onward we go.........

Now it's the French Quarter outside my door every morning. I'll be here in New Orleans until the end of the month when a trip back home to Maine is in order. NOLA is the only place you can see a French accordion trio, a steel guitar and theramin duo, a swing band, and a blues-funk band just a few doors down from each other. That's on Frenchman St. in the Marigny part of the Quarter. I was overwhelmed with the breadth of music available in such a small area. And that's just one block in all of New Orleans! The accordion trio was playing at a sushi joint called Yuki. They've got a huge selection of Sake and show old Japanese films high above on the interior brick wall. La Vie En Rose and Tokyo Story (English subtitles) all at the same time!

The oil that still bleeds into the Gulf is on everyone's mind. I'm an outsider here but things seem to be "normal" as far as businesses/restaurants etc., but 'til when? Nobody knows.... The life and rhythm of New Orleans, as with the entire Gulf Coast is intertwined with the future of the wetlands. It's sad how people are once again looking over their shoulders at another imminent disaster. One without the fury of August 29th '05, but a possible aftermath of similar proportion. There will be a huge concert to benefit fishermen and wetlands restoration this Sunday May 16th. Lenny Kravitz, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, and other notables will be playing at Mardi Gras World on the river right next to the New Orleans Convention Center. If you're in town, GO!

Sorry to end on a somber note. Time for oysters and beer..........

Thanks for reading........PB

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Greetings all,
Still in Key West and feeling grateful to be spending the winter in a much warmer place. I'm not working as much as I had hoped but some more things may shake out in the coming weeks. Anyone looking for some cool music for whatever, let me know! I'll be here until the end of May.
I'm happy to say much of my time is spent working on new music. I'm writing in different styles and also re-writing older songs that seem to need a kick in the ass. I'm also learning some new covers which is always a bunch of fun.
Adrian Emberley my colleague in our duo Diva and The King was down here on her way back from her west coast tour. We started collaborating on some new tunes that are gonna be great! We plan on writing and recording an EP in the coming year.
Another collaborative effort is a song I submitted to It's a little tune called Saturday Girl and I got amazing work from Jodie Curtis, Bill Benoit, Rick Watson, and Jamie Decato. Jodie's son Jack, 13 years of age, was tapped to do the vocal (it's written as a "tween" pop song) and he did a fantastic job! Send out some good vibes for the song to be selected for licensing.
Working with other writers and musicians always gets the muse back in touch. Taking the time to create and sharing that experience with others makes all of us younger.......I'm not kidding!

And lastly, for some visual proof of me gigging down here check out the photo of me at Willie T's, (I'll be there Mondays 1-4pm through April) a hopping joint on Duval Street. It was taken by Randy Smith. He's a professional photographer who was just tooling around taking pictures and we chatted a bit and he sent me this. Check him out at he's really good.

Be well........

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

MADE IT TO KEY WEST! I left only a week ago but it feels more like a month having muscled thru three days of driving with a full load that included two cats. I landed in a beautiful house in the Old Town section of the island in a neighborhood full of sounds, smells, faces, and foliage very different from those in Maine. Still getting the living space together but those pieces will soon be all put together. It's oddly cold here and it seems my much vaunted thick New England blood has already thinned! But the sun still shines and I have no snow to deal with like so many in the northeast. Of that I'm truly greatful.
As far as playing music it seems there are endless places to find gigs. Tomorrow I'll follow up on some of the leads my good friend Jodie Curtis scouted out and will do some pavement pounding. I'll post any dates that come my way.............................All the best.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quick note: I'll be playing tomorrow night (thurs. Jan. 14th) with Jamie Decato on drums at the Dolphin Striker in Portsmouth, NH.
Jamie and I plan on doing some duo gigs in Key West and thought it would be a good idea to actually play together for the first time in years! We were the rhythm section in the ultra-funky band Tongue and Groove out of the Seacoast area during the mid-90's. I'll be dusting off some old R&B and other tunes I haven't played in a while so it'll all be ragged but right!