HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Ah… 2012 is gone. Welcome 2013. And jury duty. Ouch. I am not opposed to participating in our system of law and government; I mean, it is one of the fundamental things that makes our government work. Exercising our right to have a single voice in the process guarantees (or at least is supposed to guarantee) the fairness and impartiality of the judicial and governmental processes. I just wish they had “night court” for musicians. This getting up at 7AM stuff is just downright painful! Guilty I say, they’re ALL guilty…!
It’s been an amazingly fun and engaging year. Joining Southside Johnny and the Jukes has been just a great adventure and rewarding beyond my expectations. Beyond getting to make music with an extremely talented group of musicians who I now call friends, it’s been a real education to work with John. I knew I would enjoy the gig. And behold, it turned out to be a pretty damn good fit to my – and a few other’s – surprise. But what has amazed me most is how much I’ve learned from watching and listening to South and participating in his process. He’s old school. In the best kind of way. Work hard, play hard, always reach for the something new you haven’t found yet. He never sits still, never gives the same show twice, and he’s never satisfied unless he feels he’s taken himself, and by extension, the band and the audience to someplace new. It’s a damn infectious way of living as a musician. And after watching and listening from the outside for many many years, I now finally understand the SSJ mystique and the fierce loyalty his fans and the band have for him. Thanks John, for letting me behind the curtain. It’s as magical back there as it seems out front, only more so.
One of the byproducts of the Jukes has been the mutual discovery that guitarist Glenn Alexander and I really love to make music together. Our new project, Humblebrag, is a result of the melding of our dysfunctions and deciding to put them on public display. Along with drummer Adam Jackson and Hammond B3 player Ron Oswanski, Humblebrag is an organ quartet that plays classic soul jazz, with the occasional standard or original thrown in. We’re playing the music of Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, Ray Charles, Maceo Parker, Charles Earland et. al., and give our audience music that grooves, swings and just plain feels good. You can find Humblebrag on Facebook and YouTube. The official Humblebrag website is launching soon, but in the meantime you can sign up for the band’s newsletter and announcements here.THIS CHRISTMAS
My Christmas single, “This Christmas” was released in early December and all money from the sale of the single is being evenly divided and donated to City Harvest in NYC and the Food Bank of New Jersey. I’m happy to say that this money will go a long way toward feeding a lot of hungry people this year. THANK YOU to all of you who donated to this cause!THE FUTURE
2013 promises to be an adventurous and fun year. SSJ is busier than ever. Alongside our usual slew of local and US shows, we’ll be traveling back to Europe in the spring, touring Holland, Scandinavia, the British Isles and Italy. My longtime working partner Chris Anderson and I have been hard at work on a new project which I can’t reveal just yet but which promises to be fun, funky and cool. More on that to come, soon! We also continue writing and recoding music for film, tv and other uses as and are busy filling our catalog with new music.
Even though 2012 saw my electronics and EWI work take a back seat to my saxophone playing, I am still heavily involved in music technology and production. I will be giving another EWI masterclass in the coming weeks, dealing with sound design for wind synthesis. My last workshop at Tekserve in September was very well received and thanks to demand, there will be more. More videos and teaching materials are in production for ewilogic.com and I am looking for ideas for more. Send me an email with your ideas!FINAL THOUGHTS
As much as there is lots to kvetch about from 2012 – the state of our economy, the number of unemployed, war, pestilence, and the ravaging of our area by a little storm called Sandy – I am hopeful that 2013 will see the beginning of a new period of prosperity and growth. Especially for the artist and entertainment communities which have been especially hard hit by the economic recession. I’ve been VERY fortunate this past year to have had a great gig, which I am thankful for each and every day. Thank YOU for your support in the past year!
May you all have a healthy and prosperous 2013. HAPPY NEW YEAR!Hope to see any and all of you at these upcoming shows: