"Walk Away" from the album EXILE ON MAINE STREET
This album is about leaving the Asbury Park music scene and moving up to Eastport, Maine. Though I am extremely happy about my new home, I leave the Jersey Shore with a heavy heart and to some degree it does feel like an exile, thus the parody title of the Rolling Stone's classic. This is only meant in jest with no disrespect intended towards to the Rolling Stones. Afterall, 12 x 5 changed my life..
Thanks to the excellent efforts of Jack "Hinge" Pitzer, this recording of the New Age Blues Experience live at The Saint in Asbury Park on June 14th, 2012 came out really well. It was a bittersweet, but enchanting evening for me - my last show at the Jersey Shore.. After over a quarter century of coming in and out of style, this farewell show was extremely emotional for me. Over the past 5 years I've performed over 200 times at events ranging from open mics to sizable festivals and everything in between. I've been lucky and have enjoyed and endured many amazing experiences as a stage musician and a recording artist, and this latest chapter was perhaps my most fertile, authentic, and personally satisfying to date..
I had come home to NJ after a remarkable few years in California. I had left Asbury Park in the fall of 2000 playing the Moon Rock on Thursday nights with Brian Saint and the Sinners. Three years later I came home with a manufacturing and distribution deal with Universal Music Group and huge plans to start a home grown Asbury Park based label. It had taken me nearly twenty years to climb up the ranks of the music business in order to earn this opportunity. Unfortunately, simultaneously as I was trying to lay my claim, the music business as I once knew it was falling apart at the seams. P2P file sharing of mp3s was making CDs obsolete and it became increasingly difficult to make any profit selling traditional media or downloads. You really can't compete with free, you can only hope to inspire patronage. It kind of broke my heart, because I have always been blown away by the abundance of talent in and around the Jersey Shore and I had a fierce desire to make AERIA Records work and be a good thing for all involved. So myself and my partner Steve Dundas stubbornly persisted trying to make things happen and built up a small catalog of some incredible releases by local artists such as Brian Amsterdam, St. Christopher, Agency, Juggling Suns, Rick Barry, James Dalton, Metamorphosis, Joe Harvard, Last Perfect Thing, Lost in Society and others. Despite profound enthusiasm from the local community, the venture failed - at least on a business level.
On a personal level, the immersion in all the great local music really inspired me to get back out there and make my own contributions on a creative level, and i did - in a big way. It also helped me lick my wounds after such a grand failure. It started in 2007 when I joined Geena and Dragster (thank you Ben Feld), then various incarnations of the New Age Blues Experience, various gigs and a live album with Lunar Ensemble, a stint with Mike Black, then Capt. James and the PAIN, another stint with Sheli Aarden, various jams and sit in sessions with Dub Proof, Wakah Chan, Joe Harvard's Long Weekend, etc. The result was such a rich musical life that is hard to let go of and a catalog of of over 20 releases.
I am proud of this particular live set and how the band played.
Manuela Brice - beautiful angel who's gentle voice balances out this gritty Jersey Devil
Alan Gowa - ranges from well honed classic riffs to avant guarde post modernism like a manic/depressive chameleon
Steven Lusardi - Orchid Lounge meets E Street, this SOAP(Sounds of Asbury Park) star makes East meet West
Joe Savio - solid as a rock, impeccable taste and timing
Kurt Thum - bad ass jazz cat, an old school soul with state of the art chops
Jay Walker - John Paul Jones meets Jaco Pastorious meets James Jamerson
Anyway, Eastport Maine is the next stop for this crazy train, where I'm hoping to help start an annual Eastport Music Festival. Maybe I'll even learn some Bill Chinnock covers and keep rocking out in between moments of inner solitude, reflection, and tranquility..
Thank you for listening!
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Bradley Beach, NJ