Being stuck in isolation with all my gear, I knew it was a matter of time before I'd be involved an "isolation" band video where we all "phone" our performances in individually. There sure are a lot of them popping up these days! This one is rather special and I feel lucky to be involved. My bandmate from AWB, lead singer Brent Carter (also ex-TOP lead singer) put this together with AWB's tenor player Fred "Freddy V" Vigdor. Before long, many more musicians got involved. In addition, a PR firm signed on to do publicity, and the video is now being premiered exclusively on soultracks.com and available for sale with all proceeds going to the Save The Children global COVID-19 Appeal (you don't have to pay to watch it).
[edit - the donation link takes you to where you can download the audio file in any of a few different formats.]
The band consists of some of us AWB members, along with several of the players from Hall & Oates, Tower Of Power, plus a few more. I was skeptical about how things would sound with eight drummers playing – even if it's not all at the same time! I think the video editor did a great job considering he or she had to put together a very wide range of source material. I hope you guys like it! I really love Roger Smith's contribution, not only with his solo, but the funky Hammond comping that he came up with. And check out the drummer I get to play my little 8-bar solo "feature" with!
Thanks guys, really appreciate the kind words. This was a long time coming – my track was finished on April 24! It just grew in scope. And grew... and grew!
Joe, Brent has been with AWB since before I joined almost seven years ago. He sang with TOP from 1994 to 2001. Yes, time does fly!
Both guitarists Dave Spinozza and Jeff Tamelier have subbed for Onnie with AWB since I've been in the band. Spinnoza is the famous NY studio and jingle guy that's played and/or recorded with pretty much everyone – including 3/4 of the Beatles, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Aretha, etc. It was quite a trip having him around for those gigs – the stories he had to tell of the "old days" were, er, very entertaining to say the least!
AWB has played exactly one gig in 2020: January 16 at the Tucson Jazz Festival. It's not looking good for the rest of the year, unfortunately. We did have a few double-bills with TOP that have been rescheduled so hopefully we'll be together again. I'm afraid those may be the last times – if they happen at all – since TOP has moved to a new booking agency. We've done many shows with them while I've been with the band, and I'll be sorry when that ends – if it hasn't already ended.
Everybody please stay safe and I hope people understand that flattening that curve (again) is a prerequisite to us doing ANY more gigs. The two AWB originals still in the band are in their 70s, and I wouldn't expect them to be getting on planes, riding in vans & staying in hotels until the situation is much safer than it is now. Hell I'm in that riskier age group myself and so is most of our audience! Right now it seems like those young kids that are rushing to go out to bars & the beach are gonna keep us oldsters home (and earning zero income) for longer than we might need to be. I'll end my little rant now, with the hope that someday I'll see some of you guys in the flesh!
Hey Rob, late to the party today but now that my jaw is reconnected, I just have to thank you all for that uplifting vibe. Means more than I can tell you at the moment. “If I ever lose this heaven, if I ever, ever I lose this heaven, I’ll never be the same.”
Rod With the lights out, it’s less dangerous; go ahead now, entertain us, I feel stupid and contagious; go ahead now, entertain us.
I also shared the clip with a drummer friend of mine. He's been doing Friday morning online drum hangs through the pandemic with a variety of drummers, working his way up the food chain to this Friday's guest, clearly the biggest so far... David Garibaldi. Although he's already got plenty of questions to ask, I think he'll be mentioning this clip. Hard not to.
Eric Website Rhodes Mk 1 Stage 73; Kurzweil SP-6; Roland FP-4, Juno-106; Nord Stage 3C; Studiologic Sledge; DSI Mopho KB; Moog Minitaur; Stuff
Wow, thanks guys. Yea, too bad they couldn't find any decent drummers, right?
I was thinking how there are local gigs starting up where some of us play outdoors, or solo, or far enough apart from others to be within social distancing guidelines – but there are zero gigs for guys like me and most of the folks in that video, who go on the road. Those gigs are not happening yet – and nobody seems to know when they might start up. Broadway theatres just announced they'll stay closed until 2021. I have a lot of friends that do shows and they're gonna have it very rough now, with unemployment running out soon.
It goes to show you that in spite of all this, musicians still want to play and share their craft with the world. I'm glad we have the tech to do it – but I'm definitely looking forward to the day I'm on a stage looking out an an audience! That seems far away right now. Good luck to us all – and stay tuned for more videos!!
Sam, I'm still pinching myself that these drummers are all on this one video! Of course Ferrone was with AWB during its heyday, Brian Dunne was also in AWB before he went with Hall & Oates, and Rocky is the current drummer. I did some gigs with Poogie years ago backing a smooth r&b singer named Lillo Thomas, and Poogie subbed on an AWB gig when Rocky needed to be at his son's high school graduation. I was lucky being in the New York area most of my life where I got to be involved with a lot of these musicians – it's actually kind of a small world. I believe the singers are all friends of Brent's that he goes back with to the High School of Music and Performing Arts (remember the movie "Fame"?).