Tag Archives: Meah Pace

My friend Eric Biondo made a masterpiece of recorded music

16 May

Listening to the new Beyondo LP is a great way for me to start this day.  Beyondo is Eric Biondo’s band.  I first met Eric Biondo when he started playing trumpet with Antibalas about 10 years ago.  We played together sometimes in a section, in particular with TV on the Radio, and of course he’s sat in with Rev. Vince Anderson.  He’s a great trumpeter, but when I finally saw a live show by his band Beyondo my mind was blown by his songwriting and arranging; then I got his EP The Gambler which is awesome and thrilled at his song a day songwriting challenge.  I’ve known he’s been working on this album for a while and felt happy for him when he announced it was finally finished and available on his bandcamp page.  But now that I listened to it I feel happy for myself, not only to have discovered a new record to listen to in the summer of 2012, but also to know so many amazing musicians who are a part of this recording … there’s plenty of horn-chic action throughout this record laid down by Stuart Bogie, Alex Hamlin, Miwi La Lupa, John Altieri and Aaron Rockers; there’s also a dazzling array of vocalists and other guest musicians including Meah Pace, Jared Samuel and Luke O’Malley.

Listening to a masterpiece of recorded music featuring performances by some of my friends is a kind of moving experience in itself, but I want to also mention that Siren Science is dedicated to Davy Jones.  Eric Biondo played trumpet and cornet with Davy Jones of The Monkees for 12 years.  I was always intrigued that he had this gig — I loved The Monkees when I was little and thought Eric’s 21st century involvement was a perfect match for his personality.  (Have you seen Head?)  For years I told him I wanted to come and see him play with Davy Jones and finally in February he was able to bring me to a show at BB Kings.  I really loved the show and got a groovy kind of thrill hearing Eric play on songs from my childhood like Daydream Believer, Last Train To Clarksville and Hey Hey We’re The Monkees ….. after the show I met Davy and knew that he and Eric were soul mates who’d found each other.  I think the dedication makes this perfectly awesome album even more completely perfect.  I hope people all over the world will hear it.

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Michael Kammers presents The Claustrophobic Noise EP

25 Sep

I first met Michael Kammers on a Mackie Riverside & The StreetPushers gig, which is fun because we play 60s & 70s STAX covers. I immediately liked him and lo & behold he turned out to be a wailing tenor sax player and a GREAT team player. I was always happy to section up with him, even on wedding gigs where we had to learn Seawind Horns lines on MJ covers etc. Next I found out he also shreds on Farfisa which strikes a chord with me because we had one in my house when I was a kid and I used to play with it a lot. So when he invited me, I was more than happy to walk around the corner and lay down bari tracks on a couple of his original compositions which were crazy psychedelic prog with a sense of humor jams. He was recording The Claustrophobic Noise EP in his bedroom with most of his studio set up under a loft bed, this being one of the reasons for the name, the other being a nod to a rehearsal studio from his early youth in Syracuse. Anyway, as life tends to unfold in New York we’ve now played many gigs together and I always love playing with this guy whether he’s on sax or keys — doesn’t matter, he’s an all round great musician. I urge anyone who reads this to check out this EP and keep your ears open for more groovy sounds from Michael Kammers because he’s full of them — you’ll find his MK Groove Orchestra (14 piece big band playing all his original compositions) playing regularly in Brooklyn, the trio version of that group popping up all over the tri-state area and you’ll hear him being an asset to lots of other bands too including some I play in — Rev. Vince Anderson & The Love Choir, Meah Pace, Zoe Sundra and Burnt Sugar to name a few.