We are the music makers! Some of us just do so a little more loudly than others, right? Yes, that would be me singing while I mow the lawn... Sorry neighbors!! 🙉
There are so many ways to make music, and I have been so very lucky to do so with the very best talent in the state. I started my solo career in 2010, and have had so many amazing people beside me on stage. I was very green at the beginning, and I still feel like a neophyte compared to the giants I work with. Man these guys have been generous and patient! The collaboration and "cross contamination" between live bands is fantastic, and quickly pulled me into the world of having a "troupe" rather than a "group" because of all of the myriad commitments that my players had. It has been a chess game making sure all of my gigs have the correct instrumentation, and I have lists of which musicians know which songs, which songs are more appropriate when I have piano or guitar or horns or other... Remember "Limited Edition?" Well each gig has beens exactly that! A spontaneous creation in motion and time. Music makers and dreamers of dreams!
Let me thank my current band, with whom I have been playing for the best of the last few years: Mick Maloney, Scott Dercks, and James LeFevre. Guitarist Scott is the most recent addition, and is a shining star with his licks and his cool synth-like processing that brings a special flavor to each song. Drummer James is the same way- he has been with me since filling in on a New Year's Eve gig in 2014. He can take the place of eight drummers. I play such a variety of genre and grooves, and most are embellished if not inspired by James! And bassist Mr. Mickbass Maloney. WOW. That man has been playing to my left since 2011. I mean this- I would be nowhere without Mick. He has been there through highs and lows, poking and prodding me to keep me going! And what a great writer he is! And a backbone- his assured playing allows the others to come in and play with confidence, and for me to sing no matter what else is going on. Hey, it's "all about the bass."
Here is an "all-star list" of others who have played live with me, preceding my current lineup. I know there will be a time we will make music together again- jazz, pop, classic rock, even classical! Check these guys out and you will find music being made by them all over the place!
- Keys: Greg Pagel (2012-17), Jordan Christiansen (2016-17), Dan Heinz (2011-2012), John Contratto (2010-11)
- Guitar: Bob Balsley (2012-17), Aaron Zepplin (2017-18), Andy Pagel (2015-16), Jim Bayard (2011-12), George Sawyn (2010-11)
- Drums/percussion: Frank Neigel (2018), Amri LePrince (2017-18), Mike Malone (2017), Terri Iatonni (2012-16), Kurt Risch (2013-14), Kevin Crocker(2012-15), Dave Lintz (2011-12)
- Bass:.... crickets! I have only had one bass player!
- Horns: so much variation, and I am so excited every time they play in! Bill Hill, Chris Felts, Ken Skitch, Jack Naus, Andy Pagel, Brad Terrell...
- VOCAL BACKUP!!: It is a blast when I am able to have her join me when the budget and her schedule allows- my bestie Suzan Sherman who has sung my crazy harmonies better than I can since 2014!
As I said in my last email, I am wrapping up live band performance for a while, so I would especially love for you to come join us at one of our last gigs! We only have two more!
Wednesday, August 8 6-7:30 pm: Green Bay Botanical Garden (Scott, Mick & me)
Friday, August 24 8-10 pm: La Vie Boheme in De Pere, WI (Scott, Mick, James, fingers crossed Suzan & me!)
I am going to miss these guys, and the energy and the fun! As I said, we will play together again!