New BBQ All Stars CD is available now! With guest appearances from Ace Frehely (KISS, Frehely's Comet), John Regan (Peter Frampton, Rolling Stones, Stills,) Rob Sabino (Chic, Madonna, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, etc), Clifford Carter (James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Roseanne Cash, etc.), John Platania (Van Morrison, Chip Taylor), and Matt Rae (Levon Helm).
The heart of the All Stars is the rhythm section who been recording and performing with me since 2005. Drummer Andrew Caturano has been with Leslie West, Phoebe Snow,Patti Smyth and Scandal, Lou Grahm,Felix Cavilerie,Colin Hays,and Jon Bon Jovi, among others. Tony Mercadante has been recording and performing with legendary songwriter, Chip Taylor ("Wild Thing"), for decades. Both were key members of Howard Stern's band in the 80's. As a recording engineer, I met and recorded their Street Kid band in 1981 with Rob Sabino producing. Together we have recorded over 30 tracks including my entire "Memorial Day" CD.
The Back Story:
I fell in love with real southern barbeque when I worked on Amtrak in 1975. Growing up basically a Yankee (my home town of Port Chester, NY is right on the border of Connecticut) it took a train into the deep south to bring me face-to-face with true backwoods BBQ. I was the "entertainer" on Train 81, the Silver Star, NY to Miami, but I got off upstate so I could catch the train back north as I needed to play every night in the bar car. Sebring, Deland, and Okeechobee were the towns where I could get an awesome meal (and cheaply, for a young musician). So the wood-fired pit BBQ joints were my choice. What I remember the most was the small "mop" for the sauce. Never saw that in NY.
Fast forward to 2010, when I offered to take my girlfriend to a new roadside BBQ place up here in Putnam County, NY, she actually thought we were going for hamburgers and hot dogs. Boy, was she amazed at the pulled pork and BBQ brisket that we were served. She talked about it all night...while I had a guitar in my hands.
The next morning I put the finishing touches on the song and was in the studio not long after. My buddies and rhythm section, Tony Mercadante (bass) and Andrew Caturano (drums), did a great job on the recording and we had ourselves a hit in waiting. But these days, you can't do much with just the song's audio. You need images.
So I went on a tour of the South and mid-West to find them: Memphis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mississippi, Alabama and North Carolina. I found some of the "shrines" of BBQ - Charlie Vergos' Ribs, Arthur Bryant's, Leonard's, Big Bob Gibson's. And I also discovered a new phenomenon, the BBQ and Music Festival! Check here to find one near you...and watch this site as we will be bringing our BBQ All Stars on the road this summer to a festival in your town.