‘Reflections’ from Simon Fitzpatrick

Simon Fitzpatrick (Photo by Carla Huntington)
Simon Fitzpatrick (Photo by Carla Huntington)

By JAY KENNEY

Limelight Magazine recently caught up with bassist extraordinaire Simon Fitzpatrick of Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy. The band just completed an extensive world tour, including a show at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass., on May 5, 2013. Fitzpatrick, a graduate of the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, also released a solo CD called Reflections to coincide with the tour. On August 3rd, he’ll be performing again with Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ, as part of YES’s first ever festival called YESTIVAL – a day-into-night musical adventure in full quadraphonic sound. Please enjoy our interview.

Limelight Magazine (LM): You just finished an extensive world tour with Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy. How did the tour go overall?

Simon Fitzpatrick (SF): I thought the tour was a great success overall. It’s the longest tour the band has done to date, starting in Japan in February and ending in May in New York, and it was a real pleasure to perform all around the world.

LM: Were there any shows that stood out from the rest? Why?

SF: For me the two gigs we played on Cruise to the Edge were a real standout. It was an honour to perform in front of the greats of progressive rock like Yes, Steve Hackett and UK and also to have the chance to watch them perform. Sailing through the Caribbean for five days and making tropical island excursions to swim with dolphins was a plus too.

LM: This must have been asked many times but how did you get your current job as Carl Palmer’s bass player?

SF: Dave Marks, one of my former bass guitar tutors, is a previous member of the band. When former bassist Stuart Clayton left, Carl asked Dave for recommendations for a replacement and my name came out. Carl checked out some of my YouTube videos and the rest is history.

LM: According to your website, you also work with two London based acts: The Robbie Boyd Band and Elephant Gun.  Do you still work with them? Do you find it hard to bounce back and forth between all three bands?

It is difficult because there are inevitably going to be clashes. Fortunately, the other bands I work with are very flexible and able to use replacements when I’m not available. Being involved with different projects also gives me the chance to enjoy playing differing styles of music (in this case folk/pop and jazz/fusion) rather than being tied down to one genre.

LM: You graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Music as best overall bass player from both the diploma and the degree courses. When did you start playing the bass? What motivated you to play this instrument?

SF: After discovering metal as teenagers, my twin brother and I were inspired to learn the guitar, especially after watching bands like Megadeth, Fear Factory and Slipknot. We soon realised that to have a band, one of us was going to have to learn the bass and I was the one to really take to it and I haven’t looked back since. Sadly, I don’t think many people are drawn to the bass first but I think of it as my mission to change that!

LM: Who were your musical inspirations growing up? Who do you listen to now for inspiration?

SF: The music which I was first passionate about was the nu-metal wave from the early 2000’s. From there my tastes expanded to all forms of metal including the progressive form which took me to Dream Theater who were probably my biggest inspiration. I’d never heard anything like them before and it was a real eye opener about musical creativity, what could be achieved on a musical instrument and how far technical ability could be pushed. Very soon after I’d bought a six string bass and was absorbing as much as I could about what you could do with it. That feeling of being blown away after hearing some new music is harder to find these days but I listen to all kinds of music and try to be open to inspiration from anything. In terms of bass players my biggest influences have probably been Victor Wooten, Stu Hamm, Jaco Pastorius and John Myung. 

LM: You brought out the stick bass at the Howard Theatre in Washington D.C. Do you play the stick bass often? Did you use it on any other dates on the tour? 

SF: The Stick is a very new instrument to me and I am only starting to get to grips with it. Now that the tour is over I have some time to get properly acquainted with it and so hope to be able to use it more in the future. I used it on the last five or six gigs of the tour on our arrangement of “Carmina Burana.”

LM: You released a solo album called Reflections that coincided with the tour, containing many of your previous solo spots, some songs you haven’t performed live and some original pieces. How long did it take you to record the album? Why did you select the cover songs you did?

SF: Much of the album was recorded in the last couple of months before the tour started, although the content reflects my solo bass playing from the last couple of years. For my solo spots I try to select an epic piece (like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Stairway to Heaven”), which has enough content for me to be able to keep it interesting as an instrumental and which is well known enough for the majority of our audiences to be able to connect with it. Other pieces on the album are favourites of mine which I wanted to put my own spin on and some well known classical pieces which I felt could be brought out well on the bass.

LM: You received a standing ovation at the Narrows Center for the Arts for your cover of Yes’ “Roudabout.” How do you feel getting that type of response?

It really means a lot to me to get a reaction like that as it shows that all the hard work was worth it. One of my favourite things about playing in the US is how the crowds will really let you know how they feel – usually in a good way! British crowds are great too but they can be a little reserved and standing ovations are much less common.

LM: Are you possibly looking to follow up Reflections with another album?

SF: I’m constantly working on new solo arrangements, so when I feel I have enough material I’ll most likely put it together as a second album.

LM: Do you want to continue playing music as a career for the rest of your life or do you have other goals?

SF: Yes at the moment that is my intention but who knows what the future holds.

LM: Is there anything you’d like to add?

SF: It’s always a pleasure to visit the New England area so I look forward to returning to play some more music. Thanks!

(This story was taken from the summer 2013 issue of Limelight Magazine).

 

Orianthi shows what determination can do

Orianthi (Photo by Dave Stewart)
Orianthi (Photo by Dave Stewart)

By LEAH ASTORE

Twenty-eight year old guitar goddess and singer-songwriter Orianthi has played alongside some of the biggest guitar legends of our time from Steve Vai to Carlos Santana and has become an idol in her own right.

From her music to her message, Orianthi has shown what passion and determination can do.

At six-years-old Orianthi began playing music in her home of Adelaide, Australia, with a view to someday become a recording artist in the United States. She received her first guitar soon after and began learning songs by Vai, Santana, and Jimi Hendrix. By the time she was 15, Orianthi began her career as a professional guitarist and caught the attention of both of her idols, Vai and Santana.

“The hardest thing is just keeping at it and not giving up,” she said. “You can travel the world and do it for a living if you really work your butt off.”

After playing with Carrie Underwood at the Grammy Awards in 2009, she gained the attention of Michael Jackson for the King of Pop’s ill-fated “This Is It” tour. Yet, the fall of 2009, brought her biggest success when her debut single “According to You” off of her second solo album Believe received major air time in the United States and worldwide.

Now Orianthi is saying “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” as she tours the United States with Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson.

Since 2011, Orianthi has played guitar alongside Cooper while balancing her own solo career as a singer-songwriter. Performing to audiences of 5,000 to 6,000 people a night, Orianthi, Cooper, and Manson aim to shock and entertain and feed off of their audiences’ energy.

“Every night it’s like a big party on stage,” she said. “We’re just having a lot of fun out here.”

The shows incorporate shocking and dramatic props like guillotines and plenty of fake blood.

“Working with Alice is just so great because he is a really cool person apart from being an amazing performer,” Orianthi said. “I’ve learned a lot from being out on tour with him.”

Besides touring with Cooper, Orianthi has played sporadic solo concerts for her newest solo album Heaven in This Hell, which was released in March 2013. From August to October, she will perform solo shows for Heaven In This Hell before she rejoins Cooper on his tour. Next year, she said she plans to fit in a series of international shows in Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

For Heaven In This Hell Orianthi went to Nashville to record with musician, songwriter, and producer Dave Stewart who was formerly part of the disbanded Eurythmics. After meeting him at a show two years ago and “jamming out” with him, she knew she wanted to mirror the same vibe of Stewart’s albums in her music. The collaboration, she said, happened really naturally.

Unlike her other albums, Heaven In This Hell is more hard rock oriented while combining riff-heavy songs with country and blues. Her song “Filthy Blues” and the title track “Heaven In This Hell” are a perfect example of this. Yet other tracks like “If You Were Here With Me” convey softness amidst the albums’ grittier overtones.

“It’s the kind of music I want to put out there,” Orianthi said of Heaven In This Hell. “It’s a record I’m really proud of.”

At this stage in her career, Orianthi has much to be proud of, as she has proved herself as a multi-faceted artist playing alongside musicians of several different genres from country to pop to hard rock. Next, she would like to expand her musical repertoire even further by combining heavy guitar with more electronic based musicians.

“I really like Lady Gaga’s voice. I think it would be really cool to do something with her or Usher and do something really different than what I’ve done before,” she said.

Amidst her worldwide success as a recording artist, Orianthi stays true to her message and hopes to continue to inspire both guys and girls to pick up guitars and follow their passions like she did.

“If you want to be a musician – you want your music heard out there, it’s just about putting yourself out there and taking risks and performing to as many people as you can.”

For more information about Orianthi, visit http://www.OrianthiMusic.com. You can also find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Orianthi.

Brianna Grace: Born to be a country musician

Brianna Grace (Photo by Kristen Pierson)
Brianna Grace (Photo by Kristen Pierson)

By JAY KENNEY

Brianna Grace is singer-songwriter from Middleboro, Mass., who is making a name for herself in the country music scene across New England. She was voted by our readers as runner-up “Country Artist of the Year” and will be opening for Jonathan Edwards at the Cotuit Center for the Arts on July 13th and Scott McCreery (for a second time!) at Indian Ranch in Webster, Mass., on August 10th. We recently caught up with Ms. Grace who was delighted to answer our questions.

Limelight Magazine (LM): You’re in the process of recording your debut album. Can you tell us how it’s going?

Brianna Grace (BG): The process is coming along well! It’s exciting to see something that started with my guitar develop into a full-grown album. The plan is to record the tracks by the end of summer and release the album sometime in the early fall. If things continue at the rate they are going, I’ll get to share many more of my original songs with everyone!

LM: Are you recording the songs solo or with a band?

BG: On the album I will be performing with a wonderfully talented group of musicians. In the future I might include acoustic songs on an album, or even release strictly an acoustic album, but until then anyone interested can listen to my YouTube videos.

LM: How do you select musicians to record with you? Do they have any input on the songs?

BG: I work with my producer to decide which musicians. I’m always open to new ideas that can potentially improve my material – so yes! They can have input if they’d like to throw ideas out there. At the end of the day, however, it’s about what sounds the best and what best represents me and who I am as an artist.

LM: Can you discuss your own personal song-writing process?

BG: More often than not, I tend to write the words before the music or melody. However, sometimes I’ll surprise myself and create the song’s melody before I even have completed lyrics. From the time I was in elementary school, I loved writing poems. When I reached middle school, my enjoyment with poem writing became a love for song-writing thanks to guitar lessons. Now, I write anywhere and everywhere. I always try to keep my songwriting book with me wherever I go, just in case. On the off chance I don’t have my book with me, I will use available notebooks, random pieces of paper, post-it notes, or my phone…you name it in order to jot my ideas down. It doesn’t really matter where I am. If it pops into my head, I write it down, or even hum a melody into the voice recorder on my phone to keep it for future editing. Sometimes an entire song comes easily from one concept—and other times a song could take months to write, having come from different concepts and ideas I’ve had lying around. It’s all up to the moment and the song.

LM: How did you feel about being named runner-up “Country Artist of the Year” at our annual awards show this year?

BG: I honestly feel beyond honored to have received such recognition. I really wasn’t expecting such a humbling nomination! I was taken aback when my name was announced. There are so many other talented artists in this industry, and to be placed amongst so many of those artists was such a fantastic feeling. I can’t thank my fans enough for their love and support. It feels great to know that there are so many people who support me and my music. My fans are truly amazing and I’m very grateful for that.

LM: You’ve done some appearances on local radio stations. Do you like promoting your music on the radio?

BG: I love radio appearances! It’s definitely a different type of performance and experience. I am not usually in front of many people—just a handful at most are actually sitting or standing near you. But playing on the radio has the potential for many people listening. You never really know exactly how many, or WHO could be listening. I think that’s what’s even more exciting about it. Knowing that there’s the potential that what seems like such an intimate and simple performance can in reality reach and impact a huge amount of people. And you never know what that could lead to.

LM: What do you enjoy most about performing live on stage?

BG: It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing. Live performances are exciting, invigorating. It’s a chance to connect with your fans on a more personal level than just pressing play on a stereo. It’s raw and unpredictable. Plus, being able to see and hear the reactions from the crowd is an adventure within itself. Live performances push me to put forth my absolute best—to give well beyond 100 percent during every second of the show. Part of that is because I know that the people in front of me took the time out of their life to come and support me, so I want to thank them the best way that I can and make it worth it. Performing is like being in a different world. I know everyone says that, but I have to agree. It just seems natural and I go into some kind of zone. When I perform, I am completely comfortable with who I am—with the steps that I take and the things that I say. I believe in the things I sing about. I sing about things that I can connect to (and that hopefully the audience can as well)—whether that means it is about something I went through or something I saw someone I love endure. If I believe in it, I’ll put my all into it.

LM: You opened for Scott McCreery at Indian Ranch last July. What was that experience like?

BG: That experience was, for lack of a better word, surreal. It was more than I thought it would be, and after it was over left me wanting more as well. The venue seats a couple thousand people, making it the biggest audience I have performed in front of in New England. The calibers of response from audience members at this specific show definitely reminded me why I do what I do and why I want this so much.

LM: You were recently involved with a recording of “Dirty Water” to support the One Fund Boston. How did you get involved and what was it like working with so many talented musicians?

BG: This project was somewhat of a spur of the moment thing. My friend Dave DeLuca from the Highway Ghosts contacted me asking if I wanted to be a part of this project that the band Girls Guns and Glory was putting together. Obviously, I jumped at the chance. There were about 40 of us packed into producer Sean McLaughlin’s studio. It was one of the most memorable moments of my career to date. Seeing so many musicians from New England all come and work together for one cause was awe inspiring. There was so much talent in one place that day and it truly shows how the many diverse members of the music community can unite and create something worthy of a noble cause. (Purchase their version of “Dirty Water” at www.onesession.bandcamp.com).

LM: Why did you decide to pursue a career in music and focus on country music?

BG: Music has always been a terrific outlet for me, and has helped me through many of life’s ups and downs. The power that music has for people is also inspirational. Music, even one simple song, is something that can create a movement, a memory, an emotion, and in general just bring people together during good times, or even bad (such as the “Dirty Water” project). Music is such a huge part of my life and it’s what I love to do, so it only made sense to have it be my career as well. As far why I chose to focus on country music? I guess it more so chose me. I grew up with it. From the time I was four years old, I would ride around in my Dad’s truck blasting George Straight or Martina McBride. I love all kinds of music, but country is what I always go back to. It’s the most natural for me.

LM: Who are some of your biggest influences?

BG: To start, of course, I admire fellow artists who I have grown up listening to such as George Straight, Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Faith Hill…the list goes on. But I believe that many more musicians have made an impact as well. I have learned so much from working with all different types of musicians and artists from different levels and genres. The influence that goes the furthest back in my life, though, is my Mom. She has always had a passion for music and performing and that was instilled in me at an extremely early age (as in, banging on pots and pans as a drum set and running around with a toy microphone once I realized my vocal chords could do more than just talking!).

LM: What sets you apart from other local musicians?

BG: The amount of talented musicians in this world, even in this community alone, is remarkable. Being able to be a part of all of it is an honor. When it comes to making a name for one self, recognition takes time and is based upon multiple things. The experience you give the audience has to be a memorable one. Sure, I sing and play guitar. Yes, I write my own material. But I also really put effort into the live performances and the experience that my audience has during the show. One night at a gig someone actually made a comment to me about how I, in a sense, even became part of the audience because of my persona on stage (and on the dance floor with them), and how fun they thought it was. That stuck with me. I also try to personally speak with audience members when I can. My songs and style take a classic genre and add a modern twist to it, which appeals to music lovers of more than just one preference, as well as age groups. And at the end of the day, I love what I do. Music is my passion, and my determination and drive to also have it be my lifetime career is at an ultimate high.  

LM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

BG: There’s not much else to say, except thank you for giving me such an opportunity, and thank you to my fans, friends, and family for such wonderful and continuous support. Without any of you, I wouldn’t be able to have any of this or do what I do.

 (This story was taken from the summer 2013 issue of Limelight Magazine).

 

 

Weld Square pays homage to New Bedford

Photo - Weld Square
Weld Square (Photo by A. Barboza)

By Leah Astore

For over ten years, Joe Froias, Kevin Patrick Nunes, and Derek Brasseur have rocked New Bedford, Mass. Growing up in the city, they experienced every aspect of their hometown from the historic storefronts to the more notorious dark corners. Every aspect seems to seep into their music. Even their name was inspired by the city.

While learning The Ramones song “53rd and 3rd,” about the historically notorious part of New York known for prostitution, they realized New Bedford had its own 53rd and 3rd: Weld Square.

Today, what was once a historic part of New Bedford with cobblestone streets and thriving storefronts is mostly paved over by Route 18. Yet what makes this slice of New Bedford infamous is the debauchery and sin that thrives in the shabby taverns and alleyways. This inspired the band to call themselves by the same name. In their music is the grit of Weld Square.

While Weld Square is a local band, their sound encompasses everything from heavy stuff to candlelight dinners, Froias said, perhaps half joking about the candlelight dinners. Like their 2012 EP Femme de Maison, their first full length album Capricious Youth should have something for everyone.

“The music is inspired by the Ramones, The Beatles, and terrible traffic,” Froias said.

Right now the band is tightening up loose screws on Capricious Youth, which will likely be released by early fall. They recorded the album locally at Elm Street Studios in New Bedford, the same studio they recorded Femme de Maison. They already have enough songs written for two more albums and they’re constantly rehearsing and writing new music. After the release of Capricious Youth, they plan to start recording another album.

“It’s a spark of an idea in our head that we lay down on record,” Froias said. “It’s really interesting to see it form and bring it to life.”

Music has always been an artistic outlet for Froias, Nunes, and Brasseur and a great way to get out road rage, Froias added in jest.

Their passion for music started at an early age and their influences stemmed from an appreciation for heavy rock bands like Metallica and punk rockers like The Ramones.

In fact, singer and guitar player Joe Froias’ introduction to music started with Metallica. When he was five years old his sister brought him along to a Metallica concert and later to Iron Maiden and then The Ramones when he was 14. Punk rock music really shook it all up for him, he said. Soon after he started singing in bands and six years ago he taught himself guitar.

Drummer Derek Brasseur’s love for music also began when he was young. When he was eight years old, he got his first drum kit and before that he was playing on tables. The first CDs that really stuck out to him were Jimi Hendrix, Metallica’s And Justice For All, and early Pantera. In the fifth grade, he met Kevin Patrick Nunes who lived on the same street and shared similar tastes in music. It wasn’t until a high school music theory class that Nunes met Froias.

After the coincidental meeting, the three started playing together. Nunes started playing the bass at 14, driven by his bandmate’s passion.

“My sole drive to get into music was these guys,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of the band.”

They’ve played music together for over ten years now and no Yoko Onos or melodramatic guitar players have torn them apart.

“The three of us stuck through with everything,” Nunes said.

The hardest obstacle they face is the local market, which leans more favorably towards cover bands.

“It’s tough ‘cause we want to rock — we want to play our own music,” Froias said.

When they were teenagers in the 90s, the band began by learning and playing covers of Ramones songs. While they still have some covers in their sets, their passion is to play their original music.

“We’re an original rock band and we want to tear everyone’s face off,” Nunes said.

The only thing they’re missing now is human interaction and they’re looking for a greater audience. With no thanks to technology, the band members hope Weld Square can make a better connection with their listeners and inspire a new generation with dirty Rock n’ Roll.

“Unplug from the digital world for a little while and come out and rock out with us and have a good time,” Froias said.

Those who aren’t afraid to unplug can experience Weld Square this summer without having to sit in traffic at All About Records in Taunton, Mass., at the end of June and the Whaling City Festival in July.

(This story was taken from the summer 2013 issue of Limelight Magazine.)

Carolyn Woods: Using art to transform lives

bodypainting3
Body painting of Rachel Astore by Carolyn Woods. Photo by Leah Astore.

By LEAH ASTORE

The works of Carolyn Woods do not appear in galleries, hang on walls, or sit upon heavy marble bases. Her art is alive and breathing. Literally.

As a professional body painter, Woods views art as communication and a medium that allows her to express herself while connecting with and touching other people’s lives. Although she didn’t get her professional break until 2007, she recalls that while growing up as a self-professed “hippie child” in San Diego, art was always a part of her life. It might have begun with finger painting, she said, thoughtfully applying a ray of yellow along the model’s neck.

“I look back and I think I have been body painting long before I realized it,” she said.

Woods found her first calling in caregiving. Her compassion and desire to help people led her to pursue a career in Special Education. Her career was both rewarding and allowed her to spend time with her daughter. Through her work, she eventually learned sign language, which oddly enough led her to her first body-painting job.

After her first job as a face painter for a fundraiser for deaf children, she decided to limit any body painting work to fundraisers and benefits. It wasn’t until sometime later that she eventually began doing parties.

In 2007 at the U.S. Body Painting Festival, Woods’ career as a body painter received a life-changing boost. Unprepared and somewhat by accident, Woods won first place at the festival for her airbrushing.  Up until that point she hadn’t realized she had the potential to pursue body painting professionally.

With this new found confidence she began taking even more classes in body art and hasn’t stopped learning since.

“For me it’s an ever-evolving kind of thing,” she said. “I think if we stop learning that’s a problem.”

Since then her dedication and her heart have brought her many opportunities to share her art and connect with many different people. Even though her art is temporary, Woods has helped people to transform and realize a part of themselves that they hadn’t seen before. In some cases, her craft can help childhood dreams come true.

“It’s more than just parties,” she said. “It means something to somebody and you don’t always know what that is.”

From painting on pregnant women, to face painting at children’s parties, to Breast Cancer survivors, Woods has used her art to touch the lives of people all over the country.

Just this year she had the opportunity to paint for the Body Worlds traveling exhibit, as well as at Fantasy Fest in Key West, Florida. Her favorite thing about Fantasy Fest is their attention to promoting breast cancer awareness.

For women who have had reconstructive surgery – and for those anticipating the need for it – experiencing body painting can be a therapeutic and healing experience, she said.

One of the most memorable moments for her was painting a breast cancer survivor at Fantasy Fest. As Woods painted an intricate floral design upon her front torso, a man passing by, stopped, and asked for the woman’s photograph.

“He told her ‘You look so beautiful,’” Woods said, and the woman burst into tears.

Then the woman said, “I haven’t had anybody say I looked beautiful without my clothes on in so long.”

Woods said the moment was incredibly touching. Sometimes body painting can be therapeutic and can help in the healing process, from cancer survivors to people undergoing chemotherapy. It is here, she believes, her calling may lie.

She also enjoys the fun aspects of painting on bare skin, and relishes opportunities to facilitate transformations. Some come to Woods at festivals asking to be “turned into” into specific characters that they idolize. At last year’s Fantasy Fest, she said, one man in particular who had just returned from Iraq wanted to become Superman, since the Man of Steel was his childhood hero.

“It’s like playing dress-up,” she said. “A lot of people live-out fantasies.”

Body art even helps people commemorate special moments in their lives. Pregnant belly painting and henna are two ways that she has been a part of these special moments.

“Some people have worked really hard to get pregnant, so for them to make it to a certain point is quite a milestone,” Woods said.

People even come to her to test tattoo ideas, which she happily paints on their bodies. Some have even made her paintings permanent.

Yet permanent tattoo art isn’t really for her, she said. While she wouldn’t completely rule it out, it’s a lot more responsibility than body paint, she added. With temporary body paint you have to be less attached to your work at the end of the day.

“You have to express yourself and let it go ‘cause it’s going to wash down the drain,” she said. “It’s good for the perfectionist in me to just let it go.”

Most recently Woods has been active painting at local events like the Buzz-Off For Kids cancer benefit at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. She hopes also to do more with sign language in the future by combining body art and sign language into a theater performance – an idea that’s still in the works.

The ebullient and charismatic Californian has been based in Plainville, Mass., for two years, and continues to travel around the US, bringing her signature style of color and change to the bodies and souls of women and men of all ages, needs, and dreams. Her emotion is ever in motion.

“I’ll paint just about anything that stands still long enough,” she said.

To schedule a body painting session, Woods can be reached by e-mail at IBodyPaintYou@yahoo.com.

(This story was taken from the summer 2013 issue of Limelight Magazine.)

bodypainting11
Body painting of Rachel Astore by Carolyn Woods. Photo by Leah Astore.

Music and the arts come alive at 30-65 Live

By JAY KENNEY

EAST WAREHAM, MASS.: If you’re thinking about traveling to Cape Cod anytime soon, you’ll want to check out 30-65 Live in East Wareham. The venue, which serves as both a theater house and live music club for bands, is becoming a popular place for those wanting to see quality entertainment at an affordable price.

On any given day, you could see an amazing theatrical production or be blown away by some great local or national touring musicians. Since opening in April of 2011, the venue has hosted a number of popular acts, including pop sensation Jillian Jensen of The X Factor and indie pop rock band Kingsfoil featuring percussionist Frankie Muniz of Malcolm in the Middle.  

While the business’s official name is Buzzard’s Play Productions, owner Janice Rogers said her children came up with the name 30-65 Live to distinguish the venue’s live music performances from their theatrical productions.

“Buzzard’s Play Productions is actually the name of the business and 30-65 Live is sort of like the spoiled love child,” she said. “When we were putting this together, my kids were talking about what we were going to call it. They wanted to name it something different. So, they came up with 30-65 Live since the address is at 3065 Cranberry Highway. The name 30-65 Live encompasses everything we do here because we’re all about live performing arts.”

 Ms. Rogers said that she handles the theater aspect of the business, while her son, Seth Rogers, handles the booking of live music.

 “It really is a collaborative effort between us,” she said.

Past theatrical productions include Rent and The Glass Menagerie. Upcoming productions include the fun comedy Magic Time at the end of June and the offbeat The Rocky Horry Show in October.

With regard to their live music programming, Ms. Rogers said the venue provides an opportunity to see great local and national touring musicians just five minutes from the Bourne Bridge without having to travel to Boston or Providence.

 “We really cater to original artists, from acoustic acts to hardcore bands,” she said. “We’re trying to create a vibrant music scene and the musicians really appreciate having a place to play.”

The venue also has ample parking and a concession stand, selling everything from soda and water to hot dogs and popcorn. They also have a seasonal liquor license and choose when to serve alcohol or not.

“We’re in the process of getting a liquor license but we choose when we’re going serve it or not,” she said. “We’ve had parents come in and thank us for not being a bar. We don’t want it to be about that. “

For more info about 30-65 Live, visit facebook.com/3065live or contract Seth at 3065livebooking@gmail.com For more info about Buzzard’s Play Productions, visit their website at buzzardsplayproductions.com or contact Ms. Rogers at 508-591-3065.

(This story was taken from the summer 2013 issue of Limelight Magazine.)

Musician strikes personal chord with first solo album

Photo - Rich Antonelli
Rich Antonelli (Photo by Adam Kohut)

By JESSICA A. BOTELHO

Guitarist Rich Antonelli didn’t know much about Crohn’s Disease until his now 10-year-old daughter was diagnosed three years ago. While there is no cure, he aims to raise funds and awareness to combat the illness through his first solo album, Voiceless, a guitar-based instrumental CD.

“I’m not a doctor or someone in the medical field that can help her, but I can try to do something as a musician,” said Antonelli, who plans to donate 100 percent of the net proceeds to the Pediatric GI Department at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, R.I., where his daughter is treated. “This is my way of contributing and saying thanks to the great staff at Hasbro.”

Crohn’s, an inflammatory bowel disease that impacts the gastrointestinal tract, causing pain, weight loss and other complications, affects more than 500,000 Americans. With treatment, as well as a restricted diet, Antonelli’s daughter is able to attend school regularly and take figure skating lessons a few times a week.

“She doesn’t make a big deal about it,” he said. “She likes the CD and knows I’m giving the money to Hasbro.”

The album was released April 23 and features 10 tracks, plus one bonus song. According to Antonelli, a guitarist for Bon Jersey, a Bon Jovi tribute band, it is influenced by 80s rock and infused with a few modern touches. He said it isn’t the prototypical guitar instrumental album.

“If you listen to Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen, who I love, you know they’re playing to a certain audience and I wanted my music to reach all types of people,” Antonelli said. “I’m not playing one thousand miles an hour or a million notes a minute in one song; I tried to write a lot of melodic hooks.”

He began writing in August and started the recording process in October after launching a fundraiser campaign, collecting more than $1,000 in the form of donations from friends and fans, as well as pre-orders for the album.

A few friends also donated their time, including Chris Longo, who played drums on the album.

“He had a set up at his house and we ran his electronic drum kit into his computer and it triggered drum sounds from other different programs to get a good sound,” said Antonelli. “The drums ended up being the way I wanted them to be.”

Aside from help with drums, Antonelli recorded the entire album on his laptop, laying down guitar, bass and keyboard tracks at his Rhode Island home.  At one point, he propped his amplifier in the bathroom to create a better sound.

“I ran the cables from the bathroom to my office, shut all the doors and it gave it a nice, natural reverb sound,” he said.

But setting up and disassembling everyday became a hassle. For the rest of the album, he used a Kemper Profiling Amplifier, a gadget that allowed him to create and record samples, as opposed to a modular pre-programmed with guitar riffs.

“I wanted to do the whole thing myself,” said Antonelli. “This is a project that I’m doing for my daughter and Hasbro and I wanted it to be me.”

Since releasing the album, Antonelli has raised nearly $2,000. He’s been selling albums through his website, as well as at Bon Jersey shows. Signed CDs are also available.

Prior to joining Bon Jersey about seven years ago, Antonelli was a founding member of $kyhigh, an original rock band conceived in the 1990s. They opened for headliners like Warrant, Cinderella, Quiet Riot, Great White, Sebastian Bach and C.C. DeVille, and released an album that achieved international success.

Still, he views Voiceless as his biggest accomplishment.

“I’ve put out CDs in the past with my bands, shared the stage with a who’s who of 80s rock and played some pretty big venues,” Antonelli wrote in a guest blog published in May by Infectious Magazine. “But this CD is what I’m most proud of.”

Learn more about Antonelli and purchase Voiceless at http://www.richardantonelli.com. For a list of Bon Jersey shows, visit http://www.bon-jersey.com.

(This story was taken from the summer 2013 issue of Limelight Magazine.)

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