Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Lots of good news....

Hi everyone, lots of stuff coming up through the end of the year.

The 2nd Annual Hometown Throwdown is set for Dec 21st at the Palace Theatre in Syracuse, NY!! Tickets will go on sale soon!!

I have two more major tours coming up with Joe Bonamassa. One European run and one North American tour. I will also be doing a two week run in China and Japan with guitar legend and overall great dude, Mr. Larry Carlton....I get to play with all the best guitarists!! That will take place right in the middle of a Bonamassa tour, so I will be subbing out the chair for that time. But fear not, I shall return to finish the year with Joe.

I will also have a smattering of gigs with my band and also Groove Legacy. I am doing sessions from my studio in Sherman Oaks for solo sax, horn sections, arranging and vocal sessions. Contact me if you need some love on a track.

I am also finishing up a couple really great projects. The new Groove Legacy recording is wrapping up soon as well as the Reese Wynans recording I am co-producing with Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith. They will both be available in early 2019.

My band has been invited back for the Keeping the Blues Alive At Sea cruise in February. We are really excited about returning!

Last but not least, a new project inspired by the great Lightning Hopkins is under way at my studio. My band and I will be writing and recording a full length record inspired by the very intimate recordings of Hopkins.

I hope to see you on the road or at a local show!! Grab some music while you're here!

Enjoy Life!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Hometown Throwdown

A "Hometown Throwdown" in Syracuse, NY December 21st at the Palace Theatre in Eastwood featuring Syracuse natives Paulie Cerra and Ben Mauro along with a host of Syracuse luminaries and some of LA's finest musicians.

Saxophonist for blues-rock great, Joe Bonamassa, is coming home to blow the roof off the Palace Theatre! Returning to his hometown from his home in Los Angeles, he's put together a phenomenal night of music featuring songs off his latest CD "Hell And High Water"

Ben Mauro will open the show at 7pm. A graduate of West Genesee HS, he's managed to build a remarkable resume as a sideman. Lending his guitar and vocal skills to artists like Cher, Kelly Clarkson, Don Felder (of the Eagles) and Lionel Richie to name a few. Ben will be performing original music with his band starting at 7pm.

Paulie will have LA greats, Sam Meek on guitar and Billy Haynes on bass and vocals both of whom are integral parts of Cerra's Los Angeles based group and are featured on Paulie's latest CD, "Hell And High Water". Chittenango grad, David Northrup will be coming in from his home in Nashville to lock down the drum chair. David has been touring for the last year with Boz Scaggs.

A special treat for CNY music fans will be the return of Lil Georgie, otherwise known as George Rossi, fearless leader of the Shufflin' Hungarians! George is now officially out of the crypt and being professionally dusted off and recharged to plunk the 88's behind Cerra's soaring vocals and sax. A Sammy's Hall of Fame inductee, Rossi has been a fixture in the CNY rock and blues scene for decades. His return foreshadows the release of a much anticipated new release!

This promises to be a show not to be missed! Get your tickets early right here!
Hometown Throwdown!

Friday, September 16, 2016

My NEW CD and Joe Bonamassa fall tour 2016

Hi folks,

It's been a slow and enjoyable summer for me back in Los Angeles. I had a good long run with Joe Bonamassa followed by a good 3 1/2  month break. Lee Thornburg and I actually did go to Red Rocks to close out JB's summer tour, but, for the most part, I've been in LA.

My band Groove Legacy did a couple shows on the east coast including a killer show at the Syracuse Jazz Fest. We blew the roof off the main stage!!

The big news is.....*****DRUM ROLL PLEASE***** CD is being manufactured! I have some really fantastic guests on the record, including Joe Bonamassa, Larry Carlton, Kirk Fletcher, Trevor Menear, Bill Steinway, Lee Thornburg, James Gadson, Eddie Wakes and Terra Naomi. This record sounds really great. I think I have 10 really strong songs for this record. I will have an official CD release party scheduled for October 23rd!! Tell EVERYBODY!! It's gonna be an absolutely packed house that night at Joe's in Burbank. So make your plans and get there early for a seat. I will have some special guests for sure!

This Sunday we start rehearsals for the fall Bonamassa tour. We'll be going to Australia and New Zealand the after a few weeks off doing a North American run that will close out the year for us. It has been an excellent opportunity to play with JB and the fellas. Getting to be in a horn section with Lee Thornburg is such a great learning experience. It's also a GREAT hang! The other guys in the band are not too shabby either. Reese Wynans, Michael Rhodes and Anton Fig, not bad company to be keeping. 

I hope to see some of you out and about on these upcoming runs! Be sure to say hi.

~ Paulie

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Red Rocks, here I come!

I've been off tour for a bit from Joe Bonamassa's band and have been relaxing, writing, practicing and just enjoying being home. Lee Thornburg and I were supposed to be off until the September run to Australia and New Zealand, but we got the call to come to the Red Rocks show with Joe on July 19th. I hope to see some familiar faces there. It'll certainly be a blast!

My group, Groove Legacy, which I co-lead along with dear friends,  Bill Steinway and fantastic bassist Travis Carlton. Bill is my writing partner on this project. The self-titled CD is available now. It has been getting very good airplay around the country and has been incredibly well-received by many jazz writers. We recently headed to Syracuse to perform at the Syracuse Jazz Fest. We blew the roof off the place! The band is really incredible. Special thanks to my good buddy, Joel Eckels, for making it out to run sound for us, he rocked it!! Andrew Lippman is a stand-out on trombone and the rest of the band is utterly smoking hot! It was a real blast to take that band out to do a couple shows and see the response we got. To hear Bill proudly quote Randy Brecker as we walked off the stage after our show, "we have no business following you guys. You should be playing festivals all over the world." Pretty high praise from an iconic jazz figure! Try to catch a show in LA if you can or help us come to your town. You can help us out by going to our FB page at and giving us a big, fat "LIKE"

I also finished mixing my new CD and I'm looking forward to getting the packaging done and getting it out to my peoples around the world! It came out GRRRRREAT!! I have 10 songs. Nine of which are original, one instrumental and a cover of the classic Ray Charles tune, "Hard Times" which I also wrote a reprise for.

I had the pleasure of having some of my favorite musicians in the world on this recording. At the core was Billy Haynes on bass and backing vocals, Sam Meek on guitar, Bill Steinway on piano and organ and Alvino Bennett on drums. Some special guests include one of my favorite musicians and people, Mr. James Gadson on drums and backing vocals. Also featured prominently is my horn section partner in the Bonamassa band, Lee Thornburg. I seem to never be at a loss for fantastic guitarists and this record is no different. Larry Carlton plays beautifully on a ballad and Kirk Fletcher lays down some great work on two songs while Joe Bonamassa plays fantastically on four songs. I was lucky enough to book the recording session just before Kirk left for Europe, but was sadly out of luck to get he and Joe B. on two songs together, as Joe had a show booked on the east coast. Then, the day before the session, Joe called and said, "hey Paulie, my show was cancelled on the east coast. Do you still need a guitarist to over play on your tunes?" Joe has a great sense of humor and is very comfortable with his own playing and his abilities. So I was able to get he and Kirk on two songs together! They burned it up, too! Also of note is a wonderful slide solo by Trevor Menear. Sam Meek contributed great rhythm playing throughout along with some very fine solo work, as well. What a joy to make music with all these great players. Two songs were recorded at Red Star Studios by David Kalish. The rest were done at King Size Studios engineered by Dennis Moody and Celso Estrada with horn overdubs done a Par3 Studios. A special debt is owed to Alvino Bennett and Billy Haynes. They really put their whole heart into this record and MADE IT HAPPEN! They are flat out swingin', Gates! Look for it to be finished very soon. I will announce a release date soon.

I hope everyone is able to enjoy their summer. Take it easy, eat well, take care of yourselves, be kind, spread love and always remember to get out and catch some live music. Don't be one of those folks who watches a whole show on a tiny phone screen while making a video of the show. Take some pics, maybe a short video, then put that thing away and experience the music with your entire self! I know you may want to share it with your friends....but they should've gone with you!

Please, if you haven't yet, go to my page  and give me a LIKE as well.

I hope to see you soon!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Joe Bonamassa Spring Tour 2016 and other goings on!

Hey everyone,

I hope your year is off to a roaring good start. Mine has been pretty busy, thus far.

I did the Delbert McClinton Cruise in January along with Lee Thornburg. We played for Teresa James. It was a blast as usual.

I revisited an old idea of doing an B3 organ group with Ty Baille. It was an absolute blast to play in that style! Great guitarist, Josh Smith and fantastic drummer, Kerry Griffin came along for the ride. Ty, who for the last year or more has been touring with Katy Perry, and I had planned and plotted to do this music about 4 years ago when a finger infection put a sudden stop to that only a week before our debut gig. Subsequently, I nearly had my finger amputated. Damaged, but still with finger still attached, we dove into the situation with reckless abandon. It was a ton of fun. We will definitely be revisiting this group from time to time!

I have also been working hard to finish up my next solo recording. It is coming out FANTASTICALLY WELL!! I hope to finish it up and package it by April. I can't wait to get it out there. I'm very proud of this project. I have some great songs written and a stellar cast including some fantastic guests. Larry Carlton, Kirk Fletcher, Trevor Menear and Joe Bonamassa all guest on guitar. Some highlights include two songs with Kirk and Joe both playing great! The core rhythm section is Alvino Bennett on drums, Sam Meek on guitar, Bill Steinway on piano and organ and of course the remarkable groove and energy of Billy Haynes on bass. Billy and Alvino are just a wrecking ball of infectious groove! James Gadson also plays drums on two cuts. James and I along with Billy Haynes and Eddie Wakes laid some terrific backing vocals on one song. A very personal take on my oldest brother's passing. I'm still pondering the name of the record. I have it widdled down to three, so maybe I'll let you guys vote on it. We'll see.

In February, we headed off to Miami to start the new year with Joe. His new tunes are just kickin' ass! Joe is really hitting his stride as an artist who, after 25 years in this business, is still on the rise. All of his success has been hard-earned and deserved. The slow steady climb is remarkable. I believe his story of success along with business partner in J&R Adventures and manager, Roy Weisman, will make a remarkable Hollywood story someday.

After a week of rehearsal, we headed to Joe's Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea cruise. We performed two shows with JB and one show backing Beth Hart. Lee Thornburg and I also backed Whitey Johnson aka Gary Nicholson on a show. Overall, it was a real treat.

Then we headed directly to Germany and are in the middle of this run through Germany, UK and finishing in Australia. The show is really rockin! Be sure to catch a show if we come near you, you will LOVE IT!!

See you on the road!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Three Kings tour is off and running!

Well, after two months off, I'm back out with the Bonamassa crew! We had 5 days of rehearsals in Nashville and popped the top off of this Three Kings tour.

Rehearsals went pretty good, but it never quite feels like enough so we have to be on high awareness onstage the first few shows. The first show was in Camden, NJ. It was a really good show right out of the gate. But we could tell we had some things to tighten up. The crowd was very much behind us as we tried to do our best to honor these three giants of the blues.

Freddie King is, in my opinion, one of the most stylistically hard singers to cop. A great range and a very relaxed feel. He always had interesting tunes to me. Not your average blues tunes. That always attracted me to his music. And the fact that he had success with instrumental tunes was always a plus as well. Joe is singing his ass off on these tunes.

Albert's tunes are really a change-up. They are stylistically very different vocally and sung in a much lower register and understated. The tunes are brilliantly crafted and funkier than Freddie or B.B.'s tunes. They pose a completely different challenge for Joe. He of course is handling the change and navigating the tunes with ease and each show is getting better and better!

B.B.'s tunes are simple blues tunes for the most part. What set B.B. apart was his powerful voice and straight in your face blues. There is one surprise tune that, I feel, will be the highlight of the show.....I'm gonna keep that secret as to not be a spoiler for all you folks anxiously awaiting the show to come to your town.

At one point, Joe announces the band and states, "this is the best blues band in the world." And I have to agree. The band is just kickin' ass! And we're three shows in and hitting our stride. So it's gonna be a fun few weeks!!

Please come out and experience this incredible night of music if you can! Hope to see you.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bonamassa Euro Tour Spring 2015

Hi good peoples,

I have been trying to get around to writing this blog for some time now....and dammit, that time has come!

We started our tour by doing a relaxing 5day cruise to Key West and Nassau, Bahamas. I have been very fortunate to play with some of my favorite guitarist in the world, and there was a BOATLOAD of them that I dig right on this boat! Kirk Fletcher, Josh Smith, Robben Ford and of course, Joe Bonamassa. It was fun to be able to stroll around and run into some of my other favorite musicians and friends, too. Travis Carlton, Brian Allen, Lemar Carter, Jimmy Cox and so many others were cruisin' along. The weather was not cooperating at all, but the folks didn't seem to mind. The music was smokin' and the atmosphere was quite festive. This was Joe's first cruise and it was such an overwhelming success that he is already booked for next year! If you are fans of GREAT blues/rock guitar, this is where you wanna be! Also lots of other types of music to be heard....but the gun slingers on board are what the people really come to see and hear.

After the cruise, we spent no time at all getting down to business. We headed straight for Germany where we spent the following two weeks. We performed in Munich, Bremerhaven, Oberhausen, Stuttgart, Nurnberg, Hannover and Hamburg. The shows were incredibly well received and rocking! Joe is really burning the stage up. He's singing his ass off and of course delivering the guitar playing that is his trademark. The band is really supportive and more than capable of laying down the grooves for Joe. The show has a lot of energy and the slower songs serve as great moments for the crowd to catch their breath, so to speak.

Following the two week run in Germany, we headed directly to Amsterdam for a week of shows at the beautiful Carre Theatre. This lovely theatre seats about 2000 people and every show was sold out. The city was as beautiful as I've ever seen it. We stayed at a wonderful, small hotel right along one of the canals. The week was full of great music, food and new and old friends. The horn section were asked to do a recording session on our day off. It was a really nice project we were referred on by Terry Wilson. The people involved were some of our good friends back home in LA, who Lee Thornberg and I know from working with Terry and his wife, the great soulful singer, Teresa James. After the session we were treated to dinner at a fabulous restaurant. The company, the food and the laughs...TONS of laughs were the highlight of my trip. Geertjan Hoek was an incredible host. We will hopefully be doing more work for this project as the year progresses.

For me, I could have finished the tour after Amsterdam and been completely fulfilled, but we had a week-long engagement in London at the beautiful Hammersmith Apollo Theatre! This remarkable venue had a facelift that restored it faithfully to it’s beauty of days long gone. Seating 3500+, the crowds were again served some fantastic shows in a great sounding theatre. Beth Hart, Bernie Marsden and Randy Bachman were guests who joined us onstage during the week. Joe continued to show what a remarkable talent he is, burning down the house every night!

The tour was a real treat to be a part of, the band is ripping and the music is great. I hope to see some of you when we roll into your town later this year!