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 https://www.facebook.com/groovelegacy/?fref=ts 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 https://www.facebook.com/Paulie-Cerra-318515778171354/ and give me a LIKE as well.
I hope to see you soon!