Where are you right now in terms of your career? Midlife crisis? Uswing?
When I started my record company Sweetspot Records 10 years ago, I’d been a sideman with Roomful of Blues, a leader of small local bands, and a songwriter who wrote for other people, and I always thought I’d get around to recording my own songs eventually. Then my father passed, and I felt it was time to do the things I really wanted. I’d been teaching at Providence Country Day since 1980, and that had slowed down my writing and performing, because it takes so much time and energy to teach, but I went ahead anyway and I was able to get three solo CDs out from 1998-2004. They were all critically well-received, but since I wasn’t touring or selling CDs (except online) it was slow getting noticed. Finally, I quit teaching in 2005 and began to put more time into the business. I hired a radio promoter for the first time on my blues CD Blue Ink in 2004 and it made #18 on the Living Blues chart. That got me a distribution deal. Then I hired a publicist for 2006’s Groovin’ In the Mood Room and that reached #14 and got a lot of great reviews nationally and internationally. I felt like I had a lot of momentum coming into the making of this album.
Do you have any regrets?
When my closest musical friends like Duke and Scott Hamilton committed themselves to their careers all those years ago, I saw them gaining acceptance and an audience for the great things they do, and then I felt a little left behind, because I started teaching and couldn’t keep up. But as time went on everyone’s musical paths just seem to be converging again, and now my decisions are looking pretty good. I’ve had more than one deeply satisfying career, and I get to do things I love every day. All I want is the chance to do more.
Al Basile with Rich Lataille | March 15 | 8 pm | Chan’s, 267 Main Street, Woonsocket | $12 | 401.765.1900
SIGNS OF LIFE have a busy weekend. On Friday they’re at the Living Room with DISQUIET, COBALT OPUS, SHOUT ROCK RADIO, and LOST TIDE in an all-ages show (call 401.521.5200), and on Saturday they’re at the Ocean Mist in Matunuck with THE CHASERS (401.782.3740).
THE JESSE MINUTE has a big show coming up on Saturday at Jake’s with headliners VARSITY DRAG (with Ben Deily, co-founder of the Lemonheads) in their first trip to Providence, plus COMA COMA and ROZ RASKIN. Call 401.453.5253. Also on Saturday, there’s a St. Paddy’s weekend concert and dance with THE GNOMES at the Mediator, 50 Rounds Avenue, Providence, at 7:30 pm. Admission is $10; call 401.461.3683 and bring the kids.
Things have been waking up fast for TOMMY COMA. The South County hard rock/metal boys have been in the top 100 on the MySpace metal chart for the past two months and they’re opening for AS I LAY DYING in May. You can catch them this Sunday at Decibel Live @ Club Hell with RED THEORY, ABSYNTHE, CURTAIN HITS THE CAST, and 16 STITCHES. And look for more from Red Theory; they’ve been gigging steadily, and the Sepultura/Mudvayne-influenced crew has a new self-titled album out. They’ll be at Cats on Saturday with DJ SHIMA. Call 401.722.0150.
MUSTANG COBRA, THE COLD WAR, and SOUNDER team up at Jerky’s on Saturday. This is MC’s first gig with their new frontman, Jon Gone, an exuberant dude some of you may know as Paul Hullabaloo, formerly of the Cringe. Call 401.621.2244.