Press/Reviews

 

Paul Gargiulo:

NJ Guitar Wizard & Singer/Songwriter Whose Radio-Ready Music Presents A Magical Mixture of Styles 

 

 

By PHIL SWEETLAND

Music+Radio contributor

New York Times 

 

NASHVILLE – Like many of his own heroes, Paul Gargiulo is an ideal combination of multiple musical flavors that are rarely seen together in any one artist.

Just as Elvis Presley shifted naturally between country, pop, and R&B, Paul’s a New Jersey guitar virtuoso who often wears Western shirts and is equally comfortable playing and singing his hooky, radio-friendly originals onstage in a smoky Manhattan bar, a tough Jersey Shore club, or one of Music City’s high-profile and high-pressure writers’ nights.

Just as the British guitar icon Jeff Beck integrated funk, jazz, pop, and other genres into his soloes, hit albums, and singles, Gargiulo fuses his own completely unique sound from echoes of Elvis guitarist Scotty Moore and other Retro rockabilly and Bluegrass pioneers, current Alternative and Americana singers and songwriters, jazz and swing cats, and even Latin rhythms.

And just as Brian Setzer and his trio the Stray Cats captured the imagination of millions with the updated rockabilly sounds of the Top 10 Billboard hits “Rock This Town” and “Stray Cat Strut,” Paul Gargiulo and his skin-tight band have the ability to integrate old and modern sounds that are extremely difficult to play into brand-new Paul originals such as “Dance, Sister, Dance,” “Marita,” “Back On Track,” “I See Home Real Soon,” and “She Be My Queen.”

Radio programmers, fans, club owners, and artist managers figure to embrace Paul’s new album enthusiastically in early 2015.

“We’re in the studio now, just finishing recording. It’s all original material,” Paul says in a telephone conversation from his home, about 20 miles west of Manhattan.

“Our last album was done in West Orange, NJ, in a local bar. We sold quite a few of them,” he continues. “Now we’re doing more of a studio production.”

Paul knows exactly where his music began as a kid.

“Elvis is how I got into music,” he says. “I remember his charisma, the way he sang and the way he portrayed his voice. That actually touched me. Now even the young generation thinks Elvis is the coolest.”

While all the other neighborhood kids wore their Aerosmith T-shirts, young Paul proudly sported his Elvis duds. That affection continues today, not just in Gargiulo’s music but in his impressive collection of Presley memorabilia.

And then there was the guitar.

“I was playing since I was a little kid, and right out of the box I was influenced by everyone,” Paul says, smiling. “There was Elvis and rockabilly, Jeff Beck, who I actually got to hang out with and talk to, then there were Jimmy Page and Keith Richards.”

In Jersey, Paul even got to have an unforgettable conversation with Joe Morello, the famous drummer not just for Dave Brubeck but also for Hank Garland, the offbeat Nashville guitar genius whose 1961 jazz album Jazz Winds From  A New Direction featured Morello and broke entirely new ground.

Decades later, Paul would also begin the unique integration of Nashville and New York sounds into his own, irresistible musical package.

That kind of love Hank Garland showed for music which is a fusion of countless styles in a single recording – even before the word fusion came into the language – is one of many things that separates Paul Gargiulo from the bland, corporate music that radio and fans are too often subjected to today.

And believe me, fans are ready for the kind of new sounds and new charisma Paul is presenting.

Listen, for instance, to “Dance, Sister, Dance,” a club favorite that features Paul’s strong, soulful baritone vocals riding above a guitar line that might remind some of Beck’s Blow By Blow, others of an Eric Clapton, Scotty Moore, or Steve Cropper funk line, and others of a Brian Setzer power solo.

High-energy Paul songs like this ignite the writers’ rounds here in Music City, which usually feature acoustic stylings on country or Bluegrass numbers.

“I’ve been going back and forth to Nashville,” he says. “I’m playing the songwriters’ rounds, jamming out, and meeting lots of people. What I’m doing is a little different.”

He and his band also perform a wide a variety of covers, a real plus in their club work.

Early on, Gargiulo was featured in the bands Dreamer and Face Of Gray. By the time he was 16, he was very serious and began years of guitar lessons with the outstanding NJ-based Northwestern and Berklee graduate Rich Fusco, whose own philosophy of music sounds a great deal like Paul’s: “I have been influenced by the great music and musicians from the Eighth Century A.D. to last week,” Fusco writes.

Paul has also had powerhouse role models for his extremely innovative songwriting. Early influences included Jimmy Webb songs Glen Campbell recorded including “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston.” The Beatles and several blues legends also left a mark, as did the music of pop and country female superstars such as Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.

Soon, Gargiulo was playing rooms in New York and clubs along the Jersey Shore. Bon Jovi’s keyboard player happened to be in the club one night and told folks he was very impressed with Paul, but in recent years Gargiulo has found it more and more difficult to find club owners either in the City or elsewhere willing to feature the kind of exciting, original music he and his band are playing and singing.

So he took the hugely innovative step, very rare for a New York-area rock and jazz guitar wizard, of coming to Music City USA every few months.

And that’s why the excitement the new album will create, both in New York and Nashville, figures to be such a pleasant turning point in Paul’s career.

Bob Garbo (bass, backup vocals) and drummers/backup vocalists Ken Adessa and Matt Crawford have ably rounded out the Paul Gargiulo Band this year.

“I pretty much do the writing and arranging and producing,” Paul says. “I definitely love producing.”

And Lord knows, the guy also loves creating. Who else but Paul Gargiulo would bring us “Jazzgrass,” for instance, an incredible guitar solo piece which as the name suggests combines Bluegrass and jazz?

And who else would give us “Marita,” a Latin-flavored number that opens a little like an Elvis romantic ballad before breaking into a swing bridge the Stray Cats would be proud of, and then a slow jazzy solo that’s as much Wes Montgomery as Hank Garland – and all pure Paul Gargiulo?

Somehow, Paul makes all these hugely diverse strains and flavors come together and fit like a glove. The new album will feature a rainbow of songs and styles, all of which are well-crafted, radio friendly, and miles ahead of nearly all of the competition.

 

-30-

Updated November 7, 2014

 CONTACT: paulgargiulo.com

www.Reverbnation.com/paulgargiuloband/songs

Paul Gargiulo performs on NJ and NY 12 News Live interview and performance

  • "Alligator Records" 11/18/05
  • Pretty consistent here, lots of
    instrumental talent. There is some
    nice playing here all around.
  • /Bruce Iglauer

 

  • "Stonyplain Records" 6/22/05
    Some great rockin blues, nice to hear
  • who is out there making good music.
    A@R Chris Martin

As a film crew worked on a documentary about a Jersey boy who matured into a musical force to be reckoned with, McLoone’s Boathouse in West Orange was packed with dancing, ecstatic fans on Friday night - who were lining up to ask who the blazing hot guitarist/singer was and could they know when he’d be back.

New Jersey native Paul Gargiulo looks like an adult version of a Rock god but doesn’t play the cliche-part in his personal life. Instead, he is soft-spoken, humble, and grounded. I met this surprising musician about 5 years ago, when I saw him perform in a local coffee shop in Caldwell, New Jersey. I was taken aback immediately, because he looked too good to be real - a grown up playing original music that I enjoyed - and it took only a few songs for me to realize he was not just a local talent, but someone who could also easily play on main stages. Yet here he was - playing his heart out to a crowd of 40 coffee drinkers at a Rockn’ Joes in Caldwell, New Jersey.

Gargiulo, 46, said he discovered his life-long passion for music as a young boy, and started to take music lessons when he was 12. Instead of playing football or basketball with his friends, this kid was holed up with a guitar and music teacher, and also in his house practicing - and practicing - and practicing. So who was his big influence?

“Elvis,” he said. “It was Elvis, right from the beginning.”

But besides his early love of Elvis and music, Gargiulo said he realizes now that his musical gifts are also connected to his DNA.

“My dad was a musician, and played the accordion,” he said. “One of my brothers plays drums - and my other brother? He is a graphic artist. Both of my parents are artists, and I have an uncle who is artist as well. So, it does run in the family.”

Though he grew to love and play all kinds of music - from Elvis to Led Zepplin to Aerosmith and Stevie Ray Vaughan - Gargiulo matured into a professional musician, and he found himself drawn to a Roots oriented, Americana style infused with bits of the blues, spliced into his original tunes through his lightening fast guitar picking. Unlike the Bon Jovi, Bruce worshipping hordes of Jersey music lovers, this local talent cultivated his own strong sound, as unique as that family DNA. You can’t mistake this Jersey son’s voice for anyone else’s sound.

“Whereas Stevie Ray Vaughan went into a more Blues’ direction, I went back to the early Roots music and started from the beginning, with African Blues roots,” explained Gargiulo. “Then, I expanded from there in Americana , Blues, Jazz, and Country. I remember my father always playing Outlaw Country Records, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn as well as Frank Sinatra. He still has all those old records. I bet it rubbed off on me.”

But as any true artist knows the road to living fully in an artist’s skin is bumpy at best.

Gargiulo, enamored of music, committed at the age of 18 to a lifetime of music, embracing his passion and forgoing college, marriage, and a regular full time job. While all of his friends, brothers and cousins were getting married and embarking on careers, Gargiulo kept taking singing lessons in New York, endlessly practicing his guitar skills and writing new material.

Instead of moving out and getting into a typical career - and focusing part time on his music - like his own musical ancestors from generations past in Italy, Gargiulo turned his own world into a music-centric universe: working as a painter or in construction to get by in order to keep creating, writing, and playing music.

“My parents are very understanding about my passion for music,” he said. “It must be in my blood. Did I give up marriage, a wife, and money for this? Sure, I did, but I have no choice. This is who I am and this is how I want to live. And I know how lucky I am to have such an understanding and supportive family.”

Now, after playing in numerous venues in the tri-state area for twenty years, Gargiulo is ready to hit the road and do work on tour. He has played in Memphis, Nashville and North Carolina and said he plans to go back on tour again.

“I really want to go back to Nashville, and visit Colorado, West Virginia, and who knows where else,” he said, smiling. “I need to share my music in other parts of the country.”

Looking at his schedule, however, this reporter had to ask: How will you find the time since you are booked so often?

Pausing for a moment, he replied.

“That’s easy,” he said. “For me, music always finds a way. And I’m sure I can find the way to do a tour, and grow my fan base beyond this area.”

At McLoone’s Boathouse on April 12, as Paul worked his guitar with his lightening fast fingers and sang an original tune to the crowd, one woman asked me why he isn’t well known on a national scale yet.

“I can’t believe how good this guy is,” she said, shaking her head. “Is he on TV? Where can I see him again? And how does hehold that note so long on Suspicious Minds?”

Paul, who wows the crowd every show with his ever increasing breath control and holding of a note at the end of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds, said he aims to keep increasing how long he can do this - yet he is already at what seemed to be a minute.

With such a buzz circling this original artist, I don’t doubt his future success.

Now, with a new film is being edited about Paul Gargiulo, as anyone knows, a buzz backed up with professional video can truly make magic happen.

If you would like to visit Paul Gargiulo’s webpage, go to www.PaulGargiulo.com.

He is also in the midst of filming with a well known studio, and will post video of his original and cover songs - both on his own and with his band. And, Paul Gargiulo offers guitar lessons, so feel free to reach out to him.

With music as his calling, this is one artist who is sticking to his passion, with gusto.

If you are an agent or booking manager, contact Paul Gargiulo at Paul@PaulGargiulo.com.

This is NOT an ad.

http://essexnewsdaily.com/news/nutley/music-is-the-food-of-love-in-nutley   2/15/13

I've been listening to live music lately. At first, I couldn't find any - even in Montclair. There were a few shows, and except for Outpost in the Burbs, I was just lost.

But suddenly, original singer-songwriters and musicians are popping up everywhere. Like Alice in Wonderland, all I really had to do all along was open my eyes to the vibrant talent all around me.

This Friday night, Hat City Kitchen, an incredible non-profit urban based restaurant/bar and live music venue that supports only original music and musicians, is shining a light on local performing artist Paul Gargiulo.

Paul is someone I have followed for a while now. He stands out to me because he is unique - with his lightening fast guitar picking, his cool Americana/roots oriented and often gritty offerings of his own lyrics and also an almost Austin/Nashville sound.

Join me Friday night at 7:00 for dinner, or drinks, and a show at 8 ish.
And follow this column.
I have a list of local musicians who need some attention What can I say? The poet in me, which will always come first, lights up when I hear live music. There is a deep connection that happens to me, and a lightness that envelopes me, when I feel that beat, those chords, and the moment becomes alive.

I plan to do my part in keeping live music alive. Will you?

Hat City Kitchen (a non profit) live music venue, located in an arts' inspired, safe area just minutes from Montclair
459 Valley St.
Orange, New Jersey
862-252-9147

About Hat City Kitchen:

Food, Music, Drink. Hat City Kitchen is the only destination for world class food, entertainment and atmosphere. A 3 Star Restaurant, nestled in one of the oldest buildings in Orange, NJ, HCK is host to Live Music and Bands from national to local favorites.
Our emphasis is on quality and integrity. HCK offers American Comfort foods with an influence from the south and New Orleans or, as we say Creosoul. We've perfected an artisanal process, creating food great enough to satisfy families, foodies and critical Epicureans alike at an affordable price.
True to Orange's history, HCK is a happy collaboration of art, urban planning, food and music. HCK is entertainment you can feel good about. Along with supporting local artist performances, all profits from HCK are put to use in the revitalization of the Valley neighborhood via Hands Inc

This is NOT AN AD.

THE PAUL GARGIULO BANDCaldwell, NJ

I recently got an email from a dude named Paul Gargiulo, from Caldwell, NJ, asking me to check out his band, The Paul Gargiulo Band. Paul said that the band has a long history, even though, I’ve never heard of them, and I’ve been on the scene for quite some time. He wanted to promote his new live CD, Live At The Franklin, and after hearing songs like “New Way Home,” “Marita,” “Feelin’ American” and “Back On Track,” the CD really captured that live bar band sound.

If you close your eyes and open your ears, you can totally feel that dirty Jersey bar atmosphere, and if you really dug deep you might even be able to smell that bad bar food while your listened to The Paul Gargiulo Band. That’s how well Live At The Franklin captured that sound.

Back in 1991, Paul Gargiulo formed his band with the intent to create original music in North Jersey. Since then they have performed at any venue that will have them, from the tiniest hole-in-the-wall clubs to headlining the best blues bars in NYC, NJ, PA, Memphis and Nashville.

The music of The Paul Gargiulo Band has been described as a cross between blues-rock with a slight funkabilly twist, which I definitely heard. If I had to compare them to somebody, I was going to say Brian Setzer or even The Stray Cats, for that matter. Paul surrounds himself with nothing but top-notch musicians like Ken Adessa on drums and Brad Schwartzseid on bass, who has also done session work with Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora.

The Paul Gargiulo Band is planning to spend the majority of this summer supportingLive At The Franklin. You can log onto paulgargiulo.com to find out where you can catch the band live, or you can go there and buy the CD.

 

North Caldwell Guitarist To Play in Montclair Saturday

See Paul Gargiulo play a solo acoustic set at Tierney's Tavern.

patch
Courtesy of Paul Gargiulo
Courtesy of Paul Gargiulo
Local North Caldwell guitarist will take the stage this weekend at Tierney’s Tavern in Montclair. 

Paul Gargiulo, a 1984 graduate of West Essex Regional High School, will play a solo acoustic set during the bar’s Four of a Kind music event on Saturday starting at 8 p.m. The show will feature three additional performing artists. 
Gargiulo has been playing guitar since he was a kid growing up in town, and formed the Paul Gargiulo’s band in the early 1990s, which is currently comprised of Ken Adessa on drums and Ronnie Rostino on bass. 

“It feels pretty cool,” said Gargiulo about playing in bars and pubs where he grew up. “I always see some old friends I haven’t seen in a long time.” 

Gargiuo will play both original songs, which have an Americana/country rock sound, and also covers. He has played at Tierney’s in the past, located at located at 136-138 Valley Road, in addition to the Rockin' Joe in Caldwell, the Great Notch Inn in Little Falls and Hat City Kitchen in Orange.

You can also catch Gargiulo and his band in October at the Caldwell Street Fair. 

Caldwell Street Fair - No Rain on this Parade

Rain? What Rain - Caldwell Street Fair

 

by Diane Lilli

Posted 10/8/12

 

It may have been the sheer power of the Rotary Club of the Caldwells and the Kiwanis Club of Caldwell -West Essex that scared all that rain away yesterday.

After all, it hasn't rained during this Caldwell Street fair in 21 years, and as anyone that is involved in these charitable organizations can tell you, the money raised goes towards helping the needy both locally and abroad.

So those rain clouds behaved - and though the crowd wasn't quite as large as usual, there was a steady non-stop flow of happy visitors, eating drinking and enjoying all kinds of fun things to do, including rides for the kids and live music.

At Rockn' Joes, Paul Gargiulo and his band rocked the house - bringing in tons of old and new fans to this hot spot in the center of Caldwell. Adults and little kids kept the staff busy from opening until closing, and the comforting hiss of hot chocolates or lattes provided a fun backdrop for the stunning guitar and vocals of this band.

Gargiulo played plenty of his own songs, mixing some seriously incredible Rockabilly tunes with some other singer/songwriter and more rock n'roll tunes.

Outside, kids lined up to go on the ferris wheel or other rides as their parents stood by, enjoying what was being hailed as "the best BBQ in Jersey" over at Hog Wild, the Caldwell spot that has become famous for its pulled pork and other delights.

The 50/50 tickets seemed to be selling well, and as one Kiwanian said,

someone would be very very happy last night, since the pot would be well over $10,000.

As for this reporter, I can tell you one thing for certain: If Caldwell could have an outdoor fair every Sunday - or even once a month - with the Avenue closed to traffic and open to pedestrians - this borough could surely compete with other go-to destinations.

 

The Jersey Tomato Press (http://s.tt/1yxMW)

 

  • NY Blues & Jazz Society

    Led by the photogenic Paul Gargiulo, this quirky trio features an "outside-the-box" combination of blues, swing, and punk-rock attitude. Take one part garage-rock rhythm section (Mike Plummer on bass and Dan Coluccio on drums) and mix with charismatic lead vocals and thin, semi-acoustic guitar (Paul Gargiulo). Add 13 years of steady gigging, stir thoroughly, and listen to the studio-album result -- "Life Pouring Through."

    The quick fingers of Mr. Gargiulo goose a number of songs with their feathery flights of fancy -- most notably "Let Yourself Be," a mid-tempo shuffle, and "Lone Traveler," a fiery, slow blues. The urgent slide guitar of "Vacation Getaway" kidnaps the listener with its undertow groove. The slightly incongruous lyrics make this song perfect for a travel agency commercial. "Sunset, Sunrise" and "I See Home Real Soon" stand out as gentle, romantic ballads featuring sophisticated chord progressions and soothing, Hawaiian-sounding guitar. The forceful, vocal attack evident on most of the CD gives way to an unexpected, irresistible, soft touch on "I See Home Real Soon."

    If you enjoy your blues served up "modern" style, with plenty of jump, snarl, and good looks, then open yourself up to "Life Pouring Through."

 

King of Blues Guitar regional winner 2007

Musical Force to be Reckoned With: Spotlight on N.J.'s Paul Gargiulo

 
band_opt 
SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

As a film crew worked on a documentary about a Jersey boy who matured into a musical force to be reckoned with, McLoone’s Boathouse in West Orange was packed with dancing, ecstatic fans on Friday night - who were lining up to ask who the blazing hot guitarist/singer was and could they know when he’d be back.

New Jersey native Paul Gargiulo looks like an adult version of a Rock god but doesn’t play the cliche-part in his personal life. Instead, he is soft-spoken, humble, and grounded. I met this surprising musician about 5 years ago, when I saw him perform in a local coffee shop in Caldwell, New Jersey. I was taken aback immediately, because he looked too good to be real - a grown up playing original music that I enjoyed - and it took only a few songs for me to realize he was not just a local talent, but someone who could also easily play on main stages. Yet here he was - playing his heart out to a crowd of 40 coffee drinkers at a Rockn’ Joes in Caldwell, New Jersey.

Gargiulo, 46, said he discovered his life-long passion for music as a young boy, and started to take music lessons when he was 12. Instead of playing football or basketball with his friends, this kid was holed up with a guitar and music teacher, and also in his house practicing - and practicing - and practicing. So who was his big influence?

“Elvis,” he said. “It was Elvis, right from the beginning.”

But besides his early love of Elvis and music, Gargiulo said he realizes now that his musical gifts are also connected to his DNA.

“My dad was a musician, and played the accordion,” he said. “One of my brothers plays drums - and my other brother? He is a graphic artist. Both of my parents are artists, and I have an uncle who is artist as well. So, it does run in the family.”

Though he grew to love and play all kinds of music - from Elvis to Led Zepplin to Aerosmith and Stevie Ray Vaughan - Gargiulo matured into a professional musician, and he found himself drawn to a Roots oriented, Americana style infused with bits of the blues, spliced into his original tunes through his lightening fast guitar picking. Unlike the Bon Jovi, Bruce worshipping hordes of Jersey music lovers, this local talent cultivated his own strong sound, as unique as that family DNA. You can’t mistake this Jersey son’s voice for anyone else’s sound.

“Whereas Stevie Ray Vaughan went into a more Blues’ direction, I went back to the early Roots music and started from the beginning, with African Blues roots,” explained Gargiulo. “Then, I expanded from there in Americana , Blues, Jazz, and Country. I remember my father always playing Outlaw Country Records, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn as well as Frank Sinatra. He still has all those old records. I bet it rubbed off on me.”

But as any true artist knows the road to living fully in an artist’s skin is bumpy at best.

Gargiulo, enamored of music, committed at the age of 18 to a lifetime of music, embracing his passion and forgoing college, marriage, and a regular full time job. While all of his friends, brothers and cousins were getting married and embarking on careers, Gargiulo kept taking singing lessons in New York, endlessly practicing his guitar skills and writing new material.

Instead of moving out and getting into a typical career - and focusing part time on his music - like his own musical ancestors from generations past in Italy, Gargiulo turned his own world into a music-centric universe: working as a painter or in construction to get by in order to keep creating, writing, and playing music.

“My parents are very understanding about my passion for music,” he said. “It must be in my blood. Did I give up marriage, a wife, and money for this? Sure, I did, but I have no choice. This is who I am and this is how I want to live. And I know how lucky I am to have such an understanding and supportive family.”

Now, after playing in numerous venues in the tri-state area for twenty years, Gargiulo is ready to hit the road and do work on tour. He has played in Memphis, Nashville and North Carolina and said he plans to go back on tour again.

“I really want to go back to Nashville, and visit Colorado, West Virginia, and who knows where else,” he said, smiling. “I need to share my music in other parts of the country.”

Looking at his schedule, however, this reporter had to ask: How will you find the time since you are booked so often?

Pausing for a moment, he replied.

“That’s easy,” he said. “For me, music always finds a way. And I’m sure I can find the way to do a tour, and grow my fan base beyond this area.”

At McLoone’s Boathouse on April 12, as Paul worked his guitar with his lightening fast fingers and sang an original tune to the crowd, one woman asked me why he isn’t well known on a national scale yet.

“I can’t believe how good this guy is,” she said, shaking her head. “Is he on TV? Where can I see him again? And how does hehold that note so long on Suspicious Minds?”

Paul, who wows the crowd every show with his ever increasing breath control and holding of a note at the end of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds, said he aims to keep increasing how long he can do this - yet he is already at what seemed to be a minute.

With such a buzz circling this original artist, I don’t doubt his future success.

Now, with a new film is being edited about Paul Gargiulo, as anyone knows, a buzz backed up with professional video can truly make magic happen.

If you would like to visit Paul Gargiulo’s webpage, go to www.PaulGargiulo.com.

He is also in the midst of filming with a well known studio, and will post video of his original and cover songs - both on his own and with his band. And, Paul Gargiulo offers guitar lessons, so feel free to reach out to him.

With music as his calling, this is one artist who is sticking to his passion, with gusto.

*** *** ***

If you are an agent or booking manager, contact Paul Gargiulo at  /n This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .">Paul@PaulGargiulo.com .

Paul Gargiulo heads to Nashville TN June 9 to showcase some new Originals

for soon to be released Album. Paul a NJ veteran will be performing a solo Acoustic Performance at Neighbors Guru on June 10 and 12 and Porter on June 15.

Debuting new songs Country, Twangy, roots  Music for the soul with a touch of Grit.