Posts Tagged ‘buffalo music awards’

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 24: ‘Ahimsa’

April 13, 2016

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I’m always more ferocious on the show with my friends because I know they can take it.  Longtime pal and one-man-band Gregg Sansone is certainly no exception.  The kid gloves came off and the laughs broke out in the studio for this explosive, no-holds-barred episode.  Gregg knows how I operate.  Diabetes Dave stepped up to the plate for a return trip to the Co Host Hot Seat.  The chemistry between the three of us was near-perfect.  See for yourself:

Thanks are in order to producer Richard Wicka, Sansone and Diabetes Dave for bringing their A game.  If you like what you see, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!  And don’t miss the bonus clips below!

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 24.1: ‘Me & Julio’ & 24.2: ‘Wandering/High Time Again’

April 13, 2016

Musician Gregg Sansone threw me a curveball in the studio when it came time to record the #BigWordsVideo bonus clips after the episode: He brought his Breedlove guitar.  While I know and love the man for his piano-playing, he’s also an incredible guitarist.  So Gregg pulled up a stool, plugged in and performed Paul Simon’s classic hit ‘Me & Julio (Down By The Schoolyard’ for the first clip and a double header of the James Taylor/Charles Grean song ‘Wandering’ and Gregg’s very own country composition ‘High Time Again’.  Feast your eyes and ears right here:

Now I’m not sure if I’ve said this before, but LIKE & SUBSCRIBE for additional episodes, bonus clips and updates!  We’ll see you all in a month!

Tom

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The Ballad Of Gregg Sansone (Uncut)

March 28, 2016

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Author’s Note: This interview has been on a wild ride in the last ten years.  A shorter edit originally appeared in Buffalo Spree magazine, the longer format ran on Acid Logic and the version you’re about to read finally found its way into my fourth book If They Can’t Take A Joke (Authorhouse, 2007).  Gregg’s been a dear friend of mine for more than 15 years and with his 55th birthday approaching, I thought I’d revisit this interview.  

If you’ve participated in (or just enjoyed) the Buffalo music scene for the last six years, Gregg Sansone is a pervasive, melodic, keyboard-driven entity. The two-time Buffalo Music Award Winning Solo Artist Of The Year plays out at clubs, bars and other venues over 300 nights a year (when he’s in peak physical condition), and his cover shows run the gamut of Steve Winwood to Elton John to Stevie Wonder. Dabbling in rock, jazz, blues and classical standards, Sansone has become a local icon and a national underground phenomenon. I saw Gregg play (or channel, to be more accurate) Elton John covers at Route 66 in downtown Buffalo four years ago, and I’ve been a Sansonite ever since. His two and three hour shows are lousy with fans, electric in their intensity and craftsmanship, and brilliant to witness. I had the opportunity to sit down with Greg at my apartment in Lancaster while he was recovering from major back surgery (he had a disc removed).

TW: You haven’t had a drink since you were 15. Why is that, and do you find it surreal to play out at clubs and bars for the majority of the year in the company of people who are soused out of their minds?

GS: No. Alcoholism runs in my family. I’ve got a huge family. Eight boys and one girl. Some people put down meat and become vegetarians. I had the hindsight as a fifteen year old to say ‘You know, I’m addictive as hell. I have a real addictive personality. I’m just not going to do this. Otherwise, I think it could be a problem, and it just stuck through college and everything else. Like anything, I stuck with it and it developed and it’s been years and years. I have a blast (at the shows). People come up to me and say ‘Man, you were hammered because you were dancing on the bars!’ and I say, ‘No, but awesome, thanks man.’

TW: How does your strongly held belief in Buddhism inform your singing and songwriting?

GS: Songwriting and instrumental writing are different. They’re along a spiritual line, but my performances are an extension of what I believe in anyway about myself. Buddhism isn’t a religion as much as it is a philosophy. They didn’t invent being honest and they didn’t invent being good people, they just do it well. So you can apply it to any faith that you have and for me, it just helps me to not want to kill everybody. Or when someone is drunk and they fall into my keyboards and everything, now I don’t want to drag them into the parking lot. Before (Buddhism) I did.

TW: Do you think the era of disposable pop/porn performers like Britney Spears and Ricky Martin is nearing its end, or is it more of a popular music cycle?

GS: I think human nature is human nature, and within music, I’m no expert on anything. I’m just an Italian from Buffalo. Before them when Madonna got really popular, they produced people like Jody Watley, and-

TW: Rick Astley.

GS: People like that, that’s exactly right, but specifically female singers to sound like her (Madonna). Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, so it does go in cycles. I think the American people, we’re a disposable society. There’s a huge portion of the population that buys into that, and they just go into whatever’s popular. But there’s this undercurrent of people like us that-

TW: Observe?

GS: Observe and evaluate and say, ‘This is good, this doesn’t work for me, that’s kinda bullshit. I know that you love Elton John for instance, as do I. People like Elton John, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and even Madonna, and I’m not a Madonna fan, but she’s stood the test of time. They’re not a flash in the pan, and for good reason. If we didn’t have those people, it would be a sad, sad world with the boy bands, although Justin Timberlake has broken from that and has really made a name for himself. I mean, I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

TW: And Mark Wahlberg-

GS: Mark Wahlberg is kinda cool in the movies, though! When he was Marky Mark it was a different story.

TW: Your best one night stand story after a show:

GS: Um, my best one night stand story after a show-because I have one night stand stories during a show.

TW: That sounds like the better story.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 15: ‘Siren’

November 6, 2015
Publicity Still by producer Richard Wicka

Publicity Still by producer Richard Wicka

As far as bucket lists for Buffalo celebrities guests go, Alison Pipitone was at the top of the pops.  She’s incredibly talented, she’s got ten albums under her belt and she’s never compromised her artistic integrity.  Her talents as a songwriter/lyricist are inspiring, she’s amazingly humble for someone so accomplished and her ear for production in the studio is the best I’ve ever heard around here.  Enough gushing, though.  Here’s the episode:

Don’t forget to Like, Share and Subscribe!

Thanks (as always) to producer Richard Wicka for being the man behind the curtain, longtime pal (and one-time employee) Brian Platter for co-hosting, and Alison Pipitone for earning another lifetime fan.  She was a great interview and I can’t wait to buy the rest of her ten albums!

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Big Words Radio Presents The Busted Stuff Boxed Trifecta!

January 28, 2011

Yesterday was an incredible day across the board.  Dave Abbatoy, Cynthia McCaffrey, co-host Mark McElligot and I really had a blast together recording the interview portion of the show at my Lancaster grotto.  Some rough questions were asked and they weathered them out like champs.  I got both of their last names wrong and they brushed right past it like true professionals.

Shortly after taping the interview, the four of us skedaddled down to Dee’s Firehouse in Depew, where Dave and Cynthia gave a once-in-a-lifetime performance to a packed house.  Former co-hosts Zombie Chris, Diabetes Dave and Charles ‘Chezzie’ Amabile were all in attendance along with a large cast of good friends and thirty patrons.

 

Here are your synopses:

 

Episode 54: Maccatoy Vs. Nixon

In less than an hour, Tom manages to f#*$k up both Dave and Cynthia (Busted Stuff’s) last names while offending everyone in the room in addition to his wife.  Pitch-hitter co-host Mark McElligott delivers the ‘opening shot’ and the gang gets misty about Buffalo music while Tom considers stapling the back of his wife’s head.

 

Episode 53: Busted Stuff Live At Dee’s Firehouse (pt.I): The Devil Went Down To Depew

Busted Stuff opens with a scorching set to an increasingly packed house at Dee’s Firehouse on Thursday, January 27th, 2010.  Tom and his cohorts manage to drain four pitchers, a score of finger sandwiches, a double of wings and more than a few doubles of whiskey.  The crowd rejoices.

 

Episode 52: Busted Stuff Live At Dee’s Firehouse (pt.II): Bringing It All Back Home

Dave Abbatoy and Cynthia McCaffrey bring it home for the two point conversion with a once in a lifetime set list of covers, fan favorites, Tom’s favorite version of Peter Gabriel’s ‘In Your Eyes’ and a live version of their award-winning Live Lake Local Music Compilation song ‘Pray To Rain’.

 

A huge thanks goes out to Dave and Cynthia from Busted Stuff for contributing so much of their time and talent to a free show as well as my off-color sense of humor.  Thanks also to Dee, Jim, Cathy, Melissa and the rest of the gang at Dee’s Firehouse for hosting their event at their fantastic bar and restaurant.  If local bands or artists contact me in the future (and believe me, they will), I’d love to do it again at Dee’s.  Thanks are in order to Mark McElligott for co-hosting with a week’s notice and everyone who showed up for the show, ordered drinks and food en masse and helped to make the night one to remember.  So when can you listen to these historic episodes on ‘the iTunes’, you may ask?  They’re already posted.  I rushed home after the show, produced all three and uploaded them before I conked out for the night, so search ‘Big Words Radio’ on iTunes (the show listed under Comedy, NOT Literature), subscribe and rate high!  If you don’t have ‘the iTunes’, you can just as easily hear all three shows over at:

www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

Have a great rest of the week and I’ll talk to you all again in late February when I interview graphic artist/writer Dylan Horrocks with co-host Terry Kimmel!

Tom Waters

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Big Words Radio Racks Up The Downloads!

January 10, 2011

2011 is already shaping up to be one hell of a year.  I checked the download stats for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour and for the month of December there were 1087 downloads on Mevio.com alone!  The Think Twice Radio site had an uptick in traffic as well, garnering 240,177 unique site hits along with 8,951 visits to the site.  What does this mean?  This means that the show is kicking ass!  I still have no idea where all of this traffic is coming from but I’m not complaining.

I urge those of you who listen to shoot me an email at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with your geographical location along with a brief description of how you came across the show. You can also phone your comments or impressions of the show in at (716) 823-1750.  The next studio show is at the end of February (with New Zealand writer/artist Dylan Horricks) and I would love to air some phone calls during the show.  Do you want to hear your voice on the air?  Do you want to plug your band, book, business or project or possibly make your way onto the show as a future guest?  Calling or emailing is a quick and easy way to do so.

I’ve also heard from some of you that Big Words Radio is no longer available on iTunes.  This simply isn’t true.  While the site was shut down on mypodcast.com, there’s a quick and easy way to switch feeds and download all 69 episodes of the show.  I did some homework today and Big Words Radio is indeed still on iTunes. If you go to http://www.bigwords.mevio.com/, just click on ‘subscribe on iTunes’ near the icon on the right hand side. You’ll be able to download any or all episodes onto your iPod within minutes.

We’re also less than two weeks away from what will surely prove to be a historic ‘parter of two’ at Dee’s Firehouse on January 27th at 6 p.m.  Dee’s is located at 4628 Broadway Avenue in Depew NY just minutes away from Transit Rd. on the corner of Broadway and Lackawanna Ave.  2010 Buffalo Night Life Music Award winners for Best Rock Duo Busted Stuff will be playing a free concert while I record the event for inclusion on Big Words Radio.  We’re all collectively putting the word out, so this concert is going to be a real barn-burner.  Mark your calendar, tell all your friends and for god’s sakes, take off of work the following day because this show is going to be epic!

Thanks for listening, thanks for downloading and thanks for spreading the word about Big Words Radio.  Please take the time to email or (better yet) call in with a quick impression on the show.  I really appreciate your support.  If it wasn’t for so many listeners, I probably never would have come back from my self-imposed hiatus.  Here’s to a bright, beautiful future for Big Words Radio!

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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Um…Has Anyone Ever Heard Of ‘the Itunes’?

May 8, 2009
 

For the first time ever, it is now possible for all of you to ‘dial it up’ on your Ipod. As of this week, Apple informed me that The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour (all 36 existing ‘podisodes’?) passed their grueling approval process, so in addition to visiting the site online at its new second home (www.bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com), feel free to subscribe or download directly on Itunes! Just pop onto Itunes, search ‘Big Words Radio’, and BAM! You’re there! It’s never been easier to listen to my nonsense, and when you subscribe, the newest shows will pop up on your Ipod before I even send out the announcement! So the question isn’t necessarily ‘do you like apples’, but ‘do you like Apple’?

And there is still a mountain of back-logged shows that’ll be going up in the next few weeks! As of this morning, the final (and first, oddly) installment of ‘We’ve Got Gregg’s Back’, the benefit for Gregg Sansonne, is up on the site featuring a knockout performance from Buffalo Music Award-winning dynamic duo Busted Stuff! The entire benefit (including my corny jokes on mc detail) is up for your enjoyment in chronological order, so you can listen to the concert the same way those of us who attended heard it, minus the long pauses, band warm-ups, or frequent Chinese Auction announcements.

What can you look forward to hearing in the future, you may ask? April Foolfest 2 featuring yours truly spouting out Slapstick & Superego, JR Finlayson doing what he does best busting out mad lyrical dope rhymes and piano wunderkind Lenny Revell bringing down the house sans microphone Jerry Lee Lewis style! A ’parter of two’ interview/concert combo with local jazz saxophonist Will Holton on location at Ying’s Wings in Depew and the Tralf in downtown Buffalo, respectively. The final Monsters Of Verse performance at the Center For Inquiry. And so much more! Expect brand new ’One Man Mobile Unit’ episodes some time towards the end of May and the beginning of June!

We’re also less than a week away from superstar special guest Harvey Pekar, comic book pioneer and American Splendor icon! Stay tuned Wednesday, May 13th for the first studio show since the shocking Sara Jay episode (#35) from March!

That’s about everything for one day. Have a great weekend and have fun ’dialing it up’ on your Ipods!

 

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