David Bourgeois: A Man on the Move

February 20th, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg
Anna and David Bourgeois

Anna and David Bourgeois

Interview and story by Bob Girouard

In today’s highly competitive entertainment industry, success often depends on both the preparedness and the vibe (i.e. a look, sound, image or energy that separates the artist from the average public). Producer/drummer David Bourgeois has that vibe. His position as President and Creative Director of White Lake Music & Post (a full-service production facility: recording studios w/rehearsal space) and Bridge Road Entertainment (specializing in performing artist development) makes him a very unique and very busy man.

WLM&P (named after their home on White Lake in the Adirondacks) is not your average mom-and-pop business. David and his wife, Anna (herself a multi-talented individual in both the creative and business sides of the industry), have run the business since 2010 at their current location at 26 Vly Road in Colonie. Bridge Road Entertainment now has two artists signed exclusively to their roster: The sister-and-brother team of Jocelyn & Chris Arndt (who were featured at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah earlier this month) and Myron James, an indie-pop artist currently recording his debut album.

Nippertown recently sat down with David and Anna to discuss their hard-earned success and how it came about:

Q: Anna, let’s get to the how’s and why’s of this unique venture?

AB: Well, David has always worked in recording studios and written music, so it was a natural progression. We’ve worked together from the ground up, and we’ve been here since 2010. I went to school for radio, television and film. I also worked previously at the NBC affiliate in Utica and PBS here. I handle staff, payroll and human resources.

DB: Yes, I could NOT function without her.

AB: Well, yes you could, but nobody would get paid! (Laughs)

DB: Back when we started, I was hopping around as a producer and drummer for hire for anyone that would have me, including the talented Ted Hyland, who now works with me here and is a member of my staff. Anna and I have similar likes, especially regarding music and musicians. It wasn’t a grand master plan as much as it was an evolution. Prior to being at this location, we spent eleven years in Schenectady.

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LIVE: “Boogie for Bob” @ The Linda, 9/28/14

September 30th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

Review and video by Joel Patterson

You could feel the love at The Linda. The musical community from near and far saluted Albany’s own Bob Girouard with an afternoon of roadhouse blues and rockabilly in which the half dozen bands he’s played in over the years (Hair of the Dog, Aged in the Hills, Ernie Williams Tribute Band, Bluz House Rockers, Diva & the Dirty Boys and Urban Gumbo) definitely made roar happen – and which finally exploded into a one-time reunion and farewell blast to his original ’70s-era band Forest. (These guys – forget about it!)

The bash was also a benefit for research into Parkinson’s disease, which Bob’s been battling since 2003. In between acts, the lights dimmed to screen scenes from “About a Band,” the documentary I did that traces the reunion of Urban Gumbo, his current project. Bob’s dynamic and arresting vocal performances (in particular his duet with Lisa Gordon) brought standing ovations. Cueing up scenes from a DVD in the projection booth at the Linda is slightly touchy, I mean, who knew that going to full screen would automatically start the file playing? I wouldn’t, obviously. But hey, live and learn…

A Few Minutes With… Bob Girouard

September 24th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg
Bob Girouard

Bob Girouard

Interview and story by Don Wilcock
Photographs by Joe Glickman

“I’d never had a sick day in my life,” says drummer/vocalist Bob Girouard. “All of a sudden, I got on stage at Siro’s, August, 2003. It was with Jimmy (Anderson) and (his wife) Trish in Bluz House Rockers. My right hand just froze, wouldn’t even move. What is this? They misdiagnosed it as carpel tunnel syndrome.”

It turned out to be Parkinson’s Disease.

Eleven years later, the benefit concert “Boogie for Bob” at The Linda in Albany on Sunday (September 28) will bring together many of the local musicians who are the backbone of the area’s vibrant scene to honor Girouard. Hair of the Dog, Aged in the Hills, the Ernie Williams Tribute Band, the Bluz House Rockers, Diva & the Dirty Boys, Urban Gumbo and the Massachusetts-based band Forest are all bands that vocalist/drummer Bob Girouard has either played with or been involved with as the concert and corporate sponsor coordinator for the City of Albany Office of Special Events from 1990-2003. The 11 years since he was diagnosed have shown Bob that he doesn’t have to deal with this disease alone.

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Bob Girouard Remembers Levon Helm

April 23rd, 2012, 3:00 pm by Greg
 Levon Helm at the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA, North Adams, 6/26/11

Levon Helm at the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA, North Adams, 6/26/11

Story by Bob Girouard
Photographs by Matt Mac Haffie

I can’t imagine a world without Levon Helm. My world, your world and the lives of everyone he touched. The magic he created with his drumming and voice – never to be duplicated again – is hard for me to even fathom.

Several years ago, I had the rare privilege of getting to know the man and regularly visited with him. Initially awestruck at being in his presence, he quickly put me at ease as only he could with his larger-than-life persona. There was that familiar twinkle in his eye along with an approving nod… making me feel like had always been a part of his family. To Levon, it was never about the accolades or fame, it was about making the music.

As a fellow drummer, I was blown-away that he treated me like a peer and would always spend a generous amount of time shedding his light on the “how-where-and-why’s” of the instrument, his own lineage and the true stories behind some of the greatest music ever made. The hours seemingly went by like minutes, which made me hunger for more.

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Cool Factor 10: Jim Barrett, Local Loyalist & Legend (Part 2)

January 13th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Sara

This is Part 2 of our profile and interview of Troy legend Jim Barrett. Click here to read Part 1.

(left) photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk and (right) photo by Al Goldberg

(left) photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk and (right) photo by Al Goldberg

I think you find the good in everything.

Maybe so. I guess I’m patient, and always look for the good in what I’m hearing. If I don’t like a band’s record, I’ll at least try to see them live before I make up my mind.

A lot of local performers in this region owe their careers to you.

That’s a nice thing to say, but to be honest, I’d like to think that I owe my career to them. When these bands or solo acts play my store, it’s still a thrill for me. For instance, recently a young band called the Mysteios. They’re so sincere, driven, great writers and very, very entertaining. I notice things…..I can see it in their eyes that they’re hungry: a certain kind of passion. Locally, live, there’s no one like Super 400… they’re incredible.

My favorite all-time musician – bar none – has always been Johnny Rabb. He’s like a savior to me. When this region was struggling…people playing disco with pink pants on and shiny shoes, Johnny was still playing goofy dive bars with great musicians. He took all the crap and never quit. He is the epitome of why this area is so rich in musical talent.

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Cool Factor 10: Jim Barrett, Local Loyalist & Legend (Part 1)

January 12th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Sara

Jim Barrett (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Here’s Part 1 of our profile and interview of Troy legend Jim Barrett. We’ll publish the second half tomorrow.

River Street in Troy is a funky place: Its early 20th century buildings with their unique architecture, clothing and antique shops are the reason why so many filmmakers have used it for location scenes. If there’s a street that can be called ‘artsy,’ this is it. And if you’re hungry for music, there’s one place that’s a must see: The River Street Beat Shop (#197). Stepping into the venue is like being in a time capsule, possibly reminding one of London’s Soho district in the ’60s.

From the street, you’re immediately drawn in by the sights and sounds. On any given day you might hear rarities from Howlin’ Wolf to the Ramones to a new CD by local virtuoso Maria Zemantauski. Visually, there’s the psychedelic bric-a-brac, which is surrounded by stacks of vinyl ranging from the unusual to the unknown. This is augmented with rare original posters of the Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Velvet Underground, ? and the Mysterians, the Clash, or behind the counter a rare Elvis or even better yet, AJ Weberman LP. It’s a veritable musical nirvana.

A booming voice bellows: “All vinyl is half price today.” Immediately followed by, “Hey, this just came in. Check it out, have you heard this ’67 bootleg of Cream? It’s unreal.”

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Media Watch: Interviewing Paul McCartney

May 24th, 2010, 3:05 pm by Greg

Max Weinberg, Modern Drummer Associate Editor Billy Amendola, Dino Danelli and Bob Girouard

Bob Girouard (far right) pictured with (from left) Max Weinberg, Modern Drummer Associate Editor Billy Amendola and Dino Danelli

OK, it’s not everyday that you have an interview with Paul McCartney.

But Capital Region writer Bob Girouard had that rare opportunity recently when he was writing the cover story for the current issue of Classic Drummer magazine, which features Denny Seiwell, the drummer for Wings.

Girouard is a longtime drummer (Aged in the Hills, City Lights, more) on the local music scene, as well as an entrepreneur (he helped launch the Alive at Five concert series when he worked for the City of Albany’s Special Events Office). But lately, he’s been concentrating on writing for such magazines as Classic Drummer and Modern Drummer, delivering in-depth, detailed interviews with such influential percussionists as the Band’s Levon Helm, the Rascals’ Dino Danelli, Mountain’s Corky Laing and Little Feat’s Richie Hayward.

Here’s Girouard’s recollections of his interview with McCartney:

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