Five Firsts: Tony Markellis of the Trey Anastasio Band, etc.

December 27th, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg
Tony Markellis

Tony Markellis

NAME: Tony Markellis
BAND AFFILIATION: I am currently working with the Trey Anastasio Band, Kilimanjaro, the Unknown Blues Band, the Burns Sisters, No Outlet, Street Corner Holler, the Bob Warren Band, Michael Jerling and the Mississippi Hot Dogs.
INSTRUMENT: I play bass – fretted and fretless electric, acoustic and upright.

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “Introducing the Beatles.” They had just hit the American airwaves on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and like every kid at that time, I was astounded. Up until then, I had been listening to the standard AM radio mix on KBLL radio in my hometown. Those guys changed everything.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … I think it was Roy Orbison, in about 1965. I got to see him again about 20 years later, and he sounded every bit as good as he did the first time.

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INTERVIEW: Tony Markellis of the Trey Anastasio Band… and More!

November 29th, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg
Tony Markellis

Tony Markellis

For most music fans, Saratoga Springs bassmaster Tony Markellis is known simply as the bass player in the Trey Anastasio Band. But he’s so much more than that. His musical career has spanned nearly four decades, and along the way, he’s lent his considerable musical talents to everyone from David Bromberg to the Mamas & the Papas.

But he’s also one of the major movers & shakers on the Nippertown music scene, performing with and often producing some of the Local 518’s best musicians – from Michael Jerling and Rosanne Raneri to Jo Henley and the pre-Railbird Sarah Pedinotti Band.

Now he’s helping to shine a light on some of that local talent by curating and performing at a series of shows at Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs. The series kicks off at 10pm on Thursday with a show by the Mississippi Hot Dogs, featuring Markellis, Kevin Maul and Railbird’s Chris Kyle and Chris Carey. Admission is $7.

So we thought we’d take this opportunity to chat with Markellis about his own musical career and the wealth of talent to be found here in Nippertown:

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Tony Markellis: Mr. Bassman

February 18th, 2010, 12:28 pm by Greg

Yesterday, we ran Andrzej Pilarczyk’s story about the Boston-based roots-Americana band Jo Henley. Today, we present a follow-up interview with Saratoga Springs’ own bass master Tony Markellis, who played on the new Jo Henley album and is currently out on the road playing bass in Classic TAB (Trey Anastasio Band).

Q: “Inside Out” is the second Jo Henley album you played on. What got you interested in both projects with the band?

A: Although they’re based in Boston, they were recording “Sad Songs and Alcohol” in Schenectady, where Andy (Campolieto) grew up. They happened to be between bass players at the time and were kicking some names around. The engineer (who I had worked with before) mentioned to them that I lived in the area.

It turns out, they were fans of mine from my work with Trey Anastasio. They sent me some songs to listen to, and I loved what I heard. Not only did I record with them, but I also started playing out with them whenever I could.

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Who Is Jo Henley?

February 17th, 2010, 4:01 pm by Greg

Jo Henley's Ben Lee and Andy Campolieto

Ben Lee and Andy Campolieto

Jo Henley is the name of an up-and-coming Boston-based music collective that’s built around the singer-songwriter talents of acoustic guitarist Andy Campolieto and his fellow song collaborator Ben Lee – playing both electric and acoustic guitars. Rounding out the band’s five-piece lineup are fantastic mandolinist-fiddler Jordan Santiago, acoustic & electric bassist Jeremy Foti and drummer Mike Dingley.

So what kind of music do they play? Their recent appearance at Caffe Lena before an appreciative all-ages audience would suggest everything – including a fiery version of the Dave Brubeck jazz standard “Take Five” and even a dip into the Grateful Dead’s jam-worthy songbag to end the first set. But the highlight of their February 5 performance in Saratoga Springs was really their own refreshingly vibrant and well-crafted originals drawn from their brand new indie release, “Inside Out.”

Andy Campolieto recently spoke with Nippertown about the new recording, the special musical guests who joined them in the studio, the band’s current direction and style.

Q: There’s no one in your band named Jo Henley. So I guess the most commonly asked question you hear is, “Who is Jo Henley?”

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Tony Markellis Hits the Road with Trey Anastasio

January 6th, 2010, 1:30 pm by Greg

Tony MarkellisPowerhouse Saratoga Springs bassist Tony Markellis is packing his bags for another road trip with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio‘s side-project band Classic TAB.

Classic TAB played a number of shows last fall as a quartet, but this time around, they’ve bolstered their sound by adding horns back into the mix.

In addition to Anastasio and Markellis, the line-up for the upcoming tour – which kicks off in Charlottesville, Virginia on Monday, February 8 – features Russell Remington (tenor saxophone and flute), Jen Hartswick (trumpet and vocals), Russ Lawton (drums), Ray Paczkowski (keyboards) and newcomer Natalie Cressman (trombone and vocals), who replaces her father, Jeff Cressman.

The tour isn’t currently slated to make a stop in Albany, although it will be touching down in New York City, Boston and Wallingford, Conn.

Additional info on the tour, the complete itinerary and ticket presales are available at Trey Anastasio’s website.

In recent years, Markellis has also recorded with Sarah Pedinotti, Jo Henley, Michael Jerling, the Burns Sisters, Chris Carey and Street Corner Holler, in addition to working with Anastasio.

LIVE: “The Right Mix” @ the Saratoga Arts Theater, 11/7/09

November 20th, 2009, 12:35 pm by Greg

How big was it? Michael Jerling at the Saratoga Arts Theater

How big was it? Michael Jerling at the Saratoga Arts Theater

Produced by Nancy Walker – an excellent singer-songwriter-turned-concert-promoter – and emceed by Dave Michaels from radio station EXIT 97.7, “The Right Mix” showcased some of Nippertown’s very best roots-oriented musicians, packing the intimate Saratoga Arts Center Theater with a full house of fans.

Hot on the heels of his new CD, “Music Here Tonight: Live At Caffe Lena” on Fool’s Hill Music, magnificent singer-songwriter Michael Jerling kicked off the evening’s music in fine fashion. Accompanied by percussionist-keyboardist-accordionist Teresina Huxtable and the Northeast’s incomparable, premier bassist Tony Markellis, Jerling rolled through a set of evocative, heartfelt songs, highlighted by the humorous, real-life-on-the-road odyssey “Wide Awake In Parsippany” and the comical “In The Middle Ages.”

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MICHAEL JERLING’s “Music Here Tonight: Live at Caffe Lena”

September 25th, 2009, 9:27 am by Greg

MichaelJerling(Fool’s Hill Music, 2009):

Saratoga Springs singer-songwriter Michael Jerling has been making records for nearly 30 years, which means that those early albums were honest-to-goodness vinyl records.

It also means that he’s been making music for long enough that it’s time for him to take a look back and survey his repertoire. So, yes, you could call this album a career retrospective, except that Jerling certainly isn’t ready to sit back and rest on his laurels.

Rather than taking the easy way out and slapping together old tracks for a greatest-hits or best-of compilation, Jerling decided to revisit some of his favorite tunes and record them anew in one of his favorite settings – that cozy little second-floor coffeehouse on Phila Street, Caffe Lena.

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Holly & EvanCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!G.C. HaymesCapital Repertory Theater