Five Firsts: Joanna Palladino of Off the Record

Off the Record
Off the Record

NAME: Joanna Palladino
BAND AFFILIATION: Off The Record (trio)- Capital District 1960’s Rock n’ Roll Lounge Band

I decided to be honest and answer everything as accurately as I could. It was a great exercise to reflect on influences, and it’s no wonder why I’m drawn to ’60s music. I also realized that although I front our trio, the guys in the band (Bob Resnick and Lou Sansivero) are far more interesting and cool.

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … While not technically an album, I can remember the first cassette tape I purchased myself which was the book soundtrack to The Magic of Herself the Elf through my elementary school’s Scholastic Book program in 1983. I can remember listening to the music on the cassette tape and found out years later that the music was sung and performed by Judy Collins. (Slightly embarrassing, but true.)

2. THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER SAW WAS … Jerry Lee Lewis in 1981 (perhaps ’82?) at the Angels Over the Bay – Keesler AFB Air Show Biloxi, Mississippi. We had a piano at home that was mostly used for Christmas carols, and I can remember being five or six years old and just being in complete awe that someone’s fingers could move that quickly. I was also amazed to see “Great Balls of Fire” performed live and couldn’t believe how similar it sounded to the 8-track version we had at home.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … I tickled the keys on my mother’s piano a bit as a kid, but it wasn’t until fourth or fifth grade that I actually took piano lessons. The first instrument that I was responsible for (protecting, cleaning, keeping away from the family dog) was a plastic recorder that I played in fourth grade music class. I’d bring it home and work on songs for class. As much as I enjoyed the recorder, piano and on occasion xylophone for school concerts, I loved choir and found my niche there. My fourth through sixth grade music teacher was a retired opera singer by the name of Ms. Benko. She taught me that the human voice was a powerful instrument and took me under her wing. I took voice lessons from her for a few years and sang in the school choir – eventually landing the role of Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” (and I have loved Judy Garland ever since).

4. THE FIRST SONG I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … This is tough because my memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be. I can remember being in pre-school in Okinawa, Japan and singing at the annual Christmas concert. The only song I can really remember is singing “Joy to the World” – half in English and half in Japanese. Morobito Kozorite!

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Restless – a female fronted cover band that played mostly in Binghamton and the Finger Lakes region. The band is still out there playing, and you can find them wherever there is a party going on. I am grateful for that experience. Not only did it build my own confidence to front a band, but I learned: that dancing for four hours in four-inch stilettos can be crippling, to stay away from bar owners who have a proclivity for flinging bar stools, and pool tables can be turned into a music stage. I also learned to find songs that complimented my voice. I don’t have the range or the vocal ability of Judy Collins or Judy Garland, but I can cover a Velvet Underground, Patti Smith or Edie Gorme tune convincingly.

Joanne Palladino steps up to the microphone to sing with Off the Record at The Ruck in Troy at 6pm on Friday (April 11). Other upcoming shows for the band include the Backstage Pub & Grille in Schenectady (at 9pm on Saturday, May 10) and McGreivey’s in Waterford (at 7pm on Friday, May 16).

Five Firsts: Bob Resnick

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