It started with my grandfather, who sang “a cappella” at every family party, won a few talent contests here and there, and was a frequent contributor to the musical scene in a lot of taprooms in his day.
All of his children (including my dad) carry on the tradition of entertaining at parties, and my aunt has a deep collection of songs she’s written, including one recorded by Al Martino in the 1960s. Another aunt also spent some time in a recording studio and came out with lovely versions of On a Clear Day and You Made Me Love You.
Now it’s time for the next generation to shine. My sister’s two older sons are musically gifted with bands making a local statement, and my cousin, who moved to Austin, Texas last year to pursue his musical dream, just finished touring Germany with his band. Thanks to new technology, I can share their work with you today:
This clip is from my nephew Rick and his band, YMD. (He’s wearing the blue hoodie). I was at the release party for his last CD, and although the music was a little loud for me, I can appreciate his clever lyrics (conveniently printed on the inside of the CD so I could read them). If you like rap, or the Beastie Boys in particular, you’ll probably enjoy YMD. Here’s a national review of their last release that appeared in USA Today’s Pop Culture blog as “the best CD I listened to this week”.
His brother Ryan is following in his footsteps and getting good reviews with his band. Here’s a clip and review from The Deli Magazine where the journalist refers to them as one of the best up and coming bands in the Philly area, and refers to their infectiously fun live performances. To hear the song, scroll down and click on the link to Everyone’s Dead. My son compares their sound to the 80s band Joy Division, especially due to the lead singer’s baritone vocals.
Finally, here’s a clip from my cousin Tim who plays with The Tom Gillam Band. This was filmed on their German tour. Tim’s the one on Tom’s right (next to the drummer). I try to see them live whenever they are in the area because they are terrific, and I’m happy to report they are a hit on the Austin music scene, as well.
Rock on, boys. As Bob Marley says, “I hope this jam is gonna last…”