What do you get when you take a healthy mix of soulful vocals, blustery horn hooks and groovy rhythms and put them into a lively local music blender? You get the daring, yet delightful sounds of The Chris Paterno Band, who are more than ready to take over the Philly music scene this summer because that’s exactly what they’re going to do.
Along with lead vocalist/guitarist Chris Paterno, the funkdafied group also consists of local musicians Connor McElwee on guitar, Mike Clark on bass, Nate Sims on auxiliary percussion and Frank Rein and Doug Parsons on their respective trumpet and trombone. Oh, and yes, there’s also Adam Monaco who brings his mandolin stylings along for this fun, funky music ride.
So, wherever you go see The Chris Paterno Band this summer, whether it be at Connie’s Ric Rac tonight, Milkboy on July 7th or the Philadelphia Freedom’s Block Party at Villa Nova on August 10th & 11th, you will not just be getting served by a little mandolin action, but with an extraordinary mix of the talents provided by these fine music gentlemen who are just getting their local groove party started.
I got the chance to sit down with Chris at Plenty Cafe earlier this week, and he was very kind in his words in spilling about life, love, Beyoncé and what the power of music means to him, especially after the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando this past Sunday.
Take a seat at the local music tea-table with Mr. Paterno below and always remember to keep spreading that local music love.
And for much more on The Chris Paterno Band, check this out.
While I hate to start a music tea out with sad news, but the tragedy in Orlando is certainly on everybody’s minds right now. How did you react when you first heard about it? I woke up and had some things to do, and I didn’t look at the news or anything. I went to the gym and saw [the story] when I was on the treadmill. And I just stopped what I was doing. At the end of the day, it’s people’s lives that we’re talking about and we need to discuss the destruction that just happened and keep moving forward to make a change. I’m really taken aback and absolutely shocked and saddened. Everybody needs to work together and get something done because it needs to stop.
That’s why I’m certainly thankful for music. I don’t know about you, but it’s certainly become a sanctuary, especially now more than ever. That’s what [it’s] about for me. It’s like a journal, actually. I sit down and I write how I feel and then I’m able to share it with anyone who will listen. If I can connect with someone emotionally and be in that same spot that is my music, be vulnerable with people, that to me is a success and I hope it comes across, especially live.
Who are some of your favorite artists to see live? It kinds of changes with times of my life, I actually just saw Beyoncé in concert. It was awesome. She’s just an amazing performer. Going back to Orlando and we said about people being vulnerable with music, every time she had a moment with the crowd she was always being empowering and kind. It was great to have that, I felt refreshed after [her] concert.
Any upcoming shows this summer you already have tickets for? Yeah! I’m going to Mayer Hawthorne at Union Transfer, I can’t wait for that one. I really like to just pick out shows and we go out, and we always go see the bands that are on a bill with us. You have to always support local music.
Speaking of local music, Philly’s certainly been shining through on the scene. What are some of the changes that you personally see? One of the biggest things is The Fillmore opening up and also The Foundry. They’ve become great venues for the middle gap of touring artists that aren’t nationally known. You’re starting to see that a lot more, which really bolsters the local music scene because you get to see a lot of local artists that playing alongside those middle tier touring artists, which is great.
A question that always stumps everyone I break mugs with is if you had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, which one would it be? “Number Ones” by Stevie Wonder. I just bump that all the time at work on repeat…it’s just genius. I just love Stevie, he is a day-to-day inspiration. I actually saw him in concert at Wells Fargo last summer and he just blew my mind with how good he was. He just incorporates so many flavors in his music, He’s a musician’s musician and he also relates to the people and keeps it real, which we certainly need more of right now.
On a lovely side tea, Mr. Paterno and his merry band of local musicians are heavily involved with Project Home, a wonderful Philly based organization whose mission is to “empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, to alleviate the underlying causes of poverty, and to enable all of us to attain our fullest potential as individuals and as members of the broader society.”
There’s lots of big announcements with the band’s involvement with this project coming up soon (get ready for some merch!!), so be sure to check out Project Home’s website as well as The Chris Paterno Band home base right here.
Let’s keep on spreading