Saturday, April 20th, 2013

I've been playing about one or two solo shows a month since the last news entry. Keene, NH continues to be a home away from home for me. Every performance seems to lead to meeting more cool new musicians and making more new fans. Summer dates are filling in quickly, and it's been enjoyable to have places where I can return to play repeatedly, because it helps me avoid spending lots of time booking shows, and focus more on practicing and writing. On the writing front, I have added a couple of new original songs and instruments to my live set, and will be adding a couple more over the next months, as I refine the last little bits. Some of the shows this summer will include my sons Aidan and Victor, and I'm thankful to have the opportunity to still perform with them from time to time. I continue to miss not having a real home venue here in Acton which regularly supports my creative work; the loss of Savoury Lane and Rick Gordon's huge support of live original music leaves a vacuum. The closing of Providence Coffee Roasters in Riverside, my childhood hometown, has left me without a regular venue at which to play for family and childhood friends (even jam with some of them). It reminds me that nothing lasts forever, and I'm glad these supportive outlets where there for me, for at least a while.


Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

There have been about a dozen shows performed since my last news entry in May. The website news updates have gotten ferwer and further between, because it's been a bit easier to share things out on facebook and keep fans involved interactively with each show. I have played my favorite clubs, restuarants, farms, farmers markets, and annual art events...sometimes solo, and sometimes with both my sons, or on occasion with just my son Aidan on the cocktail drum kit. Look for Pavao Family Band on facebook, where a lot of the content has been posted, and also look to the Steve Pavao music page on facebook, in which I'm beginning to invest more effort. I have commenced booking some Fall solo dates around New England, taking me to NH, RI, and hopefully to CT and NYC. I will update the Shows page just as soon as new dates materialize.


Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Over the past number of months since my last news entry, I've played a dozen shows in places such as Providence, NYC, Keene, NH, Concord, MA, and my hometown of Riverside, RI, just to name a few. I have made some really nice relationships with some very supportive folks along the way. I recorded another CD single with my sons and we released it in March. You can find it on our Bandcamp page; we haven't added it to our website yet. Although we haven't sold as many as I have wished to, I am quite happy to have the 2 songs recorded, and our strategy of recording a song or two when we have time will certainly continue.
There are a number of shows scheduled for the Summer of 2012. We hope you will be able to catch up with us at one of these venues to hear the brand new original songs which we have added to our set, as well as new covers which let the boys strectch out on on trombone and saxophone a bit.


Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Although I have not updated my News page since late June, there's been no lack of musical activity this Summer. I've had the opportunity to play many shows at various venues throughout New England, and I'm happy that people are asking me to come back to places and perform again. The schedule has pretty much been filling itself out on its own, and that's kinda nice. Those who want to hear my songs...I am more than happy to come play them. During these last few months, the boys and I have met many great folks and gained new fans in different states at these shows.

Although I have not done loads of writing this summer, I have completed a song which was 1 year in the making. It is called "A World of Hurt". This song continues my recent tradition of taking a strongly held idea or expression, then letting it gestate over months, even years, until I've had time to reflect on the core of the idea while living daily life. That gives me the time to come to a better understanding of my thoughts around the idea, and allows time for the language to come to me (often it occurs as in the wringing-out of a sponge), until the expression is fully formed.

The unusual aspect of this new song is that it contains a strong instrumental melodic component which I can only recreate with the pump organ or having a guest woodwind player. Acoustic guitar cannot get it done in the way the song needs it. So, I must commit to bring more gear to my shows in order to play this important new song, and also muster a new type of performance energy to execute the song properly live in front of an audience. This is what it must feel like for any artist who has been studying new techniques, and refining their new work into a best presentation to offer. The song is almost ready for public performance.


Thursday, June 22nd, 2011

I recently returned from a mini-vacation which took Maura and I to Philadelphia then to NYC for a couple of performances. First, we drove to Philadelphia where I had the opportunity to play a feature set at a venue I truly adore, the Burlap and Bean. Based on my feelings after the set, and after talking to Maura, this stands as perhaps my top performance of the past few years, maybe ever. Everything flowed smoothly, and I found that my voice was hitting pitches with ease tonight, and I was really able to express myself without feeling limited in any regard. Performances like that don't always happen. It helped that the B&B has a new sound system with QSC 12" speakers and a great monitoring set up, so you can really hear your voice well as you sing. Thanks to Kyle and all the folks at the B&B; you've got something good going on. The crowd was lively, energetic, and seemed to really appreciate my songs.
After the Philadelphia show, Maura and I lodged overnight in nearby Yorkstown, PA. We spent the next morning visiting the Yorkstown visitor center and learned a bit more about the role of Yorkstown in the Revolutionary War, then picked up souvenirs for the boys. We headed out to Amish country, namely the town of Ronks, PA, where we researched some places we wanted to visit. We ended up visiting lots of Amish farmstands on the back roads off of Rt 30, generally avoiding the touristy-trap places on the main roads. We went directly to farms, and found lots of great provisions and crafts. We stocked up on some goods for ourselves and our friend Marc who lives in Brooklyn. I appreciate the Amish and Mennonite lifestyle; these folks cut no corners and earn every last thing they have in life...they aim to live a highly ethical life and truly live the Golden Rule while most of the rest of us just pay it lip service.
After a full day in Amish country, we headed up to NYC to see our friend Marc, who lives in Brooklyn. We got to Marc's at dinnertime on Saturday, went out to dinner at Fette Sau, hung out in Williamsburg at one of Marc's favorite haunts, then picked up on the fun again on Sunday by visiting the Brooklyn Flea, Brooklyn Brewery, and Tchoup Shop at dba Brooklyn for lunch. After that we headed into Manhattan to visit Marc's company's new office in the iconic Village Voice building, but we couldn't get in just yet. We spent some time having coffee at a nice Italian cafe in the Village, then headed over to my gig at Caffe Vivaldi. Due to several of my friends being out of town for some summer getaway, the crowd was smaller than I had hoped. Add to that, my voice seemed to be fighting me for some of my songs, but Maura assured me afterward that it sounded OK out in the room. It just shows how you can get easily spoiled with a nice monitoring system like the one at the B&B in Philly.
Maura and I headed back home after the show, and got in at a comfy 1:30 am; not bad at all. Thanks to Marc, Brendan, and my parents for helping to make this happen, and to Marc for showing us such a fun time.


Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Played 2 gigs this week, one on Thursday at Fritz, in Keene, NH, and the other on Sunday at Acton-Boxborough Farmers Market. The Fritz gig was a great brush-up gig, as I got to play a low-pressure early set to the half-full room. It was my first time out since the end of my U.S. Northeast Spring Tour with Ian. My voice is feeling much stronger these days, as I have kicked a little nagging cough held over from the tour. Dusting my songs off at Fritz was the perfect opportunity to jump back into performing after a few weeks rest. Later, I hung out with Maura, Ian, and Jackie at an outdoor table in front of Brewbakers coffee shop. It was a beautiful evening, and the musically-focused conversation was most enjoyable.

The AB Farmers Market gig went very well for me, in that I feel like the songs really lived and breathed when performed out in the open air. Using the 12-string guitar has been working out nicely for me. I was focused largely on clouds in the distance as I played, and as my set evolved, I started getting an especially strong response from the AB Farmers Market volunteers table, who shouted out "We like _you_". I love playing the local farmers market; so many vendors here doing things the right way, and for the right reasons. I'll try to play there again before the season's over if they'll have me. Enjoyed a nice conversation with the Bagel Alley folks after my set, and they were nice enough to hook me up with some extra sesame bagels as apprecation for my performance. When I was loading out, I tweaked a back muscle while bending sideways to pick up a guitar cable, this after having shoveled yards of loam the previous day with no problems whatsoever. It just reminds me that even though the much ballyhooed end-of-the-world didn't actually happen this weekend, God has kept every last lick of his playful sense of humor.

In other news, I am beginning (with the help of Maura) to put the pieces together for my June gigs in the PA/DE/NYC area. More to come on this soon.


Friday, April 8th, 2011 - tour entry

Tonight was the tour finale at Parima Acoustic Lounge in Burlington, VT. Ian and I started out our day enjoying a beautiful morning in Keene, NH, in the company of our friend Laina, who had been gracious enough to put us up for the previous night. We grabbed coffee, tea, and chai at Brewbakers on Main St. in Keene before Laina had to head off to a meeting. Then, Ian and I stopped for some CD shopping in Keene at Turn It Up, right near Brewbakers. I ended up buying a Sigur Ros CD, which we ended up spinning twice in a row as we feuled up and started our journey north for the evening. The Sigur Ros CD was perfect for our jaunt through backwoods NH and VT. Its symphonic dynamics and arrangement of sections effortlessly flowing in and out of each other, sometimes in stark contrast, matched our travel scenery.

After a few hours navigating the streets and thoroughfares, we ascended up a bumpy, muddy road to Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock, VT, a favorite place for me to visit when time permits. They have great maple syrups and cheeses. Luckily, we had plenty of time for this side trip today, and Ian was willing to oblige. I drove the van around ruts and potholes in the muddy road, up the hill which led to the farm. We visited the sugaring house where they were making some Grade B syrup, then left with a haul of 2 half-gallons of their syrup and some cheeses for the cheeseboard on Easter holiday. From there, we went a' heading north to Burlington, and we easily arrived at Parima slightly early to meet Joe, the director of events at Parima. We then did some last-minute postering nearby, and set up for our show.

We decided to bring in my little battery powered Crate Taxi amp, to use as a stage monitor, because the main room speakers were a few feet to the side and front of the stage. I did a line check of Ian, and then we sat down for a pre-show dinner provided by the venue, in the form of Pad Thai. Soon after we had finished, a bunch of my friends from the Cambridge, VT area arrived. It had been a while since I had seen my friends Steve and Jenn, who had just driven 40 minutes to see us play. There wasn't much time for catching up, though, as it was time to start the performances.

Ian performed the first set tonight, and I must say I felt he was in top form. He played with a controlled intensity throughout his set, and his songs were very well received by my friends. It was nice that the venue had comfy couches up front, as it made for a cozier, more intimate listening environment. Ian was especially effective on his staggering new song "Walks Like Tussaud". At one point during the set, there was a hilarious exchange between Ian and one of Jenn's friends, when she mentioned that her ex-husband's last name was Fitzgerald. Ian softly replied, "That wasn't me."

As I recall, my set started off in a duo configuration, with my buddy Steve playing hand drum on a few of my older tunes on which he played drums originally. I had a great time playing with Steve and I must say it felt like riding a bike; it seemed we had no trouble doing decent versions of my songs "Pour", "Beauty In Everything", and "Sunflower". Next, I played some of my newer songs solo. It was a pleasure to finally play these new songs live for Steve and Jenn. Jenn was one of the first folks to express excitement about my song "My Beautiful Friend" when I first posted the demo online. She also expressed that she was very happy to hear me perform my old tune "Sunflower", apparently a favorite.

After our sets were over, I sold some CDs, then spent a fun time with everyone, socializing and catching up. It had been too long. I'm hoping to visit the Burlington area again this summer or fall, to play another show, do some visiting, and enjoy the great outdoors in VT. Thanks to Joe at Parima for hosting me and Ian on our tour.

After saying our goodbyes, Ian and I drove home after the show, loading up on caffiene and snacks for the 3+ hour haul. I enjoyed the ride wholeheartedly, as Ian and I discussed songs we enjoyed, and Ian played DJ, sometimes tracking down great live performances of songs on my iPhone, via YouTube, and piping the music through the van stereo via the Bluetooth connection.


Thursday, April 7th, 2011 - tour entry

Tonight Ian and I played at Fritz Fries on the main drag in Keene, NH. The Acoustic Thursday events there are run by Thomas Proulx, a nice fellow who has taken to a career in presenting entertainment after having served in our armed forces. Fritz has a cozy cabana set up in the corner, in which the entertainers perform. Ian and I split a 35 minute opening set, as previously planned with Thomas. I played 4 songs to start the evening, working in the usual fav'rites plus the debut of a my new song "Make My Place". I announced that my song "My Beautiful Friend" will be appearing on The Starving Artist compilation CD. Several of the Starving Artist folks were nice enough to stop by, including Jackie, Laina, Dan, Aaron, and Brandon. A friendly local guy named Jason was kind enough to videotape my performance and post it online.

After we played and ate, we headed over to The Starving Artist for their Musetopia event, at which they screened the Carl Theodor Dreyer film Ordet. This movie was truly entertaining and I am so glad we got a chance to see it. As I write this entry now, it is May 09 already. I just reserved Ordet and Passion of Joan of Arc, both Dreyer films, from my local library network. I'm really looking forward to screening them at home.

After the movie and discussion, we headed up to Laina's for some more chat and hard cider. We had the pleasure of meeting Laina's roommate Adrienne, and we drank and chatted 'til the wee hours.


Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 - tour entry

The northern leg of our tour began tonight at the very cool venue called The Oak and The Ax, in Biddeford, ME. First off, the history of this venue is intriguing in itself, in that it traces back to a venue called Hogfarm Annex, which traces back to Hogfarm. Hogfarm was a place I had always wanted to play with Pavao Family Band, after hearing great things about the people behind it from Mark Mandeville. (Mark is one of my fav'rite songwriters in New England, or anywhere for that matter, and he's part of a fantastic duo with Raianne Richards, who also writes top-notch songs).

In recent years, I had tried in vain to contact the Corrals, who are the originators/owners of the original Hogfarm. I had heard stories of shows held in the Hogfarm barn, with little kids, whole families enjoying great shows by bands whose music I like: The Accident that Led Me to the World, Annie Lynch and the Beekeepers, The Low Anthem, and the list goes on. Fast-forward to the time where Hogfarm shows were generally held at the Annex site, and then due to reasons not known to me, Hogfarm Annex changed hands to Greg Jamie and the lovely Kristin, and is now The Oak and The Ax... Needless to say, Ian and I had a fun time at this gig, although attendance was somewhat light due to it being a Wednesday. Kristin took great care of us with bottomless cups of tea and exceptional vegan mocha fig treats. At the gig, I met an interesting fellow named Cody McManus, who it turned out was going to play an opening set of fiddle music. Cody is into old-timey folk and country music in a big way, and his entusiasm for it rubs off on you. He played an opening set of solo fiddle music which we all enjoyed very much, then Ian played a very very good and focused set. My set seemed to go mostly OK, but I performed my songs in a new order which didn't flow as well as I had hoped. I came very close to trying out a new song tonight, but I ended up with a feeling I should wait another day or so, until I had the lyrics under my belt a little better. I did play a song at the piano, and that was a nice changeup, because it put me in closer proximity to the group of folks in the back of the room, sort of like breaking the fourth wall.

After my set, I got into a long and thoroughly enjoyable conversation with Cody about old-time music of Kentucky, and wouldn't you know it, Cody was someone who also knew about Alfred Karnes and W.M. Stepp. (I had just recently played the music of Alfred Karnes to Ian, and Alfred Karnes name would come up yet again very soon and unexpectedly, in an NPR radio show episode about the birth of country and folk music recording in the U.S. ) In addition, Cody knew Sandy Sheehan, a trad folk DJ on WUMB and owner of Sandy's music in Cambridge, MA (the guy from whom I had bought my old time Music of Kentucky CDs).

At the end of the evening we filled up on caffeinated root beer and treats, and hit the road home. Kristin really made us feel like family. We did not get a chance to meet Greg in person because he was touring in Europe. And I still have yet to meet the Corrals (although I did hear that they held a somewhat rare Hogfarm barn show on New Years Eve this past year, with Spirit Family Reunion, but alas, I could not attend.)

A final thank you to the Hogfarm regular who sat in at the soundboard during my set. It was much appreciated, bud.


Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 - tour entry

coming soon


Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 - tour entry

coming soon


Friday, April 1st, 2011 - tour entry

coming soon


Thursday, March 31st, 2011 - tour entry

coming soon


Sunday, March 27th, 2011 - tour entry

coming soon


Friday, March 25th, 2011 - tour entry

The tour began tonight with an intimate show in Webster, MA, at Booklovers' Gourmet. There is a reason I picked this venue to start our tour; it is just the type of business I love to support - an independent mom n' pop bookstore owned in this case by Debra Horan. She and her store are a really cool fixture in Webster that supports the local arts scene. I played my songs for a relaxed crowd consisting largely of friends and relatives, followed by Ian. Turnout was a bit lighter than anticipated, due to some unusual competition in the form of a professional wrestling match in town (!), and that our press hit in the surrounding towns, but for some reason it do not make the Webster paper. It turns out there may have been limited space due to a large ad someone had placed. It would have been nice to play for a few more folks, and so that Debra could have made more money in sales for the evening, but chalk it up to a fun and intimate kickoff show, at least for me. I felt good about my performance, yet left with a couple of ideas about things to brush up on before heading to Greenwich Village for the Sunday night show. I spent the proceeds of the show on the way home, to fill the van's tank with gasoline. In what would become a repeated theme of the tour, earned $ became largely gobbled by fuel costs.


Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

My cold is just about gone, thank goodness. I've been working on improved arrangements of a few songs, but I'm holding back on practicing vocals too much, due to the coughing brought on by the cold. Tomorrow evening should be a better time for more rehearsal. I spent some time packing for the tour tonight. It's nice to go for minutes without coughing now.


Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Much has transpired over the last month...lots of work finalizing the tour shows, publicity, logistics, writing, rehearsing, as well as some Pavao Family Band activities, including a gig and TV show taping. If that wasn't enough, I caught a cold roughly a week ago, and that has made things slightly more difficult. But I'm feeling better today. The first show of the tour is Friday, at Booklovers' Gourmet in Webster. I have a positive feeling about this upcoming string of dates.


Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Added the current 2011 U.S. Northeast Spring tour itinerary to my Shows page.


Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Spent several hours developing and adding tour content to the website today.


Friday, January 7, 2011

We've been invited to tape a live performance on February 13th, for the Acton Music Project's TV show. We'll be playing 3 or 4 songs and perhaps doing a short interview afterward.


Monday, December 27, 2010

The coffeehouse event on March 12th was recently confirmed, and we've added it to our Shows page. It will be one of our rare performances during the 2011 school year calendar.

The boys are really enjoying their winter vacation and the break from the rigors of school work and school band. Maybe we'll find some time to jam this week.

Steve is very busy booking a tour for himself and Ian Fitzgerald which will take them down the east coast to do a bunch of dates together at the end of March. Steve may be joined by Victor and Aidan on one of the New England dates.

The whole family band has started very informal discussions about recording another CD single in the Summer of 2011. If we do decide to record, who knows what songs will be chosen, but it would be fun to get back in the studio again and see what we come up with this time.


Monday, November 22, 2010

The CD single has been available on our webstore for a couple of days now, and we've had orders from as far away as Kansas, already.

We were offered a feature at a local coffeehouse event in March, after someone saw our performance at Emerson Umbrella. This event looks cool, with other great musical guests and a real piano for Victor to use. More details forthcoming, after things are confirmed/solidified.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It has been a week of good things on the music front. We received our first run of 50 CDs from our friend Ira Grollman. Ira is incredible to work with, and the local community is incredibly lucky to have him help us publish our creations.. Ira cares about the local music community, and is an integral part of it, with this his CD publishing business, and also with his efforts as sound engineer at the Savoury Lane open mic.

PFB featured last night at the Emerson Umbrella open mic in Concord, MA. This is the most fun we've probably ever had performing. We had been on a hiatus for 2 months due to the kids' busy schedules and all our needs to decompress a bit from a super-busy summer . What we lacked in sharpness we made up for in energy, I think. Thanks to Ellen Schmidt for booking us for this feature so many months ago. We love to play at venues where there is a piano that is kept in reasonable tune. The local music community is so very lucky to have Ellen; she puts in a lot of effort to make sure the open mics are successful and fun.

We opened our webstore for business tonight. You can purchase the digital download of the new 2-song single on our Store page, now. Soon, there will be a link for buying the actual CD, once I work out some minor tax and internet cddb lookup issues. Yay.

One last piece of good news is that The Starving Artist in Keene, NH chose our song "My Beautiful Friend" to be on a compilation which they are publishing. We are honored that they liked our song enough to want to share it with others. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of the creative and friendly folks at TSA.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The songs were mastered earlier this week. We have the master disc, and we're happy with the sound. Now, it's time to complete the artwork and hand it off to Ira, a friend who runs a local CD duplication business. I've learned that it will be possible to have CD's ready for our November 15th feature performance at Emerson Umbrella open mic. This is a goal I had set a few months ago, and I am looking forward to meeting it, so we can get our music into the hands of those who are interested.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

I spent a couple of hours with Eric on Oct 8th, creating the final mix for Block Island Song. We ended up deciding to stick with the previous version of Time to Go as the final mix, after a few more critical listens. Since then, I've been working on the graphics for the CD single, investigating the possibility of using a small, local CD duplication business to make our CDs. I am hopeful it will work out. The possibility of also pressing these songs as a 45 RPM record...it's still on my mind. Would the boys and I pursue enough opportunities to play for people we feel would appreciate the archival and playback aspects of records? Would we be able to get the 45's into the right people's hands, or would the majority of the records spend their lives taking up space in a closet. I haven't given up...I just need to talk to the boys about it and see what they think. Decisions, decisions. Any way, in other news, I should be getting together with Eric for another hour sometime soon, to master the 2 aforementioned recordings.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Victor an I spent an hour with Eric over at Wellspring Sound tonight, doing some final recording bits on Block Island Song. I will spend another couple of hours with Eric on Oct 6th, creating the final mixes for both Block Island Song and Time To Go. It's exiciting that we're getting to the point where we'll have something we can send to be mastered and pressed/printed. Then we'll have some music we can share with you all, presented in a way that befits the songs. If you'd like to check out out what we have in mind, take a look at our Store page for a sneak peek.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hi folks,

Along with the cool Fall weather comes the arrival of school for the boys, and with that comes the natural shift in our music-related activites. Rehearsals and gigs are fewer and far between, due to lack of rehearsal time.

Victor and Aidan are busy focusing more on their school band music, as well as their general learning and social life around school. With Maura lecturing at college, I get a chance to take advantage of the solitude at home, and focus more on songwriting, the website, and publishing our works.

We are near final mixes for the two songs on our first single, Time To Go and Block Island Song. We're contemplating publishing this as a 7" 45 RPM record, and I'm currently nursing some ideas about the artwork. Feel free to contact me if you're interested in hearing what I've got in mind. If all goes well, the single will be available in time for our November 15th open mic feature at Emerson Umbrella.

Here's a picture which we may use as artwork for our 2nd single "My Beautiful Friend". We do not have a band recording of this particular song, only my solo demos. The solo demo w/ guitar is destined to be the B-side of the single. Work will begin on the full band recording sometime next summer.

- Steve