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Mike Ragogna

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Jeff Lorber Fusion's Exclusive Download, Plus Chatting With Chicago's Lee Loughnane and JB Baretsky

Posted: 12/09/11 11:35 AM ET

Come January 31, 2012, Jeff Lorber Fusion's Galaxy album--the followup to the Grammy-nominated Now Is The Time--will hit the streets. Here's a taste of the album, a track titled "Horace," that's an exclusive download for readers of The Huffington Post.

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A Conversation with Lee Loughnane

Mike Ragogna: Yeah, we've got Lee Loughnane of Chicago. That's right.

Lee Loughnane: How are you doing, Michael?

MR: I'm doing good, how are you sir?

LL: I'm doing fine.

MR: Nice. Hey Lee, you're up to Chicago XXXIII--that's a pretty big number. Who knew you guys would have made so many albums and been together for so long.

LL: We had no idea it would go this long either!

MR: What is it like 33 records in?

LL: From the beginning, we thought we would have one, maybe two albums. It's like the impossible dream we're having here.

MR: As far as Chicago, tell me about the early days.

LL: We went to school together, many of us. The three horn players went to DePaul University and Robert went to Roosevelt University, which was about a block away. We actually saw him playing in a club on the Southside, Bobby Charles and the somethings, I forget what it was. He was like a Ray Charles clone at the time. Robert said he wanted to come play with the band and he already had a book of 50 original songs. We had a good start but the club owners didn't let us play the originals, they wanted us to play the Top 40 hits of the day. They thought that's what would bring their clientele there and keep them there drinking, and doing what you do in a club. From there, we decided to stick it out as long as we possibly could, but we had no idea it would be 44 years later. It will be 45 years in February of 2012 that we have been together. Four of the original members are still with us--myself, Walter Parazaider, James Pankow, and Robert Lamm. Then the other guys that have come along since--Jason (Scheff) has been with us 27 years or something like that. The newest member, Lou Pardini, has been with us a couple of years already, and that's longer then most bands are together.

MR: You're back together with Phil Ramone on this album.

LL: Yes, we called Phil and asked him if he would like to produce a Christmas album with us. He said, "Yeah, when do you want to do that?" So, we actually recorded it last October in Nashville. All of the writers chose a Christmas song and arranged it and brought our arrangements into the studio and presented them to the band. Then the band went into the studio and made them "Chicago."

MR: How long did it take to record it?

LL: It only took us three weeks to record the entire album, overdubs and everything.

MR: You had it all charted out?

LL: Yes, exactly.

MR: The hint that you were in Nashville is that you have Dolly Parton on "Wonderful Christmas Time."

LL: Right. Dolly happened to be in the studio I don't know if she happened to be recording or just hanging out, but Jason went up to the front of the building and Dolly Parton and her manager was with him. She had no idea that she was going to be singing, she was just coming back to say hello. The next thing she knew, she was out singing a couple of lines on "Wonderful Christmas Time." She was so kind and really a nice lady.

MR: You also have the group America on "I Saw Three Ships."

LL: We have toured with them before, and they are good friends of ours. They actually did their recording part of it from California and then sent the files to us. When everything is said and done, it sounds like we got into the same room and recorded it.

MR: What do you think of that process, long distance recording?

LL: It's a unique process, but it can still work. The proof is in the pudding when you hear the record. It's interesting that it's come to that, because that wasn't even possible that many years ago. You had to be in the same city, in the same room. Now you can use a remote system that's not even incorporated in a truck. We have a Pro Tools Native HD system that we're going to start recording original music with next year, and putting it right out from our web platform.

MR: I remember a few years ago, I was in a storage room with pallets and pallets of Chicago analog masters. There were endless rows of tapes.

LL: It's now all digital. Now we're looking at hard drives and files. Hopefully they don't get corrupted.

MR: I don't think I would have enjoyed looking at pallets and pallets of hard drives as much.

LL: (laughs) It's a different world, with the tapes. When you pull out an old tape, hopefully, the oxide would stay on the tape when you started playing it. When you would see it start to peel off, you had to take the tape off immediately and bake it in a convection oven. It puts the oxide back on the tape so you can play it one or two more times without destroying the tape. If that oxide comes off, there's no sound anymore.

MR: The chemistry behind many of the older analog tapes was better than what followed.

LL: That's the thing with any media, you never know how long it's going to last. Seemingly, because it's brand new and shiny and lasts great, it's going to last forever. So, we don't really know how long hard drives are going to last either. You're going to have to keep moving those files from one hard drive to the other just to maintain the integrity.

MR: Yeah, that's right. Hey, getting back to Chicago XXXIII--O Christmas Three, one of my favorites is your cover of Richard Carpenter and Frank Poole's "Merry Christmas Darling" with Bebe Winans on there. How did you get Bebe on the project?

LL: He lives in Nashville, and one of the guys called him up. All I know is he appeared in the studio and was going to sing the song. Interestingly, he didn't know the song before, so he learned it line by line, and by the end of the song, it sounds like he has been singing it all of his life. He sang it so well that we just left it.

MR: Speaking of singing, although you didn't record as many lead vocals as your band mates, you're no stranger to singing. You sang "Let It Snow" from Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album.

LL: Yeah Chicago XXV, that was a lot of fun. We did that on the Macy's Parade and a few other TV shows, it was very cool.

MR: You're also the writer for "Call On Me," "No Tell Lover," "Together Again," and "This Time."

LL: You must have Googled me. (laughs)

MR: What, I can't know that stuff? (laughs) Lee, Chicago these days versus early Chicago, what do you think the difference is between them?

LL: Well, when we started, people said we were very experimental. We had the horn ensemble. Then the music business changed, and around our seventh album, the music industry decided to stop paying unlimited copyrights on a record. The decided that they were only going to pay ten. That eliminated double record sets and long songs, because if you did over ten songs, songwriters had to share their royalties with each other and they decided not to do that on the whole. It wasn't a matter of talking this thing over, it was a worldwide phenomenon that occurred as a result of economics. That changed the music industry, and I feel we continued being experimental but in a smaller shorter window. We still have that about us today. We're still an experimental group, and we will now be able to do the kind of experimentation we used to do when we got together. Now, unfortunately, Terry and some of the other guys aren't with us, so it will be a different look at who we are now.

Interestingly enough, we met with a company called Fathom Events up in Colorado a few months back. They said that they would like to help us promote our Christmas album, and they said they could do a theater event for us. They said they needed 90 minutes of content with surround 5.1 sound. We had just come from a four week tour of Europe and we had filmed the whole thing, luckily, and all of that was already edited together, so we just continued filming and put together a 90 minute retrospective of our year on the road from the band's point of view. Riding on the bus, going into dressing rooms, going over little vocal parts, and just practicing the little intricacies of songs that once you get out on stage, you can't really hear each other as well as you'd like to, but at least you know what not you're going to be singing. So, some of that stuff is on there. We do some interviews and you see us travel the world. When you see us play our performances, you see it from the wings and right on stage. It feels like you're on stage with us.

MR: The name of the show is Chicago The Band Presents An Evening of Holiday Music and Greatest Hits.

LL: That's what they're calling it. That's what's been confusing with some of the people, because we're playing shows in six or seven of the cities that the event is going to be in, you know, in the theaters, and they've been complaining that it looks like we're playing a concert there and it's keeping people from buying tickets. So, I just want to tell everyone it's not a concert, it's a look at the band from a completely different standpoint. The concert will be one song after another, which will run through our whole career from the first album all the way through XXXIII.

MR: With your hit "25 Or 6 To 4," I think everyone knows the title but not what it means. What's the story behind the song?

LL: The simplicity of the title, I think maybe is a little off putting. It's nothing mysterious at all. Robert was writing a song, getting tired, and looked across the room and he could barely see. It was four o' clock in the morning, and it was either 25 minutes or 26 minutes to 4 AM. I think he went to bed, and pulled the pin then.

MR: (laughs) I guarantee you most people didn't know that story.

LL: It takes some of the mystic out of the title.

MR: What about "Colour My World"?

LL: "Colour My World" came out of a movement in the Ballet for a Girl In Buchannon, which is a 14 minute piece that James Pankow wrote for the second album. Interestingly our first single came out of that 14 minute piece called "Make Me Smile," which is the beginning portion of the suite, and also it's a reprise at the end. So, we took them out, stuck them together, and that became "Make Me Smile." Radio would not play us previous to that. On our first album, we released "Beginnings" and "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" They wouldn't play them because we didn't have a hit yet, which was sort of interesting that little catch-22, "How do you have a hit if you can't get anything played?" So, we came out with the second album, and they were interested in "Make Me Smile" and it became a hit, so we went back and released those songs and they became hits as well.

MR: "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" Is that it or is there any story behind that?

LL: I think the lyrics are the story. He was walking down the street and somebody came up and said, "Do you know what the time is," and he says, "Does anybody really know?" Sort of a smart ass answer.

MR: My favorite kind. Got anything on "Just You And Me"?

LL: When Jimmy introduces "Just You And Me" every night, we have now started saying that our songs have two audiences--people that were married to them, and people that were conceived by them. (laughs)

MR: And my all-time favorite is "If You Leave Me Now."

LL: That was an after thought as well, everybody had pretty much left and we needed one more song. We had gone back to LA--most everybody, Cetera was still at the ranch in Colorado. They recorded "If You Leave Me Now," and that was our first international number one success.

MR: There's just a beautiful mixture, with that song, of sound and performance.

LL: It was a very interesting phenomenon how that occurred. Then, of course, once that success was there, the record company and radio stations wanted us to recreate that over and over again. That's not the way creativity really works. From then on, we were put into a niche that said we were a ballad band, and as far as I'm concerned, the ballads were experimental. Those tunes are not what your normal ballad would do. They are interesting songs--I think they change keys about two or three times before you even get to the verse. This is experimental musical, and usually someone starts out in one key, and if they change keys at all, it's to move up the feeling of it toward the end of the song. It's not a matter of course or to make this song interesting musically.

MR: Can I ask you a possibly touchy question?

LL: Sure.

MR: Personally, I always saw a connection between Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Chicago. Was there?

LL: No, what it was was that Al Kooper, who was a staff producer for CBS in the late '60s, saw us play at the Whiskey A Go Go in LA, and he went, "That's what I want to do." He went back to New York, wrote the songs for the first album, hired the studio players to come in and do it, and they had their record out before us. We were the 12-to-8 (recording) shift. When we finally got to New York to record our first album, we knew the music backwards and forwards, but we hadn't worked in the studio yet. So, we were freaked out when we had that microphone in front of us that was going to hear every little nuance of every note. We had to learn how to record as well. As I said, we did the 12 to 8 shift. We started at 6 in the evening and ended at 6 in the morning. Then Simon & Garfunkel came in and they had the studio blocked out. We couldn't get into the studio again 'til that next night. It only really took us a couple of weeks to record the whole album, that's my recollection. As far as being the same as Blood, Sweat & Tears, they put out their record and we put out our record. The differences in the two of them was that our influences came out of the music, and Al wanted to combine jazz and rock and he did that just by writing songs. But the jazz players played like jazz players, and the rock players played like rock players. It wasn't a melding of the genres.

MR: Getting back to the new album, it's called Chicago XXXIII: Oh Christmas Three. Clever title.

LL: We were going to call it just Oh Christmas Tree, because in Chicago, they go, "One, two, tree," but we decided against that. (laughs)

MR: I also wanted to bring up "Rockin' And Rollin' On Christmas Day" with Steve Cropper.

LL: It was a lot of fun. Jason's father actually played with Steve at some point in his career as well as with Elvis Presley and Elvis Costello. Jason knew Steve since he was a boy, and he asked Steve if he wanted to come in and play on one of our tunes, and we chose "Rockin' And Rollin' On Christmas Day."

MR: And back to "Merry Christmas, Darling," which is one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time.

LL: Ah, yeah the Carpenters.

MR: What a classic Christmas song it's become.

LL: It's perennial, it keeps coming back every year. It has been made as a classic, and that's one of the reasons it's going on the album. It doesn't sound forty years old--you don't find out until forty years later that it's timeless. You have no idea when you're actually writing it.

MR: What is your advice for new artists?

LL: If this is your passion, do not let go of it and move forward. It's always going to look like there's no way you're going to make it. Trust me, there's a way, and if you're intense enough as we were, once you get your foot in the door, you never take your foot out. You just keep getting better on the instrument, your writing, your singing, and all of the stuff that goes with it. If you're intense and that's your passion, go for it. That's pretty much with any business. Find what you're most interested in, the thing that comes the easiest for you, then do that. That's where you're going to be the happiest in your life.

MR: Anything we haven't covered?

LL: I have one other thing that I wanted to add. On "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," we did a music video of that, and we asked our friend Joe Mantegna, and an up and coming comedic actor named Kyle Mooney, who's got a following on YouTube, to come in and do some acting parts. So, we wrote a little story and filmed "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" that is now up and playing on our YouTube channel chicagotheband1. We have many thousands of plays already.

MR: Terrific. Lee, it's really great that you've guys have stayed together all of these years. And the future?

LL: Our manager has already booked many shows for next year, so you will be seeing us, and check out the website and all of the tour dates will be up there. As I said we're going to start recording brand new material and releasing it on the website.

MR: You're meeting the future head on.

LL: Yes, we have a traveling world class studio coming on the road with us.

MR: Any other predictions for Chicago, like for maybe a year from now?

LL: We will be talking again, and we will be going over the 45th year. I don't know what we will be coming up next, but this year has been interesting because this is our first theatrical event. Hopefully, it won't be our last. This is our introduction to it, and it (was played) on Monday December 6th, and it might be repeated on December 15th, there are a bunch of theaters that have committed to that.

MR: Lee, Thank you so much for spending time with us.

LL: Thank you very Michael, it's been a pleasure talking to you.

Tracks:
1. Wonderful Christmas Time - with Dolly Parton
2. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
3. I Saw Three Ships - with America
4. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
5. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
6. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
7. I'll Be Home For Christmas
8. On The Last Night Of The Year
9. Merry Christmas Darling - with Bebe Winans
10. Rockin' And Rollin' On Christmas Day - with Steve Cropper
11. My Favorite Things
12. O Christmas Tree
13. Jingle Bells
14. Here Comes Santa Claus/ Joy To The World

Transcribed By Theo Shier


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A Conversation with JB Baretsky

Mike Ragogna: Hey JB, are you there?

JB Baretsky: Hey, I'm here.

MR: JB, tell us a little bit about yourself.

JB: I'm from Long Island, New York, I love jazz and just about anything that has to do with things that happened fifty years ago.

MR: And all at four in the morning.

JB: (laughs) Yeah, I was up a little late playing black jack last night in Atlantic City. I've been working hard and I wanted to wind down a little. Sometimes, the cards go in my favor.

MR: Do you like to hang in Atlantic City?

JB: I really just come down here because it's a really quick drive--two and a half hours. I come down here when I need one or two days to take for myself. I'm not a huge gambler, I like to do it, sometimes come down and meet a girl on the weekends or something, but I'm not a habitual Atlantic City visitor.

MR: What are your some of your favorite jazz standards that you are performing?

JB: One of my favorites is "Mack The Knife" and I'm always surprised about how many people love that song when I perform it. The song's about somebody getting murdered, which I think shows the true nature of people, that they just want more violence. Other than that, I really like "That's Life," that's one of my favorites, I like the message in that one.

MR: Where did your jazz chops come from?

JB: It's really funny, I sang in a lot of bands and we did a lot of acoustic rock. Then my grandfather was asking me to do some stuff Sinatra did, so I went in the studio one day and I tried it. My manager said, "That's something right there, you've got a jazz thing going," and I've been doing it ever since.

MR: You've been listening to older artists as you've been developing your repertoire?

JB: Oh yeah. I love Sinatra, Dean Martin, and probably my all time favorites were the all time best stage performers that ever lived--Sammy Davis Jr, and Bobby Darin. You combine their musical talent and on stage talent, they were heads and tails above anything we have today.

MR: I've been rediscovering Bobby Darin. What an amazing human and musical force.

JB: Oh yeah. Have you seen the movie Beyond The Sea with Kevin Spacey? He did an unbelievable job at portraying him and all of the facets he could do with the singing, comedy, and dancing. To think the guy only died when he was 36 or 37, and he did his whole career with a serious heart condition is amazing.

MR: There's a song on YouTube, "Once Upon A Time," where he's asking his accompanist to keep replaying the intro because he's having a hard time catching his breath. But the performance is awesome regardless of his health.

JB: I know the video, I've watched it a thousand times. It's one of my favorite renditions of that song. You're right, and the way he plays it off is, "I just need to catch a breath." You don't see subtle nuance in performances anymore, it's all about lights, fog machines, and backup dancers. You don't have that one-on-one communication with the performer and the audience.

MR: Do you think that was the superpower Sinatra, Dean, Davis, and Darin had?

JB: Absolutely, to be able to have one person on a stage and capture an entire audience's attention for however long they played. To feel the whole audience's attention like that? Think about how attention spans have gone down over the generations...it would be almost impossible in this generation now. That's something that they had, and it was special to them, but unfortunately we don't really see it anymore.

MR: How would you try it?

JB: I would really try to be myself. I love to make people laugh, I love to show as much emotion as I can. I think if you're emotional and the audience can feel it, they will pay attention to you. I just want to be somebody that people love to watch and people love to watch perform. I'm going to try and give my emotion to ten people or a hundred people. I just want to give everything to everybody, every time I go on the stage.

MR: YouTube is your biggest outlet right now and one of your videos is a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." What brought you to that song?

JB: I was still in college and I was doing a jazz band course there. Me and my guitarist Tom Sheridan, who I still play with today, we were fooling round after class and I started playing it on the piano and he started playing it on the guitar and I ended up playing it at the end of the semester's jazz concert. The reaction I got from the crowd we had was pretty big, so I did it again at one of my house performances. I like this song because on YouTube, I dedicated it to the soldiers and their mothers...it's just a really touching song, I feel. It was something I could convey--a good amount of emotion because I felt hurt--and I could put that into the lyrics of that song. I know people have done it a lot, and I wanted to put my own spin on it. You don't really have somebody trying to do a jazz spin of that song.

MR: Was it Tom accompanying you on "Hallelujah" and "Mack The Knife"?

JB: Yeah, he was.

MR: While we're here, what did you feel was the connection between "Hallelujah" and the troops?

JB: It's not an old war song, but it was just an emotional thing with me. The lyrics of the song and the pain it can convey just really hit home with me, with people fighting and the mothers who have to deal with the fact that their loved ones are overseas.

MR: You also covered "Dynamite."

JB: I was doing a show for St. Joseph's College and I wanted to do something that would bring them in with their attention, so I did a medley. We went from "Run Around Sue" to a couple songs from the nineties and I decided to throw in "Dynamite," and the reaction from the crowd we got was huge. So, me and my manager sat down and discussed that maybe we should do an actual jazz piano cover of the song, and that's how that came across. Now the problem was that when I record a song, I print out the lyrics and read them like a poem so I can get some kind of emotional connection with what the writer was trying to convey. It's kind of hard to do with those lyrics--kind of bland, not a lot of emotional thought in them--but I was really happy with the way the cover came out.

MR: And you did "Last Kiss."

JB: Yeah, that's one of my favorite songs. I know it was made famous most recently by Pearl Jam because they did a great cover. I remember hearing the early version from the sixties. It was a song where I was able to play a little bit of harmonica on at the end of the track too, which is something my grandfather taught me when I was five year old. That was another emotional special thing.

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MR: We've been talking about covers, but you've also posted some originals. Can you go into your creative process when you write?

JB: I start with a basic idea of a song, then I will try to write chords around it and get the mood of that idea. Once I get the chords done, I work on the vocal melody next and once I get the vocal melody down, I take about a month to think and prepare and write the lyrics.

MR: Do you then get to the studio to get it down?

JB: I let my manager know that I've been working on a song and it's almost done. I tell him from a week or a week and a half from that point we can make a studio date. We don't want to rush things, because we want the product that we put out to be satisfactory to us.

MR: On your video "One Nighter," you have this press photo where you're wearing glasses. You've obviously had lasik. Can you tell us what the procedure was like? (laughs)

JB: No, I'm supposed to wear them all of the time, especially when I drive, because I have a distance problem. I really never wear them. When we record, it's late at night and I have to wear them to drive, so I just forget to take them in the studio and the pictures just come out like that.

MR: So, being a fellow wiseguy New Yorker, what else do we need to know about JB?

JB: Well I've got to tell you, over the summer, I got to play Lincoln Center in New York City. It was a small little thing that happened, but it gave me a taste of what it would be like to be famous. I was doing a performance, and here comes this guy just charging at me from the audience. I look over at the side of the stage where my father was sitting and he was giving me a look of panic because he didn't know what to do. The guy stopped at the foot of the stage and just started staring at me for about fifteen minutes. Then he reaches into his bag, and I'm freaking out because I think he's going to pull a gun out or something. He takes out a camera, zooms in on my tie, takes four or five pictures of my tie and my hands, and then runs off in the opposite direction. Only in New York would somebody sprint from a hundred and three feet away, take pictures of your hands and tie, then sprint off in the other direction and not even say a word.

MR: And this was some kind of surprise?

JB: For me? Yeah! You see a guy running at you from fifteen rows back it's a little daunting. Really, I don't know what he was thinking. Also, that day, somebody was wearing an umbrella as a pair of pants, so go figure. When I go to New York it's a whole different world for me.

MR: Right, you're a Long Islander.

JB: Yes, I am.

MR: Of course, one of Long Island's patron saints is Billy Joel. How much of a patron saint is he to you?

JB: I wouldn't call him a patron saint. I'm not taking anything away from him. I don't have a little shrine in my closet or anything. I did see him in concert a few years ago when he had an amazing run at The Garden. It's incredible...every song he did was a hit. Now that you mention it, he should be a patron saint. I admire his piano skill alone, which was incredible; his songwriting ability was incredible; his voice...he really is up there in my shrine of people that I need to start worshiping.

MR: Yeah, get prayin', man. And how about "New York State Of Mind"? How many times do you play that a night?

JB: There was a point about five years ago, I listened to that song at least twice a day. That was the anthem for everything. Every car ride I took started with that song.

MR: What other artists are you into?

JB: One of the more obscure bands I follow and have seen about five times in concert is Hootie & The Blowfish. For some reason, I just love Hootie & The Blowfish, and I love Darius Rucker. As far as recent people, I'm in love with Taylor Swift as is the rest of the country.

MR: It's like she walks away with every award she's nominated for.

JB: She wins everything. Somebody interviewed me a couple of months ago and asked me if she was going to win anything, and I said of course she's going to win something, she wins everything.

MR: Everything. Always. JB, do you have any advice for new artists?

JB: Well, I always say the same thing said on The Tonight Show: "If you think you're going to make it on talent alone, you're fooling yourself. You've got to have some luck." I happen to know a guy from high school who was in the industry--that's my manager--and he knows how to get into the business and he's my luck. My in was him. I got lucky and now we've got to see if I have the talent to make it. If you have the talent, just keep persevering and wait for a stroke of luck to come, if you work hard, it will come. Good things come to those who wait, I know it's cliché but it's true.

MR: What is your immediate future looking like?

JB: Well my immediate future, I need to get out of bed at some point. Other then that, I think I'm going to do a short tour in late March, early April.

MR: You're also working on an album, right?

JB: I'm working on an album, I want to at least get two more originals on there, and release it with some more covers. I've got a song right now, it's really close to being finished. I don't have a title for you because I do that last and I've got another original coming out quick. I just want to get that album out as soon as possible.

MR: Let's see. What haven't we covered. Okay, tell me your whole history from birth.

JB: I mean, I'm only 24, but I have some stories.

MR: Okay, go for one.

JB: I'm going to finish with one that's not funny at all, it's the reason I really went after this. My uncle, who's my godfather and basically my second father, got diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease in November of 2008. I sat back and thought how here's a guy that did everything right--he got married, he had the kid, he had the solid job, and in the end, here comes this disease and he can't do anything about it. I just realized that life can be so unfair and I don't want to be in that situation, thinking in the bed I wish I had went after that thing that I wanted since I was five years old. I want to leave you with I'm going after something I wanted since I was five years old, and whether I make it to whatever level society thinks is fame or not, I'm going to be able to live with no regrets because I'm going after it now. That's what I'm going to leave you with.

MR: Keep going...

JB: Yeah, my whole thing is I want to get this out to a younger generation, someone who hasn't heard it. The only other person they've heard it from is Michael Bublé, so I do colleges that will have me.

MR: So how big is your head now that Pulse, and Jazz Times and other major mags have endorsed you?

JB: I have to tell you, people have worried about that, I will tell you my parents keep me in check. I still mow the lawn, I still rake the leaves, I work a nine to five, forty hour a week retail company. I'm not just kicking it in Atlantic City all of the time, I keep grounded, my parents keep me grounded, and my work keeps me grounded.

MR: All of the best on that, and of course, in the future we have to do this again.

JB: Thank you very much Mike, anything I can ever do for you let me know.

Transcribed By Theo Shier

...and here's JB Baretsky with his take on "Birth Of The Blues"


 
 
 

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