RBP Rossaround with Martin Thomas, Episode 18, Part-1, Lighting Designer Extraordinaire

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I have been working with Martin Thomas on the Alan Parsons Live shows since 2012. He never ceases to amaze me with his beautiful lighting designs an impeccable timing. We have had some great times on the road both as friends and as the FOH team. Martin has worked with many great artists including Todd Rundgren, Jill Scott, Maxwell, D’Angelo, Foreigner, Diana Ross, and Erykah Badu.

Originally from New York, he transplanted to Arizona chasing the dream of becoming a touring Lighting Designer. He has certainly made his dream come true as he is in high demand because of his boundless talent. Martin does not do the ordinary. He is always coming up with unique lighting designs and is able to adjust when things are not what he expected at load-in.

Martin has had a long and interesting career. Listen to him tell his story from the beginning up until now. This interview was recorded a couple months ago and Martin is currently on the road with Todd Rundgren. We will be getting together again in a couple weeks for a few Alan Parsons shows.

I thought about editing this down to a single episode, but I thought his life story was to interesting and important to throw any of it away. Please come back next week for episode 2 when Martin tells us in depth about his work with Alan Parsons and Todd Rundgren and also tell us how he almost lost his ability to work as an LD forever.

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RBP Rossaround with JT Mollner Episode 17, Film Director: Outlaws & Angels

JT Mollner is an up and coming American film maker. Born in Las Vegas, he had big plans as a young boy be a novelist. He was influenced by Stephen King and other writers of that genre. As he grew up he discovered acting and realized that acting was just brick in the road toward becoming a director of feature films. He has studied all the great film makers and studied all the films he could possibly watch. After making several Short Films and getting awards and accolades for his work, he finally got his wish and made his first feature film, Outlaws and Angels.
In my interview with JT, I learned that there are a lot of similarities in the film business and the music business. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to your art to succeed.

This my first podcast episode that is not about the music business. I hope you will enjoy this story. Please Subscribe, Like, Share and Comment.

PS: JT is my Nephew. His mother is my sister, Ginnie Mollner. I have watched JT grow up and go through the hard work to get to this point. I am very proud of him and I believe he will be a huge success as a great American Filmmaker.

RBP Episode 16, Rossaround with Burleigh Drummond of Ambrosia

Burleigh Drummond is one of the founding members of the 5 time Grammy Nominated band, Ambrosia. Along with David Pack, Joe Puerta and Chris North they formed the band in 1970. They had a string of hit sons; How Much I Feel, Biggest Part of Me, You’re the Only Woman, Holdin’ On to Yesterday, I Just Can’t Let Go, and other great songs very popular in the Prog Rock world. They have been through some changes over the years but they are still touring and making great music together. I was lucky to have been introduced to the band many years ago while doing engineering work for David Pack. Recently I have been doing some FOH mixing for Ambrosia and it has been a lot of fun and musically rewarding. Burleigh is a very humble guy who is a very talented drummer, percussionist, songwriter, singer and producer. His bandmates include Joe Puerta, Chris North, Mary Harris, Ken Stacey, and Doug Jackson.
If you get a chance to see them live, you will not be disappointed.
Listen to Burleigh tell the whole story of how Ambrosia got started and how their career progressed over the many years they have been together.

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RBP Episode 15, Rossaround with Tyson “TROPO” Leonard

Tyson Leonard AKA TROPO is a very talented Violinist, Artist, Producer, Songwriter, Audio Engineer, Stage Manager etc.
I met Tyson on a Jeff Bridges tour we did together several years ago. Recognizing Tysons many talents, I hired him to work with me on the Alan Parsons Live shows. Tyson has worked on the AP tours as Stage Manager, Monitor Engineer and this last year, Tyson has been featured playing violin on stage with Alan.
Tyson produces his own records performing as TROPO as well as many other artists. Tyson also plays live, sometimes with a band and sometimes with only his computer at many EDM festivals around the world.
He started his musical journey very early in life learning the violin and eventually teaching himself other instruments allowing him to record and produce his own music.
You can easily find TROPO’s music on line.
Tyson is a truly dedicated to the art musician who has sacrificed possible fame to be true to his art. I am happy to know and work with Tyson on a regular basis.
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RBP Episode 14, Rossaround with Roberto Vally

Roberto Vally, Bassist, Producer, Songwriter, Artist, recently sat down with me and told his story from start to now. Roberto has written many #1 hit songs in the Jazz/Smooth Jazz world and has played with some of the best musicians in the world. We also talked about our shared Italian heritage just for fun.
It is so amazing how all these musicians seem to rise to the top in many different ways. They all have one thing in common…DRIVE and that’s what it takes. Can’t give up if you want to be a real pro.

RBP Episode 13, Rossaround with Guy Erez

Guy is the bass player and background singer in the Alan Parsons Live Project. Guy spends most of his time, when not on the road with APLP, writing songs and composing music for various television shows.
Guy came to Los Angeles from Israel in the early 2000’s to be a professional bass player. He has had his share of ups and downs achieving his goals and is now a successful session player and composer.
In this interview Guy tells his story from his life in Israel up to now and all the twists and turns that a professional musician must go through to make a living in this difficult business.
Guy has worked with many very successful artists such as Ziggy Marley, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Love Hewitt to name a few.

RBP Episode 12, Rossaround with Alan Parsons

Alan Parsons was born in London England and first became famous for his work with Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studio. Alan recorded and mixed “Dark Side Of The Moon”. This album won him the respect from regular fans as well as the entire record industry. Alan also recorded and mixed Pink Floyd’s “Atom Heart Mother” and worked on Ummagumma. Some of Alans other big hits were The Hollies “The Air That I Breathe” and He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother”. Alan also Produced Al Stewart’s “Modern Times” and “Year Of The Cat”. He went on to Produce two albums with Ambrosia and many other artists, he has been nominated for Grammy Awards eleven times in his career.
In his early years in the studio, he had the honor of working with The Beatles as a Tape Operator and worked on the famous “Rooftop Recording Session”. That led to him engineering several records for Paul McCartney.
Alan eventually met Eric Woolfson who started out as Alan’s Manager and then became his partner in the “Alan Parsons Project” that made nine albums. Alan is still very active in the music business. He tours the world with his band, “Alan Parsons Live Project”. I am very happy to be working for Alan since 2013 as his “Front Of House” Engineer.
Alan is currently working on a new Alan Parsons record in his new studio using members of his touring band and other great musicians. I believe we will see this new album released later this year.

RBP Episode 11, Rossaround with Mindi Abair

Mindi Abair has two Grammy Nominations for her artistry as a saxophonist, vocalist, author, and is the National Trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
She toured with Aerosmith during their 2012 world tour and has also played with Bruce Springsteen and Max Weinberg at the Beacon Theater in New York. She has also been featured with Paul Shaffer on the David Letterman Show.
She has had ten number 1 radio singles and two number 1 Billboard Jazz CDs. She played saxophone on the American Idol television show in 2011 and 2012.
I went to Mindi’s home to squeeze in this interview during a brief break from her hectic touring schedule. (Pardon the trash truck noise that was unavoidable during this interview.)
Mindi has redefined her sound by joining forces with “The Boneshakers” featuring Randy Jacobs and Sweet P Atkinson. The “Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers” band is a high energy rock blues band, a far cry from smooth jazz.
Mindi is a true entrepreneur who passed up some very comfortable gigs working for other artists because she knew she wanted to be her own artist and has made herself a success with loyal fans everywhere. I have worked for Mindi many times and I can say she is one of the nicest artists I have worked for in my career. I am happy for her success.

RBP Episode 10, Rossaround with David Benoit

David Benoit is a Artist, Musician, Composer, Arranger, Conductor and Radio Personality. He is a five time Grammy Nominee and Emmy Award Winner. Benoit has made over 25 albums. He is also music director for the Asia America Youth Orchestra.
David tours most years in December with “A Tribute to Charlie Brown Christmas” where he plays several songs from the popular Charlie Brown Christmas Special along with other selections from his recordings.
David’s biggest hits include, Linus & Lucy, Kei’s Song and Freedom At Midnight. Freedom At Midnight was really a groundbreaking sound that started the Smooth Jazz era.
Over his long career David has scored films and TV shows, mentored young musicians and made many wonderful recordings.
I have had the pleasure to work with David for many years as his engineer for his live shows and worked on one of his records. I hope you enjoy hearing from him as he recalls his early years and tell the story of how he started and became the great artist that he is today.

RBP Episode 9, Rossaround with Chris Walden

Chris Walden is a 7 time Grammy Nominee. He was born in Germany and came to Hollywood to seek his fortune as an Arranger and Composer for the Music, Film and TV industries. I interviewed Chris in his writing room at the historic Capitol Records building in Hollywood California. When I visited Chris, he was working on an orchestral arrangement for Celine Dion. Chris also works for many great artists such as David Foster, Barbara Steisand, George Michael, Andrea Bucelli, Aretha Franklin, Phil Ramone, Michael Buble, LeAnn Rimes, Rod Stewart, Josh Grobin, Christopher Cross and many others. Chris also did years of arranging for American Idol and The Tonite Show with Jay Leno.

Listen to Chris’s story of growing up in a musical family in Germany and rising to the top arranging and composing music. When he had done everything he could do in Germany, he made the move to the US where he could find bigger challenges.

Chris is now truly in demand here in the US and he still does work in Germany.

Please subscribe to the Rossaround Backstage Podcast, give me feedback on this and all the podcast episodes I have published. I will have new episodes for you every Wednesday.

Thanks, for listening, Ross Pallone

RBP Episode 8 Part-2, Rossaround with PJ Olsson

PART-2

PJ Olsson is a Grammy Nominated Singer, Songwriter, Recording Engineer, Studio Owner, Entrepreneur and Lead singer with the Alan Parsons band. PJ has worked with hundreds of artists and producers over his long career and has really lived the life of ups and downs of the music business. His story is so great and interesting that we ended up recording this episode for two hours. I did not want to cut out anything so I decided to split it up into two parts.

Please share and subscribe to my podcast, leave me feedback and hopefully give me positive reviews. I need this to be able to continue to bring you stories from other people in the entertainment business. I have big plans to bring you interviews with many other great people.

Thanks for listening, Rossaround

RBP Episode 8 Part-1, Rossaround with PJ Olsson

PJ Olsson is a Grammy Nominated Singer, Songwriter, Recording Engineer, Studio Owner, Entrepreneur and Lead singer with the Alan Parsons band. PJ has worked with hundreds of artists and producers over his long career and has really lived the life of ups and downs of the music business. His story is so great and interesting that we ended up recording this episode for two hours. I did not want to cut out anything so I decided to split it up into two parts.

Please subscribe to my podcast, leave me feedback and hopefully give me positive reviews. I need this to be able to continue to bring you stories from other people in the entertainment business. I have big plans to bring you interviews with many other great people.

Thanks for listening, Rossaround

RBP Episode 7 Rossaround with Tom Brooks

Tom Brooks is a Grammy winning Producer, Arranger, Audio Engineer, Keyboardist, Conductor and College Professor who has had a very long and interesting career starting in St Louis MO and now in California. Tom has worked with many artists including Alan Parsons, Chance The Rapper and Marcos Vidal. He is the creator of Hossana Music Praise & Worship Series, best selling worship music ever.

In this interview Tom tells the story of his long career starting when he was just 14 when he was in great demand in the local music scene and even booked on pro recording sessions before he could even drive a car.

I hope you enjoy Tom’s story. I would appreciate it if you would subscribe to the Rossaround Backstage Podcast so you will never miss a new episode that I publish every Wednesday. I welcome any comments, and “Likes”. Please share with others.

RBP Episode 6 Rossaround with Danny Thompson

Danny Thompson is the drummer for Alan Parsons live shows and is currently working on Alan’s new Album. Danny was the drummer for Scott Weiland’s solo career up until Scotts’s demise.

Danny really tells a great story of the struggles of a hard working musician in todays world. I really think you will enjoy hearing Danny’s story. Please give it a listen and remember to subscribe to the Rossaround Backstage Podcast. Please comment to let us know how much you have enjoyed this story.

RBP Episode 5, Jeff Weber Grammy Award Winning Record Producer

Jeff Weber is an iconic record producer who has recorded some of the best jazz records of all time. He has made many “Direct To Disk” and “Direct to Two Track” recordings during his long career. Jeff has won 2 Grammys and has been nominated 7 times for his works.

Over Jeff’s career he had produced 185 albums including 17 “Top Ten” records and 2 #1’s.

Jeff’s credits include: Nancy Wilson, David Benoit, Steve Lukather, The Utah Symphony, Jackson Browne, Marcus Miller, Michael McDonald, Bill Champlin and Gerald Albright to name a few.

I have had the pleasure of working with Jeff several times in the recording studio and now I have had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff in his home. This is an interview that spans his amazing career and includes many of his insights into the recording business and other projects he has been working on.

Jeff is also an Event Planner, Music Supervisor, Voice Over Talent, Music Video Producer, Music Journalist and was the name and brains behind “Weber Wire”.

RBP Episode 4 Kiki Ebsen Singer Songwriter, Keyboard Player

Kiki Ebsen is a wonderful singer/songwriter who has had a very interesting career. Her first professional gig was working for Chicago as an off stage keyboard player/ singer and synth programmer. Her career has taken her all over the world playing for Christopher Cross, Boz Scaggs, Al Jarreau, Tracy Chapman, and many more great artists. Kiki graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Vocal Performance.. She currently tours doing three different types of shows; one show showcases Kiki’s original music, another show is a tribute to Joni Mitchell and another show featuring a tribute to her father, the famous actor, Buddy Ebsen. kiki ebsen.com, thehealingequineranch.com

RBP Episode 3. Clark Germain, Grammy Award winning and Emmy nominated Mixing Engineer.

Episode 3. Interview with Clark Germain. Grammy Award winning and Emmy nominated Mixing Engineer. His credits include: Wayne Shorter, U2, Simply Red, Counting Crows, Lionel Richie, Julio Iglesias, Brian Wilson, Days Of New, Fishbone, Suzanna Hoffs, and Eliade Ochoa.

RBP Episode 2. Ed Simeone, Audio Engineer, Tech, Production Manager, brought TC Electronic to the USA. Credits include Toto, Journey, ELO, Michael McDonald, Boz Skaggs etc.

Episode 2. Interview with Ed Simeone. Ed is an Audio Engineer, Tech, Production Manager and brought TC Electronic to the USA. He has worked with many artists including Toto, Journey, ELO, Michael McDonald, Boz Skaggs and many others.

RBP Episode 1, Ross Pallone explains goals of RBP

First episode of my new podcast. I hope you all enjoy.