Alison Pipitone

Alison Pipitone


Alison Pipitone writes poetry that rocks. She's one part cover girl, two parts Springsteen, one part Liz Phair and a bucket-full of Kurt Cobain. Blended together with a whiskey-laced voice, she's a powerful concoction of lyric-driven, folky alternative rock with sharp, 100-proof melodies.


Not far into the first moments of an evening with the Alison Pipitone Band you sense something different. Yes, there are the “familiars”: the petite dynamo with a blistering axe and a voice that swings easy from sultry singeing soul to slow sweet syrup; the lazy elegance of a band so smart and tight that cohesiveness dwells only in the subconscious of the players; avid – even rabid – fans, from their home base in Buffalo, NY to far-flung outposts such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Memphis, St. Louis, Nashville and more.

Yes, in that way it is the same old story. But you know there’s something different.

The Alison Pipitone Band has racked up their share of street cred, of course, warming the stage for a who’s who of rock pioneers and practitioners: Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the Bacon Brothers, Martha Wainwright, Barenaked Ladies, 5440, Lowest of the Low, Billy Bob Thornton Band, Michelle Malone, Vienna Teng, Exene Cervenka and Tarbox Ramblers. And while impressive – and that is impressive – it’s not making the difference that you hear. And there is a difference.

Certainly unique is the history: having boomeranged between both coasts, Alison settled herself in Los Angeles for a spell, long enough to help found an exciting, though ill-fated, rock outfit called the Monas. Feeling the shadow of grunge filling the canyons of Southern California, she exiled herself to Western New York, where she found instant acceptance in the local music scene, gathering honors, gigs, contracts, phone numbers and plenty of free drinks. But it wasn’t because she was the new girl in town, as Alison has proved her staying power having locked up the Buffalo Music Awards’ Top Original Female Vocalist Award for the last six consecutive years. No slouches themselves, her band enjoyed the Top Original Rock Band Award in 2005.

And about that band! Patrick Shaughnessy keeping everyone in line on the drums while Graham Howes expertly fills in the sound on guitar and, underneath it all, either Jim Whitford or Ben Clarke lovingly, groovingly lays the bass line. Often the band will expand to fill the need, employing Natalie Howes on backing vocals and Sheila Connors on accordion, Cajun rubboard and additional vocals.

And even with all of the history, talent and musicianship, you know there’s something different about the Alison Pipitone Band. And as you listen, it hits you.

The difference is the fun, the rock & roll humor, the feeling that you’re not just at a club with a roomful of strangers tapping toes. Rather, you’re at a backyard party with a few hundred friends, the drink is flowing, the mood is good. No one cares that you can’t dance, and no one cares if you can. You came to see the band, but you leave with the distinct impression that they were actually here for you. The difference is the heart. The difference is the attitude.

The difference is the difference.


Love and Just Because

Written By: Alison Pipitone

Love and Just Because
words and music by Alison Pipitone
copyright 2009, Songs O’ The Pie, BMI

all the candy ladies in clouds of pink perfume
and the smoky gentlemen line the billiard room
it is one of the stranger ways to spend an afternoon
i am lonely and looking for love

underneath the floorboards, here’s a tell tale sound
the pumping of clarinets and fingers tapping down
and just outside the window, rain is pooling on the ground
lonely and looking for love

oh love and just because
i’m trembling and i’m shaking
oh love, you’re my drug
i’ll have another dream before the waking

the floors are thick with sawdust, the walls they smell of pine
the band is really killing ‘em with ride, sally, ride
an overstatement for the day, i say i’m doing fine
i’m lonely and looking for love


the silhouettes of cigarettes, branches on a tree
all the nodding dunderheads, bobbing in the sea
and every single lady with a girl upon her knee
i am lonely and looking for love

the leader calls on double down, he’s running out of pay
his eyes are dull as thumbtacks, his face is fired as clay
i can’t remember how it was i left you at the train
lonely and looking for love


When Down Comes Tumbling Down

Written By: Alison Pipitone

when down comes tumbling, down comes tumbling down
you get a little rock and roller to spin you like a merry go round
you take a bird at her word, she gives such a glorious sound

you run a thousand miles to find your way back home
you toss a thousand nights to figure out who you’ve known
and lonely days so long and low, low, low

i can’t find you
i’m moving so slow
i can’t find you
and i don’t know

you wait in line, everybody looks like you
they got their hat pulled down, looking for women and booze
from the beginning of time, that line wraps up your shoes

my youth was wasted on me when i was young
i lived my life like i was looking down the barrel of a gun
and i sat on my hands when i should’ve been speaking in tongues


i close my eyes but all i see is you
i shut my mouth but all i feel is you
what in the world is a poor girl supposed to do?



Me and Miss Grimes (2009)
Tigerbabies (2006)
Retrodyne (2003)
I'll Ask Her (2002)
Shake It Around (2000)
Like Being Born (1998)
Down To Money (1997)
Life in the First Person (1995)

Set List

8 albums worth of original material
Plus covers when necessary...including Tom Waits, Dylan, Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Tom Petty, Primal Scream, and so on....