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The best kept secret in music



Alison Pipitone has found musical soulmates in her new band - upright bassist and visual on-stage foil Rebecca Mercurio; venerable area drummer and veteran of some of the sleaziest rock this city has ever offered, Patrick Shaughnessy, on the tubs; and guitarist Graham Howes, whose Telecaster mauling adds an extra level of grease to Pipitone's already considerable grit.

Pipitone has come to represent much of what's great about Buffalo rock. She's got integrity, a lack of pretension, passion and a lifelong commitment to digging deep in the dirt for inspiration, clarity and meaning.

Pipitone's a great songwriter, but she's also a great performer. She's not some baby doll wearing a guitar and plucking out the occasional chord, but rather, a great rhythm guitarist with plenty of the requisite Keith Richards swamp 'n' roll and a big, raucous tone tone all her own. With this band, Pipitone is poised to take things a step further.

The Pipitone band headlines a triple bill at Nietzsche's, 48 Allen Street, beginning at 8pm Saturday with sets from the Tom Stahl Band and Blue Umbrellas.

-Jeff Miers - Buffalo News, 5/27/2005

"Voice Choices"

Alison Pipitone: ARLENE'S GROCERY, 95 Stanton, 212.358.1633.

Buffalo gal Pipitone brings her crack band here to our little ol' city to rock us, bop us, and drop us with her wicked blend of Joan Jett-sleeping-with-Sheryl Crow tunes. She's promoting her latest CD, Retrodyne. With Michael Angelo, Elroy, Cheaper Faster, and Dundrearies. At 8.

- F. Aber - The Village Voice, NYC, 4/14-20/2004


Alison Pipitone: A year and a half ago this woman completely caught me off guard as I strolled into the Mohawk in Buffalo to dig The Original Sinners. The intense rock 'n' roll blasting from the bandstand along with the joint's body-steam sucked me in like a Hoover in heat. It was show opener Alison Pipitone on stage pounding out some beautifully gritty and sweaty barroom rock. She came off simultaneously tough and sweet. With a diminutive Westerberg-esque Jagger swagger, Pipitone and her band (including, at one point, a chick sporting a big, blonde beehive) blew the doors off the joint.

On record, she captivates with steady hooks and a seasoned rock poet's turn of phrase. The romantic subterfuge laced throughout her lyrical bravado is compelling, endearing, and effective. It just sounds good. And it sounds real. Pipitone is easily one of my favorite contemporary songwriters. Trust me. You just gotta see her.

The Alison Pipitone Band with Guests Gentleman's club play Sunday April 18th, at the Bug Jar.

-Frank De Blase - City, Great Rochester's Alternative Newsweekly, 4/14-20/2004



...While the musicians in Thornton's band were the highlight of his set, Pipitone - accompanied by guest Pamela Ryder - offered a more entertaining set on the whole. A mix of Sheryl Crow and Ani DiFranco, both Ryder and Pipitone's vocals and musicianship are in tune with the indie-rock scene. It became difficult to tell if the crowd was feeding from the band's liveliness and enthusiasm, or the other way around.

While Thornton's vocal stylings were disappointing, the night was still entertaining. While he has some musical talent, it pales in comparison to that of both his band and Pipitone.

-Carly Christiansen and Ben Siegel - The Spectrum/ SUNY Buffalo


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; 1994


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Alison Pipitone Band came together as one in 2005. Veteran rocker Alison Pipitone was already working with drummer Patrick Shaughnessy when they were joined by upright bassist Rebecca Mercurio, and then guitarist Graham Howes. 2005 was the Year of the Rooster - flamboyant and expressive, and promised to be a time of opportunity and sentimental fireworks. And so it was.

Since its inception, the band - which Pipitone refers to as “a blessing”- has toured extensively, adding scads of new fans to an already loyal base across the United States. They won the Top Original Rock Band and Top Original Female Vocalist awards at the 2005 Buffalo Music Awards. Around the same time, the band was offered a running gig at Buffalo’s legendary Sportmens Tavern, owned by producer and musician Dwane Hall. Hall liked what he heard and approached Pipitone about making an album together. The band jumped at the chance, and nine months later, Tigerbabies was born.

With the release of Tigerbabies, the APB delivers a magnificant blend of musical styles and moods - rock, blues, pop, alt, country – inspiring you to dream, to dance, and to take your air guitar out of the closet (well, maybe not that). Pipitone’s heart-tugging lyrics, laced with bits if irony, read like a book of poetry. You find yourself leaning a little closer to hear everything she has to say.

On the first track, “sunShinestar”, Pipitone speaks of “just a little hard luck” being “all you need to feel a little bit better about your life.” Like a splash of cold water in the face you realize things maybe aren't all that bad. By the end of the song you feel as if you’re in the middle of a summer afternoon, serenaded by your favorite band in a room filled with strawberries, daisies and beer. Summer's day turns to night with “Sitting on Top of the World,” where you gaze at “plum trees” and “licorice rooftops.” The melody is light, loose and lazy – the feel, reminiscent of Van Morrison’s early offerings. You’ll hit the rewind on this one again, and again, and maybe, probably again.

The band fluidly transitions to its signature style on songs like “You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down,” “Tiger” and “Good People, Dirty Lives.” With Will Holten’s molten sax and Graham Howes’ pumping lead lines, you find your feet do the talking, taking you up and back and forth, head bopping, arms swinging. On “Honey Do” Rebecca Mercurio handles the lead vocal atop a lovely, somewhat nostalgic melody. The song feels like a walk down a summer street, heat rising from the sidewalk, italian ice waiting for you at the next corner.

Ultimately, Tigerbabies is an electric escape, a rousing good time, a party you just don’t want to leave. It is bits of wisdom delivered from Pipitone with a wicked little grin from across the room.
-Margarat Shaughnessy, June 2006