Beau Black
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Beau Black

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Feeling the Music with Beau Black"

 It's not often a musician can boast of having debuted in front of a live audience as an infant, but for 22-year-old Beau Black, such a claim is true. Beau is the son of Jay Black of Jay Black and the Americans. "When I was a baby, my father used to bring me onstage at the end of the show and flaunt me around," he says, "so technically I’ve been onstage since I was a baby. My mother also sang background in his group, so I was always around music.
"I've been performing onstage since I was 8 years old," the songwriter/musician/singer says. "My father randomly brought me onstage and had me sing one of his hits. He had to whisper the lyrics in my ear. I had no clue he was going to do it. The crowd liked it so much that he kept me in the act."
At age 10, Beau began playing drums. Two years later, on the very same day he first picked up the guitar, he started writing songs. "My father has been a huge influence on me," he says. "If he hadn't dragged me onstage that first time, I would be a businessman now. A bad one, too."
The biggest thing he says he has learned from his dad is "how to sing with passion and heart. Because of him, I can understand the concept of singing with soul. That’s a difficult thing to grasp sometimes."
Naturally, there are many perks to being the son of a world-famous entertainer—one who's got over 40 years in the business and who still performs to sell-out crowds. Offers Beau, "I’ve had the chance to meet some legendary artists and I got a chance to sing for President Clinton."
And although the young artist has had what he considers a lot of experience around working musicians, managers and promoters, he dislikes referring to what he does as a business, "no matter how much it is the reality of it. If I think of it as a business, I lose the heart of it."
He presently has four songs posted at myspace.com. "It’s a recording I did over a year ago," he says. "The songs are all acoustic and I play everything except for the drums, which are fake. I consider it more of a songwriting demo, a way to show my songs in a simple format." He has been working on an EP, due out in March. "Some of the songs from the acoustic demo will be on it," he notes, "but played with a full rock band."
Beau grew up in New York City, where he routinely gigs. "I think New Yorkers demand a lot and fast," he says, "so sometimes you have to kick it up a notch when you're playing New York clubs. Being a native New Yorker doesn't make it easier or harder. It’s always hard to play a city with such a huge rock history and live up to it."
Beau need not worry, as his audiences seem pleased. "I always get great feedback," he says. "What amazes me is that people of all ages have been enjoying the shows and the recordings. That’s always good to hear. It means that I'm not leaving anybody out to enjoy my music."
Lyrically, he defines his primary theme as "life and life only, in all dimensions. Sometimes I'll write very shallow and sometimes I'll write very deep. I'll write a song about heartbreak, and then I'll write a song about how truth to someone is only in what they understand about reality, and everything that they don't understand just becomes unsure questions with unsure answers. I always try to go to the more simplistic form of writing, direct to the ear. Any complex statement is put in its most simplistic form, [making it] easy to understand. I do that with melodies and chords as well.
"A very important thing to realize as a lyricist is that most words that we use to express our feelings have very different meanings to others. This concept is very interesting to me when I write. It leaves me open to a lot more."
Beau recorded his demo with producer Gary Phillips at Wild Honey Music in New York City. "Being in the studio is always a great learning experience," he says. "It's really a test of your technique and your patience."
When he plays live, he is accompanied by a rock band, giving a new direction to what was originally acoustic material. "The songs are pretty much the same," he says, "but now they're more intense and full. I like to do some improvised guitar solos on some of my songs; that always keeps the shows more interesting to me."
He is gearing up for what promises to be an exciting year. "My new EP should get things rolling," he says. "I'm going to do more shows in more places, keep on writing, and be as real as I can be."
His advice to other musicians is direct and to the point. "Play what you feel and feel what you play. Don't let temptation stand in the way of your art. People in the business try to tempt you all the time with promises of fame and fortune. Don't let that change the artist in you.
"Always open you heart to everything that surrounds you, and open your mouth for all to hear. Always accept change and know that it goes along with destiny. Don't get hung up on labels; it doesn't leave you open to grow. And most importantly, just listen."
Visit www.myspace.com/beaublack. - The Inside Connection


"Music: Beau Black"

Doing a pre-CD review is against my rules. I’m adamant about this. Then I heard the song “Miserable?? by Beau Black. This is a song so un-nice, I had to listen to it twice … then twice more. I love a love-gone-awry song and this one is very well done.

So what I’m doing is not really a review, but a heads up. Judging by this tune and the other two on Beau Black’s myspace, a CD shouldn’t be long in coming.

The work is commercial in an effortless way: lots of acoustic guitars and the requisite rough-edged male voice radio stations seem to fawn over, well-written lyrics and a healthy dose of humor. What more could we want, but more?

Although I question the sanity of anyone truly contemplating moving to California (“California Calls??), I like the song and we’ll just write the concept off as artistic license.

Listen to Beau Black at http://www.myspace.com/beaublack, then write to the big record company chick who was your ex-girl in third grade and get her to sign this band. - GJSentinel.com


"Beau Black, December 22, 2006, The Bitter End"

“There’s no need for anymore struggle. I think we’ve had enough of that.” Beau Black’s sentiments were never truer than they were on Thursday December 22, 2005 when he played Bleecker Street’s The Bitter End (one of New York’s most venerated music venues).

By midday Friday December 23 rd the MTA strike would cease. But on the start of that Thursday night’s performance, Beau Black faced an empty room with only his guitar and band to back him up. And he worked that guitar as if he were fighting the problems of the entire city, manipulating his tool with wails and cries that sounded like he had dug them from the graves of America’s lost highways and vast deserts.

Not since the mid seventies has there been such a thriving music scene in the five boroughs of New York City. The dawn of the millennium gave birth to The Strokes, Jesse Malin, The Bravery, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and The National. Other musicians like Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst are also on the rise, making the streets and pubs of New York’s East Side their muse.

Still, there is something missing from all this conglomerate of talent. Enter Beau Black saying, “Anytime I shift away from anything, I always come back to Rock ‘n’ Roll”- a statement driven home by each chord he plays and each word he croons. Beau is from a new generation of sound, the D-Train generation. Beau Black, scruff-chinned but with a beaming smile, doesn’t give a shit what you think about his music. He knows that the sound he creates captures an essence and has integrity.

Before Beau could settle into his third song, an eager crowd had gathered. They shouted out their requests and Beau broke into a version of The Beatles “Come Together” that left the faithful breathless. Some of his sounds would actually be right at home on The White Album or Abbey Road. Each song he played built on its predecessor, culminating into a standout performance.

Sitting with an empty whiskey glass (with another on the way), I remembered the time I saw Jeff Buckley perform at Café Sine. Now that was one of those lucky moments, the kind of gig where ten years later Buckley’s many fans would wish they had been present. Mind I am not comparing Beau to Jeff Buckley (Beau still has some creative growth ahead of him), but the resemblance is uncanny.

Beau let down his guard and had fun, laughing at himself when he forgot the words to one of his own compositions. But moments like that made the night memorable. Here was a man playing music for all the right reasons - playing his music for his fans, uninhibited by the constraints that will burden him when he is signed to a major record deal. This was unadulterated Rock ‘n’ Roll, enjoyed by a privileged few on a cold December night when the majority of the city’s residents were worrying just how they were going to get to work the next morning. - New York Cool


Discography

2005 "RAW" Acoustic EP
2006 "Do It Again" Single
2008 "Meant to Be" Ep

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Born in New York City, Beau Black, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, began his career performing with his father, Jay Black of Jay and the Americans. This influential, classic rock and roll setting proved to be the catalyst for Beau's talent and for what the New Music Journal calls a gifted young songwriter. Inspired by the sounds of the Beatles, Steely Dan, David Bowie, and some contemporary artists, Beaus love for this music triggered a passion for writing songs, and he has been honing his craft since age 12. Now 22 years old, his soulful voice and original music speaks for itself. He is currently in works for his new ep with producer Stacy Jones from American HiFi, which is set to come out at the end of August.