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Hollywood, Florida, United States | SELF

Hollywood, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


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"CD Review - Bodhisattva: Down On The Dream by Rob Wcislo"

As I’m sitting here writing my second sunny summer magic pool-side CD review at world renowned Carol Fosters, I’m wondering if a singer/songwriter’s style and compositions are any indication of their record collections. If true, then Rob Wcislo obviously has a special section of vinyls for the likes of Robert Plant (think “Going to California,” off of Led Zeppelin IV, 1971, Atlantic), Joe Walsh (think “Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get,” 1973, ABC-Dunhill), with just a twist of Perry Ferrell (think Jane’s Addiction at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC 1993 doing “Jane Says”). An eclectic combination of the then and now, Rob brings it all together in his 2011 CD titled “Bodhisattva: Down On The Dream.” The name sake of the Buddhist enlightened one, this CD encapsulates the highlights of the past fifty years of our greatest musical influences, including none other than the impeccable John Hiatt (think “Mr. Stanley,” from Crossing Muddy Waters, 2000, Vanguard).

Opening with “It Can’t Get Any Better,” Rob slams home a classic R&B tune about what the enlightened one finds upon reaching the pinnacle of the mountain top. He then slides down into the light, island-reggae beat of “You’re So Beautiful,” a declaration of a true Bodhisattva’s capacity to find the light in everyone. But track three takes an unexpected turn with the Charlie Daniel’s influenced “Hyptonized Again,” a Mahayanish transcendence into New York nights where things get a little bit weird in the hurricanes. So you see, Rob Wcislo is not your singer/songwriter of everyday expectations. Rather he aspires and conspires to bring out the Bodhisattva that enlightens the music in all of us.

Never afraid of taking his acumen into uncharted territory, Rob goes on to tackle and answer one of rock and roll’s most definitive moments: Harry Nielsen’s “One is the Loneliest Number” (1968, RCA). For over half a century, Nielsen’s near operatic aria for the desperation and despair of living in singularity has stood resolute and devoid of salvation. Yet, with the flick of a wrist, the Bodhisattva calls out with “You’re Never Gonna Be Alone” if you know yourself. How much simpler a solution could the enlightened one give to those stranded within the night of their own lives?

And if U2's Bono is sprinkled into the opening lines of “Feel the World Explode,” and Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam hover about the edges of “Angry Sky,” it’s only the Bodhisattva’s way of taking us on an all day barbeque to dance around the fire like we never will again. For it’s the Theravada within the enlightened one that takes us back to the angst of our youths, then returns us once again to finally close with “Take Me With You,” where we’re just gonna fade anyway, so get on your way.

Ultimately, Buddhist mysticism declares that the Bodhisattva must pass through fourteen bhumis stages to attain ultimate being. With this CD, Rob Wcislo has given us the first baker’s dozen of bhumis in these thirteen tracks. Perhaps we will await his next CD to take the final leap. In the meantime, be sure to get your share of enlightenment when Rob Wcislo plays O’Malley’s Ocean Pub ( this coming Friday, July 27th, starting at 9:30 pm.

Dr. Bob

"Believing in Bodhisattva"

“Believing in Bodhisattva: First BeLeVe Fest, now a showcase hosted by the Grammys. Is there anything local musician Bodhisattva can't win? "The ultimate role of the bodhisattva [the Buddhist equivalent of a saint] is to lead humankind to enlightenment, and try to guide his brothers and sisters and children toward happiness and balance," Rob Wcislo, frontman of the local award-winning foursome Bodhisattva, writes in explanation of his groups unusual moniker. "Isn't that what all of our rock and role heroes are about?" He's got a point. And there's no question that Bodhisattva's music, much like the group's name, has a spiritual leitmotif. The foursome's searing guitar work is wrapped around lyrics such as those from their latest local hit, Deep in the Belly: "Lord, it's been way too long since I could say/Lord, I've been satisfied today." ” - Pulse Weekly

"Chrystal Hartigan Presents the Songwriters Showcase"

Better than sex. Yup! Better than hot, juicy sex. That’s what it was like last night when Chrystal Hartigan Presents ( and hosted the second Monday of each month’s Songwriter’s Showcase at the Broward Center For The Performing Arts in downtown Fort Lauderdale. It’s not just that it was a mesmerizing evening of original music by mavericks and muses with featured performers Marybeth DeSarle (a.k.a. Sista Marybeth –, Marianne Flemming (, Marie Nofsinger (, and Paul Bellantoni (, but even the open mic portion of the show was – to put it not too delicately – orgasmic.

The evening’s foreplay began promptly at 7:30 pm with the open mic and twenty-two incredibly talented performers from Florida and around the globe taking to the stage. And here I must pause to relay my own very personal experience that evening (this is the part where you may want to have your children leave the room). Earlier that night, around 4:00 pm, I just finished writing a song called “Why Do I” ( and I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, self, wouldn’t this sound great with a violinist?” Of course, self didn’t have much to say, so I hustled on down to the Broward Center, signed in and plopped myself down at a table. Lo and behold, I looked to my left and what do I see? A beautifully dressed woman with a violin case. Suddenly, self says to me, “Well, what are you waiting for?” So, I go over, introduce myself and I, explaining how I had just wrote this song, and how it would sound so good with a violin accompaniment. Next thing, with about ten minutes to show time, we’re rehearsing in the hallway and wouldn’t you know it, sixteen beats and four bars into the thing she’s wailing away like she’d written it. It was amazing, beautiful and thrilling all at the same time. Fifteen minutes later, we’re up on stage during the open-mic wowing the audience, and then she stays up after that to play her original solo piece: Oriental Funk. The audience was spell bound. Let me tell you this, she was superb. And why shouldn’t she be. This woman was none other than international touring artist Jamilya Serkebaeva (, Kazakhstan’s own Jean-Luc Ponty.

And that’s not all. In addition to Jamilya, the open mic was chock full of mind-blowing talent, like Robert Bidney ( who played “A Pill For Poverty,” Hunter Altschul ( performing “It’s Love,” L.A. producer James McVay playing mandolin backup for Steve Minotti ( on Steve’s soon to be released “I Jumped The Gun” (cd review pending), James McVay ( soloing on an amazing slide lap-guitar version of his song with no name (no kidding, he said he hadn’t named it yet), newcomer Lani Nash ( raising the roof with “So Far, So Good” (cd review pending), and Rob Wcislo ( bringing it all home with “Just Outside” (cd review pending). I gotta tell you, after all that, I wasn’t sure where I was gonna find the energy for round two.

But bring it on! The evening’s climactic finale was, of course, the featured artists portion of the show. Now first off, I gotta apologize to Marie Nofsinger, because I spent seventeen years of my past life hanging out at Luna Star Café ( and I somehow managed to miss every one of her shows there. So, Mia Culpa (or Mia Marie), I made up for that last night. Marie was third guitarist in line during this songwriters in-the-round showcase, preceded by Sista Marybeth and Marianne Flemming, and followed by the only keyboardist in the group: Paul Bellantoni. The Sista kicked it all off with “She’s The Girl,” an ode to the one who snags the ex you still kinda like. Marianne then -


Swim ~ Bodhisattva
Underwater ~ Rob Wcislo
Miracle ~ Bodhisattva
Down with the Dream ~ Bodhisattva



Bodhisattva is the ever morphing music child of Rob Wcislo. Founded upon a decade of music and lyrics written by Rob Wcislo, his collection of almost 100 songs delivers a modern rock experience that dabbles in jazz, punk and funk as well as a poetic spirit reminiscent of Jim Morrison, Bono or Sting.  In it's current incarnation, the Bodhisattva rhythm section led by Paul Sennello on bass and Howard Goldberg on drums, lays down the psychedic foundation for the soulful riffs and  eclectic textures of the legendary Jimi Ruccolo and Pedro Riera on guitars.  Bodhisattva is performing weekly throughout South Florida in 2014.  Download one of Bodhisattva's 4 albums @ iTunes, Spotify or Amazon today!

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