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Contrary to popular belief, I have not gone missing

Updated on June 16, 2017

Where did it all start?

As some people know, in July of 2015 (yesterday was the anniversary, in fact), I suffered a cardiac arrhythmia on stage and nearly died, had it not been for a (lucky for me) local police officer who happened to be outside writing someone a speeding ticket. I actually DID die 4 times in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. For some reason, karma allowed me to live that day.

BUT, this story begins well before that. Not all the way back to the beginning of my musical career, but to 2011. That year, my good friend and guitarist, Cal Myers and I decided to form a band based on a mix of Southern Rock and Old School Country, which we named US Legion. It was different from most of the acts out here on the East Coast, or, at least, New England. We auditioned and auditioned and auditioned people, but many weren't worth the time while others decided it wasn't for them. The mix of music didn't hit them right. Either they wanted to do rock or country, but not both. Regardless, we kept whipping that horse until early 2014. Finally, we just decided to give up. But WAIT, There's MORE!

We had continued to play some open mic nights just to stay limber and met a few guys along the way that worked well with us. But more about that in a moment.

Cal Myers

Contestant #1 comes into the fold

In 2015, September to be exact, I was the organizer for a concert to benefit the CT Humane Society, a cause near and dear to my heart. One of the bands performing that day had a guitarist that blew me away. His name was Paul Tyler, and he had the chops down to just about anything you could imagine. It took some time for him to realize he was in a dead end band, not because of the talent, which was phenomenal, but because they weren't performing enough. We jumped at the chance to bring him into the fold, and, since he was good with the musical mix, he became a member. The blending of styles between Paul's blazing rock style and Cal's deep rooted Country licks was nothing short of incredible. So, we were on the way, we hoped, to filling the other spots.

Paul Tyler

The keys are the key

So, now back to those open mic nights. Now, for those that don't know what an open mic night is, this is how it works. One band, or group of players, acts as hosts for the night, supplying the equipment on stage so that others can play a few tunes each. It's a great way to keep your chops up without having to necessarily field an entire band with enough music to fill a full night. At one of those open mics that we frequented often, we met Jeff Bousfield, a member of the host band and probably one of the best keyboardists that exists in CT, if not all of New England. At the time, he was working with two other bands (as well as the open mic band) but was tiring of one due to their far flung travel. You see, Jeff had just become a grandpa and was enjoying the time he got to spend with his grandkids. Unfortunately, that time was eaten into by this traveling band, so, in early 2016, he joined up with us. So far, things were looking really good.

Jeff Bousfield

All we need is a drummer, for people who only need a beat

So, here we were with the promise of possible success this time around. All that was missing was the backbone of the rhythm section, a drummer. With the talent we had already assembled, we didn't want to settle for anyone of lesser experience and intensity. I posted an "ad" on Facebook in several musician referral groups for a drummer who was willing to do both styles of music. I didn't have to wait long. Later that day, I received a message from Steve Sylvia, a drummer whom I had met many years ago and with whom I was very impressed. We didn't even have to think twice about adding him to the mix.

Steve Sylvia

The final cut

So here we were, in early February 2015, rehearsing together as if we had played together for 20 years. Everything fell into place naturally, and we were churning out songs at a breakneck pace. (We're not an originals band. We do covers of popular music.) Then, one day, I happened to be looking for some images for Valentine's Day and came upon something that was both funny and disturbing at the same time. It was an image of Cupid, lying dead face down, with an arrow in his back. All I could think of was Elton John's album, "Don't Shoot me, I'm Just the Piano Player". Then, it hit me. I could use that Cupid as part of a logo and use it with the name The Messengers. The actual logo is in the box below this text area, because, let's face it, it's kind of hard to imagine without a visual aid. In April of 2015, we played our first show and haven't had to look back again.

So, you see, I've been a little busy since my last Hub. I hope I didn't scare anyone by not being here, like the last time I went MIA.

Don't Shoot Us.................

First Night

Below are three videos of our first show. No, they're not perfect, but, as most musicians know, you only learn at rehearsals. You tighten it up on stage as things progress.

Flirtin With Disaster

Whippin Post

Heard it in a Love Song

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