October 14, 2017
SESSIONS FROM NORTH 7TH STREET
HOSTED BY ERIC RAMSEY. FEATURING BILLY CIOFFI AND LEWIS RAY CAMMARATA.
SATURDAY, OCT 14 @ 7PM
$20 AT DOOR
Eric Ramsey – Host
Eric is two-time champion of the Phoenix Blues Society’s Blues Showdown and has performed in Memphis, TN at the International Blues Challenge, where he was a semi-finalist. He has been a Finalist in the Tucson Folk Festival’s Songwriting Contest, and has been tapped for the prestigious Songwriter’s Showcase produced by Tempe Center for the Arts, filmed for PBS distribution. He’s a featured performer at the Prescott Center for the Arts Dylan Tribute, and has headlined shows at the Highlands Center and the Flagstaff Folk Project in Arizona.
Eric has been active in the Phoenix Valley music scene since the mid 70s, performing solo or as part of any number of bands. He’s a favorite on the Folk and Blues Festival circuits, not only for his dynamic performances but for his open tuning and slide guitar workshops.
With soaring vocals and organic arrangements, Eric’s original compositions reflect his musical influences, but come from a place all their own. He writes from experience about the human condition – at times sensitive, at times humorous, always thought-provoking. His arrangements and delivery encompass a spectrum of styles, from delicate fingerpicking to raucous, bluesy bottleneck slide.
Billy was born and raised in Albany, New York. He was signed at sixteen with his band The Grey Things, to New York based Laurie Records. Had a top ten regional hit, and toured the East Coast corridor as the opening act for The Allman Brothers, The Velvet Underground, The Byrds, the Lovin’ Spoonful and The Rascals among many others.
Relocating to Los Angeles, he was asked to play and record with rockabilly legend Gene Vincent. Cioffi soon found himself doing recording sessions in Hollywood with the likes of “Sir Douglas” Sahm and members of his Quintet and various other session players for RCA Records. It was working with Vincent that Cioffi met Country-Rock pioneer Chris Darrow, who was at the time recording a solo LP with current Monte Carlo and collaborator Mickey McGee. Cioffi joined the band Hokus Pokus, who were signed to MGM Records and released one album which is now a highly sought after collector’s item.
Along the way, Cioffi worked as a guitarist for the Turtles for some gigs while working on recording projects with the group’s leader, his friend, Mark Volman. “Really nice fun guys!” Billy has also played guitar in concerts for Mitch Ryder, side by side with guitar legend Steve Hunter. “They are great souls!” Cioffi continued writing and placed compositions in over a dozen films, among them: Poltergeist 3, The Skateboard Kid, and Blood Fist. His music has been heard in TV series Boogie’s Diner and most recently the Emmy award winning, The Shield. His solo album “Dangerous Type” was a “Billboard” Pick, and “The Monte Carlos” and “American Episodes” received extensive airplay throughout the U.S. on Americana format radio, charting on the “Gavin Reports” and making semifinals in four Grammy categories. “How that happened is a complete mystery to me! Some people in NARAS nominated us and actually voted for us! Go figure!” Billy recently graduated from ASU Cum Laude with a degree in English Literature in 2009 and is in the Graduate Program at ASU.
During the last few years much of Cioffi focus has been on teaching and working with several young protégés. Among them singer/songwriter Cali Rodi now residing in Nashville and signed to a publishing contract. Billy has produced with production partner Olivier Zahm a number of eclectic releases. He is currently working with Grammy award winning producer Val Garay on the debut album of singer songwriter Adam Esrick. Billy is the musical director for the Emmy nominated “Songwriters Showcase from the Tempe Center for the Arts” seen on PBS Chanel 8 in Phoenix and throughout the Southwest, Billy Cioffi is in the studio at present recording songs songs for the forth-coming Volume 2 of multimedia project AMERICAMERA- with award winning project he co-wrote with American Poet and Musician T.R. Hummer. “Its been a busy year. I’ll be in Nashville in June for the CMA/Fan week and New York for some shows in July then back to the valley of the sun for more recording, writing and performing.
Lewis Ray Cammarata
All of the songs on “Carry Your Own Water” (except for “This Girl’s Got Murder on Her Mind”) wererecorded, along with approximately 20 other songs, in my home studio during an 18-month period starting in early 2010. Thirteen of the songs were included on my first Funzalo release “Lemme Outa Here”. Again, risking any semblance of humility, I played all the instruments and did all the vocals myself. This was a decision born out of a combination of pragmatism and a sense of self-reliance. Basically, it was just easier to do everything myself, and I just didn’t trust anyone else to interpret the parts the way I heard them. The lone exception to this is the aforementioned “This Girl’s Got Murder on Her Mind”. It was recorded at my friend Bob McCarrol’s studio as a late substitution for a song I’d decided didn’t fit the new album. All the mixing was done on my humble software.
As for the songs themselves, I very, very rarely write from personal experience. It’s not that my life is uneventful. I just find it difficult to relate the events in a context that doesn’t come off as metaphorically cumbersome. So instead, I work from the viewpoint of an observer … Inspiration comes more readily from books (thank you Elmore Leonard), television and movies (pop culture rules), snippets of overhead conversations (barroom intellectuals), and observational reconnaissance (the deaf couple on the beach watching the fireworks display). In the end this may smack of cultural copyright infringement. But as a great man may possibly have once said, “You take your inspiration where you can get it, stick it in your pocket, and take it to your grave”.
Important Information about your visit to The Listening Room Phoenix
The Listening Room Phoenix is centrally located in midtown Phoenix AZ and is open to audiences who appreciate great acoustic music Some performances are ticketed and some are donation-based where participating audiences are encouraged to make at least a $20 donation to the artist and venue. This will go a very long way in keeping each artist on their path to success and keeping The Listening Room a healthy destination for great music in Phoenix. Audiences are participating in a live video recording of the performance. Your entrance to The Listening Room Phoenix is consent to be photographed and filmed.
The Listening Room Phoenix shares its home with Mazvo Auto Car Care Center on 7th Street south of the traffic light at E. Highland Rd., tucked away from the street at 4614 N 7th Street, Phoenix 85014. Additional parking is available on E. Meadowbrook Road, only steps from The Listening Room.