Put Up Your Dukes!
Reviews: 'I don't claim to ba an expert on Rockabilly style music. But, I've produced and recorded enough of it to know when it feels right and Paulie Bluenote and the Dukes have it right. From the slap bass to just the right amount of verb on the electric guitar, these guys know what they're doing....It swings'. Lloyd Maines Producer/Steel Guitarist 'A great traditional sound. Solid. Paulie and the Dukes truly have the power of Thor's Hammer.....' Jimmy Coffin Artist/Tattoo Guru sdf Paulie Bluenote (Guitar/Vocals): Not a real special man, but a man nonetheless. I started my musical life on the trumpet very early. I took lessons for many years. During the course of the lessons and playing in school bands I picked up other instruments as well. Mostly horns. I took some violin lessons and some piano lessons, but not of them stuck. Except for the trumpet that is. My brother got a guitar. I thought it was the coolest thing. But I was a trumpet player and had no business playing a guitar. I was playing the trumpet, my sister was playing the piano, and my brother was playing the guitar. That's the way it was. I had always had a knack for picking up an instrument and within a short time being able to play it. I don't know how. I still do it today. So I was infatuated with this guitar of my brother's. It was a cheesy Les Paul knock-off. I played a little on his guitar here and there and I found it very easy. I begged my parents for a guitar, but they said that I was a trumpet player. For my eighth grade graduation (I was in Texas at the time) my mother bought me a $50.00 Harmony archtop from a pawn shop in Cleburne. I cherished that guitar and played it all the time. My parents got me lessons at a music store in Cleburne, but that didn't last long at all. All they wanted me to learn was the stupid things found in modern country. I could not abide by this. I quit the lessons right away. I took it upon myself to learn what I wanted to learn. I started out learning from Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and basically anything good I could absorb. As my tastes matured and my playing got a little better I started imitating the likes of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. I enjoy finger picking immensely. When I'm not playing my guitar I like to listen to good music, i.e. blues, jazz, country & western, and of course Rockabilly. I believe that life's too short to waste my time on bad music. I joined the US Navy in 1999 and after training, went abroad. I had the opportunity to play at a wide array of venues and was exposed to a whole world of good music I had never known existed. I traveled extensively throughout Europe and other countries around the world. I had met a girl named Kimberley in Kansas City and after I was honorably discharged from the US Navy, I ended up with her there. She enjoys the same music as I and harbors the same feelings of contempt for the average Joe. I enjoy this area and hope to have a future here. I continued to play alone, but not publicly. I didn't think the area would have much to offer an old fashioned picker. I was told about a store called Mountain Music Shoppe and decided to drop by. I was playing a 1951 Gibson ES-175 when the owner came over and was watching me. He brought out his upright bass and played a little with me. A little while later we were in a band together. Greg had been a friend of Jim's for a while and was enthusiastic about starting a new band. Jim is schooled in good old country music, but possesses a wealth of knowledge about all good music. Both of my accomplices are outstanding musicians. I am fortunate to have talented band members sharing a goal with me. My main guitar is a 2004 Gretsch 6120DSW. I play through a Fender Blues Deville 4X10. My other guitars I play are here. You can contact me at email@example.com Jim Curley (Bass): Greetings from Jim Curley! Who in the heck is Jim Curley? I'm going to tell you a little about myself as pertains to my current involvement with Paulie Bluenote and the Dukes. For starters, I am a Duke. Paul, Greg and I have been playing together for several months and it's been a refreshing experience for me to be playing with such incredible musicians and also, to be playing the roots style of 'rockabilly'. We are having a blast doing what we all do best and we hope you will come out to see us and enjoy some of the joy of many yesterdays. By the time I was four years old, I was getting on the nerves of everyone around me by trying to make music on anything and everything imaginable. Pots and pans, a paper cup with a straw in it, phone books, spoons, and even the 'belly' bongos were all instruments to me. I was under the impression that everyone had these same musical juices flowing through their veins and could not understand why I was constantly being told to 'go some place else to do that'. I remember wanting to play the banjo in the worst way when I was about eight. The local music instructor told my mom I did not have the strength in my hands yet to tackle that instrument, but he recommended learning the piano. I can't tell you how disappointed I was. So, I practiced the piano begrudgingly for about six months and played 'The Indian Drum Song' at a recital. I did ok, but got a lot of laughs when I approached the piano, stopped mid stage, spotted my mom in the audience, made a fist and shook it at her before setting down at the piano. I got my first guitar (electric) when I was thirteen and became glued to it. It was bright orange and was the love of my life (at the time). Shortly thereafter, we opened our home as a host home for the group 'Up With People'. During a local performance we had a couple of the cast stay at our house and it was pure joy for me listening to them practice. When the holidays came that year, we volunteered to take nineteen members of the cast and keep in our home from a few days before Christmas through about the second week of the New Year. I thought I was in Heaven! We had very talented teenagers and young adults in our home for about two and a half weeks from Belgium, Germany, Africa, Italy, Mexico, California, Arkansas, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, Oregon and two from an Indian Reservation in Oklahoma. They composed some of their songs right in our house. They practiced a lot on their various instruments and were always encouraging me to join in. We lived on a farm at the time and they all had lots of fun, too, riding horses and helping with the chores. They thought it was fun, but I didn't. We were also, later, a host family for students from Japan and Taiwan. While they weren't musical, the experience helped to stimulate my interest in other cultures, to include world music. I started a high school band called Vagabound Zoot in Topeka, Kansas and we were 'it' for a couple years. We played rock and roll and were pretty darned good for our age. Since I am the 'old man' of Paulie Bluenote and The Dukes, I have more years of experience and more stories to tell than the other members of the group. While in the punk scene I met Gregg playing in a group called Dienasty. Gregg didn't stay with us as he was still in high school. We changed our name to Why Think and did a national tour. I was nineteen as we left on tour, and six months later when we returned I FELT thirty. I learned a lot about life on that tour. I joined a group called The Chevelles. We were good, if I do say so myself. We had a fun loving fan club that followed us everywhere we went, and we went to some strange venues. These were the same fans who stood in a two block line to see us a few years later when we did a reunion concert. We were a 'hot' rock and roll band. The Chevelles was made up of a great bunch of guys and remain my good friends to this day. I played several years in a Grateful Dead influenced band called Just Friends who were kept very busy. Then I played Branson, Missouri a whole season in Mickey Gilley's old band called The Bourbon Cowboys. I hated it! I couldn't be creative. Had to play the same songs in the same order night after night after night. I wanted to come home and be with my two little kids who were staying with my mom while I was away. I have probably played in as many as fifteen different bands playing all varieties of music on many different instruments. I continue to play mostly acoustic instruments, but I do play the electric bass when doing Praise and Worship. With Paulie Bluenote and The Dukes, I play the acoustic upright bass. I have spent lots of time on festival circuits and playing abroad. When the mayor of Erfurt, Germany asked that I come there to represent the United States in a week long multi-cultural music festival sponsored by the University of Erfurt. I was highly honored and treated royally. I took a variety of instruments with me, each one of which seemed to please the audiences a lot. The trip went well until I proceeded to board the plane in Germany to come home and one of my instruments was a saw I was carrying in a gun case. The machine guns and dogs made me really nervous and it wasn't until I sat in the airport and played a song on the saw that the officials believed me when I said it was a musical instrument, and called off the guns and dogs. Not real smart on my part, I admit. But, since I got out alive, I enjoy telling the stupid story. I play (or play at) twenty or so musical instruments. I continue to teach and perform. However, in November of 1996 I opened the first Mountain Music Shoppe in a 400 sq. Ft. spot in Old Shawnee, mainly to get private lessons out of my home. I was still performing at a lot of festivals, so the shoppe wasn't always open. Folks began asking me to order for them some of the unusual instruments that I was playing, which I did. As a result the shoppe evolved into a 900 sq. Ft. location two years later, then four years later into my current location on Shawnee Mission Parkway of 3,600 sq. Ft. The Mountain Music Shoppe is keeping me pretty close to home, but I still love the performing part of my music. Thus my joy of finding Paulie and Greg and having the opportunity to make music for fun and to bring back a great style of music that isn't played near enough. If you remember the rockabilly style of music you will love us. If you don't remember, you will love us. I guarantee you can't sit still while we are playing. We will put joy in your heart and a smile on your face. We encourage young listeners as well as those who are familiar with this roots style of music. My fourteen year old daughter is crazy about this music and after having heard it the first time asked, 'Daddy, how do I describe this 'new style' of music to my friends'? Music is a universal language that needs to be 'spoken' more often. I can't imagine a world with no music. So, come see and hear Paulie Bluenote and The Dukes and let us make your day. P.S. Folks, Jim is too humble to tell you this about himself, but he has to his credit MANY state, regional, national and world championship titles on a variety of instruments. Additionally, he was inducted into the National Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame at the same ceremony as the musicians from Oh, Brother Where Art Thou AND also, Johnny Cash. This honor was bestowed upon him, not only for his various musical talents, but also for (quoting) 'unlimited energy, devotion, dedication and preservation of country music as it has been known through the years'. Jim wouldn't tell you this, but we think it is a recognition you would enjoy knowing about. Jim is the owner of Mountain Music Shoppe. Gregory Jacobs (Drums): Thanks for stoppin' by our web-site. I first started playing music in grade school. I remember a group called KC Strings stopped by my elementary school and played classical string music in each of the classrooms and asked any students that were interested to sign up. Well, I thought that was just the neatest thing. Far more interesting than what I was learning and singing in music class. I signed up that day and next week I was learning to play classical violin, and read music. This was back in the seventies and I was exposed to a lot of different musical styles. There was a lot of great music going on then. I kept playing violin till I was about age ten. I'll never forget the night my mother took my brother and I to see the film Tommy. Mom was always taking us to the movies and exposing us to cultural stuff (KC Philharmonic, KC Ballet, Art Galleries, Drama, and Film) when we were children. Something about that film stuck with me. I knew I wanted to be 'in the band'. I guess it was the bizzarrety, coupled with the Who's rock soundtrack. Seemed to me that guitar was to hard to play and something about the drums just 'seemed right'. Well my mind was made up, I wanted to be a rock and roll drummer and that was that. I kept telling my mom, I wanted to learn to play the drums. After a year of asking and reminding my mom, the tenacity of a ten year old paid off. Most unexpectedly my mother brought me home a chrome Premier snare drum, by now I was eleven. That was the official beginning of my career as a drummer. I played that thing for three hours straight, till my stepfather came up to my room and asked me to give 'em a break, or go down to the basement. I played on that drum for another two hours down in the basement till I had to go to bed. I studied drums under Greg Tate and got a solid foundation in technique and reading music. I kept at it and did OK, for a young student. When I was thirteen I got my first drum set from a guy named Bob George. He was a music teacher who also sold drums and other refurbished instruments out of his basement. He had this Black Oyster Pearl Ludwig Club series set... Ringo Starr on Ed Sullivan Article - Danish Ringo Page - 1965 Ludwig Super Classic I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen, I brought it home for $250. By now I was thirteen, I had started listening to and going to a lot of punk rock shows here in Kansas City. I played for a while with New Wave Dave and the Horny Toads. Later I went on to join the Catholic Abortions and my main band Dienasty. That was a play on words from the hit TV series, of the time, Dynasty, with Morgan Fairchild, yeah yeah that's the ticket. That's how I first met Jim Curley. He was at a punk rock show and told me he was wondering if there were any bands in Kansas City looking for a bass player, or anybody who wanted to start a band. Wouldn't you know it, Dienasty's bass player Jim Tribble had just 'packed up his stuff and gone home', so we had an opening. After a while those guys replaced me with another drummer, I wasn't that great, and I was still fifteen. They wanted to go on the road and I just didn't quite fit the bill. They renamed the group Why Think, that's what I thought anyway, yeah guys why think. I continued playing drums through high school and college. I studied for a year under Ray DeMarchi. He taught me some Jazz, Blues, and Rock stuff. At this time I fell into playing heavy metal, classic rock and blues stuff. For me this time was my 'woodshedding' years. I didn't do much playing out then. I started playing on a Ludwig blue double bass Vistalite set I had put together from two drum sets and various pieces and hardware. The Vistalite design is one that was stolen from drum innovator Bill Zickos. When I was about 22, a friend of mine who was a professional drummer Allen Marvin started coming over to my house and giving me lessons and sometimes we would bring other musicians over and 'jam', with two drummers. Allen was also a student of Bill Zickos. I actually met Bill and watched him give Allen a lesson. I'll always remember some good advice Allen gave me about playing the drums. 'Thunder and Lightening, Greg, Thunder and Lightening, that's what the drums are supposed to sound like. Anybody who tells you any different doesn't know what they are talking about. Don't listen to them.' I benefited great deal from the things Allen taught me. From then on I didn't do a whole lot of playing in bands but I always retained my love of the drums and music. Years later, I had moved to an apartment in Westport after my break-up with my Fiance' Missy. I was working as a professional painter, and one evening my phone rang. I was my good friend Tony O'Bryan. He told me that he had formed a local rockabilly band, that they wanted a drummer, and would I play the drums for them. This was all a great shock to me, 'Your bullshitting me!' I said. 'Nope' he replied. 'They're all here right now', he held up the phone and I could hear them saying 'Hi Greg, come play drums for us, your late for band practice. (laughing)' Caroline, JB, Johnny Mac, they were all there in Tony's living room. There was only one problem, I had hawked my drum equipment, and didn't have a kit to play on. Tony gave me a badly neglected Rogers drum set that used to belong to our friend Roger Henson. Vintage Drum Center I bought a Ludwig Acolite snare, some cymbals and hardware to go with it, fixed up the old set, changed the heads, replaced the missing rims and we were ready to rock. Kind of a funny side note here, all these old 'vintage' sets I have played on are available as a re-issue in some form or another. I had listened to some rockabilly in my high school and jr high school years, Stray Cats, Blasters, The Cramps, Link Wray but mostly had forgotten about rockabilly. Playing in this band was my big reintroduction to rockabilly, and it's roots. I'll always be thankful for that opportunity. That was the beginning of the band Caroline and the Cowtown Playboys, for me (1996). Before long, JB (the bands bass player) had packed it in and moved back home. Johnny Mac switched from rhythm guitar and became our bass player, after a few months he was a damn good one too. Later Caroline ditched us to go on the road with Kim Lenz, as her 'tour manager'. We need to find a new singer fast. Tony found this girl Rachel Fenton on the Internet (1998). She was doing a Patsy Cline impersonation thing at the time. Wow, that girl could sure belt 'em out. We then Became Lil' Rachel and the Cowtown Playboys. Rachel left our band and started singing with Caroline Gnagy and the two became know as the Casey Sisters. We became the The Cowtown Playboys. These line up changes kinda set the tone for us as a 'fly by the seat of your pants' type band. It really builds up your confidence to be able to pull it off in the face of such adversity. I was in that band for about 5 and 1/2 years. I learned a lot about rockabilly and the music business playing in that band. I left and later (2002) formed The Killer Aunt Bees, The Jolly Rogers (Killer Aunt Bees) with an old high school friend Mark Stahl. This band focused more on originals, punk, surf, and some rockabilly. It was fun, but due to Marks time constraints it was hard for us to keep it together. Well, I was hoping to find a group of dedicated musicians who I could form a rockabilly trio with (summer 2004). I called Jim Curley's Mountain Music Shoppe, And talked to Jim. I told him of my idea and asked him if he knew any local bass players who might be available for such a project. I was quite surprised by his response, 'Yeah, Greg, I know one bass player who might do it,... Me!' I about fell out of my chair. I didn't think Jim would actually play in a band with me, I was just thinking that he might know someone. The first guitar player we tried.....Well it didn't quite work out. After the first practice, Jim was real nice to me and said don't worry about it Greg, just keep looking, find somebody! So I did. I love playing music and I wasn't about to give up now. On a tip from my friend Jody Hendrix (Jodacious), I went to see a friend of his playing at this bar in Downtown Kansas City. Jody had mentioned him to me a few times before and told me he was real good, and I should consider starting a band with him, Paulie Bluenote. I was curious, and looking for a front man. Wow, this guys playing just blew me away. Finger picking to the max, old country and some rockabilly. I sat there watching Paul play guitar and sing, thinking to myself, this guy is perfect. I've been looking for somebody like this for years. After the show Paul was walking out with his guitars and his girl Kimberly. I came up and as I handed him my card I asked him if he would be interested in playing rockabilly music with a band. He looked at my card and was just shaking his head up and down with excitement, before he could get out the words, 'Yes, yes, yes.' We started practicing at Jim's store in May, 2004 and playing out in July, 2004. These guys are both real good players and I think we have a good solid rockabilly sound. I love playing rockabilly music for people, that's why I do this. I use a DW Edge Series Snare Drum 14x7...with a DW Pacific Bass Drum 22x 18. - Evans Drum Heads - DW Pedals, Bass, Hit Hat, and Hardware - Zildjian Z Custom 20 Power Ride - Paiste Signature Series 14 Medium Hi Hat - Vic Firth Hickory American Classic Metal N Sticks Gregory PS. Be sure to check the schedule of upcoming gig's. See you at the show! g.