Hard to believe today that I am more than halfway through completion of my next album, Send The Flowers. Such progress is made thanks to the musicians who have all contributed to it so passionately and so freely. As promised, I am writing a bit about each musician that has contributed in hopes that you get to know them and support them in their endeavors. This all started with keyboardist, Ken Sidotti, so it's only fitting I write about him first.
Ken and I go back to my late 20's in a band called Echofission. My brother, John Rango, was a writer, singer, and lead guitarist for the band, and he and Ken are very close friends as well. I joined the band on bass just as Ken was exiting for other projects, but not before we had a happenstance jam in my backyard for a party. I was jamming on my guitar and started playing Shakedown Street. Ken immediately locked on me and we jammed what was the most glorious feeling in the world. I was freely running through notes and improvising while Ken was vamping like hell on keys. It was my first taste of that magic in improvisation that I have so come to know and love through the Grateful Dead in a performance environment. I had done many acoustic jams with friends, but this one was the real deal and I was hooked. Shortly after that our paths separated as Ken went on to play in a killer 80's band called "High In The Mid 80's" with his amazing wife, Pam Cutler, on vocals. Me on the other hand, I went head on into divorce and two full blown neck surgeries that cost me almost 4 years of playing guitar.
Fast forward to 2019, CJB was searching for keyboardists to fill in. The word got out quickly, Ken reached out to me and man was I glad! I jumped at the chance to have him join us and he was as fierce as could be, he could go deep in the well and brought a ton of fire and energy to every show. Ken trained alongside Jason Crosby, and can play the most amazing ballad, classical song, rock song, and then throw in the spaciest and craziest jam tune you could imagine. I do not think there is a more versatile keyboardist on the planet who, by the way, also now occasionally fills in for a prominent Eagles tribute, along with being in a Cars tribute as well as still with High In The Mid 80's. From Dead to Eagles to Cars to Phish to 80's to classical, Ken can do it all!
After time passed as Cosmic moved on, Ken reached out to me just to see how I was doing. It was random and extremely perfect in timing. I was not doing well. I was feeling like shit and in the dumps and wondering where my next opportunity to write and play original music would come. I randomly blurted out and asked Ken if he would be able to throw a piano track on a demo of a song called Puddle of Me. It was a sad, slow acoustic tune about the way I was feeling. I envisioned nothing more than a piano and that would be all. Ken not only agreed, he came back with a Hammond and a Wurlitzer track that literally transformed the song into an old school Jerry gospel style tune. And not only that, he wanted to record more! Ken has literally recreated the sounds in my head without me telling him a thing of how to play a part. And even better, he creates the sounds I wish my head was hearing in the first place. Ken is extremely passionate about music, coupled with the most humble and benevolent heart you could imagine. I do believe God puts signs before us, and I think if we follow them good things happen. I think Ken's call was a sign, and I am so blessed that this project has become what it is from that small moment on the phone. Ken's work on the album is nothing short of stellar, and I implore you when things open back up to check out all of his projects. I am thankful to call Ken my friend, and I look forward to playing with him in the future as well.
Catch Ken in any of his current projects by following the links below:
High In The Mid 80's-https://www.facebook.com/highinthemid80s
Best Friend's Girl-https://www.facebook.com/bestfriendsgirltribute
Best of the Eagles (occasional sit in)-https://www.facebook.com/bestoftheeagles