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Billy Talbot Band
In 1999, Talbot put together a band of eclectic performers who he felt could do justice to the songs he’d been honing. He once again called on his “Left For Dead” Crazy Horse cohort Matt Piucci to contribute lead guitar. On their first album, “Alive in the Spirit World,” Talbot recruited a rhythm section of Jeff Chase on bass, who also provided all of the album artwork, and Stephan Junca on drums. To round out the sound, versatile musicians Erik Pearson on banjo and strings and Tommy Carns on vocals. Their forthcoming album, “On The Road To Spearfish,”includes musicians Ryan James Holzer on brass, strings, and vocals, Mark Hanley on strings, piano, and vocals, with Carns on bass and Chase again providing artwork. And the Billy Talbot Band was born.
Band-leader, William Hammond “Billy” Talbot is an American singer-songwriter and musician, best known as a founding member of Crazy Horse. Over the years, from New York to San Francisco, Billy led up bands such as The Cavaliers, The Impalas, Danny and the Memories, The Psyrcle, and the Rockets. In 1967, Billy connected with Neil Young and was invited to be in his backing band under the new name Crazy Horse.
Talbot began performing solo in 1999 at small venues, supported by fans of Crazy Horse. In October 2004, Talbot launched his solo career with the Billy Talbot Band, releasing the album “Alive In The Spirit World.” Now, in 2013, their sophomore album is set to release this May, “On The Road To Spearfish.”
Billy Talbot – vocals, electric guitar, and 6-string acoustic guitar.
Matt Piucci was a founding member of The Sidewalks, along with David and Steve Roback. The band added musician Will Glenn, changed their name to Rain Parade, and continued to play “freakish” slow, atmospheric pop. By the mid-80’s the band had released an album, lost founding member David Roback, and brought John Thoman on board. Island Records signed Rain Parade, but by 1986 the band had dispersed.
Not long afterward meeting Billy Talbot in LA, Piucci appeared on the “Left For Dead” album under the Crazy Horse moniker. When Talbot established the Billy Talbot Band, he called on Piucci for lead guitar. Piucci has continued to collaborate with Rain Parade partner, Steven Roback, to work with a new band Boatclub, and has released a solo album, “Hellenes.”
Matt Piucci – electric pump organ, electric guitar, and acoustic piano.
By way of Philly, NYC, Boston, West Palm Beach and Albuquerque, Stephan finally landed in the San Francisco music scene in the late 90’s where he soon met up with Talbot, Chase and Piucci for a series of recordings in Mendocino. This was the genesis for both the Billy Talbot Band and Boatclub.
After releasing an album with both bands, including working on Piucci’s solo material “Hellenes” and Mark Hanley’s album “Planer,” Stephan’s multi-cultural drum and hand percussion work eventually opened up many avenues for sessions and live work with Azigza, Daevid Allen & Gilli Smyth of Gong, Marcus Blake, Daniel Lanois, Sparks, Henry Rollins, Killian MacGeraghty and currently, ongoing work with legendary vocalist, Jon Anderson.
Stephan Junca – drums and percussion.
Erik Pearson’s gritty and orchestral guitar style and composers touch has shaped the sounds of recordings by bands including Mushroom, University of Errors, Sonya Hunter, Alice Bierhorst, Irene Sazer, Pat Thomas, Nearly Beloved, and Billy Talbot Band. He plays banjo with old time mavericks The Crooked Jades, and accompanies internationally renowned storyteller Diane Ferlatte on banjo and guitar.
In 1996, Pearson released his own solo recording, “Water,” which incorporates many of his frequent collaborators and features his talents as a songwriter, composer and arranger. Pearson studied music composition at Oberlin Conservatory and is currently a member of the teaching faculty at the Community Music Center in San Francisco.
Erik Pearson – banjo, strings, and saxophone
Tommy Carns was reared by folksingers on Cape Cod and weaned on a steady diet of blues, work songs, black and white spirituals from the southern U.S., ballads from the British Isles, and sea songs from New England. At the age of 19, he moved to California as part of the rock trio, The Hitchhikers. In California he divides his time between writing songs, teaching guitar, recording, learning strange and wonderful folk songs, and performing.
In addition to his solo career, Carns is a member of the Billy Talbot Band and it’s offshoot Boatclub. Carns also sings in the a capella duo, Chicken on a Raft, and had recorded film soundtracks. Carns draws inspiration from folk, Americana, country, blues, rock and pop music.
Tommy Carns – bass and vocals.
Ryan James Holzer
At the age of 17, Holzer left college in Lincoln, Nebraska for the Brooklyn music scene. It was around this time that Holzer reached out to Talbot on MySpace, asking him to listen to some of his work. Listening in the wee hours of the morning, Talbot thought Holzer’s song-writing was extraordinary.
After three years in Brooklyn, Holzer returned to his parents in South Dakota, met up with Talbot on his ranch and together they wrote “Big Rain.” Talbot called on Holzer to join the Billy Talbot Band on their second album where Holzer helped write both “The Herd” and “Running Around.” Along with Ralph Molina and George Whitsell, the four musicians recorded sixteen of Holzer’s compositions and called the recording “Wolves.” Now, at age 25, Holzer is back in Brooklyn performing solo.
Ryan James Holzer – trombone, vocals, 12-string acoustic guitar, harmonica, and autoharp.
As the age of 20, Mark Hanley moved from his hometown of Long Island, New York out to California to play music. He settled in the Bay Area, playing with several different artists and bands over the years including Dino Valenti, Boatclub, Yak Butter, Billy Talbot Band, and recently Rain Parade.
After moving to Oakland, CA, Hanley owned and operated Flashback Guitars, a retail musical instrument shop which also offered repairs and lessons. He is now back to recording and playing under his actual name, that being Mark Hanley. Hanley has released one solo record, “Planer,” and is currently working on his second.
Mark Hanley – guitar, slide guitar, baritone acoustic mandolin, acoustic piano, vocals, organ, and synthesizer.
Jeffrey Chase is an artist and musician living in Pennsylvania, with the moniker Scrapking™. Chase has provided multimedia, graphic design and illustration to a wide range of clients and continues to exhibit his paintings, drawings and relief prints regionally. Chase counts his years working with at-risk youth in Delaware as the most formative time for both his development as an artist and in gaining an understanding of the critical impact of the arts in education.
After befriending Talbot, Chase joined in on the first album, “Alive In The Spirit World,” playing bass and subsequently produced the album artwork as well. While admiring Talbot’s deep musical roots, Chase especially enjoys the opportunity to create an aesthetic around the musical works themselves, again providing the album artwork for “On The Road To Spearfish.” Chase is currently working on several short animated films and works as an Art Director at the University of Delaware.
Jeff Chase – bass, guitar, and album illustrations.