BOBBY LOUNGE Press Kit updated May 14, 2008

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BOBBYLOUNGE1.JPG
Photo by Michael Jee
2005 New Orleans Jazz Fest
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BOBBYLOUNGE2.JPG
Photo by Michael Jee
2005 New Orleans Jazz Fest
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BOBBYLOUNGE3.JPG
Photo by Michael Jee
2005 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
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BOBBYLOUNGE4.JPG
Photo by Michael Jee
2005 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
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brianstoltzandbobbylounge.jpg
Photo by Michael Jee
Brian Stoltz and Bobby Lounge 2/4/06
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Photo by Michael Jee
Bobby Lounge On Stage 2/4/06
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bobby and nurse.JPG
Photo by Michael Jee
Bobby Lounge and Nurse Pontevecchio 2/4/06
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bobbyhob3.JPG
Photo by Michael Jee
Bobby Lounge On Stage 2/4/06
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bobbyinstudio.JPG
Photo by John Paul
Bobby Lounge recording 10' Woman 4/8/06
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bobbyhob7.JPG
Photo by Michael Jee
Bobby Lounge On Stage 2/4/06
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CD_COVER_BIG.jpg
Bobby Lounge CD Cover
I Remember The Night Your Trailer Burned Down
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Bobby Lounge CD Cover
Ten Foot Woman (released May 3, 06)
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BobbysBackInTownCover300.jpg
Bobby Lounge CD Cover
Bobby's Back In Town - LIVE (released March, 08)
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SomethingsWcover300.jpg
Bobby Lounge CD Cover
Somethin's Wrong (released June, 08)
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Abitian.jpg
Abitian Record Company Logo
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The below can be downloaded from links at the top of this page

About Bobby Lounge

Bobby enjoys writing songs about the south and about people with robust lifestyles. He chooses to avoid the limelight when not performing on stage. However, on stage, Bobby is a energetic entertainer in the tradition of Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis. His song writing style has been described as “Randy Newman with bite.” Some songs are not appropriate for children.

Bobby Lounge was born in the deep south in 1950. He learned to play piano before his early teens and was influenced by southern gospel, blues, and barrelhouse piano players. He is influenced by Hadda Brooks, Fats Waller, Bessie Smith, and the many Southern gospel piano players.

What is the Bobby Lounge Iron Lung Tour?
The tour usually consists of a troupe of three individual talents:

Bobby Lounge – Singer, songwriter, piano player
Nurse Gina Pontevecchio – she has been described as “a lithe blonde in blue medical scrubs whom he called his muse, his comfort and a bona fide contortionist;” Bobby always travels with a nurse. While not attending to Bobby's needs, Ms. Pontevecchio enjoys reading and working out at the gym.
Prof. Calvin Tubbs, The Toastmaster – imagine Ed Sullivan mating with Huey Long – watch the Professor (Bobby's biggest fan) introduce the audience to Bobby after several electrifying proclamations, affirmations, declarations and attestations!

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Notes from John Preble, manager of Bobby Lounge
I first saw Bobby Lounge perform in concert in New Orleans in the early eighties. He came with a large entourage and gave what I thought was an incredible performance. Months after this show, we became friends and we discussed the idea of Bobby developing an entertaining night club show. I also encouraged him to continue to write and we began recording his music on simple home audio cassette recorders. Unfortunately, Bobby became ill (chronic fatigue syndrome)and could not perform publicly. Now, after over 20 years, he has learned to ‘manage’ his health problems and he will performing one or two shows during 2005.

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The below reviews are all copyrighted by the respective owners

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FRONT PAGE REVIEW
07/07/2005 New Orleans Times Picayune
The Bobby Lounge Buzz
Who is this magical musical mystery man who has the whole Louisiana music scene talking? by Chris Rose

If you consider yourself a member of the music cognoscenti in town -- if you are in possession of the vital secrets -- when someone asks you what you've been listening to lately, the answer is: Bobby Lounge.
He is the buzz. The rave. Bobby Lounge is the new truth.
When he burst from obscurity this spring with a show in the Blues Tent at Jazzfest -- apparently his first paying gig in the last 20 years -- critics from both Rolling Stone and The New York Times applauded his show as a festival highlight.
So when I heard he was making a rare public appearance at the Louisiana Music Factory in the French Quarter, I made my way down there.
All the predictable characters were there to justify Bobby Lounge's rarefied standing atop the Mountain of Hip: WWOZ disc jockeys, local music writers and collectors, the kind of people who still play vinyl, the kind of people who go to every day of Jazzfest, the kind of people who go to the Maple Leaf every night . . . and Morris Bart, now that he is a producer of independent movies and has joined the ranks of celebrated auteurs in town.
A guy named Donald Schenk cornered me going in. He has the look of a classic aging Big Easy hipster with his gray soul patch, tie-dyed Tipitina's T-shirt and genetically attached Abita beer in hand. He said to me: "This guy is the Randy Newman of Pearl River; you gotta hear this guy."
The witnesses poured forth to testify. A man told me: "Bobby Lounge is like a cross between Benny Grunch and Abdul D. Tentmakur; he's got as much soul as it's possible to have on the north shore."
Ben Sandmel, a local musicologist, added: "This is major stuff. There is a doctoral dissertation of cultural commentary in what he is saying. This guy is the bomb."
As I entered the store, a fourth Bobby Lounge acolyte whispered to me: "I hear that after Marcia Ball heard this guy, she couldn't play for a week."
Well, that certainly caught my attention. But who is this Bobby Lounge? What's this cat's story? Is this whole thing a hoax -- as some musical insiders had suggested during Jazzfest -- or a joke of some kind?
After all, how did some incredibly ordinary-looking guy show up at Jazzfest out of the southern Mississippi woods and suddenly become the hottest thing in south Louisiana since Crystal Sauce?
Bobby Lounge is a balding fireplug of a man in the area of 50. That is not his real name. No one seems to know who he really is or what might be his day job, if he has one. And maybe he doesn't -- the oddity of his musical presentation suggests a backwoods savant who might just sit on his momma's porch all day thinking.
He doesn't like to have his picture taken. The photos on his Web site -- old black-and-whites showing some apparent prodigy at the piano -- are not of Bobby Lounge. In fact, they were purchased on EBay.
These things I found out from Bobby Lounge's manager, John Preble -- the man who coaxed him out of retirement.
Preble is the owner of the UCM Museum in Abita Springs, perhaps the most curious and indescribable cultural outpost in the South -- and that's saying a lot. (It's a whole 'nother column's worth of strangeness.)
Preble told me that Bobby Lounge is just a shy, supremely talented piano banger and songwriter who, after making the scene in Piney Woods music circles 20 years ago, was offered all manner of paying gigs and travel but retreated into seclusion instead, claiming chronic fatigue syndrome.
He is from an arch-conservative family in Mississippi who would not approve of his passion and art, Preble says.
"His daddy doesn't know he does this," Preble said. "It's like this: If you were a porn star and wanted your children to go to the nice schools, you wouldn't necessarily tell your neighbors what you did for a living, would you?"
While I mulled over that interesting analogy, Preble added: "He will only perform on Saturdays. And only in the key of C."
The mystery grows.
"He's not a hoax," Preble says. "But I don't mind saying -- and you can quote me on this -- this guy needs a psychiatrist pretty bad."
I watched as Lounge was wheeled into the music store in a machine he called an iron lung but which seems to be some sort of old aluminum steam chamber or a prop pilfered from the dusty soundstage storerooms of "Flash Gordon."
He was wheeled in by someone he thanked at the outset of his performance and identified as Nurse Pontevecchio, a lithe blonde in blue medical scrubs whom he called his muse, his comfort and a bona fide contortionist.
You could sense a true New Orleans moment was about to unfold. And it did. Lounge, adorned in a black boa, grabbed a Lite beer and began to bang on an old upright piano on a stage in the corner of the store.
What comes forth when Bobby Lounge performs is a fascinating amalgam of Jerry Lee Lewis, Kinky Friedman, Steven Wright and Tom Waits performed in Mississippi brothel barrelhouse piano style and delivered in vocalizations that range from stand-up comedy to tremolo to retro-Satchmo to The Killer on Percocet.
Mostly, it's just plain mind-blowing Southern Gothic storytelling. It's as if the guy was born of a Carson McCullers novel with a mission of music in his head.
From his 20-year-old portfolio, he played numbers called "I Gave You a Trust Fund From My Bank of Love," "Excuse Me, Abuse Me," "Take Me Back to Abita Springs," "If I Had Been Elvis" and the ever-popular title cut to his new CD -- recorded in one take, in the order the songs appear on the disc -- "I Remember the Night Your Trailer Burnt Down."
They are twisted tales of love, death and drinking -- the three most popular topics of Southern art and not necessarily in that order. The songs are long and rambling and the lyrics range from shockingly brilliant to twistedly weird and there's just no sense in reprinting them because they are either too dirty or too dense or just too incomprehensibly, well, incomprehensible to the common man.
Of which most people are in the presence of the phenomenon that is Bobby Lounge. His music, so unique and free from modern influence, is best experienced by the open mind or at least a mind half-clouded with drink.
I'd tell you to go check it out for yourself but his Web site says there are no scheduled bookings, so who knows when he will appear again.
If he does, I'm guessing it will be a Saturday night. Just another Saturday night in the key of C.
After finally witnessing the spectacle that is Bobby Lounge, all I really know is this, because John Preble told me so: "The nurse really is a contortionist."
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06/02/2005 Rolling Stone
I Remember the Night Your Trailer Burned Down
Bobby Lounge
from a column titled: Out There by David Fricke

I can't tell you much about mysterious Mississippi spitfire Bobby Lounge other than this: That's not his real name, and he made an unforgettable entrance at this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, wheeled onstage by a nurse in an iron lung (actual a huge steam-room cabinet). Then, chugging beer in obvious perfect health, he turned into Bessie Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis, Flannery O'Conner and Bob Dylan (the lyrical-surrealist edition) all at once, playing blazing barrelhouse piano and belting outrageously vivid blues from the far fringes of Southern life. This debut album has everything I saw a Jazz Fest but the lung, including the twisted recipe of love "I Will" (mix bondage and Popeyes chicken; stir vigorously), and the parade of unnatural wonders in the rolling-boogie epic "Take Me Back to Abita Springs," a kind of "Desolation Row" exploding with Little Richard-style piano and starring, among other things, an infant flamenco dancer, a singing burro and the queen of England's underwear. Lounge has a very high opinion of himself" He closes here with the gospel-piano sunrise of "I'll Always Be Better Than You." But in your heart, you know he's right.

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05/10/2005 Gambit Weekly
excerpted from a column titled: Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon By various writers reviewing the
2005 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Who or what is Bobby Lounge? The wildness of his metaphors and cover art suggests he's a musical primitive, but his boogie-woogie piano in the Jerry Lee Lewis mode and way with a tall tale give him away as crafty and smart. In the Blues Tent, the ode to his hometown, He was a Louisiana regional phenomenon / women called him Tipi but his name was John / Packed up all the junk he strewed out in his yard / he said I'm going West to become a movie star / Reduced to singing backup with Siamese twins / he cried out “Take me back to Abita Springs”

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04/26/2005 The New York Times
excerpted from a column titled: A Beloved Funk Group Rocks Again, and a Venerable Festival Rolls On
By Ben Ratliff

.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . New to nearly everyone was Bobby Lounge, a balding, middle-aged eccentric from Mississippi who on Saturday delivered lethally sardonic songs (like "I'll Always Be Better Than You") with a percussive blues-and-barrelhouse piano style. He was wheeled on and off stage in a silver steam cabinet, the kind of thing once used for weight reduction. "I call it the Iron Lung," he said backstage, sipping a beer. "It perpetuates the myth that Bobby's a little infirm." (He keeps his real identity secret, his manager said, so as not to imperil his day job.

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04/19/05 Gambit Weekly
I Remember the Night Your Trailer Burnt Down
Bobby Lounge (Abitian)
By Alison Fensterstock


"We are offering this disk to the public at the request of the many people who have heard of the genius of Bobby Lounge, but who may not have had a chance to see him perform," explain the liner notes, which go on to point out that the late-baby-boomer-age Lounge performed his witty, slightly twisted piano tunes in the '70s, mostly at house parties.
Over long interludes -- the shortest song clocks in just under five minutes; the longest approaches nine -- of gospel, blues and barrelhouse-influenced piano, Lounge rants, testifies and orates, flipping deftly between twisted humor, sly sarcasm and a genuine storyteller's gift. There are almost too many priceless couplets on the album to relate; one gem is "If I seem haunted / and if I seem distant / it's only because I'm much better than you," from "I'll Always Be Better Than You."
This album, recorded live in 2004, marks Lounge's return to performing, and after a listening, the liner notes makes sense. Play it with guests in your house, and they'd be likely to ask, "What the hell is that guy talking about?" and then you could say, "Oh, that's just Bobby Lounge." It's fair to guess that that would be a pretty accurate recreation of an exchange at any of those '70s house parties where Lounge initially demonstrated his genius. --

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04/19/05 Gambit Weekly CRITIC'S PICK
Bobby Lounge
2:50 p.m., Popeyes Blues Tent,

An energetic entertainer in the tradition of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, pianist Bobby Lounge's songwriting has been described as 'Randy Newman with bite.' Influenced by Southern gospel, blues and barrelhouse piano, his first studio recording, I Remember the Night Your Trailer Burned Down, is a blend of humor, grit and hot Southern blues. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

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5/30/05 Cultural Vistas A Publication from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
Sound Advice column

Southern Folkways, Southern Gothic, Southern Decadence

The Eccentric Brilliance of Bobby Lounge

The South is often lauded as the last bastion of regional culture within an increasingly regimented America. Yet many who celebrate the South’s uniqueness also perceive it as doomed. This viewpoint was recently espoused, for instance, by the great contemporary Louisiana songwriter Lucinda Williams, who possesses a rare gift for evoking Southern scenes in just a few succinct verses. Williams told an interviewer that she moved from Nashville to Los Angeles because “The ‘New South” is absolutely horrible. They’re systematically killing off everything that’s traditional, because they’re ashamed of being Southern. It’s why I can’t live there anymore.”There are ample instances of such assimilation that support this gloomy assessment. But transcendently idiosyncratic moments still occur, nonetheless, revealing that the steamroller of bland conformity has yet to flatten all in its path. One such affirming epiphany is the April release of I Remember The Night Your Trailer Burnt Down (Abitian), the debut album by a pianist, singer and profoundly startling lyricist known as Bobby Lounge. Perhaps it is no coincidence that this deep cultural statement appeared in the same month as the stunning, confirmed sighting of an ivory-billed woodpecker – a magnificent Southern creature that for decades was dismissed as extinct.
The piano style of Bobby Lounge (the stage name for a musician who, to date, refuses to divulge any personal information whatsoever) embraces a keyboard continuum ranging from Jelly Morton to Jerry Lewis and Little Richard, via countless blues and Gospel-music pianists, both black and white. Swinging, sultry, and hard-rocking, Lounge delights in embellishment, filigree, and deliberate quirks of timing; such flourishes can be added at will, with no fear of confusing a band, because Lounge always plays unaccompanied. (This free-form approach, known as “jumping time” or “breaking time,” is often heard among rural musicians; it is technically unorthodox but absolutely not incorrect.) Lounge’s vocal style is also steeped in the intertwined Southern roots-music fervor of blues, country, soul, Gospel and rockabilly. He wails, moans, bends notes, and stretches one-syllable words into multi-syllabic riffs. He toys with tempo, singing ahead of, over, or behind the beat. He contrasts wild growls, screams and falsettos with soft tones and sarcastic asides. For quick reference, his soulful delivery suggests equal elements Bessie Smith, Ray Charles, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
It’s impressive to hear these traditional traits conveyed with such conviction, but they are not what makes Bobby Lounge’s music so utterly singular. That distinction is achieved by his lyrics:


“He traveled far and wide, searched high and low,
Vandalized a statue by Michelangelo
Shot down in Great Britain on the palace grounds
Baying at the moon in the Queen’s night gown
The Queen said ‘we do not loan out our under things’
He said, ‘Ma’am, just send me back to Abita Springs!”

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“If I seem haughty, and I seem distant,
Well it’s just because I’m much better than you
And if you have trouble accepting your status
Then let me explain it to you.

In the realm of human creation,
Some are more naturally endowed
And to us goes the power
And to us goes the glory
And to you goes what we cast aside

So if in my presence
You seem somewhat diminished
Just know that God meant it to be that way
And I will defend you
And I will stand by you
As long as you stay in your place

So now as I bask
In the dim glow of your attention
There is but one thing left for me to do
And that is tell you...
And that is to remind you...
I’ll always be better than you.”

Lounge’s writing reflects no obvious influences. But for quick reference, once again, he could be described as combining the adroit wit and articulate precision of Gilbert and Sullivan, the Southern literary imagery of Carson McCullers, et al, the beat surrealism of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, the sardonic humor of Randy Newman, and the unabashed perversion of Marquis de Sade.
Some listeners will be troubled by this last aspect of some of Lounge’s esoteric music, and two songs on this album are marked “unsuitable for airplay and children.” I Remember The Night Your Trailer Burnt Down is definitely not family entertainment. What it’s also not – happily – is further proof of Southern regionalism in retreat, of the “New South” turning into Anytown, U.S.A. Against all odds, steeped in loopy tradition, such talented individualists are still out there.




 

 

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