Powder Blue Bone

by The Problems

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about

One spin of New York-based band The Problems new album, ‘Powder Blue Bone’, and the listener will hear and feel a rich and engaging blend of roots rock, pop, country, alternative, and even a splash of punk. That's the way lead singer and songwriter Frank Caiafa likes it. "We hate being pigeonholed into one category," Caiafa explains. "Because of this band's ability to play whatever the songs demand, the songs take on a life of their own."

That dynamic fueled the creative process behind ‘Powder Blue Bone’, The Problems' second full-length independent release following the success of their self-titled debut in 2001. But whereas the first album was written and recorded in a short span of time, ‘Powder Blue Bone’ was a project three years in the making, with all sorts of twists and turns along the way. “My original concept was for more of a 'rock' record, bringing in friends and musicians that would help in that direction,” Caiafa recalls. A serendipitous meeting with Eddy Goldberg and Kate Kilbane, however, convinced Caiafa to reconsider his plans. “It became apparent quite quickly that those songs and that concept just weren’t in the cards,” he says, “so I wound up scrapping or rearranging almost an album’s worth of material to then fit into a more rootsy arena.”

With Kilbane (bass) and Goldberg (banjo, harmonica, accordion, keys and vocals) joining Caiafa (guitar, vocals) and fellow founding member Barbara Corless (drums), The Problems began writing and recording the 14 songs that would ultimately make up the ‘Powder Blue Bone’ track list. Welcoming two new members into the fold presented a unique set of challenges, but it also allowed the band to experiment with everything from instrumentation and production to songwriting. The Problems also were joined in the studio by vocalist Charlene McPherson (from the NYC band Spanking Charlene) and guitarist Rich Hinman (from the NYC band Madison Square Gardeners), but as Caiafa explains, Corless helps bring it all together behind the drums.

The release of ‘Powder Blue Bone’ has been a long time coming for The Problems, on the heels of all sorts of critical acclaim and exposure for their first CD. Billboard magazine awarded “This Town” an Honorable Mention in the Rock/Alternative Rock category of their 2004 “World Song Contest.” In 2006, NBC's "Today" show prominently featured the song "The Lottery" in a segment, and in 2007, ‘GarageBand.com’ chose "This Town" as their Americana "Track of the Day" while ‘The Ultimate Band List’ selected The Problems as a featured artist later that year. Additionally, Caiafa and The Problems have dipped their toes into the film world, scoring songs in the award-winning independent, “The Dying Light,” as well as renowned artist Lonnie Hanzon’s documentary, “Working the Magic.” Caiafa and Kilbane then collaborated on “Schoolyard Steps” for the short film, “The Truth of Fiction” (Winner! Best Short: NY International Independent Film & Video Festival), in which Caiafa also makes a quick cameo appearance. (Don't blink or you may miss him!)

While The Problems have enjoyed writing songs for movie soundtracks, they are most excited about ‘Powder Blue Bone’. “Everyone involved with the album was in it for the greater cause and not just ‘doing their job,’” Caiafa says. “Whether it was scheduling their time or making financial concessions, everyone from the studio owners, engineers and the musicians all went above and beyond. I felt a good kind of pressure to make sure this album wound up meeting or exceeding everyone’s good intentions and efforts.”

Mission accomplished.

credits

released 29 June 2010

Frank Caiafa - vocals, rhythm guitars
Barbara Corless - drums
kate kilbane - bass
Eddy Goldberg - banjo, harmonica, accordion, keys, vocals

Charlene McPherson - vocals
Rich Hinman - lead guitars, pedal steel
Rick 'Musicman' Rivera - percussion, mandolin
Dan Moses - tenor saxophone on ‘Together’
Tom DeFrancesco - piano on ‘Claudine’

Shay Lynch – Engineer (Organ on ‘June’)
Gregory Thompson – Mix and additional engineering

Ilona Lieberman – Photography
Laurence Bergman – Album Art and Design
Carina Kutternig – Model

Special thanks:
Patrick Dillett, Pasquale Cangiano (Clean and Humble Studio),
Michael Ferrara (Fast Lane Studio), Steve Sgrizzi,
Eric Johnston, Brian Kelly, Doug Pettibone, Mo Goldner,
Pete Galub, Nick Psinakis (Psilent P Productions),
Joseph Christiana (Christiana Productions),
Lee Sobel, Shannon Coursey, Alan Stewart,
Jon DeRosa, Antonella DiSaverio (BMI).
Margaret, always.

All songs written by Frank Caiafa except ‘Schoolyard Steps’ (Caiafa/Kilbane)
© Copyright 2010 Muse Sick Music (BMI)

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