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Monthly Archives: May 2006



Today: studying voice, writing musicals, why I’m not a real jazz pianist, why I’m not a novelist, and why I’m not helpful. Sara Ptak writes: I am an aspiring singer/actor/etc., mostly singer. For most of my summers as a child I went to arts camps, Interlochen and Northwestern and I “studied” music theatre and did as many shows as I possibly could in every place that I could, and in my senior year of high school, I decided that I needed to study classical music so that I could really understand the voice, and so that I could really understand music and how it works andRead More »

Melissa Errico joins JRB at Birdland 6/12!


Ring out the bells! Sound the trumpets! I’m delighted to announce that my special guest at Birdland on June 12 will be none other than Melissa Errico, she of the pre-Raphaelite beauty and the shimmering soprano and an old friend from somewhere or other. She’ll be singing a bunch of songs with me and the boys, and we couldn’t be happier to have her. (Gary and I played for her cabaret debut at Joe’s Pub so it’ll be a fun reunion for us all!) Take a look here for details, and we’ll all see you on June 12!



Who knew you all had so many questions? I’m going to try to get to a couple a day, just so I can whip through the backlog (there are about eighty questions sitting in my Ask JRB box, just mocking me and teasing me every day). So, first up, Ryan DeFoe: 1. In the new songbook, why are certain arrangements slightly altered from what is heard on the albums? Specifically the stuff from your album and Lauren’s. There seem to be slight differences in the piano line (i.e., the downward lick on “voices that tell me to stand my ground,”Read More »

John Bucchino’s “It’s Only Life” on CD now!


I’ve known John Bucchino since 1992, when I first saw him do a concert at Eighty-Eight’s in the Village. Then as now, I was struck by the rich musicality, the vivid imagery, and the warm humanity of his work. (I sound like such a P.R. guy, but it’s true.) Earlier this year, Daisy Prince directed a revue of John’s stuff at Lincoln Center entitled “It’s Only Life,” and they asked me to write two of the vocal arrangements. (I was sort of the logical pick since I knew the singers’ voices intimately: the entire original cast of “Songs for aRead More »



I’m really crazy with work these days (everyone should have such problems), so this blog will seem a little bit random, but I thought these were both fun tracks so you can think of this as my Happy Memorial Day Blog 2006. I mentioned in one of the previous blogs my work for State Farm Insurance.  Every couple of years, State Farm does a big industrial show for which I write the music and lyrics.  The first selection today comes from the first State Farm show I wrote, in 1998.  The theme of that show was “Building Our Brand,” andRead More »