Tuesday, September 25, 2012

All Things Must Pass...

…Or so George Harrison said. Ladies and Gentlemen of the No-Star Nation, it truly is the end of an era. Gregg Juke & The Mighty No-Stars, as we have all come to know and love them, will soon cease to exist. We have weathered close to a decade together as a band, we’ve been through more members in the rhythm-section during that time than I’d like to count, and we’ve endured highs and lows over the last several years that include several personal tragedies and the death of our beloved founding bassist Joel Thomas. All the while, Bruce, Brett, Tony, and myself have tried to stay true to ourselves, our vision, and the Blues and Roots music we all love, while entertaining you with the best that we could give you from the bottom of our hearts. I’d like to thank the guys for that—playing in this band has been one of the high-lights of my musical life! I’d also like to thank Susan, our business manager/agent/aide-de-camp and den mother, for all of the work that she has put in over the years to keep us out there and to keep you, the public informed on what we’ve been up to. We all gave our best. The truth is that our best efforts in this case weren’t enough; there were one too many tragedies and one too many years of economic downturn. We also find ourselves at very different places in our lives—some with grown children, others still in the midst of raising theirs, and some with very young families who really need the time to pour into their own kids. This doesn’t necessarily mean the end of Gregg Juke & The Mighty No-Stars forever, it’s just the end of an incredible era that I wouldn’t give up having been a part of for anything. But it does mean that the live performing unit will be taking a hiatus; perhaps a very long one, and when and if it returns, it’s likely that the band will look quite a bit different. We will all still be involved in music, so look for Bret and Tony out on the scene, and make sure you say “hi.” Bruce will be a featured guitarist with one of Western New York’s premier country bands, West of the Mark. And I will continue to be Gregg Juke, there’s no getting around that! So the studio will still be in full-operating mode, and once I get my hands back (I’ll be taking some time to have carpal-tunnel surgery on both wrists), you’ll not only see me singing and playing harp out there, but I hope also playing more drums and percussion again as well. I’m also getting back into DJ’ing, so I suspect that I’ll see many of you out and about in the WNY area. We will be finishing the long-awaited second album, and will still plan a full-scale international release (we owe it to our fans, ourselves, and to Joel). But the economic and scheduling realities are such that the current live band line-up can’t continue in the way that we’ve all grown accustomed to, so no tour at this time, and no local gigs either. We may be able to get together from time to time for some performances, but for now it looks like our last regular gig will be this Friday the 28th of September at Vizzi’s in Kenmore. The website and this blog will be maintained, both as a place to keep you all updated on recording activities, and on my personal musical exploits and adventures in general. Nocturnal Productions/Blue Buffalo Records will continue, and we will most likely be looking to expand our artist roster and broaden our focus. There is a lot of local talent that deserves recognition and promotion on a larger scale. We also expect to be more involved in concert and special event promotion and production; watch for up-coming events with some of WNY’s premier Blues and Roots acts. Those of you who have stuck with us all these years, that have been the greatest fans any band could hope for (you know who you are), we are so grateful and thankful to have been able to play for you all of this time, and we hope to do it again. I’d like to thank all of the members of the band that have come and gone; it has been a pleasure and a learning experience in one way or another working with all of you. I’d also like to thank all of those that took an interest in helping us out when we first came on the scene as a group so long ago—none of us green or new to music in the area, but all of us new as a unit and new as a musical commodity to many of you, and your support has meant so much—people like Paul Madsen at Alternative Brews, Joanne back at the old Tap Room, and musicians like the late Jimmy Wozniak, Donna Rose, and Jack Civiletto, who selflessly gave of their time, and shared a little stage space, with some hungry young guns (well, not so young, and less so now, but young-ish, and definitely hungry!). Many of you also supported us as we sought to use our talents in support of those in need. Thank you again for all that you did to help those served by the charities that we have worked with over the years, and especially for those that helped when our dear friend Joel needed it the most. You are awesome people. This is a time of transition. None of us knows exactly what the future holds. But that’s what makes it exciting, too. Stick around, I’m sure the best is yet to come. In the meantime, if you want to catch the band live, I’d say get out to Vizzi’s on Friday the 28th; don’t say we didn’t warn you! From myself, Bruce, Tony, Bret, and Susan (and I’m sure from Joel as well), thank you all for giving us the opportunity to play the Blues for you. We hope we’ve given you something back in return. Until Then, God Bless & Good Blues, GJ


Barkerbass said...

Through some ethernet I feel very close to this band and its members, none of which I have ever met.

Class all the way. The audience is always the most important thing. Open your case, take out your instrument, put your ego in the case and close it. Somebody count it off.

That's the image I get. I hope the way you have conducted yourselves in the public and as a group will continue to affect younger musicians who are most of the time in need of this kind of image.

We grow and change. The No-Stars will be missed, but not forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind words...

Lee Barker, folks. Someone that I foolishly forgot to thank (there will be a lot of you; it's not intentional, just an aging brain you see). Lee has been an awesome supporter of the band and an even more awesome supporter of Joel. He also makes one of the coolest line of instruments anyone has seen since Bach tempered his clavier and Adolph Sax put together some metal and a reed and added "ophone."

Please check out www.barkerbass.com