Hirsh Gardner’s New Band, Solo CD and Upcoming Documentary Film

Career-Spanning Documentary in the Works

BOSTON – Hirsh Gardner, original drummer of AOR/Melodic rockers New England has put together a killer band, The Hirsh Gardner Project, with some long-time friends and is currently doing shows while promoting his current solo release, My Brain Needs a Holiday, Hirsh’s first solo release since the critically acclaimed Wasteland of Broken Hearts in 2002. Of course, Mr. Gardner’s talents go far beyond drumming, as the former Berklee College of Music student is also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and highly sought-after producer. Oh – and he also somehow finds the time to manage a guitar shop in Boston.

Article by Joe Milliken * Photos 1. By High Wire Music photography 2. Courtesy of Hirsh Gardner 3. By Joe Milliken 4. By Joe Milliken/em>

Before we get into Hirsh’s new band project. For those who might not be familiar with New England, Gardner, guitarist John Fannon, keyboardist Jimmy Waldo, and bassist Gary Shea, were discovered by Kiss manager Bill Aucoin and hit the music scene with their self-titled debut album in 1979. The album was produced by Kiss front-man, Paul Stanley, and producer, Mike Stone (Queen, Asia), and their first single, “Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya’,” hit the Top 40 in the summer of ‘79. Hirsh has been entrenched in the Boston/Los Angeles music scenes for forty years and remains a vital and busy artist, as you will now learn more.

Hirsh’s current band, which has only been together for a couple months, is already starting to create some noise in the Boston area. We recently asked Hirsh about the new lineup.

“Well, first there is Joe Feloni on guitar. Joe and I have been together for quite some time performing as a duo,” Gardner said. “I've worked with Joe quite a bit over the last several years and he was featured prominently on my current album My Brain Needs A Holiday. And then, of course, we have Tony Puleo on bass. Tony has been a staple in the Boston music industry for years and his other gig is with Blue Man Group. Tony's a sensational player.

“Next, I have Amanda Carr on keyboards and vocals. Amanda is an absolutely phenomenal performer. Her vocal prowess is amazing and she's been featured with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops over the last several years. Stephen Michael Sorum is on drums, and he is an absolutely phenomenal drummer. Having to work with me must be a challenge for Mikey, as I am a real pain in the ass - being drummer as well! The latest member to join our group is Peter Tentindo. Peter has so many projects going that I can't keep up. But one that everyone should listen to is his Venus and Mars project which is absolutely tremendous.

“We just did our first gig a couple weeks ago and judging from the crowd reaction we did very well. It’s funny, but back in 1983 when New England broke up I put together a solo project and it never got off the ground. We were doing a bunch of my early originals and I had never really stepped out front to be a lead singer at that point. I think I just got cold feet. (laughing)

“At the same time, I was so busy as a record producer that I just ended up focusing on that instead of the solo project. And now, looking back, I really kick myself in the ass for not continuing on with that project because I think it would have been very successful. So, now that Joe and I have been doing the duo, where I'm singing lead out front and playing guitar, I'm feeling much more comfortable about fronting a band.”

The players in the Hirsh Gardner Project are all simply amazing and Hirsh states “So much fun to work with. No egos, no baggage, it's all about the music and how much we can each contribute to make the project great. I love it!”

Gardner was also recently approached about the possibility of filming a documentary about his unique musical path. “A good friend of mine, Juan Roca Valenzuela, was inquisitive about my past adventures in New England, and was asking me a bunch of questions about being on the road and the bands that we toured with. He was absolutely astounded that we had rubbed shoulders with so many well-known classic rock bands of that era.”

During their peak, New England opened shows for such legendary bands as Kiss, Heart, Boston, Journey, and the J. Geils Band, and Mr. Gardner has also worked and rubbed elbows with so many of the legendary artists that hail from the Boston area. The interview possibilities for this documentary could be wide-ranging; Steven Tyler, Gene Simmons, Peter Wolf, Greg Hawkes, Tom Scholz, Steve Perry, Barry Goudreau, Jon Butcher, Danny Klein and several others. Gardner has also approached yours truly, about the possibility of interviewing him for the documentary.

“I started telling Juan some of my road stories and how at times I felt like a ‘Forrest Gump of rock-and-roll.’ There are many historical rock-and-roll moments that we were close to, right next to the famous rockers that were a part of that history back then. Juan is a film director and came up with the idea of doing a documentary and talking about my musical career and some of the cool experiences that I've had.”

Gardner is also currently working on a Hirsh Gardner Project live CD which may also include a few, new studio tracks as well. “I’m currently mixing the tracks that we recorded at our very first gig,” Gardner said. “I may include two or three brand new songs, as well as involving all the band members with the new material. I'm really excited to hear what we come up with, as these guys are such incredible musicians.”

The Hirsh Gardner Project will next be performing on July 20 at the Breakaway in Danvers, MA. My Brain Needs a Holiday is released worldwide on the GB Music label in the U.S., Canada and Japan, and on Escape-Music in Europe. It is also available on Gardner’s website at www.hirshgardner.com, as well as all the popular download sites such as CD Baby and iTunes. Also check out Hirsh's new The Hirsh Gardner Project Facebook page aw www.facebook.com/Hirshgardner.