Biscuit Jam With Mark Telesca, Richie Schmidt & The Funky Biscuit All Stars Featuring Albert Castiglia

The Funky Biscuit Presents

Biscuit Jam With Mark Telesca, Richie Schmidt & The Funky Biscuit All Stars Featuring Albert Castiglia

Monday October 29, 2018

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Funky Biscuit

Boca Raton, FL

$0.00

Reserve Seats for this event are subject to a $15 food or beverage minimum (Happy Hour Menu not available during this event). Entire party must arrive no later than 7:30pm or reserved seats will be released

Mark Telesca
Mark Telesca
Mark Telesca is an American Songwriter / Singer / Guitarist and Bassist. He studied music at Florida Atlantic University and currently lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.

His “HOOK” oriented songwriting style and storytelling lyrics along with his expressive style of bass playing and powerful lead vocal is capturing the attention of music lovers everywhere.

Mark has released his first solo studio CD titled “Heavy Breathing” in January of 2015. His CD spent many months on steady rotation on SIRIUSXM RADIO (Bluesville). The CD is receiving rave reviews and reached the #5 spot on "Blues Power Radio's Top 30" Blues Albums. He has had three singles off the Heavy Breathing CD that has charted on Blues 411 Baker's Dozen of Blues. "If You Got Enough Jack" has reached #5 " Cross the Dog" has reached #2 and "I Don't Need Your Lovin' Anymore" has reached #1 !!!

In January 2015, Mark took his band to Memphis, TN to compete in the International Blues Challenge (IBC) and were semi finalists.

Mark has also started a career playing solo acoustic guitar focusing on Pre-WWII blues, Americana and his own original music. He has since competed in his local IBC challenge as a solo artist. He has been fortunate enough to win himself another spot in to compete again in Memphis in January 2016 and will be competing again in 2017.

Mark is very proud to be endorsed by Delaney Guitars. Delaney Guitars has built the Mark Telesca Bass Model. They are calling the bass the "TRADITION" model based on its traditional looks, feel and sound. It is currently available for purchase www.delaneyguitars.com

Mark is out gigging almost every night promoting his music. In addition to his hectic gigging schedule, he is the host of one of the most popular Pro Blues Jams in the Southeast. The Jam takes place every Monday at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL. There are many touring artist who make it a point to spend some extra time in sunny Florida just to attend and hopefully participate in this high quality Jam.

As well as being a songwriter, singer, guitarist, and band leader, Mark is a touring bassist supporting many blues / rock artists. He is currently touring with “Blue Mercy” Featuring 2014 Blues Music Award winner and 2015 Blues Music Award Nominee Diunna Greenleaf.

Mark was the bassist along with 2010 Blues Music Award Winner and 2015 Grammy Winner Jason Ricci on Harmonica in The Keith Brown Trio. They later recorded Keith’s album “Down the Line” an acoustic album.

Influences are: The Delta Blues, Gospel Music and Motown.
Bass influences are James Jamerson, Donald Duck Dunn, Oteil Burbridge, Willie Weeks ... Just to name a few.
Albert Castiglia
Albert Castiglia
“It may be a bit premature to crown Albert Castiglia America's newest King of the Blues, but there's little doubt that he at least deserves the title of heir apparent.” -- Miami New Times

As most artists will attest, the most unexpected circumstance can spark artistic inspiration. That’s a fact that hasn’t been lost on singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire Albert Castiglia. With his latest album, the aptly named Masterpiece, he celebrates an unforeseen triumph -- a connection with a daughter he never knew he had. The result is a work that’s both personal and provocative all at the same time.

Castiglia calls this the most meaningful album he’s ever made. “My daughter finding me and opening up my world to an additional family, including two grandchildren, brought out the deepest material I’ve ever created,” he notes, “along with my wife, they were my muses.” Indeed, songs such as “Keep On Swinging”, “Masterpiece” and “Bring on the Rain” address the unexpected emotions that infused his psyche with the discovery of a family he never knew.

“Prior to my daughter finding me, my entire adult life felt incomplete,” Castiglia reflects in the song “Bring On the Rain.” “I never knew why I felt that way. I could never put my finger on it. Then when I discovered my daughter, my heart was suddenly overflowing.”

The title track echoes the same sort of sentiment. "After my daughter and I connected for the first time, I submitted my DNA sample to the lab to confirm that I was indeed her father,” Castiglia recalls. “I knew she was my kid the second I saw her picture, but my daughter wanted closure and by me taking the test, it would put all the speculation to rest. On the day my results came up positive, I wrote a letter to my daughter telling her how happy I was to be her father. At the end of the letter I wrote, ‘I've been an artist for thirty years, but you're my masterpiece!’ I ran with that line and made it the perfect song to express my love. As the lyric says, I loved her before I even knew her.”

Co-produced by longtime friend and colleague Mike Zito, and released on Zito’s own label, Gulf Coast Records, on May 24th, the album also finds Castiglia reflecting on the disappointment and disconnect that’s gripped the nation in the past several years. Several songs, “Heavy” and “Love Will Win the War”, deal with the dilemma that has impacted the those forgotten as the result of this modern malaise. “Heavy” brings those ideas to the fore. “It was inspired by people who live in this country and feel alienated, unappreciated, demonized and shunned by society,” Castiglia reflects. “The homeless, the vets, immigrants, people of color, teachers, the LGBT community...they were on my mind the whole time I wrote this tune.” “Love Will Win the War” goes even deeper into the horrors and violence that have shaken the very pillars of the nation’s faith and fortitude. Castiglia says it was inspired by the mass shootings that were all too prevalent in recent years. “Those horrific events got me thinking, ‘What goes through my daughter's mind when she drops her kids off at school? Does she think the worst or hope for the best? I really have a hard time playing this song without choking up, because I have my grandchildren in mind when I play it. It's sad, but I believe it's also hopeful.

The tone of the album underscores both its mood and its message, from the forthright stance of “Bring on the Rain,” the frenzy and fury of “Keep On Swinging” and the driving determination of “Catch My Breath,” “Thoughts and Prayers” and “Red Tide Blues,” to the rustic reflection of “Love Will Win the War,” the confidence and contemplation of the title track and the somber and sobering “I Tried To Tell Ya.” By Castiglia’s own admission, the sound is raw and unfiltered, little wonder since he and Zito play all the instruments between them.

“I think blues is a wide open net,” Castiglia once told a reporter. “There are a lot of different ways to do it...I’ve taken a lot of heat for what I do. Some people think I’m too edgy to be considered a blues artist. On the other hand, I don’t think that people like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf would have wanted me copying them and redoing their stuff. There’s no point in doing that. They would want me to do my own stuff.”

Of course, Castiglia should know. The Miami-raised musician served an apprenticeship while backing legendary blues musician Junior Wells. He later went on to work with singer Sandra Hall. Never content to allow himself to be confined to any particular category, he embarked on a solo career that’s yielded eight critically acclaimed album and consist kudos for his exceptional instrumental prowess, his searing vocals, and live performances that have dazzled audiences from coast to coast. It’s little wonder that Miami’s New Times lauded him as South Florida’s “Best Blues Guitarist” or that USA Today was inspired to remark “It's a revelation to discover the thrilling retro-electric blues from this astonishing young guitarist.” Likewise, BluesABout.com called Castiglia “one of those mid-tier artists that is just one album away from breaking big and becoming a household word in the blues world.” Or, as M Music & Musicians once noted, “His back-to-basics approach follows in the footsteps of those who fostered the blues in the Mississippi Delta and the smoky late-night haunts of Chicago.”

For now anyway, Castiglia is content to celebrate a new chapter in his life and what has become an added incentive for making music. That philosophy is perhaps best expressed in another song on the new album, a track called "Keep On Swinging." “It’s about advice I would have given my daughter had I been around when she was a kid but which I'm now able to give to grandchildren,” Castiglia says."’Keep on swinging, don't let the haters get you down.’" I always try to remind them that they are special and can accomplish anything their heart desires if they only put their minds to it. They’re the ones that give me hope for the future.”

Gulf Coast Records to release Masterpiece on May 24, 2019
Richie Schmidt
Richie Schmidt
Richie Schmidt was born and raised in NYC, and was surrounded by musical influences from an early age. Singing in his church's “cherub” choir at age 5, he would follow on to the junior and adult choirs. From grade 2 to 6 he took violin lessons (at public school!). And when the church began to experiment with the new “folk” music style that was becoming popular, he began playing guitar. Some formal lessons followed at the local music store, and the guitar became a constant companion.

With his transistor radio (tuned to WABC), he began listening and learning the songs of the time. A friendly competition with his sister Debbie (also a singer/guitarist) provided a “look what I just learned” leap-frog game of sharing songs and styles, accelerating his knowledge of the instrument, as well as his familiarity with the variety of 60s and 70s pop music.

Other influences would add some spice to his skills. Under the direction of musicologist Peter Griggs he studied East Indian music and performed as a percussionist with the NYC Gamelan. A high school friend, Christopher Thall, was a prodigious talent who demonstrated learning techniques that opened up many avenues to musical approach and understanding. And Richie's fascination with musical instruments led him to acquire abilities on piano and flute, as well as banjo, mandolin and other stringed instruments.

He began performing in rock cover bands in 1976, playing classic rock favorites at parties and high schools and eventually in clubs all around NYC and Long Island. In 1983, he fully dedicated himself to a life of music, leaving his home to join a traveling act. Early in these travels he met keyboardist Tess Smith. The two traveled with the touring band for a number of years, eventually settling in South Florida. In 1990 they were married, and began performing as the duo “Twocan Blue”.

In 2002 Richie was invited to fill the guitar role for “The Fabulous Fleetwood's” the longest running “rockin' blues” band in the region.

In 2008, he was the musical director for the stage re-creation of the concert movie “The Last Waltz”, and also performed in the role of guitarist Robbie Robertson .

Continuing on a busy schedule of performances, he's frequently called on as a solo artist and side man, performing on stages large & small, with local musician friends, as well as many noteworthy artists.
Venue Information:
The Funky Biscuit
303 SE Mizner Blvd
Royal Palm Place
Boca Raton, FL, 33432
http://funkybiscuit.com/