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Tasting the Blues with NYC Bluesman & Guitar Slinger
Meyer Rossabi


Written by Elias Stimac


Opposite Photo: Meyer Rossabi
Photo Credit: Marko Romano


Singer, composer and blues guitarist Meyer Rossabi is dedicated to keeping the legacy of the Blues alive. Influenced and inspired by artists such as Eric Clapton, Jeff Healy, Les Paul, Steve Ray Vaughn, and Johnny Winter, Rossabi takes the music of his predecessors and brings it to a new level.

Rossabi has just released his new CD “Just A Little Taste Of The Blues.” The album features original new songs deeply rooted in Chicago and Texas Blues. The tracks cover topics from career-oriented women ("Modern Woman"), the gangster life ("Deadly Ties"), changing careers ("Stop Thinking"), relationships gone wrong ("Gone Too Far"), and the hard rocking' "Hurricane," which deals with "a hurricane of people going crazy."

Renowned for his fiery guitar solos and his smooth soulful voice, the artist is an exciting new voice in American music. He has performed with artists such as Gary US Bonds and Chuck Berry. We got a chance to talk with Rossabi recently and discovered some of the many layers of this talented troubadour.

ELIAS STIMAC: Tell us about your musical influences growing up.

MEYER ROSSABI: My influences were Blues, Jazz, and Country Music. I leaned a little more towards Blues because I felt you could express yourself more with the Blues. There are things you can do with your voice and the guitar with blues music that are unique and soulful. I also like mixing things up a bit sometimes for a George Benson type feel. A big influence was Johnny Winter, he has a lot of Soul in his voice and he is a fearless guitar player. I feel Johnny takes guitar playing into uncharted territories that other guitarists can't or won't. That's the type of guitarist I am -- I can and will play anything.

ELIAS STIMAC: What was the inspiration behind your latest CD?

MEYER ROSSABI: My main inspiration for recording these songs is my love for the Blues and everyday life. I could write a song everyday in this crazy world we live in. I've received some very positive feedback from press, industry, and just plain people who love the CD. I feel my inspirations are leading me in the right direction and I plan on going back into the studio soon to record more songs.

ELIAS STIMAC: Can you give some examples of the different elements of Blues in each of the various song styles on the album?

MEYER ROSSABI: Sure, "Born In Chicago" is obviously a Chicago Blues song with a steady upbeat rhythm. It's the sort of song you play where your timing needs to be on the money. "Stop Thinking" is a Blues Rock song with a quick happy tempo. "Hurricane" is a Texas Blues style song with a Country feel. "Going To Far" is a basic New York style Blues song with a slight Swing Music feel to it. "Modern Woman" is a fun song with a Southern Blues tempo. In "Deadly Ties" I return to Texas Blues. It's a song with a straight steady tempo with cool lyrics that will keep you bopping. I like mixing and playing different types of Blues, it keeps the listener interested in what I have to say.

ELIAS STIMAC: How would you describe your vocal style?

MEYER ROSSABI: My vocal style is influenced by the blues. I have a midrange voice and my goal with my new CD was to bring a soulful feel to the vocals.

ELIAS STIMAC: Why did you dedicate the album to Les Paul and Jeff Healy?

MEYER ROSSABI: I dedicated "Just A Little Taste of the Blues" to Les Paul because he was the innovator that started it all. I had the privilege of meeting and having a talk with Les. He was very down to earth. One of the main reasons I admire him is that he had no boundaries in his guitar playing. That's the way I like to play. Jeff Healy was the whole package -- great voice, great musician, he had his own style, and he could play anything. Jeff also played jazz and jazz trumpet. His songs were soulful and full of meaning. Les Paul and Jeff Healy are greatly missed.

ELIAS STIMAC: What is your approach to songwriting?

MEYER ROSSABI: My main influence as a songwriter is everyday life, things that happen to me, people I meet, things that happen during the course of the day that standout and leave vivid impressions. I practice writing down experiences of thoughts during the day, these are the seeds of a new song.

ELIAS STIMAC: Tell us about your stand-up comedy experiences.

MEYER ROSSABI: I started doing stand- up comedy as a goof. I took a comedy class at Caroline’s in NYC, little did I know, everyone in the class were working comedians sharpening their skills. I was just a beginner without a catalog of jokes. After the 19-week course, we performed at Caroline’s on a Saturday night. I was good enough that I was approached by a talent scout and got booked in her comedy show. I continued doing shows at places like the famous PIPS Comedy Club in Brooklyn. At PIPS I met actor Angel Salazar, who was in the movie "Scarface." I opened for Angel at PIPS, and to this day we are good friends.

ELIAS STIMAC: How influential is living in New York to your musical style?

MEYER ROSSABI: New York City is one of the biggest influences for my song writing. There is so much going on, so much live music, and so many people that you meet in the course of your day. There is something happening in New York every minute of the day. This city is filled with an endless stream of material for my writing.

ELIAS STIMAC: What advice do you have for musicians trying to break through in NYC?

MEYER ROSSABI: New York City is a great place for musicians. Play as much as you can, develop a following, and do not get discouraged. Keep following your dream regardless of the obstacles.

ELIAS STIMAC: Anything else you would like to add?

MEYER ROSSABI: Yes! My next gig will be at Alphabet Lounge in NYC on May 6 at 9pm. I'll be playing with my new band called “Perfect Storm." The drummer is Freddie Coscia, who has played with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. My bassist is Pennsylvania Kris. This is a great band and I'm excited about this gig. If anyone needs info on Alphabet Lounge, please go to: www.alphabetnyc.com

“Just A Little Taste of the Blues” is available at www.cdbaby.com/cd/MeyerRossabi

You can also find more on the artist at www.myspace.com/bluesman32, or follow these links to Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_IBYLCm4zo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCqzHn_s0DM

 




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