River View Observer “Best Pick” Emerging Artists Band
By Sally Deering
Jersey City festival-goers know Joe Palumbo’s band “The Better Letters” because the group performs at the 4th Street Art & Music Festival every year and has a huge local fan base.
The band’s first album “Mixed Feelings” was released in June 2011 and now fans of the group can look forward to the August release of a 3-song EP “Play it Straight,” which will also be free for download on the band’s website, www.thebetterletters.com and available on iTunes.
Here’s how Palumbo describes the title track:
“’Play It Straight’ has a nervously paced verse which evokes a sense of paranoia in the listener as voices whisper from every dark corner. The protagonist is a victim of his own misconceptions of how others view him and interpret his actions. The tension in the high-pitched guitar breaks echoes this uneasiness. The solution offered is “…give the people what they want … Play it straight” but they may as well be saying “be yourself”… Could this be another song about having developed ever-changing multi-stable perceptions from wading in the bottomless stimuli pool of the vast and lawless Internet?”
Palumbo, who was born and raised in Eastern Long Island and plays guitar also writes the band’s original songs.The Better Letters is going on tour in Feb 2013 starting in Pennsylvania then heading west to Minneapolis and south to Georgia. Palumbo says: “I love playing live, especially every day.”
The Better Letters started as a two-piece in late 2009 and three more band mates joined the following year. The band features Abraham Something on keyboards, Ben Brunnemer on guitar, Steve Goldberg on drums and Darryl Specht on bass guitar.
“It wasn’t cutting it for two people,” Palumbo says. “We had to expand quickly. I asked my friend Ben (to join the group). We had been on a job together painting somebody’s wall and we started talking about the band and I brought him along. Steve and I were working years ago in separate competing bakeries, which was kind of funny. That’s kind of our connection.”
But it takes more than paint and doughnuts to glue the band together. The musicians share one important thing essential to their success.
“We love to play,” Palumbo says. “I have all these songs and I’m producing more and more. The sound is developing really quickly.”
Palumbo owns 4:3 records, the record label for “Better Letters,” and two other bands. For more info, visit www.4-3records.com.