• Paul Cotruvo & The Big Jangle - April 17, 2018


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    For this week's #TinaTuesday I had the opportunity to sit down with the amazing and talented musician, Paul Cotruvo.  Paul Cotruvo has been a pillar of our community for a long time, working to "keep music a part of the culture in this area," and I wanted to share his musical passion with all of you. 

    As a young boy, Paul used to watch the Ed Sullivan show.  This is where he first saw the Beatles perform, and that's when he said to himself "that's what I want to do," and boy has he ever.  The Beatles were a big influence on him as a young boy, but the first record he bought was The Byrd's "Mr. Tambourine Man."  It was the Holy Grail of Jangle!  Paul first picked up a guitar when he was 10 years old, and hasn't put it down since (well, he does put it down to go about everyday life, but you know what I mean).  He got his first gig when he was 15 years old, playing at "The Melting Pot" in Lafayette with his friend John Dotta (I can't remember what I was doing at 15, but I sure wasn't that motivated).  When he was 17, he and his friends started their own band called "Sun Storm," which would become the first of many on his musical journey throughout the decades. If you know Paul, Tom Petty has also had a big influence on him.  As a matter of fact, Tom Petty's inspiration was the Byrd's (remember Paul's first record purchase).   During an interview, Tom Petty called their sound "The Big Jangle," which he used to describe the sound of a 12 string guitar.  So, Petty fused the sounds of the 12-string jangle of The Byrds with the tough swagger of the mid-60s Rolling Stones and produced songs that were timeless and instantly familiar like... An American Girl, Don’t Do Me Like That, You Got Lucky, Here Comes My Girl, Don’t Come Around Here No More, I Won’t Back Down, and Free Fallin’.  Now, fast forward to current day and the band Paul brought together and named appropriately  "The Big Jangle, A Tribute to Tom Petty and all Things Jangly," where they bring all of Tom Petty's sounds and songs wonderfully back to life. Pretty cool, right!?!?  

    Here are some more fun facts about Paul and The Big Jangle...
    • The band members of The Big Jangle are...Paul (Beau Jangle himself), Kiki Stack (Vocals), Dan Hertlein (Drums/Vocals), Kevin Scott Kroner (Keys/Guitar/Vocals/Harp), Bruce Brophy (Guitar), and John Gajan (Bass/Vocals).
    • Paul is also part of a duo with Stephanie Rickher called "The Lost Weekend."
    • He started the "Come Together Benefit Concert" 8 years ago.  This is a yearly concert where he brings together young new artists and seasoned artists to perform live, and 100% of the proceeds goes to the PH Rec and Park Teen Center Programs.
    • Paul writes a monthly article for the Community Focus called "In the Mix."
    • In 1987 he was playing at Abernathy's in Walnut Creek, when a certain cocktail waitress caught his eye, and in 1992 he married Sheila and made her a Cotruvo. That's 26 years of marriage right there people! 
    • They have 5 kids and 12 grandchildren
    • As his "day job," Paul is a Title Officer and has been for 39 years and counting 
    • In 2013, Paul was named Citizen of the Year
    • He books the bands and runs the stage for the annual Blues and Brews Festival (July 20th and 21st)
    • His favorite gig is the Sunset by the Lake Summer Concert Series (This year they will be playing on August 9th)
    • Paul is a Deputy Commissioner and has officiated 18 weddings to date.  He likes to say he's a one stop shop. He'll marry you, play the music at your wedding and park your car. ;-)
    • If you’d like to hear a sample of The Big Jangle’s music and learn a little more about them, check out their website www.bigjangleband.com
    Thank you Paul, for taking the time to fill me in on your fascinating life and times.  We are all so grateful for the musicality that you bring to our community.  BTW, if you'd like to see The Big Jangle in person, they are playing this Saturday, April 21st at WiseGirl.  I wouldn't miss it.  ;-)

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