To date, drummer Aaron Comess, a founding member of the Grammy nominated, ten million plus album selling band Spin Doctors, has played on, written on and/or produced over two hundred albums with an acclaimed and diverse roster of artists such as Joan Osborne, Bilal, Rachael Yamagata, Marius Westerhagen , New York Electric Piano, Roswell Rudd, Isaac Hayes, Carrie Rodriguez, James Maddock, Garland Jerffries, Marc Cohn and Chris Whitley to name a few.
In recent years, Comess has drawn from all of his past experience to record and release original instrumental albums under his own name. The first was Catskills Cry in 2006, then Beautiful Mistake in 2011, Blues for Use in 2014 and the straight ahead jazz release the Aaron Comess Quintet in 2015.
"I've always thought of records like a movie where each song is new scene. I want every note and moment of these songs to count and have meaning, like a song with words.”
Comess has three of his own bands, the Aaron Comess Trio which plays original instrumental songs from the three above mentioned recordings with Teddy Kumpel on the guitar and Richard Hammond on the bass, the Aaron Comess Quintet which plays straight ahead jazz and Aaron Comess and the Air Conditioned Gypsies which is a collective of rotating creative musicians that favors improvisation.
Aaron recently had the honor of a best blues record Grammy nomination on Joan Osborne’s blues /soul record “ Bring it on home” which Comess played drums.
The Spin Doctors recently released a new studio record of original blues based rock songs called If The River Was Whiskey on Ruff Records which is gathering the most critical acclaim of any record they have recorded to date. It was recorded in Aaron’s NYC studio His House-Innsbruck Studios. http://hishouse-innsbruckstudios.com
Aaron has performed live and on television with some of music’s biggest artists including Joan Osborne, Natasha Bedingfield, Edie Brickell, Steve Martin, André Bocelli, David Foster, Aaron Neville, German superstar Marius Westernhagen and Spin Doctors to name a few. He also stays very active in the NYC local jazz, experimental music scene and singer songwriter circuits, and records and produces at his own recording studio ‘His House Studio’.
On April 1st, 2016 he released a live record with his original instrumental music group the Aaron Comess Trio, and is in the process of recording an Air Conditioned Gypsies record to be released in 2017 .James Maddock’s status as a fixture on the Folk and Americana scene is confirmed with every listen of any song in his prodigious catalog. An April 2014 review in Relix Magazine puts it this way: “James Maddock possesses the kind of lived-in craggy voice that would sound authoritative if he were singing the sports pages. Fortunately, he doesn't need to do that because his compositional skills are a match for his delivery."
JAMES MADDOCK: Nodding to ‘70s rock with shimmering acoustic guitars, an understated rhythm section and flourishes of fiddle, mandolin, piano and dobro, Another Life bridges the mainstream appeal of songwriters like Jesse Harris and Norah Jones and the quirkier sensibility of Loudon Wainwright. With funding entirely from fan contributions through PledgeMusic, Maddock worked with producer Matt Pierson, multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell (who’s played with Bob Dylan and Levon Helm) and bassist Tony Scherr (who plays with Norah Jones).
The 13 songs on Another Life paint a portrait of a man reaching the midpoint of his life, a natural progression from themes in Maddock's earlier releases. He’s looking back on roads not taken, and isn’t always sure he chose the right one. On the title track, Maddock wants an extra 50 years to try “acting, white-water rafting,” “some illegal substances,” even having a kid or three. “I’ve Been There Too,” built around an indelible guitar riff, shows Maddock’s knack for instrumental hooks as well as lyrical ones. “Don’t Go Lonely,” in a well-timed moment of levity, hints at reggae with dub bass, bubbling organ and the chorus’s entreaty to “go get high, go get found, go crazy on this town / don’t go lonely.”
After fronting the Columbia Records band Wood, whose debut Songs From Stamford Hill was featured prominently on TV shows such as “Dawson’s Creek,” Maddock moved from England to New York City in 2003. His 2009 album Sunrise On Avenue C won a New York Music Award for Best Americana Album, while follow-up Wake Up And Dream ranked among the top albums of 2011 in WFUV's (NYC) Listener Poll. He has performed with Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nile, Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) and David Immergluck (Counting Crows). According to radio legend Vin Scelsa, Maddock's "heartbreakingly beautiful and exquisitely crafted" music "touches the soul." As a songwriter, James currently has three songs co-written with Mike Scott on the new Waterboys album, Modern Blues (which appeared in the Top 50 on the UK Albums Chart), a co-write with Gary Barlow (“Actress”) on Barlow’s new album (2X Platinum), as well as a cut (“Fragile”) on the Dirt On My Tongue album by emerging UK artist Jo Harman. Songs from Another Life have been featured on NBC’s Parenthood and ABC Family’s Switched at Birth. Maddock is a constant live presence in the U.S. and Europe and recently returned from the Caloundra Music Festival in Australia. His latest record The Green was released on June 30th 2015 on Jullian Records/RED. A new live album, James Maddock Live at Daryl’s House will be available for sale summer 2016 and a new studio album is in the works for a 2017 release. For up-to-date news and concert schedule, log on to www.jamesmaddock.net.