The Way to a Band's Heart...

How do you go from living room songwriter to full-blown band?

Find the best musicians in your town and fill them up with some good home cookin’.

by Tam Maiuri


The first was drummer TJ Rogers, who played with Eli and I in a rockin-fun garage band called Barbudos. Playing with Barbudos was (and is!) a killer time—we put out a great album and brought busloads of rowdy fans to the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern for our shows. As band members got busier with work and family, Barbudos became less active, but we still got together with TJ to jam.

Now, we’re always pretty bad for overworking our babysitters. So we would often invite TJ to our place for a jam after the kids went to bed. And if he was coming, why not join us for dinner? It didn’t take long for “dinner and a jam” to become a regular thing…


TJ and guitarist James Gizzie go way back, but we first met Giz last year at what we call the “Barbudos Christmas Miracle”—a potluck dinner we have once a year. We had never met Giz but he had no problem walking right in, grabbing a knife and getting to work in the kitchen. And he’s a master in the kitchen. Needless to say, we got along just fine. We hired him to teach our daughter weekly music lessons… and hey Giz, why don’t you stay for “dinner and a jam” while you’re here? And… he’s in.


Phil Bosley and Nathanial Goold are the most recent additions to the band. These are guys that most Niagara musicians have played with, and players you have to work hard to get ahold of, since so many bands want a piece of them. By now you can guess how we lured them in… and they’ll both be at the Barbudos Christmas Miracle this year (that is, we know how to keep them).

It may not have been intentional, but it certainly worked. We’ve had a great time sitting together around the dining room table a couple times a week. And as Eli introduced his songs, jam after jam, it got everyone pretty excited—we needed to build a band around these tunes. So, if you’re a living-room-songwriter looking for skilled musicians to back your tunes, remember: if you feed them, they will come.