The 1955 New Year’s Baby of Claremont NH, CAREY began playing the guitar at 2, took classical lessons and appeared on radio for the first time at age 8, and performed before his Maple Ave. Grammar School playing songs by the Monkees and the Troggs at age 11 with first drummer Fred Harrington - except for the fourth grade class, whose teacher Mr. Hackett didn't want to subject them to the evils of rock n roll. Carey went on to learn drums and keyboards, and won several local talent contests early on. He also had bands that played for dances in Junior-High and High School.
Carey began his road adventures in 1975 after joining a Hartford based blues band (featuring blueswoman LISA BRESLIN) and briefly attending HARTT SCHOOL OF MUSIC in Connecticut. He also was stage manager for Bill Faletti Productions at the very first concert held at the then-new (pre-roof collapse) Hartford Civic Center, escorting a very drunk Herbie Mann and the Family of Mann to the stage. Carey also played fill-ins with various rock bands in that area, including playing with then 17 yr. old left-handed guitar phenomenon JIMI BELL (see CONFESSIONS page for more). JIMI even moved to NH a year later and lived with Carey's parents while playing in WHIP with Carey. Carey, along with friends Gary Savoie and Bryce Chicoine (later of BCM Studios) and artist Cindy Wahrlich, put together a legendary string of parties at the infamous Palmer's Barn, featuring Carey and Jimi's thrown together rock bands with various players from Connecticut and always with Tim "Squeege" Perras on drums.
In the 70s and 80s, CAREY appeared before or on the same bill with such heroic musical luminaries as The TURTLES (as Flo and Eddie from FRANK ZAPPA; Carey says they were hilarious!), was backstage in Oahu with MAHOGANY RUSH, CANNED HEAT, FLEETWOOD MAC (Carey saw the tension at the height of their feuds and breakups)(all of the previous bands thanks to the late Uber-Promoter in Hawaii 1976-Ken Rosene), MAYNARD FERGUSON, blues legend JAMES COTTON, JONATHAN EDWARDS (he called Carey "crazy", and vowed they'd play together someday), the amazing LEO KOTTKE (Carey lent him his tools to use when his truss rod broke), ORLEANS (Carey partied with late drummer Wells Kelly), POUSETTE-DART BAND, HANK WILLIAMS JR. (they first met when Carey was 10; that's a great story!), country music legend DICK (Tombstone Every Mile) CURLESS (with buddy Dwain Hathaway), TINY TIM (ask Carey about him!), RITA and ZIGGY MARLEY, JOHNNY WINTER (2X), PAT TRAVERS BAND (Carey got to jam in Key West with Pat backstage), JAMES MONTGOMERY (more great road stories), and RICK DERRINGER (still alive and well, and ROCKIN').
There were times at colleges like Dartmouth and Amherst when Carey would be playing at one frat, an early version of THE CARS or AEROSMITH might be at the frat next door, or the J. GEILS BAND would be playing the next night! CAREY then tried fronting his own band, the CAREY RUSH BAND for 3 years, but it was doomed from the start, due mostly to lack of shared vision and a strong lead vocalist.
While touring the Florida Keys with the RICK DAVIS BAND in '85, Carey settled in and began formulating a solo act, suggested by Dave and Jeanie Gargano, with much prodding and support (and patience and gear) from Linda and Dusty Durst from the regrettably now defunct Key of Sea Music, and the late Johnny "The Greek" Trepas (mgr. extraordinaire of Holiday Isle Resort). He gained quick notoriety due to his use of new technology like wireless headset microphones (10 years before Garth and Madonna!), an incredible sounding stereo 12-string OVATION Custom Legend guitar he got through Dusty, his very visual and searing lead guitar work, and the first simple music computers (KORG Super Section), not to mention a growing repertoire of weird parodies and slightly-dirty-ditties. In fact, in 1988, his recorded versions of two songs were played on 145 radio stations around the world! During this formative period, quite a few newspaper articles and TV shows touted CAREY's new solo act, and performers like BOB SEGER's saxman ALTO REED, or DEEP PURPLE'S RICHIE BLACKMORE (although he wouldn't talk to Carey!), TEN YEARS AFTER's ALVIN LEE, SAWYER BROWN (Carey's in their Shakin' video, shot at Holiday Isle. and was hassled by soon-to-be-fired guitarist Bobby Randall) or MOUNTAIN'S CORKY LAING (bought Carey a Rumrunner and asked him to record in Miami at Criteria), among others, would hear about Carey and stop in to see him.
In the 90s, CAREY attempted to go fully "acoustic", and appeared with or before the JAMES MONTGOMERY BLUES BAND (9 times since 1976!), the GREGG ALLMAN BAND (featuring the Toler Brothers. Dangerous Dan complimented Carey from stage), the late RICK DANKO of the BAND (he gave Carey a smiling "thumb's up"), personal hero and friend folk-outlaw JAIME BROCKETT (Jaime called Carey a "lifer", and pronounced him to be one of the best saloon singers he had seen), Zydeco master TERRANCE SIMIEN (Terrance enthusiastically shook Carey's hand and said "You're real, man!") and went back to lead guitar duties to put together New England supergroup LAST KID PICKED mostly by long-distance phone calls with buddy John DeGange while Carey was performing on a private island in Tortola ( British Virgin Islands ). LKP w/Carey went on to open for BLUE OYSTER CULT (guitarist Buck Dharma asked the soundman who Carey was) and LESLIE WEST from the band MOUNTAIN touring Vermont ski areas. A whole new LKP is still going strong, thanks to John, doing the "cover band with light show" circuit in New England.
Carey has also performed with B.B. King/Count Basie/Unknown Blues Band sax player BIG JOE BURRELL (Big Joe told Carey they'd put a sideband together someday - Carey said "Joe, you're 70 years old - can we do it soon?") and adopted mom/ jazz vocalist extraordinaire LADY EVE, produced CDs for all kinds of artists, played fill-in guitar with Click Horning's NIGHT KITCHEN, had the distinct honor of jamming and rehearsing with NYC guitar star JOEY LEONE, played bass in a blues band with fabulous guitarists and friends GEORGE GIBSON and JUSTIN JAYMES around the Sunapee NH area, jetted to the Keys to hang and jam with blues afficianado, expert, purveyor and friend ED VADAS and the FABULOUS HEAVYWEIGHTS (also seen in the movie THE MONEY PIT), left at 6am the next morning with a "girlfriend" to live in Amsterdam (Yes, Holland; ask him about THAT trip!) and recently has appeared with other Marco Island entertainers opening for the PLATTERS at the 2000 Marco Island Music Festival as well as being a yearly featured performer at the Taste of Marco festivals. CAREY also appeared at the AMERICA'S RISING CONCERT to raise money for 9/11, and was featured on several of the TAKE A LOOK TV magazine shows. CAREY also appeared in the SNOOK INN commercials for 3 years, and is heard on the soundtracks of several other local commercials!
CAREY has performed recently in the British Virgin Islands; for German, British, South African, Dutch and New England audiences. He has also appeared on the internationally syndicated radio show DR. DEMENTO; was house-entertainer at HOLIDAY ISLE in Islamorada FL, FARO BLANCO in Marathon FL, and the short-lived MURPHY's chain in NH (Connie Chung, Ch. 9 news anchors, and several NASCAR drivers and crews were fans before inept owner Nigel Leeming ran the chain into the ground!); kept off-duty Secret Service in stitches in Kennebunkport Maine at the Village Cove Inn, appeared on many local and national TV and radio shows and commercials; performed for the wrap party at the first Marco Island Film Festival (Richard Kiel, JAWS from James Bond movies, is a fan!); was a featured performer at the Rick Robinson benefit on FMB; was flown up to Killington VT by American Ski Corporation to play in Oct. '03, did a 3 month 2004 VT ski tour, has been doing a ritzy rooftop cafe gig in Naples FL, put out his comedy CD in '03, and appeared at the largest European style nudist resort in the Americas (72 acres) as beverage manager / musician! Summer outdoor concerts at beautiful Sunapee Harbor in NH in '06 and '07! Jamming with New England legends Davis Bros. Garage Band at their reunion, and looking for the next stage to rip up!
don't look hereCheChe
Carey is also exploring the world of computers, having just started in 2000. Joe "Hayes" Stagner talked him into getting one, Dave Moore got him going with Cakewalk Music Software, and Ginny Atchison (ComputerLab) is showing him how to troubleshoot. Slowly. Very slowly.
Carey also started to learn a bit about the culinary arts, having the privilege to have worked side-by-side with Executive Chef Ed Ryder and chef Craig Belliveau, looking over their shoulders as they created. Carey was their part-time set-up / prep / fry boy for about a year, initially introduced to gourmet food preparation and presentation by the renowned Chef Jim and Heidi Peyton from the incredible Peyton Place in Bradford, VT (now Orford, NH).
My Official Career Thank-You's
I would like to take a moment here to thank and acknowledge Ginny and Hayes for an incredible job of putting this website together, and for providing the opportunity for me to have this Internet facility / bully pulpit which allows me to thank most of the people who have been involved in my sordid little "slow motion carwreck I call Life" (credit: Jaime Brockett).
First of all, my family. Some of my earliest musical memories are of my older brother Bill and I listening to some "WTSV Top 10 countdown" on the radio in the kitchen with songs like "Sugar Shack" and "Wipe-Out", Elvis, watching Ricky Nelson on TV (with James Burton on guitar), and listening to 78's and 45's, and watching Dick Dale play his lefty Strat in the beach movies. Then I heard "Telstar" by The Tornados. I've never heard such a powerful guitar before or since! Then, the Beatles changed my life. Both my Mom and my step-Dad, Evelyn and Bob Noyes, are musical, and had the mega-patience to put up with my practicing and jamming for so many years. Our mailman/neighbor Bob Curtis, Sr. let me play his 1950s Candy Apple Red Strat (maple neck)(into a Sears Silvertone Twin Twelve amp!) when I was 6, and he also gave me quite a few lessons and let me watch his bands practice. John "Goober" Goodhue from a popular local band lived near us, and he taught me a lot of early rock songs, as well as me watching his band practice. But it was my folks who provided me with the freedom, the encouragement, the Wednesday night lessons, and the first instruments and gear. When I was 10-11, they used to take me to the Lone Star Ranch outside of Manchester NH, where I saw some big-name country-rock acts. I became a sort-of mascot for Hank Williams, Jr. and his band the Cheatin' Hearts whenever they played in the area. They'd let me play their instruments, go on the bus, get them food, and Hank would come out front and hang with my folks sometimes. Later, I would come home from school and go downstairs and either play guitar or drums pretty darn loud. My Mom would just turn up the TV so she could hear her "stories" (soap operas). My various "bands" would practice whenever my folks would bowl on league nights. Not to mention them carting me and my equipment all over New England.
I'd also like to thank the local FM dj Dave Wilbur, who turned me on to a lot of different music when I was in high school, through my friends Gary Savoie, Mike Bodeur, Jeff Szymujko and Greg Charest. I would have never heard or seen the likes of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Beaver and Krause, 50-foot Hose, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Captain Beyond, Tom Waits or Jaime Brockett without those four. Plus working for all those years at Whitcomb Music Center, being around Don and Eve Whitcomb and all their customers and friends, I learned early on to listen and try to learn from ALL styles and instruments.
I'd like to thank all the guys who played with me up through the 70s. Too many to list, but Tim Perras, Tom Willis, Steve Spicer, Jimi Bell (click for sick video), Dave Pedersen and Ronnie Riviezzo got me on the right road. I had to improve constantly to keep up with Vermont rivals like Skip Riley and Pete Porter. Not to mention Brian Clow, who hooked me up with my first Pro band when I was 16, playing the Showcase East (now the Pickle Barrel) on Killington! Ah, the stories that could arise from just THOSE guys! I was lucky enough to have lived through the era where there were two high school dances with live rock bands almost every weekend! I'd befriend the bands (Fox, Stonecross, English Realm, Sprites, Atlantis, Van Buren Taxi, Thundertrain, Davis Bros., Orphans, Spectras, Acoustics, Deadbeats, Fifth Ave. Band, Anvil, Boston Kreme, Flash, Bronin Hogman, Spoonfeather, Glad, etc.) and they would usually end up staying at my parent's house after the dance. MOM, EIGHT FOR BREAKFAST! I also got involved around this time with summer stock theatre, namely The Barnstormers, and appeared in plays like Mr. Roberts, Harvey, Arsenic and Old Lace, and some variety/musicals. I was also in a traveling gospel group with my old buddy Dwain Hathaway (click for homepage), and he and I auditioned (and won) a chance for a recording contract in Miami at that time. (We were 17)
My big turning point was in 1975, when Ronnie Riviezzo caught up to me one day as I was riding the backroads of Hartland, VT on my BSA Rocket 3 750 chopper with fellow guitarist (and BSA afficianado) the late great Skip Riley. Ronnie told me of a band in Hartford, CT that wanted to meet me, and I - (a) got the gig (b) moved from Hartland to Hartford (c) moved in shortly thereafter with the girl singer (Lisa Breslin) who also played guitar, keys, and had trained with some big names on harp (harmonica). In the next 18 months, I found out a LOT about the world! Hangin' at the Shaboo in Willimantic on Sunday nights was where I met a lot of the big boys (NRBQ, Fabulous Rhinestones, Dan Hartman, Dave Brubeck's sons, Peter "Madcat" Ruth (I was drunk and kept calling him "MadDog"), Matt "Guitar" Murphy, and a lot of the Sat. Night Live band) first. It was during this time that I met up with JIMI BELL when he and his band picked me out of a crowd of thousands at a concert on description alone. (See, the hair has been useful!) I audited at Hartt School of Music for a very short while under Dr. Billy Skinner (he wishes - lol), but it opened the door to certain musical theory I needed. (I still have my copy of Hindemith's "Elementary Training for Musicians")
Visiting my brother stationed in Hawaii for 3 weeks at this time, with my mom, accidentally got me in to observe and hang with a lot of big names at a three-day Diamond Head concert, too (Fleetwood Mac breaking up, Mahogany Rush, Turtles as Flo and Eddie, Canned Heat, Graham Central Station, etc.). I came back to Hartford, but moved back to NH soon after, and had a BLAST forging my own style while playing in local bands (King's Highway, Carder-Rush, Whip) at local gigs for a few years. Then I met Bob and Jenny Neale (now with Mackie), and I joined their band (inc. Bob Battle and Mitch Marcoulier), doing colleges, clubs, and house band at the summer-long 1979 White Mtn. Festival of the Arts. They were hard on me (for good reason), but taught me well on some of the finer points about music and performance. I also started working in clubs and discos at this time, working my way up from bouncer to bartender to manager, learning how to be a GOOD disc jockey from Dorien J. Shull and Freddy (D) Duefield while working at Studio 27. Those years alone would be a whole website's worth of stories!
From the early 70s, through whenever I managed a nightclub/bar from '79 on, especially Studio 27, I would always be involved with the entertainment somehow. I was able to hang and jam with most of my local heroes, like the ahead-of-their-time FRAANK BAND (with buddy Angelo Mullen on bass)(we met when we both had ads in Rolling Stone magazine in '75), STONECROSS (the only band that wouldn't let me jam - lol, but they let me run the sound a lot), DAVIS BROS. GARAGE BAND, ROCKESTRA, the incredible JIMMY CARTER SHOW / RUN21, FOX (we met and they stayed at Mom's when they were called FunkYard, letting me jam with them at a high school dance in my hometown when I was 16!), GUNNISON BROOK (Pete Merrigan and the boys), TRACKS (I would later play with several members), and a few bands featuring past compadre JIMI BELL, before he went on to movies (Light of Day with Joan Jett and Michael J. Fox) and bigtime auditions (Ozzy, Black Sabbath, etc.). Then I got a $35,000 grant from Goober in 1980 and put together the CAREY RUSH BAND (see Retro Carey in the Photo section). Had a great time spending $27K on P.A. alone! Bought a small bus, had a great crew, but just couldn't get the right combination of players, and I sang like s**t! But we had a great time putting the show together at the Murphy Farm in Quechee, VT the summer of '81, thanks to Ken and GinGin Murphy, and my first true love, Kim Murphy. Practice for a while, swim in the pool, eat homemade donuts, and ride the motorcycles! Future musician Mike Murphy ably helping out from time to time. Plus, our first gig was for thousands at the last Lost Lid Boogie concert put on by the Freelancers MC. Hell's Angels offering us speed and their "ladies" offering even more til the monsoon hit and washed us out, drowning the 32 channel Earcraft PA! (Thanx, Brian Fisher/Earcraft!)
When I first went to the fabulous Florida Keys with the Rick Davis Band (Rick, Dawn Davis, me and Jeff Kangus) in 1985, a lot of things changed in my life. After a few months touring with them, I ended up leaving the band and staying in the Keys, and that was the advent of the "solo" act. The wonderful and talented Jeanie Gargano (Hilltop Singers, Conch Fretters) made me do some solo 12-string acoustic songs at the famous Dockside jams one Sunday, but I felt so pensive about my abilities. Linda and Dusty Durst were really the ones who finally convinced me I could do it, and set me up with the place, time and gear. I was teaching and selling at their Key of Sea Music Store, and had gigs aplenty in a short time, thanks to them. I did a tour of NH/VT, recorded some tunes like "K-Mart Blues" at Bryce Chicoine's BCM Studios in my hometown, and soon after heard two of the tunes being played on medium rotation on "Mt Rialto Radio, WCDQ in Sanford Maine, programmed by old buddy Freddy D Duefield! Then Johnny "The Greek" Trepas, mgr. of Holiday Isle Resort, took me under his wing, and saw to it I had shelter and professional pictures and resume' (most of which is still used on the BIO page), set me up on Marco, and was planning a world-tour (SanFran to Japan '88) for me just before he passed away.
Between house gigs at Faro Blanco (and the old Reef Bar) in Marathon, Holiday Isle (Tiki Bar, Kokomo beach bar, and Rip's Ribs) in Islamorada, some Key West gigs (Sea Fox, Sloppy Joe's, Rick's, Bull/Finch), then Marco Bay Resort (and Club Illusions and the Snook Inn and the Hilton/Radisson hotel chains) on Marco Island, I was working and playing and partying like crazy. When I finally toured the solo back up in NH and VT, all my friends couldn't believe the change in my music and especially the change in my singing. After fine tuning my voice (as much as possible-ha ha) with best friend and vocal teacher extraordinaire Cher Mitchell, I finally felt "sort-of" comfortable alone on stage.
Since then, when not managing some restaurant, club, or nudist resort, I've been blessed with performing and/or recording with the likes of JR (Capt. Boogie) Reeder, the Dursts, Jeanie Gargano, the incredible Tom "T-Bone" Stankus, sour Roy McAdams, the very talented Mayor of Marathon John Bartus, the Mayor of Mayhem Turk Coury, Sarasota's Al Fuller, the great Ed Vadas and the Fabulous Heavyweights, Heartbreaker, Deanna Bogart, Terry Cassidy, the Kodiak Twins, Paul Beasley, Sandy Bradshaw, Freddy Bye, Dave Howell, Paul Ferguson, old buddies J. Robert and Tim Crandall, the newgrass Wildflowers (w/ buddy Bill Koetting), bluesman Deacon Fuller, Loren Ortiz, and the incredible David J. Moore.
Over the years, I've tried many variations to my "act", trying to find my niche. I tried everything from being very "in-your-face" energetic to sitting down the whole night in a leather easy chair like Martin Mull. I even did three gigs as a stand-up comic! Back in New England for awhile in the 90s brought me into close contact with personal hero Jaime Brockett, and, more recently, the fabulous George Gibson and the fabulous Justin Jaymes, starting out at blues jams in VT, then doing side band projects with both. Out of necessity, I founded the New England Performer's Co-op, a non-profit (trust me!) networking of a lot of talented people. Finally met and played with the fabulous Joey Leone. I was also fortunate enough to be one of the family of entertainers at Mt. Snow (Deacon's Den, Silo, Cuzzin's Deli, Snow Barn), on Killington (Wobbly Barn, Grist Mill), and at the now defunct SAVANNAH'S at Okemo (Dadd's, Charaktor's) in Ludlow VT, where I was the apres ski guy on weekends for a few years, insulting skiers and doing giveaways with my "twin", the beautiful and fun Penny Wu; I'd sometimes get to open for, or at least be seen by, stars like James Montgomery, Warren Haynes (Allman Bros., Gov't Mule), Gregg Allman Band, Terrance Simien, Rick Danko (the Band), the Nighthawks, Debbie Davies, and the best in upcoming local and national talent that were playing there. Sometimes as a fun duo with LKP singer John DeGange.
Over the years, though, I've been lucky enough to befriend and jam with some great guitarists from the New England bands - including Rick Davis, Cosmic Joe Caron, Dave Albro, John "Duck" Sullivan, Keith McGee, Bob Boyer, Andre Marquera, Gerry Putnam, Kent Allyn, Mike Tracy, Mike Colburn, leftys Jim Hollis, Cliff Wanner, and Jimi Bell, Dr. Burma's Ted Mortimer, the incredible Norbert "Nobby" Reed, and the amazing and inspiring Joey Leone. Not to mention the numerous talented bassists and drummers and keyboardists and brass players, etc. most of whom are still on the road in some capacity. Getting hired as fill-in guitarist for bands like Click Horning's NIGHT KITCHEN (great country-rock-folk originals) or Bill Wightman's WIGHTLIGHTS (GB wedding and jazz with the hilarious Bobby Lytle on drums and Kent Allyn on bass and Cher) or Dug Bashaw's SHINE (FM heavy rock - I had to learn 4 sets of hard rock on the 6 hr. drive to the gig!) was always fun and challenging. Plus, I was asked by a few young up-and-comers to produce them, like ON4; a talented bunch that moved to Atlanta and had a good run, but ended up disbanding like so many do.
The list of musicians and the stories therein just keeps on growing, and I will add to this page from time to time. It's funny, in that as I'm now middle-aged, I'm still in contact with many of my heroes, and we're mostly all still plugging away. I was just recently at Stet Howland's house (Blackfoot, Rockestra, Run21, WASP, Carnival of Souls) in Ft. Myers Beach hanging with one of my heroes, Jimmy "Oxo" Carter, and Jimmy and I started talking about actually doing a duo sometime! Jim Jonson, the lead singer from Rockestra, visited me at a gig, and was gigging down in Florida with Stet, and we may even do a project together. I got Jim to replace me at my usual weekend gigs now that I'm back to New England for awhile, which was great for both of us. I've recently heard from Don Coulombe ( the drummer from Fox) , Tree Davies (bassist from Teaser, who has engineered for top people like Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Sir George Martin, etc. since the old days) "Beard" (Paul Malaney) (tech from Fraank, Spoonfeather, Teaser), plus my buddy Angelo Mullen (uber-bassist for Fraank, Davis Bros., Fatback), and I even called Jimi Bell at LaSalle's! Paul had a great idea to meet in Daytona next Bike Week. Jimi will probably be playing, and we'll tear it up!
I'm excited to re-establish my associations with some of New England's premier talent, but I still will be collaborating with SW Florida mega-talents. Now back in NH (Thanksgiving 2003), I have had the opportunity to get together with ace guitarist Joey Leone, had L.A. supertech to the stars/producer/performer Mitch Marcoulier jam with me on Killington, previewing some of the tunes from his forthcoming CD featuring the best of L.A. session players. LKP is kicking ass and taking names with modern covers now, and I got together with ace bluesman George Gibson recently. It's great to have the opportunity to come back "home" and reinvent myself a bit. Shoveling snow. Writing tunes for the next CD. Shoveling more snow. Now as I take some time off from gigging, I have a plethora of thanks to the staff of Santa Fe Steakhouse on Killington for being a family to me, the Joey Leone Band for their talent and friendship, Carl Thurston for giving me a fun gig on Sundays at his Minuteman Cafe, John DeGange for the work on my guitars, and Pete Merrigan for getting me on the George Russell Show on WNTK radio. I finally got to meet George and Hilary after listening to them for a year from FL via the internet, and had a great time appearing on the show. Now I get ready to move to Syracuse for a few months working with my engineer buddy (since 7th grade) Gary Savoie accumulating data for General Dynamics/Cingular.