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ON THE VERGE

Bobby Paltauf

May 03, 2013

Joining the Revivalists – photo by Mike Thut

Emerging new guitarist Bobby Paltauf already has enjoyed a pretty heady run, receiving invitations to take the stage with Buddy Guy, Devon Allman, Anders Osborne and most recently the Revivalists. What makes this all the more impressive is not only that Paltauf is a developing, primarily self-taught player but also that he’s 13 years old. Paltauf and his group have opened for Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Joe Louis Walker and many others. Here he shares his thoughts on those experiences and where he’s headed with his music.

What led you to pick up a guitar in the first place? What were your initial goals and how have those changed?

When I was seven-years-old I watched my father playing a song on his guitar and I wanted to play it just like he did so I tried to play the same song and I failed miserably! Since that day, I’ve been obsessed with music and the guitar. My goals are to continue to grow musically and to make a career for myself as a musician.

Looking back, what did you take away your experience performing with Buddy Guy?

Playing on stage with one of the biggest Blues guitarist of all time was an amazing and very inspiring experience. Buddy Guy inspired me to be unique in my sound. He has such a strong connection with his audience, he walks through the crowd and wows them right in front of their eyes and its almost like most people get front row seats for at least a bit of the show. So if I make it big, I will try to be unique, connect with my fans and be friendly like Buddy is.

How did you connect with Anders Osborne? Can you talk about joining him on stage?

In September 2012, my band and I performed at the Westport Blues Views & BBQ Festival in Westport, CT. After my set, we met Denise Sullivan who is a close friend of Anders Osborne and she had asked him if I could sit in on a song. Later that night Anders brought me back up on the stage to play with him. Then in December, 2012 my father and I went to see him at the Brooklyn Bowl and unexpectedly he saw me in the crowd and brought me up onstage to finish the last song. He has inspired me with his unique music and playing style. He is truly a unique and talented artist.

Can you share some of your other favorite live performance moments?

I played a benefit show at The Ridgefield Playhouse in CT, a fundraiser for Newtown CT. That performance was really special and we were asked to do an encore! I also performed at the Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues, & Jazz Festival, this was one of the largest crowds that I’ve ever played for, it was very exciting! They asked me to return for 2013.

As you look ahead what artist’s career do you hope to emulate and why?

In addition to many blues artists, my influences include the Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead, Anders Osborne, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and other jam bands as they seem to have an unrehearsed sound. I love that their solos and the highlights in their performances are appear to be created on the spot and never sound like a repeat of one of their previous shows.

Bobby Paltauf already has enjoyed a pretty heady run, receiving invitations to take the stage with Buddy Guy, Devon Allman
and the Revivalists (above). What makes this all the more impressive…

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