Robert Jr. Lockwood often told writers, including this one, that he was sure that if Robert Johnson had not died so soon in life, he would have grown out of the blues and morphed into a jazz player. Robert Lockwood certainly did that, keeping one foot in the blues, the other in jazz. So did Snooks Eaglin, whose blues was based on a jazz chord structure, yet unmistakably blues.
Meet Adam Falcon, a brilliant soul from the Bronx, New York, who now makes his home in Suffern, New York, not far from New Jersey. He’s a swift acoustic player whose blues are distinctly reminiscent of players like Snooks Eaglin and Taj Mahal, players who expanded the blues horizon while keeping true to the spirit and feeling of the old blues. As bluesman Phil Wiggins said, “The blues keeps evolving. It’s not locked into a museum vault and frozen in time.” The individualist Adam Falcon is not locked down by other people’s conventions. He plays what he feels.
His mother was from Harlem and his father was from New Orleans. Adam Falcon heard Louis Jordan, Fats Domino, Snooks Eaglin, and Louis Armstrong records around the house as a kid, as well as a broad selection of African American music. As a teenager of the baby-boomer generation he had his ears open to it all: the Beatles, R&B, Motown, B.B. King, Dylan and all that music that formed sounds of the generation of the late ‘60s and ‘70s . He graduated from high school and studied music at Bronx Community College and right afterwards went on tour with the singing group Revelation, and in 1975 they opened for the Bee Gees. For years he worked as session guitarist and road-dog backing the likes of Stephanie Mills, Phyllis Hyman, and Whitney Houston. He opened for Eric Clapton at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
No wonder that his acoustic blues reflects all that. Soulful, bluesy, with jazz chords, call it a “blues infused” amalgam. In any given set he’ll play Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson and Taj Mahal songs along with his own blues compositions on his mahogany Martin and National resonator guitars. He described his music as “The mood … will take you on a ride from New Orleans to the Caribbean and drop you off somewhere in the Delta, with stops along the way.”
The songwriting bard told thecountryblues.com, “I play blues with a different groove and I like everything from reggae to Brazilian music. During my Brazilian phase I played a nylon string guitar. I switched to steel string guitar and went to a period of loving Richie Havens, Bill Withers and Ben Harper. I also love the deep blues of Robert Johnson and Taj Mahal. Blues to me is folk music from a particular group of people, whereas old country music is folk music for another group of people. It’s all music for people having a good time. I don’t label myself as a blues musician but I am rooted in the blues with different influences, of blues, reggae and soul music. That’s why they call it “roots music” after all. I just want to spread a good message. When people hear me play, I want them to feel good at that moment, to feel like someone else understands what they are going through. You can feel alienated in this world. Music should be uplifting
His own fiery compositions pack a punch and he wrote some fierce blues songs that will grab anyone’s heart and soul. The song “True Blue” that he wrote for the multi-Grammy winner George Benson was noticed by The Song Writers Hall of Fame, which bestowed him the Abe Olman Scholarship Award for Songwriting in 2007. Another composition “Like A Soldier” was used in the national television series, The Injustice Files. His powerful blues song “Woke Up Cryin’ ” (see the video below) made Falcon a semi-finalist in the International Songwriters Competition, as well landing him a nomination in the blues category of the Independent Music Awards.
You can find Adam Falcon’s CDs on CD Baby and his downloads on i-Tunes and Spotify.
He plays mostly around the New York region, with occasional trips to New Orleans. He’s a regular at top local venues: The Falcon, Daryl’s House in Pawling, The Turning Point and The Towne Crier Café in New York. He frequently opens at big venues and he has opened shows for James Cotton Blues Band, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, The Wailers, Jim Lauderdale, Tower of Power, Ruthie Foster and many more.
By: JAY LUSTIG January, 8th 2018
“Somewhere in there, there’s a song for everybody,” said Adam Falcon, referring to Petty’s vast songbook, before performing “I Won’t Back Down.” “This one speaks to me,” he added.
Falcon [also] provided an early highlight with his haunting blues song, “Woke Up Crying,” which he wrote for his late mother, who had Parkinson’s disease.
Adam Falcon is among The Year’s Most Exceptional Artists & Releases Nominated In The 15th Annual Independent Music Awards
Macy Gray, Lucy Wainwright Roche & Suzzy Roche, Jonah Smith, Air Traffic Controller, Monica Pasqual & The Handsome Brunettes, Deep Dive Corp. + Ingrid Chavez, Hackensaw Boys, Milli Janatková, Cristina Morrison, Nive & the Deer Children, Mean Mary, Olivia Penalva, The Alternate Routes, Juliette Reilly, Ganda Boys, The Krickets, and All Hail The Yeti Are Among The 15th IMA Nominees
October 17, 2016 guitarist, singer/songwriter Adam Falcon of Suffern, NY was named by Music Resource Group (MRG) as a Nominee in The 15th annual Independent Music Awards (The IMAs), the influential awards program for independent artists and releases. More than 400 innovative self-released and indie label projects culled from thousands of submissions worldwide, were nominated by fans and industry in more than 80 Album, Song, EP, Music Producer, Music Video and Design categories.
Nominated along with Adam Falcon is an eclectic mix of established artists and rising stars that includes: Macy Gray, Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche, Air Traffic Controller, Hackensaw Boys, All Hail The Yeti, Deep Dive Corp + Ingrid Chavez, Milli Janatková, The Alternate Routes, Le Bouef Brothers, Murashita, The Krickets, and Nive and the Deer Children. Fan-nominated artists in the Song and Video categories include: Monica Pasqual and The Handsome Brunettes, Ganda Boys, Mean Mary, Olivia Penalva and Juliette Reilly among others. Click here for a full list of The 15th annual IMA Categories and Nominees
The winning projects will be selected by blue-ribbon panels of top recording artists that include: Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, Slayer, The Kills, Lalah Hathaway, Meshell Ndegeocello, Sepultura, Dido, Warren Haynes [Gov't Mule], Suzanne Vega, Gus Unger-Hamilton [alt-J], Shelby Lynne; previous IMA Winners including:Amy Lee [Evanescence], The Show Ponies, Noshir Mody, Rozina Pátkai and Ingrid Gerdes, among many others; and influential press and talent buyers from the Americas, Europe and Pacific Rim.
IMA Winners will be promoted to millions of music fans via online & broadcast promotions, performance and distribution opportunities. Details and complete list of Nominees and Judges available at: IndependentMusicAwards.com
IMA WINNERS ANNOUNCED at The Independent Music Party @ Lincoln Center
The 15th Independent Music Award Winners will be announced November 12th from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City during a free, day long music festival showcasing exceptional IMA talent. Kicking off the event will be a ‘town-hall’ meeting where fans, bands and industry discuss new ways to keep independent arts alive and prospering.
Artistry Has Its Awards
Now in its 16th year, The Independent Music Awards actively support innovative self-released and indie label artists and releases. Produced by Music Resource Group, The IMAs leverage its unrivaled access to performance, promotion & distribution opportunities to place IMA artists in front of millions of music consumers and industry decision makers.
Previous IMA Winners & Nominees include former major label acts including Jackson Browne, Pete Seeger and Martin Sexton; and cutting-edge rising stars including Flying Lotus, Amanda Palmer, Killer Mike, Lacuna Coil, Amy Lee, Passenger, Team Me, Radio Radio, RuPaul, And You Shall Know Us By The Trail of Dead..., Meghan Trainor, Lionel Loueke, Girl In A Coma, Apples in Stereo, Pokey LaFarge, Valerie June and many, many more.
In the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) out of more than 18,000 entries, semi-finalist make up the top 10 percent of all entries. Not too shabby, I'll take it! Thanks (ISC).
A series of interviews by Mr. Media, Bob Andelman.
By: Mary Ellen Marks
I watch guitarist Adam Falcon as he plays a song for me. “October Falls” captures the beauty of the moment when he first fell in love with his wife Kate. His slight frame leans over his guitar as a few rows of his of his long braids topple over his face. Raw emotion oozes from the man and guitar. His power over the music has left me spellbound.
Adam had a good fortune as a teenager growing up in the early seventies. He took guitar lessons at the YMCA in Manhattan with Larry Lucie who used to play with Duke Ellington and Count Basie. He went on to study for three years with the infamous George Benson before George’s career took off. By the time George signed a record deal with Warner Brothers, Adam was ready for his own journey.
At twenty-one-years-old, Adam got a job with a group of four singers called Revelation and they toured with the Bee Gees. His greatest moment came six years later when the instrumental song he wrote “In Search of a Dream” was accepted by producer Arif Mardin for inclusion on George Benson’s Grammy-nominated album In Your Eyes. Adam became well-recognized in the music circuit. He worked with artists like Phyllis Hyman, Sophie B. Hawkins, Robert Palmer, Will Downing and Jonathan Butler. He also toured with Roberta Flack, someone he’d admired ever since his mother took him to see her in Central Park.
In 1988, Adam played in Europe with Jonathan Butler at Eric Clapton’s Twenty-fifth Anniversary. On the plane coming back, Adam made the decision to quit touring so he could focus on his songwriting. He blazed a trail, using his talents and the experience he learned from all those years on the road. “I’m happier now than I’ve ever been. I love where I am with the music. I know who I am as an artist and I’m growing. If people can walk away from hearing me play with a good feeling-the way I feel when I’m playing-then my job is complete.”
Adam’s musical style has two major influences - the music aired on WNEW-FM radian from 1968 to 1970 combined with the added the pulse of today’s music. With no definable genre, he has created a sound all his own- an eclectic mix of soul, rock & roll, country, jazz, and the blues.
Bohemian 959 is Adam’s third solo album. The three numbers reference the address of the house where he was raised in the Bronx. This record took seven years to make and is based upon stories about Adam’s life during that period. The song “Better Days” concerns an inspiring conversation Adam had with three firemen who volunteered to help after the collapse of the World Trade Center. “Waves” was influenced by the fact that Adam’s mother died before she knew his wife was pregnant. “I was in the Caribbean when my Mom passed. Before coming home for the funeral, I went down to the beach and felt I heard Mom’s voice speaking through the waves. It was the beginning of a song about one life going out and another life coming in.”
Since 2003, Adam has been teaching at the Rockland Conservatory of Music. His six-year-old daughter takes piano lessons there, as well. He loves the fact that it’s a community-based school, which offers scholarships, affordable lessons, and rehearsal and concert space. “Just to be around this environment of top-notch amazing teachers-it’s great to be part of it.”
Executive Director of the Rockland Conservatory of Music, Marigene Kettler, speaks of Adam’s success as a teacher. “Adam’s love of music and education of the guitar is so infectious that students and colleagues alike can’t help but be joyfully affected. There’s nobody who comes away from a concert or a conversation with Adam that isn’t grinning from ear to ear. He’s also the coolest guy I know.”
A ukulele leans against the fireplace in Adam’s living room. He bought it for his three-year-old son after the child crooned over it in a music store. Adam speaks of a time when he was his son’s age. My dad, who is from New Orleans, bought me a plastic guitar because I watched Chuck Berry perform on TV. Gene Autry was another one of Adam’s idols at that time. “I was obsessed with being a cowboy. When I saw Gene Autry on TV with his guitar and cowboy boots, I thought, ‘There it is. Two for one. I can be a cowboy and play guitar!’” As far as I can see, Adam has fulfilled his dream.
By: Lee Zimmerman
The sheer love of music exhibited by the beaming kid holding the toy guitar on the cover and the man leaping enthusiastically on the inside sleeve continues well into the grooves of Adam Falcon’s Bohemian 959. Smooth melodies frame the voice of a classic crooner with influences from Seal to Smokey Robinson, but when he gets his groove on more aggressively with “Soul Satisfied” and “Like a Soldier,” or shows a fondness for the blues on “Better Days,” he makes an equally formidable impact. Bohemian 959 benefits from not only Falcon’s versatility, but his polish and professionalism as well. Poised and confident, Falcon is ready to soar..
By: David Mitchell
Singer, songwriter, guitarist Adam Falcon continues to assert his influence as an independent recording artists with this release of his third solo album, Bohemian 959 (Ghetto Drum Records). According to Falcon, many of his musician friends gave up their time to contribute to this album including a number of fellow SESAC writers like K.J. Denhert (contributing vocals on “Going Back for More”), Martha Redbone (performing background vocals on several songs), and singer Marc Nelson from the 90s boy-band Az Yet (contributing vocals on the song “Like A Soldier”).
Nona Hendryx wrote the albums first single “Sunshine Woke Me Up This Morning,” back in the day as a member of LaBelle. Falcon re-recorded it for Bohemian 959 with Ms. Hendryx as his duet partner. The album’s only other cover tune is an inspiring remake of the Jackson 5’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are” ; with the remaining songs all penned by Falcon himself, and Trevor Gale as producer. That’s no typo! SESAC Vice President of Writer - Publisher Relations Trevor Gale, an amazing musician in his own rite, plays drums on two cuts and produced the entire album.
Soul, jazz, rock, alternative; all elements you feel in Falcon’s songs. “I’ve got a good feeling about this record,” says Falcon. “This album is more soulful and moves in a funkier direction. It was a labor of love for us, and is something I think people will really enjoy. It is gritty and truly from the heart.”
Of course there is an explanation behind the unique title, Bohemian 959. The numbers 959 represent the address where Falcon grew up in the Bronx. His residence was like a meeting ground where musicians in the neighborhood would often come and play. In the spirit of his childhood home, a New York City loft was converted into a studio for the recording of Bohemian 959. Some of the best musicians were brought together within one room and tab the same time to record the album live.
Falcon, now a father of two toddlers, a girl (3) and a boy (1 1/2), has generated quite a following with his previous works: Piece of Mine, and I, too, am Colored, in Black & White. He is appreciated by numerous icons in the business, like multi-Grammy winner George Benson who recorded two of his compositions, “In Search of a Dream” (produced by Arif Mardin), and “True Blue” (produced by Tommy LiPuma). Falcon has toured as a guitarist with the likes of Phyllis Hyman, Jonathan Butler, Will Downing, Sophie B. Hawkins and Roberta Flack.
“Adam Falcon is one of those artist whose music speaks to the very core of human emotions,” says Trevor Gale. “His passion takes you from where you were to where you wanna be. It is true soul music!"
By: Audrey Green
Adam Falcon steps up to the mic with an easy smile, an acoustic guitar, and Marley-esque dreadlocks that swing below his waist. But don't be fooled—when he opens his mouth, instead of the punctuated, Caribbean accent you might expect, the slim, petit singer speaks in a smoky tenor suitable for a late-night, smooth-jazz DJ. And when he croons, he meshes elements of jazz, funk, and soul with a hint of pop. He's performed in various Rockland music hubs—Piermont's Turning Point Café and the Something Unexpected Art Gallery in Nyack—and he teaches guitar at Rockland Conservatory of Music in Spring Valley. But most of his gigs go down in swanky Manhattan lounges. Having completed a tour in February, he's taking the next few months to record.
Circling the music industry cul de sac since the tender age of 15, Falcon pulls influences from music of the late 1960s and early '70s—he fondly recalls a Led Zeppelin concert he attended with his father when "the tickets were a dollar-fifty!" He says, "My music is more reminiscent of a period, not a genre." Probably because, as a backup guitarist, Falcon has traded chords with some of the biggest names of that period, starting at age 18 with jazz icon Jonathan Butler. In the '80s, he nabbed an opening spot on an Eric Clapton European tour, and backed Whitney Houston across America. He toured with Peter Gabriel, the Bee Gees, Sophie B. Hawkins, and Roberta Flack in the '90s, and wrote two hit songs for George Benson. The clincher? One February night last year, Jimmy Buffet jumped onstage to join him during a regular gig at a club on the island of St. Bart's. "It's been wild," Falcon smiles. "But now I'm focusing on me." Though he would be hard-pressed to turn down a major label, he's enjoyed the freedom of working on the two-artist label Ghetto Drum Records, produced by his friend Trevor Gale. "The independent artist lifestyle is very bohemian," he says. "You record where you can—in a hotel room, your kitchen, a studio, a tour bus—I even have an amplifier in my Volvo." —A.G.