blog

May

Hope everyone is doing well! Things are great here in the city. Thanks to everyone who came out to see The Radiators at the end of April. It was a great time. Check out a few photos and videos below! We are playing at The Delancey on July 6th at 7pm. Come hang out and celebrate my birthday with me! xoxo

And this just because it made me happy to see a hero tribute a hero :)

checking in

Hope everyone is having a great April! Things are busy here in NYC. I started the month pretty sick, and am finally feeling better. The recording had to be put on hold because of that, but things are moving again and I’m excited to start sharing some updates from the studio with you. My brand new band, The Radiators are playing a show at Rockwood Music Hall (stage 1), on April 30th at 11pm. Super excited to debut this band and a bunch of new songs. If you’re in the area , make sure to come check it out!

The other day I was messing around on the piano and realized one of my new songs translated nicely to a stripped down arrangement. The official version will come out this summer and features a full band and electric guitars. This take is a much more laid back version and I hope you enjoy it - would love to hear what you think!

Check it out below.

Christmas Eve

I grew up in a church in North Carolina. I’m not a particularly religious person, but have always found spiritual connection through music. In one of rooms at my childhood church sits a Baldwin concert grand piano. It’s a beautiful instrument. Some of the keys are yellowed and chipped. The wooden body is covered in dents and scratches. Even still, it’s one of my favorite pianos I’ve ever played. I first played this piano when I was only five years old.

My mom worked at the church when I was growing up. I would often spend hours seated at this piano, banging out my little songs. As the years passed I played this piano for various church functions and even the funeral reception for my adopted grandmother Edith Collins. When I return to North Carolina I always make time to swing by and sit at the piano one more time.

This past Christmas Eve, I was killing time before my show and decided to stop  by and spend some time with the Baldwin. The piano sits in what the church used to call ‘’the great hall.” It’s a big circular room filled with lots of memories and reverb. I played nonstop for about two hours. When I finally finished, I noticed an older couple had been sitting in the wings listening.

I walked over and introduced myself. Immediately the gentleman began to praise my playing. I was a little surprised as I had really just been playing rather aimlessly.  He compared my playing to a high performing basketball team. It was certainly an analogy I had never heard. His wife asked if I had a card with my information on it so I quickly ran to my car to get one for her.

When I came back I found the wife standing alone with tears in her eyes. She told me that her husband had Alzheimer's and the first time he had been calm lately was when he sat and listened to me play. She also explained that he was a former NBA and collegiate basketball coach.  Suddenly his words of praise made sense. I hugged her as we walked back to find her husband. I shook his hand and thanked him one more time before they went on their way.

In the weeks since then I’ve thought about the moment with the coach and his wife often. It’s not the first time somebody has come up to me after I finished playing that piano and offered kind words. Growing up I used to sit at the piano and play before church on Sundays. Folks would always sit and listen. 23 years later, the piano is still bringing me and others joy. I think it’s a special instrument indeed.

Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My little sister is visiting me here in Chicago for the week and we've been spending lots of quality time exploring the city and hanging out. In the spirit of Thanksgiving I hope you will take a moment to hear about a campaign that I am working on. 

Many of you have heard me talk about Carey Sims. Carey has been my vocal coach, mentor and friend for several years now. You may also know he produced my record and can be heard singing backup on it as well.  This year Carey has encountered some vocal problems. The doctor thinks he will be able to recover but it will require him to not use his voice for an extended period of time. Carey makes his living as full time musician and yoga instructor - both of these activities require vocal use. 

If Carey does not teach a yoga class or sing a gig then he does not get paid. To help him navigate this period without income, as well as medical bills he may incur I've launched a GoFundMe campaign. All the money raised will go directly to Carey. Please take a moment to learn more about Carey and what you can do to help below. I appreciate any time you may give this, even if you are unable to donate just sharing the link is helpful!

Let's help this fantastic human being!

CLICK HERE --->   https://www.gofundme.com/careysims    

Peace and Love,

Rolfe