Al Buffone "Rantin and Ravin"

Rantin' and Ravin'
"Rantin' and Ravin' Interview"

Interview by Roger-Z (05/14/15)

Roger-Z: How did the band "Rantin' And Ravin'" come together?
Al Buffone Two years ago, vocalist Patrice Indiviglio phoned and asked me to put together a band to play the casinos. Having worked as a drummer in the music business for so long and with so many acts, it proved simple enough. The musicians signed on knowing that I would co-lead the group. My resume includes Jay & The Americans, Gary U.S. Bonds, Lenny Welch, The Dell-Vikings, The Shirelles, Martha & The Vandellas, The Shangri-las, Donna Summer, Nancy Wilson, Grover Washington, Sunny Stitt, Bobby Day, The Coasters, and Cornell Guther. I also played with the Army Band out of Fort Dix, NJ and did my overseas with the 329th Band in Fort Amador, Panama.

Let me tell you about the other players. My partner Patrice sang with Ray Allen who wrote "Pepino the Italian Mouse" and "Malafemmena." Our other lead singer, Rick Penna, worked with Lou Reed and Tim Hardin. Guitarist Dave Chun played with Ashford and Simpson. Stu Freeman (keyboards and vocals) performed with Magic Mushroom, Stars on 45, and St. James Infirmary. Bassist Tom Stella worked with Vince Martell and myself in a Vanilla Fudge tribute band until the original group reunited! Trumpeter Jimmy Calarusso played in Elvis Presley's band in Hawaii with James Burton and Ronnie Tutt as well as with The Stylistics and Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Saxophonist Ross Mazer worked with Livin' the Blues and No Exit.

Roger-Z: Does the group's name have any special significance?
Al Buffone Not really. Three of us played together in a band called St. James Infirmary who were popular in the Tri-state area during the Seventies.

Roger-Z: With multiple lead vocalists, how do you choose your songs?
Al Buffone We pick songs from the 50's, 60's 70's, 80's, and Motown. We play for our age group -- the Baby Boomers!

Roger-Z: Do you rehearse or just learn songs off the record?
Al Buffone With a band this big you have to rehearse. We write out horn charts. The rhythm section learns their parts before they come in.

Roger-Z: What venues do you perform at on a regular basis?
Al Buffone We do a lot of private functions. But we will be playing Pete's Saloon in Elmsford, NY on Saturday July 3. We took the time to put together a complete promo package. You can watch our video at The band is made up of studio players, guys who are pros. So come and see us at Pete's. I think you will really like what we're doing. It's good dance music!

Roger-Z: Any plans for original material?
Al Buffone Yes. We have a few writers in the band who I have previously recorded with. We plan to put out a CD this year.

2015 Roger-Z