Wareham man's blues band signs record deal
Gil Correia always wanted to be a musician. In high school, he'd fiddled around with an acoustic guitar and taught himself a few simple songs, but never mastered the instrument.
It wasn't until he reached his 40s that he decided to really learn to play the guitar. And he was committed to playing professionally.
A fan of the blues, Correia said he naturally gravitated towards the genre.
"I picked the blues because it's not tight in a box. It's all about feeling in your heart and in your soul," said Correia, who has lived in Wareham for nearly 20 years.
In just over a decade, Correia, now age 55, seems to have achieved his dream. His three-piece blues band, the Gil Correia Band, was just signed to Framingham-based record label Media Boss and released a seven-song album entitled "Tattoos and Blues" last month.
"It's pretty amazing what's going on," Correia said. "For an old man like me to have all of this happening..."
Correia and drummer Dave Baker have been playing together for about three years. Bass player Scott Comier has rounded out the trio for the past year.
The band has performed at venues across New England, including the Onset Blues Festival, which Correia has helped organize as a volunteer for about 15 years.
"The Blues Festival audience has seen me progress," Correia said.
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind.
The band had decided to record its first record and had chosen Media Boss as its production company.
"I wasn't looking [for a record deal]," Correia said.
But after hearing the band's music, Media Boss had other plans.
"[Correia] came in and things just started naturally happening for him," said Jim Foster, who produced the album. "He's just a natural talent. He's just got it."
Media Boss then asked the band to sign on to its record label.
"We'd never even considered [signing a blues band] until [Correia] came in," Foster said. "I know they're going to be awesome."
The album was recorded in four days.
"It's basically just a couple of great takes of a band jamming," Foster said. "It's very live and it's very raw. That's a great representation of what the band does."
Correia, who credits his mentors New England blues greats Ricky "King" Russell and Kid Bangham and world-renowned blues artist Ronnie Earl with helping him become the guitar player he is today, says he's just doing what feels right when he plays.
"I play my own style and I do my own thing. ... You can teach people how to play a blues song, but you can't teach people how to play it with heart and soul. That comes from within," he said. "I know all about the blues. My life wasn't always the greatest. I struggled a lot. ... It most definitely is reflected in my music."
So what's next for the Gil Correia Band? A music video, a line-up of shows at venues where the band will get a lot of exposure, and hopefully, Correia says, a tour in Europe sometime within the next year.
"I'm not looking to make millions of dollars and become a superstar. I'm just trying to get my message out there and whatever happens, happens," Correia said. "My goal is to go national and be an artist. I'm loving it. It's what I was meant to do."
Listen to some of the Gil Correia Band's songs at www.reverbnation.com/thegilcorreiaband and check out the band on Facebook by searching for "The Gil Correia Band."
Watch Gil Correia perform at the Onset Blues Festival in the video below!