It has been a very dynamic winter so far. I moved back to New York City! It was a magical time spent in the Hudson Valley, where I enjoyed owning a modern sun drenched bungalow in the Shawangunk mountains with a piano, in a wonderful community. Now back in Brooklyn 15 years later, I am surrounded by a different magic: the energy of millions of people, new friends and old, and all the music that is pulsing through. How I missed it! Sure the rents have skyrocketed. Sure it's dirty, expensive and complicated. But I learned my lesson well: You should live where you love the most people. Not where the real estate is reasonable. For me, security comes not from building equity in a house but from being in an environment rife with opportunity, creativity and my beloved NYC music community.
We lost a precious member of that community in December. Pat Dinizio, lead singer and songwriter of The Smithereens passed away at age 62. I have known Pat since the mid 1980's, and was a huge fan of The Smithereens. You know their drummer, Dennis Diken played plenty of shows with me and is featured on Firepop as well as the recent Halloween song Headless Horseman. 15 years ago, Pat invited me to open a string of dates for him on his early Living Room Tour. We were as far south as Florida, I remember one memorable gig right on the beach at a private estate. The above photo is from 2011, a house concert we did with Ricky Vacca, to my right. Around this time I was invited to play in his backyard in Scotch Plains, NJ for a few of his musical marathon Memorial Day BBQ house concerts. I loved his Italian baritone voice so much, coupled with that rock power and majesty. And of course, the hit songwriting! It was a real pleasure to get to know him and an honor to be an opening act for him. This is my tribute to Pat Dinizio: an acoustic version of Blood and Roses. We miss you so much Pat.
I published an article on the horrific degree of plastic pollution and the simple steps we can take to mitigate it in the Earth Island Journal
I also published a story about Twilight Acres’ HOMEGROWN - a florist in Stone Ridge, NY that uses only homegrown, local flowers - an idea who's time has come. Why fly your flowers in from South America?
Lastly, I will be performing at this star studded event on Sunday January 28th
I will be performing Far From The Home I Love, from Fiddler On The Roof at my favorite joint, The Treehouse!
Overjoyed to be BACK IN THE HOME I LOVE!
Thanks for checking in- there will be lots more to come in 2018.
“Grandma why aren’t you screaming?” I exclaimed on June 10th, 1972 at the Nassau Coliseum. “Aren’t you excited?!”
My mother and grandmother had taken me to hear David Cassidy in concert. I had just turned 9 years old that week. I was wearing a purple and white polyester party dress. David was wearing a white flared jumpsuit that showed off his chest. Maxi collar, arms donning foot long fringes with beads. The lights came way down, and strobes spun around the coliseum. The organ, drums and bass started throbbing. It was the loudest and darkest, most exciting and foreboding moments of my life. Then he started singing “I Can Feel Your Heartbeat”. (and you didn’t even say a word….I’ll treat you like a woman, love you like a woman, Lord I’ll prove it baby I’m a man of my word!)
The heavens just opened up. It was full of loud music and bliss. It was out of body, transcendent. I was all in.
In the mid 1980’s, David Cassidy came to our apartment on the Upper West Side. My father had him as a guest on his show, which was recorded in a home studio. I was engineering.
“David, you know my daughter Bibi, one of your biggest fans, asked her mother and my mother why they weren’t screaming at your concert in 1972!” and went on to do an a poignant and engaging interview with the former teen idol.
The three of us chatted afterwards. He was gracious and friendly. I wanted to talk with him about music. Perhaps I managed to express that I really LOVED the songs, to this day. And the production and arrangements. Thanks to The Partridge Family I knew who the esteemed drummer Hal Blaine was when I was 8 years old, and several other happening LA musicians and producers. I knew there were “Songwriters”. These people were not the singer, but the singer had explained whatever he was going through, and his feelings, and they wrote songs for him. All the credits, which I memorized, on the back of the album “Sound Magazine” gave me these insights.
My sister Celia got to interview David Cassidy several times in the 1990’s. Once they settled into a fancy Italian restaurant and the waiter told about the specials.
“And tonight we have a grilled partridge.”
Not kidding. They both almost feel off their chairs. But it was an elderly Italian waiter, in an established old school place- no one was peeking out from anywhere, cracking up. There really WAS grilled partridge on the menu that night.
The thing I remember about Celia’s insights into his demons and torment was what came out the other end: simply that he so appreciated when he was remembered for the music. When he was associated with something of quality, recognized for the joy he gave in his hard work as an actor and singer.
His whole adult life was spent trying to process his reputation, the image of David Cassidy as an airhead cutie pie from the ‘70’s, the epic, grotesque level of fame, and his abusive father.
Celia conveyed to me that David is just SO HAPPY when anyone appreciated the person behind all that.
David: you delivered pop music straight into my bloodstream, and my heart. I will miss you. You did excellent work. I have you to thank for introducing me to the thrills that my heart still pounds for.
Grandma: I stopped screaming. But I started singing.
Here's something I'm grateful for: 21 years of working as a stilt walker!
An online magazine called The Billfold published my recent article on it, titled:
And here is my video and new song about that: Smile Transmitter.
Enjoy - and may your holidays be joyous!
Happy Halloween! A while back I rounded up my Firepop Fellows: Richard Lloyd (Television) Dennis Diken (Smithereens) and Peter Stuart who all helped create my debut CD, Firepop.
We blew the dust off of this classic Disney tune, originally recorded by Bing Crosby for the cartoon of The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow. Greg Talenfeld at OK Records in Nyack produced. Enjoy - and spread it around!
Fun fact: Who owns the rights to this song? Sir Paul McCartney
Matt Keating and Steve, known as The Bastards OF Fine Arts, are going to perform at my house on Friday, August 11. Doors are at 6:30 and I will start paying at 7:00 pm. This is a pot luck party, so please bring a dish of your choice and your favorite beverage. There is no cover charge, but we suggest making a donation which will go directly to the musicians. When I first heard Matt’s songs I bought a few of his CDs on the spot. There is something so striking and just brilliant about his music. I will perform at 7:00 pm. Hope you can join us! Email me at email@example.com
Well the Harry Connick Jr. Show did not include me in the actual footage that aired but it was thrilling to be part of the taping of the show at The Knickerbocker Bar and Grill. I worked there when I was right out of college and 20 year old Harry had just moved to NYC. He played there on Sundays and Mondays. I have such fond memories of those nights. Everyone loved his delicious blend of stride piano, boogie-woogie, contemporary jazz, American songbook and New Orleans fun all rolled into one astounding musician. The whole place came alive when he kicked into gear. I learned so much from him, and wrote about it back then for SPIN Magazine and other publications. The producers of the show found mention of him on this website and I got to meet him again and tell him again how much I enjoyed, and how much I learned during that time about American music, about entertaining for all age groups. See the photo below from the shoot!
SPEAKing of American music- come join us if you can for the house concert at my house on June 4th. I will be warming up the crowd for The Everly Set, who channel the magical harmonies of The Everly Brothers. Scroll down for all the details. Welcome!
I am going to be on the HARRY CONNICK JR show Tuesday May 2 at 2 pm EST, onNBC. How the hell did that happen? Well, 30 years ago I worked at The Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, where young Harry played on Sunday nights. I wrote about this magical time on my website and the producers found it when they were putting together a show on Harry's early days in NYC. So I got to chat with him on camera at the Knickerbocker, and what do you know- it's gonna be on TV!
Always a gentleman, he said : "It was good to catch up!"
Click Here to read the entry from 2001 they located which got me on the show.
Spring finds us hosting another House Concert. Please join us on June 4th for The Everly Set, featuring my old friend Sean Altman and young rocker Jack Skuller performing these genius pop gems with harmonies. I’ll be performing myself! See details below!
Speaking of favorite classics, here’s one for you! This Will Be Our Year By The Zombies:
Sunday June 4th @3pm "The Everly Set" House Concert At Bibi’s
Sean Altman (Rockapella, Carmen Sandiego theme songwriter, Jewmongous) and rocker Jack Skuller (winner of the Songwriters Hall Of Fame's Holly prize in songwriting) bring the Everlys' sparkling hits to life: Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie, Cathy’s Clown, All I Have To Do Is Dream, When Will I Be Loved, Crying In The Rain, Love Hurts, Bird Dog, Claudette, and more classics and rarities. Songwriter Bibi Farber opens the show.
Join us for an afternoon of hits, harmonies, a delightful meal, new friends and old in the magical mountains of Kerhonkson, NY. A potluck vegetarian pasta feast will be served.
Suggested donation $15 and please bring a dish or beverage of your choice.
Email BIBI@BIBIFARBER.COM for more info.
Singer Songwriter Night at The High Falls Cafe
Thursday, February 2nd, 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm
Bibi Farber, Big Joe Fitz, John Martucci.
High Falls Cafe
12 Stone Dock Road
High Falls, NY 12440
Welcome to the House Concert at Bibi's Sunday, November 20th!
I am excited to present the first installment of an eclectic music series, starting literally in my living room! Some of you know I just bought the house next door this fall- with incredible acoustics and ample space for entertaining.
The idea is to bring together all kinds of wonderful people who haven't met each other yet in a festive setting with incredible music.
The Free River string and percussion trio performs in an intimate setting for a potluck event on
Sunday, November 20 at 3 p.m.
The trio will perform selections from Bach, The Beatles, Handel, Vivaldi, as well as music from cultures of Celtic, Sicilian, Cuban, Finnish and Russian! The trio is Cornelia Logan, cello, Raphael Garritano, guitar and mandolin, and David Budd, percussion. What RANGE!
Suggested donation $10 plus a dish to share or beverages, or $20 without.
Space is limited, so please R.S.V.P. by Nov. 15 to Raphael at 845.750.4437, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact me for exact directions. We’re in Kerhonkson, NY near Minnewaska State Park.
Ph: 646 734-8018
Welcome to my house!
I’ve got a Halloween surprise for you! I rounded up the fellas from my first CD Firepop: Richard Lloyd (Television), Dennis Diken ( Smithereens) and our favorite bassist, Peter Stuart. We recorded a new version of the "Headless Horseman,” a Disney song from 1949 originally sung by Bing Crosby. Here is our version:
I had the pleasure of being back in my hometown NYC for the spring and early summer of 2016. More than anything I enjoyed reconnecting with friends and musicians there, so easily and casually. I got to play a gig of my own music at The Treehouse, my favorite place with my dear friend the amazing guitarist Cindy Pack. And I’ll be back there again on July 31st as part of The Great Harmony Swap – The Summer of Love: Songs From 1967.
Speaking of old friends and musical partners, this time I am teaming up with Peter Stuart. We’ve been making noise together since we first met in 1983 working at a record store. Peter played bass on both my CDs as well as in Richard Lloyd’s group. We’ll be performing The Kinks Waterloo Sunset and the Bee Gees To Love Somebody. Come to Treehouse on Sunday July 31st. There will be a lot of Love in that room!
Speaking of Richard Lloyd: Richard, Peter, myself and Dennis Diken from The Smithereens recorded a little spooky Halloween fun that we will share with you very shortly. I rewrote a 1940’s tune, sung by Bing Crosby about the Headless Horseman. Just you wait.
Meanwhile back at the house, in the Hudson Valley, I have a duo project forming. Not telling too much just yet, but I will say this: acoustic guitars, fingerpicking style, and harmonies. We’ve started preparing a set that includes music from The Shins, The Jayhawks, Nick Drake and Oasis!
So far it’s an incredible summer. Hope to see you soon!
I am thrilled to announce I am playing at my favorite place- The Treehouse in NYC! On Sunday June 5th, come to Avenue A and 2nd street. I’ll be playing solo, and then joined by the amazing Cindy Pack on guitar. We have been influencing each other since 1986!
We hit at 10:00 pm but come at 9:00pm and hear Heather Eatman. I think Heather is terrific.
The Treehouse is my favorite place in NYC for these reasons:
- Spirit! It’s run by musician Tom Clark, who rounds up the best, most soulful people in our music world
- I always run into people I have known for at least 20 years
- When I meet new people there, I see that we have at least 50 Facebook friends in common
- It’s casual and easy and always SOUNDS great
- It’s keeping rock and roll alive in NYC
Come be part of this delightful scene! It’s also my birthday on June 7th- and this is where I am celebrating. NO fuss— just come have a beer with us!
I rounded up the old Firepop crew for a session in February! I’ll be recording with none other than Richard Lloyd, Dennis Diken (of The Smithereens) and our favorite NYC bass player, Peter Stuart. We will be putting together a little Halloween number I adopted and rewrote, based on Disney’s Headless Horseman song. Ahh, but our version will be a classy retro rock hit with otherworldly guitar sounds.
I can’t think of anything more thrilling than being in a studio together again, at my friend Greg Talenfeld’s place in Nyack, OK Records. Life is good!
And here is a chance to Come Show Some LOVE! I am putting together a benefit for the Kingston SPCA, a no-kill shelter with no federal funding that is bursting at the seams with cats, dogs, rabbits, everything! The date is Valentines Day, which falls this year on a Sunday: February 14. And Feb 15 is a national holiday, Presidents Day, so some of you may have the next day off.
February 14, 6-9 pm
Uncle Willy’s Tavern
131 North Front Street
Kingston, NY 12401
There will be 3 or 4 musical acts TBA during this period, doing 30- 40 minute sets. I will start and conclude the evening, joined by Chris Davison on bass. We hope to spread some love and help this wonderful organization build the extension they need to accommodate the homeless creatures.
SPCA website: http://www.ucspca.org
There will be a $5 cover charge for the music, which all goes to the shelter. Feel free to bring any supplies to donate if you can as well, click here for their current wish list.
P.S. Here is my latest recording, "Your Sweet Time."
This song is a 2014 collaboration between myself and my good friend and first songwriting partner in New York, Greg Talenfeld. We had not worked together in over 25 years when he gave me, as a recent birthday gift, a production of this song. I am thrilled to present it to you.
And check out ALL the dozens of songs on my YouTube Channel!