Written by Conrad Javier
Bob Petrocelli has a blunt style of music; it can help mend a bitter heart on a rainy day, and a happy heart in a sunny day. All in one, “Six Feet of Fun” makes one get up and remember the day when they saw the most beautiful woman they have ever seen. When Petrocelli brings his blues background in “Lady With a Plan,” we can hear his heart drench with anxiety and fear that a his woman has a plan. His guitar riffs are precise and promising in his album; in fact, we can see who Petrocelli is as a musician in “Gulf Coast Blues” and “Threw My Love Away”: blunt, straight to the point.
Conrad Javier: Every artist can recall a time of hardship in their music career; when was yours and what did you learn from your experience?
Bob Petrocelli: When I was 25 years old I was sharing a house with two other people and working in a touring show band. Simultaneously I was fired from the band and lost both roommates. I returned from the road trip and had to sell most of my equipment, wound up scrounging for food, and ultimately had to take a day job to survive. I lost the road gig because I didn’t want to do choreography while playing. I thought I was a “serious” musician, above that kind of stuff. There was a lot to be learned from this, such as the need for planning, knowing what you’re getting into and what’s expected of you; limiting your exposure to risk as much as possible. In retrospect, that experience may have made me overcautious. As a result, I think I missed a lot of opportunities over the years.
Javier: Since you are a more seasoned artist who is in tune with himself, what would you tell a young musician who is just starting his music career?
Petrocelli: I think the thing I would say is know exactly what you want to achieve and then develop plans to make that happen. Don’t get discouraged by rejection. Many great artists had trouble getting signed to record deals. Today we have the internet. There are constantly expanding online opportunities. These days an artist can have much greater control over how his/her career progresses. Don’t give up.
Javier: You have a really nice voice and remind me of Elvis Presley just a tad bit. Would you say you can relate to Elvis?
Petrocelli: Wow. I’m very flattered to be compared to Elvis. My girlfriend says I sound like Mick Jagger. I can definitely relate to Elvis. I was a little kid when rock & roll first hit and I remember all the commotion surrounding him. I’ve been very influenced by the very first wave of rockers from the ’50s. I’m really still a little self-conscious about my vocals. I’ve been a guitarist my whole life and just started seeing myself as a singer and songwriter. Thank you.
Javier: What is your ultimate goal as an artist, and how would you be able to attain your goal?
Petrocelli: My ultimate goal is to continue writing and be able to release a CD of new material every year to two years and develop enough of a fan base to tour to support these releases. Since this is my first release under my own name after years as a sideman I’m starting from the ground up. So far I’m getting some airplay in Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy) and a feature on the syndicated “Blues Deluxe” program in the US. I don’t think this is bad for a self-released CD only out a month. I’m working on booking some festivals for next year as well as some local New York City gigs. One of the next things I would like to achieve is getting some booking assistance. That would make things a lot easier.
Javier: As a fan of your music, would you do a world tour?
Petrocelli: I certainly would like to tour anywhere where my music might be appreciated. A world tour would be great, but I think the immediate target would be the European market where I seem to be getting some interest at present.