Mark Rivera, sideman to the stars–Billy Joel and Ringo Starr–releases his debut album Common Bond.
Common Bond, the album’s title, is a nod to staying true to your roots and the ties that bind. Mark has worked with Billy Joel for over 30 years and with Ringo Starr for 17 years; both artist make guest appearances on Common Bond. Mark was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and although he’s traveled the world working for superstars, his heart still very much resides in Brooklyn. The first single, “Turn Me Loose,” was released last week and Mark’s “band leaders” couldn’t be more enthusiastic. The full album hits stores Mid-November 2012.
“I freakin LOVE ‘Turn Me Loose.’ It really rocks in a good old way – like we did back in the day. Your voice sounds great and the band kicks ass!” Billy said from his cycle shop in Oyster Bay, Long Island.
Backstage on the All-Starr Band’s Summer Tour, Ringo said in his trademark wit, “I’m only here to promote Mark Rivera. His album will be out for Christmas!!”
Common Bond was recorded at Avatar Studios in NYC, where Mark also recorded the sax solo on Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” which has become a legendary horn part. Mark put together a group of stellar musicians to play on Common Bond including Charlie Drayton on Drums (Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones, Fiona Apple, Courtney Love), Steve Conte on Guitar (New York Dolls, Willie DeVille, Billy Squire, Eric Burdon & The Animals), Jeff Kazee on Keyboards, (Southside Johnny, Bon Jovi), and John Conte on Bass (John Mayer, Peter Wolf, Jon Bon Jovi, Levon Helm) as well as Jonny Gale (guitar) who co-wrote three songs. Jimmy Bralower (Production and Patience) who co-wrote all of the original material on the album, including “Turn Me Loose”. Last but not least, Ringo Starr bangs drums on “Frontline,” Billy Joel plays Hammond B3 on “Spanish Castle Magic,” and Nils Lofgren adds his guitar chops to “Hard To Let Go.”
Mark started his career in 1972 playing sax for the original “Soul Men,” Sam & Dave, and went on to work with Foreigner, the Billy Joel band, Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, and Simon & Garfunkel. In the mid 1990s Mark became Ringo Starr’s Music Director. When asked about his long, illustrious career on stage and in the studio, Mark beams with his trademark smile, “I’m living a dream.”
See Mark on tour with Ringo Starr & His 13th All-Starr Band this summer. The tour runs through July 21st. For tour dates go to www.ringostarr.com
For More Information on Mark and his new album Common Bond: