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Rebecca and the Grey Notes

Rebecca and the Grey Notes

Performances

July 7 - 2:30 PM @ UScellular Connection Stage

Rebecca and the Grey Notes

The motto of Rebecca and the Grey Notes is “Bringing back the art of playing music."

The idea for the band began in June 2011 when Rebecca asked her father, lead guitarist Tyler Famularo, on Father’s Day if he would be interested in forming a band with her. His answer: “I’ve been waiting for you to ask.” Rehearsals began soon thereafter with the addition of Michael Juley on bass. The trio first performed in April 2013 in Waukesha, and after a successful first year and with festivals beginning to call, including Bastille Days in 2014, the band added drummer Jeff Franks.

The father-daughter band released its first CD in 2015 and immediately began getting airplay on two radio stations in southeastern Wisconsin. The EP was recorded at Third Ward Records in St. Francis and featured five songs written by Tyler and a cover of “End of the World” by Skeeter Davis.

A second CD, “Volume Two,” was released in 2017 and contained seven songs written by Tyler. In its first year of release, the album received airplay on five radio stations in southeastern Wisconsin, including FM 106.1, the most popular country music station in the Milwaukee area and a contributing sponsor of the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage. A Kenosha County station, WGTD-FM, called one of the album’s cuts, “Picture of You,” the best locally produced song ever played on the station. And in August 2017, the band recorded two videos for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Sound Check.” It also recorded two of its songs for WUWM-FM’s “Lake Effect” program.

A review of “Volume Two” in the Shepherd Express stated:

“Any band whose motto is “Bringing back the art of playing music” has set a lofty critical bar for themselves. On their second release, Milwaukee’s Rebecca and the Grey Notes perform increasingly assured chin-ups on that bar with a smart, sincere amalgam of unassumingly sweet acoustic country, light blues-rock swagger and a hooky sort of Americana. The familial bond of lead singer Rebecca Famularo and the presence of her lead guitarist-father among her three Grey Notes put them in the city’s parent-child lineage of The Spanic Boys, an act whose rootsiness aptly parallels their sound, too.”

In addition to its 12 original songs, the band fills out its set lists with covers of artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Ann Peebles, Patsy Cline, Led Zeppelin, the Byrds, Tom Petty, B.B. King and more, covering a wide range of styles and genres.

The band includes:

Rebecca, the heart and soul of the band. She has been singing her whole life. Her voice has been compared to Norah Jones, Susan Tedeschi, Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt, and her musical influences include bands such as Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers. In addition to her sweet and soaring vocals, she plays rhythm guitar. She lives in Wauwatosa.

Tyler, one of Wisconsin’s finest guitar players and Rebecca’s father. He began playing guitar at age 11, and by 14 he had his first real guitar and amp, a 1965 Fender Telecaster and ‘65 Delux Reverb. He has played as a lead guitarist in the Larry Lynne Group, the Balloons, Sky Harbor, the Bandits and the Brandon James Band, which was led by his son. Tyler, who has written all of the band’s original music, also is lead guitarist for the Smooth Blues Band and the Differentials. He is proud to say that he has played at Summerfest more than 20 times. He lives in Pewaukee.

Michael, who has played bass since 1982. After taking piano lessons in grade school, Michael switched to clarinet in high school, then didn’t pick up another musical instrument until 1982, when he taught himself to play bass guitar and joined a Milwaukee ’50s-’60s group, Granite. Since then the retired newspaper journalist has recorded and played with several Milwaukee-area pop, rock, country and blues bands, including the Brandon James Band, which was led by Rebecca’s brother. He plays a 1978 Fender Jazz bass, a 1963 reissued Hofner bass and a Warwick fretless bass. He lives in Greendale.

Jeff, also known as Circus Jeff. He played his first gig in 1978 and in college toured the U.S. with the 25-piece brass band Dimensions in Brass, led by his father, legendary trumpet player and music educator Jerry Franks. Jeff earned his nickname “Circus Jeff” after many years touring the world with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and many other circus bands. Formerly of Nashville, Jeff has played with several national artists and has a passionate style of playing that anchors the Grey Notes’ sound. He just moved to Tennessee but has been commuting back to Milwaukee for gigs.

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