Brick By Brick
November 1st, 2020 – January 1st, 2022

Produced by David Granati & John Vento

 

Track 5 – “Last Sunset” – Released 3/1/21

Over the past year John Vento has developed a creative friendship with author, poet, and script writer Matt Wohlfarth. Matt is a prolific writer who would share ideas with John on a regular basis. One of Matt’s poems, titled “Last Sunset” sparked the creation of this recording. As Matt says, “The inspiration for Last Sunset came on a late summer visit to the Jersey shore. Walking the empty boardwalk reminded me of summer romances that had to end as lovers returned to their real lives. “

John presented the lyrics to guitarists David Granati and Bob Zigerelli who jumped on the vibe and created a beautiful chord progression and textured guitar parts. Actually the first day of recording the demo for this track was 10/6/20. That day is important because that is when we lost Eddie Van Halen. What does that have to do with recording a song in Pittsburgh you may ask ? Well it turns out that David Granati and his brothers toured with Van Halen twice in the early eighties and remained friends to this day. David is convinced that Eddie’s spirit guided him through the creation of this guitar track. In fact the first demo guitar parts were never altered and is the performance from David and Bob that you hear on the mastered recording. Vento’s original concept for the song was to use guitars and voice only, but things progressed with piano and string parts added. Then at the very last minute the great saxophonist Kenny Blake was brought in to replace what was a guitar solo section with soprano sax.

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Last Sunset

Boardwalk is empty
Beaches are too
We’re the only spirits on the coaster
Me and you

You walked into my life
About 16 days ago
But who’s counting
Fightin’ a wayward kite
We both laughed as it broke off
And flew out of sight
Tonight’s our last sunset

I’ll cherish this summer the most
Bare foot in sand
Just me and you

I’ll cruise through my life and
Treasure the memories we made
This is my last sunset with you
Holding you tight
Like a muscle hugs the pier
Can’t face the loneliness without you

Cold winds of change
And grey cloudy days
Are soon upon us
Trying hard to not let go
But deep inside we both know
The boardwalk is closed

Tonight’s our last sunset
I’ll cherish this summer the most
Making love on the beach
Just me and you
I’ll cruise through my life and
Treasure the memories we made
This is my last sunset with you

Tonight’s our last sunset
I’ll cherish this summer the most
Bare foot in sand
Just me and you
I’ll cruise through my life and
Treasure the memories we made
This is my last sunset with you

Written by : Matt Wohlfarth, Bob Zigerelli, David Granati, , John Vento
Produced by : David Granati, Bob Zigerelli & John Vento
Performed by:
John Vento – Voice
David Granati – Acoustic Guitar, Bass
Bob Zigerelli – Acoustic Guitar
Kenny Blake – Soprano Sax
Joey Granati – Piano, Strings
Cherylann Hawk – Voice
Jim Pitluski – Visual Concept & Production

 

Track 4 – “Not Your Kinda’ Man” – Released 2/1/21

“Not Your Kinda’ Man” was actually born almost 5 years ago when a young singer songwriter from Pittsburgh (Jessica Bitsura) was preparing to head down to Nashville to attend Belmont University School of Music. At the time Jessica was a well-known artist and performer, opening many times for John’s group (The Nied’s Hotel Band). Needless to say John and the guys in the band were big supporters of Jessica, especially since she wrote really great original songs. Right before she was leaving for Nashville, John jokingly asked Jess if she would be interested in collaborating with an “old guy” like him. Vento had some lyrical sketches and Jessica jumped on it, recording a contemporary country style demo. Unfortunately Vento couldn’t reproduce the quality or vibe in Jessica’s demo so the song was shelved for years. It might have been shelved but it was not forgotten. Vento brought the original demo to producer/ multi-instrumentalist Dave Granati who created two distinct electric versions of the song. Both recordings were killer but Vento still didn’t feel they captured the right vibe. He kept saying it had to be stripped back to the bones with an old school feel. Granati knew exactly what to do, and after many starts and stops, “ Not Your Kinda’ man, is finally ready for the world. Special note : Jessica Bitsura was awarded an Emmy for her Song “Dear Neighbor”. Written and performed as a tribute to the victims of the Tree Of Life Synagogue massacre (2018) in Pittsburgh.

Download Now – https://ampl.ink/q3akl

NOT YOUR KINDA’ MAN

I can’t change the way I am
I’m never gonna’ be your kind of man

I see the storm comin’ round
It’s time for me to leave this town
My One true love takes me from you
It’s the life I live, the life I choose

Can’t you see I see ya everywhere I go
You’re the light that’s shinin’ deep down in my soul
But I can’t change the way I am
I’m never gonna’ be your kind of man

I can see those tears you’ve been cryin’
While I’m under the stage lights burnin’ to shine
Things were different just yesterday
When you came and you loved everything, I sang

Can’t you see I see ya everywhere I go
You’re the light that’s shinin’ deep down in my soul
But I can’t change the way I am
I’m never gonna’ be your kind of man

I can’t change the way I am
I’m never gonna’ be your kind of man
I’m never gonna’ be your kind of man

Written by : John Vento, Jessica Bitsura, David Granati
Produced by : David Granati & John Vento
Performed by:
John Vento – Voice, Foot Stompin’
David Granati – Guitar, Bass, Foot Stompin’
Greg McIltrot – Harmonica
Cherylann Hawk – Voice, Hand Clappin’
Peggy Tiderman – Hand Clappin’
Jim Pitulski – Video Concept & Production

 

TRACK 3 -“No One Wears A Watch Anymore” – Released 1/1/21

Once again Vento collaborated with his good friend and artist Frank Ferraro. Vento came across Frank’s lyrics quite accidently through an email exchange of some rough sketches that Frank was working on . The lyrics jumped off the page and Vento immediately asked for and received permission to use Frank’s words for a potential new song. As Ferraro said “ I wrote these lyrics using metaphors, to reflect the chaos happening all around us in the world and ask the question , are we truly aware of the not so simple times we are living in and its consequences”. Vento says, “ I wanted to record a more upbeat groove type of song for my new project ( Brick by Brick), and the line (No One Wears A Watch Anymore) was just the perfect hook for such a composition. Once I brought my ideas to guitarists David Granati and Bob Zigerelli, things came together quickly. “

Download Now – https://ampl.ink/b1lEV

NO ONE WEARS A WATCH ANYMORE

The world is full of silhouettes
With paper thin alibis
Integrity falls from grace
Headlines full of lies

No one wears a watch anymore
And everyone is on the fly
The world has turned so dark
Or are these the best of times

The waters are rising
The ghosts start boarding the plane
Captain has one last cigarette
Before he leaves the game

Another concrete needle pierces the sky
A monument to the kings
As the stars collide

How can we find the time
No one wears a watch anymore
How can we make a rhyme
No one wears a watch anymore

You can walk through darkness
To see what you can find
Sometimes you gotta leave
To feel what you left behind

Coral Bells are ringing
Sweet songs of release
I called a porter
to cut my baggage free

How can we find the time
No one wears a watch anymore
How can we make a rhyme
No one wears a watch anymore

Written by : Frank Ferraro, David Granati, Bob Zigerelli, John Vento
Produced by : David Granati
John Vento – Voice
David Granati – Guitar, Bass, Voice
Bob Zigerelli – Guitar, Voice
George Perilli – Drums

 

 

TRACK 2 – Highwire – Released 12/1/20

Without a doubt “Highwire” is the most personal and meaningful song that I have ever recorded. Over the past few years multiple people have come into my life that deal with debilitating diseases such as MS, Parkinson’s, and Muscular Dystrophy. Tasks that seem so mundane to many of us are a daily struggle for these folks, like trying to keep your balance on a highwire. Yet somehow they maintain their courage to forge ahead and become an inspiration to so many. This song tries to capture the perspective of someone like me, that has a close up view, yet has no idea what it is like to be in their shoes. The line, ” We both hurt but you own the pain”, says it all. I collaborated with lyricist Bert Lauble and multi-instrumentalist/producer David Granati to help me bring this song to life. We purposely created an arrangement that projects anguish, with frantic changes to reflect the emotional roller coaster of people with serious challenges. I am hopeful that we captured the authenticity of the message with both the recording and the video (Created and produced by Jim Pitulski).

Download Now – https://ampl.ink/eE44E

HIGHWIRE

It’s a long damn wait but you sit up straight
To hear the news that’s not so great
Then you close your eyes
When they say, we’ll have to see
If we can brew a remedy
Your hope just dies

A long thin line, living life
On a highwire

Wizards ponder your disease
There’s blood to let and charts to read
On a highwire
We both hurt but you own the pain
Cold calculation runs through your veins
Machine heart beats

The sands of time, are so unkind
On a highwire
The state of mind is so resigned
On a highwire

Well I would be as brave as you
A balance bar to help you through
To the other side
Hold on to me and don’t look down
Faith will be our common ground

You Walk through fire
Live your life
On a highwire
You Walk though fire
Live your life
On a highwire

On a highwire
On a highwire

Written by John Vento, Bert Lauble, David Granati
John Vento – Voice
Cherylann Hawk – Voice
David Granati – Guitars, Bass & Percussion
Wil E. Tri – Harmonica
George Perilli – Drum

 

 

TRACK 1 – America (The Saints Come Marching Home) – Released 11/1/20

According to co-writer/artist Frank Ferraro, “The song was written to call out the injustices being committed by the people against its own people, by both the general population and those seated in power. It conjures up the ghosts of our past and holds them in parallel to the hurtful acts being committed today. ‘America’ is not a battle cry for more acts of destruction. It is a simple call for universal peace.”

Vento adds, ” Extremists from both political spectrums are committing horrible acts of violence. Even though these groups represent a very small fraction of our citizenry, they seem to get all of the TV and social media coverage. When, in truth, most of us are peaceful and despise such violence.

Download Now – https://ampl.ink/GkqMo

AMERICA (The Saints Come Marching Home)

Reverends and diplomats
Blood on their swords
Rich, fat aristocrats
Above the hungry and poor
America, America
The saints come marching home
The holy ghost is on his knees
Crushed by sticks and stones

Cold blooded murder in the streets of my town
The devils daughter took another good soul down
Her reputation was lost and then found
Hurricane thunder on a federal freight train

Reverends and diplomats
Blood on their swords
Rich, fat aristocrats
Above the hungry and poor
America, America
The saints come marching home
The holy ghost is knees
Crushed by sticks and stones

Big brother stirring up the bones of destruction
You see the drones as they struggle for redemption
Another one led astray by deception
Kicking up dust on the backs of the weak
Kicking up dust on the backs of the weak

Reverends and diplomats
Blood on their swords
Rich, fat aristocrats
Above the hungry and poor
America, America
The saints come marching home
The holy ghost is on his knees
Crushed by sticks and stones

Reverends and diplomats
Blood on their swords
Rich, fat aristocrats
Above the hungry and poor

Written by – Frank Ferraro, John Vento, John Fox
John Vento – Voice
Rhonda watson – Voice
Zack Rock – Acoustic Guitar
David Granati – Bass
John Fiore – Recorder & Conga