ALBANY — One of the first times Vince Palmeri sang in front of a live audience, he was standing on stage with his father’s band at a lake house gig in Sandy Pond. He was just 5.
“They kind of just pushed me on stage and made me sing ‘One Headlight’ by The Wallflowers, because I really liked that song,” he said. His father’s band would work the local scene around Binghamton, a college town in Central New York, just north of the Pennsylvania border. He had played in the band since Vince was born.
“I grew up in that environment. I can remember being 5-years old and coming downstairs with my dad playing the piano, playing a song, practicing with the band. He plays guitar, too. He sings as well. At some point, subconsciously probably, I realized I wanted to do that as well.”
His father plays a lot of classic rock: “I grew up listening to Chicago, Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, The Wallflowers — “One Headlight.”
“From as young as I can remember, I was always singing.” said Palmeri. “Music was always there. It was always accessible. Not that it was anything. It’s what kids do: Sing songs and play music, and stuff.”
Palmeri had lived in the Capital District for the past two years, but the work schedule at his 9-to-5 job didn’t allow him to sample the area’s nightlife. While friends were at the club, he was at work. Rose and Andrew Gabriel met him through Ambassador Group’s artist application program earlier this year.
Rose describes their singer as possessing a “soft” personality. He’s confident, she said, but is approachable and well-grounded.
Ambassador Group launched Palmeri’s video for his single “The Rush” two months ago. A catchy pop tune paired the visual of friends enjoying a day at the lake, and plenty of glimpses of Palmeri’s Tiger Beat coverboy looks. It received more than 1,000 views within the first 24 hours.
“Vince creates pop music,” Andrew said. “His big thing is, ‘Make Pop Great Again.’” Depending on who you ask, the Top-40 genre suffers from a lack of originality. Whether pop or country, one can find YouTube videos that expose the use of a tired formula shared throughout several hit songs; from the backbeat to the placement of the chorus, even the guitar solos. Placed side-by-side, the songs sound the same and it’s been happening for years. “He just wants to bring it back to really good beats and catchy lyrics, and music you can really hold on to,” said Andrew. “He does it in a really good way.”
Ambassador Music Group will host its second annual Rocktoberfest music festival on Saturday, Oct. 5 as a benefit for Cohoes-based
nonprofit Community Miracles In Action and CMA’s Louder Dreams project. The free, family-friendly event will run from noon to 6 p.m. in the heart of Albany’s Warehouse District, at 15 Pleasant St.
The successful launch of Rocktoberfest in 2018 featured three main-stage acts and two acoustic performances. This year, Rocktoberfest will feature seven acts on the Louder Dreams main stage. Headliners include American Idol’s Madison VanDenburg, Americana-rock group C.K. & The Rising Tide and indie-rockers El Modernist. Rounding out the lineup are pop/indie/R&B artists Vince Palmeri, Julia Gargano, David Cuttino & The Antiks and This Strange Paradise.
Rocktoberfest is central to AMG’s mission of featuring local musicians, partnering with and promoting local businesses, and helping local non-profits. Fulfilling the goal of helping local non-profits, Rocktoberfest 2019 has partnered with Community Miracles in Action. CMA is a drop-in teen center offering a safe place for kids to set and achieve goals, build meaningful relationships, and connect with adults who provide structure and compassion. In support of this collaboration and in support of teens, the “Louder Dreams” rock stage will feature special performances by CMA and Youth FX, another non-profit organization helping students through film) youths in between main acts.
Ambassador Music Group is an artist management company based in Albany. AMG’s artists have performed on stages across New York and New England and benefit from a devoted management and PR team. While promoting their own roster, AMG reserves resources to support local musicians, partner with local businesses, and help children through music. Learn more at www.ambassadormusicgroup.com.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.