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MUSIC

 

VIDEOS

 

THE BAND

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The Ludlow Mansion didn't start as a band. It started as a long weekend.

 

The year was 1998 and a bunch of us decided to drive to snowy Vermont to ski. We brought our instruments too, just in case. The skiing was good, but playing music together was great, and that one weekend became a yearly habit. Now, we've been skiing, laughing at inside jokes, mixing boozy cocktails, and working on original music together for more than two decades. Over that time, we've written and recorded demos of dozens of songs, and built a signature sound from the ground up. That sound features memorable guitar hooks, narrative lyrics, creative percussion, and tight vocal harmonies. But it was still only one long weekend a year.

 

Then, the pandemic arrived.

 

Isolation and boredom suck, but as musicians who own computers we had a hack for both problems. We started recording tracks and passing them around to each other. "I Was Metal" was the first of these. There was no rehearsal, no charts, not even a zoom call. But, in an instant, we created our own online music factory that forged lyrics and chords into finished songs. Now, we have our debut album, Glitter & Milk -- and our long weekend has now become a lot longer.

 

Why "The Ludlow Mansion?" For the last several years, our annual ski-and-sing has taken place in a rental house in Ludlow, Vermont. The house is utterly non-descript except for a stuffed boar's head on the wall and an open-plan living room that allows us to set up our gear. It's not really a "mansion" at all, but it sure feels like it when we're there.

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Brian Peter Falk

vocals / guitars / mandolin

Brian first held a guitar while wearing holiday-plaid overalls (pictured). He liked playing duets with his dad, but hated taking lessons so gave it up until he was a teenager and Stairway to Heaven beckoned. Life has pulled him in many directions -- almost always in the arts as a producer, writer, and director in TV and film -- but he's never strayed far from music. He came to song writing honestly, by trying it once and not completely sucking. As a dedicated daydreamer, Brian knows there are many activities for which daydreaming is a liability. Luckily, coming up with songs is not one of them.

Jim Shea

bass guitars / vocals

Shea began his musical career with the obligatory piano lessons in primary school. His first musical "awakening", however, came in sixth grade while trying out a friend's drum kit. Henceforth a rhythm section junkie, Shea picked up bass guitar in college when he recorded and played the upstate NY college circuit. As a founding member of the band Edge Park, Shea toured Europe several times opening for bands such as Radiohead and No Doubt. Ever curious, Shea has dabbled in guitar, mandolin, ukulele, marimba, cajon, conga, and didgeridoo. Currently Shea spends most of his waking hours engaged in music and cycling. 

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Scott Persson

drums / percussion / vocals

Drumming for Scott began with the tried and true “banging on the pots and pans” in his mother’s kitchen. From as early as he could stand, Scott has been moving to the beat of music, according to family. Providing the rhythm for so many different styles of music has been Scott’s passion for decades. As a seasoned session drummer, he’s recorded and toured through Europe and the U.S., recorded dozens of albums and commercial jingles, and accompanied countless artists as a drummer for hire. Playing with Ludlow Mansion, as a band comprised of friends, has been a dream come true. www.scottpersson.com

Jim Pawlika

guitars / vocals

Immersed in music since early childhood, Jim’s earliest memories include his father playing guitar and singing folk songs to him at bedtime. His music education included early lessons on violin, trumpet, guitar and baritone horn, jazz band, wind ensemble, drum and bugle corps, choral competitions, and high school rock bands, which led him to Boston where he attended Berklee College of Music. After school, Jim spent a few years in NYC performing in local clubs and cultivating a decade-long career in the music industry. Now settled into a career in software, there are frequent music collaborations among friends, occasional live shows and always a guitar within arm’s reach.

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THE COLLECTIVE

THE LUDLOW MANSION is part of a larger group of talented artists we call “The Collective.” All of them have been fellow travelers, alpine warriors, and brothers in song for many years. Without them, there would be no band -- and much less joy.

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Brad Howe

photography / videography

While “he doesn’t have a musical bone in his body” and “that dude can’t even keep time with an egg shaker” are what people would say if Brad appeared on any of the musical tracks, Brad is an enthusiastic member of the collective and contributes some of the photos and videos that appear on the site.  Brad is from Long Island and attributes his musical taste to the songs that were played on 92.7 WLIR (and later WDRE) during the 80’s.  Brad loves his job as a “garbage lawyer” as well as his many hobbies including photography, mountain biking and lately woodworking.  Having not discovered photography until his 30s, Brad likes to travel and develop this love by shooting landscapes and musical performances.  If you ask him, he will tell you that it’s an honor and a privilege to hang out with these excellent people and document some of their music sessions.  Check out his stuff at https://picturebrad.smugmug.com

Aron Baxter

graphics  / visuals

On his creative journey, Aron’s visual work has graced feature films (Goldeneye, Muppet Treasure Island, Les Miserables, The Borrowers, Low Down), TV episodic (Elementary, The Blacklist). He has directed numerous commercials, Music Videos, including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality & Stereoscopic 3D projects, and designed broadcast graphics & film titles. Music is always an intrinsic part of every project. Other hats he has worn include graphic designer, typographer, calligrapher, compositor, art teacher, visual artist &  snowboard instructor. He can sing in Latin & plays a mean egg shaker in between making the band cocktails. His company is Bonfire. (Bonfire.nyc)

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Whiskey Jim Somers

guitar

Ironically, Whiskey was given his nickname for his inability to consume the spirit without triggering a gag reflex.  But that aside, Jim loves playing guitar with Ludlow Mansion from time to time and has contributed a few sparse back-up licks that only the trained sound engineer can hear. Jim also plays rhythm guitar in OK Boomer, a suburban cover band made up of other members from TLM. Jim has also played in other less known outfits like The Fundamentalists in Drag, Apache Echo, and The Right Testes.  He was a founding member of Mach 5, which was signed by Island Records about the time Jim stepped away to get married to his wife Alissa and start a family.  By day, Jim is a Chief Marketing Officer in the high-tech space after starting his career in advertising at Ogilvy & Mather, Lintas and Havas.  Jim is a graduate of Lafayette College and has a film certificate from NYU (when people actually shot on film).

Doug McClure

cello

By day an established Architect with over 20 years in the field, McClure’s secret life as a musician is broad and varied. A cello player since 4th grade, madrigal singer in high school, and lead singer in Irvington, NY’s famous North Dutcher All Stars halloween band, his willingness to make it happen far outweighs his questionable musical skills. A fan of darts, ultimate, skiing, and smoking stuff on a kamado, he’ll always be the first to hand you a beer, and tell you that you’re doing it wrong. www.mcc-architecture.com

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INSIDE THE SONGS

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GALLERY

DOUG'S ATTIC

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