Rev Tor is a local legend. He is a prolific songwriter and performer and has made music his life. I would venture to guess that The Rev Tor Band’s performance at Live on the Lake several years back, was one of the most attended shows there ever. That night Onota Lake was transformed into a music festival. It is that spirit of coming together through song and celebration that defines this band. In 2012, The Rev Tor Band with a host of area musicians, staged a tribute to the late Levon Helm and The Band, a great influence on his music, performing “The Last Waltz” at many area venues including Strange Creek Campout and a benefit at the Colonial Theater for Moments House.
In March of this year, Tor, at the urging of his fans, created a live CD and DVD “Live at The Unicorn” which features the core Rev Tor Band as well as guest artists. The Rev Tor Band, with Tor Krautter, Dan Broad on bass, Andy Crawford on drums and Ben Kohn on keyboards, will host a CD release party on July 11, from 9:00pm to 11:00pm at the Gypsy Joynt Café in Great Barrington. There will be giveaways and other ‘happenings’ and the first 25 people to arrive will get a free CD!!! There is NO COVER charge.
Here is a sneak preview of the performance:
The project was completed with the help of a funding site “Rocket Hub” and the promo video features a wide range of long time Tor fans and celebrities including Arlo Guthrie and James Taylor.
RO caught up with Tor recently and asked about his musical beginning and his career …
> Since RO is a kids music camp, what are your early musical influences and what inspired you to play and sing?
My biggest inspiration was and is my father. He is a guitar playerand taught me everything he knew. Later in high school I got heavily into the Beatles. They strongly influenced my songwriting. Particularly John Lennon.
> At what age did you start playing in front of audiences? Do you remember how it felt as a young person doing that?
I had a band when I was in grade school. Well, it was sort of a band. Two drummers and a guitar player. Our one and only gig was at a local community center. The audience was made up of our parents. That was the first time I performed in front of anyone. I remember it feeling very scary but exciting at the same time. Later in high school I was in several bands and we played a few school functions. After high school I went to music school at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood California and jumped right into being a professional musician.
> I saw the video that you made for the crowd funding effort to create the CD DVD. A lot of cool people were featured in that video alone. You have a great fan base and as you said the live DVD was a result of requests by your fans. How did you go about putting it all together and choosing the artists you would work with?
Well the core band consists of myself, Dan Broad on bass, Andy Crawford on drums and Ben Kohn on keyboards. We decided to do an live all acoustic recording and wanted to supplement with a few extra people so we added Rob Sanzone on mandolin, guitar and ukulele, Pete Adams on pedal steel guitar and a horn section. It all came together pretty organically. That particular lineup of musicians ended up having a really unique and interesting sound that really helped shape the character of each song.
> What’s next on the horizon for you as a solo artist and also for the band?
Well the band is creeping up on our 20th year anniversary. We’re starting to think how we should mark the occasion. Maybe a concert with all our friends or another recording.
As for the solo thing, I’m just looking forward to playing as many gigs as I can around the area. I’m very blessed to be able to make a living doing what I love.
We are all looking forward to celebrating 20 years of The Rev Tor Band!
This weekend come get the party started at the Gypsy Joynt with Tor and the band.
More details about the event on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/events/1611686742392333/