The Catskill 45s

Spring 2009 – current, Phoenicia, NY


Tony Fletcher – keyboards, guitar, vocals
Nancy Lynn Howell – vocals
Josh Roy Brown – lead guitar, vocals
Robert Burke Warren – guitar, vocals
Ric Dragon and Eric Parker – drums (2009)
Lukas Lerner – drums (2010 onwards)
Me – bass, vocals


I moved with my family from New York City to the tiny Catskills town of Phoenicia in the summer of 2005. Among the first and friendliest folks I met were Tony Fletcher, a music writer, and his wife, Posie Strenz. I found Tony through his blog, ijamming (a blog about wine, music, running, and whatever else crosses Tony’s mind), while looking for recommendations of vegetarian places to eat in my new surroundings. Tony and Posie like to throw a good party, and it was at one of those that I met the musician and writer Robert Burke Warren. Coincidentally, I’d worked with Robert’s wife, the writer Holly George-Warren, many years before at Rolling Stone. As the years went by in my new town, my son Lukas took up the drums. His teacher was a local legend named Eric Parker. I started subbing on bass in Robert’s family-music band, Uncle Rock and the Playthings (about which more later), with Eric on drums and a versatile and rootsy guitarist named Josh Roy Brown. Okay, we know most of the players now…

Read the rest of this entry »

A note from your host

No band this week. A few observations instead.

When I began this blog, I didn’t give a whole lot of thought to what writing it might entail. I thought I’d use it as an excuse to learn to make my own WordPress themes. Then I got impatient and decided to just dive right in with a prepackaged theme, the admirably unbusy “Clean Home.”

I knew that scanning flyers and digitizing tapes would take a while. What I wasn’t prepared for was the emotional toll involved in embarking on a nostalgic venture as colossal as this. I have a pretty good memory, but like anyone else I don’t tend to know where its flaws lie. When, facing the task of telling a logical and chronological story, I find myself staring at indisputable evidence like names and dates on flyers, release dates on CDs, postings at other websites, and handwriting on cassette labels, I realize that the stories I’ve carried around for years about my own life are, to a shocking extent, wrong. Nothing earth-shattering—I don’t have a first wife I’ve forgotten about—but the cumulative weight of all these small corrections is daunting.

Read the rest of this entry »


Spring 1978 until Spring 1980, Bethesda, Maryland


Stephen Lewis – electric guitar, vocals
John Wilson – electric guitar
Ron Benbassat – drums
Mark Lerner – bass, vocals

We briefly added:

Matthew Laur – keyboards
Two girls I can’t recall – vocals

After a year or so, we added:

Dana Hinton – electric guitar
KC Kolvereid – vocals

Folks, this is where I will no doubt lose a few readers. The last post saw me playing catchy odd pop on national TV. Now we’ve got my first band as a bassist, formed when I was 14 and was just learning to play.

Some folks out there may have been cool when they were 14. They may have been talented instrumentalists and singers. They may have had good taste. Not me.

I had: Atlantis.


From left: John Wilson, Ron Benbassat, Mark Lerner, Stephen Lewis, Dana Hinton.

Read the rest of this entry »