About


Town & Country

is a joint venture into Americana by LA singer/frontman Rob Shapiro and songwriter/producer Brian Woodbury. Joined by a host of top flight pickers and pluckers and spurred by a love for country music, coming slightly out of left field. Don’t you want a little town in your country?

Rob Shapiro,

vocals (and a few guitars and co-writes), got his start as an entertainer doing standup in Minneapolis while still in high school. His musical resume straddles the continent: from early years playing surf and garage rock in the LA’s Paisley Underground; to an ’80s stint in Minneapolis, where he honed to his signature country-tinged double-stop guitar lines with indie-rockers Thunderbats and Uncle Was; to NYC during the ’90s playing art-rock in 2.5D. With his critically acclaimed band, Populuxe, he has released 2 CDs, A Foggy Day in Brooklyn (1998) and Deep in an American Evening (2005) and 1 EP Daphne (2005). He has performed with Populuxe or as a soloist for drunken bikers at a strip show in Northeast Minneapolis, to moonlit romantics in a Bora Bora lagoon, to sweaty masses crammed into Texas roadhouses. He is also one half of The Velvet Collar, with producer/multi-instrumentalist Phil Rohr, who just released their first record Double Standard an unlikely collection of cover songs by The Stooges, Hoagy Carmichael, and the Gershwin Brothers, among others. In the other parts of his life, he is a voice-over artist, narrating audiobooks such as the bestselling “The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood” and the fantasy noir “Low Town,” performing several seasons of radio comedy on Minneapolis Public Radio, and voicing the titular lion in “Leo the Lion.” Finally, he is a business consultant and software system designer, specializing in desktop publishing and workflow efficiency, with clients and implemented systems spanning the globe.

Brian Woodbury,

songwriter/producer, writes in many styles for many occasions, from stage and screen to rock band and concert hall. He is currently writing stage musicals including Ghost-s, about a small town theater troupe that tries to stage the musical Ghost (based on the Whoopi Goldberg/Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore movie) but instead gets the rights to an atrocious musical based on Ibsen’s Ghosts; Sex, Mom and Apple Pie, a farce set at a porn shoot; Killa Vanilla, a surf musical set on a remote Hawaiian island; Space Opera, about an extremist religious colony on Mars; and a teen pop musical for television. He often writes for children’s television, including cartoon theme songs (Pepper Ann, Teacher’s Pet). He was the head songwriter for two award-winning Disney shows. His previous album The Variety Orchestra featured postmodern jazz played by horns, strings, latin percussion, accordion, banjo and pedal steel. His prior album, the Brian Woodbury Songbook, featured fifteen singers including Terre Roche (the Roches) , David Yazbek (composer of The Full Monty & Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Stephanie Courtney (the Progressive Insurance girl). He orchestrated Najma Akhtar’s Forbidden Kiss, a recording of Bollywood covers. He co-produced crooner Joe Moe’s Mainland with Michael Webster and Marc Doten. He founded the bands Some Philharmonic and the Popular Music Group. His songs have been sung by Lisa Loeb and Nathan Lane. He is married to composer and healer Elma Mayer.

The Band


Hover over image to see key.

Featuring:

1. Marc Muller

guitars, pedal steel, lap steel, dobro, mandolin, banjo, baritone guitar, and fiddle (My Country) and co-arranging (Everybody Wants to Say I Do, My Country, The Smile He Took Away, Watermelon, All the People, That’s Just Monday)

2. Dan Schwartz

bass (My Country, Get a Room, The Smile He Took Away, Pass it Down, Lots More Love, That’s Just Monday)

3. Joe Berardi

drums (My Country, Get a Room, The Smile He Took Away, Pass it Down, Lots More Love, That’s Just Monday)

4. Dan Lutz

bass (Why Can’t it Be Like it Was?, The Brill Building, Keep Your Head in the Light, All the People, Shadows)

5. Andy Sanesi

drums (Why Can’t it Be Like it Was?, The Brill Building, Keep Your Head in the Light, All the People, Shadows); conga & tamborine (The Brill Building)

6. Eli Breuggemann

piano/keyboards (Why Can’t it Be Like it Was?, Keep Your Head in the Light, Shadows)

7. Marc Doten

engineering; piano (Get a Room, Pass it Down, That’s Just Monday)

8. Jim “Kimo” West

electric (The Brill Building, All the People)

Not Pictured – Gabe Witcher

fiddle

Read more about the band here »

Cameos

Chris Phillips

drums (Everybody Wants to Say I Do)

Mark Pardy

drums (Bottle of Brown)

Michael Webster

keyboards & samples (The Brill Building); co-arranging (The Brill Building, Pass it Down)

Khalil Sabbagh

vibes & percussion (Shadows)

Dan Levine

trombones (Shadows)

Nick Ariondo

accordion (Pass it Down)

Luis Molina

guitar & mariachi voc (Pass it Down)

Ramon Rodriguez

guitarrón & mariachi voc (Pass it Down)

Arturo Zavala

violin & mariachi voc (Pass it Down)

Mario Lomeli

vihuela & mariachi voc (Pass it Down)

Abel Lopez

trumpet & mariachi voc (Pass it Down)

Read more about the cameos here »

The Chorus

Kathi Funston

background vocals (Get a Room, Why Can’t it Be Like it Was?, The Brill Building, Keep Your Head in the Light)

Bill Burnett

background vocals (Get a Room, Watermelon)

Moira Smiley

background vocals (Get a Room, The Brill Building, Watermelon)

Paul F. Perry

background vocals (That’s Just Monday, Why Can’t it Be Like it Was?)

Joe Moe

background vocals (Everybody Wants to Say I Do)

Dudley Saunders

background vocals (Everybody Wants to Say I Do)

Richard Hefner

background vocals (That’s Just Monday)

Elma Mayer

background vocals (The Brill Building)

Aoife Calderon, Phoebe Bridgers, Juniper Woodbury

background vocals (Keep Your Head in the Light)

Read more about the chorus here »

The Co-Writers

Michael Webster

(The Brill Building, All the People)

Peter Lurye

(Here She Comes)

Elma Mayer

(Pass It Down)

Bill Burnett

(Get a Room)

Read more about the co-writers here »

More

John Goss

designer

Eric Liljestrand

co-mixing (Everybody Wants to Say I Do)

Jonathan Feinberg

co-arranging (All the People)

Johanna Shapiro

photos of Rob and Brian

Read more about the other contributors here »