Josh Goldberg (Stick, vocals), Donald Perdomo (drums, vocals)
And The Traveler's 2013 double CD
Sample mp3 Track: "Steps"
(©And The Traveler, used with permission)
Check out more sample tracks at the band's website.
Read this online Review of the album.
Upcoming And The Traveler Performances
New York progressive rock and jazz fusion trio, And The Traveler,
propelled by exhuberent Stickist Josh Goldberg,
has just release their debut double CD, and is touring the Northeast this fall.
Josh also has an entertaining and informative series of instructional
YouTube videos entitled "Stick Science".
The first thing I noticed about And The Traveller's CD is Josh Goldberg's bass work. If I didn't know he was playing The Stick, I'd swear those fat bass lines were an electric bass. It's not just the sound, but the kinds of lines he chooses, tight unisons with the guitar and Stick melody on the heavy rock tunes, and lots of great fills, and some seriously solid walking on the jazzier tracks, even though he's using a 5ths bass tuning. Josh's melody sounds range from chunky distorted rhythm parts and searing solos to bright clav-like rhythmic punches, carefully interwoven with guitarist Max Johl's insistent electric guitar.
To get that sound josh plays a bamboo 10-string Stick in Matched Reciprocal tuning with the Villex PASV-4 pickup run through a split "bass" and "guitar" setup. Here's how he describes his rig:
" I play through two amps, using a 1/4" TRS stereo to double mono splitter. My treble side leads to my pedal board, consisting of:
-a modded DeltaLab Rock distortion pedal (overboost, solo lead tone),
I get an absolute ton of sounds with these through blending the pedals together and really understanding how each one affects the one before and after it. The one thing I still want to add is an envelope filter for some automatic wah action.
-an HBE Uno Mos boost pedal (light crunch, distortion boost),
-a Hermida Audio Mosferatu distortion peda (distortion, lead tone),
-a modded DeltaLab metal distortion pedal (fuzzbox, square wave),
-a Muza M-Ambience FD 900 delay/reverb pedal (all my delay and synth and pad sounds)
-and a Hardwire RV-7 stereo reverb pedal.
The board leads directly into a Roland KC-550 keyboard amp. I like the Roland because it handles the bass well when I switch to mono, and for smaller gigs I only need one amp due to multiple inputs with individual volume control. My bass side is going directly into an Ampeg BR-115. That thing is a workhorse! It's built like a rock, and I can get so many different styles out of it. I love versatility, and that amp definitely has it.
Stick ScienceJosh likes to share his ideas on exploring the instrument with Free Hands and other techniques through his series of informal "Stick Science" videos. The offer tips for Stick players on a variety of subjects and deliver a healthy dose of Josh's wry, self-deprecating sense of humor. This one deals with strumming chords on The Stick. You can find the whole series on his YouTube Channel.
From Bach to Video Games...Guthrie Govan, Greg Howe, Matthais Eklundh and Scott Henderson are probably my biggest influences right now. I've also been listening to a lot of 8 string guitar players like Tosin Abasi and bands like Periphery lately. It definitely shows up in how I'm treating the mono function of the Stick.
I was a jazz and classical guitar major in college, so huge amounts of both of those styles. My jazz playing has been heavily influenced by my teachers as well. I took lessons for a few years from Jay Azzolina (Spyro Gyra) and Gustavo Assis-Brasil, and both of those guys shine through often. Compositionally I've been really influenced by guys like Chopin, Beethoven, Berlioz and Wagner, just to name a few. I came up with an expanded form of Wagner's leitmotif technique that I've been using to generate a lot of material for the new stuff that And The Traveler is working on. I also have a Bach action figure in my room.
And of course video game music. Video game music is probably the ultimate reason I got into playing music in the first place. When done right, it's so descriptive and beautiful. You can see the scene in your mind's eye, even if you've never played the game before. I remember being 11 and playing Final Fantasy 7 in my dad's apartment. At one point, I just set the controller down and listened to the music for a while because it was so incredible. Just recently I got commissioned to compose all the music for an upcoming phone game and this is literally a childhood dream come true.
A new generation, passing it on...Josh has studied with New York jazz Stickmeister Steve Adelson and picked up techniques from watching other Stick players' videos online, he says he started he "Stick Science" series,
"as a tool to teach myself, and because I didn't notice anyone else really doing it. I figured that if the Stick was to ever be close to as popular as the guitar, it needed to have the kind of informational access that the guitar does, amongst other things. For a little while I thought I was the only person doing that, aside of course from the videos that you (Greg) and Bob have put up. But then I started to notice that other Stick players had similar videos for different topics. They hadn't made a series out of it, they didn't spend their time talking to themselves while wrapping their head in toilet paper or wearing a box to pretend to be someone else, but a lot of the videos had really good lessons to teach anyway. So between the video lessons online, and whatever I can glean from watching and listening to other players, I'll take influence from just about anyone!".
And The Traveler is not a one-man show by any stretch, as all three members obviously poured a lot of attention into the intricately crafted arrangements they deliver on The Road, The Reason, a project four years in the making. Fans and reviewers compare the band's sound to classic '70s progressive rock and fusion band like Genesis, King Crimson and Return to Forever, and the more recent Mars Volta. The vocal sound and harmonies and even some of the guitar layerings are very Queen-like, a characteristic that's re-enforced by the high drama of the lyrics. After spending four years crafting their tight and powerful arrangements,
the band documented their recording project, in which they turned a local church into a recording studio with a series of YouTube videos:
VIDEO: 12 Days in 1 Space, the making of The Road, The Reason