A note to our readers: Starting Tuesday, Sept. 6, Emily Burnham’s Rockin’ Out column will begin running on Tuesdays instead of Fridays. This week’s column will be the last Rockin’ Out to appear on a Friday. There will be no Rockin’ Out column next week, in anticipation of the move. Much of the rest of the BDN’s entertainment and performing arts coverage also will move to Tuesdays to allow readers more time to plan for coming events. Questions and comments pertaining to Rockin’ Out — which otherwise will remain exactly the same — can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your understanding and patience.
Bob Roman instilled a love of music in his kids from day one. His daughter, Anna, got started early.
“I can remember playing and singing with him as young as three. As soon as I could talk, I was singing,” said Anna (Roman) Stuart, now 27. “His musician friends would come over and I’d listen to them play. It was definitely a musical childhood.”
“There was never a time you didn’t hear something, a song or a commercial jingle, coming out of her mouth,” said her father.
Bob Roman, a bass player, has played in bands in Greater Bangor for more than 30 years, from Maine country legend Dick Curless to his own country band, Miles to Go. While country was his primary genre for much of that time, Roman always has harbored a deep love for jazz, blues and R&B.
“We used to play bottle clubs all over the state, and we’d do country the whole time, but sometimes we’d throw in some Stevie Wonder or The Beatles,” said Roman. “I’ve always loved just about any kind of music you could throw at me. I just love to play. I’ll play anything.”
When Roman finished up with his country bands, his mind turned to jazz — and he began playing around with Brian Catell’s Jump City Jazz, a longtime Bangor group made up of eight excellent area jazz musicians. Meanwhile, Stuart was singing with various groups around the area, with her rich, warm voice accenting jazz and pop songs. She also was raising her two young children with her husband, Brett.
When Jump City Jazz was asked last year to be the house band for “The Nite Show,” Dan Cashman’s local late-night talk show that airs at 11:30 p.m. Saturdays on WABI, Catell and the rest of the band joined forces with Roman and Stuart on vocals to form Jump City Social Club, a combination of Jump City Jazz’s traditional large ensemble jazz and Stuart and Roman’s songwriting. The group got to work readying songs to play on-air — and they also began reworking the father and daughter’s songs for a record. That record, the six-song EP “Miles to Go,” is currently available on Amazon.com and iTunes. Sessions at the New England School of Communications and at Main Street Music Studios in Bangor helped solidify the songs.
“We brought in Jim Winters, who did some horn arrangements for the songs, and we got a session at NESCOM with a pickup band and experimented with everything,” said Roman. “Everyone was really enthusiastic about it, from the songs to the arrangement to Anna’s voice.”
“It was definitely more fun than work,” said Stuart. “All the good, different minds that worked on it really made it an awesome experience. Andy [Clifford] at Main Street Music Studios is so great to work with.”
Currently, you can see Jump City Social Club on every episode of “The Nite Show,” playing a smooth mix of jazz and pop in between guests and performers. The next tapings are scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer.
“Playing for a TV show is its own little challenge,” said Roman. “At first, it was a little nerve-racking, because we didn’t want to mess anything up. But now it’s old hat. It’s fun to work with Danny on what sounds good. It’s definitely a new thing for all of us.”
For more information on Jump City Social Club, visit their Facebook page.