Mining the rich musical landscape of folk, rock and roll, country-western and blues to find treasures not often heard, and unearthing gems of their own, The Old Part Of Town is an acoustic group which brings together six veteran Baltimore musicians: Matt Douglass, Sam Nitzberg, John Seay, Kurt Hammond, Marc Wexler and Steve Raskin. All four members bring a wealth of musical knowledge and abilities to the ensemble, along with a natural, easy-going manner and a genuine camaraderie that’s apparent at their performances.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 60 - 180 minutes
(link hidden) (link hidden) (link hidden)
The Old Part of Town
The band was formed after Matt Douglass and Sam Nitzberg collaborated on an EP in 2012, "Grayest Hits." Looking for a better performance vehicle for their catalog of originals, they recruited Davis Shingleton and Pat Sheridan to pitch in on mandolin, bass and vocals. After a year of performing and stretching out some arrangements, both Davis and Pat left to pursue other musical avenues, but not before recording some tracks for The Old Part of Town's first CD, released in the Fall of 2015. Matt and Sam's longtime musical pals Steve Raskin (drums) and Marc Wexler (mandolin) joined up with John Seay on bass early in 2015, solidifying the new TOPOT lineup, with guitarist Kurt Hammond joining the fray in the summer.
Matt Douglass - Singer/Songwriter, Lead, Slide, and Resonator Guitars, Mandolin, Lap Steel
Before teaming up with Sam to found The Old Part of Town, Matt released two roots rock/Americana albums: No Stone Unturned (2002), and Big Lucky (2008), which garnered Honorable Mention for Best Album in the Mid-Atlantic Music Monthly. Matt long has been writing songs that range from slow confessional country ballads to stories with a rock-n-roll soundtrack. His guitar playing style is influenced by everything from early folk masters to Ry Cooder to Anders Osborne.
Matt's musical beginnings were with a touring country-rock band, focusing on the musical styles of Gram Parsons, EmmyLou Harris and Rodney Crowell, and sharing the stage with Vassar Clements, Pure Prairie League, Michael Murphey, and Commander Cody. After that were stints in everything from a British Invasion rock band, to a reggae rock band (The Charm City Reactors) to an American rock n' soul band, before going solo for 10 years. In 2011 he placed two songs on the soundtrack to Plank Road Pictures' "Sins Of The Father." (link hidden) (link hidden)
Sam Nitzberg - Singer/Songwriter, 6- and 12-string Guitars, Harmonica, Ukulele
In the late 1970's, after spending several years busking in different parts of the United States and Europe, playing folk and bluegrass, Sam moved back to his hometown of Baltimore. He soon founded The Charm City Reactors, an electric and eclectic outfit which reflected his widening musical tastes and which was a staple in the burgeoning Baltimore alternative music scene for 5 years. The next decade found him as lead singer with a new wave cover band The Sway, before leaving to form The Odds in order to provide another vehicle for his own songs. Now Sam has returned to his musical roots: acoustic folk and melodic, well-crafted songwriting. (link hidden) (link hidden) (link hidden)
John Seay - Bass, Vocals
The fossil record reveals that John Seay apparently started playing guitar and bass and writing songs in the early ‘60s, and began recording/producing his and others’ music shortly thereafter. And continues to this day. In addition to his 9 solo CD’s, John has produced studio projects for Eliot Bronson, Sarah Pinsker, Spice, The Art of Meaning, Neal Phillips, Georgie Jessup, and Steve Key, to name a few. Besides performing solo and with The Old Part of Town, he sits in with an ever-evolving handful of local bands and artists, and is a founding member of the notorious Baltimore vocal trio, Three If By Sea. (link hidden)
Steve Raskin - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Steve first discovered his love of drums and music when banging on pots and pans and anything else around the house at a very early age. He played professionally throughout college and pursued music full time for a few years after graduation before embarking on a separate non-musical career. During that time he also performed and/or recorded a wide variety of music with many successful Baltimore based bands including Total Eclipse, The Charm City Reactors, Two Legs, The Polkats, Sonia/Disappear Fear, The Barn Burners, The Scott Cunningham Blues Band, Big Dog Blues Band, The Mark Brine Band, Gypsy Dawg and Dawgone. Now, he's come full circle, playing again with Matt and Sam, his pals from The Reactors days.
Kurt Hammond - Electric Guitar
Back in the '70s, Kurt majored in guitar in college, playing with JHU hippy band Ocean Rose, only to find that there was in fact no guitar major. Ooops. Immediately upon graduation, he answered an ad in the paper which launched a 3-year stint with Baltimore soul stalwarts London Fog. The '80s found Kurt in Boston, studying jazz guitar (still working on that) and playing in all manner of variety bands. Then, back in Baltimore, he had a 16-year run with country band Stillwater. He currently teaches guitar at his home in Pikesville, MD., does fill-in work and studio sessions, and also plays with his R&B combo The Soul Magnets.
Marc Wexler - Mandolin, Backing Vocals
Man of Mystery. East Coast, West Coast, who knows where he'll be? Catch him when you can.
Approximately 50% are original songs,and 50% are songs such as:
Bluebird Wine (Rodney Crowell)
Boney Fingers (Hoyt Axton)
Boomer's Story (Trad.)
Dark Hollow (Trad.)
Get Gone (Al Anderson/NRBQ)
Golden Feather (Robbie Robertson)
Holding Things Together (Merle Haggard)
Honey Child (Peter Case)
I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know (Skeeter Davis/Davis Sisters)
Jesus On The Main Line (Trad.)
Meet Me In The Morning/Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat (Bob Dylan)
Nellie Cane (Tim O'Brien)
New Delhi Freight Train (Terry Allen/Little Feat)
New Morning (Bob Dylan)
Old Old Woodstock (Van Morrison)
Reelin' Down (Dan Hicks)
Rhumba Man (Jesse Winchester)
Señor (Bob Dylan)
She Thinks I Still Care (George Jones)
She Took Off My Romeos (Bob Fuller/David Lindley)
Silver Lining (Steve Poltz/Jewel)
Silverado (Daniel Lanois)
Sittin' On Top Of The World (Trad.)
Tears Of Rage (Bob Dylan)
Within You Without You (George Harrison)
Influences & Inspiration
Bob Dylan, Rodney Crowell, Neil Young, Peter Case, Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks, The Band, David Bromberg, Ry Cooder