|New bass player confirmed
Monday, September 3 2012
Following the tragic death of Bob Birch, Matt Bissonette has been confirmed as new bass player and backing vocalist for Elton's band, reports eltonjohn.com.
Matt is currently attending rehearsals with the band in Los Angeles. Following three solo shows of Elton on 7,8 and 9 September 2012, Matt's first show will be on 11 September 2012 at the Mississippi Coliseum, Jackson, Mississippi.
Matt Bissonette (born 1961) is the brother of drummer Gregg Bissonette. He attended the University of North Texas's jazz music program. According to Guitar 9, an online musicianship magazine, he has played bass and other stringed instruments on at least 22 albums, with music styles ranging from jazz, jazz fusion, progressive metal, and instrumental rock. The October 2002 edition of Bassinside, a bass musician's online magazine, reports that Matt has played in several different bands and has recorded with various artists, including Joe Satriani, David Lee Roth, Lita Ford, Daniel Glen Timms, Julian Lennon, Steve Perry, Brian Wilson, Don Henley, Ty Tabor (of King's X), Tom Andrews, and Peter Frampton. He also played bass on his brother Gregg's solo album.
In 2003 he and his brother Gregg backed Ringo Starr on a promotional tour of the United States. In 2004 he played alongside Boz Scaggs on Boz Scaggs Greatest Hits Live CD and DVD. The two brothers backed Starr again in 2005 at live shows at Irving Plaza in New York City in June 2005, at the Genesse Theatre in Waukegan, IL for the PBS show SoundStage, and the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, as well as on several TV appearances (CBS This Morning, etc.)
Matt has served as bass player for Rick Springfield and the lead singer of the Squirts. Rick Springfield and Matt collaborated on Rick's new CD: Venus in Overdrive, which Bissonette co-produced. According to the above sources, Matt has also played the themes to the television shows Friends, Just Shoot Me!, and The Tracey Ullman Show.
Matt now lives in Orange County, Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Matt had known Davey Johnstone, Eltonís Musical Director,for many years, and following the tragic death of Bob Birch, Davey invited Matt to join Eltonís band. Matt had also known Bob very well, and he is keenly aware of the sensitivities involved, reports eltonjohn.com. He says: "You can never take a guy like Bob Birch's place in a band. I would love to honor Bob on this Elton tour and while playing all these great songs remember how great he was, as a bass player and all-round musician. But itís ten times more important to remember what a fantastic human he was, and is. Here's to you Bob."
Musical sendoff for Bob Birch
Saturday, September 1 2012 at 21:08:00
Bob Birch - Obituary
Saturday, August 18 2012 at 08:08:02
Elton, Bernie and others pay tribute to Bob Birch
Thursday, August 16 2012 at 20:26:23
Bob Birch dead in apparent suicide
Thursday, August 16 2012 at 06:43:02
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