Out & About

April 24, 2014

A seventh son's musical quest

music: Internationally acclaimed bluesman to play Plattsburgh, Lake Placid

PLATTSBURGH — Chaz DePaolo’s familial and personal trials were buckets-deep fodder for the blues, but it took him awhile to get around to singing it.

Once he did, it’s had a hold on him ever since.

“It’s about therapy for me,” said DePaolo, who is a largely self-taught musician, though he studied classical music in college.

“It’s also a way for me to express myself. All music is therapy. It’s something about the blues. The more I got into that rhythmic feel, that pounding shuffle or a burning-slow blues. It’s something that really captures the soul. Aerosmith, their foundation came from the blues. It is the foundation from all popular music, the foundation of jazz.”

The peripatetic New York Blues Hall of Fame and internationally acclaimed blues rock guitarist/singer-songwriter slides into town with bandmates Sean Burns (bass) and Cliff MacComas (drums) to play a Saturday gig at Irises and an unplugged set Sunday at Pan Dolce in Lake Placid.


DePaolo’s latest release, “One Night Live in Iona,” is a live-concert DVD on Smoke Tone Records.

“It was a full-length concert, a sold-out show with my saxophonist Robert Chaseman,” DePaolo said.

“We played in the church. They had to remove the 8-foot crucifix. The lighting rig wouldn’t fit in the church. It was a full-electric show. It was pretty amazing. Everybody was sitting in the pews. I was playing on the altar.”

That’s a prophetic place for a seventh son of a former Rockettes and Broadway showgirl and mother of eight.


Growing up, DePaolo heard all kinds of music from his mother’s show tunes to his older siblings’ rock.

“I didn’t realize AC/DC and Fleetwood Mac had roots in the blues,” DePaolo said. “I started to pay more attention to the Rolling Stones. They listened to blues artists, and then I became more interested in the Stones.”

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