INTERVIEW: John Palumbo Talks (And Premieres) New Single/Album “Hollywood Blvd”

An artist at the top of his game, JOHN PALUMBO serves up an even dozen of finely crafted and expertly recorded gems on HOLLYWOOD BLVD. He plays all the instruments on the album himself, sans a number of key acoustic and electric slide guitar contributions from his Crack The Sky bandmate, Bobby Hird. Produced and created at PALUMBO’s home studio, HOLLYWOOD BLVD was mastered by longtime CTS associate R. Lee Townsend at Real Time Studios.

The earwig-inducing sonic avenues and cleverly winding wordsmithed roads that comprise HOLLYWOOD BLVD continue to cement PALUMBO’s status as a shrewdly observational songwriter in the vein of Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed.

As JOHN PALUMBO explains about the new music, “The best songs come out on the first try. ‘Hollywood Blvd,’ for example, I threw right down after establishing the groove and a proper bass line. It’s as if the song actually gave birth to itself. Songs like these usually come as a series of random thoughts put into a rhyming pattern, and they’re much more like poems than songs. Then, it’s just the task of ‘trimming the fat’ to lay in the lyric to fit the music track. Rhyming can put a bit of a crunch and a restriction on things. At the same time, you’re trying to make a point, you have to rhyme something with it. That really handcuffs me, so I’ve had to stretch the rhyming concept more than a few times.”

We get to have John to talk about the lyric video for the title track and more below!

Hi John, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Great, thanks.  Hope you are well also.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hollywood Blvd.”?

Actually, it’s a very romantic love – a relationship song. The couple starts out dancing, then making love, then they die and fly off to paradise. 🙂

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I sing stuff in my head a lot, and I was humming the tune and the first line just came to me.  Once that first line came, the rest was easy. The actual inspiration is the relationship between my wife and myself.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

I don’t know! hahaha. The record company put that together after asking me if I had any thoughts on the visuals, and like your first question, what the song was about.

Why naming the album after this song in particular?

I felt it was a catchy title and generic enough so as to not imply a concept album.

How was the recording and writing process?

I love recording and I’m lucky enough to have a studio here in my home.  I laid down all of the tracks, then called in a “specialist,” Bobby Hird, to play the more difficult solos and other bits.

What aspect of society did you get to explore on this record?

That’s a tough question as I tried to cross boundaries from the personal to slice of life stuff.

With everything that has happened in the world with the pandemic of it all – has this served as a great source of inspiration for this album and how so?

I stayed away from the pandemic intentionally.  I wanted this album to be more entertaining than a “message” one since it’s depressing enough out there!

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I – like most writers, I suppose, digest – or try to digest the world around me.  When something is either joyful (Hollywood Blvd. ) or painful (Funkytown) I am inclined to write about it.

What else is happening next in John Palumbo’s world?

Right now, I am writing an acoustic album for Crack The Sky, as well as a screenplay for a feature film.  I love writing! It’s my job.


RJ Frometa
Author: RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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