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Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog

Asher Fulero, all around studio guy, talks new album

Currently on tour, Asher Fulero has a new CD called “Catching Air.” His band is playing at the Goodfoot Pub in Portland on Saturday, Oct. 24 and the Skyway Bar in ZigZag on Sunday, Oct. 25.

By JIM DRAKE Hood River News

As I get older, rock music seems to seep into culture in the oddest ways. With some rare free time on my hands the other day, I was walking by a local magazine stand and noticed that Newsweek issued a Special Edition of the 50th anniversary for iconic British rockers Pink Floyd.

I smiled because about two weeks ago, I was hanging out with a friend at dinner, who had her mom with her, and guess where the conversation ended up? Happily recalling college dorm days of listening to “Dark Side of the Moon.”

I can’t remember how we got on the topic, but it must have been from the background music playing at the time. Can you imagine your mom walking by that magazine stand and saying “Oh cool, the 50th anniversary ...”

Interview with Pink Floyd Fan Asher Fulero

If the name Asher Fulero seems familiar, chalk it up to the numerous musical projects he’s been involved in over the years that have visited Hood River: The Scott Law Band, Surrounded by Ninjas, Halo Refuser (an electronic solo project), and various incarnations of the Asher Fulero Band. Asher’s music career so far has led him around the country and the world as a sought-after studio musician, and he gets to be associated with some big names. Since he mentions Jakob Dylan on his website.

I asked if he got to meet Jakob — but you know these celebrity schedules are so hectic. . . “No, the track we were on was tracked at separate times. This was actually an album by Crystal Bowersox, who was a runner up for American Idol, and she enlisted Steve Berlin to produce her record. Steve knows me well, so he hires me a lot to do keyboard tracks. I think they brought Jakob in a few weeks later, but it was really great to get to be on the same record as him, for sure. The first time I got to hear his vocals on it, it was a profoundly amazing experience,” Asher said recently in a phone interview from Portland.

Asher has similar studio stories working with folks that included David Grisman, who was involved with a world-folk music project featuring everyone from Jamacian reggea artists to folks like Steve Kimock on lap steel.

“I’ve had a lot of experience playing here in Portland with people in the Everyone Orchestra, which is a real similar experience. It’s a brief collaboration, and sometimes it’s an odd experience as far as those kinds of things go,” Asher said.

Asher says he’s been a fan of rock music and jam bands for a long time.

“I’ve been an extreme Pink Floyd fan since I was 10, and discovered Phish when I was 15. All of that music is part of my musical understanding, but the reality is that driving the ship for a rock band is energetically draining and expensive. So I’ve mainly been a sideman for hire, or working on my experimental projects.

So this new album is the first time that I would consider my work a mainstream kind of project. It’s a jammy, psychedelic rock band that I’ve always wanted to do. This band has allowed me to bring jazz and electronica type stuff into the mix, and a fair amount of funk music. This project was expensive, but I think it was worth it,” Asher said.

Asher’s tour started the other week with a Portland show and then made a trip down to California. He managed to book a relatively close gig to the Gorge in the way of the ZigZag show. “I’m really excited to get this record out, I’ve been producing a lot of home-studio electronic-type records and this is really different for me because of the whole band involvment.”

Asher is an Oregon native (Eugene) and is a graduate of the University of Oregon. He started playing piano at age 5. By high school jazz, folk and punk rock became main influences. College music studies included classical, world — even making a sidetrip into learning the technique for the Indian Tabla.

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