|By JEFF EDELSTEIN
Paul Plumeri has been
playing the blues for over 40 years, gigging in every juke joint
that’s graced the Greater Trenton area.
So of course, it makes perfect sense that he’s perhaps now best known
“It’s surprising,” Plumeri said, who’s next show is taking him to the
House of Blues at the Showboat in Atlantic City Monday night.
“It’s taken a lot of patience building a fan base out there,
it’s been over 10 years. I find the town open to many different
styles of music, and there’s a lot going on. It’s great.”
Plumeri and Seattle have been such a good combo, the last album
he released was titled “Live in Seattle.”
And while he may be big in Seattle, the name Paul Plumeri is simply huge
in the Trenton music scene.
Of course, he got into the game with a bit of a head start — when you’re
a “Plumeri” from Mercer County, you’re already a step ahead.
His dad, Sam Plumeri, was a well-known quantity in the corridors of power
and his three boys all showed their own talents at a young age.
But it was Paul, the youngest, who broke away from the pack. While his
other brothers found fame and fortune in finance and law
enforcement, the youngest Plumeri picked up a guitar at age
seven and never looked back.
And if you think his parents weren’t behind him, think again.
“It was probably surprising to my dad, but there’s a deep history of
music in my family,” Plumeri said. “My mom played piano when she
was younger. Of course, my dad probably would have preferred me
going into a safer game, but, bless his soul, he totally
supported me. And they would come out to all my shows, dressed
to the nines, sit ting with the so-called hippies of the day.”
And the more Plumeri — known by all as the “Bishop of the Blues” played,
the more his name got out there, culminating, for a time, with
his stint with Duke Williams and the Extremes, a blues band
signed to Capricorn Records, then the home of the Allman
Brothers Band, Delaney and Bonnie, and a bunch of other southern
About six years later, Plumeri walked away from the band and started his
own group, the Paul Plumeri Blues Band. Incredibly, the first
night he played under that banner, his son was born.
Which hastened a decision — Plumeri needed a full-time, stay-at-home job.
He didn’t want to be on the road all the time while his kid grew
As a result, it’s safe to say Plumeri is the only bluesman who works as
an investigator for the state.
“I didn’t want to be an absented father,” Plumeri said. “I couldn’t do
the traveling thing anymore.”
So consider Plumeri something of a superhero — mild-mannered investigator
and dad by day, blistering bluesman by night.
“I will do this until I’m not able to do anymore,” Plumeri said. “I love
to play as much now as I did when I was eight years old. I’m
fortunate to be able to do it, and I’m fortunate to be able to
get paid to do it.”
Plumeri’s band — which also features Bill Hyatt on bass and Joe D’Angelo
on drums — have a whole bunch of local dates coming up in
addition to their Atlantic City gig. For those dates, and more
on Plumeri’s music, check out his Website at www.paulplumeri.com