Dennis DelGaudio


When did you first pick up the guitar and how did you realize that you’d found your life’s work?

I first picked up the guitar at age 13.  It was a cheap, beat-up guitar with two strings on it in the back of my closet.  The first tune I ever played on that guitar was the melody to “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles - across one of the two strings.  As a kid, I always loved music, but The Beatles lit a fire in me!  All these years later, they still do.  Combine them with watching my friend, Ronnie Olsen, playing a small electric guitar outside the main doors of my Junior High School one morning when I was in 7th grade and BAM!  I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  He had all these kids watching him.  As a shy kid, I looked at him and said to myself, “I want to do that!”

Are you a city boy or a country boy?  Where are you from and where do you call home?

I’m neither.  Ha!  I’m a suburban boy…with city leanings, I suppose.  I grew up on the South Shore of Long Island - West Islip and Merrick.  I lived in New York City for a dozen years, mostly in Brooklyn.  I still have a real love for NYC, particularly Brooklyn, but situations change and people change.  I currently live up on the North Shore of Long Island in a town called Old Brookville and I love it!  Grass, trees and critters…

Who are your main influences?

From strictly a guitar standpoint, my earliest influences were John Lennon, George Harrison, Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Eddie Van Halen and Brian Setzer.  Eric Clapton came a little later as did Keith Richards.  Country pickers include Albert Lee, Brent Mason and Johnny Hiland.  If I had to pick one guitarist today who has had the biggest impact on me, I’d say Jim Campilongo.  I said to him once, “You remind me of all that is cool about the guitar.”

If I created a Buck Linguini playlist, what other performers might Pandora or Spotify suggest?

For more current artists, I’d say you might get Chris Stapleton, Midland and Blackberry Smoke.  For classic artists, perhaps The Stones, Lynryd Skynyrd and maybe Merle Haggard.

How would you describe your style?

Imagine John Lennon and Keith Richards could play ripping lead guitar.

Tell me about your work with Billy Joel.

In July of 2008, I was asked to join Billy’s band for his historic Last Play at Shea concerts.  They were augmenting the core band for these shows.  That opportunity led to becoming a touring member of Billy’s band for Billy and Elton’s Face-to-Face Tour in the first half of 2009.  I was hired as the second/rhythm guitarist.  Billy hadn’t had two guitarists in 20 years.  He seemed to enjoy the fuller sound.

What’s it like to work with a superstar?

What can I say?  It was an experience I’ll never forget.  He was/is an easygoing boss who treated us well and kicked ass every time he hit the stage.  Playing Shea Stadium is still the biggest gig I’ve ever done!  Touring with him gave me the opportunity to see different parts of the U.S., meet new people and perform with a living legend.  Plus, all of the guys in the band were/are friends of mine so, performing in arenas almost felt like playing the world’s largest bar gig!

Buck Linguini is your current band; what can your audiences expect?

Sonically, we’re still developing, but I’d say we’re a combo of classic country and gritty rock-n-roll.  Lots of notes will be played, but so will lots of songs.  As much as I love guitar solos, no one walks out of any performance humming a guitar solo.  Ya gotta have songs…

You have a long history of performing with other bands.  Tell me about that progression.  In what way did those experiences culminate in Buck Linguni’s realization?

I've always been interested in arranging.  In that regard, being part of the Broadway show, “Movin’ Out”, really broadened my horizons.  It was like being pulled from a small, inland lake and dropped into the North Atlantic.  I listened and I learned.  We were a 10-piece band.  I quickly learned how to fine tune my playing to fit in.  The importance of playing less or not at all became readily apparent - silence can be quite poignant and powerful.  Plus, being a rhythm section guy, the drummer and bassist in that band were just kickass!  If your drummer and/or bassist stink, your band stinks.  It’s that simple.  Carrying all of that forward to my current band, Buck Linguini, I’ve got two of the best in Ramsey Norman (drums) and Steve Capecci (bass).  Even though it’s only a trio, those arranging ideas I learned from that 10-piece band still apply…just in a different way.  Having fewer tools to work with, so to speak, can be more fun!

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