Joe Atman (piano, vocalist); 50 other musical contributors of various talents.
CITY OF ORIGIN:
Gospel choir, Pink Floyd and Elton John.
It Took the Village (2012).
It’s hard to describe this week’s featured “band” as a band at all seeing that it’s more of one big, unrelated family rather than your average five-man group. On the surface it’s all about pianist and vocalist Joe Atman but underneath that name is 50 other “Claremontians” who contributed their talent to a single album. Atman has been attending the Claremont Graduate University and will soon be completing that education with the qualifying exams for his PhD in philosophy of religion and theology. With this musical project on the side however, Atman has earned a new congratulations for the success of bringing people together as The Press Restaurant’s weekly performer.
How did this “band” come to be?
Joe Atman: “[I had] a wealth of musicians from within the town of Claremont itself—all sorts of folks who’d come down every week to support me. So I decided that it would be kind of interesting to get all these talented people together and just sort of see what happened. Jon [Crawford] and I sat down and looked over the catalogue of songs that I had and decided which player would be good on each particular song and we tried to include everyone we knew who had any association with music. After it was all said and done, over 50 people had contributed.”
What do you normally expect when playing at The Press?
Atman: “The Press is home—it’s Cheers in Southern California. Like everything else around here—even the city of Claremont itself—it’s kind of our little secret.”
Is there anything else you would like to mention that we didn’t already cover?
Atman: “The City of Claremont is a special town with a lot of unique and genuinely good people in it. It is a place that has made my musical life and has also made my life musical. I’d like to thank all my friends at The Press who stood by me even when, in the beginning, I simply wasn’t that good. That won’t soon be forgotten. Over 50 different artists in some way associated with the town of Claremont came together and collaborated in the making of this album. What I am most thankful for is not the talents of all the contributors but their time, effort and support. The album has my name on it but truth be told, it really took the village.”(Ashley Bennett)
Joe Atman (and other various artists performing which varies per week) at The Press Restaurant, 129 Harvard Ave., Claremont, (909) 625-4808; www.thepressrestaurant.com. Every Wed. 9:30pm. Free.