Professor Louie & The Crowmatix

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Professor Louie & the Crowmatix is a Woodstock, New York based Americana/roots musical group led by Aaron Louis Hurwitz, who collaborated with The Band for over fifteen years. He is a musician and producer, nicknamed "Professor Louie" by Rick Danko.

Professor Louie & the Crowmatix' music is American Roots Music - a blend of blues, rock, R&B, gospel, and folk with harmonic vocals.

The current members all hail from New York state. They have lived, traveled, and performed extensively around the globe.[1]

Current members[edit]

The members of Professor Louie & the Crowmatix are:[2]

  • Aaron "Professor Louie" Hurwitz – Hammond organ, keyboards, vocals, accordion
  • Miss Marie Spinosa – vocals, percussion, piano
  • Gary Burke – drums
  • Frank Campbell – bass, vocals
  • John Platania – guitar, vocals

History[edit]

Professor Louie & The Crowmatix repertoire is steeped in rock 'n' roll, blues, Gospel and American Roots music. They have 12 studio CD's on The Woodstock Records label. Their latest 2017 recording Crowin' The Blues" has been on The National Contemporary Blues Music Reports Charts in the top 20 for the first quarter. Their CD "Music From Hurley Mountain" was voted best concept record & group by Radio Crystal Blue in 2016. PL&C have been inducted into Blues Hall Of Fame, New York Chapter and hold a permanent place in the Canada South Blues Museum.

The group came into existence preparing songs for Hurwitz’s studio productions for Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame group The Band. In 2000, Professor Louie & The Crowmatix started touring and recording their own music. They have 12 studio CDs and two live recordings on the Woodstock Records label. Professor Louie & The Crowmatix have been the backing band for many recording artists such as Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Commander Cody Band and Michael Falzarano. IN 2010, Professor Louie was inducted into The Southern Canadian Blues Hall Of Fame in Windsor, Ontario. Their composition "Melody Of Peace" was the Theme song for the 2010 CBS television Holiday Special "The Melodies Of Christmas"

In 2005, Professor Louie & the Crowmatix were the first artists to have a live concert recording released by the New York State Museum. The CD is entitled “The Spirit of Woodstock”. It comprises fourteen songs including the music of Bob Dylan, The Band, Bruce Springsteen, The Crowmatix and more. The performance was in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibit - photos by Elliott Landy and a concert series “Spirit of the Woodstock Generation.” In 2004, their CD Century Of The Blues received much acclaim and averaged #20 for six months on the Americana Radio Roots charts. Their music has consistently stayed on these charts for the past eight years. Original songs, "Jackie & Bullfrog" from their CD “Flyin’ High” have been the backing tracks for many episodes of Made and Trailer Fabulous on MTV. In spring 2008, the band released “As The Crow Flies”, a compilation CD with new originals as well as songs from their previous recordings most requested by fans and radio promoters. In 2010, their CD "Whispering Pines" was nominated for Five Grammys'. PL&C "Wings On Fire" CD has had rave reviews and in 2013 "Wings On Fire" was released on Vinyl.

Performances[edit]

Professor Louie & The Crowmatix continue to perform in concert at Merkin Hall, NYC, - The State Theater, PA, - The Sellersville Theatre, PA, The Fairfield Theatre, CT, - The Bearsville Theatre, Woodstock, NY, - Westminster Theater, MD, The Proctors Theater in Albany, NY, and The Egg Albany, NY, - BB Kings, NYC, - House of Blues, CA, - Bottom Line, NYC, - Town Crier, NY, - The Sportsmen's Tavern, Buffalo NY, - The Turning Point - Piermont, NY and Fitzgeralds, IL.

Festival Performances: Gathering On The Mountain, PA, - Toledo Blues Festival, OH, - The Clermont Arts Festival, NY, - The Detroit International Street Fair, MI, - The London, Thunder Bay & Windsor Blues Festivals, ON, Canada, - Beneath The Arch Concert Series, AB, Canada.

Media-Radio-Television[edit]

Professor Louie & The Crowmatix have been featured artists on various syndicated radio shows: Acousitc Café, Ann Arbor, Michigan, The Mitch Albom Radio show, Detroit, Michigan, Woodsongs Radio Hour, Lexington, KY, Dancin’ On The Air: WAMC Public Radio, Albany, NY, and The Dunhams, Atlanta, GA.

Radio Stations: Professor Louie & The Crowmatix are in rotation and frequently perform live: WKZE Red Hook, NY, WNTI Hackettstown, New Jersey, WRPI Troy, NY, WMDU Duluth, MN, WPDH Pougkeepsie, NY, WDST Woodstock, NY, and WUSB Stonybrook, NY.

In 2006, Professor Louie & The Crowmatix performed on the CBS television special, Melodies Of Christmas and performed their international award-winning song “Melody Of Peace” with the Empire State Orchestra and Choir. This show combined with other events raised $5,000,000 for The Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Hospital. “Melody Of Peace” won the international composition and arranging award given out by the 21st Century composers label ERM/Naxos. Professor Louie & Miss Marie had the opportunity to record and perform “Melody Of Peace” with The Czech Radio Symphony & Kuhn Choir in Prague, Czech Republic under the direction of Conductor Robert Ian Winstin. This recording was released in 2007 on the ERM/Naxos Recording label. “Melody Of Peace” was recorded and performed on television in Novosibirsk, Russia with the School for Gifted Musicians Orchestra.

The great musicianship of all the members of The Crowmatix has enabled them to cross over into different musical genres and perform their songs in concert with orchestra and choirs. In 2007, they performed a Holiday and Summer program with The Virginia Youth Symphony.

Members biographies[edit]

Aaron Professor Louie Hurwitz (born Peekskill, New York)[edit]

Professor Louie - Hammond organ/keyboards/accordion/vocals & songwriter. Early in his career, he was organist/pianist for Mercury recording artists The Mighty Gospel Giants Of Brooklyn, touring & performing at gospel shows across the country. Louie continued to study and perfect his musical abilities performing in New York City and he became a sought after Record Producer/Engineer. Eventually, he moved up to Woodstock, NY and through his friend, guitarist Artie Traum he began work with the legendary group The Band. Louie would co-produce, engineer and perform on The Band’s last three albums in the 1990s: Jericho, High on the Hog and Jubilation. He worked on many musical ventures with The Band (TV & Radio shows) and did solo projects with Levon Helm, Rick Danko & Garth Hudson.

He was tagged “Professor Louie” by The Band’s vocalist/bass player Rick Danko while traveling and performing as a duo here and abroad.

Production Credits include CD’s with Irelands’ Four Men & A Dog, Rick Danko’s “Live On Breeze Hill” & “Times Like These” CD’s and the solo CD “The Sea To the North” by Garth Hudson of The Band. Hurwitz has recorded and performed with many accomplished musicians such as Graham Parker, Commander Cody Band, Guy Davis, Buckwheat Zydeco, Mercury Rev to name a few.

Professor Louie has an instructional DVD on Homespun Tapes “Rock & Blues Accordion”. He has toured Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia where he has taught English through singing to students and brought his Americana music (Rock/ R&B/ Folk/ Gospel) and performed with many musical groups there. A documentary of his experiences in Russia, filmed on location, is now a documentary “Woodstock-Siberia Blues Express” and has been featured in the 2007 Woodstock Film Festival and The International Maine Film Festival.

Marie Spinosa (born Brooklyn, NY)[edit]

Miss Marie - vocalist/pianist/percussionist & songwriter. She began her musical career studying classical piano and went on to sing and perform in the Rock/Blues/R&B genre. Marie played in the tri-state area with various groups and would eventually meet Professor Louie in NYC. They began performing together in concert at premier clubs and touring the college circuit for many years before moving to Woodstock, NY. As part of the group Professor Louie & The Crowmatix, Miss Marie sings, plays percussion and piano and has co-written many of the songs on the Crowmatix CDs. She has worked consistently in Recording studios and her vocals and percussion can be heard on these CD’s: “Jubilation” by The Band, “Deserter’s Song” by Mercury Rev and she contributes vocals & percussion on Four Men & A Dog CDs. Miss Marie’s bluesy background vocals are featured on Rick Danko’s “Sip The Wine” and also on Danko’s “Times Like These” CD. Marie’s percussion can be heard on Garth Hudson’s solo CD “The Sea To The North”. Miss Marie has a solo CD with the Crowmatix entitled “Collection”.

Gary Burke (born Troy, NY) – Drummer/Arranger[edit]

Received a master's degree in music and performed with many groups before becoming the drummer and percussionist for The Radio City Music Hall Orchestra for four years during the 80’s. Gary has held an esteemed career playing drums for many notable musicians. He performed with Bob Dylan’ s Rolling Thunder Revue, worked with Graham Parker and many other groups but is best known to the public for his long tenure on drums on over a dozen albums with Joe Jackson. Starting in 1983 with the release of the Top Ten Gold album “Body and Soul”, Gary continued on into the ‘90’s with Joe Jackson in a mind-boggling mix of musical landscapes of gold, platinum and Grammy winning albums combined with many world tours and media profiles such as in Modern Drummer Magazine. He has contributed his drumming talents to all the recordings of Professor Louie & the Crowmatix and most recently has worked on many musical arrangements of Crowmatix songs for Orchestra performances.

Frank Campbell (born New York City)[edit]

Frank - bass player/vocalist. He studied music and learned how to play and record early in his career since his dad owned and operated a recording studio in New York City. Frank would move on and travel and perform with many different groups in his long career. He played bass with the Rick Danko and Levon Helm duo tour of the '70s & early '80s. Frank then joined up with Steve Forbert and later would relocate to Austin,Texas where he recorded and worked with Asleep At The Wheel for ten years. Around 2000, Frank moved back to upstate New York and teamed up with Professor Louie & The Crowmatix. He is the featured bass player and background singer on many Crowmatix recordings and continues to record and perform with the group.

John Platania (born Ulster County, NY)[edit]

John (Guitar-Vocals) Session musician, guitarist and record producer known for his great performances with Van Morrison for over thirty years beginning on "Moondance" and most recently on 2016's "Keep Me Singing". John collaborated with Van creating some top hits such as the hit song Domino. Performed with many artists and played on numerous CD's with Chip Taylor, Randy Neuman, Bonnie Raiit, Natalie Merchant, Don Mc Lean, Judy Collins and more... John has two solo CD's "Lucky Dog" and "Blues, Waltzes and Badland Borders." John joined Professor Louie & The Crowmatix and is featured on the 2016 CD Music From Hurley Mountain CD and their latest CD 2017 Crowin' The Blues.

Josh Colow (born Brooklyn, NY)[edit]

Josh – guitar/vocalist. He has played guitar from an early age and evolved into an in demand Rhythm & Blues guitarist. Josh performed as a soloist across the United States and Europe. He also toured and recorded with many groups including Livingston Taylor, Artie Traum and the great singer/songwriter Jesse Winchester. Josh was signed to EMI Europe and had a #1 hit in Italy with the group Ti.Pi.Cal. in the '90s. He eventually moved up to the Woodstock, NY area and continued to perform and record with musicians there. Josh has performed with Professor Louie & The Crowmatix and recorded on many of their CD's.

Discography[edit]

  • Over the Edge – BreezeHill/Woodstock Records – 2000
  • Jam – BreezeHill/Woodstock Records – 2001
  • Flyin' High – Woodstock Records – 2003
  • Live – Woodstock Records – 2004
  • Century of the Blues – Woodstock Records – 2005
  • The Spirit of Woodstock – Woodstock Records – 2006
  • Holiday Time – Woodstock Records – 2007
  • As the Crow Flies – Woodstock Records – 2008
  • View of the Moon (movie score) – ERM/ Naxos Records – 2009
  • Whispering Pines – Woodstock Records – 2010
  • Like a Rolling Stone (single) – Woodstock Records – 2011
  • Wings On Fire – Woodstock Records – 2012
  • Wings on Fire (vinyl LP) – Woodstock Records – 2013
  • "Music From Hurley Mountain - Woodstock Records - 2016
  • "Crowin' The Blues - Woodstock Records - 2017

Quotes[edit]

  • "Crowin' The Blues" CD - Killer stuff from a killer crew that certainly knows a thing or two about Americana and where it came from. - MIDWEST RECORD February 24, 2017
  • "Crowin' The Blues" CD - “This is carefully crafted music, thoughtful blues with meticulous arrangements, “ - Norman John Darwen on March 22, 2017 - Flying Shoes Review (http://flyinshoes.ning.com/) Europe
  • "Crowin' The Blues" CD - Experienced musicians, simmered in tradition - Pioneers of Americana, Blues, Soul & good OL' Rock & Roll" - Rick Schneider - Music Director 98.1 WKZE
  • "Music From Hurley Mountain" CD - An excellent set of American music - blues, gospel, and roots - that will please any music fan who gives it a spin. The song " Light In Your Eyes" should be heard in every household and would be a bona fide hit if there was any fairness in the world at all." Graham Clarke... Blues Bytes

“All the best parts of great music are on display in “Wings On Fire” CD from Professor Louie and the Crowmatix. The Woodstock Records release is sure to please the mind and invigorate the soul. An easy add to a new college student’s iPod this summer. Cash Box - Christopher Llewellyn Adams

“Professor Louie & The Crowmatix CD “Wings On Fire” was THE music highlight of 2012 for me - Congratulations! All the best of luck and joy now and in the days ahead!” - Ken Ken Dashow afternoon drive Q104.3NY's Only Classic Rock Station

“The Spirit of Woodstock" CD - This concert was recorded for archival purposes and we

  were thrilled when the New York State Museum thought that the performance was so 
  special they  wanted to release the recording as a CD”.          -  Professor “Louie”
  • "As The Crow Flies" – "No dull moments on this impressive collection. There aren’t many bands with the real roots music credentials of The Crowmatix." - Elmore Magazine
  • “Century Of The Blues" – "This five-piece ensemble manages to put out a huge, rich sound more characteristic of a stage full of instruments. From first track to last, the group powers through with sure-handed dynamic energy." - Dirty Linen
  • “Century Of The Blues" – "This is a group of incredibly talented musicians. The deep, in-the-pocket drums and the richly-textured organ are exceptional. Best described as a party of musical mixology." - Blues Bite Review
  • “Holiday Time – bursts with dark, soulful exuberance. Professor Louie & The Crowmatix have concocted a bluesy brew that rocks big time. Outrageous!" - Carol Swanson, Christmasreviews.com
  • “Jam" – "This CD delivers a lively mix of blues, boogie & rock’ n’ roll -stellar players- full of energy and sheer exuberance. - Relix
  • “Over The Edge…this disc is all about soulful rock. A roots rock extravaganza." - The Advocate
  • “Over The Edge features a batch of impressive original roots-rockers as well as rumblin’ rendition of The Band’s “Endless Highway.” - Jam!
  • “Flyin’ High sounds as comfortable as a front porch sofa. Prof. 'Louie’s' upstate ensemble is an old school Americana template that jams out timeless rock, country, blues and New Orleans influenced originals.” - Village Voice
  • “Professor “Louie” & The Crowmatix spread good vibes on Flyin’ High CD. From country rock to ballads to New Orleans shuffles with three singers spreading the wealth." - Night Ridder
  • “…a tasty mix of rhythm and blues, and rock & roll. This is a great band.” - Record Review

Sources[edit]

  1. http://www.woodstockrecords.com
  2. http://www.vyso.us/
  3. http://www.tcmnradio.com/far/farchives.htm
  4. http://www.christmasreviews.com/wprofessorlouie4.shtml
  5. http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/artist/Professor%20Louie%20&%20The%20Crowmatix/a/Professor%20Louie%20&%20The%20Crowmatix.htm

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://thecrowmatix.com/
  2. ^ http://theband.hiof.no/albums/jericho.html