The Backtalk Band was:



Jim Lawrence has been playing for over 30 years in the Ithaca and upstate
New York music scene, playing styles from jazz, folk, Motown, fusion, and
pop to new wave, bluegrass and rock n' roll.  Jim also played many jazz gigs
with guitarist Bob Keefe, and for Tom Knight's Blue Moon swing band.
In 1984 his band "The Choice" won the BBC Great American Rock n' Roll
Talent Search.  From 1985 to 1991 Jim was the lead singer in "The Kinetics",
 and recorded at Electric Wilburland Studios. Jim has been in opening acts for
Graham Parker, The Del Fuegos and The Gang of Four. Jim recently reunited with
his old duo partner, Roger Bacorn, and currently plays with him in Hot Biscuits.
Jim's band history can be found here.



Bob Keefe, performer, teacher, and composer, holds a Ph.D. in composition
and has over fifty works to his credit, including three works for orchestra,
two rock musicals and a string quartet.  Bob has been in residency at the
MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Millay Colony for the Arts.
A former student of jazz teacher Jack Petersen, Bob has been
active in performing in jazz and rock bands for over four decades.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Central California, Bob spent his
formative guitar years playing professionally in Fresno.  He has performed
with Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Glenn Stuart, Lou Marini, Eugene Friesen,
Jack Petersen, Johnny Smith, Steve Morse, Mike Harvey, and Chris Buzzelli.
He also currently plays with his authentic surf band, The Surf Renegades.
John White specializes in diversity and is equally at home in the worlds
of jazz, classical, and popular music.  He has performed with a number of artists
such as Paul Hanson, Mike Tomaro, Joe Negri, Wycliffe Gordon, and Roger
Humphries.  One highlight of his experience includes ongoing duo and small
group collaborations with jazz vocalist and free improviser Rhiannon.
In the past few years he has been increasingly active as a clinician at workshops
devoted to jazz theory and improvisation.  John is currently Associate Professor
of Music Theory, History, and Composition at Ithaca College, as well as the Ithaca
College Vocal Jazz Ensemble.  He also currently plays with his funk/jazz/R&B band,
Neo Project.

Al Hartland has a career that spans 40+ years,  and has played drums with big names and small and just about everybody in the Ithaca region. 
His ability to play any style and his "simpatico" with singers and dancers have made him a highly sought-after musical asset.
Al started playing at age 16 and is entirely self-taught.  His father was a professional musician so jazz standards, classical and ethnic music
were early influences.  As a teenager, rock and soul from American Bandstand became his inspiration and Al began to play along with
records by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett,  James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ahmed Jamal, Stan Kenton and others.
As Bobby Comstock's drummer Al backed up acts at Madison Square Garden in the Richard Nader Rock Revival Shows. 
He played for all of the groups that were his early inspiration:   Chuck Berry,  Bo Diddley,  the Coasters,  the Drifters, the Belmonts, 
the Angels,  the Spaniels,  the Orioles,  Gary U.S. Bonds, the Shirelles, Freddie Cannon, Bobby Lewis,  and on and on.
The list of the regional and national artists Al has played for and/or recorded with is very long.  It includes Tony Trishka,  Russ Barenburg, 
John Slate,  Molly MacMillan,  London McDaniel,  Hot Sweets,  Rising Sign,  Walt Amey and the Hepcats, Christopher Woitach,  Desperado, 
Suzanne Knight,  Diana Leigh,  the Burns Sisters Band,  Larry Coryell,  John Scofield,  Chad McLoughlin,  Bernie Milton,  David Borden, 
Sally Ramirez,  Joe Salzano,  Peggy Haine,  Steve Southworth,  The Destination,  Dave Arnay,  David Torn,  Dino Losito,  Billy Eli, 
Heather Moran,  Dawn Gray,  Ellen Macillwain,  Miche Fambro,  Djug Django and many many many more.
And as if that wasn't enough,  Al is a chef and makes the best pizza in the world!

Mark Joyce played with Jim in the new wave band "The Choice", as well as the jazz band "Solaris", "Hot Biscuits",  and "Basic Jack".  Mark has a wonderful lead voice.  He currently plays with Bob Keefe in the authentic surf band, The Surf Renegades.
Greg McQuade was lead singer and keyboard player for many years.  His charisma and energy always got the dancers out there.  He's a great performer.

Kate Ferguson - sang lead vocals with Backtalk, gorgeous powerful voice.
David Kuykendall - lead guitar.

Larry Campanella - keyboards.

Neal Massa, keyboards, vocals.  Plays with The Jeff Love Band and many others.

Doug Robinson, bass & vocals.  Plays with Djug Django and many others.

Annie Burns, lead vocals.  Plays with The Burns Sisters Band.
Fred Johnson played drums and was a founding member of Backtalk, and sang lead vocals.  He started the band in 1990 with Pat Driscoll, Billy Kelley & Jeff Sacco to start playing regular gigs at the ski resort Greek Peak.   This was prompted after the band leader Peter Lovi was killed in a plane crash in December 1989, and Fred decided to start The Backtalk Band. 
He was also one of the founding members of the vocal jazz group "The New York Voices". 
Fred is now signed with Mandala Records and plays with the band "Tribu" featuring keyboardist Steve McQuarry.

   
Pat Driscoll - leader guitar and lead vocals.  One of the founding members.  Pat currently plays with The Destination Band. He also played with The Bernie Milton Band, Crossroads, and numerous other groups in the Ithaca area.

Billy Kelley - keyboards and lead vocals.  One of the founding members.   He also played with The Bob Fitzgerald Band from1981-1982.
Here's Billy in 1982 with Little Larry & The Limitations.

Jeff Sacco - bass guitar, vocals.  One of the founding members.  Plays with The Immortal Jellyfish & many others.