Jeffrey Baker is the lead singer for Confounded Bridge. Submitted photo

As a fan of classic rock, it’s probably no surprise that I’m a Led Zeppelin fanatic — I guess it’s almost mandatory — so when I saw that the Somerset Abbey had a new-to-me group coming in called Confounded Bridge to play the music of that legendary band, I just had to delve a little deeper and interview a member. The member that was suggested, and some of you might remember him, just happened to be the drummer I interviewed, not that long ago, from the Allman Brothers tribute band called The Peacheaters: Alec Antobenedetto. It is always nice to reconnect with a former interviewee even though it hasn’t been that long since last we spoke and it’s a totally different act, so I began by asking …

Q: Alec, just how many bands are you involved with anyway?
Antobenedetto: (Chuckle) I play in six bands right now. Obviously I have The Peacheaters — An Allman Bros. Band Experience; Confounded Bridge — The Music of Led Zeppelin; then I play in a band called Pieces of Eight, which is a high-energy dance band that does a lot of corporate events and private parties. Then we have the Chris Ross Band and with that band we play all in and around the Kennebunk, Maine area — Kennebunk is our summer home. I have a country band with some old friends and some band mates from other bands that we’ve put together this year called Heartland Radio; and then I play, as well as produce, a band called The Daybreakers and they have some pretty amazing originals.

Guitarist, mandolinist Jay Tullio. Submitted photo

Q: Good grief, you’re definitely busy! But seeing you’ll be bringing Confounded Bridge to the Somerset Abbey, can we focus on that group for now? And where does the name come from — I don’t recall a reference to it in any Led Zep song.
Antobenedetto: There are so many Led Zeppelin tribute bands, you have everything from high-stage-produced bands to bar bands that are Zeppelin tribute bands and with our band, we wanted to play the music of Led Zeppelin because we loved it, for no other reason.

Q: What’s your take on Confounded Bridge?
Antobenedetto: Well, this might sound strange but it’s the least fun that I have of all the bands I play with, but it’s the most rewarding.

Q: Oh, man, you’ve got to explain that to me! (Chuckle)
Antobenedetto: Now that doesn’t mean I don’t have fun or I don’t love the guys in the band because they’re all my brothers — we’re family. But when I say ‘the least fun but most rewarding,’ it’s because when you play the music of Zeppelin you better have it together because if you don’t you’re going to hear about it, so many people know every little nuance of this music.

Q: How so?
Antobenedetto: It’s the timing thing. If you play a Led Zeppelin some a little bit too fast, it doesn’t sound good. So ‘the least fun’ is you have to be extremely exacting playing this music. The ‘most rewarding’ part is when that final note is played you feel like you’ve accomplished something — it’s the greatest feeling in the world. Alright, now I want to tell you about some of the guys in the band, can I do that?

Advertisement

Lead guitarist Rick “The Senator” Goode. Tim Rice photo

Q: Oh please, by all means! Now, who are the other three members of the band?
Antobenedetto: Well, there are six guys in the group.

Q: Oh, and who are they.
Antobenedetto: We’ve got to start off with our singer, Jeffrey Baker — he’s my favorite singer in the whole world and I’ve known him for well over 25 to 30 years; Rick Goode— “The Senator” — he’s one of the two guitar players we have and he’s a walking music encyclopedia. The next guy is Jody Briggs and we brought him in on keyboards; and the other guitar player is Jay Tullio and he also plays mandolin. On bass we have Victor Comolli and I wanted him in the band because he plays the exact parts and I knew he’d put the work in to do it, he plays the songs note for note.

Q: And, of course, you’re on drums, right?
Antobenedetto: Yeah, (chuckle) I’m the drummer. Oh, Lucky, I’ve got a good story for the paper.

Q: Go for it!
Antobenedetto: I got the whole band ready in three days, now that was right around January between 10 and 12 years ago, and I called a friend of mine who owns a music venue, and I booked the gig before we had had our first rehearsal, and I didn’t tell them that until that night (laughter).

Alec Antobenedetto is the drummer for Confounded Bridge. Submitted photo

Q: You just knew that the band was the real deal, right?
Antobenedetto: Yup, and when they heard that night what I had done, they were like, “You did what?! Oh, my God!” (Laughter) And when we play nowadays, people show up at the shows with Led Zeppelin T-shirts on and let us know that we put on a great show … it’s a good feeling!

Q: Is there anything, Alec, that you’d like me to pass on to the folks reading this article?
Antobenedetto: Well, first of all I want to put a word in for Tom and Stacy {O’Brien} … I just think the world of them and to be able to play their venue is just a tremendous honor. And for the audience that’s coming to see up and is reading this, they are going to get 110% of everything we’ve got to give them; and we’re going to celebrate the music of Led Zeppelin together. We’re going to have fun and we’re going to play their favorite Zeppelin songs for them, and we’re looking forward to making some new friends up there because we’re all in this together.

Lucky Clark, a 2018 “Keeping the Blues Alive” Award winner, has spent more than 50 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Bassist Victor Comolli. Submitted photo

filed under: