Every great band has a story about the time it turned the corner, when something magical happened that brought its members' dreams of creativity and stardom just a little closer. Perhaps a record label fat cat takes notice of the group performing at a local dive bar. Or a talent agent catches a musician busking in the park. Or a local news station starts a band down a path of progressively bigger gigs just by having the group perform on a morning show.
Or maybe it all starts on Craigslist.
"I was looking for nude models for my private drawing sessions," Bo Bulawsky explains.
"Goth twink is what you were looking for, Bo; don't be silly," Peter Garea interrupts.
"Anyway, he responded and wanted to be my nude model," Bulawsky continues. "Turns out, he also was a band manager."
While this story about how Bulawsky and his group Bo & the Locomotive got to know manager Garea isn't completely accurate, it demonstrates the solid bond that Bulawsky and Garea have forged since meeting nearly two years ago, during a holiday show at Off Broadway.
"I saw Bo's set and saw him perform in a way I had never seen before," begins Garea, telling the truth this time. "People were singing along, and Bo was just stunning. I knew something was happening here. We met two days later at a laundromat and discussed what his plans were and my goals for him."
Bulawsky, who had been manager-free since forming his band in 2011, wasn't sure how to take this sudden interest from a guy who doesn't even live in St. Louis. Garea had moved from the area some time ago, and is now a talent scout with Esther Group in New York City.
"For me, it was weird because I don't know any bands in town with a manager. Or if they do have one, it's a friend, and they want to get into the show for free," Bulawsky says. "You could just tell he was serious about it, and it wasn't some, 'Hey, let me be your joke manager who won't do anything' thing. He also bought me a smoothie."
"And then I turned around and expensed that shit on Bo," Garea snickers. "He doesn't know until now because of my shady accounting. Sorry, Bo."
Garea and Bulawsky's rapport may seem unconventional, but it's fully rooted in respect and drive -- something that has helped propel Bo & the Locomotive's upcoming album, It's All Down Here from Here, Bulawsky's first since 2011. With this release, Garea, whose agency also works with big names such as the Gaslight Anthem and the Violent Femmes, believes that Bulawsky's band has proven it's ready for a national stage.
Get information about the listening party and album release on page two.
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