Rockin' right to the end

05:00 AM, Dec 19, 2012

Bat McGrath lists Ireland. (Garry Geer)/

Written By JEFF SPEVAK | Staff music critic

You’ve seen the John Cusack movie, you’ve heard the prediction: A virtually unreadable Mayan calendar is said to predict that the world ends Friday. That doesn’t leave us with a lot of time. But a few local musicians have thoughtfully provided their bucket lists, which you may find helpful. (With occasional shopping hints in case the Mayans are wrong.)

Singer-singwriter Miché Fambro: “Gangsta rap, Honey Boo Boo, Kenny G, the McRib sandwich, the Twilight movies, a black President, anticipating tattooed elderly women? Some people think the world ended years ago. My top priority is to help rebuild it, and get one more like on my Facebook page.” Fambro’s new band is Forward Trio.

Julia Nunes, charming guitar-and-banjo crooner from Fairport: “For the record, I believe zero amount in the Apocalypse, but the No. 1 thing on my bucket list is to have a song on the soundtrack of some huge blockbuster coming-of-age film. That’s why all my songs are so angsty.” Nunes’ CDs are available on

Ben Mac An Tuile, genuine Irish musician, now living happily on the shore of Lake Ontario: “I have always wanted front-row seats for all my friends on the day before the End of the World when all the leaders of all the religions of the world must fight to the last man standing to prove that their God will protect them from all other gods and the next day we get to find out for sure who was right. The ultimate game show. And I want ice cream with that.”

Tommy Brunett, roots-rocker: “Parachuting with Tom Waits from two vintage fighter planes while singing ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’ through a coupla bullhorns.” The Tommy Brunett Band’s album Hell or High Water is available in local indie music stores.

Charles Jaffe, pianist, piano tuner, guru of the local music scene, and maker of fine marquetry, the art of using wood to create pictures and designs: “I would like to have my own little piece of land to call my own. Raise animals and crops, that would make me very happy.” See Jaffe’s artwork at

Phil Campbell, electric guitarist with Rochester’s sacred-steel stars The Campbell Brothers: “1. Take my parents and children who haven’t been on a trip to Europe; 2. Make sure that my family knows they are loved; 3. Travel to Australia.” Chuck Campbell, The Campbell’s pedal-steel player: “Trying to live a righteous life, doing the bucket list item as often as possible. If 12-21-12 is not the right date, some day will be.” After a long recording drought, The Campbells will have a new CD out next year, Beyond the Four Walls. A Feb.19 release by The Slide Brothers, a collaboration of sacred-steel performers will include Chuck and Darick Campbell.

Peggi Fournier of the avant-jazz band Margaret Explosion: “Sing backup for Leonard Cohen.” Paul Dodd of Margaret Explosion: “To have an empty bucket list.” Approximately 138 Margaret Explosion songs, and that number’s growing, can be downloaded for free at

Lisa Bigwood, a singer-songwriter when not trampling through the woods around Naples: “There are some friends I have who live far away and I would like to see them in person, all together even, for a big potluck and sing-around.”

Greg Prevost, lead singer of The Chesterfield Kings: “I remember when 2000 was on the brink and World War III was going to break out. My priority now would be to break 79 on the golf course. Considering it’s Rochester and winter, I may not get there. Oddly, and by sheer coincidence, the last cut on my new album is “John The Revelator,” which is about John, an apostle of Christ who wrote the last chapter in the New Testament, The Book of Revelation.” That’s the Apocalypse one. This month, Penniman Records is releasing Prevost’s Delta blues-rock solo album Mississippi Murderer on CD. And, it goes without saying for a guy billing himself as Greg “Stackhouse” Prevost, it’ll be in vinyl as well.

Maria Gillard recently released a jazzy, folksy new CD, Mending: “To be able to play a jazz piano improvisation and have it sound authentic.”

Gary Lewis of Gary Lewis & the Playboys, now living in Honeoye Falls: “My life has been so full and happy that there’s only one thing left that I’d like to do. I would like to do a show where the entire audience is beautiful naked women!”

Connie Deming, perhaps Rochester’s finest singer: “Lunch with Bruce Springsteen at his favorite spot in Ireland.” Attention holiday shoppers: Deming’s latest CD, Touchstones, is available at most of the local indie-record outfits.

Bill Ribas, guitarist with the suburban country rockers The Chinchillas: “Promising the wife some outrageous gift (her birthday is the 22nd), although I’d keep a Whitman sampler and a scratch-off lottery ticket in the car, just in case the Mayans forgot to carry a seven or something.” Chinchillas CDs are available in all of our fine indie record stores.

Folk singer Bat McGrath, icon of the Rochester ’70s scene, now living with wife Tricia Cast in the hills overlooking Nashville: “It would be Tricia and I rescuing Scarlett Johansson from the madness of L.A. and letting her live here in harmony with us. Second thought would be world peace!” Third thought, “I guess I’d like to sing at a pub in Ireland.” Perhaps with Deming and Springsteen. A final thought left unsaid, is McGrath has just released a new CD, No Reverb, available at the House of Guitars.

Roy Stein, veteran of the rock scene, currently with the pop band My Plastic Sun: “To let go of the bucket list.”