Confounded Bridge will bring sounds of Led Zeppelin music to Madison

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Jeffrey Baker is the lead singer of Confounded Bridge. Photo submitted

As a classic rock fan it’s probably no surprise that I’m a Led Zeppelin fanatic – I guess it’s almost obligatory – so when I saw that Somerset Abbey had a new band called Confounded Bridge to play the music of this legendary band, I only had to dig a little deeper and interview a member. The member that was suggested, and some of you may remember him, happens to be the drummer that I interviewed not too long ago from the Allman Brothers tribute band called The Peeacheaters : Alec Antobenedetto. It’s always nice to reconnect with a former interviewee even if it hasn’t been that long since our last conversation and it’s a totally different act, so I started by asking…

Q: Alec, how many bands are you involved in anyway?
Antobenedetto: (Laughs) I’m playing in six bands right now. Of course, I have The Peeacheaters – An Allman Bros. BandExperience; Confounded Bridge – The Music of Led Zeppelin; then I play in a group called Pieces of Eight, which is an energetic dance group that does a lot of corporate events and private parties. Then we have the Chris Ross Band and with this band we play in and around the Kennebunk, Maine area – Kennebunk is our summer home. I have a country band with some old friends and some mates from other bands we got together this year called Heartland Radio; and then I play, in addition to producing, a band called The Daybreakers and they have some pretty amazing originals.

Guitarist, mandolinist Jay Tullio. Photo submitted

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

Q: What do you think of Confounded Bridge?
Antobenedetto: Well, it might sound strange, but it’s the least fun I’ve had of all the bands I’ve played with, but it’s the most rewarding.

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

Q: How so?
Antobenedetto: It’s the question of timing. If you play a Led Zeppelin a little too fast, it doesn’t sound good. So “the least fun” is that you have to be extremely demanding to play 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?

Lead guitarist Rick “The Senator” Goode. Photo by Tim Rice

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

Q: Oh, and who are they?
Antobenedetto: We have to start with our singer, Jeffrey Baker — he’s my favorite singer in the whole world and I’ve known him for over 25 to 30 years; Rick Goode—“The Senator”—he’s one of two guitarists we have and he’s a walking musical encyclopedia. The next guy is Jody Briggs and we brought him to keyboards; and the other guitarist 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 would put in the work to do that, he plays the songs note for note.

Q: And, of course, you’re on drums, aren’t you?
Antobenedetto: Yeah, (laughs) I’m the drummer. Oh, Lucky, I have a good story for the newspaper.

Q: Go ahead!
Antobenedetto: I prepared the whole band in three days, now it was around January 10-12 years ago, and I called a friend of mine who owns a concert hall, and booked the concert before that we had our first rehearsal, and I didn’t tell them that until that night (laughs).

Alec Antobenedetto is the drummer for Confounded Bridge. Photo submitted

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

Q: Is there anything, Alec, that you would like me to pass on to people reading this article?
Antobenedetto: Well, first of all, I want to put in a word for Tom and Stacy {O’Brien}… I just think their world and being able to play in their room is just a huge honor. And for the audience that comes to see and read this, they’re going to get 110% of everything we have to give them; and we will celebrate the music of Led Zeppelin together. We’re gonna have fun and we’re gonna play them their favorite Zeppelin songs, and we can’t wait to make new friends up there because we’re all in this together.

Lucky Clark, winner of the 2018 “Keeping the Blues Alive” award, 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. Photo submitted

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