Marshall Charloff - Purple Piano


Marshall Charloff had us partying like it was 1999 Friday, January 20, at Reynolds Performance Hall…

Marshall Charloff & Purple Xperience

Marshall Charloff channels the energy of Prince for tribute show

WENATCHEE — To perform Prince cover songs, Marshall Charloff must have a vocal range of four and a half octaves with a falsetto soprano to hit the “ooo”s in the song “Purple Rain.”

Charloff and the Purple Xperience perform a 7 p.m. show Friday at Numerica Performing Arts Center, 123 N. Wenatchee Ave. Tickets cost from $29 to $49 and can be purchased online at or at the PAC box office.

In a telephone interview from Austin, Texas, Charloff said that he is not in his head about impersonating Prince while on stage, and that this allows for a very comfortable delivery of musicianship at the highest level, reflected in his style, movements and gestures. “I channel his energy and that’s it,” he said.

Since he has been touring as Marshall Charloff and the Purple Xperience for almost 12 years, he said “performing Prince’s catalog for this long has taken me to different areas I wouldn’t have explored if I wasn’t a tribute artist in my own writing and composition. In that respect I’m sure it’s stretched me as a musician.”

Prince played 27 different instruments on his debut album, “For You,” which he produced, arranged, composed and performed in 1978 at age 20. Charloff also hails from “The Purple City” of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is an accomplished musician in his own right as a producer and recording artist with the Commodores, Little Anthony and others, and an inductee in the Mid America Music Hall of Fame with the band Westside.

Charloff met Prince for the first time while recording together on a 94 East album with his mentor Pepe Willie, with Prince on lead vocals and Charloff on keyboard and bass guitar. Notably, Prince’s keyboardist Dr. Fink was a founding member of the Purple Xperience in 2011 with Charloff, and played with the band until going on tour with The Revolution in 2016.

Current members of Purple Xperience are Charloff as lead singer and instrumentalist, Tracey Blake on lead guitar, Ron Long on bass guitar, Ron Caron on drums and Cory Eischen on keys.

Prince died in 2016, so he was alive and touring when Purple Xperience began performing in 2011. “When Prince passed away it was much more purposeful,” said Charloff. “It shaped our approach.”

Charloff said since venues pay licensing fees, bands don’t need permission from the original artist to perform or record their works, so there’s no contention about performing covers; it’s a win-win situation.

“The hits are the hits,” said Charloff, meaning about 30 of the most popular hit songs from Prince’s catalog of a couple thousand songs. Prince released almost 40 unique albums. The band considers that most audiences are casual fans, but they sprinkle in some deep cuts for the hardcore fans.

Charloff said he’s felt “cosmically connected to Prince” for most of his life. “That’s why I think it doesn’t come across as forced or affected,” he said.


Purple Xperience Bringing Prince Tribute To NPAC

By LISA WARREN Sun Correspondent

Musical legend Prince was much more than a 1980s hit maker.

Yes, the singer/songwriter produced a slew of mega hits, such as “Little Red Corvette,” “Kiss,” Raspberry Beret,” “When Doves Cry,” “U Got the Look” and “Purple Rain,” just to name a few. But Prince was also a musical influencer, who blended together funk, rock and R&B — along with generous helpings of synthesized pop, soul and hip-hop — to form his own signature sound and inspire new generations of musicians.

Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Prince became one of the best-selling artists in music history with more than 150 million records sold, according to Billboard magazine.

His seventh album “Purple Rain,” released in 1984, propelled him to superstardom, but the artist released a total of 39 albums. What’s more, as a songwriter, Prince also wrote a string of hits for other artists, including “Manic Monday,” a major chart topper for The Bangles, as well as Sinead O’Connor’s signature hit “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Prince died in 2016 at the age of 57.

Like many teenage music fans back in the 80s, Marshall Charloff was swept up by the artistry of Prince.

What’s more, Charloff, who grew up in Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis, was also blessed to be a first-hand witness to the birth of the Prince phenomenon. Charloff not only had opportunities to watch Prince perform live, but he also became personally acquainted with the superstar when, at age 18, he began performing in a band with one of Prince’s cousins.

Today, Charloff is continuing to keep the music and legacy of Prince alive through a tribute band called the Purple Xperience.

The project, which labels itself as “the most authentic and awe-inspiring celebration of Prince in the world,” was founded in 2011 by Charloff, along with Dr. Fink (Matt Fink) who was an original member of Prince’s backing band The Revolution.

On Jan. 29, Charloff and the Purple Xperience will be in Greeneville for a performance at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. Show time is 7:30 p.m. A limited number of tickets still remain available.

In a recent phone interview, Charloff spoke about his respect for Prince’s musical artistry and how he is excited to be returning to the State of Tennessee to share his love of Prince with fellow fans of the late artist.

“Tennessee has music everywhere,” Charloff said of the Volunteer State. “I’ve been there many times,” he said noting that, among his stops, he has performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra as well as at the Tennessee Valley Fair in Knoxville.

Prior to his upcoming show in Greeneville, Charloff will present a solo performance on Jan. 22 at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center, located near Memphis.

At this show, Charloff will present his one-man Prince tribute performance, which he developed back in 2020, in response to the covid pandemic, when, he noted, many music venues found themselves “on life support.”

Venues were “at like 20 percent capacity and they couldn’t afford full production shows, or, in some cases, any production period,” Charloff said. “That’s where my show was attractive to them. I was one guy showing up with his piano.”

He based his one-man show off of Prince’s “A Piano and a Microphone Tour,” which was the artist’s last concert appearances before his sudden death in 2016.

The solo tribute show became so popular that Charloff soon landed a residency in Las Vegas for five months.

While the Prince fans in Greeneville will be receiving the full-band Purple Xperience, Charloff said there will also be a segment of the show dedicated to a solo performance with him and the piano.

The full-band Purple Xperience was formed prior to Prince’s death — and the tribute band even received blessings from the artist himself.

Charloff said the origins of Purple Xperience began in 2011 “when we were invited to do a show at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and perform some of Prince’s songs.”

The group wasn’t a Prince tribute band at that point, though, he noted.

“After that show, we said, ‘Hey, what about doing more of these types of shows? That was really fun!’”

Charloff said he told Matt Fink that he would love do it, but only if Prince agreed to it.

“I told Matt, ‘He’s your boss. Is he going to be cool with it? If he is, then I’ll do it. If he’s not, then I won’t.’”

Fink met personally with Prince to discuss the Purple Xperience idea and the project was given the green light by the artist.

“Prince believed that people needed the freedom to work and to earn,” Charloff said. “It was how he was brought up. His only comments were that he wanted the musicianship to be of the highest level. There is a legacy that needed to be protected, especially since Matt was part of the Revolution.

“There is high scrutiny and a higher bar when you have an original member of Prince’s band playing keys for you,” Charloff said.

“Prince also wanted it not to be about the costuming and all of the theatrics. He wanted it to be about the music — and be the highest levels of musicianship — and for us to take it seriously,” Charloff added.

Today, the Purple Xperience has been together for 11 years and has shared the stage with such bands as the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Cheap Trick, Cameo and The Time.

“We have a level of comfort and playing off one another that only happens when you’ve been playing together for a very long time,” Charloff said.

He describes the band as very “high energy.”

He said they give the casual Prince fans the hits that they want, but they also delve deeper into Prince’s musical repertoire and perform some of his lesser known songs from his early albums as well.

“We try and sneak those in a little bit. We know our hot spots in the country where the Prince fans want to go beyond the radio hits,” he said.

In addition to playing the guitar and piano, Charloff brings to the stage many of Prince’s signatures moves, which he says are all organic on his part.

“Nothing is premeditated,” Charloff said. “I guess through watching Prince live and through videos for so many years, there is an energy that I channel when I’m onstage. I don’t think about it and I think that keeps the show authentic and natural.”

Charloff went on to stress that everything about the band is real from the vocals to the musicianship.

“Often tribute bands use pre-recorded tracks, but we don’t use anything pre-recorded,” he said. “Everything is us, including the vocals.”

In the solo piano show, Charloff says it feels as if he is “walking a tightrope with no net. It’s just me and the piano. There is nowhere to hide. I do over 30 songs in that show. It’s very intimate, but there’s still high energy and fun and audience participation. We have a great time.”

So is there a Prince song that Charloff enjoys performing live more than others?

With a laugh, he said, “The only reason I’m going to say ‘Purple Rain’ is because it’s the obvious one. It’s an anthem that brings people together. You see and feel so many emotions from the audience when you perform it.

“It’s one of the most powerful moments of the night … and I don’t take that for granted. It’s not lost on my how powerful that song is.”

Original Article

Tickets for the Purple Xperience at Greeneville’s NPAC are available for $35 orchestra, $30 mezzanine and $25 balcony levels. For more information, call the box office at 423-638-1679 or go online to .

Grammy-Winning Blues-Rock Guitarist MICKI FREE Unleashes Incendiary New Album, “Turquoise Blue”

Set for February 4, 2022, Release on Dark Idol Music Label

Heralded by Carlos Santana and Billy Gibbons, among many others, Grammy-winning blues-rock guitarist Micki Free announces a February 4, 2022, release date for his new album, “Turquoise Blue“, on the Dark Idol Music label, distributed by Burnside Distribution / The Orchard / Sony. Free’s mastery of tone is showcased on the new disc’s 13 originals, plus a scintillating cover of Jimi Hendrix’s classic “All Along the Watchtower.” The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Ken Riley at Rio Grande Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Special guests on Turquoise Blue include Gary Clark Jr., Steve Stevens, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Cindy Blackman Santana. Free teases the album’s release with his debut single, “Bye 2020,” on November 12, featuring additional guitar pyrotechnics from long-time Billy Idol six-stringer Steve Stevens.

“I wrote Turquoise Blue over the period of time when Covid first broke out and we were advised to remain at home,” Free recalls. “Interacting with my peers was just not an option. The songs are a direct testament of how I felt during that crazy time. Take my song, ‘Bye 2020;’ it tells exactly how I felt that year, with the dying, the masks, the quarantine, the protests, the fake news, the misinformation…. I just wanted to say, ‘Bye 2020!’ I enlisted my good buddy Steve Stevens from Billy Idol to lay down the first guitar solo and I did the second solo.

“I get my mojo from the classic greats—the masters of blues-rock and even classic rock,” Micki Free declares, “but everything I play comes from my own heart, and with Turquoise Blue, I feel like I’m really getting to the core of what I do in a way I hope people will connect with, because making music is about a connection so strong that it transcends language.”

1. Bye 2020- Steve Stevens 1st guitar solo / Micki Free 2nd guitar solo
2. Low Ridin’420
3.World on Fire – Cindy Blackman-Santana drums; Andy Vargas lead vocal; Karl Perazzo percussions; Micki Free all guitars
4. Heavy Mercy
5.Judicator Blues – Christone “Kingfish” Ingram 1st guitar solo / Micki Free 2nd guitar solo
6.Spring Fever
7.Come Home Big Mama
8.Invitation Love
9. Woman – Gary Clark Jr. 1st guitar solo / Micki Free 2nd guitar solo
10. All Along the Watchtower – Micki Free – all guitars
11. My Big Regret – Steve Stevens nylon guitar solo
12.Heaven or Heroin
13.Ring of Fire
14. Blue Memories

Free’s resume reads like an almost-mythical backstory to a movie: a protégé and guitar-slinging peer of KISS’s Gene Simmons, Prince, Billy Gibbons, Carlos Santana, and Cheap Trick’s Rick Neilson; glorified in a popular Chappelle’s Show episode of “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” as part of Prince’s team in a now-legendary basketball game. A featured member of R&B hitmakers Shalamar, he scored a top 20 hit with “Dancin’ in the Streets” and won a Grammy in 1985 for the song, “Don’t Get Stopped in Beverly Hills,” from the Beverly Hills Cop film soundtrack.

Free was born in West Texas of mixed blood Cherokee/Comanche Native American and Irish descent. Soon after, his family relocated to Germany, where his father was stationed as a sergeant in the Army. It was there at age 12 that an older sister took him to see Jimi Hendrix. “Jimi just blew my mind,” Free recalls. “He came out dressed like a gypsy with scarves and a flowing, psychedelic shirt, and his guitar was the most incredible thing I’d ever heard. From that moment on, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.”

After his family moved to Illinois, Free formed his first rock band, Smokehouse. When Smokehouse opened a concert bill that included the group KISS, Gene Simmons, himself, walked up to Free as his band was coming offstage and declared him “a star.” By that time, Free, had already developed a flair for rock ‘n’ roll fashion and the dynamic stage presence that’s one of his trademarks. Free was 19 years old when Simmons became his first manager. Since then, he’s been in the whirlwind of the music business, having recorded, written songs, and played with Simmons, the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, Prince, Little Steven, Sam Moore, Cheap Trick, Billy Gibbons, Carlos Santana, and Jean Beauvior of The Plasmatics.

Free’s resume reads like an almost-mythical backstory to a movie: a protégé and guitar-slinging peer of KISS’s Gene Simmons, Prince, Billy Gibbons, Carlos Santana, and Cheap Trick’s Rick Neilson; glorified in a popular Chappelle’s Show episode of “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” as part of Prince’s team in a now-legendary basketball game. A featured member of R&B hitmakers Shalamar, he scored a top 20 hit with “Dancin’ in the Streets” and won a Grammy in 1985 for the song, “Don’t Get Stopped in Beverly Hills,” from the Beverly Hills Cop film soundtrack.

Free was born in West Texas of mixed blood Cherokee/Comanche Native American and Irish descent. Soon after, his family relocated to Germany, where his father was stationed as a sergeant in the Army. It was there at age 12 that an older sister took him to see Jimi Hendrix. “Jimi just blew my mind,” Free recalls. “He came out dressed like a gypsy with scarves and a flowing, psychedelic shirt, and his guitar was the most incredible thing I’d ever heard. From that moment on, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.”

After his family moved to Illinois, Free formed his first rock band, Smokehouse. When Smokehouse opened a concert bill that included the group KISS, Gene Simmons, himself, walked up to Free as his band was coming offstage and declared him “a star.” By that time, Free, had already developed a flair for rock ‘n’ roll fashion and the dynamic stage presence that’s one of his trademarks. Free was 19 years old when Simmons became his first manager. Since then, he’s been in the whirlwind of the music business, having recorded, written songs, and played with Simmons, the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, Prince, Little Steven, Sam Moore, Cheap Trick, Billy Gibbons, Carlos Santana, and Jean Beauvior of The Plasmatics.

Original article can be found here.

Marshall Charloff

Bleeding Purple: Marshall Charloff’s Journey

When Prince passed away, there were millions of fans and devotees left in its wake. Among those left behind were a wide variety of fans from casual listeners with their Purple Rain shirts from Old Navy to the hardcore purists who had Shade of Umber in heavy rotation on their playlists. And in the same way that funk and disco had left traces of influence on the music world still to this day, Prince had created an undeniable sound that was lightning in a bottle.

It was a sound that thousands of bands over the years tried to recreate and some of which became tribute bands whose sole purpose was to honor his accomplishments. Some were painful to watch while others, even ones that were wallowing in mediocrity, made a respectable living simply by parroting Prince.

And then there was Marshall Charloff.

Marshall Charloff brought something that other performers did not have which was deep down undeniable talent. A flow when playing guitar, piano, or vocals that can only come with decades of experience. It’s the playing of guitar solos with ease and precision, tickling the ivories with an effortless flow, and singing with his own style without trying to mimic the master, but still with honor.

There are also some distinguishing elements in Marshall Charloff‘s history that qualify him for a “purple pass,” if not for the fact that Charloff was actually a part of the legendary 94 East sessions that featured a young Prince on guitar and vocals while Charloff played both piano and bass guitar.

Add to that Marshall and his band The Purple Xperience actively bend over backward to make sure that their performances are not only accurate but that they are also ordained by Prince‘s estate to stay within their good graces. Charloff also performed as Prince alongside renowned symphony orchestras that were acclaimed by Prince fanatics, even though they were fraught with challenges in a post-Prince world.

We’ve discussed and reviewed The Purple Xperience before, so we’ll avoid repeating ourselves. However, when the pandemic all but destroyed live band performances in 2020 and had claimed a good portion of 2021, there was a wide variety of alternative performances from intimate online shows to pared-down crowds.

This was when Marshall Charloff decided to do the unthinkable and put together a “Purple Piano” show that only showcased Marshall and a piano. It would be a vulnerable and potentially embarrassing scenario for most Prince performers. This is especially the case for performers who habitually hide behind crowd sing-alongs or rely on the other band members to cover or distract from their shortcomings. This was putting it all out there. Just Charloff and a piano. All eerily similar to Prince‘s final two performances in Atlanta, GA. Bold and brave.

As someone who witnessed both of Prince’s final performances, this is not a task to be taken lightly. I had doubts when Prince himself took on the challenge. It’s putting everything out there for all to see. There’s nowhere to hide. You can’t bury the bad notes behind a loud guitar solo or sing off-key. It’s the equivalent of playing naked.

So imagine my surprise witnessing Marshall’s Purple Piano performance and being blown away to the point where I actually preferred it to the full band shows. Maybe it was the intimacy of the spectacle. Quite possibly it was the fact that it served as a full-blown realization that Marshall Charloff is one incredibly talented dude who is about the closest we’ll get to a Prince concert. Someone who fully comprehends his alter-ego and properly pays tribute to it, but that also, while he will never be Prince, has massive talent behind all of the instruments he plays. He isn’t just playing a part, he is the part.

The thing that I respect the most about Marshall Charloff‘s purple journey is his commitment to that craft. There is a distinct separation between The Purple Xperience, the Purple Piano shows, and his own music. While he respects what Prince has done and does his best to replicate the moments with unmitigated attention to detail, his own music is vastly different. His cards aren’t all on the table for everyone to see.

His newest Unperfect album is full of slow to mid-tempo jams filled with falsetto bedroom bangers and drizzled with sparkling touches like percussive crunchy guitars (Amanda) and trips that breathe the spirit of early George Benson (HipNautic), but that still pays homage to his own musical cultivation that was Minneapolis (Minneapolis Sound) and is the closest you’ll get to a Prince track on the album. The album is very much not Prince, which is expected, but surprisingly and refreshingly is not.

The journey of Marshall Charloff is one that is fraught with successes that were hard-won and losses undeserved. The world should raise their glass to this man that understands that his Prince-ly craft is designed to pay homage to the greatest to ever do it, but at the same time deserves to have his own musical stylings be noticed. A styling that does not try to layer itself on top of the tribute shows, but to stand on its own with its very own merits.

The original article can be found on the Funktopia website.

The Purple Piano Celebrates the Music and Artistry of Prince in New One-Man Vegas Show

Las Vegas, NV, March 26, 2021 –( )– Nearly five years after the pop music icon Prince’s untimely death, Marshall Charloff has created a unique one-man tribute dedicated to the artistry and music of the legendary Prince called The Purple Piano.

In January 2016, at age 57, Prince began what would ultimately become his last tour entitled “the Piano & a Microphone.” The tour was a series of solo shows that featured just him, his purple piano, and an incredible discography of songs. On January 21, 2016, the first performance was played to a small crowd at Paisley Park; and followed with an album “the Piano & a Microphone 1983.” The Purple Piano, created by Marshall Charloff, is a heartfelt and intimate tribute to these very unique performances.

Marshall Charloff has performed nationwide fronting world-class symphonies in most major cities in the US and Canada, played keys in the Atlanta Rhythm Section, and since 2011, tours fronting the celebrated Purple xPeRIeNCE – arguably the greatest tribute to Prince in the world, and co-founded by Matt “Doctor” Fink from Prince & the Revolution. Marshall is featured on recordings with Prince on the album 94 East, where he plays both keyboards and bass guitar, and recently collaborated with Prince’s sister Sharon Nelson to co-write and record “Colours.” Pepe Willie, who discovered Marshall, was also responsible for getting Prince’s career up and running.

“The Purple Piano is a show I created out of my sheer love and adoration for the music of Prince,” said Marshall Charloff, creator and star of The Purple Piano. “Prince’s album ‘Piano & a Microphone 1983’ and tour is haunting in the purity of who Prince was as an artist…a tour cut short by his death that shocked the world. I created this show to take up the mantle of ensuring that more people saw this intimate side of Prince that is faithful to him.”

The Purple Piano includes hits “Purple Rain,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Kiss,” “1999,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Darling Nikki,” “Most Beautiful Girl” and many more in a hauntingly sexy intimate piano and microphone only performance.

“Prince defined a generation of music,” said Pete Housley, Executive Producer of The Purple Piano. “Watching the sizzle reel for this show sent shivers down my spine. Marshall has truly captured the persona and presence of Prince on stage, and the intimacy of the music in this show is heartfelt.”

The Purple Piano joins an impressive lineup of uniquely different shows performing at Alexis Park Resort Hotel, which includes All Motown, The Big Little Variety Show, Amazing Magic starring Tommy Wind as well as BurlesQ, Rock Candy: Male Revue, Jokesters Comedy Club, Alain Nu – The Man Who Knows and Late Night Magic.

The Purple Piano starring Marshall Charloff takes the stage Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at 8:00 pm exclusively in the Athena Showroom at Las Vegas’ Alexis Park Resort Hotel. Tickets start at $49.95 and are on sale now through most major ticket brokers, online at or by calling the Ticket Kite Box Office at 702-483-8056.

Alexis Park Resort Hotel is located at 375 E. Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89169.

Media Contact: Denise Kraft,, Verge PR, 206-852-1656

Report: Concert, live events industry lost $30B due to coronavirus pandemic


NEW YORK — Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, concert trade publication Pollstar puts the total lost revenue for the live events industry in 2020 at more than $30 billion.

Pollstar on Friday said the live events industry should have hit a record-setting $12.2 billion this year, but instead it incurred $9.7 billion in losses.

In March hundreds of artists announced that their current or upcoming tours would need to be postponed or canceled because of the pandemic. While a small number of performers have played drive-in concerts and others have held digital concerts, the majority of artists have not played live in 2020.

With just a few months on the road, Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” tops the year’s Top 100 Worldwide Tours list with $87.1 million grossed between Nov. 30 through March 7. John’s tour ranked No. 2 last year with $212 million grossed.

Celine Dion came in second this year with $71.2 million, followed by Trans-Siberian Orchestra ($58.2 million), U2 ($52.1 million) and Queen + Adam Lambert ($44.6 million). Post Malone, Eagles, Jonas Brothers, Dead & Company and Andrea Bocelli rounded out the Top 10.

Pollstar said the projected $30 billion figure in losses includes “unreported events, ancillary revenues, including sponsorships, ticketing, concessions, merch, transportation, restaurants, hotels, and other economic activity tied to the live events.”

“It’s been an extraordinarily difficult year for the events industry, which has been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus. As painful as it is to chronicle the adversity and loss our industry and many of our colleagues faced, we understand it is a critical undertaking toward facilitating our recovery, which is thankfully on the horizon,” Ray Waddell, president of Oak View Group’s Media & Conferences Division, which oversees Pollstar and VenuesNow, said in a statement Friday.

“With vaccines, better testing, new safety and sanitization protocols, smart ticketing and other innovations, the live industry will be ramping up in the coming months, and we’re sure that at this time next year we’ll have a very different story to tell.”

Link to original article.


May 7, 2020 – Lake Placid, FL: The dynamic voice first heard on Ted Nugent’s “Penetrator” album, that led to Brian becoming the powerhouse vocalist and writer for the band Bad Company, before leaving to shape his solo career, died Wednesday. He was 66. 

Howe’s passing was confirmed by his longtime friend and manager, Paul Easton.  

“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the untimely passing of a loving father, friend and musical icon, Brian Howe.” stated Easton. 

Howe was found in his home Tuesday morning, suffering from cardiac arrest. Though EMT’s were able to have a short conversation with him, he slipped away, and they were unable to revive him. 

“Finding the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts over losing my brother has been difficult.” stated his sister Sandie “Our family would like to thank you for your compassion and the outpouring of love we are receiving.” 

Born in Portsmouth, England, Howe’s early career in the USA began with Ted Nugent. Atlantic Records was working on Nugent’s new album and heard Brian’s voice coming out of an associate’s office. They loved his style and sound and signed him to become the lead singer for Nugent’s “Penetrator” album. “Penetrator” was Nugent’s eighth studio album and reached #56 on Billboards top 200, with “Tied Up In Love”.  Brian played with Ted Nugent for a couple of years before he was being considered for yet another iconic band at Atlantic Records.  

A re-teaming was taking place with a familiar band at Atlantic and Howe quickly found himself as the lead singer for the legendary band, Bad Company. With Paul Rodgers gone, Brian’s vocal style and song writing talent brought the resurgence Atlantic was looking for. 

Reflecting the musical style of the mid-80s, the first album found moderate commercial success. But things were about to change. As the band came together, they came alive in 1988 with the next Howe-era album, “Dangerous Age”, spawning several MTV videos and the AOR hits “No Smoke Without A Fire” (#4), “One Night” (#9) and “Shake It Up” (#9, also No. 89 on the Singles charts). The album went Gold and hit the Top 60. An accomplishment for Howe that carried his talent to the next level with the release of the band’s next album, “Holy Water”, released in 1990. The album was enormously successful both critically and commercially, attaining Top 40 and Platinum status by selling more than one million copies. 

Holy Water spun off the singles: “If You Needed Somebody” (#16), the title track “Holy Water” (#89) and “Walk Through Fire” (#28). “Holy Water” also hit No. 1 for 2 weeks on the AOR charts with “If You Needed Somebody” reaching No. 2. Given the success of “Holy Water” and Howe’s extraordinary vocal ability the band continued with the final studio album of the Howe era, “Here Comes Trouble”, featured the Top 40 hit “How About That” (#38) and “This Could Be The One” (#87). The album went Gold. 

Howe left the band in 1994 and forged his solo career, experiencing a successful musical impact. He released his memorable albums, “Tangled in Blue”, “Emotions”, “Circus Bar”, and his self-titled “Brian Howe The Collection”. In 2018, his single “Hot Tin Roof” received the prestigious Hollywood Music in Media Awards award for Best Rock Song of the Year

Prior to his death, he was on tour with his band Paul Warren, Christopher Turnbow, Miguel Gonzales and Rick Brothers before the industry shut down due to COVID-19. He looked forward to picking up his stage performances as soon as soon as it was feasible. 

“I feel we are all put in this world for a reason” stated his son Michael. “The passion for music was my father’s, and I am so happy that his legacy will live on.”

Over the decades of creating music, Brian’s passion extended to his love for animals. This included his great support of Have A Heart Animal Rescue, to find animals in need, loving homes.

Brian never stopped writing songs and has defined an era of Rock that has become his legacy. He is survived by his sister Sandie and her husband, his son Michael and daughters Victoria & Ella, along with 3 grandchildren Kira, Alexandria, and Aurora. 

Visit to learn more about Brian.

Brian Duprey as Frank Sinatra

Singer Brian Duprey heads up a new Rat Pack!

By David Spatz – January 20th, 2020

The Rat Pack is back.

Truth be told, they never really left.

Okay, the core of stars that formed the Rat Pack — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford — are all physically long gone.

But they left behind a treasure trove of memories, music, spontaneous comedy and anything else they could make up on the spot on the stage of the Copa Room, the legendary showroom at the old Sands casino in Las Vegas.

Although its core members were guys, the Rat Pack occasionally added unofficial “mascot members” like Shirley MacLaine, Juliet Prowse, Angie Dickinson and Marilyn Monroe.

Now, three ersatz Rat Packers – Frank, Dean and Sammy – are being joined by mascot Marilyn Monroe in a weekly show titled “The Rat Pack – Back in Town.”

The show is presented 4 p.m. Sundays through April in the 2,200-seat Tropicana Showroom.

“It’s been so many years since a ‘Rat Pack’ show has been done (in Atlantic City),” says Allen Valentine, the magician-turned-producer who’s been crafting casino production shows for three decades.

“I think the last one (in Atlantic City) was at the Sands in the early 1990s, and it just felt right (to do it now),” Valentine says.

Valentine describes the music of Sinatra, Martin and Davis as “iconic” and “timeless.” He says it hits all the right notes for the perfect casino show crafted for an older crowd.

“It’s got powerful songs that speak to you emotionally, it’s really fun and it’s got a little bit of sex appeal with some of our dancers … and of course Marilyn (Monroe, for whom Sinatra carried an unrequited torch),” he explains. “It hits all those marks and it’s just an elegant, feel-good show.”

If there was a top dog among the original Rat Packers, it was obviously Sinatra. In “The Rat Pack – Back in Town,” that role is sung and played by Brian Duprey, who was 13-years-old and going through puberty when his voice began to change.

“My mom had a cassette or something on, and I was singing to (Sinatra) and my mom ran into the room and said, ‘Oh my God, you sound like Frank Sinatra,’” Duprey remembers. “I was baffled, because I wasn’t a singer. I was just singing along and imitating him and it just kind of stuck because I had that baritone voice. It kind of fit me like a glove.”

Still, the fact that he sounded like one of the world’s greatest entertainers wasn’t enough for him to change his career plans. He was always fascinated and drawn to the world of business.

He earned a business degree in college and eventually went to work for a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company.

“That’s when I decided I didn’t like that lifestyle of working for a company and doing the 9-to-5 thing,” he says, “It just didn’t fit me.”

It took the tragedy of 9-11 for Duprey, 45, to realize life was short and if he was ever going to make a major move, that was the time to do it.

So he moved to Las Vegas, took singing lessons and gradually began working the types of gigs that helped him climb the ladder to eventually land the Sinatra role in the long-running, look-and-sound-alike revue “Legends In Concert.”

It was during those years when he first played Atlantic City. With a 13-year run, “Legends” was (and still is) the longest-running production show in Atlantic City casino history.

Duprey, whose wife, Jamie, performs in the “Rat Pack” show as Marilyn Monroe, has finally discovered a balance in his professional life. He agrees that making a major career move like he did at age 28 was something of a risk. But he needed to discover what his true calling was.

Turns out show business isn’t such a bad gig after all.

“I like producing, directing, acting and singing. I like all sides of the entertainment business, but I still like (the) business (world),” he says. “I wouldn’t mind owning a spa or a gym one day. I like dabbling in many different areas, so whatever is making me excited to get up every day and be singing or owning my own business, I’m all for that.”

As he’s done in the past with production shows at Borgata and Hard Rock – plus major casinos outside Atlantic City – Valentine’s show is a one-and-done gig each week.

That presents a series of challenges, including how to make sure all the cast members – some of whom are scattered around the country – make it to Atlantic City by 4 p.m. Sunday to do a 90-minute show and then catch the next plane, train or automobile out of town.

“The (casino) market has changed over the years. When I first started 30 years ago producing shows in Atlantic City, we had a very healthy bus program. We had Greyhound busses lined up and down Pacific Avenue,” he says. “But that’s changed. Casinos can’t (financially) support production shows that run five nights a week any more.”

However, doing the shows on either side of the weekend – like Thursday at Borgata, or later Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock, where he’s currently producing a show, the casinos can leave their Friday and Saturday nights open for headliners.

They’re able to get more bang for their marketing buck. And it’s not just in Atlantic City. This is happening at MGM National Harbor (near Washington, D.C.), Biloxi, Ms. and Twin River casino (in Rhode Island), all places where his company, Elite Casino Marketing, is presenting shows.

“It’s the new trend for production shows,” Valentine says.

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