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Rebecca Famularo knows that breaking into the music industry is a long shot – and she would certainly welcome the opportunity – but playing with her dad in the band, Rebecca and the Grey Notes, is far from a second-place finish.
“It would be ideal to get into the music industry but it’s tough to break in,” she said. “Performing on stage with the guys sets my soul free. I get to do what I love with the people I love.”
Famularo, 28, and her father, Tyler, plus Mike Juley and Jeff Franks, are Rebecca and the Grey Notes, grey because the gentlemen are of a certain age.
Full disclosure: Mike Juley is Heather Asiyanbi’s former editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The band has been together since 2012, a few months after Famularo asked her dad to be in a band with her. She said the request wasn’t unexpected because he’d been playing in a band with one of her brothers.
“He wasn’t surprised to be asked, but he said he was surprised that it took me so long,” Famularo remembered.
She loves playing with her father, who first picked up a guitar more than 50 years ago. Tyler turned 65 Friday, and Famularo said she watches her dad sometimes with tears in her eyes.
“He should be playing in front of big numbers of people, he’s so good,” she said, her voice breaking a little. “He gives his best even at the end of the night when we’re closing a bar and there are just a handful of people left. I get tears watching him play his solos.”
The band has played 18 dates so far this year, and Famularo said with the change of seasons, their schedule will slow down, but they are getting some studio time to record and play new music for their fans. Famularo said RGN has a substantial following of folks who check the band’s schedule.
“It’s awesome to have that support, so we try to keep in touch with them as much as we can through social media and even some direct mail,” she said. “Having fans means we can keep performing.”
For other young performers who are thinking about joining or forming a band, Famularo says to go for it, but that it’s important to remember to stay humble.
“It’s pretty easy for me to stay grounded because we aren’t that big,” she laughed. “But what I mean is to remember that each venue is different and each audience will provide a different and valuable listening experience. If someone listens and says they like it …to me, that’s the best.”
Rebecca and the Grey Notes take the stage from 5 to 7:30 p.m. tonight at St. Edward’s Fall Fest, 1401 Grove Avenue. Admission is free.