BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE - Issue 18-13 - Featured review 3 of 6 -March 28, 2024

One Dime Band – Side Hustle

Toneblanket Records

13 songs – 61 minutes

A long-running project that works out of Boston and was created by the acoustic partnership of John Brauchler and Paul Gallucci, the One Dime Band steps into the limelight for the first time with this debut CD, an interesting, hard-to-define, but pleasant blending of blues, R&B and more that’s a style all their own.

Brauchler – who doubles on guitar and banjo – and Gallucci – a vocalist, harp player and guitarist – have been teaming together on stage since forming a partnership in high school in upstate New York and teaching each other songs from the catalogs of Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry. They began incorporating mainstream blues into their act in 2017 and haven’t looked back.

They’ve teamed together on two CDs, Gonna Take Sweet Time and Hoodoo & Holy Water, on their own Toneblanket imprint, achieving Top 20 recognition with the latter on a couple of TV and radio charts. Winners of the 2022 Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge solo/duo competition in 2022 and the Granite State Blues Society Challenge in 2023, they made it to the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge earlier this year.

As members of the One Dime Band, they’ve worked the New England market as a four-piece who deliver electric blues for several years. But this CD features an expanded roster that includes several key members of the Boston blues scene, including drummer Romeo Dubois, bassist Paul Kochanski, keyboard player Alizon Lissance, fiddler Ilana Katz Katz, trumpeter Johnny Blue Horn and sax player Mario Perrett. Holly Harris adds percussion, Tim Curry provides backing vocals on two cuts, and Robin Hathaway shares vocals in a duet on another.

Funky percussion and a horn run open “Side Hustle” as Gallucci describes the dilemma that all struggling musicians have to face: working other jobs to keep food on the table while struggling to achieve their dream. He possesses a strong mid-range voice that’s road-worn enough to amplify the stress. And Brauchler’s plaintive six-string runs combine with the keys and rhythm section to drive it home. It gives way to “Blackfoot Sun,” which has a Delta feel, Native American imagery and fiddle work that immediately change the mood.

It flows into the finger-picked pleaser, “Mockingbird Way,” which complains about someone who airs her dirty laundry to anyone who crosses his/her path, before an aural shift to gentle blues-rock with “What You Done,” which yearns that family members would learn from past mistakes. “Ain’t No Faker” returns the band to the blues root atop an easy-flowing beat before building in intensity prior to a mid-tune piano solo with harp accents.

The funk-driving ballad, “Dr. Shine,” follows, describing a battle raging outside the singer’s window and another raging “deep inside of me” before One Dime shifts to a ragtime sound for “Brooklyn Town,” a reverie that describes a home in the Williamsburg neighborhood, where Gallucci sings about his longing for his father’s homemade wine, his mother’s cooking and other things missed.

The uptempo rocker, “Backbell,” is up next before the sultry contemporary, minor-key blues ballad, “Soul to Keep” – a duet with Hathaway, that preaches optimism about finding happiness after experiencing sorrow. Gallucci’s opening harp run changes the mood instantly in “Babylon Clouds.” It describes the struggle to get to work in the morning atop medium tempo instrumentation built atop a driving beat. Three equally interesting numbers — “Cemetery Waltz,” “Rib Grease” and “Gator in My Pond” – bring the set to a successful close.

The One Dime Band shouldn’t have to pursue any side hustles after this one. They take listeners in a different, successful direction with each cut. Give them a listen. I’m sure you’ll agree.

Blues Blast Magazine Senior writer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. Now based out of Mason, Ohio, his first experience with live music came at the feet of the first generation of blues legends at the Newport Folk Festivals in the 1960s. A former member of the Chicago blues community, he’s a professional journalist and blues harmonica player who co-founded the Nucklebusters, one of the hardest working bands in South Florida.

One Dime Band is an acoustic duo (John Brauchler – guitar, resonator, banjo, and Paul Gallucci – vocals, harmonica, percussion, rhythm guitar) based in Boston. The duo won the Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge in 2022, the Granite State Blues Society Blues Challenge in 2023, and made the semi-finals at the International Blues Challenge in 2024. They are backed by Romeo Dubois (drums), Paul Kochanski (bass), Alizon Lissance (keyboards), Ilana Katz Katz (fiddle), Holly Harris (percussion), Johnny Blue Horn (trumpet), Mario Perrett (saxes) with Robin Hathaway and Tim Curry providing additional vocals.

Side Hustle is One Dime Band’s fourth release, featuring 13 original tracks that touch on a variety of styles while remaining deeply rooted in the blues. The Memphis-flavored title track opens the disc, with horns, keyboards and a greasy funk feel.

The swampy blues “Blackfoot Sun” features Brauchler’s resonator and Katz’s fiddle, and “Mockingbird Way” ventures toward ’50s-era rock n’ roll, before the fine and mellow “What You Done?” shifts back to the blues with resonator and Lissance’s accordion.

“Ain’t No Faker” showcases Lissance’s piano work and Gallucci’s vocals and harmonica, and the ominous “Dr. Shine” is a haunting blues about getting away from the real world. The jaunty “Brooklyn Town” has a vintage jazz feel with banjo from Brauchler, Kolchanski’s upright bass, and muted trumpet from Johnny Blue Horn, and “Backbell” is an old school rock n’ roller with classic wailing sax from Perrett and piano from Lissance.

“Soul To Keep” is a soulful slow burner that teams Gallucci with Robin Hathaway on vocals, “Babylon Clouds” is a greasy blues highlighted by Gallucci’s deft harp play and Braucher’s fretwork, and “Cemetery Waltz” is a dreamy Americana piece with resonator and fiddle in the spotlight.

The greasy instrumental “Rib Grease” mixes Stax and New Orleans funk seamlessly, and the closer, “Gator In My Pond,” is the most downhome blues on the disc and wraps things up as effectively as possible.

One Dime Band’s Side Hustle is a most enjoyable album with a perfect mix of traditional and contemporary blues and soul. Great songs and performances make this one a must-hear for blues fans.

--- Graham Clarke

Blues Bytes - March/April 2024
Volume 29 Number 3

One Dime Band and their friends Side Hustle up one of year’s best local blues albums

By on March 20, 2024

One Dime Band shucks their live duo approach for a full band experience in the studio. Their new album Side Hustle wastes no time exploiting the multitudes of talent available to them in the greater-Boston/New England blues scene.

Opening with title track “Side Hustle,” One Dime Band’s John Brauchier’s guitar work and Paul Gallucci’s vocal combine with a Johnny Blue Horn trumpet and Mario Perrett saxophone blowing smooth, soothing soulful horn lines through the hip soundscape. Local keyboard maven Alizon Lissance taps out a soulful organ line beneath those horns and Brauchier’s nimble lead guitar work. Holly Harris’s bulbous percussion works slap out another fun layer of groove. Together, it’s a pastiche of easy going blues music that stirs the emotions while motivating the toes to tap, the head to bob, and the fingers to snap.

“Blackfoot Sun” slows things down to milk more soul out of Gallucci’s raspy drawl. Boy, does this guy know how to put his heart into his voice and into his lyrics. He blows a weepy mood harmonica line that pulls the listener deeper into his blues vision of the world. The listener feels transported into the Mississippi Delta of an earlier time with the way that harmonica and drummer Romeo Dubois keep digging hard into the groove.

Rockabilly styled “Mockingbird Way” gains traction with its biting electric guitar grit. The oldies influenced vocal sounds like a ghost from 1950s rock and roll radio. That voice has a purity that keeps it in an earlier time period and the guitar notes rippling through this number are plentiful and totally cool.

Slow, bluesy slide guitar song “What You Done” tells a detailed story with painterly description. Gallucci’s tender rasp and Brauchier’s juicy strum conjure a feeling of front porch acoustic blues. This is a song that old blues men could have played out in front of their houses on Sunday mornings. Alizon Lissance’s melodic accordion sounds as beautifully old time as the slide notes being pressed out of Brauchier’s six string.

“Ain’t No Faker” has a fun, catchy call and response thing going on, making it a likely crowd pleaser at the One Dime Band live shows. Galluci’ss deep, guttural vocal, raw and strong, contrasts well with Lissance’s barrel house piano. Gallucci also means business on harmonica, a swaggering line that blows with force, capturing the spirit of the no faker in question. Brauchier’s flinty electric guitar line keeps this one deep, rooted in the genre. It’s a treat to hear both harp and guitar dueling out their inner tensions.

“Dr. Shine” rides along to Paul Kochanski’s electric bass guitar. That hip low end run, knobby and slow, gives Brauchier a platform to play his downtempo electric guitar over. The two instruments play like a private alleyway conversation between two street hustlers. This sly, mischievous approach, makes for a kitchie cool number. It also makes a good home for Gallucci’s quiet rasp, a voice that talks from out of a darkness with alluring charisma.

Inspired by 1920s jazz, the breezy “Brooklyn Town,” like other songs on this album, transports the listener back to a simpler time. Gallucci sings it like a jazz crooner, considerate pacing, in the space Dubois leaves open with his simple hoof beat on the traps. Kochanski’s upright bass piles onto that thick beat while Johnny Blue Horn Moriconi blows a lazy Sunday afternoon feel. All of the busy old time instrumentation and period vocal take make the listener picture New York City during The Great Gatsby era.

“Backbell” makes for an excellent oldies rock and roll, the 1950s influence can be felt and heard in this beat driven action packed song. Gallucci belts as Mario Perrett blows a torchlit saxophone line, one that rides the groove like a crazy man on steroids. Lissance plays her Jerry Lee Lewis style well, giving Brauchier a run for his money during his racing pace picking style.

Down tempo slow boiler “Soul To Keep” features a duet between Gallucci and Robin Hathaway. The two burn with soulful expression, using their rangy voices to find the low down and dirty feeling of the song. Brauchier’s guitar line smolders, hinting at greater tension as his phrase burns slowly forward. Every voice and instrument here come together perfectly, all adding up into one expression of bluesy color and tone.

“Babylon Clouds” greases its own wheels with Gallucci’s swaying harmonica line. After starting out with a loosey goosey feel from his harp, Gallucci finesses his lyrics with a rasp as loose as his mouth organ, from which he derives some greasy sustains. The swaying harp leads the band, causing as much looseness from the other players here. This is the hippest song on the album because of how well the primary two players makes this move with a slippery zeal.

“Cemetery Waltz” moseys along to Dubois’ light slaps on his drum kit. Over that delicate beat is greasy slide, Illana Katz Katz’s whispery blues fiddle , and Tim Curry’s backing vocal. As Gallucci moves through his lyrical twists, each of these instruments milks the down tempo emotive grist out of this piece. It just drips with feeling and talent.

Instrumental “Rib Grease” was co-written with Johnny Blue Horn Moriconi and Mario Perrett. Big trumpet assertions and hip saxophone swirls give this a 1960s vibe, jazzy jumps within tight formations. A guitar lets loose with brittle notes and a keyboard oozes soul within the tight framework of this piece. It’s a collection of blues instruments that sound better as a whole but can also be appreciated by focusing attention on one player at a time.

Close out track “Gator In My Pond” is a foot stomping blues. Driven by Romeo Dubois’s hefty beat, loaded with harmonica muscle, earthy piano boogie, a thick bass line, and shards of sharp blues guitar, the gumbo of instrumentation moves with authority. With so many tasty nuggets packed into one tune, one best get out of its way or join the rollicking fun.

With Side Hustle, One Dime Band and their friends have got one of the year’s best local blues CDs. Well crafted songs are tastefully fleshed out with authentic blues vocals and instrumentation. Recorded at Studio 329in Glenville, New York, Woolly Mammoth Sound in Waltham, Massachusetts, and Wachusett Recording in Princeton, Massachusetts, it abounds from the speaker with true blues appeal.

April 2024 Interview by Brian Owens (pages 10-11)

Review by Brian Owens March 2024 Metronome Magazine

One Dime Band

Side Hustle

2024 – Toneblanket Records

By Phillip Smith; Mar. 9, 2024

Original source :

One Dime Band from Boston, Massachusetts has caught my full attention with their third and latest album Side Hustle. In serving up thirteen all-original tracks, the band delivers a savory bowl of musical gumbo made from assorted blues sub-genres gathered along the Mississippi River from St. Louis, through Memphis, and down to the Big Easy.

The core of the band is an acoustic duo comprised of John Brauchler on guitars, resonator, and banjo and Paul Gallucci on vocals, harmonica, percussion, and rhythm guitar. In 2022 they were winners of the Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge in the solo/duo category.  In 2023 they were winners of the Granite State Blues Society Challenge in the same category.  In 2024, they entered the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and made it to the Semi-Finals. Their backing band consists of Romeo Dubois on drums, Paul Kochanski on upright bass and electric bass, Alizon Lissance on piano, organ, and accordion, Ilana Katz Katz on fiddle, Holly Harris on percussion, Johnny Blue Horn on trumpet, Mario Perrett on saxophone, with Robin Hathaway and Tim Curry on backing vocals.

A blast of horns and a buttery Stax-fueled groove kicks the door in with a fist-full of funk on title-track “Side Hustle”. I absolutely love this one. Visions of cypress trees wading in the swampy waters of Mississippi come to my mind with each listen of “Blackfoot Sun”. Powered by Brauchler on resonator and, Gallucci on harp, this favorite is topped with a delectable fiddle performance by Katz. I’m drawn in to Kochanski’s crawling, infectious bassline on “Dr. Shine”.  It remarkably creates an ominous feeling of impending doom in this brilliant blues song about escaping reality. “Soul to Keep”, a slow-cooked blues duet with the lovely Robin Hathaway, sweeps me off my feet.  Brauchler digs his heels in deep and releases some gorgeous tones on this one. The smell of late Sixties funk wafts through the air on the instrumental “Rib Grease”.  An intoxicating rhythm, blasts of brass, and a groovy riff all adds up to a fabulous listen. 

Loaded with musical twists and turns, Side Hustle is terrific from beginning to end.

Blue Music Magazine 2020 Top 10 Albums

Review from Ben Vee Blues

October 2020 Interview by Brian Owens (pages 10-11)