Pittsburgh Sax Man

Phil Brontz

Phil Brontz – from Phil Brontz YouTube

There was a time in the 80’s when every band had a sax player.  I always thought it was unusual to mix in with guitars and drums, but they were the preferred horn of Rock and Roll.  It was into this mix that Phill Brontz became a musician.  He’s still out there putting the soul and fun in Rock and Roll.

Phil started out with Gary Beloma, Norm Nardini, and most famously The Flashcats.  He began turning up as THE sax guy at every group show.

He still anchors the DVE anunual Stones tribute and Randy Bauman Rambles.   He has also played with Sharon and the Blue Devils, Shadow Play, Rhythm Method, Point Blank, Firestorm.

He also started to record. Of the 33 record Phil has played on, he lists two as his favorites.

8th Street Rox – Sittin’ Pretty (1999). He joined 8th Street Rox in 1988 and recently retired. He Spent 25 years playing 50 + shows a year with them. Mike Filosemi is still going strong with 8th Street.  Phil thanks for Mike for “doin’ what you’re doin!” and encourages everyone to check out 8th Street if you haven’t yet done so. Other guys he played with in 8th Street include:  Bud DonohueSteven BinsbergerStan EspositoGeorge MarcinkoDrew Dauer, Leroy, Carl D’Alicandro, Scotty Gilg, Bob FetherlinDon HollowoodAllen Muckle

The next record he mentions is Bill Toms, My Own Eyes (also 1999). He got to play a couple of songs on this record, but was not yet in the band. After hearing this record, he was thinking,  “this is going to be a hit record! Damn I wish I was in this band!”  The rest is pretty much history.

He joined the band not long after this record came out, and has enjoyed playing in Bill’s band for 20 years, recording 7 more CD’s and countless shows and adventures in Italy and beyond with Bill and the boys – including Jeffrey Joffo SimmonsBernie HerrVinny LamondeMelvin MotenScott P. TamulinasJoe HerndonTom Breiding, Art Nardini, Wil Kondrich, Ken Michaels, Mark Choleski, Joe Pelesky, Tom Valentine, and more recently Stephen Graham and George Arner (The Soulville Horns!)

Phil’s final quote, “For those of you that aren’t in bands, as you can maybe imagine, your bands are your family. You end up spending more time with these guys than anybody. So I’m sincerely blessed to have had the opportunities to play and hang with all these guys for sooo many years.”

Full Discography:

Bill Toms and Hard Rain
– Paradise Avenue, 1997
– My Own Eyes, 1999
– This Old World, 2001
– The West End Kid, 2005
– Spirits, Chaos, and a Troubadour Soul, 2008
– Live at Moondogs: Another Moonlight Mystery, 2009
– Memphis, 2011
– Deep In The Shadows, 2015
– Good For My Soul, 2017

8th Street Rox – Sittin’ Pretty, 1999

Bruce Springsteen – Flood Aid, 2004

Erin Burkett – Erin Burkett, 1997

Jill West and Blues Attack
– Faceful Of Blues, 2001
– Headline Blues, 2009
– Bootleg Blues, Live, 2012

Miami and the Groovers – Merry Go Round, 2008 (Rimini, Italy)

Lorenzo Bertocchini – Bootcut Shadow, March 2012 (Varese, Italy)

Guido Marzorati – King For a Night, Sept. 2012 (Venice, Italy)

Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers – Swimming With the Sharks, 1991

Norman Nardini
– Love Dog, 1987
– Redemption, 2004

Bull Moose Jackson and The Flashcats
– Moosemania!, 1985
– The Final Recordings, 1992

The Flashcats –

Christmas Favorites Released: 2016

Christmas Record #31 Released: 2011

Christmas Record #30 Released: 2010

Christmas Record #29 Released: 2009

Christmas Record #28 Released: 2008

Christmas Record #27 Released: 2007

Christmas Record #26 Released: 2006

Christmas Record #27 Released: 2005

Christmas Record #24 Released: 2004

Christmas Record #23 Released: 2003

Christmas Record #22 Released: 2002

Christmas Record #21 Released: 2001

Christmas Record #20 Released: 2000

Christmas Record #19 Released: 1999

Christmas Record #18 Released: 1998

Christmas Record #17 Released: 1997

Christmas Record #16 Released: 1996

Christmas Record #15 Released: 1995

Yesterday . . . and a week from Friday Released: 1995

Christmas Record #14 Released: 1994

Christmas Record #13 Released: 1993

Christmas Record #12 Released: 1992

Christmas Record #11 Released: 1991

Ten Years of Flashcats Christmas Records Released: 1990

Christmas Record #9 Released: 1989

Christmas Record #8 Released: 1988

The Flashcats Greatest Hits Released: 1988

You can read more on Pittsburgh music and Zeke’s musings here!

1 thought on “Pittsburgh Sax Man”

  1. What can you say??? Simply put. My friend for life..I feel blessed to know him!

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