In America they are termed “bar bands.” In the UK, these ensembles are referred to as “pub rockers.” Geographies notwithstanding, these brave souls are the back bone of rock ‘n’ roll, plying their art whilst sweating it out in the clubs for little pay, even less recognition, and did I mention practically no money? To my ears, the best of the bar/pub genre were Graham Parker & The Rumour. Parker is among rock’s greatest poets and his bassist for nearly his entire career with and without The Rumour is the amazing Andrew Bodnar. Andrew is a bass chameleon, working at his trade with mostly a Fender Jazz as his primary tool.
Andrew grooves akin to the Motown legends, riffs like a fusion master, utilizes the fretless to embellish his boss’ stinging libretto, swings like a jazz cat, keeps it warm and cozy on the ballads, and lays down the funk with flair – among his other musical attributes. I revel the entirety of Bodnar’s tenure with Parker, however methinks his greatest performances can be found on the live The Parkerilla (1978) wherein Andrew kicks the brass enhanced Rumour into high-gear and then some.
In addition to squeezing out low end sparks for Mr. Parker, Andrew has also enhanced the recordings of Elvis Costello, The Pretenders, Nick Lowe, Garland Jeffreys, and Carlene Carter, among others.