Poet/playwright, singer/songwriter and cornet player, Al Basile is known to blues fans world wide, with 18 solo albums and 8 nominations for Blues Music Awards. He has three books of poetry (the most recent is 2021's Solos, from Antrim House) and several verse audio plays (his 2019 play Flash Blind won a silver award from the HEARnow national audio drama festival). He is a member of the Powow River Poets and has taught and talked about song lyric writing at the West Chester Poetry Conference and Boston University. He is the host of the online poets-in-conversation show Poems On.
Al Basile grew up in a park in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He graduated from Phillips Academy in 1966, and in 1970 he was the first to receive a Master’s Degree from the Brown University Writing Program. He began his musical career as a cornet player with Roomful of Blues in 1973, and has worked with the Duke Robillard Band as a songwriter and recording member since 1990, appearing on twelve CDs and a DVD; his songs have been used in films and television and covered by such artists as Ruth Brown and Johnny Rawls, and bands New Jump Blues and the Knickerbocker All Stars.
He has eighteen solo blues and roots CDs out under his own name, the majority having reached the top 15 on the Living Blues airplay charts in their year of release. They have all been produced by Robillard and feature his guitar playing and many former Roomful members: guest artists have included the Blind Boys of Alabama, jazz great Scott Hamilton, and the late Sista Monica Parker. He has been nominated seven times since 2010 for a Blues Music Award as best horn player; his 2016 CD Mid-Century Modern was nominated as Best Contemporary Blues Album. He is also a prize-winning poet, with three published books, 2011's A Lit House, 2017's Tonesmith and 2021's Solos. He taught full time at the Providence Country Day School in East Providence, RI from 1980-2005 and since then has concentrated on his writing, performing, and recording.
B's Testimony (2021)
Last Hand (2020)
B's Hot House (2019)
Me & The Originator (2018)
Quiet Money (2017)
Mid-century Modern (2016)
B's Expression (2015)
Woke Up In Memphis (2014)
Swing n' Strings (2014)
At Home Next Door (2012)
The Goods (2011)
Soul Blue 7 (2009)
The Tinge (2007)
Groovin' In The Mood Room (2006)
Blue Ink (2004)
Red Breath (2003)
Shaking The Soul Tree (2001)
Poems On is a look and listen to poets in conversation, reading and talking about poems on a common theme. Host Al Basile and his two guests take turns reading their poems and talking about what inspired them, how they were written, and the connections each sees to the others' work.
Reading given by Al Basile on June 20, 2013 at the Haverhill Public Library. This is the first time Basile has read in his home town; he has not lived there since 1962 and has visited rarely since the death of his parents in the Nineties. Since audience members knew his family and friends, Basile has chosen many poems about them which he has never read elsewhere.
Al Basile reads this poem of his based on events at a concert he played in Providence July 29, 2010. The photographs are by Ken Franckling, taken at that concert. Band members are Fred Bates and Bob Zuck, guiitars, John DeBossu, bass, and Rich Lataille, alto and tenor saxophone.
Open Question, a thriller set in the 1952 Hollywood film community. It's inspired by the stories of many film noir actors, writers, and directors, but the story is an original one about the studio system and the havoc it often wreaked on actors' lives.
An unusual hybrid which added dramatic scenes to my song cycle CD Last Hand, making a different kind of musical audio theater.
2019's Flash Blind won a Silver Award at the HEARnow national audio drama festival, 2019.