Soon Bob Geresti will have more albums than the entire population of China. Seriously speaking, there’s no doubt that Geresti has already given birth to an extraordinarily large and surprisingly consistent discography. Move over, Billy Joel; Geresti is the real Piano Man.

Julian Wilson: Seeing your whole catalog online, you seem to be a creative dynamo. To where do you credit this explosion of artistry?

Bob Geresti: I think my piano bar days had a lot to do with that by realizing what music people really liked, and I like just about all of it. I think of a theme and then there are always many songs to fit that theme. It’s just a matter of me working on those songs and trying to come up with a fresh way of playing them that is exciting to me as well as the listener. Sometimes I’ll play a song that doesn’t do much for me but my friends will really like; ultimately it has to feel and sound good to me.

Wilson: Give the depth and amount of your work, it doesn’t seem to be a commercially driven enterprise but one based on a serious passion for music. What was the genesis of this? Where did this love for music start?
Who or what triggered it?

Geresti: I feel I always played with the same passion. People would always ask me if I was going to come out with a recording and one day a good friend of mine, Butch Weaver, who is a big fan, called me and said we were going to record. He rented a piano and rented out this recording studio here in Atlanta and I went in and recorded enough songs for two albums that were put on cassette. Playing at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta during the Christmas holidays showed me how much people really enjoyed my recordings and the need for more. I had plenty of songs in my repertoire and did several songs you wouldn’t expect to hear on the piano as a solo but people loved them. Then, in 1992, I did my first wholesale trade show to sell my albums to buyers who came to buy items to resell in their store, and it took off from there. I contacted a distributer who sold Danny Wright ‘s music who was very popular at that time, and they said my albums were too much of a performance and the music would not fit into gift shops so I started marketing them myself and have done so ever since and that company, by the way, is out of business now. I tend to go by what people want from then on to decide what theme to use. Patriotic is my next endeavor but also working on a follow up to the Keys Into The 70’s and another inspirational album.

Wilson: Your piano covers of classic-rock tunes [on Keys Into the 70’s] could’ve been considered blasphemous to the purists yet they are lovingly faithful and tastefully considered. What made you decide to transform them in such a fashion?

Geresti: I always try to get the feel of the song across like that of the original band playing it and by the way using my left hand sometimes helps me do that.

Wilson: Did you want to be a rocker at one point?

Geresti: Yes, and I was with a band called Ziggurat who released two albums with me writing some and playing multi keyboards and always using a Yamaha Electric Grand Piano in my set up.

Wilson: How did your music end up on the Weather Channel?

Geresti: My friend Sharron (who is a big fan of mine) had mentioned that when she and her mom would listen to the Weather Channel they would always mute it because the music all sounded the same kind of jazz sounding, and I agreed. She wondered if they would ever consider playing my music so I told her to send some of my CDS and see if they would consider it. Two weeks later Tony Fulkerson called me to get my BMI registration number for “Days End” and said they would start playing it in March. During that month I listened several days in a row and never heard it so I called Tony, and he said it was played between midnight and 7 a.m. I was disappointed that many people wouldn’t hear it during those times and he said since it was such a pretty song he would play it during the prime time slot from 7 a.m. – midnight for April. In May I thought I would have to call them again to see if they would consider playing more of my music but on May 1 I was on the road in my hotel when that evening I heard three of my songs being played. I e-mailed Tony when I got home and he said they had several good comments and that he really liked the piano music. I am sending him more CDs for future use since he will play public domain and my arrangement of “Pachelbel’s Canon in D” is extremely popular so listen for that one in the future.

http://www.gerestimusic.com