The Turntable Revue

Hear the Harmony of Music + Family

The Turntable Revue’s sister and brother team, Terry Armistead and Joe Bianchi, grew up in the mountains of Vermont. An antenna could rarely pick up a television station there, so they spent every night jamming with their musical parents. As they describe it: daddy was a guitar playing, beer drinking folk singer, and mama was a piano playing, church singer with a voice like an angel.

“We grew up in a family that stays together and likes to be around each other, so that carries over to the music,” Armistead says.

And, in an interesting turn of events, the tightly-knit siblings ended up having much more in common than just music. They married siblings (Bianchi married Armistead’s husband’s sister), and both had triplets.

Photo by Zach Mahone

Putting the Band Together

Armistead moved to the Vail Valley in 1992. She met her husband, Jeff Armistead, in a local band they both played in, “until I fired him,” she shares. Turns out it was more of an “I love you, but you’re fired.” The two were best friends at the time, but Jeff’s gigs with Little Hercules — a nationally touring band — conflicted at times with her local band, Loud Mouth Soup. The Armistead’s ultimately got married and had triplets and one other child.

Bianchi moved to Minturn in 2000, and the trio formed The Turntable Revue. These days, Jeff finds a way to play keyboards with both Bonfire Dub and The Turntable Revue, without getting fired by his wife.

Photo courtesy of Turntable Revue

The Turntable Experience

Jeff came up with the band’s name, based on the railroad turntable in the town they all live in and love: Minturn.

“The name also conveys that we play a lot of different songs,” Armistead explains. “You name it, we play it.”

Over the last 21 years, they’ve learned upwards of 500 covers, in addition to several originals they’ve penned. When they play their regular gigs at the Westin or Ritz Carlton, it’s 100% covers, though those may range — from rockin’ Zeppelin to quieter songs their parents loved, like Simon and Garfunkel or Peter, Paul and Mary to Terry’s favorites, like the old mistresses of country music, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton.

“I do think the ‘70s was the best era of music that ever was — other than the ‘90s — so we play a lot of that,” Armistead says. “We play what we like to listen to, but a lot of people tell us, ‘You just played every song off my favorite playlist.’”

The band generates an intimate feel, one that ushers in a sense of emotion and completeness, she added. “I like people to feel drawn in, to get what I’m putting down … and give them something they can take away.”

Turntable differs from typical cover bands in their song choice and variety, Bianchi said, adding that they often bring in three- and four-part harmonies.

“I think that’s a strong aspect of the band: big vocals and big harmonies,” he says.

While just Bianchi and Armistead perform weekly at the Westin (4-7 p.m. Mondays) and the Ritz Carlton (TBD), their full band takes the stage at private events, like weddings and corporate gigs.

Photo by Zach Mahone

The Players

Turntable Revue’s musicians take their craft seriously. When they attend concerts, they’re more likely to be listening carefully near the soundboard, rather than “partying it up and dancing like crazy,” Armistead adds.

Having grown up in Detroit and blending in the sounds of New Orleans, Jeff is one of the most unique keyboard players around. Though Bianchi is a classically trained rock guitarist, his humility prevents him from taking over and laying out everything he knows in a self-centered solo.

“He’s a less-is-more kind of guy,” Armistead shares. “He’s got a clean tone. He’s a perfectionist in his notes. He’s more interested in contributing to the music (than showboating).”

Bob Masters is a ripping guitar player, but in Turntable, he holds down the rhythm section with the bass. Mark Levy is an incredible drummer who recently played with Phil Lesh and Friends and has been in Circles Around the Sun since 2015.

And, Armistead shines as a singer, whether she’s sweetly singing the national anthem at World Cup races in Beaver Creek or soulfully delivering tunes like “Take My Time” at GoPro Mountain Games.

Though the band hasn’t recorded a full album yet (they’ve been kind of busy raising two sets of triplets), they have been working on one in their studio, where Bianchi also records other musicians. Even though a Turntable Revue album hasn’t emerged from the studio yet, plenty of good times have; equipped with a couple pianos and drum sets and tons of guitars, the families have continued their parent’s tradition of bringing up their kids with music.

“A lot of times people call us the family band, and we’re passing it down to our kids,” Armistead says. “When you’re constantly exposed to music, it seeps into the soul of your kids.”

And so, the music plays on, because, as Armistead points out: “There is music to be found in every aspect of life.”

theturntablerevue.com

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