Spiney Norman?!
Rick, Rob and GeorgeIn the first decade of the 2000's the first incarnation of SPINEY NORMAN released two CD's. The music was fresh, eclectic and original featuring the incisive songwriting of George Dussault and drawing on the diverse musical roots of George and original members Rick Morin and Rob Barwick. The musicianship was stellar, with rock, jazz and funk influences. It was a band that could do anything... Anything except stay together.

The original three have gone on to other musical endeavors, with George and Rick still collaborating in The Rhythm Room. Since then, George's primary focus has been producing other artists and performing with both the Rhythm Room and Divas With A Twist. Meanwhile, Spiney Norman's music has proven to be quite influential. Fans who saw them live back in the day, as well as new fans who discovered their music on the net continue to ask, "Will there be any new music?"

George's original concept for what Spiney Norman was to be is still very much alive in his mind, and he is always writing songs. And so the answer is yes. A third Spiney Norman Cd is indeed in the works and nearly complete and live performances will follow.

At this site, you can find out all about the original band and hear their music. Also, as new things occur the site will be updated.

A Brief Biography

The music of Spiney Norman can best be described as "funky-rock." Other influences including jazz, latin, bluegrass and blues make frequent appearances.

Trials and TribulationsGeorge DussaultThe band was started by multi-instrumentalist George Dussault. He was already known as a "ridiculous" guitarist and producer of many regional acts. Just married at the time, he was bursting with songs and had a definite sound in mind. He teamed up with his old friend, the excellent bassist Rob Barwick and together they searched for a drummer. He came in the form of percussionist Rick Morin. Rick possesses a rich musical mind and an infectiously swinging groove. After a few weeks of rehearsals George named the band Spiney Norman. The name is a dual reference to his middle name (which George has always loathed) and his love of a certain British comedy group. The three immediately went to work writing and recording the first CD, The Trials and Tribulations of Spiney Norman.

Rick MorinThe CD consists of a few songs already written by George along with new ones written by the trio, recorded on tape in George's studio. The style ranges from the dance-funk of "Excuse Me," to the insistant shuffle of "Heart Song." From the lush and orchestrated latin groove of "Everything" to the screaming blast of guitar and harmonica violence called "Swamp Gas." Listeners were blown away by the record. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive and sales were good for a local band on it's first album. Nobody knew how to categorize it, but that's nothing unusual for these guys.

Since Rick and George both play several instruments the sound was wide and often quite lush, with gangs of guitars and keyboards alternately floating, stabbing, singing and screaming over the funky grooves. It was obvious that they needed to expand their lineup in order to do live justice to the recordings. Thus began the long and protracted odyssey of "finding the right rhythm player." Many fine musicians came and went at this time before they found Scott Caldwell, who would stay with them beyond the making of CD two. Also, a stellar voice in the form of Julie Marinucci appeared as a featured and backing vocalist with the band.

Weather The StormThat second CD, Weather The Storm found the band at quite the crossroads. The band was gigging frequently, but the pressure was on from certain people to become either "more mainstream" or a "cover band." Everyone understands the business; it's a reality no musician can run from. But the pressure from one member to begin to incorporate a large number of covers in to the set eventually became enormously frustrating to songwriters George and Rick. Arguements ensued and lines were drawn. It was in this atmosphere of conflict and indecision that most of the songs on Weather the Storm were written, and the lyrics show it in lines like, "Each day I carry the weight of your anger, I feel like I'm living with a stranger..." However, there is always hope and that hope is well represented in songs such as "Inspire Me," a song that built itself around a profound conversation George had with his then three-year-old daughter Rosie:

"Dad, will you die someday?" "Yes, but not for a hundred years." She thought for a moment and said, "Daddy, when you die I'll die too and then I'll hold your hand so you don't fall out of the sky."

Upon completion of the album the gigs resumed. Many of these shows were successes but the old pressures reared their heads again. It became clear after another year that the individual band members were not on the same path. It's a common story in the music world. To George, Spiney Norman was his baby, a place to air his songs and to write with sympathetic partners. Rick has proven to be that partner in many many ways over the years, as their continued collaboration shows. The other members had different ideas. After trying to compromise for a while, George finally blurted out one of his infamous lines: "I'd rather do it my own way and have less." The band split.

Attempts at resurrecting the original trio were launched, and some writing and recording was done, but it became clear that though there is great love and respect between them, it just couldn't continue. Spiney was laid to rest for a while, while George focused on producing and performing with others, and Rick spearheaded the Rhythm Room into one of the most outstanding live attractions on the East Coast. George was collaborating with him on the songs and production for TRR, and finally in 2008 he joined as a full performing member. They have been very busy since, and it's been fun and rewarding for all involved.

But George still has those songs coming, and he isn't done talking yet. Newer Spiney songs have been released on the net. You can hear the music, new and old, here. There will be more Spiney Norman in the coming months.

George, Scott, RobJulie MarinucciRick