Paul Gelsomine

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Paul Gelsomine
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Born (1953-10-09) October 9, 1953 (age 70)
Amityville New York
NationalityItalian - American
  • Drummer
  • Composer
  • Lyricist
  • Banjo Player
  • Voice-Over Artist
  • Producer

Paul Gelsomine is an Italian - American drummer, composer, lyricist, banjo player, voiceover artist, and producer. He is an active composer, recording artist, live performer, and occasional actor from the late 1960s to the present, and is also known for his instrumental production music as well as his often humorous style of original music that has elements of social commentary.

Gelsomine is not only known as an artist, and for his instrumental production music, but also his humorous lyrics about love, life, and current events, as well as serious songs with social commentary and songs that recollect tales from his life. His musical style has often been described as melancholy and at times features rich, poetic lyrics. He is respected for his, song writing, production ability, drum playing and banjo capability. Gelsomine currently lives in Trondheim, Norway with his wife Vigdis Hovin.

Early life

Gelsomine was born (October 9, 1953) at Brunswick Hospital Center [1] in Amityville New York.[2] He grew up in the small community of Bay Shore[3] Long Island, New York in Suffolk County about 50 miles east of Manhattan. He attended Saint Patricks School from grads one to eight, and later attending Bay Shore High School[4], never graduating from high school he left school in 1968.

His musical training began by playing the drums at the age of 10, as a member of the Saint Patricks School[5] Marching Band. While attending Catholic Grade school from grades one through eight, his parents signed him up for private accordion lessons. He later settled on drums as being his main instrument. At the age of 14, his grandfather bought him his first drum set, a Rogers blue pearl four piece set which he still has today.

Gelsomine’s middle class parents were Frank Gelsomine Sr. (1910 -1980) and Gloria Schiavelli (1925 - 2016 ). Gloria was second cousin to character actor Vincent Schiavelli.[6] Both born in Brooklyn, Frank of Neapolitan[7] ancestry and Gloria of Sicilian[8] ancestry.

He has three siblings, an older sister Michelle, and two younger brothers, Peter and Michael. His father Frank was a truck driver for the Gulf Oil Company in Greenpoint Brooklyn, and Paul’s mother Gloria worked as a waitress at a seafood restaurant on the Great South Bay in Bay Shore a few houses down from where they lived.

Like many others born around that time, Gelsomine drew his strongest musical influences from The Byrds[9]Bob Dylan[10], Buffalo Springfield[11] and other bands living up in Laurel Canyon; like Crosby Stills Nash and Young[12], Frank Zappa,[13] The Monkees,[14] Joni Mitchell,[15] with additional inspiration coming from drummers such as Charlie Watts,[16] Jim Keltner,[17] Levon Helm,[18] Hal Blaine,[19] Steve Gadd.[20] Gelsomine was greatly Influenced by all the great bands and music of the 60s and 70s, but he was also exposed to his parent’s jazz and Big Band record collection; guys like Count Basie,[21] Benny Goodman,[22] Frank Sinatra,[23] Dean Martin,[24] Tony Bennett,[25] and the music of the depression era his parents grew up in. All these musical genres would color Gelsomine’s performing and composing in the years to come. Paul also took some private accordion lessons, but settled on drums as being his main instrument.


In 1965 Gelsomine was able to start practicing with his first band. The Whole Works was a cover band doing music by Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Wilson Picket, Patti Austin (who also attended Bay Shore High School), Sam Cooke, Eddie Floyd, and just about every artist on the Stax label and soul music that arose during the 1960s in Chicago. Along with Southern Soul, Detroit, the home of Motown, and Memphis, with its hard-edged, gritty performers.

By the age of 16 he began his career in music as a drummer by performing at yacht club, beach club and golf club dances, private parties and other events around Long Island. By the time he dropped out of high school in the beginning of the eleventh grade, he was pretty plugged into the music scene and working steady as a free lance drummer with many different acts on Long Island, including his own band.


At a very young age Paul became an in-demand session player in New York, playing drums, and doing voice-overs on many recordings, contributing to radio, television and film soundtracks. Recording many national jingles and commercials as well as composing.

After quitting school Paul bought an old International Harvester S series[26] School Bus from Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital[27] and renovated it to be a camper. He traveled to the West Coast and lived in Palo Colorado Canyon[28] in Carmel California[29] for a number of years. After returning home Paul continued his work as a freelance drummer eventually joining The County Fair.[30]

Early on in his career (1972) the trail of music led to Nashville, and he relocated there working as a drummer with the band County Fair. Fortunate enough to work under the guidance of Shelby Singleton (owner of Plantation Records, & eventually owner of The Sun Records Catalog) and Royce Clark[31] (Producer for Plantation Records) as a session drummer, this resulted in many recordings and releases for various artists. In the years following, much session work surfaced thanks to good help from Shelby and Royce as well as his own projects.

The "Ron Daisley & The County Fair" album was recorded during that time with the intention of being released on the Plantation Records label. It got some airplay, but fell on deaf ears. They didn't fit the traditional Nashville country music mold. It really didn’t change what Gelsomine was doing on the club and touring circuit as a drummer. It was finally released on the Frog Records Story as a collection; Long Island Artis Of The 60s Vol II[32]on Collectable Records 30 years after it was recorded.

After returning from Nashville and the break up of the County Fair Paul joined Tumbleweed and at the same time played banjo around Long Island with his bluegrass trio Allswell & Blue. Along with Danny Kayne and Kevin Barry, as the drummer for Tumbleweed he worked with great musicians like, Howie Wyeth,[33] Rob Stoner,[34] Gordon Titcomb,[35] Kenny Kosek,[36] Hank DeVito,[37] Macy Blackman[38] to name a few.

"There was a lot of cool things happening in and around New York in the 70s and 80s". Paul worked as an understudy to Howie Wyeth in The Best Little Whore House In Texas, when the original show opened off Broadway in June 19, 1978 at the 46th Street Theatre. As a session musician Paul has had the privilege of performing alongside many gifted artists and pick up bands that were rolling around New York at that time.


With the members of Tumbleweed, he contributed to the soundtrack for the Breaker Beauties Film,[39] and they appeared as extras in the film, under the pseudonym The Ranch Hand Band. With Tumbleweed there were numerous tours in Scandinavia several years in a row, and they worked steadily up and down the East Coast and around the New York Metropolitan Area. Playing regularly in Manhattan at City Limits, The Lone Star Cafe,[40] O' Lunneys, Henry Africa’s,[41] Max's Kansas City,[42] CBGB,[43],Kenny's Castaways[44] and The Stone Pony[45] on the New Jersey shore.


Paul relocated again, this time to Norway.[46] After moving to Norway in March of 1990 he became the front man in the blues band Magic Rhythm Circus. Gelsomine's vintage-inspired spoken word rock caught the ear of former TNT[47] bass player Morten Skaget[48] and former Stage Dolls[49] drummer Steinar Krokstad who then brought him on tour with them starting in 1993 with Royal Jam. Several songs were recorded during that period which Gelsomine eventually released on his own label in 2023. As the front man in the Royal Jam he again had the opportunity to work with some very talented musician such as, Morten Skaget, Steinar Krokstad, Elg, Frode Alnæs, Thorstein Flakne and many others.

The many tours in Scandinavia with Tumbleweed led to work with many other talented Norwegian artists such as, Ole Edvard Antonsen,[50]}} Terje Rypdal, Ronni Le Tekrø], Stage Dolls, Bjørn Nessjø, Peer Gynt,[51] Nashville, Jørn Lande, The Smoky Mountain Moonlighters, Lassie And The Lads, Gunnar Andreas Berg, in addition to others, composing, writing lyrics, or as a session player.

In 1997 as the artist Ghetto Shakespeare with the spoken word style that he become noted for, was featured on Ole Edward Antonson's[52] LP. Produced by Bjorn Nessjø, the song Passion[53]peaked at number seven on the Norwegian charts.


Paul started his production music career by writing songs for other artists, at which time he founded A.C.T. Entertainment Group and Essential Sound Music Publishing (affiliated with ASCAP) based in Norway .

As the Spoken Word artist Street Pilot, Gelsomine composed, and produced the releases the spoken word album "Heartbeats From The Street Of Dreams" in 2005, on the independent label A.C.T. Entertainment Group. In 2006 "Headed Towards The Country followed.

Gelsomine wanting to get back to playing banjo and composing bluegrass, folk and country tunes. He started the band The Smoky Mountain Moonlighters in 2009, with the debut album Midnight Train released in 2009.

The whole time Gelsomine also collaborated as a lyricist with many other artist. In 2008 Paul wrote lyrics for the Ning Baizura song Drama on her East To West CD.


In 2010 Gelsomine collaborated with Thorstein Flakne contributing lyrics for song Always.

Meanwhile, The Smoky Mountain Moonlighters continued to work and record releasing "Rodeo Sweethearts" in 2011, and "Far Side Of The Moon" in 2012, a Christmas single "Make It Home By Christmas" in 2013, "View From The Cheap Seats" followed in 2013, "Radio Flyer" in 2015 and "Vintage" in 2017.

At the same time A. C. T. Entertainment Group was growing as a production music label. With a publishing division (Essential Sound Music Publishing), specializing in the creation and licensing of original music, for all types of multimedia, was also growing. Over 14 albums of Production music were released during this period.

Gelsomine decided to disband the original bluegrass trio in 2019 after releasing "Bones In The Closet" precipitating an unusual quiet period as an artist. But he continued composing Production Music, releasing several albums and doing work for hire for several different publishers.


Ten more albums of production music followed for the Essential Sound Music Label, and Gelsomine slowly returned to active duty as an artist in 2020, with the release of "Over The Moon', and "Shadows On The Moon" in 2020, in 2022 "Greetings From Bakersfield" and in 2023, Back To The Woods, New Roads & Old Stories, and "That Old Blue Moon".

Interestingly enough four of the songs on "New Roads & Old Stories" were recorded in 1995 with a group of Norwegian musicians he had met in the mid 80's in New York and toured with in Norway as The Royal Jam.

Morten Skaget played bass, Steinar Krokstad played drums, Dag Stokke played keyboards and Rolf A. Tekrø produced the four songs - The Melody, Happy For A Little While, Hang On To The Dream, and Don't Know How To Change It. Joining to help out were Jorun Erdal, Gier Wentzel, and Vidar Carlsen.

On "Over The Moon", "Shadows On The Moon, "Greetings From Bakersfield", and "New Roads & Old Stories" Gelsomine's musical path transformed into what he calls "Eclectic Electric Roots Rock & Americana Music", a brew of rock, blues, folk, bluegrass, country and spoken word he's been writing, recording, and performing throughout his career.

Personal life

In 2002 Gelsomine married Vigdis Hovin September, 20, 2003 and they live in Trondheim Norway.

Paul Gelsomine has collaborated with a wide variety of recording artists, record companies, major & independent publishers, production music companies and directly with music supervisors, and film makers. His music has been used and licensed in thousands of network television and cable shows as well as advertising campaigns. Gelsomine maintains a creative versatility and ability to produce a wide range of genres, striving to bring exceptional, first-rate music to TV, Film, Commercials, Video Games, Trailers, and other markets.

With the licensing label and publisher Essential Sound Music (Founded in 1989.) Gelsomine has created over 40 albums of compelling production music, for over 35 years. His growing catalog of works include Corporate music, Jazz, Christmas, Dramatic, Latin, Country, Bluegrass, Folk, Blues, Emotional Piano, Orchestral hybrids Acoustic Indie, Americana, World music, Children's tracks, True Crime, Documentaries, and Underscores.


  • 2002 - Commercial Mixer I - ACT CD 0201
  • 2004 - Commercial Mixer II - Music For Tv And Film - ACT CD 0401
  • 2005 - Commercial Mixer III - ACT CD 0501
  • 2005 - Heartbeats From the Street of Dreams - ACTCD 0502
  • 2005 - Songs from the Attic - ACTCD 0503
  • 2006 - Headed Towards The Country - ACT CD 0601
  • 2008 - Catskill County Line - ACTCD 0801
  • 2009 - Midnight Train - ACTCD 0901
  • 2011 - Rodeo Sweethearts - BWA 0111
  • 2011 - Essential Sounds Vol 1 Country - BWA 0211
  • 2012 - Out Of The Blue - BWA 1201
  • 2012 - Dance Til Daylight - BWA 1203
  • 2012 - Far Side Of The Moon - BWA 1204
  • 2012 - Essential Sounds Vol 1 Blues - BWA 1202
  • 2013 - Essential Sounds Cinematic Vol 1 - BWA 1301
  • 2013 - Make It Home By Christmas Single - BWA 1302
  • 2013 - View Form The Cheap Seats - BWA 1304
  • 2014 - Essential Sounds World Music Vol 1 - BWA 1401
  • 2014 - Essential Sound American Roots - BWA 1403
  • 2015 - Radio Flyer - BWA 1501
  • 2015 - Essential Sound Ethnic World Travel - BWA 1502
  • 2017 - Essential Sound Americana Vol 1 - BWA 1701
  • 2017 - Vintage - BWA 1703
  • 2017 - Essential Sound Jazz Cafe - BWA 1704
  • 2018 - It's Christmas - BWA 1705
  • 2018 - Essential Sound It's Jazz Time - BWA 1801
  • 2018 - Essential Sound Acoustic Hybrids - BWA 1802
  • 2018 - Essential Sound Latin Summer - BWA 1803
  • 2018 - Essential Sound Blues Vol 2 - BWA 1804
  • 2018 - Essential Sound Acoustic Indie Blowout - BWA 1805
  • 2018 - Essential Sound Country Living - BWA 1806
  • 2019 - Essential Sound Acoustic Guitars - BWA 1901
  • 2019 - Essential Sound Latin Romance - BWA 1902
  • 2019 - Bones In The Closet - BWA 1903
  • 2019 - Essential Sound Bluegrass - BWA 1904
  • 2019 - Essential Sound Contemporary Underscores - BWA 1906
  • 2019 - Essential Sound Cinematic Hybrids - BWA 1907
  • 2019 - Essential Sound Americana Hybrids - BWA 2001
  • 2020 - Essential Sound Classic Country - BWA 2002
  • 2020 - Essential Sound True Crime - BWA 2003
  • 2020 - Essential Sound Inspiring Moments - BWA 2004
  • 2020 - Essential Sound Emotional Piano - BWA 2005
  • 2020 - Over The Moon - BWA 2006
  • 2020 - Shadows On The Moon - BWA 2007
  • 2021 - Essential Sound Island Waves 2101
  • 2022 - Greetings From Bakersfield BWA 2201
  • 2023 - Back To The Woods - BWA 2301
  • 2023 - New Roads & Old Stories - BWA 2302
  • 2024 - Old Blue Moon -BWA 2303


Paul has collaborated with the following artists as a composer, lyricist, or performer.

With Ning Baizura East West

With Too Far Gone Like Refugees ‎

With Peer Gynt 10 Years On The Road, Fairy Tale, Witchcraft

With Vagabond A Huge Fan Of Life

With Jorn Lande Ark, Spirit Black

With Ole Edvard Antonsen Read My Lips

With Rolf A Tekrø Extra Strong String

With Terje Rypdal Rypdal & Tekrø II

With Nashville Dance Til Daylight, Better Days, Swinging From The Chandelier

With Anders Sinnes The Long Tale

With Agnetta Johanson I’m Going Insane

Going Insane cover version - Maria Mena|Marie Mena

Maria Arredondo|Maria Arrendondo Dance Me Close


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