Making the Parent Band Work

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom

Since becoming a homeowner, I’ve fallen in love with my guitar all over again. My favorite nights are those where I’m sitting on my back porch in the summertime, strumming my guitar underneath the stars.

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Me, playing solo in Brooklyn 

But over the last year or two, I’ve also felt a little lonely, sitting on the porch by myself. I missed the camaraderie of playing music in a band — the collaborative songwriting process, the laughter, and the sonic thrill of electric guitar, drums and bass rattling a rehearsal space.

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In September, I decided I needed to do something about these feelings. I needed to start a new band. Not just to play covers — Connecticut has enough cover bands — but originals too. And I wanted other adults who understood exactly how I felt, balancing work, personal commitments, family and free time. 

I wanted a parent band. 

The problem was, I didn’t have a network of friends ready to jam — those friends lived in the city. In Connecticut, most of the parents I’m friends with aren’t in bands and don’t play instruments. There isn’t a bassist or a drummer around every corner.

Still, I stayed focused on my goal. I’m too old to settle for something that doesn’t make me happy, especially when time is involved. Everything I do, from updating Rockmommy to working to working out takes time away from my precious kids.

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Me and my Gibson SG, rocking out at rehearsal

So I put an ad on Craigslist, which led me to meet Doug, a bassist and guitarist who happened to be a dad of two young boys — close in age to mine. And then I posted a call for a drummer on Facebook. Little did I know that my college bestie Jason’s brother Nick, a dad of four, played drums. I recruited my guitarist friend Anna, whom I’d jammed with a bit in 2017 and 2018. 

Two months later, we’re a band with a name (unveiled soon) and a set list of 11 or 12 songs (a combination of originals and covers). I don’t know what’s going to happen next week, or whether we’ll still be playing this time next year. But I’m grateful I made the decision to follow my heart and not settle. 

It’s not always easy. Yesterday morning, schools closed because of the snow, which, coupled with my insomnia, made me cranky and exhausted. When I remembered I had band practice that night, I thought about calling in sick. I also didn’t want to part with $20/hour for a babysitter. 

But I’m so glad I persevered. 

While so many things are harder when you’re a parent — from brushing your teeth in the morning to making a band work — it’s important to follow your heart. While I still love playing solo, having a parent band is amazing. I’m so grateful for this moment in time, and everyone —from my sitters to my husband — who has helped me make it work. 

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.