Welcome to my music home page. There are several drop down menu options to take you through my history, from the Barlow days in the late 1970’s in NYC (back in the old century), through my early years in Los Angeles, where I bought one of the first inexpensive home recording setups, the Tascam Portastudio, a four track cassette machine. My Tascam demos led to the formation of IC3 (that’s a whole other story) with whom I actually got to graduate into 8 track and 24 track recording. After IC3 broke up in 1986, I never played in a band again, but I’ve always maintained a home studio. In 2001, I started calling myself bobwhite and, over the course of the next two years, I wrote and recorded “bobwhite – the White Album”, which featured an album cover that I photographed in London in 2003. On the Embankment, I saw a piece of graffiti that I thought was brilliant. It wasn’t for another 10 years that I found out that this was one of the early works of Banksy, so I guess you could say he was the co-designer of my first album cover.

But I ramble on, don’t I? 🙂

They say it’s best for an artist not to show his sketchbooks or a musician to play his demos. I don’t care. This is my music. I don’t claim it’s world class or even professional, but you know, I don’t apologize for any of it. Up until 1986, it was me and my bandmates, trying to take on the world, full of hopes and dreams, with passion and energy, always looking forward. In my post-band years, working almost exclusively alone, in every case, I walked into a room that was silent and when I walked out a few hours, or weeks, or months later, there were these tunes. I love them all! And that’s what matters most to me. That I can listen to some of these compositions, even 20 or 30 or nearly 40 (!) years later, and still sing along and feel the groove, and the inspiration; the excitement of creating musIc.

.Cliff takes flight

photo by John Livzey

And, of course, it dawns on me that, even for people who have known me personally for many, many years, people who know I play and write, even folks who have played music with me, have never heard most of the tunes I’ll be adding to It’s like my old buddy Donnie once said to me, “I think of my music as putting a bottle in the ocean and hoping it washes up on somebody’s shore. YOU don’t even put the message in the bottle!”.

Well. Don, here’s that bottle 🙂

Rap Me – 4tk cassette, 1982

Joshua Abramson – Casio organ
Joel Abramson – Words and music, produced & engineered, guitars, vocals, choice of Casio beat 😉

One last little note: It’s funny looking back through the long lens of time, but in ’80, ’81, ’82, it was absolutely intoxicating to have these miraculous new toys; 4 track cassette recorders, mini-keyboards with beats built in.

They are so crude by today’s standards, but it was the infancy of artists being able to create without having to own tons of expensive gear and pay $200 an hour to go into a professional recording studio. Hard to explain to someone growing up today, where any schmuck with no musical experience whatsoever can fire up a smart phone app and record relatively professional sounding music.