BY TRACY ZOLLINGER TURNER
Long before Caesar Pacifici was a psychotherapist in Bloomington, he was part of New York City’s vibrant 70s folk music scene. An acoustic guitar player, Pacifici founded The Flying Cloud with British-born bouzouki player Brian Brooks. The group recorded an album for Adelphi Records and toured the British Isles and the United States. Then, the band split up and the two men fell out of contact for more than 30 years.
Now they’ve reconnected and are collaborating once again—albeit long distance. The result is the album In Good Company.
A Google search brought the two back together eight years ago, just as Pacifici and his wife, Christina Collins, were planning a vacation to England. The trip allowed the two former bandmates to catch up and play together again. “It was a really warm and great reunion,” Pacifici says. “Like all great friendships, decades go by and somehow when you get together it’s as though no time has passed.”
In the intervening decades, Pacifici pursued a Ph.D. in educational psychology at City University of New York; moved to Eugene, Oregon, where he developed multimedia curriculums on parenting and life skills for teens and young adults; and relocated to Bloomington to marry and open a private counseling practice. Brooks returned to Europe, where he continued to play in bands, taught English, pursued an M.F.A., married, and raised three children.
It was Brooks who suggested they take advantage of technological developments in recording and communication technology to work on a project at a distance. “It was a steep learning curve for me, but we did it,” Pacifici says. “There was a lot of trial and error, but the creativity, the sort of chemistry between us, was there.”
After they brought what they call “a critical core of music” together, they invited others to contribute, including three Irish fiddle players and Pacifici’s brother Angelo, “an all-out blues guitarist.” They say the result is different from The Flying Cloud.
“Our individual musical influences are more out front than they were in the old days,” Pacifici says. “We did several of Brian’s original tunes, and my blues and rock influences were brought way to the fore.”
The pair is already working on a second album focused on traditional Irish music infused with the blues.
In Good Company is available on CDBaby, Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.