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Chris Cardillo: Going Wild With ‘Gansett.

August 10, 2012

As part of our partnership with Philly Beer Scene magazine, we’re documenting Philly’s relationships between music and beer. For the most recent issue of Philly Beer Scene, G.W. Miller III hangs out with Chris Cardillo, the bass player for The Bailey Hounds and the new beer rep for Narragansett Brewing Company.

Chris Cardillo began spending a week of each summer on Cape Cod with a dozen friends about four years ago. It was good fun, fueled by Narragansett beer, the historic New England brew that recently had been revived.

A South Jersey native who has lived in Philadelphia since attending St. Joseph’s University, Cardillo, brought cases of the brew back home.  It became the drink of choice during weekend rehearsals and recording sessions with his band, The Bailey Hounds.

Then, during the spring, Cardillo met Kristen Capati, the Narragansett Brewing Company representative in Philadelphia. He talked on and on about how much he loves the beer, which has been making inroads in the region for a few years. Capati said she was leaving town for Colorado, and that he should apply for her job.

So he did, and his enthusiasm won him the gig. His first day on the job was the start of Philly Beer Week in June. Since then, he’s been constantly popping into bars to pitch ‘Gansett and sponsoring events around the region.

“My life these days is literally beer and music,” Cardillo says with a wry grin, and then adds, “much to the dismay of my mother.”

He had worked as a psychology technician at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and later, as a clinical research coordinator on a neuropsychology and genetics study at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Over the winter, however, the funding for his most recent position dried up.

“So I started playing more music,” Cardillo says.

He began DJing at Teri’s Diner in the Italian Market, spinning funk, soul and classic rock on 45s, turning the generic-looking restaurant into a giant dance party. Occasionally, he also spins vinyl at The Barbary. He’s performed as a fill-in bassist for local indie rock band The Quelle Source. And he’s been writing his own songs and preparing to release an album of his solo work in the fall.

The Bailey Hounds: (L to R) Ryan Petrillo, Vince Federici, Chris Cardillo and Gary Lebiedzinski

In 2010, he began playing bass for The Bailey Hounds, an alt-country/folk rock band started by his longtime friend Ryan Petrillo.

“Over the past few years, The Bailey Hounds have been my most consistent thing,” Cardillo says.

They dropped their first album, Along the Gallows, last October. It took six months to record, as each of the bandmates has regular jobs. Petrillo, the lead singer, teaches English at Pitman High School in New Jersey. Guitarist Vince Federici gives guitar lessons. Drummer Gary Lebiedzinski, Cardillo’s roommate, works in finance.

Since the album dropped, the guys have been on a roll. They’ve performed at Johnny Brenda’s, the XPoNential Music Festival and at the Laurel Hill Cemetery, surrounded by tombstones and mausoleums.

Cardillo says that he approaches marketing Narragansett the same way he approaches his music.

“If you try too hard at something everyone enjoys, it’s not going to come off as genuine,” he says.

After thinking about that for a moment, he adds, “I have a really great life right now.”

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