Who is Old Dog New Trick?

Old Dog New Trick began as a father-son duo with singer/songwriter Bruce Thorndike and his son, Mitch Thorndike on lead guitar and vocals playing pubs and bistros along the lower Connecticut River valley. Later they brought in the extraordinary jazz bassist Paul Emmerling to form the nucleus of the band. Their following expanded when they added the talented Abe Wilson on drums. And finally, in 2016 their sound was complete when they were able to score the renowned Geoff Cox on sax and flute. In addition to a wide range of original songs, ODNT interprets classic rock and blues songs, roots, alternative, and R&B ranging from Van Morrison, The Band and the Allman Brothers to Amos Lee, Zac Brown, Grace Potter and Phish.

Meet The Dogs:


Bruce ThorndikeOld Dog, singer, master songwriter, acoustic guitarist, band leader, Bruce has been active on the Connecticut music scene since his puppy years. Although he took a few years off to raise a family, since returning to the music scene he has been writing and playing with renewed gusto, inspired by the phenomenal musicians around him.

Mitch Thorndikelead guitar, up front and backing vocals, Mitch is the original New Trick.  As Mitch explains, “When I was young, if I wanted a Nintendo for Christmas, my Dad got me a guitar.” By the time Mitch was ten years old he was playing songs experienced players struggle to master. Today he is jamming out amongst the best of them.  Mitch’s unique guitar style and growly, soulful vocals are a favorite among fans.

Paul Emmerling, Jr.the Bassman came to the band with that distinctive jam band thang.  Paul has helped shape the sound of the band and grow them as a unified musical machine.   He often organizes gigs, does PR and he brings a great sense of humor to the group in addition to his killer slaps.  “Paul goes in and he’s right on.” – Robert Galbrath, manager of The Pattaconk.

Abe Wilsondrummer, percussionist, the band’s driving rhythm.  A self-taught musician full of cool who has played in many different outfits, Abe joined ODNT in April of 2015. He brings a smooth and seamless drumline that interweaves with every melody and elevates each song to its full potential. His fills have been called “jaw dropping,” his timing “immaculate” and most important, his ability to read his bandmates, “instinctive.” “Bruce didn’t originally want a drummer… then he heard Abe and said ‘We need to get that guy!’” – Paul Emmerling, Jr

Geoff Cox – the ODNT horn section. Soulful sax, tenor through soprano, plus flute and vocal harmony. With roots in jazz, blues and R&B, Geoff brings a rainbow of funky sax fills and leads and melodic vocals. His knowledge of theory and his artistic and creative arrangements keep the groove going. As Bruce says, reverently, “Geoff is a real musician in a sea of able imposters.”


Photographer: Jason Laliberte

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