MARC PONTIN INTERVIEW


How has the reaction to your latest CD been?


The reaction to Textures has been very positive, and as its only been 

out a few weeks I am very happy and optimistic that the music press and radio, plus the listening public really seem to like it.


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Musically my influences vary possibly far too much to list here. 

Primarily I'm a Jimi Hendrix freak, and he's my main influence 

musically. I love all types of music, blues, rock, jazz, soul, funk, 

                                                                                                                                  country, as long as it's played with heart and soul.

Non musically, I'm influenced by spiritualism, in a philosophical sense, 

not religious sense. The feeling that we are all connected, human, 

animal, plant, sea, air etc. I trust intuition and believe in 

positivity.


People who have influenced me primarily,include Bruce Lee, Black Elk ( 

Native American Chief and Author ), my wife Ayesha.


What inspires you to do what you do?

A few things, mostly passion, desire to succeed and gain stability and 

security doing something that drives me. I am my music. It defines me as 

a person. In a way I don't need inspiration to do it, it is just me.


What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?

With my own money probably 'Alchemy Live ' by Dire Straits on cassette.


What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a

recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the 

show/recording?

I played a gig in a tepee once, for a wedding. That was interesting. It 

wasn't recorded but it was very surreal.


What has been your most memo. able moment in your music career so far?

Hearing my music on the radio for the first time. I felt proud, 

vindicated, and also knew the hard work starts from there.


Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?

I was having a meal at a beachside restaurant in Marbella. I got up to 

pay the bill at the till and the Spanish waiter said he had been 

watching me on YouTube for a few years. I'm not well known at all so the 

chances of that happening are remote!


If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become

a reality, what would that be?

I would change the current perception of what music is to the masses. 

Most people watch talent tv shows like X Factor and think that is music. 

Because of this, live music and creative music souls all around them are 

getting strangled of life, outlet, existence. If you look at the charts 

from the late 60s you would see pop music, obviously, but also more 

diverse music by eclectic acts. This is not so these days.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?

I have nearly 7000 songs on my iPod and I hand picked everyone of them. 

So I don't think any would be embarrassing, but I expect others would!


What does the next 6 months look like for you?

We go into the studio early January to record my wife Ayesha's second 

album, then I begin part 2 of the Textures tour in the UK, late spring. 

I'm looking at shows in Europe following a European release at the end 

of April.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?

They can expect that no two shows will be the same, as we improvise a 

lot. It will also be a diverse show, not just blues, but a lot of other 

musical influences too.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?

The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium. Europe.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?

People tell me they can attach my lyrics to their own experiences and 

that it has helped them get through some dark times, or others tell me 

that my song brings back nostalgic memories in some way, particularly 

'Just One More Day' from my debut album 'Days Of Destiny'


Best track you've ever written and why?

That's a hard one. At the moment I like Three Wishes Part 1+2 from 

Textures. They are both personal to me, and so far only three people 

have recognised why I called them Three Wishes. I like the chorus chord 

change in Part 2 particularly. Sometimes music just writes itself, as if 

I found it under a rock...


Where can readers find out more about you?

Go to www.markpontingroup.com and visit us on Twitter and Facebook - 

Mark Pontin Group


LAUREN ANDERSON INTERVIEW


What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


The first song I remember hearing was my father singing a Donovan song, "The Sun is a Very Magic Fellow" to me and my brothers.


What inspires you to do what you do?


I believe music was given to us to help us deal with life.  So life, and all the good, bad and the ugly, inspires me to create and perform music.

 

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


I've been taught to keep an internal clock, and whenever I mess up, I just pick right back up where ever the song is.  So if I mess up on beat 1, and it takes me till beat 4 to pull myself back together, I get back on beat 4, rather than where I left off (beat 2).  If you stick to this rule, I find most people don't even notice. 


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


"When Love Comes To Town" covered by Herbie Hancock, Joss Stone, and Jonny Lang.  I love this version of this song.  Especially around 4:15, Joss hits a note that never fails to give me goosebumps! 



How would you describe your perfect day?


This is tough.  I think there are a lot of different kinds of perfect day's.  One for me though is to sleep in, make waffles and coffee for breakfast.  Spend most of the day writing and working on music, then play a sold-out show at a venue such as Knuckleheads in Kansas City, MO.   That would be a pretty good day.

 

Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?


I would be nervous to meet Joan Osborne.

 

What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


"Bitch Better Have My Money" by Rihanna, haha.  It pumps me up when I'm at the gym.  


If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that


On the lake in Hayward, WI.  My family rents a cabin up there every summer and it's extremely relaxing and peaceful.

 

Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Tour.  Right now we've had a few small tours and in the future I plan on increasing that and expanding where we travel to.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


Traveling the world performing. 


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Probably Winter Park, CO.  Great little town. 


Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


Without music i would be..........  lonely.


I write the songs because.......... it makes me a better person.

WENDY DEWITT INTERVIEW


If you have to describe your music in three or four words,what would you call it?


Piano Blues and boogie


What was the first tune(s) you learned?


Ha! One my dad wrote. First tune I ever copied off the radio… City of New Orleans


When did you start writing music—and what or who were your early passions and influences?


When I was ten. Hank Willimas and BB King when I was 12


Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?


Steve Freund, Otis Rush, duke Robiliard, tony Z, King Curtis, Otis Spann, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Pete Johnson, Dr Clayton, oh man, this list goes on and on… and ranges from blues to jazz, focusing on guitar, organ, piano and sax.


Do you get nervous before a performance?


Seldom. If it happens I don’t realize it until later usually.


How do you promote your shows?


Email list, social media, fliers, entertainment calendars, radio. With gusto!


What's your outlook on the record industry today?


What record industry? But seriously… the music industry is in flux. Live performance can’t be downloaded so we are focusing on touring and consider CDs promotional support for gigging. Back to how it was in the old days.


What's your claim to fame?


Not sure I have one. Years in the business and still having a ball. Hank Ballard tours. IBC Finalist. Song writer with several albums of material. 


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Heh, inspirational talks from Jack Canfield! 


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


Wendy, What a stellar evening in every way! You and Kirk totally rocked! Your playing was wondrous, the fun and confidence you gave to every part of the night had the audience enthralled. The lineup was so exciting and rich with the promised innovation. Every performer brought something unique and new. Thank you for creating a night I will always treasure.


WOW !  You five put on the best damn show ever. The Queens made me cry  not only because I was just too happy to be there but the expression,the vocals,and the amount of talent that accumulated on one stage was overwhelming. I am tearing up just writing this letter. Thank Wendy. We love you. 

Dan Zelinsky, Musee Mecanique, San Francisco


After a quick set change it was time for a master of the 88's, Wendy DeWitt, and her drummer Kirk Har-wood to take the stage. The Boogie Woogie Queen immediately had the dance floor filled and proved her well-deserved title. The duo had just driven down from a Portland/Seattle tour and with their unmatched energy levels they captivated the au-dience with songs from their highly regarded latest CD "Industrial Strength." Wendy and Kirk's humorous interplay between songs added to Wendy's uplifting piano skills and smoky vocals and held everyone's attention. Wendy DeWitt and Kirk Harwood truly made this a night to remember. 

Bo Ely/Sacramento Blues Notes


This woman has a left hand with a mind of its own that owns the keyboard as her right hand improvises a melody over the top while she belts out lyrics with amazing heart, accompanied by an accomplished drummer.  Amazing.  Imagine the wiring with all those neurons firing in this brain!  The room filled with energy and the audience was jumpin’ to an electric piano screaming for its life under her relentless command.  There was some serious fun erupting in the room as Wendy tore up the tunes, with hands on fire, igniting the audience around her.

Lisa Starbird


How would you describe your perfect day?


Walking in the woods with my sweetie and playing music in the afternoon, then recording a new song with my favorite musicians.


Best song you ever written and why?


If I could just

Truth, it connects to people, would very much love to have Bonnie cover it.

Upon further delving, this answer can change depending on my state of mind.


How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


What mistakes? That's improvisation.


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


Messing around with the blues, Memphis slim.


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?


Playing the piano, hiking through the woods or gardening. I'm a science nerd so if I wasn't in music if have been a scientist.


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Love more, inspire more, be more self disciplined, play more international festivals where I can make friends from all over the world.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


In Italy. Or Japan. Or Australia. Surrounded by brilliant wonderful creative fun people all dedicated to a peaceful and loving world.


INTERVIEW MOJO MAN 

Antwoorden door Martin Duprix - zang en gitaar en Reinier Zervaas tenor/altsax

 

Wie zijn jullie muzikale helden?


Duprix: Teveel om op te noemen natuurlijk maar de meeste mensen zullen bij onze muziek denken aan  Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding of de Rolling Stones.

 

Zervaas: Tot nu toe zijn we al beschreven als Black Crowes met een flinke dosis Stax maar ook als Delbert McClinton on acid. Het maakt ons niet uit. Dat zijn mooie namen!


Hoe is de band Mojo Man ontstaan?


Zervaas: Marcel en ik zijn elkaar tegen gekomen bij een optreden op het Big Rivers Festival in Dordrecht. We waren op dat moment allebei niet meer zo happy in de bands waarin we speelden. Enerzijds door de koers van de muziek, anderzijds door het te weinig tijd hebben voor onze bands. En om ergens te komen moet er veel tijd in worden gestoken.

 

Duprix: We zijn allebei grote blues fans. Er is op dit moment een enorme blues revival. In Nederland merk je daar nog niet zoveel van. We wilden graag de ballen, de sex  drugs and rock and roll terug horen. 


Waarom  is/wordt  Mojo Man de next big thing?


Duprix: Het lijkt erop dat de energie van onze shows zowel jonge als oude zielen aanspreekt. We zien oude rockers en jonge blues fans die gewoon een feestje met elkaar hebben. Onze single ' Is It  Crime ' past net zo goed op Radio 2 als radio 3. 

 

Wat mogen mensen verwachten van een live optreden van Mojo Man.

 

Zervaas: Wat echt anders aan ons is is de combinatie van een rock and roll band met een 5-mans blazers sectie. We zijn veel meer dan alleen maar blues, rock of soul.  We zijn met negen man een grote band.  Een optreden van Mojo Man is alleen daardoor al altijd spektakel. Het is veel koper en gitaarversterkers op 11. Balls and horns, zoals wij het graag noemen


Wat was het beste live optreden tot nu toe en waarom ?


Duprix: Bevrijdingsfestival Wageningen. Ik weet niet of dat het beste optreden was. Het was het optreden waar de puzzelstukjes voor ons als band ineens in elkaar vielen. Iedereen voelde het op het podium en we zagen het bij ons publiek ook gebeuren.


Hoe gaan jullie de wereld veroveren?


Zervaas: Met heel hard werken. Instant succes bestaat niet. Het lijkt misschien van buitenaf dat het heel snel gaat met ons.

Voor ons voelt het alsof het heel langzaam gaat.  Omdat we er iedere dag mee bezig zijn. We zien wel onze fanbase gestaag groeien. Soms betekent dat echt zieltje voor zieltje winnen. Dat is de enige manier om  er voor te zorgen dat we niet alleen nu succesvol zijn maar ook dat we kans maken om er over tien jaar nog te zijn. We proberen zoveel mogelijk te genieten van de reis die we nu maken. Soms is het een gekkenhuis maar uiteindelijk kiezen we hier wel met hart en ziel voor

 

Op welk nummer is de band het meest trots?

 

Zervaas: Er staan negen nummers op de cd. We hebben negen bandleden. Iedereen heeft een andere favoriet. Ik ga voor The ship is sinking.

 

Duprix: Searching man.


Kan je in Nederland ook succesvol zijn zonder de minuut of fame in DWDD


Duprix: Het is eigenlijk te gek voor woorden dat, dat minuutje zo’n beetje de enige airplay is waar je als Nederlandse band nog op kunt hopen. Het is nog gekker dat je op onze Nederlandse radio en tv eigenlijk alleen maar buitenlandse artiesten hoort en ziet. Er wordt echt fantastische muziek in Nederland gemaakt. We hoeven elkaar niks wijs te maken: dat heeft alles met geld te maken.

 

Zervaas: De regionale zenders zijn een uitzondering. Die zitten nog niet in de broekzak van de grote platenmaatschappijen. 


Wat gaat 2016 in muzikaal opzicht brengen.


Zervaas: Zoals het er nu uitziet gaan we nog meer optredens doen dan vorig jaar. Vorig jaar was niet slecht. Daarmee hebben we onze cd bij elkaar gespeeld. Met de cd op zak worden het zeker meer optredens. Die zijn nu al aan het binnen druppelen. Duprix: We gaan verder werken aan onze sound. We hebben die live ontwikkeld. We moeten als band verder groeien. Niet alleen de sound maar ook onze show kan nog veel vetter.


Wat zou iedereen moeten weten over Mojo Man


Duprix: We zijn een rock and roll band. We zijn in principe geboren uit liefde voor de blues maar we zijn veel meer dan alleen dat. 


Een paar keuzes ter overweging :


Een huiskamerconcert of festival?


Duprix: Dat is eenvoudig. Festival. We zijn een festival band per uitstek Als je ons kwijt wilt moet je wel een fucking grote huiskamer hebben


Vinyl of Spotify ?  


Zervaas: "Ik snap heel goed dat het politiek correcte antwoord vinyl is maar ik ga toch Spotify zeggen. Het is moeilijk om afscheid te nemen van die mooie tijd waarin een nieuwe plaat een nieuwe schat was maar dat is gewoon voorbij. De wereld verandert en wij moeten mee. Met Spotify kan iedereen over de hele wereld naar ons luisteren. Ik hoop wel dat de geluidskwaliteit gaat verbeteren maar dat gaat wel gebeuren. En ik hoop natuurlijk dat we nieuwe fans maken en vooral dat ze naar onze optredens komen. We staan overigens ook gewoon op Spotify


Principes of roem ?


Duprix: Dat is een lastige. Verkocht Robert Johnson niet z’n ziel aan de duivel?! Voor het geld zijn we niet gegaan want anders kwamen we wel met 5 man blazers uit blik. Je bent als band natuurlijk eigenlijk gestoord als je met negen man op pad gaat. Ik kies toch voor principes. Ik geloof er heilig in dat als je trouw bent  aan waar je in gelooft dat je dan uiteindelijk het succes krijgt wat je verdient!


ALEX MAIORANO INTERVIEW 

 

How has the reaction to your latest CD been?


So far pretty good, all the reviews has been positive and nice. Makes me very proud of the work we have done in the studio.

Even though we improvised many of the arrangements in the studio the result was not too bad. 

I mean “ Everything Boom” is a very spontaneous record I would say, I had some songs, put a band together and after 8 months went to the studio.



Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


I love every kind of music and i listen to music the whole day, pretty much, from the radio my girl plays in the kitchen in the morning, to my vinyls and my singles when i am djing. My dad was a big influence on me, my first approach to music was with his records which were things like Lou Reed, Muddy Waters and The Doors. 

A few years later i discovered punk and i fell in love with it and started a band. Now i listen to everything; I would say soul, blues, reggae, afro, rock and roll is what i love the most. 

Non-musical influences ? Maybe books, travelling, films, love, art, food and everything that is around me.


What inspires you to do what you do?


I see and get inspirations from the daily little things i see and experience and maybe from a breaking news you hear on the radio. Sometimes you don 't even know where you get it, it just happens when you are an artist..


What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?


I will never forget it, it was the Sex Pistols “ Never Mind The Bollocks”. After i bought it i thought “ I really wanna have a band and be on stage at some point in my life”. I never listen to it now but when i see that pink and yellow cover it makes me feel good. 


What has been your most memorable moment in your music career so far?


I would say that everytime i have a record  in my hands that i made, i feel very satisfied and it's always a special moment when i am alone and get to listen to it for the first time. I can't really tell you any other memorable moments, for me it's really memorable when i see people having fun and enjoying my show.


Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?


Ahh, i am not so popular to tell funny stories about fans.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Nothing, i only have good music for my ears.


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


I have few shows in Germany before I go away for 2 months. I will be playing some shows in Thailand and Australia, and when i get back we are going to release a single and tour Europe. After that we might start recording a new album. Sounds like a great plan, doesnt' it?


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


Well, i feel on stage something very particular with The Black Tales and i hope that people feel the same when they see the show. You can see a lot of energy mixed with sweat, wildness and fun.

ANDY POXON INTERVIEW


When did you first start singing?


I don’t know, I was probably 14 or so. I only started singing because it was easier to get gigs as a guitarist if you sing. And if you’re 14 and you sing and play guitar, you can sing terribly and people will still come listen to you.


What did your family do to encourage you?


Both my parents were musicians so they were very supportive. They bought me my first guitar, paid for guitar lessons, and drove me around to gigs until I could drive.


Who are your musical inspirations?


BB King, T Bone Walker, Hollywood Fats, Junior Watson, Johnny Guitar Watson, among many others.


What kind of music do you listen to today?


Everything I can. I think there’s a lot to be learned from many different styles of music, and I enjoy many different kinds. I like classical music, jazz, soul, country, and pretty much anything that has a good groove or I find interesting.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Well, if I had an mp3player, there wouldn’t be any embarrassing songs on it. I’m not embarrassed by music I enjoy, that would be silly. I would only be embarrassed by music that I listened to if I thought it was actually terrible, but if I thought it was actually terrible, I wouldn’t listen to it.


Where would you most like to perform?


Pretty much anywhere in the United States, 60 years ago.


Who would you most like to open for?


I don’t know, someone who doesn’t play blues, so there’d be a bunch of girls closer to my age there.


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing


Making money.


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?


Modern blues. “Blues-rock. “Any type of music where there’s a guitar player who uses a tube screamer or another type of overdrive pedal could be described as a style of music that I can’t stand.


What hidden talents do you have?


I know have a lot, but I haven’t found them yet.


Best track you've ever written and why?


That’s not for me to say I don’t think, but I would say in general the songs I’m most proud of are the ones that are based on real experiences and emotions.


BRAD VICKERS INTERVIEW

 

When did you first start singing?


I began to sing in a group that I had with my brother when we were both just in junior high school. We did songs by some of the artists that I still love and “cover” today, like Jimmy Reed and Chuck Berry. We also did country songs. This was back when Willie Nelson was still known as “Little Willie.”  


What did your family do to encourage you?


 

My family was supportive, they told me not to give up. My father wanted me to have a hit record so that I could take care of him. (Sadly, he’s no longer with us.) My mother said, “If it feels good, do it.” There was music in my family, because my grandfather played drums and lap steel in country bands in the ‘20s and ‘30s. 


Who are your musical inspirations? 


I guess it’s obvious: Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, Tampa Red, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and Leadbelly top my list. 


What kind of music do you listen to today? 


I still love and listen to this same music, and a lot of other old-time genres like mountain and Apalachian music, and—very important—the Zydeco music of Western Louisiana and the “Gulf-sound” pop music of the ‘50s and ‘60s. I listen to a lot of older jazz like Sidney Bechet and Louie Armstrong. But, of course, I love the Chicago Blues, having spent so much time playing bass with Pinetop Perkins, Jimmy Rogers, and Hubert Sumlin. I also like “Soul Jazz” such as the works of Cannonball Adderly and Gene Ammons. And I love the Skiffle music of Lonnie Donegan, and the Texas swing of Bob Wills. He’s almost a combination of Dixieland and Hokum music. I guess I’m all over the map.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player? 


I don’t have an MP3 player. But if I did, some of the most surprising songs you might find there would be the cowboy songs of Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers & Dale Evans.


Where would you most like to perform?  


I would love to get over to Europe, because I know that the audiences there also appreciate the music that has informed my work. It would be a most gratifying experience.


Who would you most like to open for? 


I’d love to open for one of those great artists who have come before me and synthesized American roots music, for example: Taj Mahal, Bob Dylan, and Los Lobos. It would also be wonderful to be on a bill with Keb’ Mo, Guy Davis, or the Heritage Blues Orchestra, all who are doing great work that resonates with my projects.


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?  


Well, spend a lot of time writing poetry and prose, and do a lot of reading.


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to? 


Sleazy “Lounge” music is about the only thing I can’t stand. I try to find something I can take away from almost all other genres. As a poet, I understand rap. It’s just rhymes set to a beat. 


What hidden talents do you have?  


I used to do cartoon illustration, and I still enjoy drawing humorous situations.


Best track you've ever written and why?


There are many but I’d have to say “Traveling Fool” from my album of that title. It’s because I wrote it about my life on the road, at a time when I was out there a lot. I was crying out about the road’s negative aspects: not being able to get a foothold anywhere, places beginning to look the same, not having time for a relationship.


Which question I did forget to ask?


I guess how to get in touch with me. If any agents, concert promoters, bookers, or anyone want to get in touch with me, I’d be happy to respond via my website, www.BradVickers.com 

 

 


JONAS CARPING INTERVIEW



When did you start composing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?


My early passions were The Doors and Jimi Hendrix. They released The Doors movie when twenty years had passed since Jim Morrisons passing. In Sweden Light My Fire was played intensively during that time across all the media channels and I was instantly hooked on that song. It was like a new world opening up. That fire grew into an obsession with The Doors music which then developed into the love for late sixties early seventies rock that I still adore to this day. That was a magical period in music that will never be ever again. The songs and sounds created back then is the foundation of everything (that is good) even today.




Do you typically write the lyrics first, or the melody?


It depends actually. It always starts of with a creative spark, whether it’s a melody or certain words or a situation even, it works the same way. That sparks lights something that then develops a structure and becomes a song. These things can happen at any time, it sort of falls from the sky and if you’re lucky you can pick it up and create something.


What makes you proud of the best song you’ve written the most ?


I’m proud of the work that I do, that I put down. And sometimes you feel that you really captured something. That makes me happy. More specifically, I like the words of The Last Approval. To me it really makes a statement. Higher Ground as well. I worked very hard with the lyrics on this album. And I hope the listener can relate to the words. You can’t really write for someone else, you always write for yourself. To deal with the stuff that you yourself live with. But like I said earlier, it’s life, and therefore others can relate too. And I hope the words speak to others as well, allowing them to make that connection. That’s what it’s really about.


What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?


Life. The things that we all go through. For me as a listener songs can provide a great comfort when things are rough. And I hope my songs can do the same for other listeners. What I write is extremely personal in one way, but relates to everyone in another way. We all share the same stories basically, the situations are personal and unique but the essence is the same. It’s life you know.


If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Hard Driving Americana


How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


I’ve always been more drawn to the dark side of creation, the melancholy. That’s were the excitement lies for me. And that’s where there’s true meaning, where people actually have something interesting to say. That crap that Taylor Swift sings about, I can’t relate to that. I mean it’s like I ride the subway everyday, but I don’t need no song to tell me what that’s all about. The depth of that stuff is non existent. It’s like chewing a gum, it tastes great for like three seconds, then it’s just plain gum.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


Energy and a whole lot of it.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


Well, when people simply say that certain songs mean certain things to them, then I feel my job is well done. Because it doesn’t matter what the song is about to me, as a listener you should be allowed to create your own meaning of a song, and nobody, not even the writer should ever tell you that you’re wrong. Because it’s not about that. It’s about finding a meaning, and letting that be the personal experience that it is meant to be.


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?


I would like to perform with The Doors, Bob Marley or Elvis Presley. As a guitarist, in the background, just following their lead. Just to feel that vibe to see what it was really like.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


The first time I ever played in front of people was at my little sisters birthday party. I played a song of my own and a cover by a Swedish artist that she really likes. I’ve never felt further away from home because it was so far out of my comfort zone. But I’ve also never felt more natural and close to home. So, I had to go far far away just to find my way back home. And in the end, I never really left, I was there all along.


THEM VIBES INTERVIEW


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


Let’s start musical. The feeling of pure truth through melody and rhythm is the secret knock to all our souls. That being said we listen to a lot, and we are always hunting for great music. Some days we’re getting down to the Kinks and others it could be Beethoven’s 7th- and all inbetween- just depends on the mood. The only thing we can’t stand is music without soul, and that tends to rear it’s vapid head quite often on the radio dial.



What inspires you to do what you do? 


It’s all expression, and when you get it right it’s honest expression, and there is no escaping the truth. Life itself is inspiration. You just have to pay attention.


How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


Mistakes in music can lead to genius. Sometimes the best moments in the studio are the unintended notes. Rock music is humanity in its most honest form- we are all bound to fuck up, so what truly matters is how quickly you recover. 


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


The Beatles Abbey Road, side b. Every time. 


How would you describe your perfect day?


In the summer heat the skies begin to rain torrentially with money, never ceasing until every dollar is worthless. I smoke a cigarette and return to my orgy. 


Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?


Besides a guy with a gun pointed at me aching for his next meth fix, probably Jerry Lee Lewis. The man paved the way for rock n’ roll, and they don’t call him the Killer for nothing.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


The soundtrack to the Phantom Of The Opera. But, does it count if I’m not embarrassed? 


If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that be?


I blinked and it was too graphic to print. But blink again and I’m in New York city in autumn and having a beer. Blink again and she is having a drink with me. 


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


What we do now is nice. But multiply and amplify the now and therein lies the answer.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


Alive and well but still hungry. Touring across the world and doing what we all truly love, playing music for all of you. 


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Everyone in the band has played across the Atlantic sometime in their career, but as Them Vibes we have only touched the cities within the States. And so we can barely contain ourselves. We cannot wait to get over to Europe and rock out with every single one of you. 


GOSPEL MACHINE INTERVIEW

 

What's the first song you ever remember hearing?

 

My memory is quite terrible, but it would have to be a hymn. We grew up with a lot of hymns in our family. Hymns and then lots of 60s pop--Beach Boys, Supremes, etc...


When did you start composing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?

 

I started writing music from the day I could make noise I think. Apparently, I used to waddle around the house singing made up toddler operas. But serious composition came when I was around 13, when I learned to play guitar. At that point I was obsessed with Brit pop, particularly Oasis, so you can imagine how amazingly bad those early songs were.


Do you typically write the lyrics first, or the melody?

 

Melody almost always comes first, but until there is a lyric or a central phrase/image, the melody is somewhat unmoored. Once I can fix it to that image, then the song starts to emerge from that point.


What is the best song you’ve  ever written and why ?

 

The record is so new, that naming the best feels like picking a favorite child. I think "Walkin' with the Dead" off our recent album "Your Holy Ghost," strikes me as being the most complex. But I'm really proud of "Peace in the Valley." When Jayanthi sings "There were whispers and songs, but that don't make no bread. And I never did sleep 'neath what somebody said. But I'll sing til the grey light draws my final breath. Come pull up a chair dear old death," I love those lines. They give me a lot of joy.


What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?

 

Some are straight love tunes, but Gospel Machine was conceived as a band that sings about racism and war and being a refugee. 


If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?

 

We call it "garage gospel," because we take up the old gospel music themes of yearning for redemption from the struggle.


How did you become involved in the type of music you play?

 

I had become pretty bored with indie rock music. It had begun to feel like a formula for commercials. And I was pretty frustrated that we had come out of the Great Recession and a decade of war and I saw absolutely no reflection of it in rock music. For a few years I was listening to more and more Nina Simone, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke. And then Jayanthi Kyle and I started talking about making music together. From there, we just started to click and the songs started to happen.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?

 

Jayanthi Kyle is one of the best performers I have ever seen, certainly the best I have ever worked with. Our shows are theater. Jayanthi takes the characters and brings them to life.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?

 

Not that I'd really share. I have been really humbled by seeing some of this music (including the protest song Jayanthi and I wrote called "Hand in Hand") be embraced by the Black Lives Matter movement. That means a lot to me.


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?

 

I'd say Nina Simone, but I'm not good enough. She'd chew me up and spit me out. If I could sing some harmonies with Brian Wilson that would be it.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?

 

I've never really toured much, but I have traveled quite a bit and played music as I went--Romania, Nepal, and most of Western Europe.


THE SILENT COMEDY INTERVIEW


What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


Wow, that’s a tough question! Me and Jeremiah’s parents raised us on a lot of blues and rock n’ roll music, so we heard a lot by the time we could remember. 

 

When did you start composing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences


My brother, Jeremiah, started composing music as early as twelve years old. He negotiated for me to play with him over the years, and then I started writing songs around the age of fifteen

Do you typically write the lyrics first, or the melody?


I write lyrics first, then the melody. Jeremiah usually writes the music first, and the lyrics and melody later. In that way, we work very well together. 


What is for you the difference between writing a song and composing?


For me, I write songs when inspiration strikes me. It happens like a lightening bolt, and usually the lyrics and melody come at the same time. Generally, I sing them for my brother, who composes the music around them. 


For him, he is composing music constantly. At different points his lyrical compositions meet up with the music, and that becomes a song. He writes so many songs, that only a portion become Silent Comedy songs. 

 

What makes you the most proud of the best song you’ve written?


Jeremiah’s song “Gasoline” is probably the song we are all most proud of. It was written about several very specific experiences in our lives, but is so universal that everyone can relate to it. It’s a very emotional song. We often experience very powerful emotions on stage when we perform it, and see that the audience feels many of the same things. It is a special experience to have one song bring a room full of people together in that way. 

 

What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)


We are generally a dark band. Our songs are largely about human failings and mistakes. We have some redemptive and hopeful songs in the mix, but the majority are about the darker inclinations of humankind. 

 

If you have to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?


We usually call it Rock, Americana, Gospel, Blues… that is pretty much it. 

 

How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


Jeremiah and I were raised on a steady stream of blues and rock n roll. Our dad even played rock music to us in the womb. That type of heritage gets deep in your soul, so by the time we had a band of our own, we were playing that type of music. Basically, we were born into it. 

 

What can people expect to see at your live performances?


Our live performance is one of the most unique aspects of the band. We often start off with some more conventional Americana and Folk songs, then end up with a wild mixture of Rock and Gospel. You will usually see a lot of sweaty men jumping around, a lot of dancing, and maybe a few instruments being broken at a Silent Comedy show… 

 

Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


Here are some things people say about us:


“In live performance, [The Silent Comedy] grabs you (and everyone in the room) by the soul and leaps skyward with an ebulliently intoxicating, captivating passion...”


“Friends Divide does not disappoint. Although it only holds six tracks, including the hard-hitting single “God Neon”, Friends Divide is a deep album with interesting arrangements and a unique blend of Americana, Rock n’ Roll, Blues and Folk.”


“These guys play the soundtrack to the party at the end of the world...”


“The Silent Comedy is one of my new favorite bands. I love their live show... It's got rock and old-time religion as well as the ability to take you to a space occupied by only a few bands…”


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up - who would it be? Why?


We have had a chance to perform with many amazing bands from Queens Of the Stone Age, Dave Matthews Band, Arctic Monkeys, Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, The Heavy, The Roots, etc… If we could play with our dream performers, it would probably be: Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, Jack White, Kings of Leon, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and a many others… 

 

What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


To this point, Scotland is the furthest from home we have performed. We love traveling, and we can’t wait to experience more towns and countries!!!


HEATHER CROSSE INTERVIEW 


What are you listening to lately?  


I am listening to more 50s-70s old soul music lately. It just soothes my soul and makes me feel good and relaxed!


Which line/phrase on your album is your favorite and could you try to explain why?


My song 'Hurryin' Up To Relax' has my favorite line in it cause it's real & funny..."Da music biz ain't as glamorous as it seems!" The song is a sort of musician's anthem that discusses the trials of trying to make it as a performer.    Many people think musicians are just partying all the time and being treated like royalty, but this is often not the case. It is actually hard work and you must give so much and make many sacrifices to be successful. The music biz is tough!!! My line just says it all in a nutshell and it is something I would say to my non-musician friends to try to explain.


Which artist inspired you to become artists yourself?


All my band leaders/mentors over the years have set great examples and inspired me. My being a Blues bass player made me happy to back someone for the rest of my life, but mentors pass on and I was left standin'! I accepted this 'my being an artist' only in recent years. It has been a long hard process to rise from side bass player to front woman still holding down the bass job in the Blues Music Industry especially. I will give some credit to Susan Tedeschi for inspiring me years ago right before she made it big and showing me that a sweet down-to-earth woman who sings and plays an instrument can do it! ...and Super Chikan really influenced me on how to run a band and stage presence.


What was the best show you ever played or felt the best vibe and what was the most embracing moment on stage?


Ooo...there are so many for I am one to always try to create the magic! One of my favorites is when Jerry Jines, original guitar player in my band, jumped a foot off the stage during his guitar solo. The man was not in the best health, never saw him jump before, and he died a year later, but that night he was on fire and gave me goose bumps. He played with so much feeling that it always made me give everything I had! There is also the first time Bob Margolin hired me to play bass for him. It was like flashing back in time to my favorite place. I learned bass mainly from playing along with Muddy Waters cassettes and Bob told me that I remind him of Calvin "Fuzz" Jones and made the bass lines like him. Fuzz is my favorite bass player! Wow!!!  


Did You ever censored yourself in a song ?


Yes! I became a music teacher here in Clarksdale, MS. and well it is a small town where everybody knows everybody. So, when I have parents or students at my shows I omit some bad words from those old Blues songs or don't do certain songs with adult subjects! LOL!


What can we expect of your music  in the near future and what direction do you want to go with your music ?


I believe I will continue to write universal music that reaches people and perform all over the world for the rest of my life. I am hooked! I know I will always stay rooted in the Blues, but I feel that I will write some new old Soul music as well. I am signed with Ruf for a 3-record deal, so I have 2 more to go for now and this will enable me to accomplish my goals. I am very grateful to Tom Ruf for finding me and giving me this opportunity. 


How would you describe your perfect day?


My perfect day is always when I'm playing my favorite music. That is my happy place and everything else just melts away. I am in that special moment!


What else do you do besides play music?


My second love is Nature! I love hiking, swimming, canoeing, and camping! I love the woods and water, my other happy places. I also love teaching music to children & adults and this is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.


What is your favorite album by another artist?


This is hard! Can I name a few? All Muddy Waters and Bob Marley albums, Big Mama Thornton-Hound Dog, The Peacock Recordings, Etta James-The Best Of...The Millennium Collection, Otis Redding-The Very Best Of, and The Band-Greatest Hits.


The  last question is perhaps the most important…… what question would you ask a performer if it was up to you 

 

Just always want to know what makes them tick...Why do you play music? There are so many great stories!


ZORA YOUNG INTERVIEW

 

If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Blues, blues, R&B, Funk


What was the first tune(s) you learned?


Just A Closer Walk With Thee


When did you start writing about music—and what or who were your early passions and influences?


About 40 years ago Gospel and early blues.


Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?


I love so many that its a hard question.  Howlin Wolf, Melvin Taylor


Do you get nervous before a performance ?


No I don't. It turns me on.

 

How do you promote your shows?


Making myself accessable to the media.


What's your outlook on the record industry today?


Changing for the record compannies but we still sell ours from the stage.


What's your claim to fame?


Loving what I do.


What inspires you to do what you do?


Being able to write and perform and be loved for it. And I am. traveling the world and meeting people whereever  I go.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


I don't have any, I really don't.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected

them?


They tell me I remind them of Etta James or KoKo Taylor


How would you describe your perfect day?


Waking up feeling good and knowing my family is well.


Best song you ever written and why?


Till the Fat Lady Sings. Its about a time about something happened in our lives.  Sept 11.


How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


Smile and keep goin on. I mess up and clean up and you never knew it!


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


When the Gates Swing Open.


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?


I don't know. But I would have to figure something out.


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Sing more and work more as long as I am able.




AL BASILE INTERVIEW


What's the first song you ever remember hearing? 


That would be Patti Page singing “Tennessee Waltz” on the radio around 1952. I was three or four.


When did you start composing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? 


I wrote a little instrumental in my head when I was about seven, and then stopped. When I was in college I wrote musicals with a writing partner who wrote the music – I wrote the book and lyrics. My first models were the great Broadway writers: Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, and Cole Porter. After I left Roomful of Blues in the mid-seventies I studied theory and taught myself to compose music to go with my lyrics. By then I was writing more in blues styles so my models were Willie Dixon, Percy Mayfield, T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, “Deadric Malone” and many others. Of course I was also influenced by the contemporary popular writers of the sixties like Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan – anyone who was writing what I considered excellent songs in different genres.


Do you typically write the lyrics first, or the melody?

the difference is between writing a song and composing?


I almost always start with a key phrase (which often ends up the title) for the hook of a song; it suggests a melody which I put against a rhythmic groove. After that the words and music follow together and suggest the form of a verse, chorus, or bridge. Using the key phrase to suggest the theme, and the form to give me limits on the phrasing, I generate the song thinking about the dramatic situation, character, or narrative. Sometimes I write the last verse before the middle ones and “write up” to it.


When I write instrumentals it's similar in that I start with a key melodic phrase and work forward from there, using the musical implications as a guide. 


In both cases I go back last and figure out the harmony to work with the already finished melody.


What makes you proud of the best song you’ve written the most ?


It's hard for me to pick the best song I've written out of a couple of hundred, but I'm especially proud of “Lie Down in Darkness, Raise Up in Light” and “Make a Little Heaven.” The first is a vocal collaboration with the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the second a duet with Sista Monica Parker which must be one of her last recordings. These two songs are gospel songs – I came to gospel in the Eighties and wrote a bunch of songs in the genre, but I didn't feel up to the task of singing in the style until I'd worked long and hard at it – it requires a different technique in a lot of ways. For me to fit in my own way vocally with such great masters of the genre was deeply satisfying. I'm grateful for having had the chance.


What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover? 


I was a playwright and novelist in my twenties, so I'm interested in character, situation, and narrative. I often try to boil a dramatic situation down to one person's statement in a difficult emotional state. That gives me a chance to be an actor. I look for universal emotions but very specific situations – there are lots of love and relationship songs but I try hard to find a different way of saying what's been said before, and to find things to say that haven't. I might use the metaphor of the Berlin Airlift to talk about being cut off from the supplies of love someone needs, for example. There are many other themes for songs as well – I have a song about what goes through the mind of a bank robber who is being chased by the police, which ends in a gunfight in which we know he is killed. Or a song addressed to Alexander Graham Bell because the singer has received such painful calls throughout his life he is conflicted about the fact that telephones were invented. The blues genre has spawned a lot of generic writing lately; I try hard to make every song of mine unique in some important way, whether that's theme, musical structure, vocal performance, use of language, arrangement, groove – no two are really alike if you take everything into consideration.


As a former longtime teacher, I also include a lesson in most of my songs – often a moral one – but I try to conceal it in a catchy, accessible musical style. So many people listen to how a song sounds rather than what a song means, and I want to have something for everyone on her or his own terms.


If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Accessible; truthful; stealthy.


How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


I became friendly with Duke Robillard and (jazz tenor saxman) Scott Hamilton in my last year of college – they were local working musicians not connected to my University, and I'd go to see them play. I had played the trumpet as a child but given it up years before. 

After I graduated I went into the Army for a short time and when I returned to Providence my college friends had moved on, so I gravitated toward my native Rhode Island musical friends. Duke and Scott encouraged me to take up the horn again, and I had the chance to learn at my own pace. I started playing at jam sessions at Scott's house, and within a year or two Duke hired me as Roomful of Blues' first trumpet player. Many thanks to those two extraordinary friends!


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


I don't perform as much as I used to, and when I do nowadays it's close to home, but people will see me concentrating on the jazz standard repertoire as a singer and player, with a small number of my own songs mixed in. There are some live club clips at my YouTube channel albasile9 which illustrate the live show.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


My favorite recent comment came from an old friend who hasn't seen me in 30 years, who wrote me that she was stopped by the highway patrol because she was weaving around on the road while listening to my new CD. I'm glad no one was hurt!


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?


First - to take the second trumpet part, as Bobby Hackett occasionally did, behind Louis Armstrong, because Armstrong is my greatest influence as a player by leaps and bounds. He is the most profound, and I've learned everything I can from him over the last forty-five years (and still not really that much – I wish it was more).


Second – to play in Duke Ellington's trumpet section and be featured on plunger mute and open horn, because Duke always found a way to spotlight you at your very best, making liberal use of your strengths and masking your limitations by not requiring you to expose them.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


I played with Duke Robillard in Memphis at the Blues Music Awards a few years ago, in Chicago several times, and in Iowa City – all halfway across America from my home in Rhode Island.


DIONYSIOS INTERVIEW



What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


David Bowie & Mick Jagger - Dancing in the street


What inspires you to do what you do?


The act of being creative to watch something progress and be made from beginning to end


How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


I take the route that most people won't be listening to me or even notice it so I just continue as if nothing happened


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody


How would you describe your perfect day?


Doing whatever I want feel like doing on the day. No responsibilities just flow.


Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?


Thom Yorke

 

What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


A lot of Elton John and maybe some meditation music


If you could blink your eyes and be in a favorite place right now, where would that


Sitting on a tropical beach with my good friends drinking, eating, playing beach games and music.


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Work more on my own stuff.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


Getting better at whatever I do creatively and whatever I decide to put my mind into. A better musician and living a more relaxing fulfilling life.


What is the furthest show from home that you have done?


Depends where home is. I'm originally from UK, London so I perform now in Auckland New Zealand so thats quite far from home.


Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


Without music.......... i would be souless


I write the songs because ..............I need an outlet for creativity

 

MICHAEL SCHATTE INTERVIEW

 

If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Contemporary Roots Rock.


What was the first tune(s) you learned?


Up on Cripple Creek, by The Band (age 8).


When did you start writing about music—and what or who were your early passions and influences? 


I started writing songs almost immediately upon taking up the instrument at age 8, but as you might expect, they were garbage.  Serious songwriting began in my twenties; I was and remain influenced by Lennon/McCartney, Richard Thompson, Nick Lowe, John Hiatt, Peter Green, Mark Knopfler, and more.


Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?


Favourite musicians (and CDs): Richard Thompson (Hand of Kindness), Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac: Mr. Wonderful), The Beatles (Revolver), Dire Straits (Dire Straits), Van Morrison (Irish Heartbeat, Van Morrison and The Chieftains), Colin James (Bad Habits)




Do you get nervous before a performance ?


Yes, but not to the point of discomfort.


How do you promote your shows?


Any way I can: online, in person, shouting from rooftops, etc.


What's your outlook on the record industry today?


Outlook on the record business: dismal; outlook on the music business: cautiously optimistic.


What's your claim to fame?


I have none, but I look forward to the possibility.


What inspires you to do what you do?


Sheer love of music and everything that surrounds it.  Fascination with the artistic process, and the notion that many things worth doing are extremely difficult.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player? 


Step by Step, New Kids on the Block.  Also the theme song from Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? by Rockapella.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


One woman, upon hearing a recording of mine, stated that it made her want to "strip and get satisfied."  I'll take it!


How would you describe your perfect day?


Music, coffee, a good book and a brisk walk.


Best song you ever written and why?


If I Find Love and Leave It Be from my Turn Back the Vikings album.  I think it's a fairly fresh take on the subject of love, in a field absolutely saturated with them.


How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


I often repeat them in an attempt to make them look intentional.  Either that, or I apply various means of quick escape artistry while avoiding the making of angry faces on stage.


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


There are many, but three immediately come to mind:


Dazzling Blue by Paul Simon. 

Tá Mo Chleamhnas Déanta (My Match It Is Made) by Van Morrison and The Chieftains.  

Missie How You Let me Down by Richard Thompson.


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?


Teaching history.


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Travel.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


On tour, in comfortable and profitable fashion!

DAVE WELD INTERVIEW

 

Who are  your musical and non-musical influences?


Musical and non musical are both j b hutto, because of his teachings in life and  teaching me to be  a bandleader for a Chicago blues band, write music,and  survive no matter what anyone says or does.  My early   influences are Howlin Wolf, Lightnin Hopkins, Muddy Waters,  BB King, Elmore James.


Non Musical is my father, Kenneth  Aurthur Weld, who showed the power of character building through example, never complained during extreme hardship,  and knew how to smile and laugh in the face of adversity.

 

 


What  inspires you to do what you do?


I enjoy to entertain,  create music, be in a band, drive to gigs, or fly to gigs,  be a business owner (the band, The Imperial Flames), and I  enjoy to play loud legally.

 

What was the first LP/tape/CDyou bought with your own money?


"Black Cadillac   Blues", Lightnin Hopkins, and "Big City   Blues", Howlin Wolf, then BB King, "Live at the  Regal", then Buddy Guy, "A man and the Blues".

 

What's the most unusual   place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How  did the

qualities of that place affect the show/recording?


We used to play in the Jewel produce dept, without  electricity for all those who

wanted produce at the  supermarket.  It was easy to phrase the singing because it was so quiet!  we

have played many funerals and wakes.  we used to play the Chicago Marathon in October on Maxwell

and  Halsted in the freezing 8PM sunlight in the morning, for all  the runners going by who would high five us!

Sometimes I took the long chord and played from inside the van because we could see our breath. 

 

What has been your most   memorable moment in your music career so far?


Many, it depends on our level.  our first shows in Belgium were

great, but nothing can compare with the big concerts,  Chicago Bluesfest, The Blues

Station in Tournon France,  Buddy Guy's, The Taste of Chicago, The Fargo Blues fest,

The PA Blues fest, Spring into the Blues Fest in Eccaussines  Belgium,  a concert in Tokyo

Japan where Sheena and the  Jets opened for us (they are very popular there).

 

Can you talk  about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?


When someone went in the van and stole my guitar during a concert in Milwaukee, some sort of Cajun Fest.

 

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality,what would that be?

 

The income.

 

What embarrassing songs might I find on your  MP3 player?


I do not use an mp3 player.  I do have an old Kenny Rodgers cassette.

 

What does  the next 6 months look like for you?


A chanceto live,  breath, and with life there is hope to share love, work help people.  

Do the sort of goals associated with having the best CD  of my career.  Tour,  play and write.

 

What can people expect to see at your live performances?

 

We give it everything we have.  I have a wireless and I take off and

talk to the crowd and sometimes walk the bar, and we play

loud and soft as well, but feature new stuff and we always

go old school as well.  we shift singers frequently since

we have three, and we do three part harmony on songs, and my

favorites are the songs from our new cd "Slip into a

dream"!


But what we really look for are friends, that we

love and cherish, that follow us and we keep in contact with

them, not as a business but as part of a shared love, blues,

band music, living fully through the joy of performance.

 

What is  the furthest show from your home that you have done?

 

Probably Japan, we toured for three weeks, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo.

 

Do you  have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected  them?

 

Last week at our CD release party at Buddy Guy's a very

sincere, and humble older Mexican man came up to Monica and I and said his family was there,

and that Monica   (Garcia), was a hero to them, and to their people.  This  affected

me very deeply, like something you would see in the  movies or read about in a magazine or book. 

Monica's  Grandfather rode with Pancho Villa, and she had to overcome  great

hardships in lif before she took a place with us, on stage with us, and at  times, leads us.And these

are great musicians we are talking about from Abb Locke, the  sax Chess records legend, to

Jeff Taylor who was with every  blues band you can mention in Chicago, and Dave Kaye, and

Harry Yaseen, who was taught by the great Art Hodes to play  piano.  She represents her

heritage well, and is a hero to  me as well.


Best track you've ever written and why?


Sorry, can't pick one!  Monica's  "Sweet love" because it speaks to  our age group and is deeply

sweet to me, auto   biographical.  And "Slip into a dream", that Monica and I wrote.

Or "Tremble", the darkest  song I have written.  Or "Maybe right, maybe wrong".It is hard to choose!

It also depends on the performance of the song! 


STOLEN HEARTS INTERVIEW



What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


Pam- I was raised in church so the first songs I ever heard were gospel songs.  Amazing Grace is the one that stands out in my memory the most. It was the first song I learned to play by ear on piano. 


Robert- The Doobie Brothers "Old Black Water"




What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?


Pam-  In our home when I was a kid, I'll never forget the day my parents brought home the Michael Jackson Thriller album and we all sat around the record player and listened together.   As an adult, it would have to be the selling out the Evening Muse, here in Charlotte, recently for our CD release party alongside my Dad, Mike Taylor and of course, Robert.    That was a magical night.  It really solidified what we're doing here.  We were told a local band would never sell out a local venue..  We sure proved them wrong!   


Robert-  I was playing Bill Withers song "Grandma's Hands" at a festival and my Aunt Bootsie brought my Grandmother down front and I got to sing for her for the first time.  I've lost them both since then but I know they are both smiling down on me as they watch me live my dreams.  



If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Pam & Robert- DIRTY SOUTHERN SOUL ..lol


How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


Pam & Robert- We finally allowed ourselves to be free from other people's opinions on what kind of music we should be making. We are both influenced and inspired by so many different styles of music and we  feel led to produce whatever is in our hearts at the time and not following anybody's rules.   It's been a very freeing experience.  Music is so very personal but at the same time it's got to be Universal. The continued support from our frans let us know we are right on track. 


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


Pam-  It's really hard to put into words what happens at a Stolen Hearts show.  We take people on a musical journey, telling stories, making people laugh and cry as we share the most intimate side of ourselves.  We are trying to bring back the honesty in music.  It's just us, on stage, sharing our experiences in song.  It's very raw, organic and very healing. We have been dubbed as the next Johnny & June and to even be in the same category with them is surreal.  We just want to make people happy.

 

Robert-  I agree.  What you get is a SHOW...not just musicians doing their thing, but an honest performance with comedy, real talk and a whole lotta love! 


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


Pam-  Here's one we got recently from a longtime fran (FAN+FRIEND=FRAN) Ken Dudzik-This amazing performance by Stolen Hearts at the Evening Muse is proof that Pam and Robert are a musical match made in heaven. Long time fans of theirs have been waiting for this slightly expanded version of Stolen Hearts. The well crafted songs speak for themselves, and the live performance expressed them in the most soulful manner possible. Many of us have been fortunate to have experienced Pam's earlier albums, and Robert's band Moses Jones, but the stories in their music together deliver messages to inspire everyone who hears them. Even newer fans were blown away that night. Having the pleasure of hearing these artists in earlier venues, I can genuinely appreciate the high level to which their music has evolved.

Our song "My Johnny" is the one that always brings the tears.  We had a fran request we play it while he proposed to his girlfriend. We were so honored to be apart of such a personal moment.  I feel this song will become one of the most beloved love songs.  I can just feel it.  There are many of our songs that affect so many people.  One fran even got a tattoo of one of our songs.  I have to pinch myself sometimes to remind me that this is all really happening. 


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?  


Robert- That's easy!  Buck Owens and The Buckaroos because I want to learn from the master himself on entertaining and musicianship.  DON RICH RULES


Pam- That's a tough one for me.  I've been blessed to get to share the stage with so many of my heroes already.  But if I could pick one it would have to be Etta James.  She was and continues to be a trailblazer for women in the music world that's why I want to keep her memory alive by performing & recording "I'd Rather Go Blind".  That's the only cover song we put on our cd.      


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Pam-  After Pam Taylor Band broke up, I still had a tour planned ending with the Tawas Blues Festival in East Tawas Michigan, which is on the Canadian border.  Even though PTB  was no longer, they told us to come on with just me and Robert. We had recently met drummer, Rome Leach and rehearsed with him for about a month and then we took Stolen Hearts on the road.   It was about 850 miles one- way through 6 states over one weekend with a stop at Wilbert's in Cleveland.  We played for the first time as SH for about 2000 people and we blew them away.  We sold out of cds and all of our t-shirts.  It was a great way to start out.  We hope to get back up there again.  


Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


Pam- Without music i would be - Dead. Music literally saved my life.  I was able to overcome addiction with the help of music.  It was the light at the end of the tunnel for me.


Robert- Without music I would be- Lost, I hear music in everything around me guiding me to purpose.  It's my GPS!


Pam-I write the songs because  it's cheaper than therapy! 


Robert- I write music because I want to tell people about my life, my family and my friends.  I want everyone to know about the important people in my life.   As I always say.. Here's another true story! 


Pam-Music is  My MEDICINE


Robert- Music is my FRIEND


ATLAS ROAD CREW INTERVIEW

*October 7, 2015*


What are you listening to lately?  


We listen to a lot of different music because we spend so much time in the van driving. For long drives, we listen live performances of The Grateful Dead, Phish, & Widespread Panic - we also listen to studio albums by J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Moon Taxi, The Districts, & classics like The Rolling Stones / Led Zeppelin. 


Which line/phrase on your album is your favorite and could you try to explain why?


“And if the feelings wrong where we belong, we’ll all move on again” from our song “I Want You To Know”. 

I think it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and know who is influencing your life and in what way. There’s no point in being unhappy with what you are doing, there’s plenty of opportunities out there - don’t ever sell yourself short. 


Which artist inspired you to become  artists yourself?


All of us in the band have different individual inspirations, but the common theme amongst us is the old school touring rock bands like The Rolling Stones, Skynyrd, & The Allman Brothers. 

Personally, I was inspired as a drummer by John Bonham and Travis Barker. Two completely different styles and eras, but two very talented people. When I was younger, I was also inspired by bands like Kings of Leon who started at such a young age - I think their guitar player was like 16 or something like that when he joined the band. 


What was the best show you ever played or felt the best vibe and what was the most embracing moment on stage?


Playing a hometown show in Columbia, South Carolina is always an amazing feeling. We just played a free show there in the streets about a month ago and almost 2000 people came out to see us. The energy was non stop and it was one of the best feelings on stage. 


What can we expect of your music  in the near future and what direction do you want to go with your music ?


We are constantly writing new music and experimenting with different sounds. I think the sound will naturally find us as we continue to grow as a band and figure out what works and what doesn’t. I think its bad to pigeon hole yourself as a band because it limits your creativity. What’s the point of being in a band if you have strict guidelines on what you can and cannot do? 


How would you describe your perfect day?


Anytime I don’t have to worry about anything but creating music with the band is a good day. And when the van cranks up - that’s always nice. 


What else do you do besides play music?


I work at a local guitar store and help other regional bands with their marketing. 


What is your favorite album by another artist?


Exile on Main Street - The Rolling Stones 


The  last question is perhaps the most important…… what question would you ask a performer if it was up to you  


I’d ask any of my favorite performers if they’d like to come out and have a drink with us.


THE PORTRAITS INTERVIEW

 

 

What was the first tune(s) you learned?


Before we met and formed The Portraits we had both been playing independently of one another for quite a few years. I think the first thing that we did together was forming a duo that played cover songs in a pub down on the Isle of Wight in southern England. One of the songs that I remember fondly playing with Lorraine was Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks. Quite funny when you consider that Waterloo sunset is an image of London and London is where we have ended up living 10 years later. 


When did you start writing about music—and what or who were your early passions and influences? 


We started writing music together in the mid 1990s and at that time Lorraine's influences were largely Irish ones. Having grown up in rural western Ireland, Lorraine had been brought up with the tradition of improvising songs, mainly traditional tunes, in pubs in a session environment. Jeremy on the other hand had grown up in Bristol and had been inundated with the Trip-hop sounds of the likes of Massive Attack and Portishead. So our first music together was a mixture of electronica and Celtic melodies and harmonies.


Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?


We love the harmonic sounds of music from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The likes of Crosby Stills and Nash, the Beatles through to Clannad, Sinead O'Connor and Kate Bush are all major influences. More recently we are very much into groups like Zervas and Pepper who have brought those styles back to life in a modern context. We also love electronica of the type created by the likes of Bat For Lashes and her album Two Suns was a favourite in recent years.


Do you get nervous before a performance ?


Probably not as much as we should, as people often say a certain level of nervousness creates an electric performance. We are very comfortable in the Live setting, but we have to admit we did get nervous before our big London CD launch on 24 September at Cecil Sharp House mainly because there was a huge crowd and a lot of expectation. Luckily for us it went brilliantly.


How do you promote your shows?


Through a mixture of social media, private invitations and as much radio coverage as we can command. These things are very much a product of a mixture of luck and extremely hard work.


What's your outlook on the record industry today?


Largely an extremely positive outlook. We love the fact that artists are now in control of their own careers and that no record label can mould you into what they want you to be whilst fleecing you for 90% of the money that is due to you. Certainly it is a difficult industry, but then it always was. The difference is that you don't have to put all your eggs in one basket as you would once have had to do by signing to a label and keeping everything crossed that glory would come your way. Now the artist controls and runs it all and more than ever, self belief and persistence are key. We try every single day to tell somebody new about our music, whether it is a blog, radio station or a member of the public that we discover online. It is a question of Chip Chip Chip – chipping away for the sake of what you love, getting a name for yourself one fan at a time. Now we just need the big media - BBC, MTV, etc - to catch up and recognise that 99.99999% of the world's great new music no longer comes from the major labels.


What's your claim to fame?


So many good things have happened to us, from playing wonderful festivals like Glastonbury festival to being played on major radio stations in the UK. But I think the achievement that we are most proud of the date is that of recording 2000 voices up and down the UK and including and naming every single voice that we recorded on our single The Rest Of Time which had the goal of saving lives lost to blood cancers, by encouraging more people to sign up to become blood stem cell donors. The song reached the iTunes singer songwriter charts in the UK and received widespread coverage. We consider this our greatest achievement not because it brought attention to us but because potentially it might have saved many lives.


What inspires you to do what you do?


A profound sense of wanting to put the world to rights. We write about things that we feel desperately matter. We are not generally a 'love song' band unless the love song is about a love for the planet and each other and the fact that we've all still got such a long way to go to make this a world that we can all be proud of.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player? 


Probably something by the Muppets. One of Jeremy's 'guilty pleasure' songs is the Rainbow Connection by Kermit the frog which he considers one of the greatest musical masterpieces of all time. Oh and by the way, he does a mean impression of Kermit, but don't tell anyone. ;-) 


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?


Lorraine would almost certainly be an artist or art teacher, which is her second great passion in life in which she does genuinely do when she gets time. Jeremy might be a music teacher but secretly harbours an ambition to be a professional chef.... although I don't think he'd last long in a highly pressured kitchen environment. 


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Interactive music making. We loved recording the two thousand voices for our song The Rest Of Time, and we'd love to do more songs like it where we collect contributions from all over the country - perhaps the world, recording voices, people body-popping or making sounds on their phones and then layering all the sounds we've collected together to make a song, or even a whole album.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


In the position of being well enough known to fill a medium sized venue with people that love what we do and share our vision. That's our definition of success.


FRANC ROBERT INTERVIEW


For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:


Original Delta-tinged blues music


How has the reaction to your latest CD been?


Quite good, actually-a lot of people how have heard it say that I've grown and matured musically, which is certainly a compliment. I guess it also means that I have finally developed my own style, something that's really really hard to do!



What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?


Oh jeez! I want to say Eric Clapton's Slowhand, but it may have been a BB King record too-I still have all those LPs, but I've got to fix my turntable!


What inspires you to do what you do?


My inner muse-I actually have 2 inner muses, the one that coaxes my into creating visual art ( I'm becoming known also for my classic car illustrations) which is a kind, soothing voice, and my inner musical muse, which is screaming at the top of lungs "PLAY BROTHER, PLAY!!!"


How would you describe your perfect day?


Feeling like I've accomplished something-either a really good gig, write/record songs, making/building something, creating art-any day that I've created or made something good!


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


Veeerrrryyyy busy! Besides playing lots of gigs, I'm also heading to Memphis TN for the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in January, 2016... some more festivals to play stateside, and start working on another CD... even planning another summer tour...


What should people know about you?


To quote Popeye The Sailor "I am who I am"... I don't sound like nobody but myself, and I'm not going to try to copy another's style. I'm sure you can hear certain cats in my playing and singing, but I'm sure not trying to be like them. If I play another person's song, I'm going to put my own spin to it, and not slavishly copy it-if someone wants a slavish copy, then I suggest cranking up your turntable...


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Touring! I don't want to be a total road dog, but I certainly want to get out there and go places! I love traveling and meeting new people, seeing new places, doing new things-with my music, hopefully I can get to do more of this in the future!


What is the main goal you wish to achieve through your music, and what do you hope people get out of your music?


Hopefully, I can make people feel what I feel when I play my music, whether it's to laugh or cry, quiet or loud, grooving or meditative... that I can put a smile on someone's face, to help them forget about their lives for while, maybe to help them see things in a different light


True or false: “Music is my first love”.


Art is my first love, Music is my true love.


If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:


Thanks for listening to me, and I hope I can get to play for you, the reader, sometime in the near future!


THE WIDOWBIRDS INTERVIEW

*answers from Shane O'Neil , the drummer*




How would you describe your music for the public audience they have never seen you before?

 

The band’s sound combines elements of soul and rock and roll. We take a tight rhythm section, rocking guitars, wailing organs and a powerful classic rock voice to create a sound we like to call Hard Soul Rock n Roll. 



Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

 

Musically we love all the rock and soul greats, bands like Led Zepplin, Free, Otis Redding, The Faces, Sam Cook, The Stones... 

The universal themes of Life, Love and Death run through all the tunes on our new album Black Into The Blue


Do you write out your lyrics? Do you ever change a song’s lyrics in live sets?


Tony and Simon are the lyricists for The Widowbirds. We always like to have moments in the live show where we jam and be creative with our songs. No two Widowbird Shows are the same.


When Are You Completely Satisfied With Your Work?


As a band we are always striving to be the best we can can be. Creativity is always a challenging and ongoing journey, so being completely satisfied is a rare thing. Having said that, we are extremely proud of our new record and are looking forward to sharing it with our European brothers and sisters.


Someone once said write what you would want to perform over and over. With that in mind, what song do you love to perform the most and why?


Dream Catcher off our new record is fun to play live. It has this really tough Phil Rudd (ACDC) kinda of groove. It’s like driving a big rig through the audience.


What kind of music do you listen to today?


I was rocking with Iron Maiden, The Black Crows and The Stones today...


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Don’t tell anyone, but I might have Beyonce’s Single Ladies somewhere in my itunes collection. “Put your hands up!“


If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?


We love all kinds of music, but why dabble in other forms of music when you can bathe in Hard Soul Rock n Roll.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Any show in Europe is a long way from home, but on our 2013 tour we played in Stokholm which is 15,586 km from Sydney!


What else can we expect from you in the future?


Eat, sleep, ROCK, repeat.


Off course if there is anything you would like to add or share please feel free to do so


We really love taking our music to the world, and we look forward to sharing our new album Black Into The Blue with all the Hard Soul Rock n Roll belivers in Europe.

CENTURY THIEF INTERVIEW

 

Answered by : 

Mike Legere - Backup vocalist , guitarist , vocalist

Omar Shabbar - Backup Vocalist , guitarist , vocalist

Kathryn Kearns- Backup Vocalist , Keyboardist , Vocalist


 

If you have to describe your music in three or four words,what would you call it?

 

M: Lyrical, dynamic, melodic, indie  

O: Energy, collaboration, layers, stories 

K: Any of Mike or Omar’s answers


 

What was the first tune(s) you learned?

 

M: On guitar Baby I’m An Anarchist by Against Me!, or maybe Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen when I was 16.  

O: The Ex by Billy Talent was the first song I learned. I learned it right after my first girlfriend broke up with me in grade 8. Haha

K: I remember when I was in elementary school my family had a pop song book for my uncle’s electric organ. I learned the whole thing. Some of my favourites were Careless Whisper and The Girl from Ipanema.


When did you start writing music—and what or who were your early passions and influences?

 

O: I started writing music in high school and I was very influenced by Brand New, Billy Talent and Protest the Hero

K: I’ve been keen to write music since I was very young. As a kid, I wanted to compose music for video games and movies. I used to listen to Nobuo Uematsu’s Final Fantasy soundtracks over and over again imagining what it would be like to create music that you save the world to. In highschool, I got my guitar and fell in love with Elliott Smith, Broken Social Scene, Wilco and Modest Mouse.

M: I started writing music when I was 8 years old, I would write lyrics and melodies. I was influenced by my brother then mainly. He played pop and folk songs at a lot of social gatherings at our house and everyone would sit around and sing and listen. By the time I started writing with guitar I was into Bob Dylan and a lot of the same ones Kathryn mentioned.


Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?

 

O: Jeff Buckley has always been really big in my life, Grace was his only studio album but his live album is also amazing. I also should say Kid A by Radiohead,  the Suburbs by Arcade Fire and Songs for the Deaf by Queens of the Stone Age

K: Elliott Smith, Feist, Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot It in People, Radiohead, Fleet Foxes.. I could go on for a long time, it really depends on my mood and what’s going on in my life. 

M: Wilco, Yankee Hotel FoxTrot is probably my favourite band/album. I also have a Broken Social Scene Tattoo, so I should probably say them too, Feel Good Lost and You forgot it in People.   


Do you get nervous before a performance?

 

M: Sometimes! I’m feeling more comfortable on stage now than ever before, but there is a bit of nervous anticipation for sure. More intimate shows can be more intimidating. 

O: Almost always, especially right before we start playing. But once we start I'm no longer nervous. I find playing to family and friends is often more nerve wracking than to strangers. 

K: Every time. Sometimes it goes away instantly, other times I can feel it until maybe halfway through the set. 


How do you promote your shows?

 

M: Through social media, reaching out to independent bloggers (like you!), radio, posters, telling people. Any method we can think of!  


What's your outlook on the record industry today?

 

M: It’s the only record industry that we’ve ever known since we are just getting started, so we don’t really have anything to compare it to. I try to be positive about it. However it does feel like it’s not sustainable how people have come to consume music and expect high quality high budget music for free.  

O: It can also be hard with the industry today, you see some bands get signed and it seems like nothing changes. I think 'getting signed' isn't as big of a deal as it used to be. The end game is the same, being able to make a career out of music. Getting signed, although beneficial, isn't a guarantee and it's also not the only way. of achieving that.  

K: Wary. 


What's your claim to fame?

 

M: Honestly not to sure how to answer this one. 


R:What inspires you to do what you do?

M: A love of music, performing and the desire to be inventive, make new stuff that excites me and share it with people. Also currently the energy of my band mates and the chemistry we’ve developed over the past 5 years of playing together. 

O: When you're playing to a crowd that's really into your music and everyone in the band is tight, the feeling that you get is one of the best I've ever felt. I'm very lucky to share music that I'm proud of to new ears with some of my best friends. 

K: It is a drive that is akin to the need to sleep. It’s part of who I am, part of my survival. I love making music. Making music with my closest friends is an amazing privilege and their motivation and commitment keeps me going. 


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?

 

M: Work in progress demos of new music 

O: Ha probably my high school band. Annndddd Fall Out Boy..... 

K: …..My MP3 player is relatively empty since breaking my phone a couple months ago.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?

 

M: I remember a friend said one time that a line in one of my songs described his experience as an electrician, which felt kind of cool, since it wasn’t in any way related to that in my mind. It was something much broader, so it was cool that someone could apply it in such a specific sense and get something from it.  


How would you describe your perfect day?

 

K: Starts with coffee on my balcony, relaxing to about noon, walking a cute dog (please note, I do not have one, but a perfect day…), teleporting to a cottage, boating, swimming, croquet, playing a gig, then spending the night recording.

M: Making music and playing shows with a little lake swim in there and some stellar food sounds pretty good to me. 

O: Probably a day that evolves music, whether it's just jamming or a show, good food with friends, drinks and televised sports of some kind. 



Best song you ever written and why?

 

M: My favourite is most often the newest one, because I still feel like I can discover more with it and do something I haven’t done before, and it’s still fresh and I haven’t heard it a billion times. From this album my favourite is probably Oh Beautiful Impermanence because I got to be weird and make a bunch of noise and write in a way I would never speak. 

O: I like to think that my newest song is my best and every time I write a new song I try to make it my best yet. 

K: I have a very difficult time pinning that to any one song. 


How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

 

M: Keep playing and try not to give it away. The important part is not to stop, usually it’s only bad if you draw attention to it. 

O: I kinda laugh at myself and move on. I used to worry about it when I started performing but it just draws more attention to the mistake. If you move on quickly enough 99% of the time no one notices you messed up anyway. 

K: Keep going! 


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

 

O: Dream Brother by Jeff Buckley or Me vs. Maradona vs. Elvis by Brand New 

M: It’s all over now Baby Blue by Dylan. Poor Places by Wilco.

K: All I Need by Radiohead, Robotic by Hannah Georgas, Waltz #2 by Elliott Smith


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?

 

M: I’m interested in (and currently studying) audio engineering, so making music in a different way or recording other bands is something I really want to explore.  

O: I'd love to do something like global traveling.... Or playing trumpet. Adam I'm coming after your job! 

K: Painting, drawing, crafting


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

 

M: Make more records! Tour for longer and more extensively, travel the world with music. Traveling and being creative with friends is a huge rush. I would love to see more places, play more shows in different places and most importantly continue creating. 

O: More music! More touring, recording, writing and jamming! 

K: What they said!


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

 

M: Doing everything I just said and making a living from it. 

O: Playing music better, writing better music, touring more, recording more and making a living from it! 

K: Again...what they said !



REVEREND FREAKCHILD INTERVIEW

 


What are you listening to lately? 


I was going through a bit of a Grateful Dead kick lately but this morning I was listening to Howlin' Wolf -


Which line/phrase on your album is your favorite and could you try to explain why?


Well the single/first track from the new CD Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues is called "All I Got is Now" and it's not only a great song with an infectious beat but it's also a great reminder to have gratitude for this existence that we find ourselves living.  The tune is actually a reference to the four reminders in Buddhism - each verse loosely corresponding to (precious human birth, impermanence, samsara, karma) so it's great to have it in the set especially when I'm on the road - it kinda like a groovy prayer and a rockin meditation all in one!


Which artist inspired you to become an artist yourself?


Well I'd have to say my Mom first and for most - she is a classical pianist.  But my Dad turned me onto the blues early on - Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), Howling Wolf, etc. But ya can't be in the modern age and escape the Beatles.


What was the best show you ever played or felt the best vibe and what was the most embracing moment on stage?


I sang with a 150 person gospel choir at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC.  I was a soloist on one number and it was amazing having that full band and all those beautiful voices behind me and then getting the audience up and singing 'I still have Joy!" Feelin the spirit working through me and all those folks rejoicing in song - amazing!


Did You ever censored yourself in a song ?


There's a confessional song I wrote some years back when I was really young, dumb an full of cum called 'Stupid Motherfucker' - a version of it is on the album God Shaped Hole.  I'll still play it if requested but I'm careful to be respectful and be sure it's the late set and there aren't any young kids around


What can we expect of your music  in the near future and what direction do you want to go with your music ?


I think I'm just getting started - this latest album was a joy to record with my blues guru Hugh Pool at his studio Excello in Brooklyn and also world renound drummer Chris Parker.  We'll be back in the studio over this winter working on some new blues tracks - thinking of calling the new project "Everything is Now!"


How would you describe your perfect day?


Like the Lou Reed song?


What else do you do besides play music?


I'm currently studying Tibetan Buddhism - it's some heavy shit man!


What is your favorite album by another artist?


You know I love the blues and have been listening to a bunch of Grateful Dead lately - but for some reason I'm gonna go with, for this answer in this interview - A Space in Time by Ten Years After.  You know that album? I love it. I use to have it on vinyl and drift off to it and then have to get up and flip to side B - Alvin Lee and that whole hippie blues thing - "I'd love to change the world.", "One of these days" - magical stuff!


The  last question is perhaps the most important…… what question would you ask a performer if it was up to you 


I use to work with cancer kids and

sometimes I'd joke with them that if I got cancer and got a wish from the Make a Wish Foundation - I'd request a dinner with Bob Dylan and his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama - but I'd probably just sit there and listen.


DEB CALLAHAN INTERVIEW



When did you first start singing?


I don't remember a time where i wasn't singing.  i always loved to sing and early on got involved in chorus, musicals, choirs, etc.  and at home just putting on musical variety shows with my siblings and friends. As I got into college I joined a 4 part harmony acapella female singing group, a swing band and then my first rock/blues band which hooked me.


What did your family do to encourage you?


My parents were always very supportive about pursing my musical and artistic pursuits.  They encouraged me, gave good feedback and drove to lots of guitar, piano and drawing/painting lessons!   


Who are your musical inspirations? 


Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Etta James, Mavis Staples,BB King, Tina Turner, Bonnie Raitt, Irma Thomas, Robert Cray, Candi Staton, Sam Cooke to name a few.. 


What kind of music do you listen to today?


lots of blues, jazz, soul, roots music but I keep my pulse on pop culture and find a lot of great acts.  I'm diggin Lake Street Dive, Alabama Shakes, Janelle Monae, Lianne La Havas, Gary Clarke Jr., Courtney Barnett, The Black Keyes these days  


Who would you most like to open for?


It would be cool to open for Aretha Franklin,Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples or Robert Cray


What was the best show you ever played or felt the best vibe and what was the most embracing moment on stage?


It's really hard to say because there's not just one but I've played at some great festivals and clubs where I really felt the crowd was with us and appreciative and that's an amazing feeling!


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?


I actually am a part time counselor and work with at-risk youth in Philadelphia so I'd be doing more of that as well as more painting and mosaic making. 


What genre of music you can't you stand to listen to?


There's no one genre I can't stand but I don't tend to like music where there's a lot of constant screaming and endless distortion of instruments or vocals  


What hidden talents do you have?


I am an adventurous cook and wish I had more time for it and putting things together like furniture and children's toys when you order them online and find they come in pieces and have to be put together 


Best track you've ever written and why?


I like I am Family, I keep things running and Seven States Away on my latest album Sweet Soul (sorry i can never pick just one) and Food on The Table from my Grace & Grit album. I like the lyrics and the vibe of each song.   


Which question i did forget to ask?


Would I like to tour in the Netherlands?  Yes definately..sign me up with an agent!

BILLY THE KID & THE REGULATORS INTERVIEW


How would you describe your music for the public audience they have never seen you before?


It's a high energy. Very dynamic. Hopefully, it'll make ya feel good. The music we write and play is real life. 


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


Musically I love everyone from Albert king, SRV, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and Muddy waters etc. My parents had good taste in music. They've influenced me a lot. 


Do you write out your lyrics? Do you ever change a song’s lyrics in live sets?


Typically once I finish writing a song the lyrics will stay the same? However I have occasionally altered a lyric or two depending on the situation.


When Are You Completely Satisfied With Your Work?


Oh I'm never completely satisfied. I'm satisfied with my work to date but I'll never stop reaching for more. 



Someone once said write what you would want to perform over and over. With that in mind, what song do you love to perform the most and why?


I love performing period but the song that resonates the most with me is Story of the Blues. It's about my life. 


What kind of music do you listen to today?


Anything that has Soul 


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


I wouldn't say embarrassing but you'll definitely come across some Hall and Oates. It takes me back to my youth. 


If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?


No doubt Jazz. Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell are just unbelievable. 


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


I toured LA and played the Cafe Boogaloo, Hermosa Beach, but I did get to jam some guitar when I was stationed in South Korea during my years in the USAF. 


What else can we expect from you in the future?


Hopefully a lot more touring and a lot more records. 

THE BEATDADDY'S INTERVIEW

Answers from:

Larry Grisham - vocals & harmonica

Tommy Stilwell - guitars & backing vocals

 

 

How do you describe your music to people?

 

Larry: Blues rooted, soulful Rockin' soulful sounds.


Tommy: Written from our own experiences. Real and not written

by any "songwriting formula".

 

 

Who are some of your favorite composers, musicians and bands from

the past and present?


Larry: Johnny Winter, Paul Rodgers, Elvis, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Triggerfinger,

Ray Charles, Hank Williams Sr., SRV, Humble Pie, John Mayall, Peter Green, Stones, and on and on.............


Tommy: As song writers in the popular culture, I would have to say the conversation for me begins with 

Lennon & McCartney. Great  poets or storytellers in song would have to be Bob Dylan, John Prine and John Mellencamp.

Then as favorite bands or musicians I would have to add Jimi Hendrix to Larry's list. But to be honest, there are just too many to list. 


When did you first start singing? 


Larry: Professionally around 1971.


Tommy: Early 1960s in church. Later, professionally around 1973.

 

What was the first tune(s) you learned?


Larry: Houndog.


Tommy: The old spiritual song "He's All I Need". Learned it from a preacher in church.


Who are your musical inspirations?


Larry: Everyone who makes a living at it, everyone who enjoys it, everyone who "gets it"


Tommy: I know this will sound silly but, early on when I was about 13 years old I was watching The Beatles "Help" movie on TV.

When they showed them writing songs & recording in the studio, I said to myself "I would like to do that for a living.

It had nothing to do with all the screaming fans. It just seemed like a cool job to have.

Write, record, and perform music. I would have to say that was a defining inspiration for me.


What was the first musical experience that really touched you?


Larry: The Tucson Blues festival was cool to see everyone knowing the words to our songs, we had never been in

front of that large a crowd and they knew the words! 1998 I think.


Tommy: Seeing Howlin' Wolf in 1972. Then from an emotionally charged aspect I would have to say seeing The Who live

in 1975.

 

Other than the people you’re with now (off course they are the best) ,but if you could get any

musician, living or dead, who would be in your "dream band?"


Larry: Jimi Hendrix, John Bonham, Duck Dunn, Ray Charles, Memphis Horns.


Tommy: I couldn't begin to answer that. That would be like asking a kid to pick his favorite 4 or 5 candies out

of a store full of millions of his favorite candies. Sorry.


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you

emotionally?


Larry: Puff the Magic Dragon.

 

Tommy: River of Tears. But to be honest, there are a lot of songs that "sweep me up" emotionally.


Who would you most like to open for?


Larry: Eric Clapton


Tommy: Eric Clapton


Do you get nervous before a performance?


Larry: Yes, and very quiet until I hit the stage.


Tommy: Not really. Never have. I'm usually to busy and focused. 

I do feel an elevated level of excitement. Almost like a high.


How do you promote your shows?


Larry: Social Media, radio, promoters, Publicists, posters.


Is there something you would like to do more in the future?


Larry: Sleep, love and happiness.


Tommy: Be with family, and travel with my sweetheart.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


Larry: Still living, enjoying music, life, and happiness.


Tommy: Above ground, still doing what I do. Music given me a fulfilled existence in my life.

I would like to continue it as long as I can. 


DAVID SAVAGE INTERVIEW


If you have to describe your music in three of four words,what would you call it? 


Real life poetic melodies...


What was the first tune(s) you learned? 


Knockin' On Heaven's Door


When did you start writing music—and what or who were your early passions and influences?


I wrote my first song when I was 8, but had no clue as to what I was doing. During my early teens I started writing with more intent and direction. Early influences to start writing weren't limited to musicians, Edgar Allen Poe, Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe) and Shel Silverstein influenced me as much if not more than musicians early on.


Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?


There are so many, this in of itself could be a book! I like music from many different angles, but suffice it to say I like music that tells me something. 

Musicians - Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Steve Earle, Travis Tritt, James McMurtry, Lou Reed

Groups - Aerosmith, Mumford & Sons, U2, REM, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Old Crow Medicine Show

CD's - John Mellencamp's The Lonesome Jubilee & Nothing Better Than This, Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, James McMurtry's Just Us Kids, Steve Earle's Transcendental Blues, John Hiatt's Dirty Jeans & Mudslide Hymns


 Do you get nervous before a performance ?


 I would call it nervousness anymore, but there is a vibe that builds.


How do you promote your shows?


Depends on the show, but social media is probably the most accessible, but probably at the end of the day not that effective due to the information overflow. 


What's your outlook on the record industry today?


I'm not so sure there is a record industry anymore, it's mass market overcompressed cookie cutter formula songs that have their hands in the pockets of commercial radio and other media outlets. I have little faith in the industry as such. 


What's your claim to fame?


Having my name in lights at the Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam was pretty cool.


What inspires you to do what you do?


Life in and of itself is inspiring, for me songwriting is part of who I am. Sharing my music is inspired by the people that take the time to listen and hearing what some of my songs mean to people, for whatever reason.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


I think what's probably most embarassing is that I don't really use an mp3 player, I still have stacks of cd's. I do have several on my smartphone, but nothing embarassing, if I don't like it, it gets deleted. 


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


Thankfully yes, that's part of the whole process I think. There's one thing to receiving compliments for which I am grateful, it's another to look into the eyes of people at a theater show and visibly see how a song affects them, whether a smile or tears. The song that's probably received the most comments is "Shine a Light", I wrote it in support of women of all ages that have been victims of abuse. 


How would you describe your perfect day?

A day that leaves me inspired and wanting more. 


Best song you ever written and why?


The Blood Within & Son Walker. 

The Blood Within was a title that had been spinning in my head for many years, but I didn't want to force it out. When the time was right, the stars aligned and it came to life. The rhyme scheme, the vibe, but mostly the meaning of the song, how it touches people and inspires them to overcome their challenges.

Son Walker - It's a story, it's a painting with lyrics and music giving colors to the canvas. It's detailed and yet it's full of broad strokes, it's fiction and yet it's a real as it gets.


How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


Depends on the mistake, I usually press on and grin about it afterwards. When I forget the lyrics I tend to make up new ones, sometimes inspiring new songs. I used to be afraid to make mistakes, but that's like being afraid to be human, wasted energy. I make sure I'm prepared and should something happen I just deal with it. 


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


On John Mellencamp's "Down and Out in Paradise" he sings in te 3rd verse from an elementary school kid's point of view, growing up in the shadow of the cold war I remember the "stick your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye" bomb safety drills in school. When I hear that song it sends me back to grade school, I can see it and remember the fear I had as a kid of World War III. 


Dear Mr. President, I'm just a young kid, I'm in the fourth grade At riley elementary

My Mom and Dad's been actin' funny, I'm not sure, If it ain't got something to do with me

My Daddy's always drunk, My Mom's a babysitter, And I don't like the Russians, .Cause I hear, they hate me

Dear Mr. President, Can I ask you one question?

When the bombs fall down Will they hurt everyone in my family


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?


I would be writing in one form or other. My expression isn't necessarily bound to singing, but to the writing, that's always been most important to me. 


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


I enjoyed singing with my daughter during the making of World War We, I'd like to see what we can do in the future.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


I will be content if I am able to help people, to inspire and be inspired. Really to me, that's what life is about. We are here for a short time, we might as well try to do something with it and make some good of our time here.


What was your biggest dream growing up with regards to your music?


The biggest thing to me was to be regarded as an influencial songwriter, I guess in the same way I look up to a John Hiatt or Steve Earle as songwriters, it would be an honor to inspire the next generation. 



CHRIS KING ROBINSON INTERVIEW


If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Funky, modern, catchy blues


What was the first tune(s) you learned?


'Hey Joe' by the legendary Jimi Hendrix, good times!


When did you start writing about music—and what or who were your early passions and influences? 


Only recently has my original music been released & heard by people; some of the musical ideas heard in my latest releases stem back to when I was just a small kid. Ever since I first picked up the guitar; it's been my life & I owe that to Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble.


Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?


Unfortunately the majority of my favorite musicians are no longer with us. My favorite two artists & CD's are Stevie Ray Vaughan - In Step & Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland.


Do you get nervous before a performance ?


Funnily enough, I tend to be way more nervous playing right in front of 20 people's faces in a club than when i'm on stage in front of thousands at a festival. My nerves are certainly dulling down with experience, having said that; I believe it's good to be a little nervous because it keeps you on your toes and means you still give a crap!


How do you promote your shows?


We promote each show in a different way, on our last tour we played on a morning TV show in Indianapolis to promote our gigs at the Slippery Noodle & Hard Rock Cafe.


What's your outlook on the record industry today?


You probably don't want to know my outlook on the record industry today haha! I'm in it for the music & always will be.


What's your claim to fame?


Oh, that's a tricky question. I reckon it would have to be that I have more Twitter followers than Joe Bonamassa haha!


What inspires you to do what you do?


Every time I hear Blues I'm reminded of my purpose in life, It's an indescribable feeling!


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player? 


I'll have to check if my girlfriend has put any of her fav music on my MP3 player........


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


My first single 'Lipstick On Her Cigar' has been used as a wedding song in the past, that was a very humbling experience for me. I have also been told by many fans that the same song has moved them to tears! Recently I had a very provocative message sent to me from a woman; who very forwardly told me that she likes to make love with her husband whilst listening to the song.........


How would you describe your perfect day?


Receiving a new guitar, playing that new guitar.


Best song you ever written and why?


I would have to choose the title track from my bands debut EP, 'Tell Me Why You're Scared'. My reasoning being that the majority of fans that have heard the song, tell me how they can't get it out of their heads.


How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


It's not a mistake if you do it twice.


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


Robert Randolph playing his song 'Pressing My Way' will make me cry like a baby every time. 


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?


I would probably be living in a cave trying to design guitar pedals.


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


I would like to do more touring over in the States and Europe, those places look after us better and appreciate Blues more you know.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


I would like to bring Blues to the mainstream & teach kids that there's more to music than Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran.


HATTIE BRIGGS INTERVIEW


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


My musical influences mainly comprise my parents record collection - James Taylor, Eva Cassidy, K.D.Lang, Elton John - a lot of singer-songwriters, but also big pop bands like ABBA and Queen, and soul legends like Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers.  More recently I'm influenced by things I hear on the radio as I do a lot of driving, and also by artists that people liken me to or suggest I might like.  Joni Mitchell is a good example of this - I'd never really listened to her music until people kept asking me if she'd influenced my songwriting.  My non-musical influences are my family, friends and teachers.


What inspires you to do what you do? 


I can't turn off the creative switch inside my head.  The inspiration for individual songs comes from people, places and stories mainly.  Songwriting itself became an obsession for me once I'd figured out I could do it, and with that comes the need to share what I write with others - to let them see inside my mind and understand me a little even if they don't know me.  I love connecting with people through music and making an audience feel something they weren't expecting to feel.  Coming off stage after a fantastic gig with a huge smile on my face is the best thing ever.


How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


I either carry on as if they haven't happened or use them to my advantage - make a joke of them, use them to make the performance more unique and memorable to those in the audience.


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


Not really - it's the connection with an audience and their reactions to my own music that moves me the most.  I feel the emotions of the song much more deeply when I perform.


How would you describe your perfect day?


Any day that involves seeing my friends and sunshine is a perfect day. 


Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?


I don’t really get nervous when I meet new people.  I’d love to meet James Taylor one day.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Various hits by Taylor Swift.


If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that be?


In the garden of the house where I grew up.


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


I'd like to travel more and perform all over the world.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


Still writing and performing music that is true to myself and means something to me.  Performing to a sold out Royal Albert Hall and similar venues in other countries.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Performing at Summer Camp in Maine, U.S. to a whole load of kids and staff.


JESUS ON A TORTILLA INTERVIEW

*ANSWERS FROM KEVIN CLEMENTI THE GUITAR PLAYER*


 

What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


I think that my earliest memory regarding music is an Irish folk music tape. I used to listen to it when I was a kid. My parents bought it from a band that was playing in my city.


What are your fondest musical memory? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?


One of the fondest memories I have about music is a live performance with my band in the last october, the first live presentation of our album, Gone To Main Street. It was in Alessandria in a pub called MagMell. I was so proud of our work on the album and it was a pleasure to share that feeling with the public. 


If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


If you are referring to my way of playing blues music, I think I would say: authentic, simple, careful and sincere.


How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


I begun to play guitar when I was 16. At the beginning I played above all rock or rock-blues stuff, but little by little I became interested in old school blues both in listening and in playing. The real changement in my way of playing guitar took place after 2012, when I joined my actual band, Jesus On A Tortilla. In fact, thanks to our common love for the late 40's & 50's Chicago stuff, we begun to study together this particular style of blues. So, in my case, I'm trying to play blues using the language and the licks of the guitarists from this period: Jimmy Rogers, Muddy Waters, Robert Nighthawk, the Myers brothers, Robert Lockwood Jr., Leroy Foster, John Brim, and so on...


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


With Jesus on a Tortilla we play old school Chicago blues style, trying to get the people involved in it. The lineup is Lorenzo Albai on vocals and harp, Matteo Ferrario on drums, Massimiliano Chiara on upright bass and me on guitar. In live situations, we play at low volume, using a vintage style instrumentation which sounds like the ones that were used in old recordings from the 40's and 50's. We choose tunes that represent the blues scene of the time, from the well known musicians like Little Walter or Muddy Waters to the less known ones, like John Brim or Floyd Jones. We try to play this rough stuff in an authentic way, so we hope that the audience can capture these features from our music.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


People who like our music usually say that our style often reminds them the old blues recordings they love. They usually are also surprised by our age: they say that it’s strange to see young people playing old school blues like we do. 


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?


It’s hard to answer to this question, but I think that whoever play this kind of music dreams of going back to the past in order to hear and play with the musicians of that time. In fact, we listen only to their few recordings, and therefore we arent able to understand how they played in live situations like in clubs or in the street. 


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


I think that is the show we did last year at the Torrita Blues Festival, in Tuscany. 


Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


Without music i would feel less accomplished.


I write the songs because… hahaha I actually don’t write blues songs :)


Music is a great way to express myself.



MICHAEL GRIMM INTERVIEW



What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


White Lightning by George Jones


What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?


Singing with my sister while my grandmother played piano.


If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Soulful, honest, swampy and heartfelt.


How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


My grandmother inspired me to follow music and I borrowed from her, church and country music to begin molding my sound.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


A real person, not a showman, who loves to share not only music I wrote but music I grew up on and moved me.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


Over the years there have been so many stories and comments on how my music has touched them personally. Overall, I find it a beautiful thing that fans come out to see me and find friends and lovers whom they met at my shows. That makes it all worth it.


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?


I have always loved Otis Redding. I hear that he was a nice guy and I would have loved to sing with him.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


I had the great honor to play in Shanghai, China two years ago. Even ran into people I knew from the US - Small world!


Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


Without music i would be ............... depressed.


I write the songs because ............... they help me say what is weighing on my soul.


Music is  ............... my therapy in every way.


OMAR COLEMAN INTERVIEW 


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


My musical influences are Junior Wells, Sugar Blue & Bobbie Rush. I also draw a lot of inspiration from gospel music. People in church sing with a ton of emotion and you can hear that in their voice. My non-musical influence is my father. He is strong man & he raised my brother and I well. He is a great role model. 


What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


Little Milton - Blue Bird


What inspires you to do what you do?


My sons. I have twin 15 year old boys. I hope someday they understand how happy being a performer makes me and that it's important that they do something in life that is going to make them happy. Life is too short to spend it doing something that doesn't bring joy to your life.


 How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


I play through them. When you're the artist you notice every little thing that goes wrong on stage. The key is not to let the audience know a mistake has been made. 


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally? 


Sam Cooke - Change is Going to Come


How would you describe your perfect day?


The perfect day for me is time spent with my family & girlfriend. As you get older you really value your family time. 


Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?


I really don't get nervous. We're all human beings at the end of the day. While some people have more notoriety, when I meet a famous person I try to listen to them and learn from their experiences.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Dirty Loops - Where's the Beat


If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that be?


Somewhere fishing 


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Music Festivals. I love the atmosphere, many artists perform which draws a larger crowd and you have the opportunity to meet and talk to a lot of different people. 


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


Living in the country with a little farm.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


I've traveled to Brazil, Norway, Chile, Spain, France & Croatia to perform, just to name a few places. 


Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


Without music I would be - Lost. I absolutely love music and performing.  


I write the songs because - Life is  a song and it's easy to draw inspiration from.


Music is - Like the air I breathe. Without it I would feel lost.


JESSE DAVEY INTERVIEW


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


I have been hooked on blues music for most of my life. There is something about the soulful expression that draws me in everytime.

Albert King and B.B. King have been so inspiring to me, they have infinite finesse and soul. John Medeski is a player I listen to a lot, I think of him as the Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond organ, amazing! I also listen to a lot of 70s music, there is something about the sound and feel that is missing from a lot of modern music. Stevie Ray Vaughan was certainly the guy that inspired me to play guitar, he is untouchable.

When writing music I always find a walk in the forrest or up in the hills helps the inspiration flow.


What inspires you to do what you do?


Just listening to and watching other musicians, it’s all about sharing.

I think being creative is something I need to do and I am honored if other people want to listen to it.


What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?


Live Wire Blues Power by Albert King, it blew me away when I first heard it, wow! It still blows me away today!



What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording? 


We played a show on top of a mountain in Switzerland. We had to load our equipment up on rickety old cable cars one amp at a time.

All the snow made it seem amazingly peaceful, well, peaceful until we started playing, haha.


What has been your most memorable moment in your music career so far?


Getting to play with Buddy Guy and Mick Jagger, it was a very humbling experience,

It was also a real confidence boost, Those guys are the real deal!


Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?


I was walking in a shopping mall when I heard a voice asking me to stop, I looked around and there was a policeofficer

shouting at me to stop. Everyone around stopped and started staring. The police officer approached me,

reached into his pocket and pulled out one of my CDs, “Can you sign this” he said. 


If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?


When music becomes too entangled with money or business it loses its soul. The motivation should never be financial.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Wow I have too many, I go through phases of listening to a lot of pop music.

There is something about a great pop melody.


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


The new album comes out on the 25th of September,

I will be making some crazy and strange music videos for some of the songs and getting ready to tour.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


I feel a live show should be a conversation, A great audience can bring the best out of a band.

I never feel its right to play the same solo two nights running, otherwise you are just cheating the crowd, it needs to be fresh and for the moment. It needs to feel special. Both you and the audience have made a big effort to be there, you have to give all you got.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


We toured the USA with Buddy guy, that seemed like a different world at the time.

I live in California now, so playing Europe seems a long way away.

A gig on the moon is what Im aiming for ha ha. One day!


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


When I hear my music has inspired people to start playing an instrument that is very flattering.


Best track you've ever written and why?


I am like a lot of musician and can’t stand to listen to any songs I’ve written, as time passes it becomes easier to listen to them but you always feel you could have done it better in some way. I think some of the collaborations have been quite rewarding.

I think 2 Steps Back, which I wrote with “The Hoax” and “Big Blues” from the new album are quite good, if you like that kind of thing. :).


DELANEY DAVIDSON INTERVIEW

 

 

For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

 

Ghost Orchestra BluesTrash Noir


How has the reaction to your latest CD been?

 

Great!! Here are some reviews from New Zealand and USA:

 

http://www.secondhandnews.nz/news--reviews/delaney-davidson-lucky-guy-review

 

http://www.elsewhere.co.nz/music/7134/delaney-davidson-lucky-guy-rough-diamond-southbound/

 

http://www.examiner.com/review/lucky-guy-by-delaney-davidson


 

What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?

 

Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring.


What inspires you to do what you do?

 

Weirdly enough its the idea of Music that keeps me going, 

I know somehow it feeds into itself.

That and learning more about the craft. The longer I do it the more I feel like a beginner.

I guess I am chasing some weird monster to try and see it up close.. 


How would you describe your perfect day?

 

Cheese sandwiches.. nothing else matters.. 


What does the next 6 months look like for you?

 

Touring, Rehearsing, Writing and Recording.. 

A lot of organising in between. ha ha


What should people know about you?

 

I am open to most suggestions.. ha ha


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

 

I have done a bit of Co Writing and also Producing. I really enjoy taking someone else's music into a certain direction. It would be nice to try more of this. Co-writing is an amazing way to discover how quickly music can flow.. the right recipe is magic. Also would love to do more Acting.. I have been dabbling with video production and was in a movie once.. I loved it.


What is the main goal you wish to achieve through your music, and what do you hope people get out of your music?

 

I am trying to build up a body of work. I think thats the main goal I am aiming for. Keep recording and writing. Make up some song book catalogue. I guess I would like people to find some sort of kick into their life when they listen to my music, either comfort or a push of some sort, maybe a way to look at things that might help them or a point of view they can identify with.. That and forging a sound I believe in. 


True or false: “Music is my first love”.

 

This is a dangerous question.. there is definitely a different right and wrong answer deepening on the audience.. ha ha

It is very high on my list lets say that much.. 


If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:

 

My website? Come check me out.. 

delaneydavidson.com


MIKE BROOKFIELD REVIEW


How has the reaction to your latest CD been?


Really great! I suppose what people are enjoying is that I'm a singer songwriter trying to tell stories through songs & expressive blues guitar.  My playing is intuitive but well studied so I suppose there's a nice mix of interesting song structures and free expressive playing.  Everyone seems to pick a different fave track which is good for me to hear.  Some like the darker tracks with fuzz tones like Love Breaks The Fall and No Candle Burns In The Rain, others like the full on rockers like 'All My Heroes Are Junkies' & 'Killing Line'.  Actually come to think of it everyone comments on the instrumental ballad that closes the album called 'Peace For Joe'.  That will probably be in our live set forever now.  Audiences seems to really connect with it.  I wrote it for a close friend who recently passed away, so the song seems to be a living thing of its own, I'm just like the expressive vessel playing it…


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


Well most guitarists will hear the usual titans of blues rock in my playing like Clapton, SRV, Hendrix but I've played a lot of styles particularly Rockabilly.  I even played Eddie Cochrane in a West End musical.  In a similar way as when you'd scratch away at the surface of Jeff Beck, SRV and Gary Clarke Jnr you'll find everything from Cliff Gallup to Django and anyone who beat on a guitar with feeling.  

My songwriting influences are mainly Americans like Dylan, Ryan Adams, Doyle Bramhall II but I always end up writing things only a bloke from Merseyside would.  I'd like to think i have an honest writing style, that people can hear I'm telling a story.  

I'm also influenced by people I meet on a regular basis.  I've never met Clapton, I'd love to one day.  I've written a duet for me & him just in case I do one day and he wants to jam  HA!   As much as I love his playing, I only hear him play live every now & then.  The stuff that really sticks with me is when I experience it live.  I hear different guitar players every other night so they are sculpting me as much as the CDs in my car do.

Charlie Banacos my old teacher influenced me greatly.  He was a piano player whom I studied composition with for 9 years…


What inspires you to do what you do?


I'm a family man with 5 year old and a baby due in March 2016.  That's all the motivation you need right there!;-) I can't stop thinking about music & I don't resist it either but I ride my bike a lot which helps me get away from things.  I used to be a competitive cyclist.  I trained to a pretty good level and won a few medals but you can only serve one master and for me now thats music..


What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?


I'd do the weekly supermarket shop every friday with my mum & dad when I was small, and we'd always come home with a single or album to listen to.  I remember getting my dad to buy me August by Clapton which was one of his polished 80's records but really great for me at that time.  I learnt a lot about guitar playing from it.  

The first one with my own hard cash was Defender by Rory Gallagher in 1987.  I remember it came with a free single also, great album.  Now I feel really lucky to be working with Alan O'Duffy who co-produced that record as he is producing my next record.  Alan worked in Olympic studios so recorded Honky Tonk Woman, Street Fighting Man with the Stones and produced McCartney and loads of other big names from the golden era of blues rock.  Alan is a gentleman & I'm really excited about the next record, I'd like to think we can pick up nicely where Rory left off..


What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording? 


Like I said before I wrote 'Peace for Joe' about a close friend, basically for the recessional.  I performed it solo and played from a place that's hard to go to on a regular gig.  I wasn't playing to impress.  It was music to honor a great friend, to show respect, trying to play on everyones behalf about how we felt.  Music is entertainment but there are other deeper levels to it that can't be articulated only played & felt..


What has been your most memorable moment in your music career so far?


When I tell people of my career to date they always seem impressed but to me I've done very little.  I've performed in London's West End, Arenas with pretty big names, jazz clubs in New York but not doing my own music.  It was always under that banner of something that doesn't really represent 'my thing', just paying jobs.  Seeing people connect to something you have created it what its all about from me, ask me again in 12-16 months as things are moving well for us….  maybe I'll get to do that Clapton duet.  I'd totally shit myself..ha!


Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?


Not really had too many surprises. A lot of fan encounters are online these days, I get pretty random mail from all over the world. Amazing how the internet has made all music so accessible. I'll take a compliment though in any language thank you very much!


If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?


I wish people would be a bit more open & take a chance on new music a bit more.  I remember going into Woolworths as a teenager, picking up a record and just buying because I liked the cover.  John Hiatt 'Bring The Family' was one because the was a weird family and ventriloquist doll on the front.  What a great record.  I still play it today and knew nothing about it at the time.  I used to do record fairs with a local record shop and all the traders would trade with each other before opening to the public so I got my hands on some great records.  I hope record shops survive.  I love them.  Vinyl is hip again which is great.  Fingers crossed it stays strong because its a great way to listen to music.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Hang on I'll have a look…Like I said i have a 5 year old so 'Let it go..Let it Go…' from Frozen


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


Humungus amount of hard work!  I'm still pretty much under the radar and haven't broken through the circles I need to in order to get the exposure, reach my audience and build so I'm gonna be hustling like madman.  I have the songs, the band, the chops are in good shape, as is the streak of madness required!   So I'm getting in the car and I'm playing to people and its working.  You can be sure I'm trying to book a gig in a town near you very soon.  I'm my own manager which is mental but I'm learning and moving forward all the time.  The music I just enjoy but the management side I have to really work at.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


People want to be moved and dazzled so i'm aiming to kill it every night. We are high energy & invested I'd like to think.


I like to do solo shows as well as play with the band, sometimes even singer songwriter nights as it helps sharpen my performance and i'm exposing myself to younger music lovers who would not normally listen to blues rock.  After hearing my set many would often come to my band gigs.  It also keeps me hip to the local scene.  I'm not competitive in music like I was on the bike.  I'll help anyone I can.  You have to have a generous spirt to play or I think you can hear it in the music.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


New York probably.  I used to play wedding gigs for money in Ireland.  Sometimes I'd be mentally in a different universe on one of these gigs, so I'd say thats a more colorful answer ha! 


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


My song 'No Candle Burns In The Rain' is pretty dark.  I can usually look around on a gig and find someone with a look in their eyes that says 'I know what your saying'.  When someone comes up and shakes your hand and you know they really engaged with the music you get a buzz.  My fave comment is 'i prefer hearing your originals to the covers'…that'll guarantee you a post gig hug from me, anyway of the week.


Best track you've ever written and why?


Like most songwriters, I'm always most in love with the last thing I've written.  The material for the next album shows a real development in style.  There are one chord hill country blues inspired songs and some where I have written in subtle complexities which make them unique.  I'm obviously excited with Alan producing it.  'Love Breaks The Fall' is my fave recorded song that's available at the moment, mainly because of the way it builds & I love playing it live.  When it goes right, it explodes!  


BOW THAYER INTERVIEW 


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


My musical influences are all over the map. All the classic songwriters  Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell... Some newer ones are Ryan Adams, Eric Earley (Blitzen Trapper) Blake Mills ,Johnathan Wilson. Then there are the players, David Lindley, Tony Trisca, Bela Fleck Ali Farke Toure,. The list continues on and on. As for non musical influences, well there are a bunch of visual artists like Andy Goldsworthy ,who utilize nature to create amazing works of art, or groups like Bread and Puppet who use performance and costume to express a  social agenda .


What inspires you to do what you do?


Nature has always been a huge inspiration. The simple act of story telling is somehow intertwined in my DNA. The pure joy of improvisation or creating music in general.


What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?


When I was like 9 or 10 I used some allowance money to buy a 45 from a pop group called the Bay City Rollers. The single was called Saturday Night.


What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording? 


My Wife and I went down to Belize to do some scuba diving on the barrier reef. We were 50 miles off the coast on this tiny atoll, I had my resonator ukelele a sony disk man with condenser mic. There was no electricity or running water and we stayed in a little hut on stilts over the water, the waves literally splashed up through the floor boards. Sharks,eels, rays,and all kinds of exotic, aquatic life were all around us. After a day of diving and snorkeling and exploring the odd and beautiful reef, the tropical storms came in at night and blew the pots and pans off the walls. My wife cried in her sleeping bag she was so scared.... I loved it. I put the mic in a plastic bag so it would not pick up the wind so much, hit record and just improvised and wrote and sang until the batteries ran out. When I got back to Vermont I realized I had some good shit and invited some players to give one take over each piece, that was all I allowed to save the spontaneity. The result was 'The Driftwood Periodicals vol. 2'.

Oh I played a show in a miniature golf course once.... that was weird too.


What has been your most memorable moment in your music career so far?


Singing "the Weight" with Levon Helm at one of the Midnight Rambles at his home in Woodstock NY.


Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?


One time I went to move a fan off my dresser and did not realize that it was on and almost took my finger off.


If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?


Time travel. I would like to be able to go back and see and hear what was going on before recorded music. One can only imagine!


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Hmmm. lets have a look. Theres some Weird Al, but then again he is a genius..... oh no look here! that stupid U2 record that they put on here with out me knowing, I guess I never deleted that.


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


Pretty much like the last 6 months.... writing, recording ,playing shows trying to stay focused , happy, and alive. There may be a bit more traveling than normal.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


A guy trying to find the perfect way to play a song.... I give it my all every time, but somedays are better than others. But I can garnet that you will never see me simply going through the motions or "phoning it in".


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Either Talkeetna ,Alaska or Uvita ,Costa Rica. I would have to look at a map.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


There have been folks who say a certain song helped them through a bad situation as well as people saying some songs are a "go to" to remind them of a special moment in there life. I guess that is another thing that keeps me doing this.


Best track you've ever written and why?


I have not written my best one yet. If I look back and try and see what my best track is it may not be so good for my journey into the future.

WILY BO WALKER INTERVIEW


When did you first start singing?


I first started singing for the church sunday school when I was about 5 years old and I vividly remember singing in a concert on stage in the Church Hall in Glasgow. It was my first 'live' appearance in front of about a hundred people (mums and dads I guess). Songs I sang were 'King of the Road' and 'Sixteen Tons' (albeit in my boy soprano voice!). I still perform 'Sixteen Tons' in my shows from time to time - it was one of my Mum's favourite songs so I always consider that I perform it in her memory.





What did your family do to encourage you?


I think by encouraging me NOT to follow a path in creative music, reverse psychology took over and here I am!!! :-)

Both my parents were great piano players but didn't work in the business professionally and there was always a lot of music in the house, my sister especially was keen on music and if anything I followed her love of popular music.


Who are your musical inspirations?


My sister was a huge Beatles fan so as a kid I was always listening to them but late sixties I heard Cream and that turned me on to a blues driven path. Jack Bruce of course came from my hometown of Glasgow (we even share the same birthday) so I felt drawn to pick up the bass to emulate him! After that I just started listening to everything and drawing inspiration from it all. I love some of the great Scottish vocalists and artists like Jimmy Dewar, Big George, Tam White, Alex Harvey, Frankie Miller, Maggie Bell through to bands like Mike Scott & The Waterboys etc etc


What kind of music do you listen to today?


Anything and everything. There is so much music around today and so much really great and creative music happening. I don't like mainstream radio much but when you dig around away from the corporate stuff you find real music by real musicians and artists!

Latest vinyl I bought was the new Warren Haynes album 'Ashes and Dust' - fabulous!!! 


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Nothing really. I love all sorts of music and for one reason or another the songs I have will be a memory of some sort for me.


I guess perhaps some of my notebook demos of my tracks may be embarrassing, some un-formed ideas I may have been toying with. I tend to record my songs roughly and then listen to them back when I am out walking my dog, Rooby Doo, to see if the ideas work or not before I take it to the studio, or keep as ideas for future work.


Even silly songs I made up for my kids! I still do that and make up silly songs for them and they are young men now - so I guess that THEY will find that embarrassing!! 


Where would you most like to perform?


I haven't yet played in the States so I guess Austin, Texas, or New Orleans would be fun. 


Who would you most like to open for?


Ah now that list could be endless! From Van Morrison through Bob Seger, Robbie Robertson, Bob Schneider, and if carrying on the fantasy through some of my dead heroes - Warren Zevon!!! It's a never-ending list! :-)


Also have to include 'The Heavy' in that never-ending list. Their gig at Koko in Camden a couple of years ago was possibly one of the best gigs I have ever been to!


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing


Producing! I love recording and production so that's definitely the path I would be taking! I feel it's like painting pictures with sound and I get a real kick out of it.


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?


Corporate mainstream radio really - I will turn that off in the car, it's just so bland, unimaginative, lacking in dynamics and soul-less. 


What hidden talents do you have?


Diplomacy (except when it comes to corporate mainstream radio, evidently!) :-)


Best track you've ever written and why?


Difficult one as they all have meaning for me but I guess overall 'Long Way to Heaven' must rank up there. It's totally autobiographical and based on a time I lived in Marseille, France. It is currently a Finalist in the 2015 British Blues Awards in the 'Blues Song' category so it seems to be quite popular too!! :-)


Which question i did forget to ask?


Where can your audience vote for 'Long Way to Heaven' in the 2015 British Blues Awards?


http://www.britishbluesawards.co.uk/vote


I would really appreciate it if everyone could Vote for the track. Many thanks in advance for that!

Music, Peace and Love, Wily Bo


SONNY KNIGHT & THE LAKERS INTERVIEW

*Answers from Eric Floss, the drummer*

 

How has the reaction to your latest CD been? 

 

Great!  I think there is a certain stigma with live records... that they're some how inferior or something.  Sure, some of them are, but the good ones to me are better than good studio albums.  The record has done better at radio than any of us could have hoped, and I think it's serving its purpose of highlighting the group's greatest asset... the live show.  Listen to this record, and you'll have a very good idea of what to expect from a Sonny Knight And The Lakers show.   


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


Well, I think the interesting thing here is that this has changed already in a short period of time.  Before we cut the first album, we were way into James Brown and all the obscure acts of the 60s that followed his lead.  We were also heavily influenced by all the local soul acts of the 60s and early 70s... The Amazers and Maurice McKinnies are both local acts we still cover to this day.  After that record came out, I think we started getting more into the stuff recorded in Alabama and Memphis... Otis, Wilson, Aretha, etc.  Then that has lead into really digging into some of those song writers... specifically Dan Penn.  Now I think we're thinking a lot less about soul music and just more about good songs.  Sonny and I both love gospel music.  I haven't spent much time with it over the last couple years though... not like I used to.  Lately, I'm digging way back into it, though!  Some of the guys are way off into the country thing right now too.  I think it's cool.  Bringing those things together has helped us write much more "soulful" music as of late.  The next record will sound radically different as a result of that.  


Non-musical influences is a great question.  I know for me, I'm a little bit of an outdoorsman (not as much as I'd like to be these days with all the touring),and I think that industry is full of very exciting companies doing amazing things.  So many of those brands are able to connect with their customers in a very real and meaningful way.  Sure, you're just buying a pair of shoes or a jacket, but somehow it says something about who you are in a non-superficial way.  I think anyone who can make that sort of connection with their customers (AKA Fans) is worth looking at for inspiration.  Icelantic skis and Patagonia both come to mind instantly.  Also, I'm very inspired by the business side of James Brown.  He was a genius.  


What inspires you to do what you do? 


Sonny.  Watching him get up there night after night and lay it all out on the stage is the single most inspiring thing I've ever seen.  

What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money? 

I'm pretty sure it was Oasis' What's The Story Morning Glory.  I think I was in fifth grade. 


What has been your most memorable moment in your music career so far?  


It'd probably be the first soul revue concert I produced here in town.  It was a celebration of the Twin Cities Funk & Soul compilation I released on my label, Secret Stash Records.  The club could only give me like a $1,000 or $1,500 guarantee, but the show cost me way more than that to produce.  I tried to get more and they said this wasn't part of their mission programming and that basically I was lucky to get what I was getting.  Clearly they didn't believe in the project.  Anyhow, right up until showtime I was absolutely terrified that we'd only sell a couple hundred tickets and I would lose thousands of dollars and let down all of the great people that signed on to the project.  Presales weren't great.   Anyhow, I was backstage feeling all shitty about how it might turn out when my wife showed up and told me that the line was all the way down the street.  The room capped out at 650 and it wound up selling out before any of the music even started.  They turned away hundreds of people that night.  We went on and performed something like 22 songs with a rotating cast of singers and musicians.  All told I think there were like 24 musicians involved in that production.  It was the first time I ever worked with Sonny and was the spark that of created this fire.  Had we not produced that event, and had it not done as well as it did, I don't think we'd be doing this Sonny Knight And The Lakers Thing.  


If your city were a song it would be..


Having a Party by Sam Cooke.  This is a welcoming town and we love radio.  KFAI, The Current, KMOJ, KBEM... those are all non-commercial local stations that each kick lots of ass.  


Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?


I recently asked a landscaper for a quote to install some sod.  He said, "sure, I'll draw up today, but I only accept payment in the form of Juicy Lucys."  For those who don't know, our song Juicy Lucy is actually about a type of hamburger that was created here in Minneapolis.  


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player? 


I get some version of this question a lot.  If it's in my collection, I'm not embarrassed by it.  In most cases of "guilty pleasure of music," people feel that connection to a song or artist for sentimental reasons.  I play with guys who dig some music I HATE.  Nine out of ten times, it's because I wasn't there when that stuff was going on.  So.. all that said, I probably have some things that may surprise some people.   Two of my favorite bands are Tool and Meshugga.  I have most of their records on my iPhone.  Oh, also, I haven't removed that fucking U2 record from my iPhone, but I've never listened to it.  Those guys make shit music.  


What does the next 6 months look like for you?  


We'll be touring hard again for a few weeks in September and again in November.  We're almost ready to do in and cut the next studio record, too. I can't wait for that.  


What can people expect to see at your live performances? 


Non-stop music. You paid to see a show, not watch 8 dudes play grab ass in between songs.  The show has a flow to it that includes high highs and low lows, but it never stops.  You're going to see 8 people work as hard as they possibly can for you.  There isn't a single night that I'm not completely exhausted after playing a show.  If you're willing to pay to see our show, then we're going to give you everything we've got.  


The show has changed a lot in the past 6 months, too... mostly because we're adding new material.  We used to have trouble figuring out how to make mid-tmepo numbers work.  I think we've got it dialed in now, so the show is even more dynamic than it once was.  Also, Sonny has been destroying ballads lately.  Of course we're still playing the fast hard hitting stuff, but I think overall the show is just more diverse and dynamic than it used to be.

JUWANA JENKINS INTERVIEW


What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


I can’t remember if Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or Happy Birthday was first.


What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?


My fondest musical memories are that I was always surrounded by music.

There was always music on in the house I grew up in: Bonnie Raitt playing in the cassette player on my mother’s side of the bed; country music playing in the kitchen as she made Sunday breakfast; gospel in the bathroom when my father was getting ready for church; rap in the dining room while my sister was doing her homework and Motown and oldies in my while I was getting ready for school.

 

There was music all around me outside the house too. I remember being watching the Wiz at a musical dinner theatre with my parents when I was a very little girl and attending classical music performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra during elementary school trips. Urban music of the 80’s and 90’s blared as I walked down the streets of Philadelphia. Modern contemporary gospel rang out from my choirs in high school and college while old-time gospel music creaked out of the small upright—out-of-tune-- piano at my parent’s Baptist church.


If you have to describe your music in three of four words, what would you call it?


Honest, playful, fun, raw??


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


People can expect to see me encouraging everybody to join in and have a good time, to party and let it all hang out. That’s why I wrote the song J’s Juke Joint for people to know that I come to have a good time and I want them to join the fun.  ??


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


The fan comments are so very uplifting and encouraging that the fans reactions are a big part in why I do what I do and how I do it.


After opening for Mick Taylor, formerly of the Rolling Stones, a fan came up to me and told me, “I was feeling bad, but then I heard your voice and I’m feeling better now.”

That is the transformational power of the blues to give expression to the unspeakable, to set it free, and be set free.

 

To write and sing from my joy, my experience, my pain and my life and it touch, help and uplift someone else is such a precious connection with the audience that is a virtuous circle. 


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?


It would be with Muddy Waters’ Band with Little Walter on harp, Willie Dixon on bass an

 

First, I’d want to perform with a band to be in the midst of the chemistry and energy they have created by playing, working and traveling together for all those years.

 

Second, it would be with Muddy Waters because his music influenced the sound of so many musicians. ?

But if I were hosting a show with an all star jam as the closing number and everybody performed a little bit for the closing number with me, there would also be Tina Tuner, Etta James, Koko Taylor, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Buddy Guy, BB King, and.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


All my European shows are pretty far from Philadelphia and I performed in Seoul, South Korea when I lived there, but using my home in Prague as a base in Europe, the furthest would be Rossano, Italy to play the Marco Fiume Blues Passion Festival.


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to? 


I can listen to metal, but I can’t stand academic, choral versions of spirituals and gospel with the soul sucked out.??


What hidden talents do you have? 


Listening. Once I come off stage, it’s a pleasure to sit quietly and give my full, undivided attention to focus on a friend for a while.??


Best track you've ever written and why?


Best track I’ve every written is I Don’t Miss You. It literally came to me and through me in a matter of minutes. It basically wrote itself. First, rushed in the lyrics, then, the melody, harmony, and finally, the organ and guitar parts. While I wrote it as a love song for my gay best friend who had moved to another city, I recently had the honor to sing it at the funeral of a friend who suddenly passed away and I’m so very glad that his widow and guests could take some comfort in the words of the song as well.


Which question i did forget to ask?


After 15 years as a frontwoman singing the blues, I’m working on new original music for my next CD, which will come out in 2016. Fans will get a taste of the blues from its gospel and spiritual roots to its present day fruits.

TED VAUGHN INTERVIEW



When did you first start singing?


 I've been singing all my life. My grandfather was a minister in Texas  

and I sang in the church choirs, as well as in school choirs. I don't

remember NOT singing.


What did your family do to encourage you?


Well, they encouraged and supported me musically from a very young age. I was learning to read music and taking trumpet lessons at 11 in addition to singing. They never wanted me to be a "full time" musician, though.


Who are your musical inspirations?


There are so many! Growing up in Texas, I was around a lot of blues and

country musicians and was fortunate enough to meet many of them. Waylon Jennings was a big influence as was Lightnin' Hopkins and Louisiana artists like Fats Domino. I used to see Anson Funderburg and the Rockets  quite often. I learned a lot about blues harp from talks with their singer and harp player Sam Myers. Of course, Stevie Ray Vaughan and can't forget the three Kings, BB, Albert and Freddie !!



What kind of music do you listen to today?


Mainly blues. Some jazz, rockabilly and older rock n' roll. I love

classical also.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


None. I don't have an mp3 player ! I'm "old school" man ! If I could get

all the music I love on vinyl, I would.


Where would you most like to perform?


Carnegie Hall or the Fox Theater in St. Louis, MO.


Who would you most like to open for?


Good question. Most of them have passed. Currently, though, I would say someone like Buddy Guy or Greg Allman.


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing ?


Going crazy, probably.


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?


All of the mass produced, pre-packaged, corporate industrialized mess that passes for pop and country today.

It's as bad for the soul as junk food is for the body. Thank heaven for the blues.


What hidden talents do you have?


I don't know if I would consider it a hidden talent, but I am also a meteorologist and do contract upper air research for NOAA / National

Weather Service.


Best track you've ever written and why?


As of now, probably the first song on the current CD, "Them 12 Bar Blues".

My good friend and our guitarist, Clay "Bone" King, really helped on the arrangement and it turned out great, I think. I have always loved songs

that use word play and innuendo.

In the song, the guy thinks his new love interest loves the blues, which is usually built around 12 bars of music, but finds that she really likes to drink at about 12 bars a night.



DANNY BROOKS INTERVIEW


When did you first start singing? 


When I was around 6 singing Hank Williams songs from my Mom's collection, which is why I wrote 'Blue Highway.


What did your family do to encourage you?


Brought me to a Hallelujah Soul Shoutin' Pentecostal Church. But my Mom's Hank Williams & Rev. Jumpin' Jim Jericho (Elvis did some of his songs) really got me going!



Who are your musical inspirations?


Hank Williams, Solomon Burke, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, Blind Boys of Alabama & Mississippi, 

Paul Rogers, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight and The Allman Brothers.


What kind of music do you listen to today?


I don't, but I enjoy anything well done with feeling.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


I don't listen to music so I have nothing that would be embarrassing.

There are only two types of music; good or bad.


Where would you most like to perform?

 

I have always wanted to sing on the Grand Ole Opry because of Hank, but I must say The Gruene Hall, Luckenbach 

and The Redneck Country Club in Texas is just as good !


Who would you most like to open for?


The Allman Brothers, Taj Mahal or Paul Rodgers.


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?


Writing songs, or driving  a truck.  I do love to motivate and encourage people so perhaps a preacher.


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?


Anything that sends a negative vibe.  Music is magic, mystical and beyond complete understanding. 

Like God it is love and powerful and to cheapen it with negativity is like throwing pearls before swine.


What hidden talents do you have?


At 63 the little talent I have is no longer hidden:)


Best track you've ever written and why?


My last song, because each last song brings me closer to home.  But I have a few I am quite fond of: 

Brother Bill, which is a song I wrote for my Brother, You Won't Show, for my 

son Justin, 'When I'm Holding You' and Good Love Is Hard To Find for my 

wife, Got To Find My Way Back Home for daughter Caitlin and 'Ain't That Good 

News' a gospel song.


Which question i did forget to ask? :


Why I love writing songs?  


We are all put on earth for a purpose and I believe it is to be our brother's keeper 

and to share and encourage as many people to be the best they can be. 

Writing songs is my way of doing this and keeping my self reaching 

constantly to improve as a human being.

GERRY JABLONSKI  INTERVIEW



When did you first start singing? 


I've always tried to sing from day one - I used to sing as a kid in choirs and stuff. I remember singing on the kitchen table for my sisters on a Saturday night - we didn't have TV!....But I started off as guitarist really and didn't take the singing seriously until I started writing my own stuff. I started off singing like Bob Dylan, I thought if he can get away with it anyone can


What did your family do to encourage you? 


They hated it - wanted me to get a real job, especially my dad. 


Who are your musical inspirations? 


Guitarwise, from Django, to Al di Meola and all in between. 

Vocally, from Steve Marriot to Joe Pesci!


What kind of music do you listen to today? 


I have been listening to Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa. And Richard Thompson, I always listen to Richard, and John Martyn. 

My recent favourite is a an album called Trouble with The Blues by Gerry Jablonski and the Electric......


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player? 


I don't think I have an MP3 player. What is an MP3 player? I'm old school, I've got a record player in my car. ...


Where would you most like to perform? 


In bed. No, Madison square Garden but not at the same time.


Who would you most like to open for? 


Rival Suns


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing


Cutting grass


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to? 


Scottish folk music...............


What hidden talents do you have? 


I am quite expert on the Diablo - look it up on the inter web.....


Best track you've ever written and why?


I Confess,  off the new album. It was a kind of spontaneous track, wrote it straight off staying in some strange hotel on the road, a boathouse or something. It is very therapeutic to let go of your demons. 


Who would you be if your weren't Mick Jagger?


 I'd be Gerry Jablonski

STRAHAN INTERVIEW


When did you first start singing?


My earliest memory of singing is at primary school when I was seven years old. I sang the Pocahontas theme song to our then Prime Minister Jim Bolger. All I remember about him was how big his nose was when he shook my hand to thank me.


What did your family do to encourage you?


My parents were always really supportive of my music. They bought me new albums that would inspire me and signed me up for any singing events or groups at school. Through my teenage years I teamed up with my brother to play some Nu Metal which was a bunch of fun. So my families been a huge part of my journey and never more than today.


Who are your musical inspirations?


Bob Dylan is a huge inspiration of mine. His truth telling and his straight shooting taught me how to be true as an artist. The modern day version of that for me would be Ryan Adams who's a pretty quirky guy but I've always found a profound element of truth and vulnerability in his songs. A more obscure artist that has hugely inspired me over the years is a guy called Jason Upton, you've probably never heard of him though. He's kind of an intense artist and I always identified with that side of him. 


What kind of music do you listen to today?


Probably a lot of the above. I have to say the older I've got the more i've enjoyed listening to music outside my normal taste. I love exploring music that has soul and those elements of truth. Ray Lamontage and that dusty americana soul folk is a huge hit with me. I've also got a lot more into local music in the last number of years, I'm really proud of what we produce here in New Zealand and think we've got a lot to offer the world.

 

What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


Ha! I probably still own way too much embarrassing music. I'm pretty sure I've still got Lincoln Park on the player which is bad enough but if you keep digging you'll probably find some Fuel and even some Creed in the bottom of the barrel.


Where would you most like to perform?


We have a venue here in Auckland called the Civic Theatre. It's a beautiful old venue with seating that goes right up and a beautiful painted dome ceiling. I'd be a happy man to play there. You could add to that any large beautiful theatre around the world and I'm in. I love theatres.


Who would you most like to open for?


This is a tough question because on one hand it'd undoubtably be Ryan Adams but in the other hand if I messed it up I'd never forgive myself. I think i'd be too nervous to do a good job cause I'm too much of a fanboy!

 

If you weren't singing, what would you be doing


I'd probably have my heads in some books somewhere studying and plotting away some brilliant world changing ideas.


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?


Gangster rap it's just terrible.


What hidden talents do you have?

 

I used to be an B & A grade Ballroom and Latin American dancer.


Best track you've ever written and why?


 Your Kingdom Come because it's the most true and honest reflection of my heart in song.

DIANE DURRETT INTERVIEW


How has the reaction to your latest CD been? 


I think it has put a smile on a lot of listeners’ faces.?I’ve “heard tell” that some had to get up a do a little dance. 


How would you describe your music genre? 


On the Roots Music Report it’s in the genre of Contemporary Blues.?Yet, Genre’s are ever changing.?So, if you like heart-felt booty shaking music you’ll like it. 


What was the first musical experience that really touched you?


As a child, hearing my mother singing in the kitchen while she was cooking or doing stuff. 


Who are your musical and non-musical influences? 


Non-musical influence – Business executive, Susan B. King was one of the few woman on the board of Coca-Cola in the early 1990s. While I was singing in blues clubs, my part-time “side job” was driving a limousine for the board of Coca-Cola. I became her driver when she’d come to Atlanta. She took a personal interest in me and my singing career...gave me a lot of business tips and encouragement. My mother passed away during that time so she kind of took me under her wing. Ms King even wore my band t-shirt to a board meeting one time! She meant a lot to me because she was not only successful but also very genuine. 


Musical Influence - Too many to count! But, The vocal riffs of Aretha Franklin, the earthy tone of Gladys Knight and the sass of Etta James will forever stay in my heart. 


What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money? 


“Mothers Finest” – hearing Joyce Kennedy sing is a must if you’ve never heard her. 


If your city were a song it would be?


Well, Atlanta would be a funky “Soul Stew” 


What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording? 


The Douglas Theatre in Macon, Georgia had a “‘thang’ on it”. Many of the Blues & Soul Music Greats have performed there. I just felt the vibe all over me. That’s where the photo with my guitar lifted up was taken. Photographer, Bill Thames, captured the moment so well I had to put it on my latest CD and website. 


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


California but I would love to perform in Europe.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


A bunch of people having fun playing music together. 


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally? 


When I’m singing my song “All Is Well”. I ask others to join in, then I hear their voices raised and it builds and builds, it touches my soul every time. 


Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet? 


One time I saw a TV special where Patti Labelle joined Amy Grant on stage to sing a song. Patti started riffing all over the place, the more Patti sang the more Amy watched Patti sing. I think that might happen to me if I ever had the chance to be on stage with Aretha. I’d just through out a “uuhmmm” or a “well” then just stand there to listen! 


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing? 


I love to sing but I also love to write and produce other artists. So, That’s what I’d continue to do. 

THE GOSPEL SESSIONS VOL.1 INTERVIEW

met Onno Smit.


In welke setting komt het live spelen van de Gospel Sessions het beste tot zijn recht?


In de setting zoals we het album ook hebben opgenomen. Dat is Paul Willemsen op gitaar, Onno Smit gitaar en tamboerijn, Toon Oomen op drums en Michelle David vocalen. Het album is ook in 1 dag live opgenomen in de Electric Monkey Studios te A’dam.


Ik begrijp dat er veel soorten muziek schatplichtig zijn aan de traditionals uit de gospel. Maar waneer besloot je/jullie de uitdaging aan te gaan om de gospel te ontleden tot de essentie?


4 jaar geleden kreeg ik van een bevriende journalist het album Songs of Light van Shirley Ann Lee. Deze plaat voldoet in zijn geheel niet aan de verwachting van een Gospel plaat. Veel nummers klinken als demo’s. Soms alleen met een valse piano of een sitar-gitaar en op andere nummers hoor je alleen de stem en wat percussie. Super plaat heel mooi gezongen en voor mij een eye opener om eindelijk met die lang uitgestelde Gospel plaat aan de gang te gaan. 


De titel doet vermoeden dat het album een vervolg gaat krijgen , is dat inderdaad een optie?


Zekers, er komen nog twee delen. Hoe die eruit gaan zien is nog niet helemaal duidelijk maar de volgende schrijfsessies zijn al gepland.


Het album is binnen een dag opgenomen, hebben jullie overwogen het live met publiek op

te nemen?


Nee. Een live plaat is iets anders dan een plaat live opnemen. Wat wij hebben gedaan is elk nummer in zijn geheel (zonder overdubs) op de band te zetten met iedereen in 1 ruimte, ook Michelle. De sessie duurde 10 uur. Je moet elk nummer een paar keer doen voor je de juiste feel hebt. Publiek erbij zou alleen maar afleiden en dan ga je ook gauw voor het publiek spelen en niet meer voor de opname. De kans bestaat wel dat we een show gaan opnemen voor een live album.


Waarom is Michelle David de juiste vrouw op de juiste plek ?


Michelle is the real thing. Ze zingt al vanaf haar 4e gospel muziek. Haar eerste gospel groep had ze toen ze 7 was. Voor haar is het niet zomaar een liedje zingen maar a way of life. En daarnaast is Michelle een hele leuke vrouw om mee samen te werken (we werken al een jaar of 7 samen).


Het resultaat van het album mag er zijn, is het een overweging om het om te draaien ?

Ik bedoel dan aan de muziek van jullie bands bijvoorbeeld de kracht van een gospel koor toe te voegen ? 


Zou een idee kunnen zijn maar zo'n plan hebben we nu niet. 


Hoe heb(ben) je/jullie kunnen kiezen uit de enorme schat aan gospels voor het album? 


Dat ging erg organisch. Wij speelde een groove en Michelle zong er flarden tekst overheen. Soms van bestaande nummers en andere stukken tekst hebben we zelf geschreven. We zijn niet echt opzoek gegaan naar de juiste nummers. Na drie schrijfsessies was het album compleet. We werken vooral op gevoel. Als het de groove daar is nemen we snel een demo op en gaan door met het volgende liedje. Michelle weet meestal na een aantal maten al of ze er iets mee kan of niet. Als de groove goed is komt de inspiratie vanzelf.


De recensies en reacties op het album waren zeer enthousiast, heb je wel altijd het gevoel gehad dat er open minded naar is geluisterd ? Of dat de titel van band en album mensen al een vooroordeel gaven?


 Ik denk dat als je een Gospel album op een gerenomeerd indie label als Excelsior uitbrengt er zo sowieso andere mensen naar gaan luisteren dan als het via een reli label was uitgekomen. Verder spreekt het artwork veel mensen aan en worden zo nieuwsgierig naar de muziek. De titel werkt niet altijd mee. Vooral bij de radio zijn ze erg sceptisch als ze het woord Gospel zien. Maar die voordelen verdwijnen meestal direct als ze ons een keer gehoord hebben. Radio 6 draait de plaat heel veel en heeft twee singles in rotatie. Verder pikt ook Radio 2 het goed op. 


Wat heeft de voorkeur?


Spotify of Itunes ? ................ Spotify premium 


Krijgen jullie veel positieve recensies ? 

 

Ja zeer positief, de speellijst blijft groeien. We gaan nu ook naar Spanje voor een show in Santiago de Compestala. Ik zou zeggen hou de website in de gaten!


Welke plaat wil je absoluut nog eens maken en waarom? 


Ik wil heel graag Charlie Parker With Strings een keer opnieuw opnemen en uitbrengen maar dan met bijvoorbeeld Benjamin Herman en het Concertgebouw orkest. Alles live met publiek en natuurlijk in het concertgebouw. 

 

Waar kunnen we meer info over jullie vinden ? 

 

www.thegospelsessions.com

LADY BIANCA INTERVIEW



What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


Little Richards Tooty Fruity and Mavis staples Uncloudy day


If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Gospel Blues soul country.


How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


Collaboration with my partner and husband Stanley Lippitt.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


Entertainment goods songs with good story lines  a good time and off course a great band.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


The audience tell they have a love affair with some of my songs from the CDs they have bought and I perform live

 

If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?


 Ray Charles his music touches me immensely 


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Lugano Switzerland


Without music i would be ...............  bored


JOHN MCDONOUGH INTERVIEW

 

What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


The first song I have real memories of is Spinning Wheel by Blood, Sweat, and Tears. I was about 5 and my older sister, who was 12, was doing a dance with some of her friends to that song for a talent show, and I also learned every word and move of the dance!!


What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?


This is a tough one as there are so many great musical memories. A few years ago I was in the rocky mountains just outside of Aspen at a jazz festival. I was listening to Bruce Hornsby, I had my favorite drink of an iced mocha coffee, the mountains were beautiful, and I remember thinking, ‘life does not get much better than this.


Another one is several years ago I opened for a band at a bar in Illinois. I was playing solo, it was Halloween night, the bar was packed and it was a pretty crazy crowd. The gig was going fine, but I felt like I really didn’t have anyones attention. I played Desperado, and the place became silent with everyone watching and listening to me. It turned out to be a special moment.


 

If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


I would describe my music as a modern, singer-songwriter, pop sound.


How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


I have always loved the singer/songwriters the best. I was 10 or 11 when I wen to the store to buy my first album. It was Taxi by Harry Chapin! Not a typical album for a 10 or 11 year old, but I was obsessed with the song Taxi and wanted to be able to play it over and over. Then my next artists I was so into were John Denver, James Taylor, etc. and I just connected with the words and acoustic style. So at 10 and 11 I wanted to be able to play, sing, and create songs like those artists, and I feel I am still trying to achieve that. 


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


People can expect a nice mix of my originals, classic hits like Fire and Rain and Cat’s in the Cradle, and fun, current hits from people like Bastille, Ed Sheeran, James Bay, etc. What people are usually surprised with at my shows is my humor and the fun I have connecting with the audience, telling stories, etc. My songs are very serious and deep, but my personality in-between the songs is a lot of fun and engaging.


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


My older sister, who is also a great supporter and fan, was listening to my latest CD in her car when it first came out, and she got to the last song, ‘You Don’t Know This,’ which I wrote for my niece. My Niece was about 2 at the time, and we have a very special bond. My older sister had to pull over because she was crying because she was overwhelmed by the love in the song. That made me feel good.


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?


This is another tough one as there are several artists I have so much love and respect for. It is so hard to choose just one! I think I would have to say Harry Chapin, but man, John Denver, James Taylor, Janis Joplin, are very close seconds. But Harry Chapin was so unbelievable, I think I would have to say him. His singing, songwriting, and personality I think is why I would choose him first.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


This wasn’t really a show, but many years ago I was skiing in France with friends who were German, and there was a packed bar with a 3 piece acoustic band. They were nice and let me play a couple songs on my own, which went very well, and everyone cheered for a few more songs from me. That was another special moment as I felt a lot of pressure because the bar was so packed, and it was in a different country with a different language, and it was very exciting and satisfying


Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


Without music................... I would be lost and searching for my life purpose.


I write the songs because......................Music is inspiring, challenging, frustrating, satisfying, fun, necessary, a gift to receive and a gift to be given. 


JOHNNY RILEY INTERVIEW


How has the reaction to your latest CD been?


The reaction to my Cd has been mind Blowing, fans as well as people have loved it, the CD has been Submitted for the BMA in Memphis and it was Submitted to the Grammys.


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


My Musical influences are Howling Wolf, BB King, Muddy waters , Meryl Haggard and Johnny Winters

My other influences are Nicolai Tesla, 

Will Rogers.


What inspires you to do what you do?


What inspires to do what I do is that I believe I was born to do what I do, music has been in me from the moment I was born it's who I am it's apart of me I Am The Blues , I was singing the blues back before I even knew what it was.


What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?


Muddy Waters was the first that I can remember.


What has been your most memorable moment in your music career so far?


The most memorable moment for me was the first time I headlined a show in Arizona it was amazing the stage was huge the crew was fantastic and up until then I had played every juke Joint and Beer Hall in the Country so hitting the big stage was a special moment for me.


If your city were a song it would be..


If my city was a Song it would be called " Small Town USA.


Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?


Yes! A fan Drove all the way from Oklahoma City to Mississippi to see my Show ! I was so honored and Shocked that they would come all that way to see me it was humbling.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


You would find " I get more Booty when Budda's around by the group 

Called Monkey Junk.


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


The next 6 months looks very busy for me and my band we play a lot.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


You can expect The Real Deal and in your Face Blues I'm 100 proof! And you will be entertained !!

LAURA RAIN INTERVIEW

 

If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Retro Modern Soul 


What is your favorite track on your latest album? 


My favorite song on our upcoming album 'Gold' is "Hard Times"


What was the first song that you ever played for public?


In the fourth grade talent show I performed acapella, "Every Breath You Take" by the Police. 


 How did it make you feel?


 Nervous and excited. 


 Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


 I am a soul singer. My job is to move people, make them feel something deep inside. 

 

 Do you have your own favorite music and is it any different from the music you are playing?


 My music is a culmination of all of the music that moves me. I love the blues, southern soul, vintage r&b, and soul music. 


 What is the best place to write a song?


 In my living room. 


 What was the most bizarre/weird moment on stage ? And how did you react?


 Not bizarre or weird, but unfortunate when the sound manforgets about you. 

 

 What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?

 

 N/A


 What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?

 

 I like good heartfelt music, and well written songs. This comes in all genres. I typically do not care for current popular music


 What hidden talents do you have?


 I'm one hell of a cook. 


 What's the furthest show from your home that you have done? 


 Edmonton Alberta. We will be playing in Paris in January. 


 Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


 Without music i would be................dead

 

 Playing liveshows...............incredible


JOE CANNIZZO(JC) INTERVIEW


What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


Black dog


What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?


I have 3 older sisters,  they were always playing music


If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it


Modern blues rock


How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


In the early 90’s I heard S.R.V  Robert Cray. I was hooked.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


I leave it all on stage. 200%


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


Yes people have showed up at my gig wearing  a t shirts with one of my song title on it .


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? 


For sure Robert Cray.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Cayman Islands


Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


Without music i would be............... Very sad


 I write the songs because ...............That’s what I do    

MIDNIGHT PILOT INTERVIEW

 

With Grant (lead singer / writer) and Kyle (lead guitar / writer).


What are you listening to lately ?


Grant: Some of my favorites right now are Mark Knopfler, Blake Mills, Joe Pisapia, Roy Orbison, Electric Light Orchestra, Vetiver and Tobias Jesso Jr. on top of hundreds of others.  On any given month I'm usually obsessing over an older artist that I've rediscovered, and also trying to find a new band or artist that I really dig.  Those are a few of the highlights.


Kyle: Colony House, Phantom Planet


If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Grant: Rock Pop Americana Alternative.  That pretty much encapsulates our sound I would say.

 

Kyle: Americana, Indie, Pop, Rock


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player? 


Grant: I secretly enjoy some Miley Cyrus songs, like "Party in the USA" or "Wrecking Ball", and then I'm probably a little too into "Toxic" by Britney Spears.  A great song is just a great song, no matter who sings it.  Whoever wrote those ones knew what they were doing.


Kyle: Hmmm… Probably a few pop tracks I’m not proud of


Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?


Grant: I would say i'm primarily influenced by old records.  My favorites are "Pet Sounds" by the Beach Boys, "Out of the Blue" by Electric Light Orchestra, "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon, anything by The Everly Brothers, and honestly most of the songs that were popular in the 60's across the board


Kyle: I was a little bit, but more of my influences came from the 90’s and 2000’s. Grant listened to much older music than me. Early Coldplay, Switchfoot and Lovedrug records were huge influences in my life.


When and why did you start playing?


Grant: I started writing and playing guitar when I was 14 or 15.  I was always better at music than anything else that was going on in my life.  My older brother wrote songs and I really looked up to him, so I think that's when I began to write.  I really liked the creative process of making songs, and I felt like I could really get things across creatively that couldn't be fulfilled by anything else in my life.


Kyle: I started playing guitar in the 6th grade. At first it was a ton of blues guitar and a little bit of heavy rock guitar. We were playing just to have fun and eventually started writing our own songs. By the 9th grade, we made our first record of all original tunes. 


What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?


Grant: When we were all in high school, we used Kyle's parents house to essentially do a lock-in for a week while they were out of town.  We sound-proofed the house, got all the equipment together and made an entire record in about a weeks time.  It was a blast creating the whole thing ourselves and being around each other for that amount of time.  We really had a great time and it set the stage for how we would continue to create records in the future.


Kyle: Each record that we make stands out in my mind as a unique experience. They all hold such a special place in my life. Our first record was fun because it was the first time we ever recorded ourselves. We did it in closets at our church. Our second record was so special because it was the first time we recorded the whole thing on our own. We converted my entire house into a studio and we recorded when my parents were out of town for 3 days. The next record was the first record we made in Nashville and we got to do it in a very famous studio called “Ocean Way.” Since then, it has just been fun to slowly hone in on our craft. 


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to? 


Grant: I just can't get into Metal or Screamo music.  It just feels like i'm being assaulted when I hear it.  I understand the concept behind why people like it, but I personally can't listen to it.


Kyle: I am not a very big fan of current country music or metal. I actually don’t have a very wide range of music I listen to.


Best track you've ever written and why?


Grant: "Give Me What You Gave To Him" is probably my favorite that we've made.  The textures we used really worked well together and it gets really epic at the end.  It's a slow burner, and a memorable melody.  I like those things a lot.


Kyle: Grant does most of the writing for these songs. But one song that I had a lot to do with that I am extremely proud of is a track called “Better Man.” I came up with a few of the string melodies that are all over that song. Composing and tracking string parts is one of my favorite parts of the entire process. So that song was special to me.


Do you consider to record/do a live album?


Grant: I would love to do that down the line sometime.  We have spent most of our time as a band making records, without having a ton of live shows, so we'd have to work on it before we made a live record, but I'm absolutely interested in doing it in the future if the demand is there.


Kyle: We haven’t really thought much about that. I think we are about to go into a phase where we make a bunch of short EP’s that all sound very different. Maybe one of those could be a live EP. We did shoot a series of YouTube videos that we entitled “Grantland Sessions” where we did some live acoustic versions of our songs. They are online now.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Grant: I personally have not been outside of North America, which I am very sad about, but the furthest from home I've played is in Victoria, BC Canada.


Kyle: Probably a few months ago. We played in New York City and in upper Pennsylvania. 


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


Grant: Well you can expect us to play rock n roll.  We like playing high energy music when we play live, and we really want the crowd to get into it with us. 


Kyle: They can expect to see us have fun. We just like to have fun making music. We are all such good friends and that translates on stage. We throw in a few awesome covers as well.

TRAVIS HADDIX INTERVIEW

 

What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


My Dad used to play a song called-- --(Going on up that shiny way) many years ago it was  A Gospel tune.


What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?


My fondest musical memories was my Dad Chalmus " Rooster" Haddix playing his guitar.


If you have to describe your music in three of four words,what would you call it?


Good-- Better-- & Best


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


A great show with Lots of enegery


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


My Fans go home happy--- because my show make them feel good


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?


I never performed with B.B. King--He was the first bluesman that I went to see when I was about nine years old


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Australia


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?


I can listen to any genre of music but Blues is my favorite


What hidden talents do you have?


I am a great outdoors-man


Best track you've ever written and why?


Winners never quit--because it was my best seller (1994)


Are you Married or single ?

 

I am a widower.


Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


Without music i would be ..........  Lost completely


Music is..........A very important part of my life


How long have you been playing music?

 

About 50 year


BETH MCKEE INTERVIEW

 

For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:


Soulful, southern, roots, honest, funky


How has the reaction to your latest CD been?


Very positive, many reviewers and friends have stated that they feel it is my best work. 


What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?


I think it was Rod Stewart and the Faces Coast to Coast


What inspires you to do what you do?


It's more like "who" inspires me to do what I do and that list is very long, from the artists I listen to, the ones I perform with and learn from and the people I play my music for, many of whom inspire me the most.


How would you describe your perfect day?


Hah, that's a tough one! There are so many ways to have a perfect day. A great show, when a new song comes forth and demands to be written and I can feel in my bones that it is a good one, hanging out in nature, visiting with friends and family. 


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


Lots of traveling and promoting Sugarcane Revival. I'm also writing for my next project and really enjoying that process. I've got some collaborations I'm pretty excited about.


What should people know about you?


That I am sincere and that my music truly represents who I am and how I feel.


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


More of what I'm doing right now, writing, collaborating, performing, supporting and growing. I have a group of women friends (2,500 strong on Facebook) called the Swamp Sistas. With their help I organize a movable, musical feast called the “Swamp Sistas La La,” a re-vamp on the traditional Creole house party “La La” where musicians gather, friends dance and everyone gives what they can for a communal cause. The Swamp Sistas’ version celebrates regional music, food and culture while raising awareness and money for community issues and organizations. 


What is the main goal you wish to achieve through your music, and what do you hope people get out of your music?


I write from my own experience, most of which has been in the southeastern region of the US. It's a fascinating and culturally rich area that also has some difficult aspects and history. I continually delve into the complex fabric of my deep south upbringing and, through my songwriting, I hope to explore universal truths that anyone, anywhere can relate to, draw courage and be inspired to come together to help make the world a better place. 


True or false: “Music is my first love”.


True, it has always been an important part of my life.


ABSOLUTION INTERVIEW

 

How has the reaction to your latest CD been?


Great, it has been really well received and has been picking us up new followers worldwide. It's a record we're really proud of, but the new record that we are currently working on will be even better!"


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


All sorts! Musically, Hendrix, Clapton, Jack Bruce especially, Vince Gill, the list goes on...! Non-musical? I've never been asked that one before! I'm a massive Football/Newcastle United fan, so when I was younger I would probably have said Alan Shearer, but now I'll probably stick with the safer option of my family!"


 What inspires you to do what you do?


"The fact that when we release an album or a song, someone many thousands of miles away who we haven't, nor may ever meet can connect with us and what we have created, which I still think is a pretty cool thing!"

 

What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?


"A child of the 90's so the first album was 'What's The Story (Morning Glory)?' by Oasis. Still a great record!

 

What has been your most memorable moment in your music career so far? 

 

"Making a record and seeing it on the shelves of record stores I used to visit as a kid!"

 

 What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


"I teach, so it's quite varied! I think there's some Take That on there somewhere, but mostly it's all good!"

 

 What does the next 6 months look like for you?


We're coming across to Holland in August to play the Culemborg Blues Festival on the 22nd. That is a show that we are really looking forward to! Some more UK dates and finishing off then hopefully releasing studio album number 3. We have just signed to Amsterdam Music Promotors to look after us for bookings in Europe so there should be more dates on the continent. We are already booked to come to Belgium in December. So, pretty busy really. Just how we like it!!"


 What can people expect to see at your live performances?

 

"We like to put on a show. It's a real Rock & Blues show. 100mph from the first note! We play a lot of material from the studio records, but also classic covers given our own unique touch! We aim for no one to leave the show disappointed!"

ROBIN MCKELLE INTERVIEW

 

How has the reaction to your latest CD been? 

 

Good, I think :)?Different countries react different ways but I am overall happy with the feedbacks we are getting yes ! 

 

What record/tape/cd/digital format music album inspired you to take up music? 

 

No particular record inspired me. It was more that I was so drawn to music as a young child and my parents nurtured that passion. 

 

What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money? 

 

Michael Jackson Thriller 

 

What is the main goal you wish to achieve through your music, and what do you hope people get out of your music?

 

I like to get people feeling something. Hopefully bring them to a place where they can connect my music with something in their own lives. Whatever style, whatever music I do. I want them to know me as a musician that they like ! 

 

What should people know about you? 

 

I am more than just my music. My family and friends are very important to me. I really enjoy having a balance in my life. It can be hard sometimes but it’s something I need to stay healthy and inspired. I love cooking (please send your great recepies on my facebook), I love working out as well... simple things but so good ! 

 

If you weren't a musician, what career path would you take? 

 

Cooking or interior design. 

 

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best? 

 

Hardest part is the traveling and early mornings (I am not a morning person).. the best part is the live performance, when you can feel the audience thrive and be excited ! 

 

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist? 

 

There are so many influences in my life its difficult to mention just one. I'd say Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles and so many more.. 

 

Are there any songs you've done that you wish you hadn't ? 

 

On my first cd, I did a tune called Yes My Darling Daughter... Not my favorite choice... Although my mom loves it :)?

 

What does the next 6 months look like for you? 

 

I’m already working on a new album. Somehow different then this one so we will see what the future holds ;) 

 

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist? 

 

My parents. They taught me that I could do whatever I wanted. They taught me to have a good work ethic and drive. 

 

What advice do you have for young musicians? 

 

Don’t take no for an answer and follow your heart. "Suits" don't always know, they pretend they know but most of the time they are scared for their jobs and they do not wnat to take any risks...at any level ! 

 

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.?

 

False. It’s not a duty...but most musicians and artists, like myself, draw from our own personal experience. 

 

True or false: “Music is my first love”?

 

TRUE 

 

The best and worst gig you ever played? 

 

Best gigs are always when my parents are there. The worst one was at a bowling ally when I was about 18. 



SAMSON FOR PRESIDENT INTERVIEW

 

How do you describe your music to people?


Honest. as honest as possible. I try to speak of things i mean and really feel. They have been calling it indie-soul for some time, and i like the description. But the label doesn't always say a lot. 


When did you first start singing? 

 

I believe people never start singing, it's just that they stop. You are born singing, everybody is. It is a natural thing. Then we un-learn it. We are thought that we can't, or it sounds bad, or we shouldn't or that it's embarrassing. but it is natural for everybody. Like the rapper Talib Quali says: if you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing


Who are your musical inspirations?

 

Right now I'm listening a lot to old music from the sixties and seventies. But i started as a fan of reggae. That's how I learned music originally, we had a reggae band when I was a kid, (and we actually still meet and play once a year more or less). Somehow I loved the rhythm and the easiness in the lyrics. The melodies where never complicated and belonged to everybody. It was not an exclusive type of music. 


What kind of music do you listen to today?

 

Everything really. Today I spent the day listening to Air's 'Moon Safari'. But i love the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Swedish/Dutch singer Cornelis Vreeswijk and all types of hiphop.


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

 

Imagine by John Lennon


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?

 

I don't have one... but I'm not emberassed by music anymore. There is always something interesting in everything. When i was a kid i listened to Doctor Bombay, haha that might be a bit off pissed from where i am now. 


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?

 

Singer songwriter music i guess... that and Colombian Vallenato, (my mother is Colombian). Those two never fail. 


What are your songs about? (are there specific themes  they cover?) 

 

The last album has been about the struggle of just being you. The weight of being human. But i like love songs and political songs too. Its just that I disguise them as other songs.


What songs of yours are you the most proud of, and why?

 

All my songs on th latest record. They are beautiful. I love them. They took such a long time to produce and now they are out. That is a great feeling. 


What is your favorite track on your  album? 

 

Right now: Dadada yesterday: I Hate you but i miss you when you're gone. The day before: Gabo The day before that: break my heart


What's the furthest show from your home that you have done?

 

In Bogota in Colombia. I performed there on the television. It was far out and far away :)


What's your outlook on the record industry today? 

 

We are all part of the music industry. Even me, I am the owner of my own record label. I think it has always been the same. Where there is power there is corruption and that goes for music too. The good thing is that you can't fake good music. You can't fake honest music and you can't fake love for music. So somehow  I think the truth will come out. I often meet people that work or have worked for the major labels giving me compliments at my gigs, and they come up to me and excuse themselves. They speak of themselves working at the major labels as if they had a sexually transmitted disease and wanted to fuck. I always tell them that they shouldn't be ashamed of the companies they work for. Many of my idols are signed to the major labels. And that I am glad that they like my music for what it is. In the long run, nobody remembers the people that didn't do music as a spiritual thing. The people that see it as a way to be glamorous are often forgotten quickly. 


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

 

Just music. And perhaps getting drunk with my friends from time to time. 


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

 

In  The Hague, or at some big outdoor festival performing in front of a bunch of people. 

ANDRES ROOTS INTERVIEW

 

When did you start writing about music—and what or who were your early passions and influences?

 

Well, I grew up with my father's LP and reel-to-reel collection, which included everything from the Stones to Bach. The first LP I bought myself was Deep Purple's "House of Blue Light" – one of the very few rock albums available in the U.S.S.R. at that time; I still listen to that album. Then when I heard AC/DC's "The Razor's Edge" in 1990, I picked up my father's guitar and asked him to teach me – and when I saw John Hammond Jr.'s acoustic solo gig in 1992, that's when I knew what I wanted to do – what I absolutely and definitely had to learn how to do... 


So I got started on the guitar in 1990 and was writing my own songs by 1992 – back then, you didn't have YouTube or online lessons or anything like that, so I'd just try to learn a tune by ear, get it wrong and use what I got for a song of my own :) My early ambition, especially after seeing the live broadcast of Bob Dylan's 1994 Woodstock set was to be a songwriter, not a guitarist or a bandleader – I only started my first band in 1996 to hear my songs performed by someone.


As for writing *about* music, I studied to be a journalist and must have had my first music review published around 1995. Since then, I've written for many publications in Estonia and abroad; currently, I contribute regularly to Blues-Finland.com.

 

Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?

 

Too many to mention, really, and the answer would probably change every few days – as a guitarist, I'd say I've been mainly influenced by Johnny Shines, Muddy Waters, Tampa Red... Freddie Roulette is an amazing player, Roy Rogers is very good – but I don't really play that style. Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian I've been always in awe of, and recently I've been getting into the pre-Christian Benny Goodman stuff, with Gene Krupa on drums. I'm also a big fan of 1960's rock and Miles Davis, and there's always Les Claypool and Primus.... Anyhow, the last two albums I bought were a Link Wray boxed set and "The King Jazz Records Story" with Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow – some beautiful music on there! 

 

Do you get nervous before a performance ?

 

Of course – when you stop getting nervous, that's when you know you're in trouble! The audiences can tell immediately if you're just going through the motions... It has happened to me a few times, and my solution has been to shuffle the deck – do something different, maybe even start a new band. 

 

How do you promote your shows?

 

The best I can – get the posters out and online, do a press release, give interviews, work the social media... Some festivals and venues are good at promoting their events, others do very little if anything at all, so I'm in the habit of doing my own promotion regardless of where I'm playing and who's running the show.

 

What's your outlook on the record industry today?

 

The pop stuff the big labels are putting out is even more bland and boring than in the 1980's, which I didn't think was possible – so if their sales are dropping, I don't think they can blame it all on technology... On the other hand, there are so many cool little labels out there doing amazing things – the only problem is that you need to really spend time looking for the good stuff, as the indie labels don't normally have the budget to have their latest release just magically appear on your iPhone, free of charge ;) But then in a way, that's always been the case – finding the music that speaks directly to you. Sadly, it seems that for many young people these days, music is sort of in the background like TV, so they can't be bothered – when I was growing up, the music you listened to was pretty much what defined you. Seems like such a long time ago – back when there was still music on MTV... 

 

What's your claim to fame?

 

I've never thought about it like that – I didn't pick up the guitar to become famous, I just wanted to make music, and in that sense, the moments that have mattered to me most are not necessarily "claims to fame" in anyone else's eyes. Like being asked by the late Honeyboy Edwards to go and play a set with him – there's literally hundreds of people out there that got to play with Honeyboy over the years, so it's hardly a special honour, but it was important to me! And I've been lucky to work with so many wonderful musicians that I admire – Steve Lury, Dave Arcari, Black River Bluesman, Bert Deivert, Ismo Haavisto... The list goes on.


But anyway – claim to fame. Since you put it like that, I suppose it is nice to be able to say that my music has been aired over the radio on five continents , and that the first single on my own Roots Art label, "Redecoration Day" with Eric "Red Mouth" Gebhardt on vocals, topped the music video chart on Estonian national television and stayed on that chart for something like four months – how many blues artists can beat that these days?    

  

What inspires you to do what you do?

 

Good music still makes me feel good – and I like to feel good! I guess I'm still a music fan more than anything, and I play and write for myself first and foremost – I do think about retiring every now and then, but I can't imagine not playing, even if it is just for my own enjoyment. 


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?

 

The embarrassing bit is that I've never owned an MP3 player – I used to have a Walkman many years ago... But I do have some music on my phone to keep me entertained on longer trips, so let's see what's on there right now: the latest AC/DC, Buffalo Springfield, R.L. Burnside, Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang, Blind Blake, Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey. Could be worse, but I'm not telling :)

 

If you weren't musician what would you be doing?


If I wasn't a musician, I'd probably still be a journalist... Although, as long as I can remember, I've had the urge to move away from the cities, so it's also possible I'd be a farmer in a remote village somewhere.

 

Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Well, like many other musicians, I'd like to spend more time playing and less time travelling :) That said, over the past ten years, I've worked a lot in the Baltics, Finland and the UK, but I would like to come and check out the scene in Central Europe – the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium... I've been to France a few times, but it's been exactly 15 years since I played in Berlin! And I would love to do some more work on film scores – I've really enjoyed that experience.

GREG NAGY INTERVIEW


For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:


Eclectic blues infused modern music..


How has the reaction to your latest CD been?


The latest cd "Stranded" has been number one on the Roots Music Reports R&B and Soul chart for nearly four months.

And it has spun on about 350 stations around the globe. Four star reviews from All About Jazz, Soul Bag, and DownBeat too.  

I am very excited to see it being so well received.  My father however said it was hard to listen to... it shares some personal pain and he said it is hard to hear his own child suffer. I told him the record saved my life and that I hope it helps others who have loved long and lost hard. 


How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?


The bulk of the record was tracked within a few weeks.  This record just seemed to fall into place.  That isn't always the case. 



Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?


I'm proud of the entire record and honestly it is hard to pin point favorites.  Mostly, I defer to the listener.  Of those who seem to like it, everyone seems to have their own favorites and the answers are quite varied.  Right now I'm enjoying "Run Away With You" live. People really seem to warm up to that one in a live setting.  Long Way to Memphis has taken on a life of its own live too. 


Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)


My influences range wildly through blues, soul, and other original music.  Albert King was the one who first gave me goosebumps, however.

Vocally I like anyone who tells a story. Tom Waits to Little Milton... it's all good to me.  And Freddy King was fearless as a vocalist!  


What are you listening to (on iPod, record, cd, bandcamp)?


Lately I haven't been listening much as I am performing a lot. So books on audible seem to be my go to.  However, my son did 

buy me a Chicago Blues Compilation disc and it has been nice revisiting Magic Sam, Muddy Water, et al as of late.  


What advice should you have taken but did not?


Don't take things too personally. Don't be so hard on yourself. I am getting better at those.  


What should people know about you?


I generally and genuinely try to be kind to others.  I love my kids.


What has been the most significant achievement you’ve had with your music so far?


Once opened up for Macy Gray in front 25,000 people and then played a furniture store sales event the for an audience of none and found joy in both cases.  To me, it's always about the music.  


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


Working hard to build 2016.  2014 and 2015 has been a personal transition year.   Things are looking up.


If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:


This record is about recovery and hope.  I hope people listen to it and that it helps.  It sure helped me to make it.  Thank you for this interview, Rudolf.  Much respect to you and your wonderful readers

 JON KNIGHT INTERVIEW


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


My musical influences are quite wide ranging, from Mississippi Fred

Mcdowell to Dire Straits. The first music that I really turned on to

and kept for myself was Neil Young and Crazy Horse, that just blew my

mind at the time. I like anything with some grit, and if it has a

melodic undertone it checks my two major boxes.


What's your outlook on the record industry today?


In some ways its great, the access to tools and information has never

been this good. I mean anyone with a laptop can make a really great

record... but the inability to generate revenues for so many artists

has made the business end very difficult. I think the whole streaming

model where you have carte-blanche access to everything ever recorded

doesn't work. There's just no incentive for creators and the money

gets behind the easy sell artists only.


What inspires you to do what you do?


If I don't do it then I'm miserable to be around. Its a longing deep

inside that you have to follow. I can't quite explain it, except to

say you know when you're doing what you should be doing!


How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


I used to get frustrated and caught up in them but now I usually just

laugh them off. If you see me turn around and wink at a band member

and they smile a little then you'll know what's going on, we're all

keenly aware of mistakes, and they happen. Sometimes we'll rib each

other after the show, saying something like "Hey, I saw what you were

going for there, Nice try!"


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move

you emotionally?


There are many, a few favourites for sure. Charles Bradley "Heartaches

and Pain", Neil Young "(Words) Between the Lines of Age" where it

builds up to an explosive solo, or something like the title track from

"Brothers in Arms" - simple but immensely satisfying.


How would you describe your perfect day?


Well, I would say it would be divided there, honestly music is a big

compromise between family and self-satisfaction! It would either be

like the day we performed recently at Moulin Blues in Ospel, NL, with

all my best friends or spending time with my two little girls on the

beach.


Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?


I was nervous to meet Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes, I drank

too much and acted like an idiot! (Well at least that's how I remember

it). Our engineer Jeremy Darby worked on tour with many greats and I

asked him about some of my musical heroes - trying to pry some info

out of him. I concluded that Bob Dylan would be my number one pick.


If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now,

where would that be.


That would be on stage with Soulstack, doing what we love. It doesn't

matter where, however if its in Europe again soon that would be just

fine with me!


What's your claim to fame?


I have no claim to fame, but my biggest goal as a singer and

songwriter is to find my true voice, the sound of my voice in its most

natural state. I feel after years of abusing it that I can sing with a

connection to my soul. You can hear directly what is inside me when I

sing.


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


There are many places I would like to perform with this band, other

places in Europe and one of my personal goals is Japan. I'll just keep

on turning out songs with the band and doing our thing.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


I would like to get the production and songwriting craft more honed,

to the point that I can write more comfortably. I see myself evolving

and I'm not afraid of that, especially with a group of such talented

musicians with me. Mark Wessenger and I have many ideas for the

songwriting evolution of Soulstack and all the band members have input

into the production of the songs. We would like to perform consistent

larger shows and put out solid albums consistently and grow our

listener/ fan base. Its a steady growth based on winning over

audiences which we are determined to do with every show.

CELSO SALIM INTERVIEW


Do you write out your lyrics? Do you ever change a song’s lyrics in live sets? 

 

In my previous albums I wrote most of the lyrics, with a few collaborators like Rafael Cury, who also co-produced most of my works. In this new album the lyrics were written by Douro Moura and me. I have changed a few of my old lyrics, trying to improve then but in cover songs I never change them.


Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)


Muddy Waters, Blind Boy Fuller, Josh White, Elmore James, Blind Willie McTell, Willie Dixon, all the Kings(B.B., Freddie and Albert), Clapton, Hendrix, Johnny Winter and Allman Brothers Band to say a few.



What are you listening to (on iPod, record, cd, bandcamp)?


I listen to a lot of LPs at home. It’s the best sound!

In the car I listen to the radio or ipod.

And I also listen to new stuff on the internet (streaming services)


What should people know about you?


I’m a musician that never stops researching the roots of the Blues, and tries to bring to the fans great songs that are many times forgotten. Also, I’m constantly trying to improve my songwriting so I can reach audiences in a global level.


Do you ever consider to record/do a live album?  


Yes, but I haven’t got a chance yet. It’s definitely in my future plans


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


I am currently living in Los Angeles and I have played in Europe before.


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


I’m excited about next months! My latest album got two nominations in the Independent Music Awards 2015, including Best Blues Album, and I’m also getting a lot of radio airplay and really positive reviews about it!


If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:


Thank you for the interview!

I hope I can go soon to Europe and introduce my live show to the Blues fans.

JECONTE INTERVIEW


If you have to describe your music in three or four words , what  would you call it?


Bad ass swampy blues rock (same 5 words : ) )


How has the reaction to your latest CD been?


Great!! We have had a lot of positive reviews and people seem enthusiastic about the record so that is always humbling as an artist to get such feedback


What record/tape/cd/digital format music album inspired you to take up music?


Well I am not sure that one album inspired me to take up music. Music is within me and always has been. I remember at 3 playing piano with my Grandmother so that was probably my most early musical memories, probably because she slapped my hands for playing wrong. Just kidding. As to what was an influence to my career, Zeppelin for sure, old John Mayall and the blues breakers albums, 


How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?


Not sure I follow the question as you can tallow long the CD is if you listen to it. But if yo are looking forth non literal translation the songs on this album some were written on the spot in the moment at the studio while some were years old and some had a the structure, etc. It was an eclectic time this run as I had just come direct form West Africa and escaped the coup d’etat in Mali so it was a crazy time.


What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?


Well seeing I am old enough to actually be in that era I will gladly say I saved money and bought Led Zeppelin records. Not sure which one was the first, but when I was about 12 my Dad have me his records, mostly old cool stuff like Roberta Flack, Herb Alpert, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra stuff but when I really started listening I went heavy into 70’s rock, as I was a child of the 70’s so it was only natural.


What is the main goal you wish to achieve through your music, and what do you hope people get out of your music?


My main goal of course would be to play more and get the opportunity to perform around the world more often. Hopefully by doing this we can bring the message of love and soulful expression to others an inspire them to do the same. That is what I would hope they get out of it, to be inspired and say well if he can do that, and go there and travel to that place and play with those kats then so can I.  I had a few people come up to me in Timbuktu and say they came there, not because of me, but because they saw what I did years before and said, well if that guy can do it so can I…lol...


If you weren't a musician, what career path would you take?


Pilot.


What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?


Hardest part about being a musicians is being on the road. It is also the best part.


What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?


My Mother.


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Play in The Netherlands. I did a big tour there in 2013 and it was a blast. Let’s get the music to an agent and make it happen. We need another booking agent. www.jeconte.com


True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.


Completely True


True or false: “Music is my first love”.


False that would be my Mom. Music is a quick second though. : )


The best and worst gig you ever played?


Best: Tie: Festivaal in Bladel 2013 headlined with my band JeConte & The Mali Allstars & Every show at Can Jordi in Ibiza

Worst: Can’t remember that one, must have blocked it out. lol...


Are there any songs you've done that you wish you hadn't ?’


Don’t do covers so no not really...


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


"Babe, baby baby I am gonna leave you…” Zeppelin


What is the furthest show from your home you ever played?


Timbuktu baby - Festival in the Desert 2010, 2011, 2012


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


Working to pay for touring and touring as much as I can in the US this Fall, recording again with Anders and another record as well, a duo blues project, releasing an album we did in Ibiza in 2013/2014 and staying the course...


LAURA TATE INTERVIEW

 

How is your new album different from your first album? 


The new album, I Must Be Dreaming, is different from my other albums because it gave me the opportunity to showcase a songwriter, Mel Harker, who I had worked with many years ago.  His songs, lyrics and compositions had resonated with me for many years.  I contacted him, we reconnected and I chose 12 of my favorite songs from his songwriting catalog to record.  I am thrilled with the response to this new release.


How would you describe your music genre? 


It is very eclectic. Working with great musicians, we were able to create an album that included blues, jazz, country, rock and roll and Americana genres. 


Which of your songs are you most connected to?


That's a very good question and difficult for me to answer.  Before I record a song, I spend hours working on the material, the composition, the harmonies and arrangements.  Once I've recorded that song, it becomes a part of me.  It's hard to choose favorites because they all have  my heart and soul.


 

What has been your most memorable moment in your music career so far? 


The most memorable has been the worldwide response to "I Must Be Dreaming". It's very exciting!


If your city were a song it would be...


 "Fiesta Forever!" because of living on the border of Texas and Mexico.


What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?


The hardest part is the unpredictability of your next tour, performance or album.  Sometimes money can be scarce.  The best part about it is working with many talented individuals and never giving up on my dream of being a working performer.


True or false: “Music is my first love”. 

False, theatre was my first love and it's where I found my "voice."


Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?


Every fan encounter is a wonderful surprise!


What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged? 


The music industry has changed dramatically over the years and at times the unpredictability can be discouraging.


What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording?


I've played everywhere from Texas honkytonks to night clubs in Los Angeles.  However, some of my most memorable performances were in small blues/jazz clubs in New York City when I was just starting out my music career.  I'd see famous musicians sitting in the audience who would come backstage and encourage me to continue my career.  That kind of unsolicited encouragement is what keeps a young artist going.


As you create more music, do you find yourself getting more or less interested in seeking out and listening to new music made by other people...and why do you think that is? 


 With technology we are now able to experience so many different genres of music from all over the world and that has been very inspirational to me.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


I have been able to sing all over the United States and Mexico and we are now discussing a European tour which has always been my dream.

DON HOFFMAN BLUZ - INTERVIEW

 

Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


Musically, I’ve always been influenced by artists in all sorts of genres and my collection included everything from folk to classical to country, blues, rock, jazz… everything but “pop.”  More specifically it’s guitarists, and early on it was players like Eric Clapton and Roy Buchanan and then Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Through the music of players like them I was able to trace blues back to its roots and discover artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King, Albert Collins, Freddie King, Elmore James, Huddie Ledbetter, Robert Johnson, and many others.  I love women players like Bonnie Raitt and my favorite today is Joanne Shaw Taylor.  These days I’ve been learning things from BB King and Jimi Hendrix.  If I could have my choice of any band in the world to get to join on stage, I’d choose Los Lobos and David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas are probably the two guitar players I admire most in today’s world.


Non-musically, if I could have a choice of one person to spend time with and learn from, it would be Frederick Douglass, who had the clearest understanding of anyone who’s ever lived of the essential equality of all persons as human beings.

 

 

What inspires you to do what you do?


Simply the understanding that “Perfection” is unattainable in this life and does not exist in this world, apart from God himself.  “Excellence” on the other hand is attainable by every being on the planet.  So if you try to pursue perfection you can have no other outcome but failure, and disappointment.  But if you sincerely pursue excellence in everything you do, you will always come out a winner.  It’s just a question of how big.

 

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?


Make note of it in that second for future reference, get back in the groove, and keep rolling.  It happened, it’s over, it came, it went, and the train’s goin’ down the track with you or without you.  I make mistakes every time I perform, (the worst is launching into a song in the wrong key), but I have yet to talk to anyone in an audience who ever said that they noticed a single one of them.

 

Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


There are many and they actually cause me to weep.  Listened to one of them last night, and it’s not actually the music itself, but the reaction of the audience.  It’s on an album called “E.C. was Here,” an Eric Clapton live album from 1975. Clapton is playing acoustic guitar on “Driftin’ Blues” and during a pause between riffs you hear a guy in the audience yell out, “Jam it!!!”  I’ve heard that guy’s shout a thousand times over four decades and still when I heard it last night, sitting at the dinner table, tears filled my eyes, and I was reminded in a way that cannot be put into words why it’s my passion to play the blues.

 

How would you describe your perfect day?


Most days I have about twenty pounds of possibilities to accomplish and the understanding that each day is a ten pound bag, so ya just can’t do it all.  So a perfect day is when I can lay my head on my pillow at bed time and be happy with my choices on what to stuff into the bag.  Hopefully I managed to balance the labor, the learning, and the loving.

 

Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?


When I was young I used to literally have recurring dreams of meeting Eric Clapton and then having the chance to perform with him.  In the dreams I was very nervous and we never got to the playing part before I woke up.  Fast forward to today and I’m happy to say that the one guitarist that I would most want to meet and play with would be David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, and I’m happy to say, thanks to Enrique “Bugs” Gonzalez (Los Lobos’ drummer), that I have been blessed several times with the opportunity to hang out with David and chat.  Haven’t had the chance to play with him, but who knows what the future holds.  If it ever does happen I’m sure I’ll be nervous and I know I’ll be thrilled.

 

What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?


HaHa.. I can’t say that there’s anything embarrassing in my music collection because I love all kinds of music.. the embarrassing part is probably that I don’t have an MP3 player and don’t even know how one works!

 

If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that be?


On stage, feelin’ good, in front of a festival crowd of folks who showed up to see good live music.


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


Always keep learning.  As a musician it never ends and it should never stop.  I’ve been playing guitar since the late seventies and still I’m constantly learning, still “taking lessons” from teachers via the Internet or lesson DVDs, just trying to get better as a player and to get a better understanding of my craft.

 

Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?


Same answer as for the “blink my eyes” question… On stage, feelin’ good, in front of a festival crowd of folks who showed up to see good live music, maybe jammin’ members of a band like Los Lobos.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?

 

Just a few hours away, unless you count when I was in my first band and was serving in the US Navy.  We did a show for the crew on board the USS Ajax in the Gulf of Oman! LOL

ANTHONY GOMES INTERVIEW

 

How has the reaction to your latest CD been?


The reaction to our latest album has been the best so far of my career.  I think the reason for this is that it is unapologetic blues rock.  Many times artists feel like they have to tone down the rock content of their recordings to appease the blues police.  On this album we waved the blues rock flag proudly. There's a line from the lead off song that says, "Don't try to stop me once I start because I've got a blues soul and a rock n roll heart."  That is the spirit of this album and the public has embraced the mantra.  


What was the first song that you ever played for public? How did it make you feel?


"Smoke On The Water" by Deep Purple at band night at my High School.  I was very nervous at first but by the end of the song I felt ten feet tall and bulletproof.  We also played Heartbreaker and Communication Breakdown by Led Zeppelin.  I went to a Catholic school and we had to audition for the Nuns to make sure it was "appropriate".  In "Communication Breakdown" Robert Plant shouts "Suck" and the Nuns asked us to censor it.  We asked if we could use the blues reference "Squeeze my Lemon" instead.  They agreed to that compromise.  We thought that latter was far nastier so we felt vindicated.


What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?


My love, respect, awe and curiosity of music is what got me motivated.  The love of creating.  That's when I feel most connected to a higher power - in that place.  I only pursued music as a career to maintain that desire to be surrounded by music.  After taking to BB King in my early 20s I had the courage to pursue it full time.  Thank you BB!


What record/tape/cd/digital format music album inspired you to take up music?


There have been a few albums that blew my mind.  B.B. King/Live at the Regal, Stevie Ray Vaughan/Couldn't Stand The Weather, Jimi Hendrix/Are You Experienced?, Jeff Beck/Guitar Shop, Freddie King/Getting Ready, Ray Charles/Best of the Atlantic Years, Free/Heartbreaker, Otis Rush/The Cobra Years, Deep Purple/Burn, Albert King/Blues At Sunrise


What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?


My mother had a friend and she had a son that was a few years older than me.  I looked up to him.  He liked Kiss and Elvis.  I bought Kiss "Alive!" and Elvis Presley "Aloha From Hawaii" when I was 6.  I really got into the Elvis album.


What is the main goal you wish to achieve through your music, and what do you hope people get out of your music?


I want to impact people emotionally through my music by capturing a specific emotion in an audio form.  A sonic snapshot of an emotion if you will.  The blues is a healer and I hope that our music brings people joy and fulfillment.  And, if they choose, I hope the music gets them to think of the deeper meanings within the song.


Do you get nervous before a performance ?


Not very often.  I enjoy it when I do because it happens so rarely.  It reminds me of when I started out and I would be nervous very often.  I like to channel that energy into the show.  It's like gasoline.


If you weren't a musician, what career path would you take?


I would let the career choose me, just as music did.


What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?


Most people lives are pretty even with some highs and lows.  I musician's life is quite the opposite.  It's a lot of highs and lows.  The hardest part of being a musician is that you are a servant of the music.  It requires total discipline and commitment.  If you have a creative idea in the middle of the night, you have to chase it.  If you are sick, you can't cancel a show.  You have to tour to promote your music and miss your friends and family.  Music can be a fickle mistress and you have to surrender to her whims and desires.


The best part is payoff of the above.  It is a privilege to be a musician and to be a vessel of creativity.  It is hard to be away from people at home when you are on tour but you have friends all over the world and experiences you wouldn't have had otherwise.


What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?


To answer the 'what' part.  Humility and the artists that embody that humility have been an influence.  B.B. King is the King of the Blues and one of the kindest people I have ever met.


What advice do you have for young musicians?


Nobody cares about your music career as much as you do. 


True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.


Music without emotion is not music.  It is just random sounds.  It may be pleasing to the ear but it is not music.  An artist needs to express or project their emotions.  What I mean by this is that they can write about a personal experience and use those emotions for a song.  They can write about something fictitious buy projecting their emotions into that situation.  An emotional empathy if you will.


True or false: “Music is my first love”.


To me, music is everything and everything is music.


Are there any songs you've done that you wish you hadn't ?


I love them all.  Even the bad ones.


Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?


Ave Maria.


What does the next 6 months look like for you?


Touring, writing, recording.  Life is good!!!

JOHN MCCULLAGH INTERVIEW

 

What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


Can’t remember the first song but I used to watch Elvis’s films for hours on end growing up so probably an Elvis song from one of his films.


What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?


My fondest so far would be supporting Richard Hawley twice, once in Sheffield and once in Bridport. He’s a massive influence for me so to get to do that was quite remarkable. 


If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


Doom Laden Electric Folk


How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


Well i’ve played the guitar since I was about 11 and I was really into bands like Black Sabbath and UFO, so I just wanted to be a guitarist for ages, but then I heard Bob Dylan and that changed everything really.


What can people expect to see at your live performances?


I dunno, I guess it differs from venue to venue. The music we play live is different from any of the records we’ve done, it’s quite electric and energetic at parts but well re fined. We just get up and play our music, there’s no massive light show or anything, just live music. 


Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


I’ve met a few people who are really into the music and meeting them was a thrill because for someone to say that a song you wrote means something to them is amazing, especially seeing people sing back the words to a few tunes. That’s a buzz. I played in Germany about a year back and a guy flew in from Switzerland to see me and I couldn’t believe it. 


If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?


Apart from the few obvious ones such as Dylan, McCartney, I’d say probably someone like Alex Turner. He’s just a genius. I’d also love to work with Richard Hawley on a song or something, that would be interesting. 


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


I’ve done a couple of tours round Europe in places like Holland, Germany, Belgium. I visited some beautiful places and would love to come back to some of them to play again. 


Just for fun…………. Please fill in the blanks,


Without music..........  I would be inadequate.


I write the songs because.......... it means something to me.


Music is.......... current.

SCOTT ALBERT JOHNSON INTERVIEW

 

How has the reaction to your latest CD been?

 

So far, so good.  It's been added by more than 40 stations in the USA, and already some stations in Europe as well.  Some reviews are starting to roll in, including Rootstime in Belgium and a lot of well-known people in the harmonica world, and it's all been positive.  I've also gotten a lot of great compliments delivered to me personally.

 

I think some people who didn't really know my own music, and who knew me best as a harmonica player, were pleasantly surprised by the style of music.  You know, because I am a harmonica player from Mississippi, they were kind of automatically expecting standard blues music.  But those who were familiar with my first album Umbrella Man (2007), which was pretty eclectic... I think they saw this as a natural evolution from that record, as I do.  I love blues and it is certainly an influence, but it's only part of the mix.  Anyway, I have been really pleased with the response.  


 

How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?

 

It took almost seven years.  The first sessions were in the fall of 2008.   I started and stopped a lot, due to family and career obligations.  But we really sprinted the last seven months or so.


Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?

 

Well, that's kind of like picking your favourite children, isn't it?  I like something about all of them.  But I guess a few stand out for me... "Fragments" has a very deep meaning for me because of the sort of awe-struck view of life and the universe that it was meant to impart, which is a big part of my worldview.   It was also very special to be able to collaborate on that one with Chalmers Davis, my regular keyboard player who is a Muscle Shoals studio veteran and a 23-year member of Little Richard's touring band.


"If I Only Knew the Words" was a big one for me, because it took me the longest to write (ten years) and feels like something that really came together the way I hoped after a lot of effort.  It's about communication in relationships and also about songwriting, and how hard they both can be.  It took a lot of effort to get the overall sound right; I was going for something that would hold up against songs by my heroes like Peter Gabriel or the Police.  My bassist on that track, Raphael Semmes, called it "redneck Sting," which he meant as a compliment.  


"Simply Human" is also really special to me, as it was intended to make people thing about the future of technology, which really could run away from us.  It's written from the standpoint of a machine that is on the verge of becoming conscious, and trying to figure out what it means to be human.  I wanted the music to be a combination of organic and synthetic instrumentation, and I think we pulled it off pretty well.  And, of course, the title track "Going Somewhere" was a lot of fun because I got to collaborate with Jeff Raines and Robert Mercurio from the great New Orleans band Galactic.  Along with Chalmers and Denny Burkes on drums, I think everyone brought the funk/rock on that one.


Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)

 

Well, I mentioned Peter Gabriel and the Police... I am very much a child of the 70s and 80s, and there are a lot of people that I admire from that time, some of whom are still making great music today... Rush, U2, Mark Knopfler, the Cars, Van Halen, Tom Petty, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Who etc.  I am also a big fan of classic R&B, jazz, and blues... Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and so on.  I like jammier bands like Phish, Widespread Panic, and the Dead.  New Orleans artists like Galactic, the Meters, and Johnny Vidacovich are important to me.  And of course, I am a big Beatles fan.  I also really like more contemporary people like Beck, Daniel Lanois, and Radiohead.  So all that stuff has an influence on my overall approach to the sound.


Lyrically, I am very heavily influenced by people like Sting, Bob Dylan, Neil Peart of Rush, Randy Newman, and Bruce Hornsby.  I think it's important to get in touch with your own voice and the things, emotions, and ideas that are important to you, intellectually and/or emotionally, instead of writing what you think people want to hear.  If it comes from within, it's more likely to resonate.  I don't write a ton of songs; if I get an idea, I try to really nurture that idea until it really says what I want it to say.


When it comes to the harmonica... some of the people who have had a big impact on me are better known in the harmonica world, like Richard Hunter (who helped me think about how to expand the sonic palette of the instrument through effects), Paul Messinger, Jon Gindick, Adam Gussow, PT Gazell, Jelly Roll Johnson, Jimmy Gordon, Rosco Selley and Pat Bergeson.  Others are better known to the general population, like John Popper, Toots Thielemans, or Stevie Wonder.  I was also very influenced by a guy named Chris Michalek, who used to work on my harmonicas and was one of the best players in the world (he died in 2010).  He really was a big influence in terms of looking at the diatonic harmonica as an advanced instrument that could play any note, any phrase, any way.  He helped me get my head around the overblow technique, which enables one to play the diatonic as a fully chromatic instrument.  


But honestly, I am influenced in my phrasing just as much, if not more, by other instruments like horns, the guitar, or the piano.  I listen to people like Louis Armstrong, Wynton Marsalis, Jerry Garcia, John Scofield, and Bruce Hornsby a lot, and try to take away lessons about tone and phrasing that can be applied the harmonica.  I really view the harmonica as an instrument that can do anything.


What are you listening to (on iPod, record, cd, bandcamp)?

 

I'll just list a few things that I have had on in the last few days... the new Wilco album, Radiohead, Beck, Rush, the Crusaders, Marcus Miller (with Fred Yonnet, a great French harmonica player), Ozric Tentacles (yep! go space rock!), Andy Summers, Steely Dan, and so on.  I am also into a lot of artists from right around here in Mississippi, like Thomas Jackson, Ron Etheridge, George McConnell, Jon Yargates, AJC, Alphonso Sanders, Gunboat, and the legendary Cassandra Wilson.  I got to know Cassandra a little from playing at her venue here in Jackson, the Yellow Scarf.  She's amazing.  Anyway, I recommend you check out some of these Mississippi artists.


What advice should you have taken but did not?

 

Wow... that's a tough one. I usually listen to and consider what people have to say, but then I plot my own course based on getting as much information as I can (plus intuition, common sense etc).  There was a person I got involved with on my first record, an industry type, and several people warned me to watch out for him.  They were right.  So I guess that would be one example.


The other thing -- and this is not exactly ignored advice as much as a simple regret -- I wish I had been more active with music in my 20s.  I was in bands in high school and college, but then I stopped when I was 21 and didn't pick it up again until I was 30.  I think part of me felt like I was putting away childish things, but there was most definitely something missing in my life during that time.


Music has given me the most important things in my life.  It brought me back to Mississippi and my parents... and that brought me to my wife, who gave me my children (and a wonderful extended family).  I appreciate the ability to perform and write music so much... it's beyond my ability to express it.


What should people know about you?

 

- My family is the most important thing in the world to me.  We have three children: Charlie (9), Benjamin (8), and Lily Margaret (6).

- My wife, Susan Margaret Barrett, is an amazing photographer and took the pictures for my album.  The jet engine on the front       was taken somewhere over Spain in 2004, and the picture of me on the airport runway was at Hawkins Field, a small airport in Jackson.

- I used to kick field goals for the Harvard football team.

- I went to graduate school for journalism and once got to interview Mikhail Gorbachev (briefly).

- I have lived in ten U.S. states and visited 37... and I have been to Canada, Mexico, Australia, and ten European countries (including seven visits to the Netherlands; I played some shows there in 2005).

- I was in Amsterdam when I learned that my wife and I were going to have our first child.  I love the Netherlands and I consider       Amsterdam to be like a second home.

- I love to read and I love comedy.

- I worked briefly at the White House during Bill Clinton's first administration.  I had worked on his campaign right after college.

- I am an only child and am adopted.  My parents are, along with my wife and kids, my biggest fans.


What has been the most significant achievement you’ve had with your music so far?

 

If I had to pick one thing, I'd have to say that it's this album.  It took a long time and a lot of work and there were obstacles to overcome.  Fortunately I had an enormous amount of help, not least from the amazing musicians who contributed their talents.


There have been other big moments, though.  One would have to be playing with James Burton and Marty Stuart at the inaugural Mississippi Grammy Celebration in 2007.  To trade solos with a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (Burton) was pretty amazing.  Of course, there are quiet moments of success all the time.  Every time I finish a song, or conquer a problem on the harmonica, it feels great.


What does the next 6 months look like for you?

 

I'll be promoting this album... performing live a lot... possibly doing some writing and recording... and helping my wife to raise my kids.  I am hoping to do some touring in Europe next summer.


*New album GOING SOMEWHERE out now!*

 facebook.com/scottalbertjohnsonmusic    

MR. SIPP INTERVIEW

 

What was the first tune(s) you learned?

 

The first tune l learned was in church, a song called "Don't Let the Devil Ride"


When did you start writing about music—and what or who were your early passions and influences?

 

I wrote my first song at the age of 8 in the 3rd grade and I've been writing every since.  My childhood influence was and still is B B King. My passion as a child was playing the guitar and here I am years later with the same passion, playing my guitar.


Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD's?

 

I'd have to say next to myself would be B B King, my favorite groups would be The True Believers and Highly Favored and of course Mr. Sipp :)  Although I love each and every one of B B King's projects, my CDs are always my favorite.


Do you get nervous before a performance ?

 

Yes, after performing over 22 years I do get nervous occasionally.


How do you promote your shows?

 

My team and I promote the shows by using radio, social media and word of mouth.


What's your outlook on the record industry today?

 

I have no comment on the record industry.


What's your claim to fame?

 

Although I don't consider myself famous, I'm just me. However, there are so many things that I am really proud of. I was one of the first Afro American Gospel artist to spend 33 days in Russia and I am now a US Ambassador. I am the 2014 International Blues Challenge Winner. I have been in a movie. I could go on and on and I am so humbly thankful for all of this great experiences. 


What inspires you to do what you do?

 

My inspiration is my family, being able to take care of them inspires and motivates me to push harder every day.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?

 

Believe or not, there aren't any.


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?

 

Wow, to be honest I have no idea. I have been around music literally all of my life. It's all I know, it's what I love and it's what I enjoy. 


Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

 

I'd like to do more international traveling. I have done quite a bit but there's still some places and things that I want to experience.


Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

 

In ten years, I plan to be working 6 months,spending time with my family for 3 months and 3 months to work on the next project.


FULL TRUNK INTERVIEW

 

Tell us the brief history of your band


We started up as a trio and in our first album we wrote a lot of 12-bar blues songs. 

In our second album we became 4 members when the keyboard player 

Ariel Keshet joined.  Ariel brought with him a different sound to the band and another songwriting angel. 

In the second album we tried to combine between blues rock riffs and middle eastern beats and rhythms.

 

 


Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present


Black keys , Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin,  Ray Charles  and Zohar Argov


Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?


Sure! All the 60-70' blues, funk, rock tapes and records.


Do you get nervous before a performance?


No, because we're having fun :)


What do you think about downloading music online?


We don't like it but thats the world so.


What inspires you to do what you do?


We like playing music, we love the crowd, we love working hard and in general music can take you to see new places.


What's the best and worst thing about playing clubs?


That is a easy one ; Great women and bad sound systems.


How do you promote your band and shows?


We do that on Facebook,  on youtube, with posters and the people that tell each other about our shows.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


Off all the places we think .....Geleen :)


 

THE LACHY DOLEY GROUP INTERVIEW

 

When did you first start singing? 

 

I first started singing when I started playing Piano around the age of 10. However I never took it seriously until I was in my twenties playing in a band called The Hands with my brother Clayton.


What did your family do to encourage you? 

 

I can't say they were particular encouraging. I think already having one musician in the family they were hoping for something else for me. However they did let me pursue my music if somewhat begrudgingly.


Who are your musical inspirations? 

 

I've been a session player for so so many artists. Always playing in their bands as a sideman. Since I've been focussing heavily on my band, The Lachy Doley Group and the distance we've come in such a short period of time I know that I'll be able to survive playing and touring the band without feeling like I have to play for other people. That really is my main goal. If I can tour around the world playing my music to people who want to hear then I'm a happy little organ player :-)


What kind of music do you listen to today? 

 

All sorts of music actually. I listen to a lot of young an independent/indie label music, especially those who share a love for the classics sounds and styles of the 60's and 70's. Like Alabama Shakes and The Dap Kings. There is a lot of great music being at the moment. I still predominantly listen to soul and blues from the same era. What an amazing time for music that was.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player? 

 

Most embarrassing songs would probably be Cliff Richard - Wired For Sound also When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman - Dr Hook (2 Hilarious Songs).


Where would you most like to perform?

 

The Palais in Amsterdam followed by Outta Space.


Who would you most like to open for? 

 

Steve Winwood without question.


If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?

 

Just playing my Hammond or an inventor.


What genre of music can't you stand to listen to? 

 

Cheesy Country Music.


What hidden talents do you have? 

 

Making awesome stuff out of space lego.


Best track you've ever written and why?

 

I think the best all round song I've written is Conviction from the Album of the same name. Lyrically it pulls at your heart and musically it has all the intensity I strive to produce in a song. Really proud this track.

 

Which question i did forget to ask?

 

Have you ever played music in a strip club? YES my first gig at the illegal age of 13.

SUGARAY RAYFORD INTERVIEW


How would you describe your music for the public audience they have never seen you before?


My music is from my soul, and the things I've gone through in life, It's blues, soul and gospel.


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


Non musical my grand mother ( big mama) musical , Bobby Bland, Son House, Z.Z.Hill, Bobby Womack and Albert King. 



Do you write out your lyrics? Do you ever change a song’s lyrics in live sets?

 

I write my lyrics myself and stick to them. For there from my soul it is so hard to change them , unless I forget a word, but I'm only human. 


When Are You Completely Satisfied With Your Work?


Well , I'm never satisfied with my work & pray that I never am.


Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of?


Playing with artists like David Honey Boy Edwards , Lazy Lester , Henry Gray and  Leon Blue , and being nominated for the BB King Entertainer of the Year Award 2015.


Someone once said write what you would want to perform over and over. With that in mind, what song do you love to perform the most and why?


The 'Blind Alley' album ! Cause it took me 6 months to write.


What kind of music do you listen to today?


Every day i hear new stuff and as long as it's good music I will listen to it.


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?

 

Take on Me by A-ha. , to poppy but I love it.


If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be? 


It would be to go back to gospel I think , it's the only other music that truly moves my soul.


What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


The furthest places I've been are Japan and Australia.


Do you ever consider to record/do a live album?  


Yes I do , I'm trying to record one for next year.

 

If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry what would it be?

 

I would like to change the minds of promoters , to give new guys a chance in the business !! 

 

What else can we expect from you in the future?


More of the same , good songs, great shows and hard work when you hire me !


Off course if there is anything you would like to add or share please feel free to do so


I would just like to say, thanks to the blues world for all the love i receive ! Peace and Good Karma - Sugaray