Borderline Beckons Mollie Marriott and Debut Album

Borderline Beckons Mollie Marriott and Debut Album

In Conversation as
Borderline Beckons Mollie Marriott and Debut Album

Mollie Marriott, daughter of former Small Faces and Humble Pie singer/guitarist Steve Marriott and step-daughter to singer Joe Brown took time out to chat with Bluesdoodles. With debut album Truth Is A Wolf due out later this year Mollie is performing an intimate concert at London Borderline on Thursday 1st June 2017. Mollie took time out of a busy schedule having recently toured with Wilko Johnson & Paul Weller.

BD: Mollie thank you for taking the time to chat to Bluesdoodles
MM: Thank you as well, always good to talk about music.

BD: You are the daughter of Steve Marriott; until now your music career as a backing singer for many musicians including your step-father Joe Brown. What was the motivation to step out front taking centre stage?
MM: Stepping out on centre stage, felt right now was the right time. I was not bothered before I loved being a backing vocalist. I could turn up sing and go; not get involved with all the other stuff. I had seen the scary stuff connected with the industry. I had watched what it can do to people, it put me off. I wanted to write my own stuff, I knew that I had to live life first. I am influenced by Stevie Nicks  &  Alanis Morissette; raw and dark honest that is who I wanted to write. I now have the head space; with a few breakdowns to write about. In the family the last is called Crash 2012. Hitting Rock bottom is good as the only way is up to rebuild your life as you want it. Now I am in a good place since I hit 30; being in your thirties is great. I was a young mum at 23; when your twenties are about having fun with people in your life because they are around. Thirty, you become your own person now where you want to go and who you are so all is good.

BD: With a Debut Album Truth is A Wolf announced. How did you decide upon releasing as the first single the number Control?
MM: Previously I had a testing tie with record label; basically had no control It was a case of Beautiful women using their beauty to control and trample you. A Mother figure who then betrayed and let you down, as line in my songs says “You saved me to break me”. Taking back control of my music was important so this was the right single to start again with my career, I am in the driver’s seat going where I want to go. I co-wrote this number with Sam Tanner, lead vocalist with Brother Strut. We wrote the song together, we knew right from the beginning Control was the perfect song to release as the first single off the album Truth Is A Wolf.

BD: Tell our readers about the forthcoming album, how did you decide on the title the type of music that best describes your debut?
MM:  I went to Nashville to start writing the album. The title track Truth  Is A Wolf written by Gary Nicholson, he was going to give it to Bonnie Raitt or Susan Tedeschi who are lots of my influences. I heard the demo just wurli and vocals and thought that sums up my album it was the perfect tile song. With tracks that reflect my life Broken, ending of a relationship and the effect that had on me and my daughter. The song Truth Is A Wolf, tied it all in a bow.  So many types of music can be used in the description. It is a Rock Album. Yes, many people I have asked as I really do not know have said it is bluesy-rock. Within the Backing vocals there are elements of gospel and country. It is a Rock mix definitely NOT pop laughing. Also, grungy elements. I am a grunge girl love Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam, Jagged Little Pill a favourite album sounds a bit like that as well.

BD:  Mollie you are definitely making a statement with your next Gig coming up on the 1st June at The Borderline with guests?
MM: Yes, so exciting, this is my first proper headline gig. With support from Anna Kratz, a special friend. We met in Nashville I went to one of her shows as she sung I was completely broken, sobbing she was singing y life, Anna is a wonderful songwriter writing with Ed Sheeran and many more. Pocket dragon are a cool band, with a female lead. It is so important to me that the night is Woman led. I want people to o listen to me as Mollie, Mollie Marriott; NOT “Mollie Marriott daughter of Steve Marriott” – that was not the name on my Birth Certificate. People have said well why not Mollie Brown? Joe Brown my step-dad then there is all that baggage as well. So sticking to the name I was given at birth Mollie Marriott.

BD: With a London Gig under your belt. Are you taking Mollie and her band to be heard outside of London?
MM: Yes, definitely tour outside of London. I love getting outside of London to venues in towns and cities. Played The Tramshed in Cardiff when opening for Wilko Johnson BD: Had to miss that show to my disappointment as away in Sheffield.  
MM: What a great venue loved playing Cardiff, Nottingham was fun as was Apex in Bury St Edmunds. Playing Liverpool with Paul Weller was mad, even a little bit scary a room full of mods. My show will be exciting to watch, all my band is very visual to watch we move about.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?
MM: Oh My God that is such a difficult question, will change the moment I put down the ‘phone Mollie laughs and says:-

Bass: Has to be Flea visually rocks.
Drummer: Richie Hayward – he has to have been the best drummer ever!
Guitar:  This is so difficult going to upset so many people has to be Stevie Marriott (such an under-rated guitarist)
Guitar: Joe Bonamassa
Vocals: Chris Cornell (he has such an amazing voice)

BD: Thank you for your time, looking forward to hearing the whole album and seeing your show when you take it on the road.

Borderline Beckons Mollie Marriott and Debut AlbumMOLLIE MARRIOTT LIVE AT LONDON’S BORDERLINE
THURSDAY 1 JUNE 2017

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

POCKET DRAGON & ANNA KRANTZ

Daughter of legendary Small Faces and Humble Pie
singer/guitarist Steve Marriott, plays intimate London show

24 Hour Box Office – O8444 780 898
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In Conversation with Living Legend Wilko Johnson

In Conversation with Living Legend Wilko Johnson

 

In Conversation with Living Legend Wilko Johnson

 

Having the opportunity to interview Wilko Johnson a genuine music icon and living legend was a little daunting and so exciting. Liz at Bluesdoodles, a fan of Dr Feelgood since her younger days. Ponder what he younger self would think about her chance to speak with Wilko. As Liz dialed the number she will openly admit how nervous she felt. Was this justified? No It was Not! Wilko answered the phone I took a deep breath and introduced myself with warmth in his voice and a feeling that he had all the time in the world to chat, whilst knowing there had been people before and a long list over the rest of the day. The often laughing Wilko shared his thoughts, experiences of being Alive and surviving cancer and much more. As he approaches seventy the blues flame still burns bright and true.  With twenty minutes and the clock ticking down the first question was asked:-

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Canvey Island?
WJ:
It was the beginning of the swinging sixties of course. It was the electric guitar, I had seen one at school; liked the look of them. I was fascinated by the springs, knobs and I fancied myself playing one. Yea I wanted one, so the next Christmas I suppose I had a cheap electric guitar and started to play. I did not know much music at the time.  It was time of The Beatles and Rolling Stones through them got interested in American Rn’B that was influencing them. Johnny Kidd & The Pirates I thought the guitar sounded interesting, I want to play like Mick Green, play the blues. I was also listening to Chess Records, the likes of Chuck Berry Bo Diddley Muddy Waters hearing the blues opened a new world for me while still trying to copy Johnny Kidd. I couldn’t do it but ended up developing my style as I continued with the twanging through my teenage years.

Then university and I forgot all about the guitar. Four years went by.  and I bumped into Lee Brilleaux he said he was forming a band so Dr Feelgood was formed with me trying to play like Mick Green, playing the blues. Playing in London in the early seventies we were creating bit of a scene we had no multiple keyboards or light shows, we didn’t wear cloaks or dresses we just played good basic music. Lots of people were watching and a year later punk emerged. Dr Feelgood was influential in creating the sound that became Punk. I stumbled into music really.

BD: That leads neatly on to – The sound you make from your Fender is distinctive and instantly recognisable as Wilko. How do you achieve this on your signature Telecaster?

WJ: Yes, I do now have a signature telecaster. I am a great believer in standard and straightforward approach. There a great players who use pedals. Sometimes though, great things can interrupt the sound and you have to operate them with that tip-toe action on the pedal board. Just not for me and you have to stay on one spot too long! The signature guitar is based on the bog stand Fender Telecaster as my first guitar. Everything I do is straight forward, not technical it is skiffling. It [guitar sound] does what it does. From an early age I learnt from Chuck Berry not just about playing the guitar but as important to move about putting some action into it. The silly walk is part of the music rather than a technical 12 bar solo.

 BD: Turning 70, celebrating life and a gig at The Royal Albert Hall. Did you think you would be performing In Conversation with Living Legend Wilko Johnsonthere when playing at venues such as The Nag’s Head in High Wycombe? Which sadly like so many venues of our youth are closed now

WJ: I never did think about playing large venues. Times change, venues close have to accept it. Playing The Royal Albert Hall the last three to four years have been so crazy. Nothing surprises me anymore. I was given ten months to live that led to a fantastic year. Mad things happen in the year you are dying. Roger Daltrey, says let’s make an album. I thought I will never see the release of this album. But the last thing that I have done is an album with Roger Daltrey has to be a good result that was consoling It was very successful, bestselling I have ever had. It was made in eight days and best of all I saw it released.

Doctors in Cambridge, said they could operate, and they did more than a year after I was certain I was going to die. The tumour was the size of a melon weighing over 3 kilos, they opened me up lifted it out of me. Few days after the operation the surgeon Mr Huguet came with the results from the Lab along with the tumour, half my stomach, gut and pancreas every trace of cancer had gone. They had cured me. It was a strange old moment. Mr Huguet is a hero, super human to me, he is such a nice guy we are on first name terms but he will always be Mr Huguet to me.

 BD: How has the experience of living through the diagnosis, farewell tour and then operation and back in the world of the living effected your approach to music, performances and life in general?

WJ: During my farewell tour the year I was dying the audience all knew what was going on and there was a real closeness with the audience. I knew that I couldn’t change anything that had happened in the past and there was no future so there was only the moment. I could play my music in the moment not worried about what people thought it was such a strong feeling and I lived to tell the tale.

I hope that I can take this into the future. You have lots of profound insights when facing death I think I learnt some wisdom’s and hopefully retained them. I will not be such a prat as I used to be. I know how to play relaxed doing it in the now. Not thinking about it. In The Dr Feelgood days, we were so considered about we got to get it right, worrying what will the papers say. Now just play Rock n’ Roll all that matters is the moment.

BD: What are your plans once celebrating 70 fades away? New Record?

Yes lots of plans, in fact been in the studio this week, looking at what we have got. New album after our summer gigs. I would like to get going straight away. I love playing again have so many ideas. After the operation it took a while to get playing again up to scratch. I had not touched a guitar for a year, few more gigs to do, Royal Albert Hall, tour of Japan it is wonderful just being able to stand up and be capable of playing the guitar again.

BD: How does it feel to have been described as the best thing to have come out of Essex since the Peasants revolt??

WJ: Wat Tyler has definitely left a footprint on history more clearly than me. When Dr Feelgood started to be got known we made a lot of being Essex boys out of Canvey Island.  Canvey Island not been that famous since the Great Floods of 1953. There is no argument that Canvey Island have lots of reasons to be proud of us. They should definitely name a road after Lee Brilleaux – Lee Brilleaux Boulevard has a nice ring to it.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
WJ: So many favourite guitarists and their playing would definitely show me up! I have to say without sounding this is a rubbish answer it has to be my guys who I am playing with at the moment. They are the business Dylan Howe on drums and Norman Watt-Roy on Bass.

BD: The time flew by, it was a fun twenty minutes of my life.

Let the music do the talking:
Wilko Johnson en el Teatro Apolo de Barcelona – “The More I Give”

In Conversation with Living Legend Wilko Johnson

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

Dan Patlansky In Conversation
Touring 2017 and Beyond

BD: Morning Dan, great to see and catch up with you in Sheffield at HRH Blues and the opportunity to talk this morning

 BD: Dan Patlansky, Back in UK and Europe for an exciting tour. Latest single Sonova Faith from the award-winning and acclaimed album Introvertigo.  Returning to venues new and old favourites? With a new band tell us about your touring plan. Starting off at Mr Kyps with Ash Wilson opening and HRH festival you have hit the ground running

DP: Yes, back in UK and Europe with second round touring with Introvertigo.  Following the achievement of Introvertigo being number 1 Blues Rock Album of 2016 by the influential American website Blues Rock Review.  So we are back with a new band of session musicians from Germany bringing a different feel from my South African band. Part tour back at The Globe in Cardiff which will be such fun with Ash Wilson opening a great band, great songs the combination will be a good night of live music following on from Mr Kyps. HRH Blues was amazing great crowd and some amazing bands the atmosphere was really positive.

BD: Having heard your acoustic set at HRH which was wonderful, elegant, beautiful with lingering notes that I wanted to last forever; have you thought about doing more acoustic in the UK?

DP: Yes, it was fun. Acoustic is a different beast to playing electric. In some ways limiting with the change of guitar style. It is a challenge in the way you play and think about the music. As for playing acoustic in the UK; back in South Africa we often do the combination acting as our own support act. Yet to do that in the UK. Perhaps for the future; the logistic of travelling with an Acoustic rig as well as electric will be another travelling challenge. For acoustic at HRH I borrowed Big Boy Bloaters guitar, it was great to play and a big thank you to Big Boy Bloater’s loan of his lovely acoustic guitar. It was a different vibe when I played the guitar showing the power of acoustic.

BD: We all love to hear you get that special sound out of your Strat Old Red and is certainly how you continue to build your fan base. Tell us about strings, pickups and I believe you are retiring the beautiful guitar. How will you find a replacement?

DP: I play with twelve gauge strings, they are considered heavy, but I have always used them. I don’t just use them for the showmanship of the last number. I like the sound they produce. I use standard Fender pickup. For the last number, I turn my amp up to achieve sonic textures, feedback making it as musical as possible.  I always have the amp fairly high, I play loud which is why I have speakers facing the wings and turn them up which can surprise front of house guys.

Old Red not being retired just refining parts of her. Just the neck is being overhauled. The neck has become a liability, 1960’s Fenders used Brazilian Rosewood, this is now a restricted wood and can cause a problem at customs in some countries. In addition, the neck is getting tired and twisted. When I get back home from this tour I’ll be getting a new neck for the guitar.  A face-lift, not retirement.

BD: How do you keep the tracks we love to hear you play the sound is so fresh and vibrant when playing live? It is as if we are hearing the tracks for the first time as you add interest and surprises.

DP: This tour there is a new dynamic with the German musicians. It is though the nature of the music improvising. I may be playing the same song every night on tour, yes the melody, lyrics and chords stay the same but I go in different directions. Not always the way I expect, I grew up playing Jazz music the king of improvisation so every night has its own journey. Can be good or not that is the nature of the beast. It keeps the music exciting for us as musicians and puts a fresh breath into every night’s performance. We are definitely not playing by numbers, traditional blues is steeped in improvisation. I am just keeping that tradition alive and flourishing through my music.

BD: With a hectic touring schedule here, Europe and South Africa what are your plans for 2017 and beyond?

DP: Yes touring is hectic but always great to catch up with friends and fans we make on the tour. This will be the last UK tour focused on Introvertigo. I have dates in South Africa when I return. Then in June we go back in the studio with new songs, new ideas for my next album which will be released Spring 2018. Then back touring South Africa. We are also possibly back in the UK November 2017; where we could be previewing new tracks from the forthcoming album. So watch this space once dates finalized we will be letting the fans know.

BD:  You are back in Cardiff at The Globe, what makes venues fun to return to? Is it building the fan base?

DP: Yes, excited to be playing back in Cardiff. I love the vibe of the venue. Why return to venues, it is a bit of both the venue and the audience is a big part of the show. The Globe is a great little venue, great audience who have such a positive response. I love the sound of the venue, the guitar always sounds good to me on stage which is really satisfying. The Globe is a loud room, lots hard surfaces. It is a venue I will always look forward to playing. The Cardiff crowd are always up for loud music and to enjoy the blues.

BD: Thank you for sharing with your growing group of fans. We have asked you your fantasy band, what you are listening to in previous interviews. So today who would you invite to play with Dan Patlansky band?

DP: Dream scenario would be David Gilmore from Pink Floyd. Gilmore got me into music generally and in particular the guitar.

BD: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule and looking forward to seeing you play live in Cardiff on 4th May.

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

 

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

READ what Bluesdoodles said about the TEN Doodle paw album  Introvertigo – We voted the album as the best Overseas album heard over at Bluesdoodles HQ.

Introvertigo with its carefully crafted lyrics that blend urbane wit and honest observation, this is blues pertinent to today’s lifestyles, not so much whisky and women more the corruption of power and social interaction. Ten tracks there are no fillers every number is full of strength and tonal power but there is not an off note or lyric.  

FULL Review – HERE

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

Who Will I Turn To Now for a Conversation Has To Be Husky Tones

Who Will I turn To Now for a Conversation Has To Be Husky Tones

Who Will I Turn To Now for a Conversation Has To Be Husky Tones

 

 

BD: I was delighted you asked Bluesdoodles to review Husky Tones latest album Who Will I Turn To Now.  It is an album very different from the previous one size of band downsized and upsized the energy.  Victoria: Ha Ha, That is a pretty good summary!)

Before we talk about touring and the album Husky Tones will be a new band for many so Bluesdoodles readers be interested in getting to know you, Victoria Bourne & Chris Harper the Husky Tones.

 BD: What were your first musical influences?
VB: 
First albums people like John Lee Hooker – The Healer, Buddy Guy other influences were Blondie, Patti Smith huge huge influence who kick started my love of music as a teenager. ABBA when I was eleven laughing my little secret no more. I loved all the depressing albums about divorce that was quite fun laughing and Howard Jones was in there too, enormously into Prince I saw him as a teenager and a lot of rock bands through my brother including Metallica, Rainbow so huge variety and a lot of classic as a teenager was added into the mix. I was quite random what I listened to at University Pearl Jam and Madonna danced to her songs.

We didn’t have internet as teenagers who can listen to wide range of easily accessible music. Now teenagers, have YouTube, music is so accessible. We have got into and listening to a lot of Gun Club, PJ Harvey & Iggy Pop two current favourites from 2016 along with contemporary classical music people including Steve Reich among others listen to them a lot when studying music.  I did a Contemporary Classic degree in Music prior to that did a course in Musical Theatre at Trinity, London. I really thought musical theatre was what I wanted to do, but then thought I do not want to be in a show for six months, singing the same cheesy musical theatre songs. That was when I met Chris, I auditioned for his band and started our journey thirteen years ago at the time doing Indie Rock. As they say the rest is history!

The influences continued including Jeff Buckley, Radio Head as you talk you think of so many influences.  At the moment listening to Blues Rock, Bonneville’s from Northern Ireland and Guadalupe’s Plata Spanish Blues-rock then people like RL Burnside, Cedric Burnside, one of the best gigs I’ve been to like a juke joint in a tiny bar in Bath.  Local man Bob Log, Hill Country Blues has been a huge influence.  Everything and anything can be an influence even our cats name is Osvaldo named after contemporary classical musician Osvaldo Golijov, The cat got the name as this was who we were really into when we got him. Golijov, the musician not the cat! Wrote some amazing music around the Spanish poet Lorca’s work.

BD: How did the unusual combination of drums & vocals come about.
VB:
I like to be different! I learnt the piano from the age of four. I realised that I would not be able to combine piano and vocals to the standard I would want to play. I would always want to play the piano to a higher level not as a chord-led accompaniment. I started playing drums and loved them the power and energy.  Starting with my kit. I have an unusual blend of cymbals, people usually have one brand. But I got some Zildjian and Sabian mix of bright and dark. I chose my cymbals by closing my eyes so couldn’t see the brands using the sound they produced as the selection criteria.  In the crash ride, I have a Sabian which sounds like a massive gong it sounds awesome, it is huge which is brilliant especially for big events.  I have a little Zildjian splash which is a dark at twelve inches it is one of the bigger ones. I also have a Zildjian dark ride to get this really deep and dark sound really very different to the Sabian. Then on the other side, I have Zildjian Crash and Mastersound high hats quite common but the bright version. So I have a mix of bright and dark, cymbals are quite personal and this was the sound I wanted. The Sabian was great when recording with Stuart for the latest album as it had real power. I have them in strange positions compared to other people I have them quite low but that is because I am singer it is a visual thing as well on stage. Others gave combined vocals and drums; Cedric Burnside, other women who have combined the two, Karen Carpenter a phenomenal drummer, contemporary artist Cara Robinson and Donna Dahl based in Memphis.

It is a very strong thing to do at the same time,  drumming it is very physical, it is getting that fine balance between drumming and vocals especially now we are quite loud so that you can hear yourself live so as not to be shouting across the drums.  It is hard to do the two together but it is fun. When we were recording I had the luxury of doing them separately, which was beautiful. Now when playing live I pull my voice back, slightly sexy, gentler way of singing. It is harder as I get out of breath, I wouldn’t not to be on stage without an instrument. Now we are a duo we have been changing how we deliver the songs. For example, Island of Barb Wire I come from behind my drums and to the front of stage concentrating on my vocals. We are looking at having more opportunities to come to the front even if for part of a song. Part of the stagecraft, we enjoy jumping around front of the stage. Another example of variation throughout the live show is on One Good Reason, in the middle section I move away from being behind the drum kit, sing my vocals front of stage and then go back. Helps to keep the audience engaged with me as lead singer and become part of the Husky Tones stagecraft. Can be a bit of a nightmare at festivals where the drum kit is right at the back of the stage.  I do enjoy jumping up and down at front of the stage.

BD: Why did you choose Drums out of all the Instruments? What made Drums so Attractive?

VB: In fact it could have been keys, trained to play piano. Especially when teaching I play piano for my students. Piano would be too difficult to do both. It would take a huge amount of practice to be as good as I would want to be doing it in the blues. Thinking about chord structures and singing on top would just not work for me. Yes, playing three chords backing the vocals is fairly straightforward but not what I wanted to do. Guitar tried in the past, I hate how it hurts your hand. Thought about Bass but that was learning a whole new instrument. I started dabbling with percussion about 10 years ago when we had our own studio. I used to teach a blues singer who was also a drummer. I was also involved in the electronic music scene I used a basic drum kit doing weird electronic things, loops etc. started from that. When thinking about a band the drums are always nightmare so tempted to give it a go. Started 4-5 years ago with a small kit without a kick drum, really cheap so said I would give it a try and really liked it. So bought a cheap kit, had some drumming lessons, Ken Pustelnik, from the Groundhogs, who I knew from the music scene. He gave me some lessons, his way not the way a college would teach the drums. I learnt on the cheap drum set-up which I used until I was sure that I wanted to play drums. The reality was I loved it went crazy for it.  Practiced loads, went off and did gigs after year upgraded to a Yamaha. Year later upgraded to the kit I have now which was very expensive a Gretsch Renown Mahogany not made any more so very special, beautiful instrument. Gradually added cymbals sold those I didn’t like and ending up with the set I have now. Takes time to build up the kit I enjoy it. It is interesting that the piano is percussive as well so has strong connection, started learning piano when I was four. Lessons through rogue teacher like Ken meant that I didn’t follow traditional structures initially people questioned the way I played asking what I was doing. In fact on this album I don’t think I play a single shuffle. Each song has different pattern that is something I aim for, audiences get bored If they hear the same over and over again. I have also been studying punk drumming which is fun. Been long and continuous process. You have to be fit for three-hour gig and sing.  Drums has been the instrument I have most enjoyed playing.

 

BD: On the album you Husky Tones are a duo is that now the format you will be touring with? What are the advantages and will the three-piece be back?

Chris H: (joined in with his perspective) Now there are just the two of us it is easier to keep a handle on what we are doing. We are freer to jam our way into different corners of the music. Now the two of us can rehearse every day. One of the problems with the four-piece was difficult to all get-together. Plus now only one standing up front I have a different pressure. Enjoying being a duo we said let’s do this getting very quickly feeling good. It was scary at the beginning, you do not have the safety of numbers when part of a twelve piece. Chris as only one standing up has nowhere to hide. When the Crowd are on side at a good venue you will have a good time. We had to re-write older stuff for the two of us; whereas the new album was written for the duo Husky Tones. It is getting easier now bookings coming in now are for us as duo no one expects to see the band now. The promoters/venues have heard the new stuff and reacting positively some exciting gigs lined up for 2017.  VB: Plus all the re-writes are getting grungier

We only changed because Liam lives in Swansea and was not financially t working out for him plus clash of commitments with his other bands. Matt bassist got more successful than he thought it would be found this difficult. It had been suggested that we should be a duo and we are loving it.  The transition for the tour with two weeks rehearsal it was a great chance to jam together. Now we have more material written for the two of us, new album and it is only our availability to worry about.

Now we have Skegness to kick the year off the set will be a mixture of songs from album, older stuff rearranged and some acoustic numbers we have leant that we have to be ourselves trying to adapt and second guess what the audience is expecting doesn’t work. We know that Husky Tones is not going to please everyone. Our Blues will be too loud for some we are definitely not a traditional 12 bars. We know that we will only be pale imitations of what we are copying. Have to remember that many of bluesmen seen as traditional like for example Elmore James they were cutting edge. Need to think about what will reflect the times. No artist has ever stayed in one place.

BD: Tell us a bit about the making of Who Will I Turn To Now – and deciding on Stuart Dixon to produce the album and deciding the studio space

VB: We got on with Stuart really well. We didn’t know we would, having had really bad experiences making the first album. We had three or four pre-production meetings with him and though he is pretty cool. When it came to the sessions completely got what we were trying to do. He knew what microphones to use, the settings. He knew how to get the best out of us both.

We started off recording drums and guitar at the same time. These are all one takes so no chopping, he would make us play until the take was right. Two/three songs where we completely re-wrote the drum part we actually put in some real African drums into Jungle Blues. And then following re-writes had to learn them in half a day and record the tracks it was tough and challenging but was good improving the songs so much.  Chris as well did lots of Electric, acoustic and slide guitar. Then the vocals were recorded over a couple days loved recording them separately can concentrate and focus on the voice so songs sound so good.

Then added other bits like Wah wah on Jungle Blues and other added extras on top of the recordings.  We laughed a lot. The whole ten days. The view at Platform is a lake it is just stunning such a beautiful atmosphere to record in.  Stuart third wheel of the band for that week, he got involved, very intense and we were all on the same page. He would come up with ideas so everything was improved working for ten days on album was amazing very proud. Another benefit, as the two of us we could book in a solid period where as with the band he has to work around their diaries. We were there for the mixing and he then mastered it. He cared about it so got it right.

BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?

VB: Always write together always have, lyrics and music.  We ask what shit experience can we use from your past can we use this time Victoria.  Who Will I Turn To Now, was a reflection of the less than positive experience of signing on after my masters. Let’s make that generic lots of people unfortunately, have experienced get door slammed in face by those who should be there to help. Relatives in the past luckily have to draw on.  My Gt. Gt. Gt. Uncle was interned inspired Island of Barb Wire.  Looking for interesting things in your family. Round the Wrekin I use the phrase a lot it is a Midlands colloquialism going long way round a gift for a song. Momentum, build up people getting together deeply political about protest and the right to protest. Then there are the cheeky ones like These Hips Were Made For You little personal love song.  Drawing on things that mean a lot to us have a meaning. Writing is a continuous process I have some ideas. Some take a long time. With lots of re-writes to get lyrics right some are from the newspaper articles of the time and how the interns were actually referred to. One of us will start and then we will tidy them up, we try to avoid clichéd, the obvious.   Bits of lyrics, riffs sometimes lie around and have left overs from the album.  We created too many songs probably have enough for another album, we wanted to make sure that the songs we chose will be the right mix.  Love jamming it comes as it does not have hard or fast rule sometimes it’s a riff, drums or a line. We are a bit obsessive and crazy we work at something every day.

BD: What plans do you have to get Who Will I Ask Now? Noticed?

VB: We do our own PR. For two reasons, we have no money to pay someone. But it is not the main reason we trust ourselves to approach and deal with people in an empathetic way. So far we are getting lots of notice, played on Paul Jones on BBC Radio 2, just before Christmas from an album we sent in September. Done lots of research on how to write to people who do blogs, contacting magazine editors etc. How to format things, what they like to be informed about and getting lots of interest from a wide range of people. You have to do a lot of work yourself to make it happen. This one is doing all right actually with the people we are contacting.

BD I am sure you have many plans for 2017 and beyond for Husky Tones

VB: Album Launch 25th Feb Crofters Bristol, Benjamin Bassford will be Pay What You Can reflecting the album’s songs highlighting that people can’t always afford to pay for a gig. We are going to pre-record some interviews co-op environment homeless group refuge and relating to songs and what can do to help.  Going to Isle of Man to perform Island of Barb Wire for my Uncle live acoustically and video it as part of the album launch. Last event in a fans house, many may be more acoustic, in London with more than one song.  Hopefully if it works to go out on Facebook as live performance then put up pre-recorded interviews. Later in 2017 tour and number of festivals including Field Good Bar a Women’s Music festival in Bath. Headlining on Saturday night others in the pipeline so keep checking our website.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
VB & CH:
Drums:  Cedric Burnside
Bass:  Tina Weymouth
Guitars:  Ry Cooder, Bob Log
Vocals:  Patti Smith
Backing Vox:  Jeff & Tim Buckley
Sax:  PJ Harvey

 

Bluesdoodles Review of  Who Will I turn To Now HERE

Tour Dates: HERE

Bluesdoodles In Conversation Across The Years

It is always fascinating, hence Bluesdoodles In Conversation Across The Years. Read about the thinking behind making albums, producing albums and who would be in their fantasy band.

Bluesdoodles Interviews – 2016

JD SIMO – SIMO
Eric Johnson
Fee Waybill – The Tubes
Paul Bowe – Federal Charm
Walter Trout
Debbie Bond
Sari Schorr
Coleen Rennison – No Sinner
Jared James Nichols
Joe Louis Walker
JJ Grey 
Wayne Proctor
Kaz Hawkins
Dan Patlansky 
Dan Reed 
JD Simo

Bluesdoodles Interviews – 2015

Laurence Jones – In Conversation February 2015
Dan Patlansky – In Conversation April 2015
Alan Nimmo – In Conversation May 2015
Julian Moores – In Conversation May 2015
Chantel McGregor – In Conversation October 2015
Erja Lyytinen – In Conversation October 2015
Rob Richings – In Conversation November 2015

Katie Bradley talking about C’est la vie and more






Katie Bradley talking about C’est la vie and more

Katie Bradley talking about C’est la vie and more

 

BD: Afternoon Katie, great to catch up with you and have a chance to talk about the forthcoming album and projects you are keeping you busy.

KB: Having a good time, keeping busy with projects and tours that keep rolling in.  So lots of variation in my approach to the Blues. I have been involved with Matt Long recording new material and I have a single out with a dance/electronic duo Jettricks – it is available via i-tunes and limited edition vinyl via my website.

BD: Tell us about the crowdfunding project with Indiegogo for your new album C’est la vie and choosing Indiegogo.

KB: I have invested a lot of time and money getting my exciting new project to this stage. Now on post production stage, feel it is going well people are being very generous. Crowd funding nearly reached half way and with eighteen days to raise the rest. The great thing about Indiegogo is that after paying a fee even if the full amount is not achieved I do still receive the money that has been raised by the end of the fundraising period. A good way of investing in an artist and getting something tangible in return

This is what your money is going towards

What We Need & What You Get

I have already invested what I can to the album to this point, so now we need your additional help to complete the process ready for release. In effect you are receiving the album in advance as a pre-order, with great bonuses and unique gifts available to this campaign as ‘perks’. Thank you for contributing and contributing to this venture, making it happen for us – not mentioning ordering a great present or a gift for yourself!

We are aiming to raise £3000 to cover:

  • Final studio session with special guests
  • Mixing
  • Mastering
  • Artwork
  • CD production

 Katie Bradley talking about C’est la vie and more

C’est La Vie Indiegogo Crowdfunding HERE

BD: So the album title is C’est la vie; has the blues got a French feel?

KB: No it hasn’t I just like the French take on life, very philosophical and I think that is true of the blues as well. Whatever hardships you come across you have to get on with it “such is life” so thought it was the perfect phrase. The title song has a line “C’est la vie comme ci comme ça that is the way we are baby”. Yes, to do with the philosophical edge of the French.

It has been exciting working on ‘C’est la vie’ with one of the UK’s most exciting and inventive guitarists, Chris Corcoran. Chris is an incredible artist who has been featured in Guitarist Magazine, and is internationally noted for his innovation and authenticity as a composer and musician. I have known Chris for over twenty years, only worked together closely for the last  three years playing on the London circuit, the live scene We have been talking about making an album over the three years but between us we have just been too busy. Chris has been playing over one-hundred & Eighty gigs a year. We didn’t want to do a covers album, didn’t see the point. So he came with some grooves with Jamie Lawrence on Bass and I wrote the words. Quite a few of the songs are quite personal feel that it is quite a magical feel on the album personally. On drums is Mike Thorne who has played with all sorts of people. They are all part of the London scene. There are really authentic Chicago 1950’s flavours but really inventive as well reflecting the diverse catalogue of the musicians creating a lovely mix. I had to get Paul Jobson involved on keys, Fender Rhodes, Hammond Organs and Grand Piano, he just sat there and played it plus he is doing some backing vocals with me a continuity from my first album She’s Ready.  Also joining us is percussionist Paul Elliott who is in a duo with Jamie called Jettricks which is really cool and funky.

BD: With that mix is there a funky groove going on as well?

Yes there is, we have variety across the tracks with a gospel number which is heartfelt with a Staples Singers  influence, then there is Southern  Soul,  New Orleans, Memphis, Sun Studios influences and one of them is definite funky, 1970’s diva style. There is a whole mix of influences and everyone has added there take on them even a jazzy one song about having a muse. Chris Corcoran playing stands out it is just lovely, very melodic. The whole album draws on all of our passions for traditional Blues and Roots whilst continuing the traditions through experiences and bringing them to you bound by infectious grooves and melodies

BD: Where was the album recorded?

KB: The album is being recorded at the brilliant Rimshot Studios in Kent, renowned for award winning records and recording artist’s and so we are in the best possible hands with Mike Thorne behind the desk as well as on the drums. The studio is perfection as it offers authentic microphones and expertly sourced recording equipment, ensuring techniques that are reminiscent of the old recording companies such as Stax and Chess.

BD: Is the album self-released?

KB: Yes it is. The plan is to move it forward with an international release on a record label. The idea is to use the crowdfunding to have all the promotional material of a quality to get the album noticed and out there.

It is going to be released on CD, Had lots enquiries regarding vinyl so may bring out a single on vinyl. Vinyl is attracting young people. Whole new generation who are finding the blues through dance like a flash mob almost? as after a lesson in  Brixton & Islington  they dance to live music Would love to integrate this into festivals.

BD: Is there a release Date?

KB: End of January with a launch night in February. Check out the crowdfunding as one of the rewards is tickets for this event and you can be there at the launch of C’est la vie.

BD: With the album out early 2017 what other plans in the pipeline?

KB: Other things happening new website with shop. Some rather nice gigs including support to Popa Chubby at 100 Club in January and tour and festivals planned over Europe and the U.K. Keep in touch with Katie over at her Website HERE.

 


Eric Johnson in Conversation Albums, acoustic and guitars

Eric Johnson in Conversation Albums, acoustic and guitars

Eric Johnson in Conversation Albums, acoustic and guitars

Eric Johnson, Grammy award-winning guitarist took time out to talk to Bluesdoodles about his first solo acoustic album EJ released on Mascot Group Label.

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Austin, Texas and beyond?
EJ: Lots there are some great bands and music in Texas. Johnny Richardson was a huge influence but there is just so much great music. I listened to all sorts of styles and players out there including Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin, Eric Clapton Bill Conners, styles vary but always quality.

BD: How did you get into music were you from a musical family?
EJ: My brother and three sisters we all had piano lessons, learning classical music my parents were not musical but supported my playing. Then I had guitar lessons. I took up the guitar because everyone I was listening to was playing the guitar. I listened to all types of music not defined by genre The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Ventures. There were so many great dudes to listen to. The crossover with Ravi Shankar playing with Janis Joplin and others mixing it up, it was not about genres it was all about good music that excited.

BD: Having reviewed the Album, can you tell us Why a Solo album now having won countless awards and peer recognition is the acoustic another branch of the Johnson Guitar Tree
EJ: Well, I have always included one acoustic number on all my records. I have always enjoyed playing acoustic it is different from my solo electric guitar in a band. The essential in acoustic is a very good song that can stand on its own the words have to be very good. There is an immediacy in acoustic playing it is always a challenge to capture the song so it has a potency. The album is another voice of my guitar the album has an intimacy that only acoustic achieves.

BD: How did you choose the covers, especially deciding on opening with an instrumental version of Mrs Robinson
EJ: Well, Mrs Robinson came about fiddling with the tune on my own it sounded great and I was searching for a song to start the record. The realisation came that it might be the right way to start the album with the guitar getting the listeners attention. The other covers fitted in with my own tracks.

BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?
EJ: Inspiration is everywhere. I have to allow the thoughts to unfold intuitively they evolve naturally. I have to stop the brain from interfering as too soon it clinches the lyrics so that they do not have time to develop naturally. The brain part is good to give the words a final polish but not too soon, you need to leave your creative window open for words to be descriptive painting a full picture. You need to be able to let your thoughts wander so there is a freedom in the construction of the lyrics. It was great fun to record a solo acoustic record, the simplicity there is an innocence in the process with a feel of naturalness with lyrics that can be obtuse like Wrapped In A Cloud.

BD: You have a big supporter in Joe Bonamassa. He and many other younger guitarists have named you as an influence…. Have you found this has been a boost to your own career?
EJ: Big admirer of what Joe Bonamassa does and it is very flattering that Joe and other guitar players respect and admire what I play. The reality is all guitarists learn from everyone else. I am genuinely honoured the other guitarists feel that way about my guitar playing.

BD: Did you always plan to be a musician and what advice would you give to budding professionals
EJ: Music was what I wanted to do my career developed I just kept playing with bands making original music. Kept rehearsing and working with different people. It was a step by step progression lots of practice and determination hard work eventually led to record deals and where I am today. The answer is if you want to achieve success it is about talent and hard work there is no easy simple route.

BD I am sure you have many plans for 2017 and beyond are you planning a UK/European Tour?
EJ: Now that is funny you should ask that question, we were discussing just that today a tour of Europe and the UK. Would love to visit the UK and tour all over especially like to see Eastern Europe.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
EJ:
Bass: Billy Rich or James Jamerson… No I will have two bass players
Guitars: Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Wes Montgomery
Drums: Joe Morello
Vocals: Paul Rogers

Guitar Tech – Me When asked to jam I will say no I am listening to you guys that is enough for me!

Eric Johnson in Conversation Albums, acoustic and guitars
Photo Credit Max Crace

 

Eric Johnson –  EJ–  Release Date: 7th October 2016
Label: Provogue/Mascot Label Group

Read why Bluesdoodles said “EJ is an acoustic album that has an intimacy between performer and listener not often achieved on a studio album. The light and dark shadows and moody intensity all keep your attention on the lyrics and above all the melody.” HERE

 

 

Listen to Wrapped In A Could here:

In Conversation with Walter Trout: Life Blues Stratocasters

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Photo credit Greg Watermann

In Conversation with Walter Trout: Life Blues Stratocasters

Bluesdoodles was delighted when Walter Trout agreed to talk to us. As most of you will be only too aware in 2013 Walter was diagnosed with life-threatening liver failure and hepatitis C, followed by months in hospital, resulting in a successful liver transplant in 2014. Now he is back playing, and the first studio album since his recovery was the critically acclaimed Battle Scars and recently released Alive in Amsterdam.  There was plenty to talk about.

 

BD: Good evening Walter thanks for taking the time out from your busy schedule to speak to Bluesdoodles this evening

WT: Delighted that Skype worked we can hear and see each other, even Othello joined in the fun with a wag of his tail and treats.

BD: Battle Scars an amazing album and unsurprisingly really emotionally charged, do you feel it as a concept album for the Blues?

I don’t know if it was the first concept album for the Blues but I think in some ways it was probably the first concept album for me. Go The Distance, when I did Go The Distance I had just turned 50 years old I wanted to do an album sort of what I felt on turning fifty. Which, now in hindsight seems to me I was a very young man at the time but I felt ancient you know.  I tried to sort of do it but didn’t really work out to be as much a concept album as I had hoped it would be. I think this one [Battle Scars] certainly was especially because I told this story before, but will tell you here. I wanted to do a new album after coming through hell. I really wanted to write about, and had this new view of life, and had these new understandings about things, new feeling for being alive a new perspective on things. Everything had changed in my mind I saw the world differently I wanted to write about that but everything was coming out clichéd like for example, everything was ‘I see the sunshine’, ‘don’t the flowers smell wonderful’ it has all been done right. I went to my wife and I said I am really frustrated I have all this music. But every time try to put words in there it just comes out as clichéd bullshit, it would have worked great for who I don’t know  err Olivia Newton John or something. She sat down and she said to me look here is what you have to do it might be painful for you sit down and put yourself back in that bed. I laid on my back for seven months that is a long-haul. She said put yourself back there think about it and when you get back how it felt, what you thought ,what you experienced write about that. Once she gave me that idea, she went out for the day and I wrote six songs I wrote more than half that record in on afternoon. By two days later I had it finished, it literally took me three days even two days so it was of course a concept album because I was really focusing on one thing. I would think about different aspects of it.  Each song would be about a different part of that experience. So yea, it definitely came out as a concept album it kinda blew my mind really when two days later I had all these songs I was like wow this is like (Walter chuckles) almost like sitting on a couch and talking to a shrink talking to a therapist. Instead I did it with music. I really had something to say on this sometimes doesn’t always happen that way it can take a week to write a song this one was different I knew what I wanted to say.

BD: I am sure everyone is fascinated that you had to re-learn the guitar. Do you feel your approach/style has changed?

WT: I think I am a better player now. Let me tell you a story you know Bob Harris, his book Whispering Years, he told me that I am best guitarist in the world.  I had lunch with him and he gave me the book back then, I said there are so many guys who can blaze, shred thank you for this. He said,  “Do you know why I wrote this about you?” I said “No.”  He said to me “it is how much you put into it” that was the quote. I think since I have come back from the brink and started out I can put even more into it. It means even more to me than it ever did. I think can put more feeling into every note. I can still play a lot of notes. Sometimes I can go way over the top and people say he is going over the top. But believe me I mean every single note. It was still in my head but I had no muscles. I had lost more than half of my body when I got sick I weighed 230lbs at the height of my illness I weighed little over 100 pounds so it was all my muscle had gone. When I first picked up the guitar I did not have the strength to push the string down to the fret I couldn’t do it. So I had to develop the muscle back, I also had to re-train my muscles to listen to what my brain, what signal my brain was sending.  I knew how to play the chords just not capable of doing it. I basically spent a year with weights working with weights with little weights to develop my fore-arms. Spent 4-5 hours per day acoustic guitar they are a little more difficult they require, a little more strength. I came home in September, first time tried to play guitar in public was New Year’s Eve. I played two songs with my sons, every New Year’s Eve we set up a band in my front yard and on the stroke of midnight we play to my neighbour’s. We have done this for 13 years, I played two songs with my boys “laughing” Born To Be Wild and Fortunate Son by Creedance.  After that I couldn’t play anymore, but I could actually play and it was joyous, then I did not really play a show in public until 15th June at Royal Albert Hall.
BD: So it was a long six-months between sitting on front step and getting up onto a stage.
WT: That was a lot of work still not up to  full speed on New Years Eve.
BD: Was it scary getting back on stage again?
WT: It was a little scary but it was also,  can’t say I was nervous I was apprehensive. I had come to terms with the thought of this maybe will go out there and have dizzy spell fall over. Maybe my hands will cramp up like they had been doing. Maybe I will open my mouth and nothing will come out. If that happens, it happens all I can do is go out there and give it my best attempt I have to say there was an incredible band of English musicians backing me up they were all just awesome. When I counted to four the band came in I thought to myself I’m home I’ve done this 10,000 times, this feels really good. Just a wonderful, wonderful time playing that show. BD: And you are back entertaining us once again WT: Yea yes we are.

 

BD:  Which we see in your latest album Alive in Amsterdam your current album. It is full of emotion and the joy and power of being back on stage. Do you feel re-charged and motivated after the liver transplant?

WT: Being able to do that, it was taken from me all that time I laid in that bed sometimes late at night I would go on my cell-phone and watch a video of myself and I would go who is that guy? I couldn’t do that now if I tried. I can’t relate to that person. Then after I got it back, it means more than it ever did it is joyous to do that. Playing guitar and listening to what is coming out and I’m saying goddam this is fun.  Like when I was fifteen I would play guitar with my friends it was not about going to be a star or getting record deal just playing in garage just experiencing the most joy in your life that you can experience being able to make sound most beautiful thing now to get up there.   I don’t take one of those million notes I play for granted.

BD: Tell us about your guitars, and have you a favoured one?

WT: I am really Fender Strat guy. The first really good guitar that I owned, I had a bunch of kinda like cheap electric guitars when a teenager. I literally quit school and got a job so that I could go and buy a Les Paul.  I started with a Les Paul and then from that I went to Gibson 335 because I dropped the Les Paul the neck broke in half it was horrible, I was 17, that happened to me and I was destroyed. Then I got a 335 I really loved Gibsons. Then one day I was at a party, which was a jam session with a bunch of musicians in Philadelphia a guy said try my Stratocaster he handed me a Stratocaster and I  felt like I had  found my  lifelong partner.  Ever since then it has been a Stratocaster and you know have that old one that has is on the cover of all my records the one that when  I bought was white now turned yellow and not much finish left on it I toured with that thing for 34 years. That guitar is an entity and has my spirit in it. I have retired it from road for two reasons. One, I was too worried about it getting stolen or something happening to it. Number two, it is very, very heavy some years ago I had problems with my shoulders and lost use of left arm and had to go and get all this physical therapy. I couldn’t play and had to start all over again back then also. Literally had to start all over again twice. It is just too heavy for me, I can play when in the studio when sitting down it is a Stock Strat. Now the guitar I am using on this record and tour with and unlike certain young guitar players well known guitar players who part of their hype use fifteen guitars on one song. I am one guitar one woman man here. I have this guitar that, back when shoulder went out a guitar builder out in California, Scott Lentz he built me an incredibly light Stratocaster, that weights almost nothing, he said this will save your shoulder. I didn’t really care for the neck so went to one of my other Strats that I have, I have a bunch of them, I only use one but I have other ones just to have them around. Took neck of one of those and put on the body he built for me. Then, Seymour Duncan, world’s foremost maker of guitar pick-ups. Seymour is a friend of mine we both come up playing in club circuit in New Jersey and Philadelphia he did the same thing, we’re the same age we came up through the years in the same place.  He said to me, “I hear you’re retiring your old guitar”. I said yea, I can’t use it anymore, it killed my shoulder and also if someone stole it I’d have to like jump of a bridge or something” Seymour said, I’ll build you pick-ups and will sound just like it. He built me a couple of sets of pick-ups that is what is in there. If I set up my stage rig in the garage and if I go from the old to the new guitar it is very hard to tell the difference, he did an incredible job. That is my road guitar no, it is really a mutt! A dog of five different species.  Neck off and old one, a body build for me and Seymour’s made the pickups. It definitely plays wonderfully and sounds great It’s become my main road guitar. That is the one on the live album.

 

BD: Going to take you back now, what were your musical influences growing up in New Jersey

WT: My parents were music aficionados was great to have, they didn’t play they just loved music. For instance my Dad was into Jazz and big bands. There used be a radio show in Ocean City, New Jersey where I  grew up that played Big Band music and every week they would have a contest of trivia about big band musicians. He won it so many times that they disqualified him from calling in.  He knew everything and all he did was listen to Duke Ellington, Ben Goodman, Glenn Miller he just loved it. He was also very open to all music. I remember him telling me to check out this guy from Ashbury Park, Bruce Springsteen and I said I knew him from when he was in competing club bands.  Well he just made a record and it’s really good. My Mum was an incredible aficionado of music my big memories of her was in the other room I heard one of Ray Charles old blues albums before he had hits when he was doing R n’B on Atlantic. He was playing some Slow Blues song and my Mom was crying to the song. When they realized I really dug music they started taking me out my Dad would take me to black jazz cubs. They took me to see Ella Fitzgerald, Mum took me to see James Brown, Righteous Brothers, Lou Rawls Dad took me to see Clive McPhatter, Chuck Berry it was just really awesome

BD: If you were putting together the band of your dreams/perfect with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?

WT: I would have the Guys I play with right now in m y band that’s the best band I’ve ever had. Part of having a band is the chemistry between the players the communication between the players as evidenced by The Beatles for me the greatest band of all time. If you take them separately they are what they are. Put those four together it’s an unbelievable divine intervention type of thing it’s about the chemistry. Right now I think I have the best blues rock band in the universe as evidenced by the new live album.

 

Alive In Amsterdam – Mascot Record Group

Guitar & Vocals – Walter Trout
Keys – Sammy Avila
Bass – Johnny Griparic
Drums – Michael Leasure

Walter Trout is touring throughout 2016 including Europe & U.K. check out dates andvenues HERE

Bluesdoodles reviews

Scan0006

Battle Scars – Here

 

 

Walter Trout Alive In Amsterdam playing Hot Blues

Alive In Amsterdam – Here

Ol’ Glory, Bands and Music JJ Grey in Conversation

 Ol’ Glory, Bands and Music JJ Grey in Conversation

BD: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me after the sound check, which did sound very good outside, and before tonight’s show at The Tunnels on a sunny Sunday in Bristol.
JJGrey: No problem, yes it is like a warm day where I live in Jacksonville

BD: Is this your first time in Bristol?
JJGrey: I have played here before. It should be my third but the second time I was due to play Bristol the whole plan was de-railed. I was on a train from Paddington to Templemeads, just above the Tunnels and the train broke down around Slough so never got to the gig on time. So glad to be back in Bristol the tour bus outside ensured and looking forward to the show tonight

BD: Over the years your band or Mofro has changed tell us about your current line-up
JJGrey: It is a mix of new and established. As usual Denis Marion Trumpet and Todd Smallie Bass,
Craig Barnette on Drums has re-joined played on my second album Lochloosa with Zach Gilbert guitarist and trumpeter Marcus Parsley. The band works around the sound we produces dirty and funky. Mofro changes, and I have played with many fine musicians. Including Greyhounds (Anthony Farrell & Andrew Trube) who have a recording contract and doing their own.

BD: Your lyrics are powerful, they unfurl with a story that has to be told. Where do you get your inspiration for you songwriting?
JJGrey: Songwriting, just comes, it just happens. I try not to get too involved with the lyrics. Not to over think them. Writing songs is like a conversation sometimes you struggle to find the perfect word but like talking it normally just flows. Lyrics are for the voice they are the support. The voice then mimics the emotion and tells the story.
I believe everyone can write a song. It is about finding lyrics that express an emotion. BD: Really! I am certain that I do not have the skill to write a song. Example of what I am saying, a friend of the Greyhounds was in a tumultuous relationship and she wrote about it, the result a great number with great lines she captured the moment.

BD: Do you have a track on the album that is personal to you?
JJGrey: I love them all. If I had to pick one it would be The Island. The song was written quickly it gives the song a freshness. I wrote the song in the studio and is about where I live, in Jacksonville Florida, near the Florida/Georgia line.

BD: Your Latest Album, Ol Glory,with its dozen new songs is out on CD and Vinyl a growing retro trend – is that important to you?
JJGrey: Starting off with vinyl I have always loved vinyl my last album Georgia Warhorse was also released on vinyl. I would have done all my albums on vinyl but back in the eighties it became so thin, and poor quality with thin grooves and the demand fell. Now people want to buy vinyl often in combination with download for the regular playing. Not to play like we did in the day take to parties, leave around and then put nickels and dimes on the arm to reduce the effect of scratches.

BD: You are back in the UK do you find audiences different here compared to US & Europe?
JJGrey: The reality is the UK is more like USA there are so many connections we have lots in common including for many relatives we understand each other. Our good comedy’s work in the UK and vice versa.
Across Europe audiences are different Germany for example, are very quiet and then enthusiastic when the show is over. Across the UK there are many different vibes all are good Allow you to be different in your performance, sometimes it is quieter and other times the audience want to party. I modify the set list to fit the mood how I deliver a song and for quieter audience’s ballads fit in perfectly. Everybody is part of the show, I do not see the stage as an imaginary wall where it is us (the Band) and audience. An example of this I saw Blind Boys of Alabama the audience was in-tune with the show and I was moved to tears. Couple week’s later different audience and the set not as good as the audience did not connect. BD: I saw them in Cardiff and they were amazing with the audience joining in and the atmosphere was intense, were as I have been to gigs where the audience just sit and listen more like a classical performance. JJ Grey: Yes, I must play in Wales, BD: That be good some great venues in Cardiff that would appreciate the JJ Grey sound. JJ Grey: A show is like a good conversation there is a flow between stage and the audience. An analogy of what I am trying to say would be – If two people have a conversation and one talks and the other says nothing. The person who hasn’t spoken says well that wasn’t a good conversation. Musicians are the same we need feedback from the audience something beyond the performance and the music then gets its own energy and the conversation between performer and audience flows.

BD: Last night a Chapel tonight in the Tunnels underneath Temple Meads, two very quirky venues.
JJGrey: Yes, they are very different to each other with their own challenges. The Chapel was beautiful and had strict Db limits. We are not a loud band but we had to turn down the volume. The sound was good there was a different tone and suited the venue. Tonight I am hoping Bristol is hot, loud and wants to party and you to take the lead in raising the noise, he says with a laugh.

BD: You voice is central to the sound, do you take special care of the eighth instrument in JJ Grey and Mofro?
JJGrey: To tell the truth I have been so guilty in the past I have been singing since I was 17 and for thirty years took no notice of my voice. Things have changed, in the last 3-4 years, I have taken more notice of my vocals and look after it. It is now I feel in better shape than ever I can singer lower and higher than when I was 18! Yes, when on tour I suffer from some wear and tear by the end but after a day or two, it recovers. When singing three straight weeks that is not surprising. When I was with Alligator Records I always had the attitude you can’t beat me they nearly did when I had nineteen shows in seventeen shows, plus radio shows when in town. I did say that enough is enough after that tour.

BD If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?
JJGrey:
Bass: James Jamerson (he was bassist at Mowtown Records)
Drums: Roger Hawkins (Drummer at Muscle Shoals)
Guitars: Derek Trucks – Slide
Luther Dickinson
Trumpet:Clark Terry
Vocals: Donny Hathaway
Saxophone: Eddie Harris
Keys: Donny Hathaway

And I would fire myself, just have the joy of sitting back and listening every day.

Ol' Glory, Bands and Music JJ Grey in Conversation

 

Read about the Bristol gig HERE