Stevie Westwood Talking About Bad Touch Headline Tour

Stevie Westwood Talking About Bad Touch Headline Tour

Stevie Westwood Talking About Bad Touch Headline Tour

 

 

BD: Thank you for taking time to talk to Bluesdoodles again before you head out on a headline tour with Mollie Marriott, Celebrating the tour you have just released a video with the download available from Monday 23rd October.  The number Baby Get It On sounds fab love the inclusion of Mollie’s vocals.  Let’s start off with how did you decide on this Tina Turner Classic?
SW: We wanted a new number to promote the tour for our first headline tour. Delighted to have the amazing Mollie Marriott as our special guest real privilege she has such an amazing voice. Seeks our guitarist said let’s try this one and he had a cracking arrangement. We demoed it and recorded the number and sent it to Mollie. Mollie liked it as so she came up to the studio and we recorded the video. The whole this was a quick turnaround from Seeks first suggesting Baby Get It On and then half day in the studio recording the number.

 


 

BD: Bad Touch has been touring with some great acts including King King and recently Kentucky Headhunters how does it feel to be Headliners?

SW:  Headlining, yes feel bizarre weird place excited nervous, a good nervous will give chance for fans a chance to come out and support us. We are planning to get everyone who has seen us play live out the nights will be good value for money. Good times to be had. The support from Mollie will be immense. So we are asking everyone who has heard a radio play or seen us supporting some amazing acts, come out and support live music.  We have as everyone keeps saying come a long way in a relatively short time we just now have to keep moving forward.
BD: How do you keep the music contemporary when the influences are clearly out of the 1970’s, that bluesy Southern Rock sound. How do you manage not to be a retro band, but one with a relevance for audiences here and now despite being compared to Black Crowes and others?

SW: Ha! Yes, we do keep getting compared to bands of the ‘70’s. We didn’t go out to do that. Yes, we are all fans of many bands from Lynyrd Skynyrd through to Led Zeppelin. The music we write is what we want to write the music we want to play to audiences. We are also influenced by contemporary bands, including Temperance Movement, The Answer, Rival Sons and Blackberry Smoke. Listening and absorbing music from a variety of bands keeps our finger on the pulse. The truth is Bad Touch sound is the one we have shaped by all the members of the band.  You have to keep going nowadays, writing the music you want to write, Bad Touch are creating a sound that is getting us heard.
BD: Your album Truth Be Told was out last year and has gained you lots of fans with radio airplay. Will we be hearing some new music in the Headline set list?

SW:  Yes thanks to stations like Planet Rock for the support. We have four new songs that will probably be on the new album which we are planning to release in the first half of 2018. It is good to play them live, can see what people think. How audience reacts to them and keeps the set list fresh.  So yes there will be some new music on the set list every night we play.

Check out Tour Venues, Dates and a click away from buying your Ticket  HERE

BD: For people who have missed out on seeing Bad Touch Live how would you describe your sound and live performance. What makes Bad Touch the band to see in 2017.
SW:  Mmmm… honestly that is hard to answer.  None of us has seen ourselves play live or reviewed our shows! What I can say is we play to make people feel good about themselves. We are a feel good Rock N’ Roll Band. We aim to break down the space between band and audiences we want to create that one good party feel. You have reviewed us what do you say?

BD: Ha! That is cheating turning the tables. Yes, feel good music that makes you smile. You certainly are a high energy performers that raise the temperature of any venue.
SW: Glad you have enjoyed the show.

BD: Stevie, you are the vocalist and frontman of Bad Touch share with our readers how you interact with the band.  From your performance on stage, it always appears that you are having fun.
SW:  Truthfully why would we be doing this, playing in a band, if we were not having fun? Without being too pessimistic it is certainly not for the money! As a band, we look at it as we are all brothers together. We all communicate on stage I find a raised eyebrow works well along with a quick word in ears. We do talk to each other between numbers. The fun is doing the numbers different to the studio version, keeping it fresh reacting to the audience building a conversation between the band and the audiences.

BD: Having seen you play live a few times, you always include a couple of covers how do you choose them. Also, will the new single Baby Get It On make an appearance in the forthcoming tour?
SW: Mmm…. playing number live, the stage could be cramped come to a show and find out. Would be fun Mollie is such a great singer full of talent. So may make an appearance. We always have a couple covers up our sleeves, audiences know these songs which is great if it is the first time they are seeing us live, Secondly used to feel up the time of the set if we have run ahead of ourselves, in fact, that is generally the reason why we add them into the set.

BD: The world of music is tough. Bad Touch seems to have an upward trajectory getting your music heard is a challenge and you have had lots of Radio Plays from the album. What impact both positive and negative is of downloads and streaming services such as YouTube, Sound Cloud, Spotify for Bad Touch’s music and getting the sound heard to a wide audience?
SW:
Music business is tough. Thank you, we like to think we are moving upwards long may that continue. I am old fashioned I like to buy the CD. I like building my collection and being able to browse and choose what I am going to play. I cherish what I have bought.  That said I am definitely not poo pooing anyone who listens to their music using streaming services. That said though I do feel that there has been a huge devaluation in the value of music now have the ability to have what you want without paying(or only paying minimal amount) for it. It is very hard, don’t know really we use YouTube and Sound Cloud for our music and it is a way to find music. I do though believe that streaming stops people from having to pay for music if you pay you put more value on the music you are listening to. BD: Read recently that people only listen to few seconds of intro before trying another track. SW: Yes, attention spans are now so short need to catch people attention in first few seconds or they move on. Technology is both amazing and scary everything is available in the instant which definitely has positives and negatives. I still like having my CD’s on a shelf they are always available even when Wi-Fi is down.

 BD: What other plans and excitements have you got planned for 2018 following a very busy 2017?

SW: Taking it as it comes. First priority is the new album follow-up to Truth Be Told. Bookings for 2018 are coming in so we will be keeping getting out there performing in front of audiences.
BD: What was the first album you bought and what is the most recent?

SW: Big Willie Style – Will Smith Like an Arrow by Blackberry Smoke
BD: We asked you your fantasy band when we talked last year so what are you listening to at the moment; whether on the tour bus or relaxing?

SW: Everything and anything. When out on tour we all bring the music we are listening to. We talk about it what we like about it.  All that we listen to sculpt the Bad Touch sound as we get down and write new stuff together. Currently, we have been listening to lots of Country having been on Tour with Kentucky Headhunters. Some great music out there to be discovered.

Bad Touch are:

Stevie Westwood
Rob Glendinning
Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seeking
George Dewry
Michael Bailey

BD: Once again thanks for your time and looking forward to seeing you with Bad Touch and Mollie Marriott at The Tunnels, Bristol

 

High Temperature Conversation With JW Jones

High Temperature Conversation With JW Jones

High Temperature Conversation With JW Jones

BD: I was delighted when I was sent your latest album High Temperature out Friday 20th October 2017 the follow-up to Belmont Boulevard to review.  But first – let’s go back to the early days

 

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Ottawa, Ontario?
JWJ:
JWJ: I started out playing drums at 13 years old.  I was into classic rock: Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix etc. As I explored their influences, I discovered blues greats like BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, and Muddy Waters. Then, when I was 15 I saw BB King live in Ottawa. I went to the show as a drummer and left wanting to pick up a guitar.

Growing up in Ottawa, there were a couple of great blues clubs. The Rainbow Bistro is still open, and when I’m in town I play there. Another club, Tucson’s, is closed. I saw tons of great blues bands there when I was younger and became friends with so many of my musical heroes. Most touring blues bands don’t come through Ottawa anymore, other than to perform at the Blues Festival.
When the festival started, it was truly a blues festival. Now it’s more of a general music festival with everyone from Kiss to Lady Gaga. But they still bring in great blues artists like Buddy Guy, Dr John, Luther Allison, The Fabulous Thunderbirds etc.

BD: High Temperature is certainly getting noticed for all the right reasons.  Awards seem to follow your releases including for High Temperature produced by Nashville-based Colin Linden, which recently won “Best Self-Released CD” at the 2017 ‘International Blues Challenge’ (via Blues Foundation in Memphis).

JWJ: It was a huge surprise to be nominated since I had not heard of the category. I thought the International Blues Challenge(IBC) was about performances. I have been a judge at the IBC, which was a great experience. The Ottawa Blues Society approached me saying they wanted to submit High Temperature. Out of 93 entries, I heard I was in the top 5 or 6, which was exciting enough. When they announced that it had won, it was a nice surprise.

BD: Tell us about the making of the album number NINE. BD: The album is full of blues, with the genre being mixed in with other influences including Country, was this due to Nashville-based Colin Linden’s influence?

JWJ: Colin Linden is well-versed in roots music. He was mentored by Howlin’ Wolf, so he has a long history with the blues. He also works on the TV show “Nashville” as the musical director, so he brought a combination of influences to the album.

One song that comes to mind is “Where Do You Think I Was”, which I wrote in drop “D” tuning on guitar at home. I had no idea which way it would go in the studio. When I went in there, the studio musicians played their parts, then vocal harmonies were added. All of a sudden, it sounded like it had a bit of a country tinge to it.
My last two albums were recorded in Nashville with producers. This one with Colin Linden, and my previous album, Belmont Boulevard, with Tom Hambridge. Both producers assumed that the albums would be made using studio musicians. I had to fight to get my own band on a few songs. I believe it is important to have my own touring band on the album because they bring a different approach to the songs. They know blues music well since it is what we play every day on the road.

BD: Does the Title of the album High Temperature have any particular significance?

JWJ: “High Temperature” is a song by Little Walter, which we recorded for the album. I thought it would be a good title for the record because it ties into our live show, which is high energy.

BD: The album is inspirational with the track Who I Am being deeply personal as you share life experiences. Do you find it easy to open up using the power of your lyrics, vocals and guitar?

JWJ: That changed on the last record. Before that, I had not written anything really personal. For Belmont Boulevard, I mentioned to Tom Hambridge that I wanted to write a song about my childhood. He said to do it. Once I did this and got a positive reaction, I felt liberated. So on High Temperature I dug deeper with the song “Who I Am”. It is so moving to get emails from people saying they went through similar experiences. It is a beautiful thing to have your songs appreciated and understood.

BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. How do you set about writing your music is it words first or sometimes a guitar lick or riff that inspires you?

JWJ: Songs are all individual. Some come all together at once, but that is rare. My brain works in two ways. One side gives me the chord changes, riffs that develop the melody and the other side the words that become the lyric. I then play match-up with the tune to the lyrics to the melodies. It takes a lot of trial and error just have to keep going until it clicks.

 BD: Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?

JWJ: Every song is different. Some come together all at once, but that is rare. In my brain, there are two sides to writing a song. One side is the chord changes and riffs. The other side is the words and lyrics. I then have to match the chords with the lyrics and melody. Sometimes I try a few different ideas with the same lyrics. It takes a lot of trial and error, so I just keep at it until it clicks.

BD: Having toured the U.K. for the first time in 2016, long overdue having heard you and the band play in Swansea. You are back in the U.K. in November. With 17 dates will you be touring with the same band?

JWJ: The band is Laura Greenberg on bass, who was on the first U.K. tour and has been in the band for over five years, and we’ve got a great new drummer, Will Laurin. The UK tour last year was my favourite tour to date. I was nervous about stepping into the unknown, but the response was incredible with people travelling miles to see us on multiple shows. We really started to develop a fan base.

Now we are coming back to new towns and venues. We are taking a risk by renting venues, when we normally get paid to play, so we have to sell tickets in advance. On the positive side, there is a huge potential for growth. I would love to make this a regular tour, so we need to get everybody talking about us on social media and building a buzz for the tour. I loved the British experience and I am looking forward to going back.

BD: With new album and touring do you have any exciting plans for 2018 and beyond?

JWJ: My goal is to keep playing festivals, clubs, and theatres. I am also planning a live record for 2018. The last nine albums have been studio recordings, so it will be a first. People have been asking about a live record for years, so I think it’s about time.

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

Drums: Richard Innes
Bass: Larry Taylor / James Jamerson
Guitar: Jimmie Vaughan
Harmonica: Little Walter
Organ: Jimmy Smith
Piano: Chuck Leavell
Vocals: Aretha Franklin / BB King

 

Find out more about JW Jones at – www.jw-jones.com

Read Bluesdoodles Reviews for JW Jones:-

High Temperature –  Review HERE

Beaumont Boulevard –  Review HERE

JW Jones Live in the U.K. HERE

JW Jones 2017 UK Tour Information HERE

 

High Temperature Conversation With JW Jones

 

 

A Thousand Horses In Conversation with Bluesdoodles

A Thousand Horses In Conversation with Bluesdoodles

 

A Thousand Horses In Conversation with Bluesdoodles

 

 

BD: I was delighted when Wilful PR sent me a review copy of your new album Bridges and the opportunity to find out yourselves, influence and lots more. When I saw you play live at Rockstock last December for me you were the band of the Saturday night.

A Thousand Horses, have answered the questions as a team hence four bands of fantasy and delight. Read more for an insight into Michael Hobby Lead Vocals; Bill Satcher Lead Guitar,  Zach Brown Guitar and Vocal & Graham Deloach Bass and Vocal

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up?
Thousand Horses:

Graham: I loved all of the classic rock n roll growing up, and still do! Led Zeppelin       is my favorite band of all time
Zach: My parents listened to oldies in the car when I was growing up. The first concert I can remember going to was The Beach Boys out at the lake near our house. I didn’t learn that there was music made after 1970 until a friend played the song Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me when I was 10 years old.
Bill:  The Beatles
Hobby: The Black Crowes

 BD: A Thousand Horses are making an impact, how did you get together and form the band and what is the significance of the name?

Thousand Horses:
Hobby: We formed the band in Nashville in 2010. Bill and I grew up together in Newberry, SC and met when we were 12 and 13 years old in a local music store. Graham is bills cousin so we would all 3 hang out every summer and play music. We formed ATH when we met Zach through a mutual friend in 2010. We named the band after a song we wrote when we formed the title A Thousand Horses.

We all write in the band together, separately, and with other writers here in town. Everyone in the band brings a great deal of creativity to song writing and our sound whether it be lyric, melody, or music, it’s a group thing. You never know where a song can come from or inspiration can spark!

BD: Bridges, is your follow-up album to your success with your debut Southernality last year. Produced by the Band, Corey Crowder & Dann Huff. With many involved in producing the sound who gets the final production say?

Thousand Horses:
Bill: Well, Corey Crowder and Dann Huff both really wanted to make the best A Thousand Horses record that we could, so at the end of the day we were the ones with final approval on the album and they wanted it to be that way. But they’re so badass that there wasn’t much to be debated about in the end.

BD:  How did you choose the tracks and then decide that Preachin’ To The Choir should be the single to proclaim the album?

Thousand Horses:
Graham: We love every song that is on the new album. We are always writing and creating new music and these are some of our favorites that we wanted our fans to hear. We chose ‘Preachin’ to the Choir’ as our first single because we thought it was a great song for our fans and a great first impression and representation of the new musical project (Bridges) as a whole.
 Bill: I think that every new song we write, record, lyric we jot down or melody we try and refine, we are always pushing it and ourselves to be better than what we have done before. So, in a way, yes it’s more challenging because we are pushing harder to be better. So most the pressure or challenge comes from within ourselves. As far as the album title “Bridges” goes, we decided to name the project that because we feel that song’s meaning encapsulates everything we have been through in the process of creating this new music. It’s a song about light heartily looking back and being able to laugh at the mistakes you made along the road of life. It kind of defines our point of view at this time in our lives.

BD: Bridges has seven of the thirteen tracks recorded live. Six of them at Metropolis Studio in London what do you feel this approach adds to the music and what made Metropolis the place to be for Bridges?

Thousand Horses
Zach: I think we wanted to show something real and raw with the Metropolis sessions. So much music coming out these days is so computer heavy that sometimes people don’t even know what artists actually sound like. We wanted to do something stripped down, one take, just us and our instruments. Metropolis has one of the only direct to vinyl machines left, so it was the perfect place to capture the live half of the record.

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

Thousand Horses:
Hobby: Song writing has always been a passion of mine since I got my first guitar and learned to play it. Instead of learning other people’s songs I would make my own up. Lyrically I always wanted to have truth in my stories. A lot of what I write about is real life things that I have lived or been a part of.

BD: The music Industry is constantly evolving with changes often not for the better, how have the changes impacted on Thousand Horses Country Rock style of music?

Thousand Horses:
Graham: I think that the music has become more accessible as the industry and the genre of country music grows. This allows us to reach more people with our music.

 BD: I am sure you have many plans for 2017 and beyond for the band do you plan to tour UK and Europe?

Thousand Horses:
Zach: We love playing in the UK and are really looking forward to getting over to the rest of Europe. We have a few things in the works so stay tuned!

BD: Is there anything you want to say to your fans reading this interview?

Thousand Horses:
Hobby: Thank you for your continued support and believing in our music. We love ya and can’t wait to rock with you soon.

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

Thousand Horses:
Graham: Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes on drums, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd on bass/vocals, Billy Powell of Lynyrd Skynyrd on keys, Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers on guitar, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin on lead vocal.
Zach: Gotta start with the rhythm section cause it’s the backbone of the band. I always wanted to play drums like Keith Moon growing up so I’d have him on drums and Ashton Barrett, who played with Bob Marley, on bass. Then I’d add my favorite guitar duo, Keith Richards and Ron Wood, because they sound cool playing anything! I’d round it out with Freddie Mercury as the front man.
Bill: Rich Robinson – Guitar, vocal. Joe Walsh – Guitar, vocal. Liam Gallagher – vocal. Steve Gorman – Drums. Benmont Tench – Keys. Paul McCartney – Bass, vocal. Produced by Jeff Lynne.
Hobby: Tom Petty, Dwight Yokam, Max Martin, Jon Paul Jones, Steven Tyler and Prince on drums.

 

Thank you for taking the time to chat with Bluesdoodles.  read the review for the latest album Bridges – HERE

A Thousand Horses In Conversation with Bluesdoodles

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

Danny Core Shouts About Broken Witt Rebels Music

Danny Core Shouts About Broken Witt Rebels MusicBD: I was delighted when I listened to Georgia Pine for the first time I was instantly excited by the music. The EP had an energy and freshness and makes me just want to get to hear the band live.

Before we talk about touring and the album Broken Witt Rebels is a new band for many so Bluesdoodles readers would be interested in getting to know you

BD: Let start with your first musical influences growing up in Birmingham?
DC:
We all listened to the music of the nineties, Brit Pop including Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene Danny Core Shouts About Broken Witt Rebels Musicwho were from Birmingham. There are so many bands from the Midlands that have influenced us and who we admire from Sabbath through to UB40 via Zeppelin and Duran Duran.  We have definitely been inspired by early Rolling Stones, The Doors, both variants of Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green era and Stevie Nicks.

I began picking up the guitar and playing along to Oasis. I then started to play rhythm chords, etc. I am great at one of them you decide. No seriously, I am a chord monkey on the guitar I leave the rest to James. Having given him the foundation, I underpin him with some great chords.

BD: Genres have become fixed putting musicians into categories how do you define your music.

DC: http://www.brokenwittrebels.comBroken Witt Rebels are a mix of everything Rock with soul and blues. My vocals have a soulful tone we are a super-mix of greatness crossing genres, Whatever we play pop or rock or blues we will be the best.

BD: Well you certainly have musical drive a powerhouse Joe Cocker Midlands Rock!

DC: Like that.

BD: Tell us about the formation of the band and the roles you all play in developing the BWR sound especially your distinctive vocals which have a growl and also twists to empathise with the lyrics…

DC: We work together we all contribute equally. The start of a new track could be guitar lick from James or a crazy drum roll and we go with that. Luke may lay down a great bass line or I may mumble a phrase and we go with that. We build from each other as we jam out in the practice room. I have a good voice, we are all striving to reach the point where we are masters of our instruments. We are all good musicians, good friends all creating a high profile sound. It is the collective effort that creates the BWR sound. Our philosophy is whatever is for the greatest good of the band. We try to play for each other, building on strengths and so often we have realised less is often more. No-one is on a personal ego drive, we are all on the same wavelength.

We do not as a band try to be clever. BWR is not about haircuts, tossing hair around the stage or widdly show-off guitar. It is about the music that we want to connect with the audiences. Yes, I am the front man as the vocalist. The band will not let me become above the rest we are only interested in doing our music as a collective. It is about the four of us owning our music. I will never be the enforcer, head of the band we are together Broken Witt Rebels.

BD: Having reviewed the EP Georgia Pine, tell us about inspiration behind the name and selection of the five tracks

DC: The name of the EP comes from an old stoner reference ‘As high as Georgia Pine’. The starting point was a picture Luke took in Florida of Georgia Pine. James had a guitar lick and I said Sweet Georgia Pine and it worked. I explored the phrase and realised that it was what we wanted to do musically to be the highest trees on the circuit.

Choosing the five tracks was about creating a short-list from a number we had. With an EP you can continually develop and re-invent as you can hear when we play live and on the vinyl that is now available. The tracks worked well together and the two singles got airplay including Planet Rock.

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

DC: Lyrics happen, when I practice I mumble things, sing melody and lines from top of my head. When I replay something always stands out then using that to write about my life or something that is happening in the band or something I connect with. I do not sit down and write a song as you would a poem. It is quite fluid, happens from a phrase or word and grows from that point.

 BD: I am sure you have many plans for 2017 and beyond for Broken Witt Rebels following on from the excitement of 2016 festivals and recognition as Best Rock Act – 1st Unsigned Music Awards.

DC: We are starting the year off picking back up supporting King King and into the mix is opening for local blues guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor and then our headlining Roadstar tour with Bad Touch. Through March and April playing across England, with visits to Scotland and Wales. The combination of opening for bands and then a tour will reinforce and expand our fan base.

One thing for sure is we are hungry to play our music, get noticed. We want to be a success, to be remembered we are not looking for fifteen minutes of fame then fade away.

We want to be the best band in the world, recognised for our great music, fantastic shows slaying everyone down with our music. We want a career, to make ourselves and our families proud we are aiming for sold out world tours. Danny, misquoting (Bette Davies. “oh Jerry, don’t ask for the moon. We Have the stars” – Now Voyager) but very apt we are aiming for the moon because then we will fall in with the stars – suits this ambitious young band that are determined to be heard.

2017 we definitely need a new album, not to have one would be a massive missed opportunity. We have the material we are ready to go. BWR fans will definitely see us playing in as many towns as possible across UK as well as playing Europe and hopefully dipping our toes into USA.  Musn’t forget we are playing up a mountain in Wales at The Steelhouse Festival which will be fun. 

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
DC:  Well let me think? It would be ……..

Drums: James Dudley
Bass: Luke Davies
Guitar: James Tranter
Vocals: (laughing ) Me!!!
Yes, I could think of the legends but that what they are from the past we are the future.

When asked about what music he is currently listening to the response was Georgia Pine, Demo’s new Broken Witt Rebels music I do not have time for anything else. It is all about our music making it the best we are hungry for recognition through music that is great and to be instantly recognised as Broken Witt Rebels.

Danny Core Shouts About Broken Witt Rebels Music

Keep checking the website for tour dates. Broken Witt Rebels

 Watch this space Broken Witt Rebels will be playing music for you in a town near you very soon.

 

BD: What a fun interview these are four young men with the determination and drive to make it in the music industry as they say they are hungry not for fame they want to be recognised instantly be their brand of rocking blues filled with soul.

 Danny Core Shouts About Broken Witt Rebels Music

Big Boy Bloaters Journey to Luxury Hobo Blues


Big Boy Bloaters Journey to Luxury Hobo Blues

Big Boy Bloaters Journey to Luxury Hobo Blues

BD:  Thanks, Big Boy Bloater for taking the time to chat with Bluesdoodles today. I was amazed that nearly a year has gone by since I reviewed your excellent album Luxury Hobo. Before we talk about the tour let’s start with the album. Review can be found HERE

BD:  You have been quite open that the inspiration behind Luxury Hobo was your personal journey with depression

BBB: Think I had come through all the bad places and was in a good place when I was writing for the album, I had been down at the bottom but now in a good place looking back that is the inspiration for many of the lyrics and melody.

Sitting down, a good song may be grungy but not so grungy that it is hard to pick out the melody. It is the melody that attracts and makes people go back to a song and listen again.

BD: The title is intriguing title life of a Hobo is not normally associated with luxury!

BBB: It is a comment on the current way many of us live. Constantly on the move but wanting luxury. We definitely move around more from place to place; yes we travel but we want to surround ourselves with comfort, glitz and definitely luxury. Deep down we can’t have both.

BD: The video for It Came Out Of The Swamp was definitely attention grabbing how did you come up with the idea of using Lego building blocks?

BBB: Part of coming out of the Breakdown was stock animation as a hobby to keep my mind busy. I would grab a bag of Lego out of the loft and build, photograph and animate. Around this time Lego brought out the ‘swamp monster’ set so it was the perfect combination Lego and myself were in harmony and the video was born. Yes, it has had and continues to attract positive attention.

BD: Do you have a favourite/ special track on the album? And why?

Truly, I love all the tracks but it is the title track Luxury Hobo Blues that is most personal. It is semi-autobiographical I have traveled a lot with my music. It is about keep taking the tablets and moving on. Playing music has taken me all over the world it has been fantastic. The experiences have been good and bad. From travelling first class to being in the back of a transit.

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up

Mostly from my Dad’s records of from the 1950’s/60’s lots of rock n’ roll started me down the road of exploring the blues. At the end of the 70’s/ beginning of the 80’s lot s of the old bluesmen were travelling around Slim Gaillard and others. I love the way that the blues does not have to be played perfectly, not in tune these are the bits that give the blues character and flavour. John Lee Hooker listen to him, they are great songs, analyse the music and they are not that good but the feel and emotion makes his blues special.

BD: 2017 starts with you touring including a festival. Do you enjoy playing your music live.

BBD: I love playing my music live, and tracks from Luxury Hobo work so well live. Looking forward to getting on stage meeting people early 2017 and the April HRH Blues Festival in Sheffield. Not played there since the first one in Wales so looking forward to it. I do have some new music as it has been an eventful year and may even sneak a couple in at the live shows. There is definitely lots of life left in the album and I am chomping at the bit to get out there and deliver the songs live on stage. I know that people love to see something a bit different when a tune is performed live. It is always a highlight for them if they notice the band are giving each other that look when the music has taken them to a different place and we have to pull something special out of the bag to get back on track. It is good that little bit of living and playing dangerously. I remember once at The 100 club, I broke a string, something that rarely happens to me. I had no spare guitar so had to replace the string on stage whilst continuing to sing.  That is live music as it happens you just have to be there to experience those moments.

 BD: What other plans do you have for 2017?

BBD: Following on from the early run of dates will be doing festivals through the summer and a more extensive autumn tour is being organised in the UK and Europe so keep checking out the website.  I am writing new music and hope to get back in the studio for the next Big Boy Bloater album.

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

Drums: Earl Palmer

Bass: Willie Dixon

Guitar: Myself (it will be such fun to play with these guys)

Keys: Ike Turner

Vocals: Howlin’ Wolf

This is a super group it will be so much fun to play with these guys. How long it will last before a fight not so sure. Be great music but probably a short-lived group!


Big Boy Bloater & The LiMiTs

Big Boy Bloaters Journey to Luxury Hobo BluesAnnounce UK Tour Dates

Tickets available: HERE 

28th January – The Anvil, Basingstoke: BBB’s Lonely Blues Show
23rd February – Fat Lil’s, Oxford
17th March – The Railway, Winchester w/ Jack J Hutchinson
18th March – The Freebird, Newcastle-Under-Lyme
19th March – THE 100 CLUB, LONDON w/Jack J Hutchinson & DJ Jim Jones
16th April – HRH Blues Fest, O2 Academy Sheffield
28th April – VHRA Vintage Nationals, Santa Pod Raceway, Northamptonshire

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

Conversation with Joe Louis Walker Everybody Wants a Piece

Everybody Wants a Piece Interview Joe Louis Walker

Everybody Wants a Piece Interview Joe Louis Walker

Joe Louis Walker Adding Blues to UK SummerBD: Big thank you for taking time out of your busy UK tour to chat with Bluesdoodles. It was a real privilege when Mascot gave Bluesdoodles the opportunity to review Everybody Wants A Piece album

JLW: Happy to chat we are at the lovely venue The Convent. Had a good English breakfast and yesterday we had a day off and got to see Stonehenge. So things always work out when plans change.

 

BD: Lets start at the beginning. What were your musical influences growing up on the West Coast, in San Franciso?
JLW: There has been quite a few, music is a constant influence. My first though is definitely my Father. He was from the South and grew up in the area where lots of the old blues guys came from, ploughing in the fields with Howlin’ Wolf. From a very young age the music was just there. It was a Mum and Dad thing, they listened to music on the record player and I was the kid that gravitated to music. It was definitely Mother and Father influences that set me on the trajectory as I was attuned to the music it was a form of happiness and comfort as a kid. I wondered how music came out of the record player, how you made music. Other friends played football, I wanted a guitar to figure out how they did it and made that sound. At school we had the opportunity to borrow instruments. The guitar was always in high demand and checked-out of the loan system like the favourite book in a library! My parents couldn’t afford to buy me one, so I tried out other instruments the violin, then the accordion and the Harp. I was okay on the violin I still have one at home but the guitar captured my imagination. By the age of fourteen I was playing the guitar.

BD: Blues runs deep and you have collaborated with a diverse group of first-class artists including Buddy Guy, Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Bonnie Raitt to name a few. Everyone likes to read about a good or bad experience of collaboration what are your recollections?
JLW: Wow collaboration. I have been fortunate and have collaborated with so many of the greats. The list is huge including John Lee Hooker and Herbie Hancock. I am really a student of music for my whole life learning, absorbing from the likes of Ike Turner. I was affected by BB King & Willie Dixon they shared so much learning about music and so much more. How to travel, manage pay roll taxes and conduct yourself on stage and above all simple tips like tucking shirt into underpants so it doesn’t ride up over your trousers on stage. Simple stuff but invaluable. Collaboration is the exchange of ideas and style developing your music and working together. Collaboration gives you a road map – follow the right road, not the wrong road as gospel music says.

The adversity that the old guys went through was incomprehensible but it made the blues. My Dad laughed when I was 13/14 years old at guys coming over and playing the blues and younger guys like Bo Diddley. He said about Yardbirds why white guys want to play the blues. We are trying to get away to make money it was frowned upon as this poor people music. Real Blues guys at the time were not popular. Those who really appreciated them were young English white guys they digged the blues, wanted to know the blues. For the guys who wrote the music, it wasn’t commercial. The likes of Chuck Berry would find out that his songs were number 1 all over the world, but not by you! Accepting someone else enjoying more success with your material than you, that you invented it hurts right. It is the dichotomy of the blues. Some were accepting the likes of Muddy and BB. Being bitter just eats you up inside. Better to celebrate the music that was “inclusive” speaking to the whole world. Not pure, but mixed-up, re-packaged, redone.
Music is and always will be art that speaks to the soul. Ground breakers including, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davies all spoke the language we wanted to hear. Music connects us brings us all together. Reacts to politics, relationships, life all put into music.

If you put into a room every type of musician – classical, rap, hip hop, jazz and are asked to play one song I can guarantee (laughing) yes guarantee it will be the Blues. Why? It is the Common denominator the root of modern music.

BD: Tell our readers about the inspiration of the album Everybody Wants A Piece and does the title reflect how you feel?
JWL: The title is not about me but the Hi-tech world we live in. It is the observation that in the age of the internet we look at so much and feel we should have so much, should be better. Everybody wants a bit of fame, happiness riches. Everybody Wants A Piece is a trajectory of how to get to this by trying this and that to achieve success. Being successful is a huge driver, to have mega riches, mega this and mega that through mega promotions. I know people who are fabulously famous but trapped in a gilded cage. Everybody Wants A Piece of that fame. You can also superimpose the title onto lots of things it is generic making it for a songwriter a cool thing.

On the album, the band and myself played and sung everything, no out of town backing singers or extra musicians. We played in the studio and it was recorded this was the way I grew up making records. There has been recording studio battles regarding separation with the guitarist in one booth and each person separated. I was recording twenty years ago when Scotty Moore, the recording engineer who also backed Elvis Presley in the early days; I went to look where to stand behind a screen and he said “No. Stand in the middle.” I asked what about the bleeding of guitar on drums, Scotty said the bleeds we love it. Elvis, Fats Domino all did it this way with often just one microphone in the middle of the room. Mistakes, as Miles Davis said there are no mistakes. It is just jazz if there is a mistake it makes music real. If it (recorded music) is too perfect it is not human just technical. They used a pitch blender to get a single note in a sequence perfect by isolating it if too flat or sharp. Auto-tuning takes the meaning out of singing. I like my music real and that is what we achieved in the mix of styles of Everybody Wants A Piece.

BD: Tell us a bit about the band
JWL:
Played together over the years. Lenny Bradford on Bass has been with me for 7-8 years. Played with Bo Diddly, Moody Blues and many more, so brings deep bass grooves. Completing the rhythm section is drummer Byron Cage who is like a son. Then on keys on the album I had a choice of two, Phillip Young and Jimmy Smith. The band is like a rotating family we have covered a lot of space over the years. The musicians reflect the lot of variety there is in roots music. Not pure blues from the likes of Chicago /Mississippi but blues that is of my generations. Younger people growing up with wider influences rock, pop and FM radio, festivals such as Monterey when I was growing up in San Francisco. We were always discovering things. Grateful Dead lived up the road, Sly Stone. Then there were the blues guys coming out and gigs where it was a mix of styles like Jefferson Aeroplane, or James Cotton a Jazz quartet. I have been fortunate to have experienced a full dose of everything musical. All shape who I am today. I have never been a blues player, I have listened and played jazz, rock-blues. Perfect education as I listened to all styles, keep your ears, heart and mind open is how you learn. I like Peter Green as much as I like Sun Seals or George Jones almost as much as Howlin [Wolf]; John Lee Hooker as much as BB [King] and Bob Marley as much as Gil Scott-Heron and so on. I enjoy all music whether heard in Synagogue, Nashville, Mississippi it makes no difference music connects. Musicians love to meet up and discuss music across the genres.

BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting? Is it always personal?
JWL:
The guitar captured my imagination. Not everyone gets the intricacy of a musician playing. Whereas the spoken word is the first to grab your attention so lyrics are vital. The first rhythm that people hear is the drums. The chords shape the mood Majors are uplifting Minors associated with not being so happy. Chuck Berry’s Back In USA and Sweet Sixteen are in Major chords and push the blues. A sad lyric will always have a minor chord. Lyrics and the voice is how we communicate the feeling, via the message of the lyrics. Vocals communicate when softly sung or really hard you don’t learn when to use which approach overnight it is by trial and error and lots of practice. You can draw the crowds in with both harsh and soft when you get it right.
Lyrics get inspiration everywhere from sayings. In the past when in England band travelled in the van, I took the train. The Rhythm of the train, click of the wheels and conversations heard were all inspiring. Some are topical, others autobiographical. Sayings for me are interesting the little things people say like ‘Lie’. Lie your pants on fire, Inspiration can be found when you pick up the paper. So much to do and say it is about keeping your eyes, ears and mind open and let the inspiration flow in. The world is rich with so much, full of communicating. If you sing about being happy or life’s tribulations 9 out of 10 people listening will have been through it too. Anyone can then relate to the lyrics you are communicating. Two trains are running, but one ain’t going in my direction. So do what you want to do take your own road.

BD: Tell Bluesdoodles readers about Blues For Peace the grass root movement you are involved with?
JWL:
Started when my friend Michael Packer. Michael is the same generation lived through the 1960’s we had to march and demonstrate for women’s rights, interracial relationships, anti-Vietnam protests. Right now especially in the last ten years, there has been incredible divisions in society, they are harmful. Beheadings on the internet, blowing up buildings, music venues such as Bataclan in Paris, we have politicians who are incredibly narcissistic talking about dropping a nuclear bomb on Europe. It is so negative. So how can we counteract and not be negative? We can Do Blues for Peace. Then partnered by UNHCR by Unesco and UN with 200 countries linked playing Blues for Peace from Israel to China to Lebanon. The loudest voice the craziest acts get noticed with 24-hour news the biggest gets the most attention. Blues for Peace is part of a conversation to negate this every little bit helps. The majority of people in every country, from every religion, wants to live life peacefully get along with it. They do not go to bed worrying about gays marrying or refugees getting into their homes it is just certain segments of politicians and sections of religion. Blues for Peace is carrying on the message of John Lennon, Give Peace a Chance, Bob Dylan Blowing in The Wind, Jimi Hendrix Peace Sign etc.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?
JWL
: Now that is a good question and a trick question what is a perfect band? It has been done putting together a bunch of stars and they suck as a band. A band is a group of musicians and personalities that work together. Now Muddy Waters first band that was something everybody playing its part. Put together greatest Rock n Roll band they would have to want to play collectively. In reality, they would argue about what the band should play, who takes the lead and the interpretation of the song. Yes for me it was Muddy Water’s first band that really shone.

JoeLouisWalker_01_byMarilynStringerThank you so much, Joe Louis, for taking the time for such and in-depth conversation about music, the world, peace and so much more.

Last night of the tour 13th June The Convent catch it live in Stroud or via Netgig wherever you are

Bluesdoodles review of Everybody Wants A Piece – HERE

Coleen Rennison Giving Voice To No Sinner

Coleen Rennison Giving Voice To No Sinner

Coleen Rennison Giving Voice To

No Sinner

 

 

BD: Big thank you for taking time out of your busy life to chat with Bluesdoodles. 
CR: Thank you for taking an interest it will be fun talking about music and stuff.
BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Vancouver?
CR: Laughing, My Girl, from The Temptations, it was how the song is sung at the end had a big effect on me as did all the Motown sound. I was obsessed so was in a 1960’s cover girl group. Other major influences were the songs of Grease and American Graffetti. Then there was the early rock n roll which I have always loved like Chuck Berry.

BD: Tell us a little bit about the band No Sinner and how you work with the other members and the making of Old Habits Die Hard which has a different sound from Boo Hoo Hoo.
CR: This album [Old Habits Die Hard] was written with the full band it was a band enterprise, very different from making Boo Hoo Hoo (Laughing). With Boo Hoo Hoo the material was basically written and fixed in place before the group had been created. So the exciting part of Old Habits Die Hard, is that it has an organic feel. It was created with lots of input from many rather than from my own personal life. The music came about in different ways, on our latest album sometimes evolving from a jam, sometimes the lyrics created the melody. Or we had a great melody and the lyrics came out of the tune.

The band is a new line-up the problems after Boo Hoo Hoo have faded and we are excited about the music we have produced together. This album connects with us all. Keys from Nathan Shubert add an extra dimension that wasn’t present on Boo Hoo Hoo. This album is more grown up and rounded.

BD: Old Habits Die Hard is a fantastic follow-up album to Boo Hoo Hoo Bluesdoodles loves it. Tell us about working with Executive Producer Ben Kaplan.
CR: Everyone says the second album is difficult. This is so different it is like starting over again. Boo Hoo Hoo all that material was there two years ago it was what we did. Ben Kaplan looked at the pile of stuff that had accumulated over the time we have been thinking about the album. Ben, then organized it and made sense out of the material. This gives that album shape and a finished album that has a purpose. All the rest of the process was the bands, it is in reality self-produced it is truly a band project. We engineered it and I did all the executive decision making. Ben Kaplan’s role was and outsider casting organizational ear over the project.

BD: AS a singer with a powerful voice how do you ensure that it is rested and stays in top form?
CR: Nothing special, older I get the harder to recover and easier to lose your voice, I do try to use warm up exercises, the real strain is smoking, and talking about the music afterwards with fans. I love that part but does put further strain on the vocal chords (laughing loudly)

BD: Do the tracks have personal meaning and have you a favourite Track?
CR: Hollow, or Let Slip they are both great songs. Love songs mean different things to different people and depending on their experiences they are relatable.

BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?
CR: Lyrics are the centre of songwriting for me. Life, the crazy nature. Experiences on the road. Things that happen, relationships and people. Lyrics form, it is always (laughing) a bit crazy.

BD: Tell us a bit about being a woman in the 21st century music scene, misogyny and the constant comparisons to women of the past including Etta James and Janis Joplin?
CR: Well, Janis people go to the most obvious there are not as many women in the pool to choose from as it is smaller. Feminism I see that as a sexist term, it is what is set in equal rights. It is all fucked up and not equal, I am anti separate catergories. The important factor is how men and women are treated and react to each other. As a woman you get privileges that men do not and other occasions it is vice-versa. I get treated as someone in the bands girlfriend and the reaction when they realise I am the leader of the band is priceless. (chuckling away at the memories).

BD I am sure you have many plans for 2016 and beyond for No Sinner – hope you are going to do a more extensive tour of UK.
CR: With a new album we are planning to get on the road and rev up the music live on stages across USA and of course Canada. We are planning Europe in the fall and planning some UK dates and hope to come out of London It is all so expensive touring with a band.

BD: When not playing your own music who do you listen to?
CR: I listen to lots of music, rock n’ roll, Led Zeppelin Van Morrison, The Who and Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone. I love discovering new music.

BD: How do you relax, do you have a particular hobby to take time out from music to rejuvenate your creativity
CR: The open road on my motorcycle. And Yoga. I have just come back from a road trip from Vancouver to LA and back, the only thing that didn’t go to plan was breaking down just outside Seattle. So had to leave the bike. In fact just got back from getting the bike back home. The Pan American Highway is awesome, fuels creativity gives me thinking time. Freedom to get outside of my head, when on stage or on my bike I have to be there in the moment in a meditative state.

Coleen Rennison Giving Voice To No Sinner
Will Ireland – No Sinner

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
CR: Mmmm… now that is interesting and difficult. Not a musical nerd, just listen and sing. I just know singers. Now Daniel Sveinson, our guitarist would give a good answer.

Thank you for your time, the laughs and insights.

 

No SinnerOld Habits Die Hard out on Mascot Record Label.

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