Canadian singer/songwriter Luke McMaster recorded a hit duet with pianist Jim Brickman earlier in 2013 called “Good Morning Beautiful.” Now the song has been retooled just in time for the holidays as “Merry Christmas Beautiful,” which McMaster is supporting by touring with Brickman, doing a series of holiday shows. He’s also just issued “NYC,” a collaboration with DJ Titus 1 and featuring vocals by Bek Phillips, which shows off a completely different side to his music. Icon Fetch talks with the busy songwriter about his soul album, All Roads; his love of recent Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees Hall & Oates; and taking his music in a more dance-oriented direction.
Platinum-selling pianist David Lanz returns to Icon Fetch with his first new album of original material in five years called Movements of the Heart (amazon link). Inspired by a new love in his life, the record features some of the most passionate music Lanz has ever laid to tape. We discuss how immersing himself in music of the past, specifically the Beatles, had an impact on his current compositions, and how he tuned his piano differently, and the positive effect that had on his songs.
Tommy Keene has been a regular guest on our show, but his new album is something different – Excitement at Your Feet is eleven songs that Tommy didn’t write, giving him a chance to show off some of his influences. And he digs pretty deep – most people won’t recognize the covers he does of the Who and Stones. We talk to Keene about the inspiration behind the record, choosing the songs (including a rare one from the Bee Gees), and how soon we could expect a new studio album.
Photographer Lisa Johnson has just put out 108 Rock Star Guitars from Glitterati Publishing. While there have been many photo books centering on guitars, her book is something completely different: for one, these aren’t just any six stringed instruments, but the favorite axes of some of the legendary guitarists in all of rock. Johnson traveled all around the globe for a chance to snap these hallowed instruments. But, the most unique aspect of her book is the way she captures them – instead of the whole instrument, she might zoom in on only a portion of the guitar – maybe a well-worn pickguard, or a banged-up neck. it’s known as macrophotography. The result of these high definition prints is that you feel like you can reach out and touch these rare pieces – a real treat for any avid guitar fan.
Long before Richard Barone embarked on a successful solo career, he fronted the Hoboken band the Bongos. The group enjoyed critical acclaim, college radio success, and even got some videos played on early MTV. But by 1986, the band was falling apart. They recorded a final album in the Bahamas, but it remained unreleased, and Barone went solo. Now, after over 25 years, Phantom Train finally gets a proper release. Full of the chiming guitars and haunting melodies that were characteristics of the band’s best moments. We talk to Barone about why 2013 was the right time to release these tracks, how these songs figured into his next project, Cool Blue Halo, and the recent reunion of the Bongos.
Jessy J has been named the Hottest Rising Star in Smooth Jazz, scored several #1 singles in the genre, and had a chance to collaborate with some of the biggest names in the business. Her latest CD is called Second Chances. Icon Fetch talks with the sexy multi-instrumentalist about the number “2” re-occurring in the songs on her album, what made her choose the saxophone all those years ago, and a recent recording session she had with legendary rockers Aerosmith.
Guitarist / producer Pete Anderson first teamed with Dwight Yoakam in 1986. Together, the duo formed a partnership that would set country music on it’s ear – something badly needed in the genre today. After parting ways with Dwight in 2003, Anderson concentrated on his solo work, and producing records for others. His list of productions include Michelle Shocked, Roy Orbison, Tanya Tucker and the Meat Puppets.
Anderson has just released his fifth solo record, Birds Above Guitarland arguably his best to date, with a real emphasis on great songwriting and singing. We talk to Anderson about immersing himself in the music of vocalists like Frank Sinatra & Bobby Darin, and how their swinging style helped shape the new record. He also tells a great story about his young daughter trying to record her own CD.
Few artists can still bring it like Delbert McClinton. In a career that’s spanned over 50 years, he’s accomplished a great deal. He had his first taste of success lending the signature harmonica part to Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby.” That was 1962. Along the way, he’s won three Grammys and released 28 albums. Yet he’s shown no sign of slowing down.
His latest release is Blind, Crippled & Crazy, a reunion with fellow Texan Glen Clark after a short 40 year hiatus. The twelve track disc is full of the kind of humor that can only come from guys who have lived a lot, yet learned very little. We talk reuniting with Clark after 40 years, advice he gave his son in the music business, and his yearly Sandy Beaches Cruise which is heading out again in the winter.
Lisa Biales has been called the Belle of the Blues. She’s always done things with a bent toward the past, but her seventh album, Singing in My Soul, takes things to a whole different level. Drawing on a diverse set of legendary songs, from Sister Rosetta Tharpe, to Mississippi John Hurt, from “Write Me in Care of the Blues” to “I Only Have Eyes For You” – Biales has crafted a classic-sounding album. But her strong, clear vocals manage to breathe new life into these vintage tunes. We talk to the Ohio native about the different approach she took to this new record, and how playing the role of Patsy Cline in a local theater production gave her new respect for the pioneering country singer.
Sail Rock 2013 is coming to a town near you. Exploring the mellow side of late Seventies and early Eighties rock. Featuring Christopher Cross, Orleans, Gary Wright, Firefall, John Ford Coley, Robbie Dupree and Player, the show is full of familiar favorites. Icon Fetch talks with John Hall of Orleans about writing a song for Janis Joplin, the success of their biggest hit, “Still the One,” and his experiences as a US House of Representative. We also chat with Robbie Dupree, who reminisces about being in a band with Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers, the experience of his hit “Steal Away,” and hosting a radio show which airs overseas.