Even though the subject matter is often sad, why is it that we feel refreshed when we listen to blues music or attend a blues concert? What is the appeal of this classic form of music in 2017? These and other questions are posed by Dr. Marie Trout in her new book, The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good. Trout is no stranger to the blues, as her husband is legendary guitarist Walter Trout.
She anonymously polled over 1,000 blues fans, plus scholars, musicians and music industry insiders, to find out what it is that makes this form of music so appealing to people all over the world. She also shares her own blues story – how she almost lost her husband when he fell ill and needed a liver transplant, and how the blues community came together to give assistance.
He’s 83 years old and is playing 130 shows this year – how does John Mayall keep going?
He’s been called the Godfather of the Blues, John Mayall is into his 8th decade of life and yet is showing no sign of slowing down. His band has been a proving ground for some of the greatest musicians of all time – guitarists like Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor and Sonny Landreth, plus Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Jack Bruce.
His brand new record is called Talk About That, and it’s a diverse affair, encapsulating the many twists and turns of his career, giving Mayall a chance to play organ, piano, harmonica and guitar. Out of the 11 tracks, eight are recent songs composed by him. As is with every Mayall record, there’s a surprise, this time he’s joined by guitar great Joe Walsh for a couple of tracks, including the searing “The Devil Must Be Laughing.”
Mayall unbelievably has 130 shows scheduled for this year – he shares what keeps him going. Plus, how not surprisingly, he prefers vinyl over digital music.
Legendary melodic songwriter Peter Holsapple is back with a new vinyl 45, his first new solo project in 20 years.
Peter was a touring musician for both R.E.M. and Hootie & the Blowfish
If you trace the roots of Power Pop, in the Seventies you had the Raspberries, Badfinger & Big Star. Later in the Nineties you had artists like Matthew Sweet, the Gin Blossoms & Weezer that were able to have commercial success. But, during the decade in the middle there – the Eighties, it was all about funny hair and keyboards, and it was hard going for the power pop guys. There were bands like North Carolina’s the dB’s, who released a string of hook-laden albums that gained only a cult following, but are now considered classics.
Singer/guitarist Peter Holsapple not only led the dB’s, he’s also been a member of the alternative supergroup the Continental Drifters, and was a touring member of R.E.M. and Hootie & the Blowfish during their peak years. Holsapple has just issued a vinyl 45, his first new solo outing in 20 years called “Don’t Mention the War.”
We talk radiofreesongclub.com, the project that helped spur on this recent burst of creativity, plus the excellent music video that accompanies the song.
Stephen Pearcy fronted Ratt through several platinum albums in the Eighties and early Nineties, including Out of the Cellar, Invasion of Your Privacy, Dancing Undercover and Reach For the Sky. The band had success on the pop charts as well, hitting #12 in 1984 with “Round and Round,” also a huge MTV hit. In the early 2000’s, Pearcy embarked on a solo career, and he’s just issued his fourth solo long-player called Smash. The new album sees him returning to his riff-heavy roots of classic Ratt, while also breaking new ground – there’s some strong Led Zeppelin influences here as well. He’s also planning a reunion with his bandmates in Ratt for a tour later this year.
Legendary Motown Guitarist Talks New Archival Jazz Funk Release
Dennis Coffey is truly one of the unsung heroes of the guitar. In the late Sixties, he became a member of the famed “Funk Brothers” – the backing musicians that played on all the Motown hit singles. His unique style can be heard on “Ball of Confusion” by the Temptations, “War” by Edwin Starr, and “Someday We’ll Be Together” by the Supremes, just to name a few. He also had a solo career, scoring the million-selling instrumental “Scorpio” in 1971.
Resonance Records, usually known for their excellent jazz releases, has just issued “Hot Coffey in the D: Burnin’ at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge,” a previously-unheard live album from 1968, featuring Coffey, plus Lyman Woodard on organ and Melvin Davis on drums.
We talk why it took so long for this fantastic recording to see a proper release. Plus, he tells us how he first got involved with Motown Records, and how he helped discover the enigmatic singer, Rodriguez.
Enuff Z’Nuff arrived at the height of hair metal, but had more in common with bands like Cheap Trick, emphasizing melody over guitar trickery. They scored a couple of radio hits in the early Nineties with “Fly High Michelle” and “New Toy.” The band has continued releasing albums full of great melodic hooks. Their latest release, Clowns Lounge, goes back to the beginning, featuring songs that were written and recorded during sessions for their debut record, but never released. We talk with leader Chip Z’Nuff about the archival project, which also features one of the last known vocals by Warrant vocalist Jani Lane on a song called “Devil of Shakespeare.” There’s also a sign of things to come, with a brand-new track called “Dog on a Bone.”
Our first show of 2017 is a joint collaboration between Icon Fetch and Dan Miles of the Friends of Dan Music Podcast. We profile several of the legendary artists that passed away in the brutal year that was 2016. Through the magic of modern technology, Dan and Tony (in Arizona and Ohio, respectively) trade off giving tributes to Prince, Glenn Frey of the Eagles, David Bowie, Maurice White of Earth, Wind, & Fire, Leon Russell, Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane, Merle Haggard, and Keith Emerson & Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Here’s the “Icon Fetch” version of the program:
A much more in-depth version of the show is available at the Friends of Dan Music Podcast by clicking here