Category Archives: Shows

429 – Peter Holsapple of the dB’s – Reissue of Their Debut Album, Stands For Decibels (podcast)

The dB’s, originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, issued a pair of albums in the early Eighties that were at times both jangly and melodic, and quirky and inventive. Unfortunately, neither album saw a release in America at the time – instead getting issued by the UK label Albion. 

Now, over 40 years later, they’re issuing the dB’s debut record, Stands for Decibels, on Propeller Sound Recordings, streaming, CD, and for the first time ever in the US, vinyl. 

From the band, we chat with singer/guitarist Peter Holsapple, who talks about what went into reissuing this lost classic, recorded on a shoe-string budget over 4 decades ago, and the clever packaging of the CD. He also reveals plans for their second album, Repercussion, to get reissued as well.

Holsapple toured with R.E.M. as a multi instrumentalist in the 1990’s. He talks about watching the band’s interview on CBS Sunday Morning, commemorating their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame

428 – Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds – 50th Anniversary & New Album, Struck Down, Featuring Billy Gibbons, Bonnie Raitt, & More (podcast)

The Fabulous Thunderbirds are an American treasure, formed in Austin, Texas in 1974, the band developed an infectious blend of blues and rock that hit pay dirt with songs like “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap it Up” from 1986. 

The group is celebrating their 50th anniversary with the release of Struck Down, their first new material in eight years.  The record features contributions from big name artists like Billy Gibbons, Bonnie Raitt, Keb Mo, Taj Mahal and Elvin Bishop.  The one constant over the 50 years has been powerhouse vocalist Kim Wilson. 

He tells us why he thinks this is the band’s best album to date, plus how he hooked up with the famous guests on the album. And, how he loves that this new album is available on vinyl

427 – Tommy James – New Tour, Plus Updates on the Movie, Book, and Broadway musical (podcast)

Tommy James has sold over 100 million records, and his impressive string of hits continue to live on in movies, TV shows and commercials – “Hanky Panky,” “Mony, Mony,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Crimson & Clover,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” and many more.  His excellent autobiography, “Me, the Mob and the Music” is one of the greatest music books ever written, and is in preproduction to be turned into a major Hollywood movie and Broadway musical.

James was our very first guest on Icon Fetch back in April of 2010.  In our new conversation, he gives us updates on the movie, book and musical.  Plus, he talks about unearthing his very first recording, “Long Pony Tail,” that even predates “Hanky Panky” by two years.  He also discusses recently recording songs by the Beatles and Supremes.

Tommy James is currently on the road – tour dates and more information can be found at tommyjames.com 

426 – Marshall Chess – New Moves: The Chess Project, and New YouTube Channel & Chess Podcast (podcast)

Marshall Chess has a long history in the blues.  His father, Leonard, was one of the co-founders of Chess Records, the influential record label responsible for exposing the music of artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Sonny Boy Williamson to larger audience.  Marshall produced the trailblazing Electric Mud from Muddy Waters, and the Howlin’ Wolf Album, both were attempts to reinterpret the blues to then current psychedelic rock era.  He was the first president of Rolling Stones Records, and worked on several films, including Cadillac Records, which was based on his family’s record label. 

Now comes New Moves – The Chess Project, several decades in the making.  Once again, Marshall is reinterpreting the music his family helped nurture, this time for the modern age.  With Keith LeBlanc producing, they’ve assembled a top-notch collection of musicians, reimagining songs by Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and more. 

Marshall also has a YouTube Channel celebrating the Chess history, and a podcast, where he tells many of the great stories of his life. 

425 – Tom Rush – First New Album in Five Years – Gardens Old, Flowers New (podcast)

Tom Rush pretty much pioneered the folk movement of the early Sixties, issuing his debut album in 1962.  He’s also credited with putting compositions by Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and James Taylor on album for the first time, with his LP The Circle Game in 1968. 

We talked with Tom back in 2018 when he issued his album Voices.  Well, he’s back with his first new record in five years out called Gardens Old, Flowers New.  

He talks about how he unearthed one of the songs on the new album from a live recording from 50 years ago. Also, how he wrote a song for his daughter when she was young (now she’s grown up), and how he never intended that one to be on an album. He also talks about Rockport Sundays, a program he started during Covid, where he invites many of his musical friends to play and tell stories.

424 – Van Duren – Archival Release of Underrated Band, Good Question, Entitled Cartwheeling: Live in Memphis (podcast)

Memphis musician Van Duren was the subject of a recent documentary called Waiting: the Van Duren Story, available to rent at most streaming services.  Omnivore Recordings released an excellent summation of Duren’s career in the form of the documentary soundtrack, then issued his first two solo albums in 2020. 

Next up is Cartwheeling: Live in Memphis, showcasing Duren and his underrated band, Good Question, recorded in an intimate setting amongst friends and family back in 1992. Duren talks about events leading to the concert and why the tapes lay dormant for over 30 years. He also reveals why they chose to cover “Got To Get You Into My Life.”

Duren also tells a great story about having Ringo Starr show up at one of his gigs.

423 – Susan Cowsill – A Christmas Offering From the Cowsills (podcast)

The Cowsills are the original family band – formed in 1965, they hit pay dirt with their smash, “The Rain, the Park and Other Things” in 1967. Other hits followed, including “Indian Lake,” “We Can Fly” and “Hair.” They even were the basis for the hit TV show The Partridge Family. 

After some time apart, the group reformed in the early 90’s and has been playing and recording ever since. They’ve been a fixture on the Happy Together tour for almost a decade, and they just released a brand new album called Rhythm of the World last year. 

Now, comes A Christmas Offering from the Cowsills. Two of the songs date back to 1992, “Christmastime (Song For Marissa)” and “Some Good Years.” These two songs are joined with a brand-new, acapella version of “Winter Wonderland” – and the EP is now available digitally from Omnivore Recordings. 

We chat with Susan Cowsill about how Christmas is the favorite holiday of the Cowsill family, the origins of these “lost” holiday tunes, and the prospects of new Cowsill material in 2024.

422 – Sue Foley – New Album, Live in Austin, Volume One (podcast)

In her early twenties, Canadian born Sue Foley, trekked down to Austin, Texas and quickly immersed herself in the fertile blues scene there.  Since then, she’s released 15 albums, garnered tons of awards, including Traditional Blues Female Artist from the Blues Foundation – an award she’s taken home three years now. 

Her latest record is a homecoming of sorts – Live in Austin Volume One takes her back to her roots, recorded at the legendary Continental Club, now out on Guitar Woman Records.

We talk about how she went high quality for the recording of this live album, digging back into her roots for some of the songs, and the prospects of a Volume Two coming soon.

421 – Paul Reed Smith – Eightlock – New Album, Lions Roaring in Quicksand (podcast)

Paul Reed Smith is a name synonymous with guitarists worldwide.  His PRS line began in the mid Eighties, and ever since then, has produced 1,000’s of high-quality instruments.  If you’ve ever played one, you just know. 

Well, what you might not know is that Smith is also a musician in his own right, who’s played with the likes of Santana and the Doobie Brothers. Smith has assembled a group of highly-respected musicians into Eightlock.  Featuring three drummers, three guitarists, a bassist, and powerhouse vocalist, Mia Simone Davis, they’re issuing their debut album called Lions Roaring in Quicksand, on Steele Records.  

We talk to Paul about how he assembled this unique lineup of high-caliber musicians, the challenges in recording and playing live with three drummers, and why they chose to cover “War” by Edwin Starr.

He also talks about what got him into playing guitar as a young teen.

420 – Danny O’Keefe – New Retrospective, Circular Turns (podcast)

Danny O’Keefe’s best known song is “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues,” which cracked the Top Ten in 1972. Jackson Browne put O’Keefe’s song, “The Road,” on his hugely-successful Running on Empty album. O’Keefe’s compositions have been covered by a wide range of artists, from Elvis Presley to Miranda Lambert, from Andy Williams to Ben Harper. 

His new album, Circular Turns, now out on Sunset Boulevard Records, covers the period from 1999-2017, which saw O’Keefe collaborate with the likes of Bob Dylan, Michael McDonald, Bill Braun, and Fred Knoblach. He also reimagines some of his best songs of the past, like “Angel Spread Your Wings” and “Magdelena” – and the improvements are noticeable.

In addition, there’s a second disc featuring an intimate live performance recorded in 2016. 

O’Keefe talks about what led to this new compilation, and the stories behind some of the songs, including a “collaboration” with Bob Dylan. He also touches on growing up in Washington state and learning from producer Arif Mardin.