Category Archives: Shows

347 – Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown – City Night

I know that at any moment…this could stop

Savoy Brown, one of the longest-running British Blues Rock bands.  Formed in 1965 by guitarist Kim Simmonds, the band achieved success with songs like “Train to Nowhere,” “I’m Tired,” and “Hellbound Train.”  Former band members have gone on to success with groups like Yes, Fleetwood Mac, and several members forming Foghat.  But, through all this, Simmonds has remained the one constant, guiding force. 

The band’s 40th album, City Night, has just come out on Quarto Valley Records, and Simmonds searing guitar is once again, front and center, augmented by Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnett Grimm on drums, the most consistent lineup in the group’s history  The band is also in the midst of a US tour.

We chat about how Simmonds saw the Rolling Stones very early in their career, plus how he was influenced by Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, and why he doesn’t play his signature Flying V guitar much anymore.

346 – Robert Rodriguez – 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road

It’s been 50 years since the Beatles issued their final studio album, Abbey Road, and to celebrate, Apple Records has just released several deluxe versions.  The biggest selling point is a brand-new remix of the original album by Giles Martin, son of Beatles’ producer George Martin.  Also included are various demos and alternate versions that give us a peek behind the scenes of the Fab Four’s final masterpiece. 

And, to talk about it, we welcome back Rob Rodriguez, who has written many books on the Beatles, including Fab Four FAQ 2.0, Revolver: How the Beatles Reimagined Rock n’ Roll, and Solo in the Seventies.  He also hosts a podcast called Something About the Beatles.

345 – Louis Price – The Temptations, When Doves Cry Re-imagined

Louis Price was the lead singer of the legendary Temptations in the late 1970’s. He also spent time in the Drifters after that.  Price recently teamed with pianist Starr Parodi for an emotionally-charged update of Prince’s 1984 hit, “When Doves Cry.” 

The duo strip away the synths and heavy percussion of the original recording, leaving just voice and piano. This scaled-back approach places a stronger emphasis on the lyrics, especially the line, “why do we scream at each other,” which Price repeats, again and again near the end, to incredible, spine-tingling, effect. This re-imagined version is an attempt to bring peace through the power of music. 

He also gives us the crazy story of how he became lead singer of the Temptations, one of the most revered vocal groups of all-time.

344 – Joe Puerta of Ambrosia – Kurt Vonnegut, Alan Parsons and Yacht Rock

Ambrosia
Photo credit: Manny Dominguez Photography

Ambrosia released five albums and five Top 40 singles during their original chart run.  Their hits included “Holding on To Yesterday,” “How Much I Feel,” “Biggest Part of Me” and “You’re the Only Woman.”  For the band’s last tour, an up and coming musician by the name of Bruce Hornsby played piano for them.  Well bassist Joe Puerta is an original member of Ambrosia, who followed Hornsby and played in the original Bruce Hornsby and the Range as well.  Now, Ambrosia is back out on the road, playing a series of dates.

We talk to Puerta about the what got him playing bass, the origins of Ambrosia, and the struggles they had early on in their career.  A couple of other tidbits of our chat include working with Alan Parsons on their early records, and the story behind “Nice, Nice, Very Nice,” which features words by author Kurt Vonnegut.  

343 – Tad Robinson – Real Street

Tad Robinson is no stranger to soul music – he’s been doing a blend of it mixed with blues for decades, and it’s earned him eight nominations in various Blues Music Award categories.  But, this time around, the Indianapolis singer/harmonica player decided to travel to one of the soul music mecca’s, Memphis, to record his latest record, Real Street, coming soon on Severn Records.  He got a chance to play with the legendary Hi Rhythm Section, and the results are 10 tracks that sound like they came out of the same stable as Al Green and Ann Peebles.

Robinson tells us what it was like working with these legendary musicians, some of the great stories behind his originals, and why he re-worked songs like Roy Orbison’s “You Got It” and Bread’s “Make it With You.”  

342 – Author Mike Greenblatt – Woodstock 50: Back to Yasgur’s Farm

It was 50 years ago that three days of peace and music changed the world forever.  A new book, Woodstock 50th Anniversary – Back to Yasgur’s Farm from Krause Publications, captures the spirit with a front row seat account of the happenings with author Mike Greenblatt, who was there and lived to tell about it.  Greenblatt also tracks down many of the artists who played the festival, as well as some of the behind the scenes folks that made it all possible.  224 pages featuring over 300 photographs, it’s great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a half a million strong. 

Greenblatt talks about what led him to getting there early to the festival, some of the crazy stories of seeing his favorite bands, and also interviewing Graham Nash, one of the artists he missed (he left early, as did many others).  

341 – Chris Carter – Breakfast with the Beatles

Chris Carter is a very busy man.  He hosts Breakfast With the Beatles, America’s longest-running Beatles show – Monday through Friday 8 to 11am Eastern on Sirius Radio, as well as Sundays on the FM dial in Southern California.  But, that’s not all. He also serves up Chris Carter’s British Invasion on Little Steven’s Underground Garage channel Saturday and Sundays too.  Carter also owned a legendary New Jersey record store called Looney Tunez (with a Z) and was the bassist for the seminal alternative band Dramarama in the 90’s.

We chat with the Fab Four Fanatic about what led to landing the dream job with Breakfast with the Beatles, getting to talk with both Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and how particular Beatles’ fans can be. We also talk briefly about his band, Dramarama, who were signed to a major label in the 1990’s and got some MTV airplay.

340 – Seth Walker – Are You Open?

Emphasizing the groove

Carolina native Seth Walker has released a string of fine albums over the last decade, with Are You Open? being his 10th long-player. While groove has always been a part of his music. This time around, it seems to have taken on a more prominent role.

He recently spent some time down in Cuba, and that certainly had an influence on things. Walker also talks about doing a lot of the recording at home, touring with Ruthie Foster, and even painting the front cover of his latest disc.

339 – Zev Feldman of Resonance Records – Wes Montgomery and Bill Evans archival releases

No record label has done more for the genre of jazz over the last decade than Resonance Records.  The California independent has unearthed gems from a who’s who of jazz, from John Coltrane and Jaco Pastorius, to multiple releases by piano great Bill Evans and guitar master Wes Montgomery.

Those last two artists are the subject of Resonance most-recent projects.  Evans in England features previously unheard live performances from 1969, while Back on Indiana Avenue culls a collection of studio and live tapes of Wes Montgomery right before he became famous.

We chat with Zev Feldman, the co-president of the label, about the crazy stories that led to unearthing these releases by two of the legends of jazz. He also tells us what new project the company is working on for the Christmas holiday.

338 – Southern Avenue – Keep On – Second Album Blends Many Styles For a Unique, and Very Memphis, Sound

Southern Avenue - photo by David McClister

Soul is an over-used term.  What it’s supposed to describe is music that’s real, human and authentic.  There’s a Memphis group that embodies that term, mixing elements of R&B, blues, rock and gospel into something that’s unique, and very much southern and from the streets – hence the appropriate name Southern Avenue.  They’ve just issued their sophomore album, Keep On, on Concord Music.

Recorded at Sam Phillips’ legendary studio, the record serves up a dozen examples of their potent approach to a classic sound. Led by Israeli-born guitar virtuoso, Ori Naftaly, and fiery singer Tierinii Jackson, the group is rounded out by Tierinii’s younger sister, Tikyra, who plays drums and sings backup, and keyboardist Jeremy Powell. They’re currently on a tour that will take them coast to coast in the US before heading overseas.

We chat with Naftaly about what got him to relocate 6,500 miles from his home country and settle in the U.S. He tells us how growing up in the church gives the Jackson sisters a very authentic backbone for their music. He also sheds light on how the band hooked up with legendary soul man William Bell for one of the songs on their new album.