Category Archives: Shows

335 – Van Duren – Waiting – New Documentary & Soundtrack

Van Duren

Van Duren emerged from the same fertile Memphis music scene that gave us cult heroes Big Star. In fact, Duren was one of the many artists interviewed in the 2012 Big Star documentary, Nothing Can Hurt Me. In an odd twist of fate, Van Duren has gone from being interviewed in a documentary to having a documentary made about him.

Waiting: The Van Duren Story, debuted in Memphis last November. The origins of this film are about as crazy as you can get, involving fans from halfway around the world. In anticipation of the film being released publicly, Omnivore Recordings has assembled a fantastic, 12-track overview of Duren’s largely unknown career. Yet, the music on this disc shows an artist that needs to be heard.

We chat the unlikely circumstances that led to this new documentary. Plus, he goes through some of the tracks on the film’s soundtrack, including songs recorded with former members of Big Star. Plus, he talks about the possibility of new music from him.

334 – Carmine Appice – Guitar Zeus

Legendary drummer Carmine Appice got his start in hard rock pioneers Vanilla Fudge. He’s played with Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, backed Rod Stewart, and led bands like King Kobra and Blue Murder, all the while, setting a standard for rock drumming that’s unparalleled.

One of his most impressive projects, is also his most under-appreciated. Guitar Zeus began as a pair of albums in the mid-Nineties, featuring a venerable who’s who of guitar slingers, including Slash, Yngwie Malmsteen, Queen’s Brian May, Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora, Ted Nugent, Neal Schon of Journey, and many more. But, because of poor distribution and little label support, these great performances went largely unheard.

Now, Carmine is re-issuing Guitar Zeus – all the tracks from the original project, plus some newly recorded ones – for a total of 32 songs. And it features some of the finest drumming of Carmine’s career.

Appice also tells us how he helped a young John Bonham get started, plus the crazy story behind Rod Stewart’s “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” which he co-wrote.

333 – Billy Vera – Harlem to Hollywood and “At This Moment.”

New Billy Vera autobiography from Backbeat Books

Billy Vera has spent his entire life in the entertainment business.  Although he is best known for his 1987 surprise #1 hit “At This Moment,” he’s also had roles in many movies and TV shows, and he’s written and performed some of the themes for those TV shows.  But, it doesn’t stop there.

Vera has had a long career as a voice-over announcer, so odds are you’ve probably heard him at one time or another.  He’s also an avid record collector and music historian who’s penned the liner notes to many collections and box sets, even winning a Grammy for his work on a Ray Charles set.  His twists and turns are documented in his new book, Harlem to Hollywood from Backbeat Books.

He talks about what he learned from having both of his parents in the entertainment business growing up, how the first song he ever got published became a hit for Ricky Nelson.  We also discuss what it was like winning over the hard-to-please crowd at the legendary Apollo Theater, getting signed to Atlantic Records, and writing a #1 hit for Dolly Parton.

Of course, we save room to get the story behind how the TV show Family Ties helped propel a six-year old non-hit of his to the top of the charts.

332 – Tony Joe White Tribute

Singer/songwriter Tony Joe White passed away on October 25th at the age of 75.  A singular artist who will never be replaced, White created an entire genre of music all his own, Swamp Rock.  A purist in every sense of the word, he even recorded his latest album in a horse barn.

Tony Peters had an opportunity to talk with White just a few months ago, on the eve of the release of his latest album, Bad Mouthin’.  Much of the interview centers on the stories behind the songs on the record – many of which are tributes to the artists that influenced him over the years.

He also tells us the stories behind his two most-famous songs – “Polk Salad Annie” and “Rainy Night in Georgia,” which Brook Benton took to the top of the charts.  White also recalls being asked to join Elvis Presley on tour and what a thrill that was.

We also found some bonus interview footage where he discusses his role in a recent movie by Shelby Lynne.  Join us as we pay tribute to Tony Joe White.

#331 – AJ Croce – Croce Plays Croce

AJ Croce – photo credit: Sebastian Smith

Singer, pianist, and songwriter A.J. Croce, the son of Jim Croce, has spent nine albums forging his own musical path. often mining elements of soul, folk and pop.  In fact, he released one of the finest albums of 2017 called Just Like Medicine, which was produced by legendary producer Dan Penn, and featured a song co-written with the late Leon Russell.

Croce’s latest venture is a series of shows, Croce Plays Croce, where he performs the songs of his famous father along with some of his own compositions, which is coming locally to the brand new Levitt Pavilion in Dayton on September 6th.

We also talk to him about recording his dad’s song, “I Got a Name,” which was featured in a Goodyear commercial starring Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

#330 – Rebecca Angel – What We Had

Jonah Miles Prendergast: Credit

Sultry New York singer Rebecca Angel recently graduated from Ithica College with a degree in voice and now she’s just issued her debut EP called What We Had. The album was produced by renowned jazz keyboardist Jason Miles, who’s worked with Miles Davis, Whitney Houston and many others. She’s also collaborated with this project with her dad, trumpet player Dennis Angel.

Rebecca talks about finding a style all her own, and giving an electronic twist to the soul classic, “Stand By Me.”

#329 – Tony Joe White – Bad Mouthin, Polk Salad Annie and Elvis

He recorded his new record in a horse barn

Call it swamp rock, or whatever you want, but Tony Joe White has created a style of music all his own and he’s parlayed it into a career that’s lasted over 50 years.  He hit the top 10 in 1969 with “Polk Salad Annie,” and penned the soulful ballad “Rainy Night in Georgia,” first made famous by Brook Benton, but has been covered by countless performers.

He’s worked with everyone from Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton to Jerry Lee Lewis and Joe Cocker.  His latest album is stripped-down affair called Bad Mouthin’ from Yep Roc records.

White talks about the record that inspired him to start writing songs of his own.  Plus, what it was like not only having Elvis Presley record three of his compositions, but also getting the opportunity to hang out with The King backstage.

#328 – Author James Campion – Warren Zevon Book

from Backbeat Books

Warren Zevon was the very definition of the enigmatic artist.  In Accidentally Like a Martyr: The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon (Backbeat Books), author James Campion attempts to separate the man from the myth by first analyzing the lyrics in several of his songs,  then by talking with the family, friends and colleagues who knew him best. Campion secured interviews with Zevon’s ex-wife, and kids, plus J.D. Souther, Jackson Browne, and many others.

We chat with the life-long, self-proclaimed “Zevon-head” about doing a book on his favorite artist, plus how he tracked down all the great interviews for the book.  We also discuss how Zevon felt about his one, smash hit “Werewolves of London.”

#327 – Tom Rush – New Album – Voices

Tom Rush is credited for starting the “singer/songwriter” movement.     He emerged from the folk scene of the early Sixties, releasing a series of albums that featured covers of traditional folk and blues songs.  Things changed for 1968’s The Circle Game, where Rush became the first artist to record songs by then-unknown songwriters Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Jackson Browne (before the three even signed record contracts).

Rush has always written his own material, but it might surprise you that his latest album, Voices,  is the first release which features an entire record of his own compositions – it’s only taken 55 years!

We talk to Rush about using crowd-funding to support his new project, the fact that he almost never remembers writing his songs, and how a recent Youtube video of his went viral and received SEVEN MILLION views!

#326 – Martha Davis of the Motels – The Last Few Beautiful Days

The Motels had several big hits in the early Eighties, including “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.”  At a time when new albums are kind of an afterthought, The Motels have just issued one of the strongest albums of their entire career called The Last Few Beautiful Days.

Vocalist Martha Davis is reunited with Marty Jourard who provided signature saxophone and keyboards on many of their albums. This new record somehow manages to be both modern and a reflection of everything that the band has done before.

We chat with Davis about what led to this new project, and how using vintage keyboards on the new record helped give it a timeless quality .  Plus, she gives us the stories behind their biggest hits.