Folk-blues singer covers Black Sabbath on her new album
Austin singer Ruthie Foster defies classification. Her previous albums have featured covers from the likes of Johnny Cash, David Crosby and Adele, as well as her own originals. For this new project, Joy Comes Back, her first release in three years, the approach is equally eclectic: she tackles songs by the Four Tops, Mississippi John Hurt and, most notably, a Son House-flavored rendition of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”
She’s also joined by several stellar guests, including guitarist Derek Trucks, bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Joe Vitale. We talk to Foster about how music got her through a tumultuous chapter in her life, plus why she quit the business and signed up for the Navy several years ago.
What if we traveled back in time and the tour buses for the Kinks and Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five crashed into each other? Well, we’d have quite a mess on the road, but you might come close to the sound of the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, equal parts rock irreverence and vintage jazz, with a bent sense of humor thrown in for good measure.
The band is celebrating 20 years together and have commemorated the event with the release of Waving Kissyhead volume 2 & 1. Chandler Travis returns to our show to talk the new disc, the band’s ongoing “Best Bedhead Contest,” and why putting lyrics to songs almost always screws them up. He also tells the story about playing Carnegie Hall on the opening slot for comedian George Carlin.
Things are definitely looking up for singer/songwriter Em Rossi. She’s recently collaborated with Jim McGorman, who’s worked with Avril Lavigne & Paul Stanley, and has also been a guest on our show. The two of them have put together a series of singles that she’s been issuing on Youtube and social media.
Well, people are responding – Em’s up to 5 million views on the online video channel. The video for her latest single, “Empty Space,” just premiered on the Huffington Post’s website. Like many of her recent songs, it deals with the sudden loss of her father and the void that it left behind. Em’s working toward an eventual full length album, hopefully coming soon.
We talk to her about what got her singing in the first place, the filming of her new video, and how her partnership with Smule has helped her reach even more fans worldwide.
Delbert McClinton has made a career out of doing whatever he wanted. He got his start blowing harmonica on Bruce Channel’s classic “Hey Baby” – that was 1962, before the Beatles invaded America. In fact, that little old band from Liverpool actually opened for him on an early gig.
Not long after, he began leading his own band, and creating a body of music that defies classification, all the while winning awards in Blues, Country, and Rock. Delbert’s just released his 19th album, Prick of the Litter, and it’s easily one of the best of his long career.
We talk his love of classic music of the Forties and Fifties, from Johnny Mercer and Charles Brown to Jimmy Reed and Frank Sinatra. He’s also got his autobiography coming later in the year.
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.”