FYI, Leo Kelly is an amazing artist.
Most people consider Derek and Susan the first family of Southern-fried blues/rock. They have the lineage, the talent, and the sound. The combination of Derek’s slide and Susan’s voice is a rare combo that maybe hasn’t been seen since the days of Ike and Tina.
I know that most of the time when I interview artists I’m usually just another phone call on their lengthy to-do list for the day. But I never felt that at all when talking to Derek and Susan. It was mid-morning and they both were as funny, interesting, and as willing to talk as anyone I’ve interviewed. Hearing Derek talk about Duane’s “Fillmore” amp was historic—and Susan is no slouch about gear, either.
Talking to musicians on the level of Guthrie and Bryan can be quite eye opening. You see, they are technically at the top of their game and are in-demand sideman. Yet, they both have a certain charm that makes them very easy to talk to. Thinking back to Gladwell’s theory: These guys have put in their 10K hours and are now enjoying the musical freedom all of us strive for.
As you can tell from the pull quotes in the piece, they don’t take themselves too seriously but yet they are serious about their craft. The art of making music is near and dear to their hearts and it comes out in every note.
I’ve spoken with Sco a few times. One of my favorite NGW memories is when we brought his trio to the jazz summit and they just blew everyone’s minds. Complete improvisational freedom. You never feel lost when listening to Sco, just amazed that no matter what he plays his sound just sticks out. Now that he is bringing Überjam back after about a decade, I get the feeling that his music will open the years of many young festival-goers who will surrender to the groove.
In this interview we talk about his new project, how he approaches each group he plays in, and what is was like learning (or trying to learn) all those Dead tunes.
Did the first wave of what we now consider jam bands—like the Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers—influence you when you were younger?
Well, I consider Hendrix and Cream jazz-influenced. They were rock groups that took the idea of jazz, in that they played extended solos and improvised together. I see that as an extension of the jazz music from the ’60s and really jazz in general. Labeling these different genres gets pretty confusing and it gets hard to do. Even when the labels are right, there’s always something wrong about it. [Laughs.]
Admittedly, most of my exposure to Ribot was through his excellent Cuban-inspired albums. Once I got a hold of his latest Ceramic Dog album I was really surprised how much Ribot can Rock.
My favorite quote from the interview:
As great and meaningful as your influences are, they do change you. Do you feel like when you head back towards more of a “beginner’s mind,” influences could sometimes be a burden?
Like I say, “It’s always revealing.” [laughs]. I don’t think that you can go back per se. The obstructing angel guards the gate of the Garden of Eden and it guards the way back to high school, too. It’s not a simple process to become naive again. In other words, I don’t think I could be Arto Lindsay. I never thought I could be Arto Lindsay after I’d already learned how to play music. But, what I could be was someone who was smart enough to understand why Arto’s playing was great. I could be someone who valued that. Just because I know how to play all of this stuff doesn’t mean I have to be a muso.
Recently, I was asked by Erik over at Dark Foreboding Stew to be a guest on his podcast. He just posted the latest episode here. Of course, we talk about guitars, gear, Van Halen, and whatever else comes to mind.
Erik is just getting his podcast off the ground, so make sure you go to iTunes and subscribe.
Recently, I had the chance to speak with Dave about his latest album, Scarlet: The Director’s Cut, and what he has on tap for this year. Most notably (yet) another leg of The Wall with Roger Waters, another solo album, and hopefully something with Guthrie Govan.
There was one quote that I thought was rather interesting:
That desire for more dynamics led Kilminster to shun many effects—especially for his dirtier sounds. “I’m not a big fan of effects on overdriven sounds. When I do the ‘Comfortably Numb’ solo with Roger, I put on this chorus to try and make it sound a bit more like the record and I always hate adding it.”
Is adding chorus to an overdriven sound something that was Gilmour-ish or have I been totally missing the boat on this?
Also, don’t sleep on Dave’s new tuning: C–G–D–G–A–D. Interesting variation on DADGAD.
Anyways, check out the piece here.